Exploring Scotland Neck and Enfield
Excitement builds in the town of Enfield the first Saturday in October for one of America’s favorite snacks: peanuts! The Enfield Peanut Festival, which has been held annually since 1937, making it the oldest celebration of the legume in the state—draws upward of 5,000 nut lovers. At one time, Enfield held the title of largest producer of raw peanuts in the world. Although that distinction is now someone else’s, the town of 2,300 residents is still proud of its top crop. The festival features live music, crafts, and plenty of peanut-related foods.
But visitors don’t have to wait for October to find great peanuts in Enfield. Aunt Ruby’s offers its famous Virginia-style peanuts, known for their superb flavor and size, as well as other nuts and candies from its storefront. Once you’re hooked, you’ll be glad Aunt Ruby’s also has a thriving mail-order business, shipping its products nationwide.
Gone to the Birds
Bird lovers flock to Scotland Neck to see the wide variety of waterfowl who live at Sylvan Heights Bird Park. The park began as a breeding center in 1989 and has grown into the largest collection of rare waterfowl in the world, with nearly 3,000 birds, including pairs of several endangered waterfowl. As interest in the breeding center grew, owners Mike and Ali Lubbock developed the bird park to educate the public about these exotic specimens. Since its opening in 2006, the park has received more than 55,000 visitors a year.
Stroll through the various continentally themed aviaries to observe the diverse colors and sounds of the nearly 3,000 resident birds. Visitors can learn about the habitats and behaviors of these fowl, from swans and ducks to multicolored parrots, secretive owls, flashy flamingos, and strutting cranes. For more interactive fun, try hand-feeding the parakeets at one of the park’s Landing Zone exhibits, or hide away in the Beaver Pond Blind to get up close and personal with some species native to North Carolina.
Despite having no formal training, local artist Napoleon Hill has created many spectacular murals in Halifax County, depicting the rich cultural history of this region. Hill’s work in Enfield, at the corner of East Franklin and Halifax Streets, captures a scene of a cotton farm, with one farmer collecting mounds of the white fluff while another drives a tractor to the far side of the field. Along the bottom of the mural, a peanut plant and a trio of peanuts in their shells reminds viewers of the importance of these crops to eastern North Carolina.
On Main Street in Scotland Neck, another of Hill’s murals was inspired by Sylvan Height Bird Park, features a small group of flamingos splashing in a pond surrounded by North Carolina forest.
Visitors to Enfield seeking a traditional Southern dinner are in luck—Gloria’s Bottom of the Barrel serves up hearty soul food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Diners won’t walk away hungry from Abrams Bar-B-Q & Seafood in Scotland Neck. From a big plate of barbecue to their famous cheese biscuits, Abrams’ menu is sure to please any taste.
In the mood for Italian food? La Casetta in Scotland Neck has you covered, from a simple Margherita pizza to a filling pasta e fagioli soup to a piece of decadent tiramisu.
For a quick bite, stop in to Jenny’s Beans and Buns in Enfield. This café, housed in a former hardware shop, offers sandwiches, sweet treats, and, of course, gourmet coffee.
Spend the afternoon browsing the wares at Southern Secrets at Mears in Enfield. This eclectic shop carries a wide range of products, from artwork, furniture, baby gifts, and specialty foods to colorful throw pillows and hand-painted flowerpots. With an inventory that’s constantly changing, the shop provides a new experience with each visit.
At the Rock Museum in Scotland Neck, visitors of all ages can learn through informative displays and classes about the Earth’s geologic history and how various rocks, gems, and fossils were formed. An onsite gift shop features jewelry and specimens for a unique souvenir of your visit.
Make Yourself at Home
Make your stay in Enfield feel more like home by staying in a vacation rental house or apartment. The offerings of the West End are modern and spacious, having been renovated in 2020 with an eye to maintaining the 1930s charm of its original era. The home features modern amenities, such as granite countertops, smart TVs, and high-quality linens. After a day of exploring the area, it’s great to be able to come “home” and relax.
Staying in a luxury B&B can make your visit memorable. The Bellamy Manor & Gardens in Enfield is a typical Southern Manor home, with features representing the Gothic Revival, Italianate, and late Greek Revival styles. Recent renovations have created an environment in which guests can step back in time without lacking modern conveniences.