County is located in the geographic center of eastern North Carolina . Only
four hours to the west, the Blue Ridge Mountains. One hour to the east, the pristine
beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. In between countless historic sites, and chances
to explore nature.
Kinston stands ready to meet the new wave of the future, while remembering
preserving its heritage is essential to its residents and its visitors. The following
list highlights some of the must see sites in Kinston/Lenoir County.
CSS Neuse State Historic Site
2612 W. Vernon Ave., Kinston, NC 28504
See site for hours of operation
The site of the C.S.S. Neuse, one of the three Civil War ironclads, and the Richard
Caswell Memorial rests on the banks of the Neuse River and tell the stories that
span two American wars.
Caswell Center Museum and Visitors Center
2415 W. Vernon Ave, Kinston, NC 28504
Open Monday through Friday 8am – 5pm (Free Admission)
Built in the 1800’s, the Stroud House became home to the first residents
of Caswell Center in 1914. Caswell Center is the first facility to serve people
with mental retardation in North Carolina. The museum describes early life at
the facility, and a videotape presentation is available describing the history
Caswell No. 1 Fire Station Museum
118 S. Queen St., Kinston, NC 28501
Open 10 am – 4 pm Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday (Free Admission)
The Fire Station was built in 1895 after a disastrous fire destroyed much of the
downtown Kinston area. A 1922 American LaFrance Pumper is the focus of the museum,
along with a collection of helmets, nozzles, fire extinguishers and other memorabilia
span a 100-year period.
Community Council for the Arts
N. Queen St., Kinston, NC 28502
Tuesday – Friday 10 am – 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 am – 2 p.m. (Free
Admission)A three story 30,000 square foot historical building with six beautiful
gallery spaces. Exhibits change every six to eight weeks. The Arts Center is also
home to a large permanent model train exhibit. Numerous classes and workshops
are available for adults and children at a nominal charge.
109 E. King St., Kinston, NC 28501)
Wednesday, and Friday 10:00 am – 1:00 p.m. (Free Admission)
One of the oldest homes in Lenoir County, Harmony Hall has been tastefully restored
with authentic 18th century furnishings. Built in 1772, once the home of Governor
Richard Caswell. Harmony Hall is the headquarters for the Lenoir County Historical
The Bentley Bed and Breakfast
117 W. Capitola Ave., Kinston, NC 28503
Listed on the National Registers of Historic Places, Vernon Hall sits majestically
on “The Hill”, a 1747 land grant to Richard Caswell, the first Governor
of North Carolina. A full graceful sweep of green and a frame of tremendous oaks
and dogwoods beckons the visitor to the elegant mansion house, likened to the
“Tara” of “Gone With The Wind”.
300 Park Ave., Kinston, NC 28501
This historic structure, built in 1925, is one of the last remaining buildings
of Greek Classical Revival Architecture still standing in North Carolina. It served
more than 6,000 students in the 69 years it was used as a school.
Presently it is being used for local drama productions, pageants, NC Symphony
concerts private lectures, conferences, public concerts and events.
The Kinston Indians
400 E. Grainger Ave., Kinston, NC 28501
Take in a ball game, the national pastime at Grainger Stadium as the Kinston Indians,
a Class A franchise of the Cleveland Indians, take on their Carolina League rivals.
Home games April - September.
and Lenoir Memorial Hospital Health and Science Museum
401 W. Caswell Street, Kinston, NC 28501
The newly renovated 100-year-old 4,000 square foot building is adjacent to the
Nature Center.The first floor houses Lenoir Memorial Hospital's Health and Science
Museum which includes hands on exhibits that are constructed to stimulate young
minds and encourage hands on experiments. Also located on the 1st floor is a butterfly
garden and a miniature replica of Lenoir Memorial Hospital.
On the second floor you will find a 24-foot dome and projector that will allow
a projection of star patterns, constellations, and video shows. An observation
deck for stargazing is also located on the 2nd floor. Other features include computer
station, space suit and various exhibits.
Neuse Regional Library
510 N. Queen Street, Kinston 28501
The Neuse Regional Library has won numerous awards for its outstanding and innovative
children’s service. The program is designed around a colorful and inviting
children’s room featuring interactive computer stations, one-of-a-kind children’s
theater, and year-round special events.
In addition to outstanding fiction and nonfiction collections, the library
offers state-of-the–art technology and information services, including word
processing and a multi-user local area network center for public use.