In these small-town, foothills communities, businesses are run by the people, for the people. From handmade doughnuts to craft distilled malt whisky, these towns thrive on both tradition and originality.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in Hendersonville; much of what made the region a popular destination 200 years ago — like its agriculture, climate, and historic downtown district — are still important parts of its identity today.
Elizabeth City is at the crossroads of history and revitalization. The result: a town where water, hospitality, and hometown pride are deeply revered, while new restaurants, the arts, and tourism are welcomed.
Like the river it’s situated next to, Williamston is a steady force in northeastern North Carolina. From a decades-old oyster bar to a barn-turned-bed-and-breakfast, the town boasts surprises at every turn.
This Triangle town was once two: Fuquay Springs and Varina. The pair merged in 1963 in a joint effort to bring new economic growth to the area. Now, the unified town is seeing another renaissance, one that bears great beer, bread, and more.
A city shared by Cabarrus and Rowan counties, Kannapolis is at an exciting juncture in its history, too. It’s the only city in the nation that has purchased more than 50 acres of its own downtown while leaders seek to revitalize it. From the community’s first brewery to a new baseball stadium, there’s a lot of exciting change to come in the next half-decade. Until then, we’re honoring the beloved institutions that already make Kannapolis a great place to live — and love.