Upcoming events and news about the sounding area of Rocky Mount North Carolina Eastern North Carolina, promoting the New Belmont Lake Community and Golf Club.


In the initial posts, we ran through numbers ten through four in the rankings. That just leaves us just three places left to go. Being that you are now in your Rocky Mount new home at Belmont Lake Preserve, these should all be on your radar. Consequently, below, are the top three Rocky Mount NC Restaurants.

Somehow the trend of each type of restaurant having a specialized in its area continues., This just opens up more options for you in your new hometown. Either way, bring your appetite to and you may want to start with these three Rocky Mount NC Restaurants.

Going All-American With the Top Three Rocky Mount NC Restaurants

The “top three” Rocky Mount NC Restaurants, all do fit in one category together. American! One specializies in burgers, dogs, and the like. Another actually uses “America” in its name. Then ” first among our Rocky Mount NC Restaurants covers BBQ. ‘Nuff said.

3- Barley and Burger

Is anything more American than a great burger joint? Barley and Burger has been turning heads with its amazing burgers since opening. We feel one reviewer really “nailed it” in it below.

This customer begins, “The food was great. According to the restaurant, their burgers are sourced from the highest quality black angus whole muscle cuts of short rib and chuck. This truly shows in the juiciness and flavor of the meat.” 

The juicy burgers were not all that impresses though at Barley and Burger. Their great service also plays big into the top three ranking of Rocky Mount NC Restaurants. The same customer addressed the amazing service, too. “What sets Barley & Burger over the top is the service, in my opinion. This stems from the hardworking nature of the owner… Every employee was attentive, hardworking, and friendly.” In conclusion, this loyal customer adds, “Their motto is ‘Great Food. Great Beer. Made Simple.’ I personally think that they nailed it.”

2- Lou Reda’s An American Table

This is our second entry owned by Mr. Reda. As for an “All- American,” restaurant, this is called an “American Table.” Anyhow, we will let the customer experiences continue on the talking. Below is a happy Lou Reda’s visitor.

“This is my favorite restaurant in all of Rocky Mount…It was so good I almost screamed. Really. Just delicious! They add, “The entire meal was phenomenal, the food was so good I came back the next day…”

As they explain on their own website, Lou Reda’s are “almost unclassifiable by traditional culinary standards.” They go on saying, “It’s neither a steakhouse, a seafood restaurant, or a ‘meat and three comfort joint.’ It’s all three of those places and more.” 

1- The Prime Smokehouse

Surprisingly, this was the only BBQ joint among the best Rocky Mount NC Restaurants. Unsurprisingly is that number one is Prime Smokehouse. With its unmatchable atmosphere and menu, it’s been a hit since opening in 2013.

The owner of Prime is Ed Wiley. Speaking about the unique and delicious food offerings at Prime Smokehouse, he said, “Whether you choose entrees from our time-tested, famous wood smoker; our thick, juicy premium steaks; our delicious fresh seafood choices; award-winning mac and cheese and other gourmet sides; or any of our many homemade desserts, you will immediately recognize the freshness and creativity of every dish.” 

Fittingly enough, we close our series with a pleased customer of Prime Smokehouse. “This was maybe the best meal I’ve ever had. The chicken was perfectly seasoned and tender, and mac and cheese were amazing.” She adds her husband’s take too. “My husband had ribs and they literally fell off the bone… We are excited to have found this place and look forward to coming back.”

The Top 10 Rocky Mount NC Restaurants

Once again, to arrive at our top ten Rocky Mount NC Restaurants, we looked to the public. With hundreds or ratings and reviews at Yelp, we used your feedback to compose the listing in these past three posts. One thing for sure is that by moving to your new home in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve you are in a great location for great food statewide. But you also are minutes from some of the most delicious times you could have anywhere in NC.

For more information on the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community, visit belmontlakepreserve.com.


In the first of our three-post series covering the “top ten” Restaurants in Rocky Mount, we saw somewhat of a theme. With seafood, Mexican, Italian, and diner/comfort food establishments in the four covered to this point, we will see much of the same as we look at the next three eateries on our list. Once again, each of these is just minutes from Belmont Lake Preserve and have ranked among the top Restaurants in Rocky Mount based upon actual customer reviews.

The Best Restaurants in Rocky Mount: The Far South, the Sea, and a Familiar Face Bring Us into the “Top Five!”

Variety, variety, variety. It’s a great thing when the choice is all yours. This is especially true when you are hungry. Thus, it is as easy as hopping in the car and making a choice of Caribbean fare, fresh seafood, or giving the owner of a known favorite a try in a different venue. Well, no that we read that last sentence back, maybe that is not so easy of a choice when it comes to deciding between several of the best Restaurants in Rocky Mount. We stand corrected that it is not so easy to pick, however, we stand by the fact that it is a really good problem to have so many incredible eateries so close to BLP.

6- Taste of Paradise

No question, with all of the spots listed you just can’t go wrong. However, the delicious Caribbean options at Taste of Paradise comes in at number six. As one happy reviewer explains, if you are looking for authentic and delicious, look no further than 101 Atlantic Avenue here in Rocky Mount.

“Best Jamaican food in town,” the first reviewer gushes. “Everything in there tastes great. The people in there are friendly and overall the place gives you a cozy feeling.” Backing these sentiments was a second reviewer in support of this as a top Restaurants in Rocky Mount. 

“The food is incredible,” the review starts. “I’m a vegetarian. PLENTY of options to go around. All are fresh, savory, and perfectly spiced.” They conclude, “You can’t beat the prices. Definitely check it out!”

5- Tasty Crab House

The Tasty Crab House differs from the seafood restaurant in our previous post mostly in preparation. This of our Restaurants in Rocky Mount specializes in “delicious, finger-lickin’ New Orleans Cajun-style boiled seafood.”

Looking to create the most customer-friendly experience possible, they’re known for “build-your-own- seafood platters. This allows you to “mix and match” options including snow crab legs, shrimp, lobster, and more. How spicy is your call to, as they offer four options for how much seasoning goes on. 

These same flavors are very popular here on chicken wings. Consequently, even the signature sides including hush puppies, “Cajun” fries and traditional Cajun sides like boiled eggs and corn on the cob are big factors in this spot reaching the top five Restaurants in Rocky Mount.

4- The Tap at 1918

Moving along in the “top five,” fourth place in our top Restaurants in Rocky Mount finds us art The Tap at 1918. The atmosphere is amazing for starters, as it resides in a former 100-year old restored cotton mill, giving you unique addition to your dining spots.

Self-titled “Eastern North Carolina’s only Modern Gastropub,” they specialize in smoking, in-house brining, pickling, as well as curing charcuterie execution. They also have twenty local micro-brews on tap. The owner, Lou Reda is no stranger to great Rocky Mount eating venues for sure.. Actually, this may not be the last we see of him in our blog series as his other restaurant has been one of the city’s most popular for years.

I think about all that can be said about our number four spot on the Restaurants in Rocky Mount was captured in the following review. “No question one of the BEST restaurants in the country. If you have not been here, make the trip.” They went on, “This meal was the reflection of a genius in the form of an artist… Truly no words to capture the full essence of what I just experienced.”

Restaurants in Rocky Mount: On to the Top Three!!!

This brings us to the conclusion of the second post in our series of three documenting the top Restaurants in Rocky Mount. Amazingly, numbers, three, two, and one continue the theme of variety in specialties, which we all can agree is nothing but a good thing! 

For more information on the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community in Rocky Mount, visit belmontlakepreserve.com


We have told you numerous times since moving to your new home in Rocky Mount that location is one of the many perks of your new neighborhood, Belmont Lake Preserve. We’ve told you about different activities and destinations. We’ve directed you to different entertainment options and plenty of restaurants, too. However, right here in your new home town, you have an incredible selection of fine places to eat. Don’t believe us? Well, just read on through this and our follow up posts in the series and head out for a “taste of the town” at these amazing Rocky Mount Restaurants.

In this series of articles, we don’t only give you our opinion on the top ten Rocky Mount Restaurants. We used actual customer ratings, reviews, and feedback in coming up with our listings. Thus, whether you are looking for burgers, pizza, Mexican, seafood, BBQ, or a little of each, stay tuned and bring an appetite! In this first post of our series, we will look at numbers 7-10 in our rankings.

The Top 10 Rocky Mount Restaurants: Around the Globe in Four Restaurants

Ironically enough, after prefacing the array of dining options among Rocky Mount Restaurants, our first four entries to the “top ten,” couldn’t be more different from one another regarding their menus. So, whether you have the “hungry’s” for a steak or seafood, pizza and wings, or mexican fare. Just follow along and you can rest assured we got you covered somewhere on our list.

10- The Thirsty Bull

The first stop on our Rocky Mount Restaurants is the perfect stop if you are looking for some fresh, delicious seafood. Likewise, they have you covered on a nice, thick steak or even a big, fat burger if you so desire. 

Located at 3665 Sunset Avenue, the Thirsty Bull is a family-friendly atmosphere. Locals seem to rave of their oysters and “local fresh catch” options. In addition to an amazing meal, the “Bull” also rotates 14 local craft beer options at all times.

9- Chew N Chat Cafe

Next up we move along our Rocky Mount Restaurants “top ten” and to a true classic. Chew N Chat Cafe is exactly what a “good ol’ southern cooking,” diner-type restaurant should be. 

Known for their top-notch, huge breakfast plates, soups, salads, sandwiches, and all the classic comfort type meals you’d expect. Only better! The Chew N Chat opens at 7:00 a.m. Monday -Saturday and is at 1005 West Mount Drive. Stop in and have a taste…or a chew…of this Eastern NC classic.

8- Tipsy Tomato

We told you there were not only some amazing Rocky Mount Restaurants near your new home at BLP. But, how about the variety…am I right? Next up we have what is ranked as the best pizza place in town, the Tipsy Tomato.

Specializing in their made fresh daily dough and ingredients, the “Tomato” is located at 7 East Elm Street. Once again though, don’t take my word for it, lets go to a recent review from a “traveling through” native New Yorker. The five-star review left, said, “I am from New York and I go to Italy every other year. I know my pizza. THIS PIZZA WAS AMAZING!! The crust was outstanding!

7- TBC West: Tacos and Taproom

Well, we told you so. You can’t get more diverse than a steak and seafood joint, a diner, pizza, and now the city’s favorite Mexican restaurant, TBC West. Located on the Rocky Mount Mills Campus at 1121 Fall Road, on top of the great tacos, TBC also offers an amazing selection of craft brews and tasty drinks as well.

Want to talk variety? TBC offers tacos featuring chicken, short rib, shrimp, cauliflower, beef, and more. The quesadillas and salads are like none elsewhere among our Rocky Mount Restaurants. Much as a recent reviewer noted at yelp.com, we second the notion to “highly recommend this hidden gem.”

Rocky Mount Restaurants: More Variety on the Way

How could there be more variety on the way? Well, simple, the Rocky Mount Restaurants are diverse and in many cases offering up some of the tastiest and most amazing dishes anywhere county, state, or nationwide…much less tops in just the city. Thus, when we continue with numbers 4, 5, and 6 in our next post, you will again see variety, but more so than anything you will see incredible dining options for some of the most delicious stops in Eastern NC.

For any information on the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community in Rocky Mount, visit belmontlakepreserve.com.


Since you and your family decided on your new home in Rocky Mount, you realize there are many great “get-a-ways” across North Carolina. One of these spots, has become a known travel destination for in or out of state visitors. Only a couple of hours’ drive from Belmont Lake Preserve, you never need to long for a fantastic family trip for an Outer Banks NC Vacation.

Whether or not it’s been since you have decided to relocate to the Belmont Lake Preserve new home neighborhood, we are certain, you’ve heard the buzz about an Outer Banks NC Vacation. In case you are unfamiliar, the Outer Banks is a 130-mile stretch of islands on the north coast of North Carolina. In addition to hosting some amazing beaches, quaint, waterfront towns, and great fishing areas, the Outer Banks is also known for the natural wonders and beauty it possesses as well. Since the “secret” has got out, many have made the Outer Banks their family’s summer or spring trip destination. One visit and you will understand why.

You will barely be able to contain your excitement once embarking on your amazing Outer Banks NC Vacation. Likewise, with so much to do on this trip, we could not contain it o just one post. Thus, the second in this two post series will continue your journey.

Why an Outer Banks NC Vacation? What is all the Buzz About?

Well, for starters, as we mentioned above, the beauty of these coastal islands is truly a sight to see. On top of this, there are so many different areas with their own special type of things to enjoy, truly is a unique experience from one stop to the next on your Outer Banks NC Vacation. Below, we will take a look at some of the activities, establishments, and history awaiting at the different destinations on the Outer Banks, and we think you will wholeheartedly agree.

First Stop: Roanoke Island


Each stop and area along your Outer Banks NC Vacation truly has its own history and tale to tell. Founded almost 450 years ago, Roanoke Island is the site of the New World’s first English settlement. Strangely, three years after settling, when ships returned every colonist had vanished, without a trace. All these years later, the fate of those first settlers remains untold and unknown. 

However, at the Roanoke Island Festival Park, you can analyze and derive your own conclusion as to what happened to those first founding settlers. Likewise, get a feel for what they encountered and dealt with in daily life at the settlement site or aboard the 16th-century merchant ship replica, Elizabeth II. its many “re-creators” on hand, this is a fun and educational walk back into time, and we are just starting your trip!

Fishing, Food, and Flying

Roanoke Island separates the Roanoke and Croatian sounds and is known for its fishing ports for over 1,000 years. This not only means great fishing, but it also means incredibly fresh seafood. Commercial vessels return with blue crabs, shrimp, tuna, and more that can be bought fresh or at countless local restaurants specializing in these “catches.” 

Consequently, those “in the water” aren’t the only living creatures known in this area of the Outer Banks. Manteo, located here, is home to the National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center, and the 150,000-plus acre Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. See in this wooded and beautiful open, forested area, birds, alligators, black bears, and red wolves to name just a few. Not into “the wildlife,” try a Kitty Hawk kayak tour of this area’s canals and creeks while on your Outer Banks NC Vacation. 

Other spots among the countless attractions here are flying and aviation tours, the iconic Bodie Island lighthouse or Kitty Hawk. There are even parachuting and skydiving tours in this area of your Outer Banks NC Vacation.

In our next post, we will continue on to a few more activities on your Outer Banks NC Vacation. For more on Belmont Lake Preserve, visit belmontlakepreserve.com.


As with the previous blog entry, we will bring to you more of the most beautiful views you can see by taking a stroll on some of the best Hiking Trails in NC. With your new home in Rocky Mount being located at the Belmont Lake Preserve (BLP) community, the previous post covers the scenic paths across the state that were closest to BLP.

Thus, in this the final of a three-part series on Hiking Trails in NC, we will look at three more hikes. These are at more of a distance; however, they are truly spectacular. If you are someone who loves the outdoors and hiking, these may take a bit more planning, but you will not be sorry to make these treks.

Spectacular Hiking Trails in NC that are Under 320 miles from Belmont Lake Preserve

The next two amazing trails are only an extra twenty miles or less to visit than we ended off with last post. Ironically these next two Hiking Trails in NC are both known for their almost spiritually peaceful, beautiful surroundings. Once again all trails listed in this post are under five miles. Thus these are very doable for anyone who wants to see the most incredible natural beauty boasted in North Carolina.

Camp Alice Trail- Mount Mitchell State Park

This incredible trek is probably the “greenest” of those among our top Hiking Trails in NC. The Camp Alice Trail has actually been referred to by many as a “Walden-Esque” hike. Surrounded by beautiful, yet quiet terrain, this ultra-peaceful 3.6-mile trail walk will lead you to wide open fields with Mount Mitchell looming as a backdrop.

Distance From Belmont Lake Preserve: 300 miles

Craggy Gardens- Black Mountain, NC

While considerably shorter at just 1.4 miles, this next of our Hiking Trails in NC is as amazing visually as any we have on our lists thus far. With almost artistic looking lush and twirling trees lining the trails, Craggy Gardens is certainly an eye-popping trek. In addition to the scenery along the way, this charted trail opens up at its end to a gorgeous summit lookout. Frequent visitors urge you to come through in early summer to see the beautiful rhododendrons. Likewise, in the middle part of Summer, the blueberries at Craggy Gardens are famous.

Distance From Belmont Lake Preserve: 319.5 miles

One More Amazing Hiking Trails in NC

The remaining two Hiking Trails in NC that we will discuss are both a few miles further away, but in a recurring theme…you guessed it, well worth the trip. Neither is as far as 375 miles, so basically, any of the four trails discussed in this piece are still within about an hour of that 300-mile mark. Regardless, as noted before, if you have the time to enjoy a beautiful drive out, the “outdoorsman” in you will be grateful that you do.

Flat Laurel Creek Trail- Canton, NC

Beauty for miles around and access to numerous scenic Hiking Trails in NC await you at Flat Laurel Creek Trail. This very manageable 2.5-mile hike begins in a high elevation valley. The trail is engulfed in wonderful dark, spruce-fir trees, and grassy balds. Above Flat Laurel Creek Trail is Black Balsam Knob and Sam’s Knob. You also can hike this trail to the nearby waterfall at Flat Laurel Creek.

Distance From Belmont Lake Preserve: 341 miles

Hiking Trails in NC: They are All Worth the Trek to Make a Trek

With you now calling the city of Rocky Mount home, none of these or the Hiking Trails in NC in our first post are ever too far from visiting. With all this beauty both in your new community and across the state, there is no question that your “Lifestyle Redefined” at BLP will include a lot of outdoor activity.

For information on the new homes currently available at Belmont Lake Preserve, visit belmontlakepreserve.com.


Whereas our first three entries were the closest to your new home in Rocky Mount, these next three are also reasonable for a day trip. As you may recall in our first post, each destination was under 200 miles from your new home in Rocky Mount. While slightly further of a trek, each of the following three trips are equally as awesome a view and reinvigorating of a trail that are well worth the time spent. An early departure from Belmont Lake Preserve will have you in awe at the amazing outdoor views and surroundings at any of these three Scenic Hikes in North Carolina with the whole day at your disposal to enjoy.

Following this second post, we will next take a “peak” at a few more of the most Scenic Hikes in North Carolina. Those will be ones that may take a bit more planning to get to. However, as with each of these inspiring and incredible paths we list, each view is an experience all its own.

The Most Scenic Hikes in North Carolina Under 300 Miles from BLP

Erwin’s View Trail- Linville Falls 

This is the number one favorite of all Scenic Hikes in North Carolina in the eyes of many experienced trail goers. Erwin’s View Trail, estimated at 1.5 miles in length, takes you past not one, but three incredible lookout points of Linville Falls. The majestic forests that surround this trail will leave you speechless. Erwin’s View is also one of the most photographed trails anywhere in the Eastern U.S.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 277 miles

Crabtree Falls Loop Trail- Grassy Creek, NC

This well-known entry among our Scenic Hikes in North Carolina is the perfect trek for an early afternoon or late morning start. It is not the easiest hike on our list, but this invigorating 2.5-mile trail is worth the extra effort. Starting at milepost number 339.5 along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and hence the name, this trail loops around beautiful Crabtree Falls.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 295 miles

Old Mitchell Trail- Mount Mitchell

Many offer up a dare upon your arrival to the next of our top Scenic Hikes in North Carolina. The hike is Old Mitchell Trail. The dare is to hike up to the top of Mount Mitchell, rather than driving. The hilly and serene trail only goes for four miles. Each mile along the way brings a changing ecosystem that must truly be seen to appreciate. Many outdoors experts feel this to be the most spectacular and scenic hike of under-five miles in the entire state.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 299 miles

Our Final Three Scenic Hikes in North Carolina…Are Not Much Further Away

The next and final of our three post series on Scenic Hikes in North Carolina will once again be just a bit further from your home at Belmont Lake Preserve. Unlike this post, where the range was to almost one hundred miles further, the final three are all under 50 miles from the ones in this post. As we explain throughout, you are lucky to be in such a great, centralized location at BLP, to have access to the amazing natural sights of one of the country’s most beautiful states. With just a bit of planning ahead, on your own schedule, the serenity of these amazing outdoor destinations is waiting to be admired.

For any more information on the Belmont Lake preserve new home community, visit belmontlakepreserve.com.


Since relocating to Rocky Mount and the Belmont Lake Preserve (BLP) community, you have seen the enjoyed the incredible outdoor activities locally. There is no question the combination of scenic beauty, trails, and parks nearby give you plenty of “fresh air” options. However, with your great centralized location at BLP, you are within a day drive of many incredible sights and places. For the true lover of the outdoors in your home, we have compiled a listing of the most breathtaking and awesome spots across NC to visit. We know you’ll appreciate the view, regardless of the drive time to reach any of these Hikes in North Carolina.

This article will be the first in a two-part series on Hikes in North Carolina. In this our opening post, we will look at the amazing trails that are closest to Belmont lake preserve and are a possible day drive trip. In the second piece, we will look at those a bit further away, but still within reasonable drive time and well worth a weekend spent in “god’s country.” Regardless of which of the ten total Hikes in North Carolina that you decide to start with, we are pretty sure that you will want to continue along and eventually visit the entire list.

The Most Spectacular Hikes in North Carolina Under 200 Miles from BLP

To begin our listing of these incredible Hikes in North Carolina, we will list the three closest to your new home in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve among our picks. It is of note that while each of these trails offers an awe-inspiring view, none are incredibly long, so all that want to soak in the serene atmosphere can rest assured none are longer than five miles.

Sugarloaf Dune Trail- Carolina Beach State Park

The closest of our amazing 11 Hikes in North Carolina to Belmont Lake Preserve is unique to this list. The difference between Sugarloaf Dune Trail and the rest is this path is not in the mountains but in the dunes of Carolina Beach. Look in amazement at this 2.8-mile stroll through the incredible coastal habitat. A trip to the beach may be in order anyhow, but if not, here’s a good reason to take one.

Distance From Belmont Lake Preserve: 152 miles

Moore’s Wall Loop Trail-Hanging Rock State Park

While not on the beach, next among our Hikes in North Carolina is also unique in its own way to this list. As opposed to many of the “greener” trails we discuss, Moore’s Wall Loop Trail gives you unbelievable 360-degree views from a mostly rocky platform and backdrop. This brisk 4.3-mile trail is one of the most popular Hikes in North Carolina and is thought by many to be the perfect “beginner” hike.

Distance From Belmont Lake Preserve: 186 miles

Jomeokee Trail, Pilot Mountain, NC

This is another good one for the “beginning” trail hiker. Truly breathtaking scenery accompanies this entry to our Top Hikes in NC. In addition, there are many nooks and “sit-down” spots if you want to make a day of this 0.9-mile trail and its beautiful surroundings. If you enjoy this trail and get “the itch,” there are several more challenging trails in the immediate vicinity as well.

Distance From Belmont Lake Preserve: 189 miles

The Top Hikes in North Carolina Listings Continue

In the second article to follow this one on Hikes in North Carolina, we will look at those trails between 200 and 300 miles, but still with in a nice weekend trip away from Belmont Lake Preserve. The state of North Carolina and its gorgeous mountains, falls, and beaches have long been known, but maybe not quite so much for its scenic hiking trails. That is until now, as any or all of these trails and those to follow next post are truly one of a kind and a testament to the beauty of the “Tar Heel State.” 

For more information on the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community including homes currently available in the neighborhood, visit belmontlakepreserve.com.


No matter which style sauce or preparation you prefer. Regardless of if your “go-to” is ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken, or anything else. One thing that most can agree with across North Carolina is we love good barbecue. Since your choice to move into your new home in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve, you are certainly nearby several fantastic local BBQ restaurants. But to continue with our second post of two, we have a few that have been given state-wide recognition in the “top five.” So, below, we will show you the last two of those voted in this elite company atop the Best NC BBQ Restaurants.

In the first post of this two part series, we looked at first three of the top five Best NC BBQ Restaurants. This is not only our own opinion, although each of these selections would certainly be tough to argue. All five of the restaurants we cover in this and the initial post were voted on by readers of the USA Today. The famous national publication annually holds its prestigious reader’s polls annually, with localized voting for each state in an array of categories. With the immense popularity of BBQ in the “Tar Heel State,” it’s no wonder that would be one of the areas voted upon by NC residents. 

(This is the second in a two post-series on the Best BBQ in NC. Our next post will cover the USA Today poll’s “top two.”)

The Best NC BBQ Restaurants: Well Worth the Trip

As noted in our opening post, the first three of the Best NC BBQ Restaurants were slightly close to your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve. However, the following two dynamite eateries are both with in a reasonable drive and certainly if in either area, the stop is a must! As any resident of either of the fine cities represented below can attest, BBQ heaven awaits behind the doors of both.

Stamey’s Barbecue, Greensboro

2206 West Gate City Boulevard is located in Greensboro. Which is in the state of North Carolina just like all its peers in our Best BBQ in NC list. That may seem obvious, other than the fact that this NC BBQ joint specializes in cooking their pork shoulder “Lexington-style.” This entails the slow cooking of said pork for 8-10 hours over hardwood coals. In addition to all the mouth-watering, goodness on Stamey’s menu, it is worth a spot on the Best BBQ in NC list alone for the fact that they introduced the hush puppy to the NC scene many years ago.

Midwood Smokehouse, Charlotte

Now any longtime NC resident had to know that the “Queen City” would in some way be on this list. Likewise, if local to Charlotte, there is a good chance you’ve smacked your lips over the great tastes coming from 1401 Central Avenue at Midwood Smokehouse. With such legendary BBQ tastes as hickory-smoked chopped pork, homemade slaw, and an SC -style mustard BBQ sauce, Midwood is a staple of Charlotte eating. Don’t forget to try the smoked or pulled chicken, beef brisket, burnt ends, and the St. Louis style pork ribs. We could go on, but then we may list the whole menu, no wonder this one made the Best BBQ in NC list.

Best BBQ in NC: The “Further 5”

In this list, we included five of the Top Ten Best BBQ in NC entries from the USA Today poll. The other five were a bit further of a trip from Rocky Mount, however, we have listed them here below and to read the entire post on their rankings, visit 10best.com.

  • Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge, Shelby
  • Willie Brooks BBQ, Waynesville
  • City Barbecue and Catering, Multiple Locations
  • Haywood Smokehouse, Waynesville and Dillsboro
  • Buxton Hall Barbecue, Asheville

As we stress in both of these articles, any and all of these delicious stops are well worthy of the recognition as among the Best NC BBQ Restaurants Best visit. Luckily for you, the prime location you chose at BLP makes it “never far from here.” To see more on your location in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve and its distance from major points across NC, visit the “Location” section at belmontlakepreserve.com.

best-bbq-in -nc-blp

BBQ. Three letters that everyone in the state of North Carolina is very familiar with. Matter of fact, the only confusion over those letters would be over which kind of BBQ. So, now that you have opted for a new home in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve, you are officially a North Carolinian. Thus, these letters grow now in importance to you too. Just to give a helping hand, in this post, we will look to your fellow residents to point you toward the Best BBQ in NC.

For our listing and restaurants that will be included in the Best BBQ in NC, we used the trusted, daily publication, USA Today. Each year USA Today has a huge, nationwide poll, where readers’ in localized areas vote in a variety of categories. 

(This is the first in a two post-series on the Best BBQ in NC. Our next post will cover the USA Today poll’s “top two.”)

The Best BBQ in NC: The Closest BBQ to BLP

The purpose of this article is to lead you from your new home at BLP to the most delicious BBQ experiences possible. Thus, as we list the following restaurants as the Best BBQ in NC, we will start with those making the list closest in location to you. Trust us, when we say, you will get your BBQ fix and then some at any of these. However, this way, you know which to plan a trip for lunch. and which to plan a day journey for the state’s ultimate ‘cue.

The Pit, Durham 

Our first stop on the Best BBQ in NC tour finds us at 321 West Geer Street in Durham, home of The Pit. Now, this is a BBQ joint true to its name. As one can probably tell from that description, the secret to the Pit’s authentic NC BBQ is all in the “smoke.” Cooking all their whole hogs, chicken, brisket, and more in open smoke pits on location, the Pit always makes the Central Park area smell incredible. Using charcoal and wood chips to smoke their meats, the BBQ once finished can go “both ways.” In case not familiar, “both ways” would be the two ways of preparing the Best BBQ in NC. First is with a spicy vinegar BBQ kick or second, it gets sauced to perfection.

Southern Smoke BBQ, Garland 

Next up among the Best BBQ in NC, we head to Garland, NC. To be exact, 29 East Warren Street in Garland, home of Southern Smoke BBQ. No secret to the locals, this is and area favorite since 2010. Since then, husband and wife owners, Natt and Jessica Register have earned their name being among the Best BBQ in NC. The uniqueness of “Southern Smoke” is showcased by their slow cooking process. Likewise, the flavor they gather into their pork or chicken from oak wood coal slow cooking and both NC BBQ styles to choose from making this a must for BBQ lovers.

MeMa’s Chick’n and Ribs, Burgaw

Another fine BBQ establishment chose by the readers of USA Today for the Best BBQ in NC. Another fine BBQ establishment with a different “go-to” or signature plates. Well on your next “BBQ trip” we will head to 602 US-117 in Burgaw. Now, don’t get us wrong their BBQ classics are all to die for at “MeMa’s’ However, locally, people line up for the restaurant’s slow-smoked chicken or the meaty and hearty pork ribs. Don’ skimp on the sides here at MeMa’s either. Both the hushpuppies and Macaroni and Cheese have repeatedly won awards locally.

Any of these three restaurants are worth taking a trip for. Don’t forget to check back and see who are the other two “joints” atop the NC BBQ poll. To see more on your location in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve visit belmontlakepreserve.com.


In our previous post, we ran through several fun-filled Raleigh Activities for Kids that children of all ages can enjoy. However, each of those events and activities was one that takes place in an indoor setting. As the weather begins to cooperate more and more with us here in Rocky Mount and the surrounding areas, it becomes easier to bring them for a fun day outside. Given the close proximity of your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve to the city of Raleigh and its seemingly endless great kid activities, we continue with our second of two posts on the topic. These six activities though, on the contrary to the previous post all take place outdoors.

Now, given the protocol that we spoke of in the last post and despite being Outdoor Raleigh Activities for Kids there still are regulations to be followed regarding social distancing and so forth. You will want to check each individual park or establishment on the list to see what their guidelines are. This way, all will be safe and once that is out of the way, we can get to the most important part of our journey into Raleigh…the fun!

Fresh Air and Great Times to Share: Outdoor Raleigh Activities for Kids

Raleigh, as you can see from the distance listed from each of the destinations below, roughly sits about one hour from your new home in Rocky Mount. Traveling this quick trip down the highway from Belmont Lake Preserve not only gives you and your children a short road trip to have some fun, but it also creates memories that can last a lifetime. In a generation seemingly consumed by technology and devices that many times keep our youth indoors staring at a screen, these Raleigh Activities for Kids are all outdoors and all in spots of beautiful natural scenery. 

Dorothea Dix Park

2105 Umstead Drive, Raleigh

Called on its own official website as a “Park for Everyone, Built by Everyone,” Dorothea Dix Park is the first Raleigh Activities for Kids we will look at in this post. The park is open seven days a week from sunrise until sunset. Bullet pointed below are the five separate areas at the huge park and a brief description of each.

  • The Big Field- 35-acres of open meadow combining rolling hills and flat open spaces surrounded by a mixture of spectacular trees. A popular area for picnics, kites, or just running and playing as you like.
  • The Grove- 16-acres of shaded hillside with an incredible view of the Raleigh skyline.
  • Flowers Field- 11-acres of open rolling lawn. Feature gorgeous daffodils in the early Spring. A very popular spot for family and friend meet-ups
  • Harvey Hill- Another 4-acre, conveniently shaded grassy hillside. This is always a great place to meet up and for the kids to play.
  • Williams Field- 3-acres flat grassy area with a beautiful, high pine-grove backdrop

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 61.8 Miles (1 hour)

Pullen Park

520 Ashe Avenue, Raleigh

Pullen Park was the very first-ever public park in North Carolina. Likewise, it is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. For these reasons and so many more, Pullen Park has remained one of the most iconic settings for Raleigh Activities for Kids Outdoors for over a century. On top of the park itself and an on-site restaurant, when working at full capacity Pullen features the C.P Huntington miniature train and paddle boats.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve:  62.0 miles (1 hour, 2 minutes)

Laurel Hills Park/Sassafras All Children’s Playground

3808 Edwards Mills Road, Raleigh

This next stop for Raleigh Activities for Kids boasts the largest playground in the entire city of Raleigh. The Sassafras All Children’s Playground is one just as described…for ALL the kids. The playground area even features an area accessible for special needs children. In addition, it is an amazing wooden structure with tunnels, bridges, towers, swings, and rings, all set over soft sand that lies beneath. Also at Laurel Hills is a 50-foot zip line feature, basketball courts, and therapeutic, independent play areas and elements for the children too.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 63.3 miles ( 1 hour, 4 minutes)

TreeRunner Adventure Park

12804 Norwood Road, Raleigh

Here is an outdoor stop for the family with a bit of a more adventurous side. Located in North Raleigh, Tree Runner Adventure Park has the perfect Raleigh Activities for Kids who are seeking a thrill. The Adventure Park has seven different courses, with 70 obstacles, and three different difficulty levels. This is a full-day trip, as it takes some time to get harnessed and go through the orientation process. But once you are there, literally, the sky is the limit.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 68.1 miles ( 1 hour, 5 minutes)

Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve

2616 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary

A great spot to bring the kids, especially in the summertime, as Hemlock Bluffs boasts many shady areas to enjoy in the heat. This 140-acre park was established over four decades ago. It is highlighted by three miles of mulched walking and hiking trails for all ages that lead to several amazing views from the on-site overlooks.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 71.8 miles (1 hour, 10 minutes)

Frankie’s Fun Park

11190 Fun Park Drive, Raleigh

Now here is a classic stop among Raleigh Activities for Kids that take place outdoors. Almost every kid and adult in the area has at some point enjoyed this classic amusement park. Features include mini-golf, batting cages, arcade games, bumper cars and boats, go-karts, and laser tag. They also have some rides for the older or more daring children on the trip including a four-story ropes course and local favorite rides the “Sidewinder,” “Drop Zone,” and “Windstarz.”

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 72.9 miles (1 hour, 10 minutes)

Running Free with Outdoor Raleigh Activities for Kids

These Raleigh Activities for Kids are maybe easier to appreciate than ever before after the past year of out of the ordinary happening limiting our outdoor time. Between these and the indoor options included in our first of this two-part series, you can see why so many people, yourself included, are moving to the surrounding Raleigh area. The short drive from BLP to any of these venues is just that a short drive. But the childhood memories of playing throughout these spacious fields and activity parks are ones that will last much, much longer.

For more information or any details on the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community, visit belmontlakepreserve.com.

Photo Credit: visitraleigh.com