10 Unique and Delicious Things to do in Rocky Mount, NC

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Not too many people opt for a trip to Rocky Mount as a final destination… but, there are some really cool things to do in Rocky Mount NC!

Are you planning your trip to Rocky Mount last minute?

If you’re traveling to Rocky Mount last minute, you want to ensure you have lodging booked ahead of time! Below are some of our top picks to help you plan!

Where to Stay in Rocky Mount:

  1. Holiday Inn Rocky Mount I-95 @ US 64
  2. DoubleTree by Hilton Rocky Mount (Has a pool!)
  3. Affordable Suites Rocky Mount
  4. Homewood Suites by Hilton Rocky Mount (Great for families!)

🚗  Looking for the best way to get around NC? Click here to check rental car rates for North Carolina!

This guide will detail some of our favorites in the North Carolina city!

Rocky Mount is more than just a pit-stop, but it took me years to discover that! 

I actually had (probably) the worst sushi of my life in the city so I stayed away for quite some time… but it was an inevitable stop on I-95, so I kept going back. And, I’m glad I did!

Best things to do in Rocky Mount NC
Best things to do in Rocky Mount NC

This guide details what to do in Rocky Mount for first-time visitors! It is a diverse array of attractions and activities and even includes a really amazing coffee shop!

Are you from Rocky Mount or have you been? Let us know your favorite things to do in Rocky Mount NC in the comments!

Best Things to do in Rocky Mount NC

The Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences

Located in Rocky Mount’s downtown, the Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences is one of the most impressive and wonderful cultural facilities that is situated on the Eastern Seaboard.

The complex is a combination of two established Rocky Mount facilities – the old Braswell Memorial Library and the Imperial Tobacco Company. The two were repurposed into the wonderful Children’s Museum & Science Center, Arts Center, and theatre where community artists can perform. (See below for more information about the Children’s Museum & Science Center).

The facility has an impressive 135,000 square foot space where you can find restorations that showcase well-preserved historical aspects of the building’s past.

There is also a 50-year-old building that has been renovated and you’re currently able to see interesting exhibitions in different sectors and industries, such as contemporary art to technology.

Address: 270 Gay St, Rocky Mount, NC 27804, United States
Working hours: 10 AM–5 PM. Monday Closed.
Website: https://imperialcentre.org/

Larema Coffee House

For coffee lovers visiting the city, Larema Coffee house is the place to go for specialty coffee and a creative atmosphere.

Larema directly translates to “my friend” in the Acholi language of Uganda and the mission of the Rocky Mount coffee shop is to treat every customer as a friend.


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The coffee shop’s owner has traveled to many different countries to find his preferred coffee beans. The cafe is located in a 110-year-old building that he renovated. 

At Larema, you will discover different types of coffee from drip to pour overs to caramel lattes to red eye… and more!

Address: 106 S Washington St, Rocky Mount, NC 27801, United States
Website: https://laremacoffee.com/

Rocky Mount Children’s Museum and Science Center

As a part of the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences, the Children’s Museum & Science Center is a wonderful place for every kid to visit and become part of the interactive atmosphere where they can see and experience Cummins Planetarium, view different interactive exhibits, enjoy a live animal gallery, and try learning many logical games and puzzles.

One of the permanent exhibitions is about astronomy where children can visually see space formation, learn about planets individually, understand the math behind our solar system, and admire inspiring photos of our universe!

You can also check out the telescopes and witness space from afar.  

Address: 270 Gay St, Rocky Mount, NC 27804, United States
Working hours: 10 AM–5 PM. Monday Closed
Website: https://imperialcentre.org/childrens-museum-science-center/

D Chill Spot Jamaican Food

A fantastic place to hit up when you’re in Rocky Mount is D Chill Spot, a Jamaican restaurant that has a stand-alone restaurant AND a food truck serving the hungry patrons of Rocky Mount!


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You will find everything from jerk chicken patties to brown stew chicken to curry goat and more! You can find out more on their Facebook page.

Address: 119 N. Washington Street in Rocky Mount

Rocky Mount City Lake and Park

The wonderful and green Rocky Mount City Lake and Park is located on the Tar River next to Sunset Avenue and was originally a project of the Works Progress Administration. It was started in 1937 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration.

Until 1993, beautification projects began giving the area a facelift and the lake and park have seen many renovations over the decades. 

Nowadays, there is a concrete path for walking and jogging that stretches for half a mile around the lake. Also within the park, locals can be found picnicking and relaxing under the pines and hardwoods and enjoying the beauty of the lake. 

Aside from its lovely nature, Rocky Mount City Lake and Park offers visitors the chance to explore small islands through old bridges, piers, and a gazebo. This is one of the most famous attractions in Rocky Mount and the locals say it is ‘a place for us to come together’. 

Address: City Lake, Rocky Mount, NC 27804, United States

Rocky Mount Mills

Rocky Mount Mills is located on the Tar River and is a historical building and area that has been repurposed into a residential area, culture center, and a commercial and entertainment destination in Rocky Mount. Today, it is considered one of the coolest places to visit in Rocky Mount with an 82-acre space that used to be a Cotton Mill. 

Rocky Mount Mills has a lot to offer to its visitors outside of the obvious! You will find many restaurants and breweries, kayaking opportunities, and small river houses you can stay in closeby.


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In addition, if you are a brewer and need help, Rocky Mount Mills offers brewers the equipment and an incubator for startup companies to help them grow and brew right from the start.

Address: 1151 Falls Rd, Rocky Mount, NC 27804, United States
Website: https://www.rockymountmills.com/

Tar River Trail at Rocky Mount Reservoir

If you’re looking to get outside and enjoy nature when you’re visiting Rocky Mount, look no further than the Tar River Trail. This three-mile greenway has a starting point of the City Lake on Sunset Avenue and it ends at MLK, Jr. Park.

It is the perfect place for those looking to walk, bike, or inline skate. And, it is also wheelchair accessible.

The trail runs along the Tar River where the Tuscarora Natives lived and traveled before the colonists arrived. Most of the trail is paved but there is one section that is a boardwalk as it passes over marshy lands.

Koi Pond Brewing Company

Koi Pond Brewing Company is a fantastic place for craft beer in Rocky Mount! Their taproom offers high-quality craft beer and international varieties of the stuff including Belgian Ales, American Ales, Belgian Witbiers, Belgian Saisons, and more. And… they use and emphasize local ingredients to highlight the area’s history.

The taproom is located in Rocky Mount Mill, a historical building dating back to 1835 that is included on the National Register of Historic Places.


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Known as ‘The Pond’, the taproom is a dog-friendly and family-friendly facility where you can also try delicious food and enjoy their beer selection along with a choice of different wines.

Address: 1107 Falls Rd, Rocky Mount, North Carolina 27804, United States
Website: https://koipondbrewingcompany.com

Tar River Flea Market

If you are visiting Rocky Mount and looking to do something fun and that will also give you a souvenir to take home, then you need to visit the Tar River Flea Market!

Spanning over 15 acres, the Tar River Flea Market is located between Sharpsburg and Rocky Mount and has indoor and outdoor shopping facilities with over 200 vendors in both places.

The place is one where you can not only observe and buy almost anything from antiques to collectibles to technology and everything in between but you can also try to sell things there. It is also a great place to buy fresh vegetables from local vendors that also sell there.

At the indoor market, you can find vendors selling furniture, books, toys, and much more. Also, you will find a snack bar where you can relax and enjoy refreshing drinks and ice cream.

The outside flea market also offers a wide selection of goods but it is only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Address: 1820 S Wesleyan Blvd, Rocky Mount, NC 27803, United States
Website: https://www.tarriverfleamarket.com/

The Prime Smokehouse

One of the best places to eat dinner at in Rocky Mount is The Prime Smokehouse. This steakhouse originally started in Garner and they eventually opened a branch in Rocky Mount (only later to close the original location in Garner). 


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Inside of the 3000 sqft restaurant, you will get a taste of the town as the professional chefs and cooks offer up a wide selection of gourmet soups, stews, signature salads, their signature flame burgers, southern BBQ, and so much more!  This is a great place to visit while in Rocky Mount!

Address: 207 E Thomas St, Rocky Mount, NC 27802, United States

Where to Stay in Rocky Mount

If you’re looking for hotels in Rocky Mount, you have a few options.  You can see our top picks below:

Have you ever visited Rocky Mount? Please let us know your tips and suggestions for the best things to do in Rocky Mount NC in the comments! Thanks!

More North Carolina Travel Resources

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