Tours

Wilson, NC

Wilson is not the typical small town. So you shouldn’t expect the typical kind of shopping. This tour highlights some of the best and most unique stores in our area. You’ll shop antiques by the acre. You’ll browse through jewelry made from old spoons. You’ll find tobacco leaves transformed into tables, glasses and cutting boards. What you won’t find is something you could’ve gotten anywhere.

Medium Activity

2 days | 16 stops

Day 1

STOP 1: Boone's Antiques

When you can talk about your inventory in terms of acres, you’re not just a store. You’re a destination. Such is the case with Boone’s Antiques. This Wilson store holds the largest treasure trove of antiques on the East Coast, if not the entire country. Their inventory is procured from all over the world. Looking for an early 19th century French Gilt Console table? They have it. Need a Vernis Martin style grandfather clock? They have that, too. Give yourself a day or more to browse and decide what you’re taking home. Boone’s ships globally. So there’s no need to worry about how to get that antique armoire in the backseat.

STOP 2: Dick's Hot Dogs

Dick’s Hotdog Stand has been a family owned business in Wilson for almost a century. To that end, the restaurant is a bit of a museum in itself. Its walls are adorned with photos of celebrities, athletes, politicians and other notables who wandered in over the past decades. But make no mistake, the only true stars in this restaurant are its famous hot dogs. Each is cooked up and slapped in a fresh bun for your dining pleasure. Add some slaw, mustard and maybe some original chili. Then prepare to have your taste buds applaud. Yes, they’re that good.

STOP 3: Boone's Antiques

When you can talk about your inventory in terms of acres, you’re not just a store. You’re a destination. Such is the case with Boone’s Antiques. This Wilson store holds the largest treasure trove of antiques on the East Coast, if not the entire country. Their inventory is procured from all over the world. Looking for an early 19th century French Gilt Console table? They have it. Need a Vernis Martin style grandfather clock? They have that, too. Give yourself a day or more to browse and decide what you’re taking home. Boone’s ships globally. So there’s no need to worry about how to get that antique armoire in the backseat.

STOP 4: Beefmastor Inn

Beefmastor is a small, ten table restaurant that has attracted local and national attention. It doesn’t offer combo meals. You won’t find seasonal specials or a catch of the day. In fact, this little restaurant in Wilson is known for not really having a menu at all. They serve ribeye steak, a baked potato and salad. That’s it. The owners wanted to keep things simple and concentrate on doing one thing well. Judging by the size of the crowds tailgating in the parking lot, it seems to be working out for them. So if you’re hungry for ribeye, and only ribeye, pop on over for a not-so-quick bite.

Day 2

STOP 5: Wilson Donut Shop

They say you can’t buy happiness. But you can buy donuts and that’s kind of the same thing. That’s why we recommend you stop by the Wilson Donut Shop. This place has been a fixture in Wilson since God was a boy. They serve a full menu for breakfast and lunch. But who are we kidding? You’re here for those circular bites of heaven. Grab some chocolate Iced. Or pick up some giant eclairs and blueberry poppers. Either way, your sweet tooth will find just what it’s craving.

STOP 6: Barnes Corner Gallery

At the Barnes Corner Gallery you’re surrounded by creativity from local and regional artists the moment you walk through the door. From pottery to paintings, every piece of art tells a story in a different medium. Even the building itself has a story to tell. It was once a saloon, a furniture store, and even a funeral home before it became this inspiring space that celebrates the arts. Looking for the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for friend or family member? How about a beautiful glass sculpture or a one-of-kind portrait of your child or pet?

STOP 7: Art Happens

Art Happens is located in downtown Wilson. It’s home to the creative wandering of more than 20 local artists. Enter the doorways and you’ll find stained glass window hangers, hammered copper jewelry, pottery that would look perfect on that shelf that always seem like it is missing something. Everything is one-of-a-kind. Find the perfect gift for anyone. Even if that anyone is you.

STOP 8: The Artisan Leaf

One local store has found a new way to bring tobacco back to life and, in the process, pay respects to our local history. It’s called Artisan Leaf and you can find it in Downtown Wilson. In this gallery, tobacco leaves are not cured and smoked. They are manipulated into various works of art. They are pressed into tables. They are affixed into wall panels. They are transformed into amber-veined tabletops, mugs, plates and vases. Each piece is as unique as the leaf it was created from.

STOP 9: G.R. Hammond Gallery

Conveniently located in Downtown Wilson, G. R. Hammond Gallery is the perfect stop to shop handmade. It features work from over 50 in-house artists. Discover one-of-a-kind pottery pieces straight from local kilns. Find eating utensils that have been transformed into bracelets and necklaces. Pick up that creatively-bent landscape painting that reminds you of the view from your childhood window. When you buy something from The G. R. Hammond Gallery, you’re not just getting another item you could find anywhere. You’re buying art with a history, a story. That’s something that will stay with you forever

STOP 10: Casita Brewing

At the heart of any great craft beer is creativity. It’s the ability to experiment. It's the need to combine flavors that seemly don’t belong together into a beer that makes your palate stand up and take notice. That creativity is on full display at Casita Brewing Company. Owner, Ryan Witter-Merighew, has spent the last decade working for and collaborating with breweries all over the world. Now he’s calling Wilson home. From this new taproom Downtown, he’s brewing some old favorites as well as some new beers we haven’t even dreamed of yet. Stop by and try a flight. Give your beer palate a work out.

STOP 11: Ruckus & Redemption

When the drink menu includes a signature cocktail called Gunshot Bicycle Man, you know the meal is going to be a topic of conversation. That’s exactly what you get at Ruckus & Redemption. Located right in Downtown Wilson, this unpretentious little restaurant offers some big flavors to satisfy any appetite. The food is American with a Southern kick. Burgers are served topped in Pimento Cheese. Brussel sprouts are fried with pork belly. Cocktails go down easy. Maybe too easy. Come hungry and with a belt you can loosen a couple notches.

STOP 12: The Rummage Warehouse

Activate your inner shopaholic and head over to the Rummage Warehouse. This 10,000 square foot building is filled with treasures just waiting to be found. Inventory comes in weekly from estate sales across the South. Inside you’ll find everything you want and nothing you’d expect. Retro modern side tables mingle with country sideboards. Quilts fall lazily over a perfectly padded sofa. Accent pillows abound in colors that match hand-blown glass vases and plates and paintings. If it was in Grandma’s attic, excluding Grandpa, you’ll probably find it here.

STOP 13: Park Place Consignments

Hidden away in a historic home in the heart of Downtown Wilson, you’ll find Park Place Consignments. It’s not the typical storefront you may expect. But, then again, this is not your typical store. Park Place sells new and gently used items purchased at estate auctions or brought in by someone looking to make a few dollars. The store is filled with a little bit of everything. In one room an antique hutch might catch your eye. In the next, you may spot a set of China just like your grandmother used to have. There’s artwork, lamps, rugs, jewelry and more. Come in with an eye for deals. Leave with enough shopping bags to fill two trunks.

STOP 14: Something Old, Something New

If you’re looking for a unique gift for your friends, family or even yourself, check out Something Old, Something New. It’s not your typical gift store. Located in a historic home in Downtown Wilson, it offers everything from vintage decor to quirky gifts to exclusives by local artists. Often you can find items here you won't find anywhere in the South. The store inventory is constantly evolving. So each time you visit it feels like a different place. If you see something you like, get it now. It may not be there tomorrow. Remember, buyer's remorse works both ways.

STOP 15: Belle & Co.

Get ready to overload your Instagram feed with all the cute new outfits you’re getting ready to buy. That’s because Belle and Co. is on-trend. This cute Wilson boutique offers an inventory of modern women’s clothing and accessories designed for the fashion conscious and instaready. Choose a designer jumpsuit that accentuates your legs. Or pick up a color-block dress that brings out your eyes. Then accent it with the perfect belt, shoes and jewelry. Now you’re ready to face your public. Get your duck face ready...and snap!

STOP 16: Parker’s BBQ

When Parker’s Barbecue in Wilson, NC opened in August 1946, a door connected two buildings, providing access to two very different dining experiences. To the left, there were oysters, which you could pair with whatever liquor you packed; to the right, barbecue and sweet tea. Today only the Barbecue remains. Each week, Parker’s smokes about 150 whole hogs — which are chopped and seasoned with a vinegar-and-red-pepper sauce — and fries about 8,000 chickens for 20,000 customers. We suggest you head over early to grab a space in line. You may also want to grab a fist full of napkins. If you’re not getting messy eating this barbecue, you’re not doing it right.