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.

Rocky-Mount-Childrens-Museum-Rocky-Mount NC

For nearly 70 years kids growing up in this area have delighted in the activities and exhibits at the Rocky Mount Childrens Museum and Science Center.

Founded in 1952, even almost seven decades later, the variety of fun and educational experiences to be had are too plentiful to list. In this, our next series of articles on entertainment in the city of Rocky Mount, we will touch on fun places and activities for the whole family.

The Imperial Tobacco Building (pictured) is the original business that set in the current Imperial Centre. This hosts the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum and Science Center

One of the Originals: Humble Beginnings of the Rocky Mount Childrens Museum

Rocky Mount hosts one of the first museum’s in the entire United States aimed solely at children. Rocky Mount Childrens Museum opened its doors 67 years ago. The original concept of the museum for kids is credited to the Rocky Mount Jaycees and Junior Guild.

These two entities were able to raise the funds needed to open the museum. The Rocky Mount Childrens Museum secured space in the basement of the old Braswell Library and in 1952 was open to the public.

A Permanent Home for Growth and Development

Under two years after initially opening the doors, on Easter Sunday of 1954, Rocky Mount Childrens Museum opened its doors to the public at its new permanent home in beautiful Sunset Park. The facility continued to grow and develop at this point with the addition of the “Science Center.” Consequently, it was at this point that the city of Rocky Mount became involved with the museum.

Due to the fact that it was now a division of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum saw continued growth and development in the coming years. In 1967 another 3,000 square feet is added of new exhibit space.

An addition to the Rocky Mount Childrens Museum over time was the science center. This currently includes the awesome Cummins Planetarium

A Flood, A Move and Adding Some Science

After 30 years in the same location, in the Fall of 1999, the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum was destroyed. This was due to a flood and the after-effects of Hurricane Floyd. The Museum, much like a good part of the city was devastated by the flood. It was at this point the Museum, is relocated to a temporary site the down town area.

Consequently, this would lead to the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum again seeing an expansion. It moved in with the Arts Center, and a Science Center became part of the Museum also. This is now the extremely popular Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences, which likewise hosts the Children’s Museum and Science Center.

Visit the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum and Science Center Today: It’s “Out of this World”

The Rocky Mount Children’s Museum is conveniently located just minutes from Belmont Lake Preserve

Today, the Imperial Centre is located at 270 Gay Street in Rocky Mount. It is the home of the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum and Science Center. In addition to the exhibits, there is also regular programs and classes offered at both the museum and Science Center.

There is also a Theatre section that likewise offers classes and live performances. Artist opportunities are also available in several genres. One of the newer main attractions is also Cummins Planetarium, located in teh Science Center.

Just a Short Drive from Belmont Lake Preserve, Enjoy “A Rocky Mount Original” with the Whole Family

The Rocky Mount Children’s Museum and Science Center is just minutes from your new home at the Belmont Lake Preserve community. To see all the great upcoming events there, visit imperialcentre.org. For more information on the great new homes in Rocky Mount NC at Belmont Lake Preserve visit belmontlakepreserve.com.


The real estate and moving experts at homesnacks.net have released their final list for 2019 and It supports your “family friendly” move to the Belmont Lake Preserve NC golf community. Consequently they have listed in their rankings ,the city of Rocky Mount among the Best Cities to Raise a Family in North Carolina.

The Rocky Mount Event Center offers a variety of family-friendly activities and events

First the Safest and Now Best Places to Raise a Family in North Carolina

On the heels of our last article, this should come as no surprise given the positive direction that the city is heading in providing protection and safety. Consequently, these traits have Rocky Mount on both the list of NC’s Safest Cities and Best Cities to Raise a Family in North Carolina. many of the same factors that were used in naming the Safest Cities also parlay to this poll also.

Collecting the most current data from proven and true sources,Homesnacks , “limited our results to cities with populations over 10,000 people. For North Carolina, that meant a total of 60 cities.”

Rocky Mount’s Braswell Memorial Library offers programs for children nd adults alike throughout the year.

Amenities, Quality Schools, and Great Location

Going further in the explanation of the process in which they determine the Best Cities to Raise a Family in North Carolina, it notes, “We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of North Carolina, we looked at every single city in the state. The major factors involved included the quality of schools, distance to major cities, and the percentage of households with children. Likewise, Homesnacks looked at the decline in all types of crime in Rocky Mount as a major factor. One other area that was specified in the city’s inclusion was family-friendly amenities. This includes things such as museums, libraries, and colleges, which Rocky Mount certainly boasts each of these.

Family Friendly Amenities in Rocky Mount

  • Imperial Centre for the Arts & Science
  • Children’s Museum and Science Center
  • Rocky Mount Railroad Museum
  • Rocky Mount Event Center
  • Braswell Memorial Library
  • North Carolina Wesleyan College
The city of Rocky Mount has seen a steady improvement among the state’s Safest City and Best to Raise a Family polling.

Most Improved of All Best Cities to Raise a Family in North Carolina

For the final listing of Best Cities to Raise a Family in North Carolina, individual scores are tallied in differing areas. Thus, the higher the “Family” score they arrive at, the higher the rankings. Rocky Mount was one of the most improved on the final list of 60 municipalities this year. The city saw the most improvement on the list of nearly any of those listed. This put the city in the upper half of the cities listed for the very first time in the storied history of this poll.

Affordable and Diverse: Rocky Mount Continues its Climb

The overall ranking of the city of Rocky Mount has several strong areas. These strong areas help the city in getting placed among the Best Cities to Raise a Family in North Carolina . The four main areas where Knightdale scores highest were affordability (cost of living), diversity, amenities, and commute/location.

To see more on Rocky Mount’s inclusion in this listing, you can visit homesnacks.net. Likewise, you can view the entire listing for 2019 here.


With an influx of new business coming to town and more specifically, a concerted effort being put forth both by local authorities and citizens working hand in hand to make Rocky Mount a great place to raise a family, the results are showing up positive, as the city has climbed into the upper 50 percent statewide in the recently released 2019 National Council for Home Safety and Security’s (NCHSS) annual poll of the Safest Cities in North Carolina.

safest-cities-in-north-carolina-Belmont Lake Preserve
The Twin Counties Big Sweep Challenge and other initiatives between local officials and the youth of the area has helped positive growth in Rocky Mount.

At the official site of the NCHSS (alarms.org), it goes into very specific detail in explaining the ranking process. As a result, Rocky Mount is number 31 among all municipalities for Safest Cities in North Carolina. The city’s on-going efforts to improve all aspects of life and officials working with residents is showing vast improvement annually.

A Continuous Climb Up the Charts of Safest Cities in North Carolina

“To identify the safest cities,” it reads at alarms.org, “we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. Cities with populations ranging from 7,639 to 4,007,147 are part of the ranking process.

The NCHSS says, rankings for the 2019 Safest Cities in North Carolina are compiled as follows. “Overall, data from 8,793 law enforcement agencies that represented more 193 million of the US population helped us draw interesting insights between the size of the police force and incidence of crime.”

Local law enforcement work with residents in programs like the Rocky Mount Junior Police Academy (Pictured). This has helped the community as a whole build a safer city.

Crime Rates Down as Rocky Mount Keeps Moving Up

Rocky Mount’s non-violent crime rate score was very low as opposed to many of the other municipalities. Consequently, the city has seen a continued decrease in the number of violent crimes consistently over the past several years.

hese numbers are at the lowest the area has seen in many years and should continue to go down. This is thanks in part to  programs by local police for its residents. Also, the introduction of family-friendly communities such as Belmont Lake Preserve has likewise aided in. the city’s ongoing ascent. These combined factors should help the city to continue climbing up the list of Safest Cities in North Carolina.

For more information including a full listing of the 2019 Safest Cities in North Carolina and more detail on the rankings process, visit alarms.org.

(Photo Credit : City of Rocky Mount)


Belmont Lake Golf Club (BLGC) is located in this most spectacular new home community in Eastern North Carolina, Belmont Lake Preserve. Golf Advisor magazine lists the 18-hole, David Johnson professional course #11 among the Top Golf Courses in North Carolina.

As Close to a “Five-Star” Course as You Can Get

The Belmont Lake Golf Club in Rocky Mount NC is a David Johnson professional design, 18-hole championship course.

The Belmont Lake Golf Club received a near-perfect score from Golf Advisor. BLGC earned 4.7 stars out of a possible 5 in the publications recent rankings. It is noted on their website that the “star rating system” is based on actual golfer reviews.

Out of over 60 golfers that have reviewed BLGC, nearly 70 percent gave it a perfect 5-star rating. Several golfers left detailed reviews of BLGC. Given the remarks, the reviewers obviously agree with the number eleven rating among the Top Golf Courses in North Carolina,

“If I Had the Money…I’d Buy It!!!”

One reviewer explained how he first became aware Belmont lake Golf Club. “I play this course while driving in or out of Myrtle Beach,” he noted. “It is a very nice and rewarding course. Beautiful and large fairways, fast greens, nice sand traps,” the review continued.

“It is a well-maintained course and it will always be on my list of must play courses when driving by. I loved every minute of it,” he concluded. “If I had the money, I’d buy it!”

From the Top Golf Courses in North Carolina to the Best Pace of Play in America

Best-Golf-Courses-for-Pace-of-Play-in-U.S.-Belmont Lake Golf Club
The Belmont Lake Golf Club was named by Golf Advisor as on of the Best Golf Courses for Pace of Play in the U.S.

It is one thing to receive state-wide accolades and be listed among the Top Golf Courses in North Carolina. Consequently, Golf Advisor has also named the Rocky Mount course in its national rankings for 2019, too.

“Pace of Play” is something that any semi-regular golfer is familiar with and likes to see stay consistent. It does not necessarily mean the fastest round of golf. A mored accurate description would be, playing at an uninterrupted speed befitting of a given golfers comfort and skill level. Golfadvisor.com explains, “Many circumstances affect “pace of play” at a golf course. Hard pin locations, thick rough and bad weather, things that lead to more strokes, can grind a round to a halt. Tee times that aren’t properly spaced or groups that merge into a five-some are other issues.”

The explanation concludes, “The dream scenario is an empty course where we can all fly through at our own favored pace. Nothing beats a day when you don’t wait for a single second. Since the time it takes to play is one of the biggest knocks against golf, pace of play is now more important than ever.”

As a result, Belmont Lake Golf Club is ranked #12 among Top Golf Courses for Pace of Play in the U.S.

The Main Course at Belmont restaurant is located in the BLP Golf Clubhouse. In addition to a Gourmet Burger menu, salads, sandwiches, and spirits, they also feature daily specials including fresh seafood offerings like the Veracuz style red snapper pictured.

Belmont Lake Golf Clubhouse: Food, Fun, and All Your Golfing Needs

The Belmont Lake Preserve Golf Clubhouse is another incredible edition to the BLGC and entire community. It features a professional golf pro shop with all your needs for the course, BLGC hats, shirts, and goods, and much more. Also, in the BLP Golf clubhouse is one of Rocky Mount’s most popular restaurants, The Main Course at Belmont. The restaurant is open Tuesday-Sunday and also features a full bar, and is open for lunch and dinner depending on the day of the week. For more on The main Course restaurant including a full menu, visit their website at themaincourseatbelmont.com.

The Main Course at Belmont (In BLP Golf Clubhouse) Hours of Operation

  • Tuesday- 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Lunch)
  • Wednesday- 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Lunch)
  • Thursday- 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Lunch) 5 p.m.- 9 p.m. (Dinner)
  • Friday- 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Lunch) 5 p.m.- 9 p.m. (Dinner)
  • Saturday- 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Lunch) 5 p.m.- 9 p.m. (Dinner)
  • Sunday- 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Lunch)
Homes built by “America’s Favorite Builder,” D.R. Horton can put you “right on the course” at Belmont Lake Preserve.

Rocky Mount NC new homes at the Belmont Lake Preserve North Carolina golf community

Imagine life just a step out your front door and on to the first tee at one of the Top Golf Courses in North Carolina. Think of your dream house, set a quick walk from the first hole at one of the Top Golf Courses for Pace of Play in the U.S.

Now you can stop dreaming and finish imagining because this can easily be your reality. There are a number of Rocky Mount new homes at Belmont Lake Preserve for sale that can put you “on the course” at BLGC. To view, these Rocky Mount new homes visit “Available Homes” at belmontlakepreserve.com.


Retiring in North Carolina is a trend that consistently sees more parents and grandparents relocating to the Tar Heel State each year. An obvious reason would be location due to the influx of their children and younger families heading to NC first. However, upon further research, we think you’ll find a number of other reasons for Retiring in North Carolina. Similarly, and more specifically there are a number of reasons that once looking in NC, you’ll agree the perfect retirement fit is at the new homes in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve (BLP) golf community.

Belmont Lake Preserve features over acres of outdoor green space and likewise, the city of Rocky Mount has some of the most spectacular walking and hiking trails in the entire Southeast.

The Perfect Location for Retiring in North Carolina

As earlier stated, there is a great allure to Retiring in North Carolina, especially for those who have family that has made the move prior. In contrast, what many retirees don’t realize is the proximity of NC to almost any major city or area on the east coast.

Thus, if a retired couple has difficulty choosing a location as they have one grown child with a family in Georgia and another in Maryland, selecting one or the other puts them at a greater distance from the location not chosen. As a result, the perfect location would find them Retiring in North Carolina. Even more specifically, the perfect destination in North Carolina, “location-wise,” would be the Belmont Lake Preserve golf community.

The new homes in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve place you ideally within reasonable driving distance from major cities and areas in the state or the Eastern U.S. The statistics below show the actual distance you would be from major NC and U.S Cities once Retiring in North Carolina.=

The following map shows the ideal location of the new homes in Rocky Mount at BLP in accordance with other major cities along the East Coast of the United States.

Belmont Lake Preserve Distance From U.S. Cities

  • Richmond, VA- 120 miles
  • Norfolk, VA- 130 miles
  • Washington, DC- 225 miles
  • Baltimore, MD- 276 miles
  • Charleston, SC- 280 miles
  • Philadelphia, PA- 373 miles
  • New York, NY- 450 miles
  • Atlanta, GA- 470 miles

Belmont Lake Preserve Distance From N.C. Cities

  • Raleigh- 50 miles
  • Morehead City- 120 miles
  • Greensboro- 123 miles
  • Outer Banks- 136 miles
  • Wilmington- 161 miles
  • Charlotte- 199 miles
  • Asheville- 295 miles
The mild climate and gorgeous scenery in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve (pictured) are just a few reasons for Retiring in North Carolina.

Whether you are Retiring in North Carolina may depend on the Weather

Most noteworthy for those relocating from further North is the change in climate when Retiring in North Carolina. While NC still enjoys its four seasons, they receive significantly less snowfall than the states to the north.

Likewise, North Carolina’s average winter temperature ranges between 10-20 degrees warmer than those located in the Northeast and is the 11th highest winter temperature nationally. Sure, the NC summer’s can get warm, but comparatively the average temperature statewide is very livable in the mid-70’s.

Average Temperature in state of North Carolina

  • Summer- 75.7 degrees
  • Winter- 42.1 degrees
  • Annual- 59.0 degrees
The BLP Golf Clubhouse is host to a full golf pro shop and a fantastic restaurant, The Main Course at Belmont.

Average Temperature in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve

  • Summer- 82.3 degrees
  • Winter- 42.6 degress
  • Annual- 61.9 degrees

Why is Belmont Lake Preserve is the “perfect” retirement destination?

We’ve detailed location and climate and those numbers are undeniable. In the paragraph to follow we will discuss affordability. So, in looking at the introduction to this article there is one question for us yet to answer. Why is Belmont Lake Preserve is the “perfect” retirement destination?

For starters, we will preface our next paragraph and talk about the affordability of new homes in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve. Starting in the upper $190,000’s, it is rare to find such an affordable, newly built home with a nationally-acclaimed home builder crafting your house. Well, not at Belmont Lake Preserve it isn’t. At BLP, “America’s Favorite Builder,” D.R. Horton has several affordable and beautiful floor plans for you to select from and if you have your own custom dream home in mind, BLP also has many home lots for sale in a variety of sizes in which you can find the right fit and your own custom builder to come in and makes those dreams a reality.

As if that was not enough, by choosing the new homes in Rocky Mount at BLP, you also get access to the community’s spa-like amenities. These include both an indoor and outdoor pool, a full gym/training facility, an 18-hole professional golf course, and so much more. Consequently, if you combine the BLP amenities, the affordable homes, location, and climate, I think you are starting see why this is the perfect retirement fit.

Amenities at Belmont Lake Preserve (BLP) Golf Community in Rocky Mount, NC

BLP Community Clubhouse features:

The BLP Community Clubhouse features a spectacular outdoor and indoor pool, training facility and more.
  • Meeting, gathering and activity rooms
  • Indoor and outdoor swimming pools
  • A state-of-the-art fitness facility
  • Full catering and dining facilities
  • A billiards room

BLP Golf Clubhouse features:

  • “The Main Course at Belmont” Restaurant
  • Indoor and Outdoor Dining Areas
  • Full Golf Pro Shop
  • Golf Lessons available
The. Belmont Lake Golf Club was recently named by Golf Advisor as the #11 Top Golf Course in North Carolina for 2019.

BLP Golf Course features and accolades:

  • David Johnson Championship 18-hole design
  • Golf Instruction by PGA Pro Tim Wilke
  • Named #11 Top Course in NC for 2019 (Golf Advisor)
  • Named #12 of 2019 Courses for Pace of Play in U.S. (Golf Advisor)
  • Given a 4.7 of 5 stars rating (Golf Advisor)

Is Retiring in North Carolina an Affordable Option?

Certainly, the cost of living is a big question anyone will ask when considering relocation. Above all, this may be a deal breaker or deal maker when thinking about Retiring in North Carolina.

From what you’ve seen already, the answer is an obvious, yes. North Carolina does have a low cost of living and is very affordable for those in the retirement years. However, don’t take our word for it…for further analysis on the cost of living and affordability, the following paragraph was quoted from the digital personal finance publication, moneywise.com. (In actuality, moneywise also backs us up on the location and climate too!)

“North Carolina is one of the few places where you can visit rugged mountains and sandy beaches in the same day,” the blog posting says. “With its hot and humid summers and mild-to-chilly winters, the Tar Heel State has the perfect climate for enjoying its charming towns and waterfronts.”

Moving along to cost of living, moneywise concludes, “…Social Security benefits are not taxed, and property taxes are comparatively low.”The cost of living in North Carolina is 5% below the national average and studies put the state in the top 20 for affordability.”

Affordability is a key I for Retiring in NC. Beautiful homes by “America’s Favorite Builder,” DR Horton at BLP like the one shown are available.

New Homes in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve

Finally, you have answered each of these important questions about Retiring in North Carolina. Yes, the location and climate are both exactly what you were seeking. Likewise, it is affordable and the fantastic new homes in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve also give you incredible on-site amenities.

So, in answering these questions, ironically, it raises two more questions to be answered. First, would be, “How could Retiring in North Carolina be such a perfect fit?” Futhermore, question two will be, “What is taking you so long to get here ?!?

To view the new homes in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve NC golf community, visit the “Available Homes” section of belmontlakepreserve.com.

rocky-mount-economic-development-Belmont Lake Preserve

Rocky Mount Economic Development continues to increase and expand at a rapid pace. As new company’s flock to the city, the recent groundbreaking at the future CSX “Carolina Connector” site drew much attention, statewide.

As a result, state dignitaries such as Governor Roy Cooper, were in attendance for the CSX ceremony. All who attended agreed the “Carolina Connector” along with the steady upswing in Rocky Mount Economic Development is changing the business landscape in Rocky Mount and the Twin Counties area.

NC State officials, local dignitaries, and representatives from CSX “break ground” on the future site of the “Carolina Connector.”

Rocky Mount Economic Development Continues: CSX Breaks Ground

Originally announced in 2016, the CSX “Carolina Connector” project broke ground on April 24, and with it will come more jobs to the area.

This project may be the most crucial of all Rocky Mount Economic Development in the city. A 330-acre-site, $160 million project, the “Carolina Connector ” will indirectly result in the creation of 1,300 new jobs.

Governor, State Officials Excited about Rocky Mount Economic Development

The April 24 groundbreaking at the future CSX site has the highest ranking state officials sharing the excitement over the continued increase in Rocky Mount Economic Development.

A literal, “who’s who” of NC state officials were present for the historic groundbreaking ceremony, each sharing in a very positive outlook on the implications of CSX’s facility coming to the area.

Each of the following officials made these comments at the official “Carolina Connector” groundbreaking ceremony.

North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper

“We’re sending a message across the country and across the world that North Carolina is the place for you to come, bring your business, create your jobs, raise your family. What’s happening in this area is fantastic, the quality of life, the homes that are going up. This is going to be a destination place, and when rural North Carolina counties decide to show what they can do and find their lane, then success is not far away.”

NC State Representative, James Gailliard

“It’s job creation, It’s economic development, It’s human development, It’s community development. It shows the power of diversity and inclusion, the Twin Counties are just really becoming the place for people to raise a family, work, play and retire.”

U.S. Representative, G.K Butterfield

“We have so much to offer. CSX did the analysis and came to the same conclusion as we have known for years. That is this region, is ripe for economic development.”

CSX President and CEO, James Foote

“We are by far, by any measure today, the best-run railroad in North America… And we are committed from the top to the bottom to making this project a huge success.”

This will be the first in a series of articles focusing on the recent Rocky Mount Economic Development. The excitement created locally by new business and hence, new employment opportunies has the area buzzing with optimism.

Thousands of new jobs are being created through the following Rocky Mount Economic Development projects. Each will be detailed in our upcoming series of articles.

The Rocky Mount Events Center opened in the Fall of 2018.

New, Major Rocky Mount Economic Development (Upcoming and Since 2017)

  • CSX Carolina Connector (Fall/Winter 2020, 1,300 est. jobs)
  • Triangle Tire (Fall/Winter 2020, 800 est. jobs)
  • Corning, Inc. (Fall/Winter 2019, 150-plus est. jobs)
  • Rocky Mount Event Center (Opened Fall 2018)
  • Rocky Mount Mills Project (Purchased 2017, Expansion On-going)

Consequently, with the influx of new business and employment brings the need for housing. The Belmont Lake Preserve NC golf community is located just a short commute from all of these new businesses. Likewise, with its resort-style amenities and beautiful New Homes in Rocky Mount, Belmont Lake Preserve has countless relocation options. To see these great new homes in Rocky Mount NC, at Belmont Lake Preserve, follow this link to belmontlakepreserve.com.


This article continues in our series to support the move to new homes in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve. Similarly, we detail Rocky Mount NC Outdoor Living options. Certainly, one of those options is the “City’s Main Park,” Sunset Park.


The  “County Fair” style carousel has become one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

“All Aboard” for the Rocky Mount Parks

The next in our series on Rocky Mount NC Outdoor Living should come as no surprise to residents. Any longtime resident can attest that at some point all youths ride the carousel at Sunset Park. The official Rocky Mount website, calls it the “City’s Main Park.” The 25-acre, Sunset Park is on Taylor Drive and River Drive beside the Tar River just off of Sunset Avenue.

The carousel itself sets Sunset Park apart from the other Rocky Mount Parks. The city’s website explains the park actually has quite a history of its own. “The circa 1920 Herschell-Spillman “County Fair” style carousel was bought for the City of Rocky Mount in 1952 by the Rocky Mount Civitan Club.” It goes on to explain that “The Carousel was severely damaged in the flood of 1999 and required extensive restoration which was completed by Carousel Magic of Mansfield, Ohio. Renovated rounding boards were added to include paintings of images found on 1920’s postcards depicting Rocky Mount landmarks and activities of that time.”

rocky-mount-outdoor-living-belmont lake preserve

The “ladybug ride” at Sunset Park has long been a favorite for generations of Rocky Mount youngsters.

Features of the Sunset Park “Amusement Center”

  • Train
  • Carousel
  • Spray Ground
  • Kiddie Bug Ride
  • Disc Golf Course

In addition to the iconic carousel, Sunset is unique among the Rocky Mount Parks for a few other reasons as well. The obvious here would be the train, a miniature Model G-16 Train. The train was open for public use in 1952. It holds 36 passengers and travels at a speed of 8 miles an hour.

On top of these two rides, there is also a Spray Ground that helps keep the kids cool on hot, summer days. The park also offers on-site concessions. Thes include offering popcorn, ice cream, snow cones, and other childhood favorites. The “main park” among the Rocky Mount Parks also boasts another “kiddie-go-round, ” the ladybug ride. There is also a disc golf course and two lighted basketball courts. Likewise, a boat ramp and four picnic shelters are available at Sunset Park. Other amenities include eleven lighted tennis courts and a little league baseball field.


The “Spray Ground” at Sunset Park offers kids a chance to beat the summer heat and cool off with friends.

“A Little Bit of Everything for Most Everybody”

An actual Rocky Mount resident’s 5-star review of the Park at TripAdvisor may best sum up why Sunset is the “city’s main park.”Not a bad choice to relax, walk around the lake, have the kids ride the train or merry go round,” he continued. “Board Sports, boat landing in the Tar, tennis, spray park in summer, picnic shelters by the river, baseball field or basketball courts….a little bit of everything for most everybody.” In addition, this reviewer raved about how well maintained and patrolled Sunset Park is.

Sunset Park is one of many places you can expand your “lifestyle redefined,” at Belmont Lake Preserve. Likewise, it is just one of many in our series of Rocky Mount Parks.

rocky-mount-nc-parks-Belmont Lake Preserve

Your move to the Belmont Lake Preserve golf community was a move to a city on the rise, Rocky Mount. While the on-site amenities and seemingly endless greenspace at BLP are incredible, so are many other parts of the city. This would include the great variety of Rocky Mount NC Parks, which are described as, “A Great Place to Find Some Country…in the city.

Rocky Mount NC Parks: Natural Beauty and Active Fun


City Lake Park in Rocky Mount has been a picturesque part of the city since 1937.

The website Trip Advisor ranks municipalities in a huge, variety of areas. They use the feedback of visitors and their reviews in placing them in order from highest score to lowest.

In continuing to focus on the “outdoors,” this article will focus on nature and the Rocky Mount NC Parks. Actual residents and visitors to the Rocky Mount NC Parks gave feedback on Trip Advisor which is used in their rankings.

In this series of articles on the parks and outdoor living in Rocky Mount, we will detail each of the four parks below in separate articles. This first piece will focus on Rocky Mount City Lake and Park.

Best Rocky Mount NC Parks

  • Rocky Mount City Lake and Park
  • Tar River Trail
  • Sunset Park
  • Battle Park

Rocky Mount City Lake and Park: “A Place for us to Come Together”


The ‘bridge to the island’ is what this path has become known as at Rocky Mount City Lake and Park

City Lake is located off Sunset Avenue at the Tar River and was constructed in 1937. It is a part of the city’s rich history and has undergone many facelifts over the years.

In 1993, the city gave this area a completely new, beautification project. This is what became known as City Lake Park. After the expansion, there is a half-mile concrete track surrounding City Lake for runners and walkers to enjoy.

Looking for a more peaceful and serene day at the park? Enjoy the shade from the tall hardwoods and pines while you feed the exotic waterfowl living around the lake.

Likewise, enjoy all the parks other amenities, including a gazebo, piers, a bridge to the island, and a fountain. City Lake and Park are truly one of the most beautiful sites of all Rocky Mount NC Parks. Called “a place for us to come together,” City Lake and Park has become a symbol of the Rocky Mount area.

Scenic, Active Lifestyle in Rocky Mount


Our next article looks at Rocky Mount’s Tar River Paddle Trail (shown in the map pictured).

This is just the first article in our series on Rocky Mount NC Parks. We will walk you through the other outdoor spaces in town to help enjoy an active lifestyle in Rocky Mount. Our next blog post will focus on the picturesque Tar River Trail.

The Rocky Mount NC Parks are just one reason supporting your decision to look for Rocky Mount NC new homes for sale at Belmont Lake Preserve. To see all the great things going on at the Belmont Lake Preserve Rocky Mount new home community, and the beautiful “move-in-ready” homes you can choose from, visit the “Available Homes” section of belmontlakepreserve.com.


Rocky Mount NC Economic Development is currently getting recognition statewide. Many are calling the city one that is “on the rise.” The recognition, accolades, and most importantly growth in the city of Rocky Mount will no question continue, as the ground was broken on the CSX “Carolina Connector” project yesterday.

A “Connector” for Jobs and Economy; Locally and Statewide


NC Governor, Roy Cooper, was among the dignitaries at the  “groundbreaking” of the CSX Carolina Connector yesterday.

The CSX “Carolina Connector” project will indirectly result in the creation of upwards of 1,300 jobs. The “Connector” is estimated as a $160 million project on 330-acres of land. In addition to the jobs locally, it should also assist greatly in the continued growing Rocky Mount Economic Development.

Many dignitaries attended the “groundbreaking,” including CSX CEO, James Foote. “CSX appreciates the partnership it has developed with N.C. Department of Transportation,” Foote said. “We commend the state for its leadership in making this project possible.” He continued, “CSX is excited to expand its network in Rocky Mount and believes CCX will be a catalyst for economic growth and development in the eastern North Carolina region.”

The “Carolina Connector” : 3 Years and Finally Here

A time when the Rocky Mount NC Economic Development picture was not nearly as rich and thriving was July of 2016. The prospect of what was being called a $270 million project was met with much excitement.  A possible number of jobs reported at anywhere from 1,500-1,800 was music to the ears of Rocky Mount area residents.

The, it became official on July 19, 2016, when CSX announced that Rocky Mount would be the home for the Carolina Connector intermodal terminal.

During a press conference announcing that news to the Rocky Mount community, then-NC governor Pat McCrory added to the hope of the local community, speaking the following praise of what this meant to both Rocky Mount and the entire state.

The Governor Promises a “Game Changer”

“This historic project is part of our 25-year vision for transportation because it facilitates the efficient and cost-effective movement of goods, which is critical for job creation and economic growth.”Governor McCrory added, “The Carolina Connector will be a game-changer for our state’s economy, supporting North Carolina’s agriculture, ports, and position as the Southeast’s number one state for manufacturing jobs.”

Obviously, this news brought great optimism, as city residents knew this could be a major step in the right direction. Rocky Mount Economic Development was not alone in NC as far as seeing some more difficult times, as most still reeled somewhat from the 2011 recession.

Hopeful to “Connect” to a Stronger Employment Rate and Stable Population

The city of Rocky Mount had seen the ill-effects of said recession. They had not fully recovered by the time of the 2016 CSX announcement. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the city’s unemployment rate reached as high as 14.7 percent during that time.


CSX is a company steeped in history and is a welcomed addition to the Rocky Mount area

Consequently, with fewer jobs and less money, comes fewer people. Thus, Rocky Mount was also seeing a steady population decline during these more difficult times as well. There was a more than five percent drop in population, from 2012-2016 in Rocky Mount according to World Population Review.

President of the Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce, David Farris looked back on the Rocky Mount economy at that time.  “The great recession cost us a lot,” recalled Farris. “A lot of businesses closed. As recently as five years ago, we were taking some body blows.”

A “Disconnect” becomes a “Reconnect” and Rocky Mount Economic Development Will Continue with CSX

So the great news of CSX coming into the area brings great optimism. Many hoped that it was just a sign of things to come in the turn around of the local economy. However, before ever officially “connecting”, it appeared CSX and Rocky Mount would be “disconnected.”

With an announcement made by CSX on November 3, 2017, a “company-wide strategic shift” will be the reason given that the company decides against Rocky Mount. Originally set to begin construction in 2018, it would seem the CSX project in Rocky Mount was no more. In contrast to these reports and statements, though, were some local officials and residents working hard to still bring CSX to Rocky Mount.

The story of CSX in Rocky Mount continues in our next article with the “rebirth” of the Carolina Connector project. This “new” project that will be discussed is the one that led to the project becoming a reality. Moving forward is a major “feather in the cap” in Rocky Mount NC Economic Development and those who made it happen.

Furthermore, the CSX project is a major factor in the local housing market. Even more so, it is a reason to seek new homes in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve. To see the great places available at Belmont Lake Preserve new home community, visit our “Available Homes” section here.

The Main Course at Belmont restaurant has been described as a “hidden gem” in the Belmont Lake Preserve community. Located in the Belmont Lake Preserve Golf Clubhouse, the Main Course at Belmont first opened in 2014. Since its inception, the restaurant has continued to get rave reviews and deliver a fine dining experience in Rocky Mount.

A “Taste of Lifestyle Redefined

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The bar at the Main Course at Belmont is waiting for memories to be made, while your friends and family gather before or after an afternoon game for a great time

Though located on-site at Belmont Lake Preserve, the Main Course is open to the public. They are open Tuesday-Sunday, for lunch and Thu-Sun for dinner at the Main Course. Proprietor Mark Piatkowski and his staff headlined by Chef Robert “Buck” Gibbs have created a menu and atmosphere that is both inviting and fulfilling for all tastes.

Whether looking for a bite to eat with the family or a cold beverage with a friend, The Main Course at Belmont is the perfect spot for anyone and any occasion. The Main Course has a full bar if you want to enjoy a drink before or after 18 holes. Likewise, whether your taste is the ‘gourmet burger’ menu or the popular specials, the service and food are second to none.

Lunch: Tue-Sun: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Tee Off with the Lunchtime Classics

Offering great salads, entrees, sandwiches or burgers, it is no wonder The Main Course at Belmont has become the hot spot among Rocky Mount restaurants. Looking to go lighter? Try the popular Chef’s Salad or Belmont Beet Salad with the Soup of the day that is made from scratch daily. The salads available for lunch at the Main Course are:

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Lunch specials at the Main Course at Belmont are served daily liked this Grilled chicken cordon bleu on a sourdough panini. (Grilled chicken, ham, swiss cheese, lettuce with a bourbon honey glaze dressing.)

You can never go wrong with any of the sandwiches offered at The Main Course at Belmont. ‘The Rich Boy” (beer battered flounder), “Ruth Anne’s Rueben,” “Buck’s Shrimp Salad,” the “Palmer” (1/4 Angus beef hot dog), or a “Belmont Club” (ham, turkey, bacon, cheese, double-decker) are just a few among the favorites. Sandwiches offered for lunch Tuesday-Sunday are:

  • The Southerner (Fried Green Tomatoes/Candied Bacon/Pimento Cheese)
  • Buck’s Shrimp Salad
  • Belmont Club (see above paragraph)
  • The Rich Boy (see above paragraph)
  • Tomato Basil Wrap (Tomato basil tortilla filled w/smoked ham/dry, cured genoa salami/mild cheddar)
  • Fairway Turkey Sandwich
  • Ruth Anne’s Reuben
  • Prime Rib Sandwich
  • The Palmer (see above paragraph)

Also, try the amazing  “Wobbie’s Ribs,” a half-rack smothered in the house made bourbon BBQ sauce, or the southern classic, “Shrimp-n-Gritz.” This is available in either Cajun or Charleston style. For the full lunch menu at the Main Course at Belmont, click here.

Dinner: Thurs – Sat: 5:00 am to 9:00 pm

The ‘Front 9’ (or 10): Appetizers at The Main Course at Belmont

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The appetizers even have a ‘special’ here and there in addition to the everyday favorites at the Main Course. (Pictured are breaded chicken wings)

The Main Course at Belmont has become known for its great dinners, and always draws a nice crowd on Thursday-Sunday nights. One of the most popular ways to start the night is the incredible appetizers. Much like the entire menu, the appetizers are very unique as compared to the more common fare seen at other Rocky Mount restaurants. Appetizers offered at the Main Course at Belmont are:

  • Hot Crab Spread
  • Buck’s Shrimp Salad
  • Fried Pickles & Fries
  • Chip Basket
  • Firecracker Shrimp
  • Duck Bacon Wonton
  • Glazed Pork Belly
  • Chicken Wings
  • Onion Rings
  • Mac & Cheese Bites

 Going for the ‘Green’: A ‘Lighter Side’ for Dinner

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Sometimes a salad is special…in this case, it was a special at the Main Course, a Blackened Belmont Salad, blackened chicken on a bed of fresh mixed greens, roasted peppers, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, blue cheese crumbles and avocado with your choice of dressing.

The Main Course offers many delicious dinner options, too.  Much like the array of appetizers that many can’t be found at any other Rocky Mount restaurants, their ‘lighter side’ or salad choices are also as unique as they are delicious. Yes, you can get the classics like “Grilled Chicken” or “Chef’s Salad,” but the variety again set the Main Course apart.

Salads being offered. for dinner hours at the Main Course include:

  • Petit Chateau Salad (fresh greens and veggies, shaved parmesan, tossed in white balsamic vinaigrette, topped w/ beef tenderloin)
  • Grilled Chicken Salad
  • Citrus Salmon Salad (grilled Canadian salmon on top of fresh greens/veggies/orange slices)
  • Garden Salad
  • Chef’s Salad

Steaks, Seafood, and Chops that are Anything but ‘Par for the Course’


The always popular Main Couse at Belmont, Friday night Prime Rib special keeps them coming back for more…and more!

While the nightly specials are many times to difficult to pass on, the steaks, seafood, and chops at the Main Course are pretty close to a “hole-in-one.” Straight off the  Main Course at Belmont dinner menu, the following mouth-watering items are available “From the Grill.”

  • Pork Rib-Eye Chop
  • St. Louis Ribs
  • Belmont Chicken (8 oz breast, smothered in cheddar, grilled onion, bacon, honey mustard)
  • Clubhouse Burger (1/2 pound brisket blend)
  • Filet Medallions
  • Filet Mignon (Center Cut, Certified Angus, 8 oz.)
  • Angus Ribeye (10 oz. Prime Cut)
  • Prime Rib *(Served every Friday)

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Depending on the season and the availability, the fresh seafood ‘Weekly Catch’ special (such as oysters pictured here) are always some of the more popular menu items

Likewise, just as many ‘look to the grill,’ repeat customers at the Main Course also rave about the seafood keeping them coming back. The following are the options from ‘under the sea’ available Thu-Sat nights.

  • Baltimore Crab Cakes
  • Tuna Takayama
  • Seared Canadian Salmon
  • Shrimp-n-Grits
  • Fresh Catch (weekly option based on availability)

To see the entire dinner menu from the Main Course, you can also click right here.

Main Course at Belmont Gourmet Burger Menu: 66 % Brisket/34% Chuck= 100 % Delicious

One of the other things setting the Main Course apart from competitors right from the ‘”first tee,” is the awesome Gourmet Burger menu available.

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The Main Course at Belmont Gourmet Burger Menu…enough said!!

These are too many to simply list all ingredients, as we urge you to check out the incredible full Main Course burger menu here. However, just knowing on top of these incredible options below, there are also awesome weekly burger specials too.

  • The Hawg (BBQ Glazed Pork Belly, Gouda Cheese)
  • The Dougie (All-beef sliced hot dog, chili, slaw, American cheese)
  • The Belmont
  • The Wedge (Bacon, Tomato Chutney, Bleu Cheese, Ranch)
  • The Funky Bunch (Fried Onion, Pickles, Broccoli Bits, Feta Cheese, Thai Chili Mayo)
  • The 007 (Black Bean Veggie Burger, Sundried Tomato, Herb Butter Pickle Okra, Boursin Cheese)
  • Best of Both Worlds (Philly steak, onions, peppers, mushrooms, provolone)
  • The Yard Bird (ground chicken, breadcrumbs, provolone cheese, pepperoni sauce, garlic herb butter)
  • The Torch ( swiss, provolone, pepper jack, gouda cheeses, w/ a jalapeno siracha hot sauce)

The Main Course at Belmont is located in the Golf Clubhouse at Belmont Lake Preserve new home community. The address is 201 Belmont Way, Rocky Mount, NC and for reservations or question call (252) 977-1029. For more information on homes for sale in Rocky Mount NC at BLP, visit our “available homes” section.