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Kinston is the seat of Lenoir County in North Carolina's Coastal Plain.



Though a bit down on its luck, Kinston is a moderate-sized town and has a rather intriguing background for its size. For starters, the first governor of North Carolina, a Revolutionary War hero, had his home here. And in Civil War times, Kinston saw two notable engagements between the two sides. Moreover, it's where one of the Confederacy's ironclads, the CSS Neuse, was scuttled to avoid capture, and where the Confederacy was eager to hang deserters - nice.

The cotton and textile industry was big in Kinston for much of the 19th and 20th centuries, and for a while DuPont made its presence as well. Since then, diversification and stagnation have occurred; however, a number of personalities have bloomed here, including the musical brothers and former James Brown band members Maceo and Melvin Parker, and Vivian Howard with her show A Chef's Life from PBS.

Get in


Kinston is on US 70 about midway between Goldsboro and New Bern. The only form of public transportation to speak of really is Greyhound which stops at Lunch Box at 522 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.

Get around



Peebles House
  • 1 CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center, 100 N Queen St, +1 252 526-9600. Tu-Sa 9AM-5PM. All about the CSS Neuse ironclad that, after being lit afire by the Confederates and sunk in the Neuse River in 1865 to avoid capture, has had its hull and artifacts salvaged and put on display in this building.
  • 2 CSS Neuse II, 118 N Herritage St, +1 252 560-2150. A replica of the vessel on display in a parkway along the Neuse where this ironclad sank.
  • 3 Governor Caswell Memorial, 2612 W Vernon Ave, +1 252 522-2091. Tu-F 10AM-2PM, Sa 10AM-4PM. On this site you'll find exhibits pertaining to the first governor of North Carolina and Revolutionary War hero, Richard Caswell.
  • 4 Harmony Hall, 109 E King St. This was Governor Caswell's home, only viewable from outside.
  • 5 First Battle of Kinston Civil War Battlefield Park, 1400 Harriette Dr. Not a whole lot to see here other than some interpretive signs, but it's where the Union expedition from New Bern routed the Confederacy in late 1862.
  • 6 Wyse Fork Battlefield Monument (corner of US 70 and British Rd southeast of town). An even smaller monument, but this was a more significant battle in that a Union victory here in 1865 by combined forces over Braxton Bragg's resulted in the Confederate's abandoning the area along with their ironclad Neuse, in addition to being one in a number of factors leading up to Confederate General Joseph Johnston's surrender a month later.


  • 1 Neuseway Nature Park, 401 W Caswell St, +1 252 939-3302. Nature center with some animal habitats and planetarium.
  • Go to a Minor League Down East Wood Ducks game at Grainger Stadium, or attend the town farmer's market.




  • 1 Chef & the Farmer, 120 W Gordon St, +1 252 208-2433. Vivian Howard's popularized restaurant from the PBS show A Chef's Life.





You can also camp at the Neuseway Nature Park and be close to the animals.



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