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Visiting the Town of Weldon, NC

by Halifax County CVB

We were making the drive north to visit family and decided to spend a day in Weldon, North Carolina on the way up to break up the drive. Since it’s right off I-95 with plenty of hotels and restaurants, it was the ideal location.

Go Shopping in Downtown Weldon

We love antique shopping, and we enjoyed visiting several shops in Weldon in particular, such as the Riverside Mill. The sheer size of this store is huge, and there are plenty of booths and vendors to go searching for hidden treasures. 


We enjoyed the nice mixture of old and new and found a couple unique gifts for relatives there. The building itself is a hidden treasure, as it’s a conglomerate of old buildings that used to comprise a mill. 


Next, we headed to the Downtown Weldon Flea Market. Just like Riverside Mill, it was full of interesting items. There was a little bit of everything here. We especially enjoyed visiting with the owner, who was friendly and welcoming.


We also popped into a couple other thrift stores that were around the Weldon Flea Market to get a full morning of thrifting in. We even stopped by the post office on Washington Avenue to mail a vintage postcard we found while thrifting.

Sunshine Grill Weldon NC interior.JPG

Get Lunch at Sunshine Grill

We really were full of sunshine after heading further up Washington Avenue to Sunshine Grill for lunch. It’s an old gas station that’s been converted to a diner, so it has a lot of charm. In fact, the sign reads, “Home of the Hot Dog Sandwich.”


The prices were reasonable, and we both got cheeseburgers and crispy crinkle fries, both of which were extremely tasty. We finished off our meal with hand-scooped ice cream milkshakes, which were a great deal for the price.


Sunshine Grill is the epitome of a mom-and-pop place with friendly servers. They encouraged us if we came again to try the bacon grilled cheese. It’s not an official menu item, but they said it’s worth requesting.


We also made sure to stop by the iconic big fish sign just past Sunshine Grill that reads, “Weldon, NC: Rockfish Capital of the World” and snapped a selfie there to show the family when we finished our trip.


After replenishing ourselves and satisfying our appetites, we next headed to the Roanoke Riverfront to visit River Falls Park. Getting some exercise seemed like a good way to avoid the typical post-lunch fatigue.


We found it so relaxing to stroll past the Roanoke River, as it was quiet and peaceful, and we got beautiful views of the water. Although we didn’t fish ourselves, we watched a couple people fishing on land and in kayaks.


There was also ample parking and clean bathroom facilities, and we snapped some great pictures on our phones of the river as we walked along the trail. We even saw some kids playing at the park, so it seemed like a wonderful stop for families too.

Wandering Around River Falls Park

Take a Tour of the Weldon Mills Distillery

Probably the highlight of our stop-over in Weldon was the visit to the Weldon Mills Distillery, which was right by the trailhead for River Falls Park. It was extremely reasonably priced, and when we visited, we were able to taste several for free and paid only a couple dollars to taste more.


We also enjoyed the tour of the distillery building, an 1892 corn mill built on the footings of an 1830 barrel mill and getting a behind-the-scenes look at how to make spirits. What we especially enjoyed is that the ingredients are locally sourced, and the business is veteran owned.


We even bought some Soldiers Cut Bourbon to take with us to see the family, particularly because a percentage of the proceeds go to Gold Star families who have lost loved members serving in the Armed Forces.


Finishing the Day with Some Good Ol’ Carolina Barbecue

A stop in North Carolina wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a local barbecue joint. Ralph’s Barbecue, which has been around since 1952, was right by our hotel, and we knew we had to visit.


We had a choice of chopped or pulled barbecue, and we decided to get one of each to compare the differences. The prices were reasonable, and we liked the light and fluffy texture of their hushpuppies and the sweetness of the collard greens, which we tried for the first time. We also liked the iced lemonade, which was a wonderful treat in between bites of barbecue.


We enjoyed trying North Carolina’s delicacy of vinegar-based barbecue, even if it was different from the typical barbecue sauce we get in the grocery store. Content with some food in our stomachs—we even tried some banana pudding for dessert—we headed back to the hotel, ready to sleep before the second half of our drive the next day.

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