Are you looking for a getaway in North Carolina filled with wine, NASCAR, and the outdoors? Lexington is perfect! Not to mention the great food and cute shops too.

From the adorable Uptown area to beautiful lakes and rivers, all the things to do in Lexington, NC might surprise you. There are also six different wineries in Lexington which makes it a great girl’s getaway.

Are you a NASCAR fan? Lexington is home to the Richard Childress Racing Museum and Childress Vineyards.

Love to be out on the water? Go kayaking or paddleboarding on High Rock Lake or kayak down the Yadkin River. Maybe you just love to eat? Well there are plenty of fantastic restaurants in Lexington for you.

With so much to see and do here, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular destination. I hope you can check a few of these things off your list the next time you’re in town.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through this link, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for keeping Stuck On The Go going! I was hosted by Visit Lexington for my time in town. All opinions are my own.

15 of the Best Things to Do in Lexington, NC

Lexington is such an underrated place to visit in North Carolina! Here are a few reasons you should plan a trip.

1. Visit the Local Wineries

wine glass held up in front of a lake

I’ve already mentioned that there are six different wineries in Lexington. Each one has a unique vibe and are of varying sizes.

Childress Vineyards is the third-largest vineyard in North Carolina and it’s a sprawling campus to explore. They offer the largest variety of wines as well.

The five other wineries in the area are smaller and each is super cute. Native Vines was the first American Indian owned winery in the US and they serve unique wines like green tea wine.

Weathervane Winery and Junius Lindsay Vineyard are pretty close to each other. Weathervane has both sweet and dry wines and Junius Lindsay has dry and semi-sweet.

Weathervane hosts many events – especially live music throughout the year. Junius Lindsay boasts the only open air tasting room in NC.

Old Homeplace is a gorgeous winery sitting right on a lake with tons of wine options to choose from in addition to slushies in the summer and beer.

Curran Alexander is a great place for wine tasting if you’re a fan of dry wines. The tasting room is in a historic building and they have great outdoor seating and paths through their vines.

Uncorked is a new tour company that will take you to four of these wineries in a day. Check them out so you can make the most of your trip to Lexington and you don’t have to worry about recruiting a designated driver!

There are tons of great Yadkin Valley wineries and many of them are in Lexington.

2. Take a Hike at Boone’s Cave Park

girl sitting on rock in front of Yadkin River at Boone's Cave Park one of the best things to do in Lexington

At Boone’s Cave Park you’ll find about 7.5-miles of hiking trails that take you through hardwood forests and along the Yadkin River. The main attraction here is a cave that it’s said Daniel Boone’s family used while they were in the area back in the late 1700s.

Before visiting, take a screenshot of the trail maps in the Boone’s Cave brochure as the map at the park is a bit faded from sun exposure. Park all the way at the end of Boone’s Cave Road near the picnic tables overlooking the river. 

The stairs leading down to the cave will be directly across from the parking spaces. The address for the park is 3552 Boone’s Cave Road, Lexington, NC (link to Google Maps).

Once you reach the bottom of the stairs, turn left and the cave will be right there. Bring a flashlight if you want to explore inside the cave.

If you continue down the Riverfront Trail for a bit then you’ll reach Baptism Rock which is just a huge rock that juts out into the Yadkin River. It was a beautiful, peaceful area that would be perfect for a picnic.

In the spring and summer, there are tons of wildflowers here and there are over 125 different butterfly varieties.

3. Learn How to Wakeboard at Elevated Wake Park

girl wakeboarding at Elevated Wake Park - one of the fun things to do in Lexington

I was pretty nervous before visiting Elevated Wake Park because I had never been wakeboarding but I can’t tell you how much fun it was!

My husband was able to come with me when we visited the Wake Park and since neither of us had been before, we started out with a lesson. Lessons last 20 minutes and prices include your rental equipment.

The lessons are done in a separate area from the full-size cable and park area. Instead of going in a full circle, this cable goes in a straight line and the instructor has the ability to slow it down or speed it up as needed.

They’ll teach you proper posture and how to turn before letting you get on the full-size cable. I’ll be honest, I was a little sore after the 20-minute lesson and I definitely felt it for the next few days.

It was super fun though and I couldn’t believe how quickly I learned how to ride and turn.

If you have younger kids that may not want to learn then there’s is also an Aqua Park here with inflatables that they can climb on. That way everyone can enjoy being in the water.

4. Tour the Richard Childress Racing Museum

Richard Childress is a prominent NASCAR team owner and RCR’s headquarters are located in Welcome, just north of Lexington.

You’ll get to learn more about Mr. Childress’ background, how the team evolved, and see many of the famous cars that Dale Earnhardt raced while he was working with RCR.

You can also learn how the cars were developed as you walk through the old shop. There is a museum store here where you can pick up RCR gear and NASCAR memorabilia.

Fun Fact: Richard Childress isn’t the only famous person from NC who grew up near Lexington. Rick Harrison from Pawn Stars grew up here as well!

5. Eat Your Weight in Barbecue

plate of barbecue, red slaw, and baked beans

This one might be the most obvious since Lexington has been named the barbecue capital of the world.

Multiple restaurants in town still do the traditional Lexington-style barbecue and I was able to try three of them – Lexington Barbecue, Barbecue Center, and Speedy’s Barbecue.

Lexington-style means the meat consists of only pork shoulder and has been slow cooked over hardwood coals. Each place serves the same type of barbecue with just some subtle differences.

The recipes for their dip (the sauce), red slaw, and hushpuppies are all different. Some serve only red slaw while others will give you the option of white slaw. The desserts are also unique to each place like the banana split at Barbecue Center.

Basically, you can’t come to Lexington without eating barbecue for at least one meal.

6. Go Shopping Uptown

Army Navy Store neon sign since shopping is one of the best things to do in Lexington

My favorite kind of shopping is browsing local stores and supporting small businesses. That’s the whole reason I created SimplyNCgoods – a subscription box full of products from small businesses across NC.

There are tons of great local shops in Uptown Lexington all within walking distance. Missions Pottery & More is full of handmade pottery from coffee mugs to kitchenware to soap holders. They also carry handmade items from other local artisans.

Lexington Souvenir Shoppe just moved into a new location Uptown. Across the street is Conrad & Hinkle where you have to pick up some pimento cheese to take home.

If you love home goods then The Backyard Retreat and River House Emporium are must-visit stores. Head to The Candy Factory if you have a sweet tooth.

Kickin Creations carries products from local artisans and is a great place to find gifts (or something for yourself).

For clothes, the Army Navy Store and Cooper Road Collection are great choices. Find a parking spot Uptown and you can easily walk to all of these!

7. Attend One of the Local Festivals

There is always something going on in Lexington! No matter the season, you’ll find plenty of events and festivals going on in Lexington.

One of the most popular is the Lexington Barbecue Festival. This takes place in Uptown where they close down traffic along Main Street for a few blocks.

They serve barbecue, have live music, sand sculptures, a car show, inflatables, and so much more! This festival is held each October.

Another great festival they put on is the NC Tribute Festival to the KING. This one is relatively new and brings many Elvis Tribute Artists together to compete and perform.

The tribute festival is held in April and 2023 will be their 2nd time hosting it!

8. Hang Out in the Depot District

flight of beer at a brewery in Lexington

This is the perfect spot to meet up with friends on a Saturday afternoon and enjoy good food and drinks. The Depot District is located in what was once a furniture manufacturing plant so the feel is very industrial.

These days this is where you’ll find Bull City Ciderworks, Goose and the Monkey Brewhouse, and Pour Folk Provision Co.

Grab some food from Pour Folk Provision and then try a flight of local beer or cider. Goose and the Monkey is very lively and they host events often – almost daily.

They have a large indoor space and tables lining the front of their building outside. For those who aren’t a fan of beer, they have plenty of other options including a full espresso bar.

If you want a bit more of a laid-back vibe then visit Bull City Ciderworks. They have couches and a few tables inside and offer board games. They also have a huge outdoor space with tables, chairs, and a couple of fire pits.

In addition to their cider, they serve beer, wine, and soda for a non-alcoholic option.

9. Grab Some Pimento Cheese from Conrad & Hinkle

Conrad & Hinkle Food Market visiting is one of the best things to do in Lexington

Put this at the very top of your list of things to do in Lexington! Even if you aren’t a fan of pimento cheese, you have to try it.

Over the years I’ve found that I am very particular about pimento cheese so it’s a pretty big deal when I find one that I like.

Around here, Conrad & Hinkle is pretty famous for their pimento cheese – they have been making it for over 70 years after all. So when you visit Lexington, make sure to bring a cooler with you so you can take some of their cheese home.

It’s made fresh each day and you can buy it in 1/2 pound, 1 pound, or 2 pound containers. I love making pimento cheese sandwiches for lunch.

10. Get Out on High Rock Lake

One of the major draws to Lexington is High Rock Lake especially for fishing or watersports but you don’t need to own a boat to enjoy the lake.

Rock Outdoors actually rents kayaks and paddleboards. This way you can enjoy the lake at a leisurely pace.

If you want to go fishing, but aren’t familiar with the area then check out Yadkin Lakes Crappie Guides. Shane grew up fishing on High Rock and loves taking people out crappie fishing.

There are great swimming areas at High Rock as well – two of the most popular are Buddle Creek and Pebble Beach.

Buddle Creek is family friendly with lots of picnic areas though the swimming area is a bit small. Pebble Beach is similar but make sure to bring water shoes because the pebbles hurt your feet to walk on. Both swim areas are free to access.

11. Visit the Davidson County Historical Museum

historic courthouse with huge columns in front that houses the museum - one of the things to do in Lexington

Located in the historic county courthouse, the Davidson County Historical Museum features permanent and rotating exhibits that highlight the geographical and cultural history of the county.

2022 is Davidson County’s Bicentennial Year so they are opening a new permanent exhibit to celebrate the bicentennial.

Some exhibits you’ll find here are a history of education in the county, “Mystery Under Main Street” which explores whether there are tunnels under Uptown Lexington, and the H. Lee Waters Photography Gallery.

They have also staged the historic courtroom to showcase what a trial in the 1920s would have looked like.

12. Check Out the Bob Timberlake Gallery and Museum

If you love art and especially local artists then you have to visit the Bob Timberlake Gallery. A North Carolina native who went to college at UNC Chapel Hill, Timberlake is known internationally for his artwork.

He started his career as an artist in 1970 and then added a furniture line in 1990. He’s received numerous awards for his art as well as home furnishings line.

He’s also been recognized for his charitable contributions to conservation efforts as well as cancer research.

He paints in a realist style and is known for the vibrant colors that he uses. Take a walk around his gallery and you just might go home with a piece of his work.

13. Go on a Scavenger Hunt to Find the Pigs

Yes, there are pigs located throughout Lexington! This was actually an art initiative so these life size pigs are all decorated in different ways.

You can find them throughout Uptown Lexington and around town at some other local businesses. Stop by the Visitor Center where you can pick up a map of the “Pigs in the City.”

This would be on of the fun things to do in Lexington with kids!

14. Kayak along the Yadkin River

old bridge crossing the Yadkin River

If you have your own kayak and can set up a shuttle then I highly recommend a paddle along the Yadkin River. The river is wide and very calm so it’s great for beginners.

You can put in at Boone’s Cave Park and take out down at the York Hill River Access. The float is about 9.5 miles.

Just note that if you plan on leaving a vehicle at Boone’s Cave Park then you need to speak to a park employee first and get a parking pass.

If you don’t have multiple vehicles to set up a shuttle then you can also take a kayak down to the York Hill Access point and kayak in that area. Know your limits though – you don’t want to get down river and not be able to paddle back against the current.

15. Shop Local at the Lexington Farmers Market

I love checking out local farmers markets while I’m traveling because you really come across some unique finds. The Lexington Farmers Market runs every Saturday morning from early May until early October.

During the winter months, they do have a special Winter Market on select Saturdays each month. Bull City Ciderworks hosts these Winter Markets so just check the schedule to see if one is happening while you’ll be in town.

Where to Stay in Lexington, NC

hotel room with wooded view out the window

If you’re looking to stay for a night or to in Lexington, then the Holiday Inn Express & Suites is the best hotel in the area. It’s located right at the entrance to Childress Vineyards and my room even overlooked the vineyard.

This location is convenient to town and there is a path where you can walk from the hotel to the vineyard too.

If a hotel isn’t your style then there are plenty of short term rental options in town as well as on High Rock Lake.

Wrap Up: Things to Do in Lexington, NC

Did you realize there were so many fun things to do in Lexington? So many people overlook the Piedmont of North Carolina, but we have so many cute towns and lots of outdoor activities to offer!

Whether you come to go shopping Uptown, enjoy High Rock Lake, or visit the local wineries you’ll have a great time exploring Lexington.

This is the perfect weekend getaway in North Carolina!

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