Barbecue Highway Smithfield, Selma, Goldsboro, and Kinston

Smithfield, North Carolina

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The road from Raleigh to Morehead City should be called the Barbecue Highway. That’s because the towns along the way boast some of the best barbecue in the state. Along this corridor from the capital to the coast, you’ll not only visit noteworthy attractions but also sample Eastern North Carolina–style barbecue, distinct from the Western North Carolina–style barbecue found west of Raleigh. There is a difference between the two variations. In Smithfield the locals gather, as they have for nearly five decades, at White Swan Barbecue. In addition to sampling Smithfield’s mouthwatering barbecue, you’ll have the chance to visit the Ava Gardner Museum. Cast in many popular and memorable roles, Gardner was born just 7 miles east of Smithfield. She is buried at Smithfield’s Sunset Memorial Gardens. On the way back, stop by the American Music Jubilee Theatre to appreciate the music that goes along with good barbecue. Continue east to Goldsboro, home to Wilber’s Barbecue, where two U.S. presidents have eaten. Also popular is McCall’s Barbecue and Seafood Restaurant, which started as a home-based take-out service. Farther east still, in Kinston, stop at King’s Restaurant, home of the “pig in a pup.” Should you lose your way, roll down your car window and follow your nose.

Barbecue Highway: Smithfield, Selma, Goldsboro, and Kinston Professional Review and Guide

"The road from Raleigh to Morehead City should be called the Barbecue Highway. That’s because the towns along the way boast some of the best barbecue in the state. Along this corridor from the capital to the coast, you’ll not only visit noteworthy attractions but also sample Eastern North Carolina–style barbecue, distinct from the Western North Carolina–style barbecue found west of Raleigh. There is a difference between the two variations. In Smithfield the locals gather, as they have for nearly five decades, at White Swan Barbecue. In addition to sampling Smithfield’s mouthwatering barbecue, you’ll have the chance to visit the Ava Gardner Museum. Cast in many popular and memorable roles, Gardner was born just 7 miles east of Smithfield. She is buried at Smithfield’s Sunset Memorial Gardens.

On the way back, stop by the American Music Jubilee Theatre to appreciate the music that goes along with good barbecue. Continue east to Goldsboro, home to Wilber’s Barbecue, where two U.S. presidents have eaten. Also popular is McCall’s Barbecue and Seafood Restaurant, which started as a home-based take-out service. Farther east still, in Kinston, stop at King’s Restaurant, home of the “pig in a pup.” Should you lose your way, roll down your car window and follow your nose."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Smithfield
Duration: One day to several days
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: All contact information for attractions, dining, and lodging are provided in the eTrail.
Driving Directions: Directions to Barbecue Highway: Smithfield, Selma, Goldsboro, and Kinston

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May 2018