Duplin County is located in eastern North Carolina, between Raleigh and Wilmington along Interstate 40. While many discover this area on their way to North Carolina’s popular beaches, more than ever, it is becoming a destination in itself. Here are some top reasons to visit this picturesque North Carolina county.
Wineries–This is wine country.
Duplin Winery (505 North Sycamore Street, Rose Hill, North Carolina 28458; 800-774-9634) is one of the county’s largest claims to fame. The oldest and largest winery in the Southeast, Duplin has been producing award-winning wines for nearly a half century. Winery tours, wine tastings and a meal at The Bistro are all popular activities in addition to choosing favorites from the retail store.
At Country Squire Winery (748 N.C. 24 Business/50, Warsaw, North Carolina 28398; 910-296-1727), tastings are held in the Tartan Wine Tasting Room, a former 1780s farmhouse. Country Squire is a multi-generational venture with roots extending back to Scotland and the property is also home to a popular restaurant and historic inn.
Golf–Duplin’s golf courses offer challenging options for a day of play in a beautiful setting.
Duplin Country Club (148 Duplin Country Club Road, Kenansville, North Carolina 28349; 910-290-9029) has fairways flanked by tall Southern pines and lush wetlands. It is considered a short but challenging course with small, fast greens.
Architect Clyde Johnston designed the two courses at River Landing (110 River Village Place, Wallace, North Carolina 28466; 888-285-4171). Both are championship 18-hole designs considered to be among the top in the entire state. Both clubs are semi-private, with public tee times available.
Time on the water–Catch the perfect day on the water.
Fishing and boating on the Northeast Cape Fear River are some of the most popular year-round activities in the region. This beautiful blackwater stream offers good fishing for largemouth bass, sunfish and channel catfish. Cabin Lake County Park is a beautiful setting to enjoy a day on the water. It is open for camping, hiking, fishing, boating, picnicking and swimming. The county also offers several other parks and boat launches and there are many waterfront campgrounds in the area.
Museums–These historic spots provide a glimpse of years gone by.
Cowan Museum of History and Science (411 South Main Street, Kenansville, North Carolina 28349; 910-296-2149) is the perfect spot to learn about Duplin’s rich history. The surrounding historical park showcases six historic buildings, including a log cabin, general store and a tobacco barn. There is also a botanical garden, displaying nearly 90 species of native plants including pollinator gardens, a wet meadow garden, Longleaf Pine upland garden and a Bald Cypress wetland garden.
Tarkil Branch Farm’s Homestead Museum (1198 Fountaintown Road, Beulaville, North Carolina 28518; 910-298-3804) is located on a 375-acre working farm and features an 1830s dog-trot-style house and 11 other vintage buildings and exhibits with more than 850 artifacts. Visitors can tour a country store and smokehouse and see a horse-drawn plow, a half-century-old tractor and equipment for turpentine collection, wine making and in-home food processing. Farm tours are offered by wagon and three nature trails are open to explore.
Attractions–Only in Duplin.
Liberty Hall Plantation (409 South Main Street, Kenansville, North Carolina 28349; 910-296-2175), the ancestral home of the Kenan family, is said to be the finest restored Southern plantation home in the state. Henry Flagler, founder of Standard Oil Company, was married to Mary Lilly Kenan in its parlor in 1901.
World’s Largest Frying Pan–(510 East Main Street, Rose Hill, North Carolina 28458) Here’s something you won’t see any place else. In 1963, the Ramsey Feed Company of Rose Hill created the ultimate tribute to the area’s poultry industry by building the world’s largest frying pan. This beauty weighs in at two tons and is 15 feet in diameter. With a capacity for 200 gallons of cooking oil, the frying pan can cook 365 chickens simultaneously.
Where to eat
Dining in Duplin County offers the perfect opportunity to visit one of the region’s popular wineries, as well as other popular spots. The Bistro (505 North Sycamore Street, Rose Hill, North Carolina 28458; 800-774-9634) is located at Duplin Winery and offers a lunch of gourmet soups, salads and specialty sandwiches all filled with North Carolina flavors. A popular dinner venue year-round is the Country Squire Restaurant (748 N.C. 24 Business/50, Warsaw, North Carolina 28398; 910-296-1727). Whether a chef’s special for lunch or a dinner feast of steak or seafood for a special occasion, the Country Squire is not to be missed. The Filling Station (312 North NC 11 & 903, Kenansville, North Carolina 28349; 910-296-1100) offers a friendly atmosphere and the “best burgers in town” along with daily specials and homemade desserts. Mad Boar Restaurant & Pub (111 River Village Place, Wallace, North Carolina 28466; 910-285-8888) provides a casual upscale atmosphere for lunch and dinner. The menu features regional cuisine and coastal Carolina seafood.
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