Whether you’re looking to take ghost tour or go behind the scenes of a NASCAR race, Craven County offers a variety of recreational opportunities.
Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Parkway S
Concord, NC 28027 800-455-3267
Visitors can attend one-of-a-kind race spectacles such as the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race & Bank of America 500; take behind-the-scenes speedway and race shop tours; and drive an 800-horsepower stock car. The 167,000-seat facility also hosts numerous other events including three of the nation’s largest car shows; a 10-week series of Legends Car, Bandolero and Thunder Roadster racing; and the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
Ghosts of New Bern
Discover if ghosts really do exist as you walk through the historic district of New Bern. Candle-lit lanterns add to the experience as a knowledgeable guide shares the stories of the ghosts that haunt the homes and buildings as well as the paranormal investigations that have been held. Family friendly and wheelchair friendly make the tour perfect for everyone. Visit the website for more information on this walking tour.
Step to the tee among stunning mountains, rolling hills or beautiful beaches. North Carolina offers 400-plus golf courses across the state with temperatures that allow play year-round. A variety of public and country club courses are available in Craven County, including the Rees Jones-designed Emerald Golf Club, named one of the top 50 courses in the Southeast by Golf Weekly; the challenging Carolina Colours Golf Course that appeals to all handicap levels; and the resort-style Harbour Pointe Golf Club where golfers can enjoy a unique natural setting of picturesque coastal marsh lands. For a full list of public and private courses in North Carolina, visit www.visitnc.com/golf.
Kirkman’s Farm and Petting Zoo
5255 N.C. Highway 55 W
Cove City, NC 28523 252-638-1847
Kirkman’s Farm and Petting Zoo is a working farm, inviting visitors since 1999 to see the family-run operation and to feed and pet farmyard and exotic animals. Situated about 20 minutes west of New Bern, Kirkman’s Farm demonstrates preparing the fields, planting, fertilizing and harvesting corn, wheat, rye, oats, hay and pumpkins. Besides seeing the farming activities and machinery, you can enjoy the farm’s goats, potbelly pigs, rabbits, ponies, cows, a miniature donkey, ostriches, an emu, a rhea and more.
Lions Water Adventure
2602 W. Vernon Ave.
Kinston, NC 28504 252-939-1330
Lion’s Water Adventure is in Kinston, 35 miles from New Bern. The water park has three water slides, a kiddie lagoon, lazy river, lap pool and therapeutic pool, shady bungalow to view the lazy river and locker/changing room area. Lion’s Water Adventure is open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Visit the website for more information.
Lynnwood Park Zoo
1071 Wells Road
Jacksonville, NC 28540 910-938-5848
Lynnwood Park Zoo sits on a 10-acre parcel with a 1/2-acre pond next to the picnic area. It is the only animal exhibiting facility in Onslow County and the Camp Lejeune area. The zoo displays over 80 animal exhibits with many species ranging from zebras, antelopes, potbellied pigs and skunks to alligators, pythons, box turtles and barn owls. Tours are available for groups of 20 or more. The zoo closes in the winter.
North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores
1 Roosevelt Blvd.
Pine Knoll Shores, NC 28512 252-247-4003
The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores has something for the whole family to enjoy. Watch river otters play. Touch a stingray. Look a shark in the eye. Explore shipwrecks — without getting wet. See a rare white sea turtle. Thousands of aquatic animals take you on a journey from the state’s grand peaks to the open Atlantic. For more information on hours and ticket prices, visit the aquarium’s website.