Are you planning to travel to Burlington city, or are you already there? Whichever the case, this list offers some incredible things to do in Burlington, NC, which will make your entire stay exciting.
Founded in 1857 as “the Town of Company Shops,” Burlington has seen tremendous changes to become the lively city it is today. Formerly established to support shops and offices for the North Carolina Railroad Company, the city has evolved to become one of the best cities to visit in North Carolina.
But what makes the city stand out – what are the best things to do in Burlington, NC when you visit? From attractive open parks like Burlington City Park, Fairchild Park, and North Park, to Museums, and shopping malls, the city has much to offer.
If you have plans to travel to Alamance County, this all-inclusive guide offers you some of the most unique things to do in Burlington, North Carolina.
Fun & Best Things to Do in Burlington, North Carolina
Finding what to do in Burlington, shouldn’t be stressful, if you’re visiting the city, or planning to, here are some excellent tips for your stay.
Visit the Company Shops Depot
The Company Shops Depot is a souvenir that depicts the old railroad days. The Depot, which dates back to the mid-1800s, is located in the CBD, and it initially served as the departure and arrival station for rail travelers. Initially, the Depot was located near the railroad tracks but was relocated to its current site in 1978.
Currently, residents use the place for community group meetings, and to hold special outdoor concerts and events. This historic place contains a pictorial in its activity room, which displays photos of notable residents, and every important event that took place in 1893, and for each decade in the city for the next century.
These wall portraits are the work of Rodney Moser, a renowned painter, and were presented and commissioned in 1993. For a piece of Burlington’s history and achievements, this is an excellent spot to visit. While still there, you also have a chance to see the historic “Norfolk and Western caboose,” sited behind the Depot.
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Enjoy a Play at the Paramount Theatre
For theatre lovers, the Paramount Theatre is just the place to be. Established as the Grand Theatre in 1929, this place had been the center of entertainment and culture for Burlington residents. Although the theatre’s doors were shut temporarily in 1994 for renovations, it was reopened in 1998 with excellent features and capacity.
Since the reopening, Paramount has been the host of numerous events, musicals, plays, concerts, classic movies, and community and business meetings. If you wish to reserve a seat in this incredible theatre, they have their box office open between 12 pm and 3 pm on weekdays, and one hour before any event.
Better still, you can make credit card reservations any time of any day via a call to 336-222-TIXS. For those looking for romantic things to do in Burlington, a classic movie or play at paramount will do the trick. Also, allow yourself to visit Charleston and experience its local dishes and drink its refreshing beer.
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Carousel or Train Ride at the City Park
Are you traveling with your family? This can be a great place both for you and your kids. Burlington City Park has an amusement area where you can enjoy a Carousel ride, to help unwind from a busy life. The park also has a playground for your kids to relax and play.
For the Carousel, the park prides on a “three-row Dentzel Menagerie piece,” built between 1906 and 1910 by the famous Dentzel Carousel Company. If you are in the city, a ride on this $3,500.00 Burlington City Park antique, which has been in the park since 1948, is an exemplary idea.
The Carousel contains 46 hand-carved animal sculptures, including horses, ostriches, pigs, giraffes, rabbits, reindeer, tigers, and lions. The animals are carved from poplar and basswood, to produce stunning pieces of art. You can see the extensive talent in the depiction of things like veins and muscles on these animal carvings.
Even more creative, the animals have glass-made eyes that contain real pupils, and tails with actual horsehair. Each year on every third week of September, the city holds Carousel Festival to celebrate this remarkable antique.
And if you are around this area at this time, you can enjoy the festival’s entertainment, food, and children’s activities. And that’s not all! There are even more things to do in Burlington, NC City Park. For instance, you can also enjoy a miniature train ride, one whose operations date back to as early as 1951.
Although new engines bought in 1978 and 1979 replaced the original trains, the experience remains incredible. You can never run out of things to see in Burlington’s City Park. And as you plan for a trip, the park should be on your list of places to visit.
Adventure doesn’t stop there. Charleston Walking Tours is another great idea for a getaway that you surely would not want to miss.
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Visit Lake Mackintosh Park & Marina
Established in 1993, Lake Mackintosh Park & Marina also serves as the main water reservoir in Burlington city. While covering over 1150 acres of land, the lake also prides itself on its 61 miles long shoreline. The two tributaries that feed the lake, the Little Alamance and Greater Alamance creeks, also act as the major source of the lake’s stocking fish.
Lake Mackintosh lies along Huffman Mill Road, just beyond the city limits. And, not only is it ideal for fishing and paddling, it offers numerous recreational features for your enjoyment. However, since it’s the primary water reservoir for the city, the park’s management doesn’t allow any swimming or personal watercraft on the lake.
The main attraction features and activities here include:
- Kayak and rowboat rentals
- Large playground
- Picnic sites
- Open-air shelters – rental services available
- Lakeside Clubhouse – rental services available
- Boat Ramps
- Bank and Pier fishing
If you love kayaking or canoeing, you can rent a canoe or a kayak and enjoy the rising morning sun on the lake. Exploring the beaches of South Carolina is another great getaway. Another bucket-list-worthy to visit. Some crucial things to note before visiting the park include:
- The park closes 30 minutes before the gate’s closing time.
- Both rental boats and bank fishing activities should end 30 minutes before closing time.
- Harsh weather can lead to an early closure of the park.
- No boat should launch, up to 90 minutes before closure.
- The age limit for City boat rentals is at least 16 years.
- Rental services for canoes and kayaks are unavailable for Cammack and Stoney Creeks.
- The discounted rates for seniors are available every day.
Find some time to visit Lake Mackintosh Park & Marina, and you won’t regret it.
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Tour Lake Cammack Park & Marina
For even more things to do in Burlington, NC Lake Cammack is another incredible attraction site. Located along Union Ridge Road, north of Burlington city, the park covers over 800 acres of land, and its shoreline extends over 50 miles.
The lakes marina provides unique recreational opportunities for boaters, fishers, paddlers, and walkers. For wildlife enthusiasts, you can enjoy the sight of bald eagles soaring up high or some deer grazing near the lake. Unique features and activities here include:
- Boat Ramps
- Bank and Pier fishing that is handicapped accessible
- Open-air shelters with rental services
- Building and swimming pool with rental services
- Two-mile trekking trail
The operational hours for the park are between 8 am and 5 pm except for a few days where they deviate a bit. This schedule is important if you need to plan your day.
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A Swim at The Burlington Aquatics Center (BAC)
Another famous site in Burlington is the city’s Aquatics Center (BAC). This ultra-modern aquatic facility is open to the public and is quite ideal for a family day out. Some unique features of this facility include:
- A zero-depth entry well
- Frog slide
- Lap lane
- Recreational swimming
- Deepwater diving
The facility has a 300,000-gallon water pool that is perfect for people seeking water exercise, therapy, or lessons. If you need some quality time in the water, this facility offers various sections that will suit your needs. One of the facility’s section, the North Park pool, offer other features like a kiddie pool, full bathhouse, and playground units.
Burlington Aquatics is open daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm if you wish to make a reservation.
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Play Tennis at the City’s Tennis Center
If you’d love to spend some time on a tennis court, the Burlington Tennis Center is a perfect place. This modern facility offers twelve tennis courts, available for both open and tournament games.
Located off Overbrook Road near the Aquatics Center, this tennis center offers youth programs and lessons, as well as men’s and ladies’ nights for entertainment. It is recognized by the US Tennis Association, as being among the most outstanding tennis facilities in the country.
For those who want to blow off some steam and relax, this is a great place to visit while in Burlington city.
Enjoy Cycling at the BMX Track
Things to do in Burlington, NC, get even better for people who love cycling. With the Burlington BMX motocross track open to all riders, you have a chance to cycle in one of the best cycling tracks in the US. BMX cycling events include sprint bicycle contests done off-road, on single-lap racetracks.
This adrenaline-packed sport is approved by the ABA (American Bicycle Association) and can make your stay in Burlington quite enjoyable. The BMX racing season runs between February and early December when weather permits.
And you don’t have to worry about your skills. BMX racing has race levels for all skills. Whether your skills fall under beginner, intermediate, or professional level, BMX Burlington has something brilliant for everyone.
For some unique experiences in Burlington, BMX must be on your to-do list. Also, Asheville, North Carolina is another wonderful place to explore. Plan an itinerary now and see what it has to offer.
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Enjoy Some Fireworks in City Park
If you happen to be in Burlington in July, you can enjoy some stunning fireworks sights in the City Park, commemorating Independence Day. Also, to celebrate Halloween, there is an impressive fireworks display in the park, on the Saturday before Halloween.
These fireworks spectacles are held right after sunset. So, as you take your evening stroll, you can crown your day with these incredible sights that everyone in Burlington longs for.
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Visit Alamance County Historical Museum
For history and culture enthusiasts, this museum is an excellent place to be in. Built during the 19th century, this building in itself depicts the life and works of Edwin Michael Holt (textile pioneer), using a period room, and guided tours.
Devoted to the temporary gallery and rotating exhibits, the museum’s upper floor contains various Native American artifacts, 19th-century military artifacts, Alamance County quilts, antique toys and clothing, and many other historical artifacts.
Almost everything about Burlington city’s history can easily be found here, making the museum one of the must-see Burlington attractions. The guided tour will include the summer kitchen, period outbuildings, outdoor gardens, and family cemetery.
Burlington, North Carolina, is a town full of life and thrilling activities to fit any traveler’s needs. With the numerous attractive sites, recreational parks, and welcoming residents, you never have to get bored while in the town.
All you need is to check out our list of interesting things to do in Burlington, NC, and plan well in advance.