The best things to do in Salisbury appeal to people of every class and budget specification. You can even find love in Salisbury.
Located about halfway between the metropolises of Greensboro and Charlotte, Salisbury, North Carolina, is the county seat of Rowan County and is often noted for its historic preservation.
Salisbury is not only a treasure trove for history buffs but also a great destination for anyone looking for nature parks, lakes, and rolling countryside.
One side of the city boasts numerous historical and natural sites throughout the countryside. In contrast, the other side is more urban life, complete with local diving, theatres, sports, museums, and shops.
Salisbury is a city in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, United States; it has been the county seat of Rowan County since 1753, when its territory extended to the Mississippi River.
Located 25 miles northeast of Charlotte and within its metropolitan area, the city attracts a growing population.
The 2020 census reports a population of 35,580.
Salisbury is the oldest continuously inhabited colonial town in western North Carolina. It is noted for its historic preservation with five local historic districts and ten National Register Historic Districts.
Soft drink maker Cheerwine and regional supermarket Food Lion are based in Salisbury, where Rack Room Shoes was founded.
There’s something for everyone in Salisbury. Below are our top 27 things to do in Salisbury on your next vacation.
Fun Things to Do in Salisbury (NC)
1. Visit Stonehenge & Salisbury Plains
Nearby Stonehenge is an absolute must, and I bet you probably landed on this article simply by researching things to do near this historic landmark!
Stonehenge is one of the largest famous ancient stone age structures in English heritage and probably worldwide.
The prehistoric structure looks spectacular, in contrast to the generally flat terrain of Salisbury Plain.
The site is home to several visitor centers that provide an unusual insight into the construction of the 5,000-year-old structure.
Don’t forget to also visit nearby Woodhenge, where the remains are visible from the remains of an ancient barrow.
The inscriptions were made of concrete.
Visit the village of Shrewton, Wiltshire, just 1.2 miles from its historic center.
Stone Circle Access passes allow people their best possible access before or after general admission for each visitor.
2. Take a stroll Through the Queen Elizabeth Garden
Take advantage of your free time to visit the Queen Elizabeth Gardens.
This riverside park is full of vast green fields with colorful flowers and a canopy of shrubs along the shoreline.
Access to this site is free, so it is one of the most important sites if you have limited funds.
Other sights nearby include the Avon Cathedral Quay. Enjoy a wonderful walk in the garden and admire your surroundings.
3. Larmer Tree Gardens
The Larmer Tree Gardens are named after the historic tree that provided shade to King John around 1190.
The 11-acre attraction was the first privately owned green space for public use.
The grounds have become extremely desirable for planning weddings and also as a picnic spot.
Try to time your trip around music events or festivals held here, especially the three-day Lake Forests Festival.
Visit nearby Tollard Royal, Salisbury, the oldest settlement in the ancient forest known as Cranborne Chase, for the first time in the UK.
Things to Do in Salisbury (NC) at Night
1. Salisbury International Arts Festival
The Salisbury International Arts Festival is a festival that offers a diverse program of music, theatre, film, dance, spoken word, visual arts, family events, and free events.
The festival started in 1973 and is still growing in popularity.
In 2018 Salisbury International Arts Festival became part of Wiltshire Creative.
The Salisbury International Arts Festival occurs every year from late May to June. It is a several-week event with a varied program.
It has become a popular event in the city of Salisbury and attracts people from all over the world.
2. Rowan Museum, Salisbury, North Carolina
The Rowan Museum in historic Salisbury, North Carolina, is located inside an 1854 courthouse that survived General Stoneman’s raid during the Civil War.
As such, the building is considered one of the finest examples of pre-Civil War architecture in the state of North Carolina.
The museum’s collection of artifacts and other historical items are displayed in the building’s grand old rooms, which include a beautiful public gathering space on the second floor and a courtyard.
Visitors can explore the history and life of Rowan County through the Rowan Museum’s many interpretive exhibits and displays.
3. IL Colosseo Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, Salisbury, NC
Il Colosseo Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria is a family-owned and operated restaurant in Salisbury, North Carolina.
Run by the Scotto family, the restaurant serves authentic Italian cuisine with a large selection of Italian sauces, salads, pizzas, pasta, bread, and desserts sourced from their small hometown of Monte di Procida, just outside the suburbs of Naples, Italy.
Boasting years of experience and refined skills, Il Colosseo Italian Restaurant is a great place to visit.
Things to Do in Salisbury (NC) For Couples
1. Morgan Ridge Railwalk, Salisbury, North Carolina
Morgan Ridge Railwalk Brewery and Eatery is a fifteen-barrel brewery offering several handcrafted beers on tap, including the brewery’s flagship and signature beers and various seasonal beers.
Visitors can join a brewery tour for a fee, which includes a souvenir glass and pint from one of the breweries.
Tours are offered every Saturday at 2 pm and again at 4 pm; reservations are required.
Located in downtown Salisbury, North Carolina, Morgan Ridge Railwalk also includes a restaurant with a varied menu designed to provide something for everyone and a private function room.
2. Beacon Hall
A visit to Bacon Hall is definitely for visitors with an affinity for all things music.
Beacon Hall is practically an institution on the music scene in Salisbury and is best known for hosting various concerts of various musical genres.
When Beacon Hall isn’t hosting concerts or musical events, visitors can participate in various workshops and classes that are great for any skill level.
For example, Beacon Hall has hosted a free concert and guitar master workshop with Scott Ainslie in the past and will surely host similar events for musicians and music lovers in the future.
3. Center For Faith and Art
At the Center for Faith and the Arts, there is a simple goal and mission: to cultivate in individuals a relationship between art and spirit and to offer an experience that fulfills that mission.
The center, founded in 1995 by Dr J. Daniel Brown, has several programs and classes that visitors and locals alike can participate in, such as painting classes and other mixed media workshops.
The Faith and Arts Center is also home to an art gallery that displays the work and collections of their artists-in-residence and often invites local artists from the area and surrounding counties to submit contributions.
Things to Do in Salisbury For Kids
1. N.C. Transportation Museum
All aboard! You won’t want to miss the train! You’d think you wouldn’t have to worry about missing your train at the North Carolina Transportation Museum since it’s a museum.
BUT… a transport museum wouldn’t be complete without train rides! But we’ll get to that in a moment…
The museum is 57 acres of special events and fascinating exhibits.
There are many restored diesel locomotives that you can view during your journey. You will learn about the history of these revolutionary inventions dating back to the 1930s.
They are fascinating and complex pieces of machinery that are changing the way the country worked and lived. Amazing how they work!
Have you heard of the Wright brothers? Well, if you’re an international visitor to the museum, chances are you wouldn’t get there without these guys!
Check out the full-size Wright Flyer replica – pretty cool to think they came up with that!
2. The Lazy 5 Ranch
Did you think you had to be on the African plains to enjoy a safari?
Certainly not at The Lazy 5 Ranch in North Carolina!
This 3.5-mile experience allows you to take part in your own safari ride as if you were on the great plains!
On your journey, you will pass over 750 animals, representing six continents from around the world. Now that’s impressive!
Children will love coming face to face with exotic animals.
Have you ever seen an ostrich run or even seen a Rhea? It’s a great way not only to see animals you might never meet, but also for kids to learn about conservation.
3. Paintball Park
Paintball Park has the best paintball and theme parks in the US! A hot spot for Paintball, Paintball Lite, and Airsoft games!
They are open for walk-ins or dedicated group parties.
Each location offers unique local characteristics. Do you have a large group? Paintball Park is open 7 days a week for private groups of 15+ players!
Let us help you make your birthday party, corporate group, bachelorette party, school event, sports team outing, church function, or military event unforgettable!
Indoor Activities to Do in Salisbury
1. Dr Josephus Hall House, Salisbury, North Carolina
The House of Dr Josephus Hall was originally built as early as 1820 to serve as classrooms for Salisbury City Female Academy.
The building was purchased in 1825 by local merchant Maxwell Chambers and his half-sister Rebecca Troy and converted into a private residence.
Dr Josephus Hall purchased the house in 1859, and from then on, the house began to transform into the grand southern mansion it is today.
Visitors can now tour the house of Dr Josephus Hall.
2. Piedmont Players Theatre, Salisbury, NC
The Piedmont Players Theater has been a vital institution in Salisbury, North Carolina, for over fifty years, drawing artists, volunteers, and audiences from across the state to the theatre section of the city.
Recognized by the North Carolina Theater Conference as “Outstanding Community Theater in North Carolina” and “Best Theater in Rowan County” by the Salisbury Post’s Readers Choice Awards, Piedmont Players Theater operated two different theatres.
They are the Norvell Theater and the historic Meroney Theatre.
The theatre group has provided Salisbury and the surrounding area with quality theatre productions since 1961 and counting.
3. Lee Street Theatre, Salisbury, North Carolina
Lee Street Theater is an Off-Broadway theatre in Salisbury, North Carolina.
Consisting of a theatre space, prop room, dressing rooms, rehearsal room, beautiful lobby, and bar, the theatre provides an excellent venue for plays, special events, concerts, and more.
The main entrance to the Lee Street Theater faces the city’s Rail Walk and offers a wonderfully welcoming atmosphere.
Performances and events at the theatre include original plays, improvisational comedy, live music, Off-Broadway-style revues and musicals, 10-minute original play festivals, one-act play festivals, variety shows, dance performances, and reader’s theatre.
Romantic Activities to Do in Salisbury
1. Shuford Stadium, Salisbury, North Carolina
Home of the Catawba Indians football team since Catawba College was relocated to Salisbury in 1925, Shuford Stadium continues to provide the local community with plenty of football fun and excitement.
The football stadium has undergone renovations over the years, including converting the 1970s Hurley Press Box into a four-story facility.
New concession areas and restrooms were also added to Shuford Stadium.
Up to four thousand spectators will find room in the stadium to watch one of the Catawba Indians games, with room for another thousand above the seating capacity.
2. Keppel Auditorium, Salisbury, North Carolina
Keppel Auditorium is located on the campus of the College-Community Center in Salisbury, North Carolina.
Named in honor of Dr A. R. Keppel, the 14th president of Catawba College, this 1,500-seat proscenium theatre has a balcony, mezzanine, and orchestra area.
Special features of the Keppel Auditorium include removable floor siphons and a removable orchestra pit.
There is also a disposable fly rod system with thirty-one battens.
In addition to being used for dance concerts and major productions, the auditorium is also frequently used by touring companies and local groups.
Catawba College students also often get the opportunity to work with many groups.
3. Go to Burrito, Salisbury, North Carolina
Go Burrito is a favorite place in Salisbury among the local community, a relaxed place for people to catch up with friends and enjoy refreshing drinks and delicious food.
The restaurant specializes in California-style burritos and offers customers a choice of over twenty fresh ingredients.
In addition to several Signature Burritos and custom burritos, the menu at Go Burrito also includes chicken tortilla soup, tacos, salads, quesadillas, and nachos.
Rounding it all off is the RumBar, and complimentary salsa bar, which consists of at least eight award-winning salsas made in-house.
4. F&M Bank Cart System
No trip to Salisbury is complete without a ride on the F&M Bank Trolley System.
F&M Bank, owned and operated by Historic Salisbury Trolley Tours, will take passengers on a steam ride through iconic and historic downtown Salisbury.
Guests can enjoy the sights and sounds of important sites such as the state’s only Civil War prison, Salisbury National Cemetery, and even various film and television locations.
As guests navigate these sites, knowledgeable guides will share stories and tidbits about the sites and even share a spooky story or two.
Trolley tours operate every Saturday from April through October and begin at the Rowan County Visitors Center.
Cheap Things to Do in Salisbury
1. Salisbury National Cemetery
Salisbury National Cemetery was established in 1874 and serves as the final resting place for many war veterans.
Buried in eighteen trench graves, the cemetery is also the burial site of more than eleven thousand unknown soldiers who lost their lives during the Civil War at the Confederate prison in Salisbury.
One of the veterans buried in Salisbury National Cemetery is Lorenzo Deming, a Medal of Honor recipient who served on the United States Demonstration Boat No. 1 and was incarcerated in the Confederate prison in Salisbury in his twenties.
2. Fine Frame Gallery
If you need to frame something, the Fine Frame gallery can help.
Operating in a beautiful building in historic downtown Salisbury, Fine Frame Gallery has served art collectors and artists in neighboring towns for over forty years.
They are known for their excellent quality and customer service as they offer their customers over three thousand frame and mat combinations and custom mirror framing, shadow box framing, and even photo restoration services.
In addition to framing services, the Fine Frame Gallery is also home to a small collection of art created by both local Salisbury and regional artists.
Some of the artists displayed in the gallery include oil paintings by Robert R. Toth, watercolor paintings by Mark Brincefield, and aerial paintings by Phyllis Steimel.
3. New Sarum Brewing Company
The New Sarum Brewing Company is all about taking an old-fashioned way of brewing and blending it with new stylish ingredients, and boy, do they do it well.
The brewery’s impressive brewing system begins with a deep dive into the history behind brewing methods that have stood the test of time and taste.
Then the magic happens in the 30-barrel production facility, which uses a 4-barrel pilot system with 660 barrels of fermentation space and even a dedicated canning line.
At the taproom, guests can sample all of the brewery’s craft, along with great bar food and a food truck parked outside.
New Sarum currently produces six different craft beers, including Blood Orange Wheat, India Pale Ale, and Milkshake Berliner Weisse.
Free Things to Do in Salisbury
1. Blue Waters Pool
Enjoy a quintessential Rowan County summer at Blue Waters Pool.
A popular summer hangout for locals, Pool Blue Waters, boasts a 20,000-square-foot pool with multiple depths to accommodate swimmers of all ages.
A compartment slide and two diving boards are in the middle of the Blue Waters Pool.
There are also kiddie slides for younger children to enjoy between splashes in the shallower parts of the pool.
The best way to enjoy Blue Waters is to make a day of it. Refreshments and coolers are available at the poolside snack bar and grill, and awesome snow cones are available in the snow hut.
2. Ellis Park
Explore 26 beautiful acres of indoor and outdoor recreation spaces at Ellis Park, Rowan County’s favorite park.
Ellis Park is perfect for all-day activities and offers a full playground with several swings, fun slides, and even a merry-go-round.
There are also several musical instruments on the playground for children to try out.
The park also has several trails and an equestrian area. Sports enthusiasts can fully use the park’s two ball fields, tennis courts, and one volleyball court.
Meanwhile, a bocce ball court, disc golf course, horseshoes, and even a game room are available for recreational players.
3. Eagle Point Nature Reserve
There are plenty of beautiful outdoor spaces to explore in Salisbury, and Eagle Point Nature Reserve is just one of many options.
Eagle Point is located on a secluded part of High Rock Lake and has 200 acres of land for visitors to explore.
Hikers can explore three kilometers worth of trails that offer great lake views and have several places to stop for wildlife viewing.
While walking trails such as the Plant Loop Trail and Goldeneye Cove Trail, guests can potentially spot local wildlife such as bald eagles, bald owls, herons, kingfishers, wild turkeys, and more.
Nature trails are also available for visitors who want to take a more leisurely stroll through the preserve, while seasonal water activities such as canoeing and fishing are also available.
Cool Places to visit in Salisbury
1. Dan Nichols Park and Campground
Enjoy a great day with family and friends at the 425-acre Dan Nichols Park and Campground. Located southeast of Salisbury, the park is home to the Rowan Wildlife Adventures Nature Center, which is full of interesting activities in its own right.
The Hurley Family Water Plaza can also be found at Dan Nichols Park, along with a 70-site campground that doubles as an outdoor theatre on many nights.
Other activities you can enjoy in the park include visiting the freshwater aquarium, a fun miniature train ride, gem mining, and miniature golf.
Several sports fields are also available in the park.
2. Millbridge Speedway
If you need speed, you’ll find that need met at Millbridge Speedway, Salisbury’s premier go-kart track that has been featured on national television numerous times over the past few years.
Many drivers from across the country and even Canada come to Millbridge Speedway to race, but that doesn’t mean the tracks are only reserved for high-level racing.
Cadets and novice karters also test their mettle and leave it all on the tracks in regular races that attract crowds of locals.
Visitors are welcome to stop by and watch the race to cheer on local and national competitors.
3. Bell Tower Green Park
Originally known as the Presbyterian Bell Tower, Bell Tower Green Park is located over one full city block in Salisbury’s bustling and historic center.
The park broke ground in 2019 and has since become known as an epicenter of community activity, connection, and engagement.
While there are several play areas for children, Bell Tower Green Park is best known for its wide-open green spaces.
Come have a picnic with friends, enjoy a show in the park’s amphitheater or enjoy some time in the gazebo shade.
Don’t forget to visit the bell tower across from the First Presbyterian Church.
You can have the best time in Salisbury doing the best things to do in Salisbury with those you love.
You have everything you need to set sail in this article. Happy Holiday!