A Beginner’s Guide to Eastern North Carolina

The forgotten stretch of North Carolina between Raleigh and the coast can be easily overlooked. Once the home of our state’s booming tobacco industry, this rural region of the state oozes Southern charm and contains some of the Old North State’s best kept secrets. If you’re looking for a fun day trip or mini-vacation, see what eastern NC can offer you!


When eastern NC comes up, usually people are talking about barbecue, and with good reason: the region is known for its distinctive vinegar-based take on our state’s favorite food. One of the best places you can get it is the Skylight Inn in Ayden, where owner Pete Jones has been perfecting his craft since 1947. He was so dedicated to the old-fashioned atmosphere that he bought three truckloads of glass Pepsi bottles to avoid moving to fountain machines.

But in eastern North Carolina, good barbecue sprouts up like kudzu. Find any roadside joint with a dingy sign and a tower of smoke, and you’re likely in for a treat.


Tobacco plays a vital role in North Carolina’s history, and you can witness the experience firsthand at Kenly’s Tobacco Farm Life Museum. Visitors can see both the old and new ways of farming the crop, and tour one of the oldest tobacco curing farms still in existence.

Keeping with the agricultural theme is the Eastern Carolina Village and Farm Museum, located just outside of Greenville. The curators have painstakingly gathered authentic farm buildings from around the state, preserved as a window into history. Of particular interest is the old hawmill steam engine from 1915.


Looking for some quality time on the water, but don’t feel like trekking all the way to the coast? The Roanoke River is a great place to get wet. The charming town of Roanoke Rapids serves as a gateway to hiking, fishing, and boating opportunities. There are also plenty of campsites along the river.

With its central location and high quality of life, North Carolina’s Triangle is your gateway to everything the state has to offer. If you want to come home to luxury, Governors Club is your gateway to the Triangle! Our beautiful custom homes are built around a Nicklaus signature golf course. Contact us today to learn about current opportunities.