by Halifax County CVB
For those of us who drive up and down I-95 to visit family and for work, we noticed Littleton, North Carolina, known as the Gateway to Lake Gaston, and we decided to plan a weekend visit in the future.
We discovered that in recent years, the town has experienced a renaissance with a variety of organizations that have brought new life to Littleton. We enjoyed visiting the sites on a brief visit while we were traveling up I-95 and have recommended it to our friends as well.
Enjoy a Stroll Down Main Street
After checking into our Airbnb for the night, we woke up the next day and enjoyed a leisurely morning, which included a visit to Daphne’s Coffee Shop. Not only is the inside beautiful but the latte and apple muffin were delicious—and my husband and I are coffee snobs.
We especially enjoyed sketches of the town’s children drawn by Littleton matriarch and artist Daphne Clark, the mother of Daphne’s Coffee Shop founder Ed Fitts. Daphne’s portrait is even etched into the brick wall behind the bar.
We noticed two stores next door to Daphne’s that we wanted to check out—Frank’s Fine Arts and Main Street Wines—so after we finished our coffee and muffins, we stopped first at Frank’s. Cathy, the owner, graciously told us the story behind opening the gallery, which was a beautiful collection of artwork made by local artists.
Although neither my husband nor I drink wine a lot, Main Street Wines was a quaint shop with helpful staff. My aunt enjoys wine, so we found a bottle for her that was an excellent housewarming gift. There were a lot of wines available, ranging from crowd favorites to surprises from around the globe.
After getting some lunch, a necessity after a morning of shopping and walking, we decided to do something my husband would enjoy in the early afternoon and visit some museums. The first one we went to was the Roanoke Valley Veteran’s Museum, which recently moved to Littleton in 2021.
There was a local veteran giving the tour who was quite knowledgeable, and we enjoyed getting to learn about the area and its veterans at this quaint museum. I also appreciated that we weren’t rushed along by the tour guide because it’s nice to be able to look at your own pace.
Perhaps my favorite part of the museum was a scale model of the USS Arizona, built by a local veteran who passed away fairly recently. Of course, all the pictures of local veterans were moving as well.
The second museum we visited was a couple miles down the road, and it had a name that was almost impossible to pronounce: the Cryptozoology & Paranormal Museum. In other words, it’s a little museum that explores Bigfoot and other unexplainable mysteries and paranormal activity.
The curator, Steve Barcelo, knows a lot about haunted sites in the immediate area, so if you’re feeling brave, you can visit those as well. We even got a selfie with the Bigfoot in the museum to document some fun memories from our trip.
Visit Two Local Museums
Shopping on Main Street
After filling ourselves up with coffee, I talked my husband into visiting two stores that he probably wouldn’t normally prefer going into—a home goods store and a clothing store. The Shoppe at LKG was a quaint clothing store with many unique items. I ended up purchasing a dress that fit perfectly.
The home goods store, the Village Market, was a fun store that even my husband enjoyed because it had food-related items. My mom is gluten-free, so it was nice to see that they had a section just devoted to that. And of course, they had plenty of decorations for the home, as to be expected.
Finish the Trip With a Bang
We knew we wanted to finish our visit to Littleton with a bang, so we stopped by Blue Jay Bistro for dinner. Boy was it delicious. My husband and I got the hams and jams starter as an appetizer since we were pretty hungry when we arrived. It was excellent.
I also ordered the pork chop entree, which is one of the best pork chops I’ve ever gotten in a restaurant before. The asparagus side was mouthwatering, and the ice cream sandwiches were the perfect size for dessert.
In the evening, we drove less than five minutes away to the Lakeland Cultural Arts Center to enjoy an evening performance of Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club on the main stage. Littleton may be a “little town,” but the arts, shopping, and food scene was excellent.
Having experienced our own Littleton Renaissance, we headed back to the Airbnb for the night, ready to hit the hay and finish the second half of our drive having completed a wonderful mini vacation.