Make yourself at home at our Wilson hotels, in the heart of North Carolina tobacco country. In no time you’ll be digging into pulled-pork barbecue and admiring Vollis Simpson’s fantastical metal sculptures.
Wilson’s historic downtown is filled with turn-of-the-20th-century buildings and sleepy, tree-lined streets. Use our hotels in Wilson as a base to explore the town’s art galleries, showcasing the works of local artists. Start your downtown art tour at the Arts Council galleries, set in a neoclassical bank building from 1903. The Studio One artists’ collective sells paintings and pottery made right in the studio. Guests of our Wilson hotels can also hunt for rare collectibles and Southern memorabilia in the city’s dozens of antique shops.
If you’ve worked up an appetite, join the locals at the groaning buffet table at Bill Ellis’ Barbecue. Pile your plate high with fried chicken, collard greens and cornsticks and the house specialty: barbecued pork served eastern North Carolina style—flavored with a peppery vinegar-based sauce. Head to the County Line Bluegrass Barn on Tuesday nights, when the region’s finest banjo and guitar pickers jam. After a good night’s sleep at one of our hotels in Wilson, take a short drive into the countryside to marvel at Vollis Simpson’s whirligigs and workshop. The whimsical scrap-metal sculptures fashioned by this handyman and self-taught artist have been exhibited in museums across the south. Wander the overgrown grounds of Simpson’s home, where you can buy a signed original or simply watch the giant metal contraptions spin slowly in the breeze.
Book our Holiday Inn Express® Wilson hotels to explore this classic Southern farm town as well as museums nearby. Browse 19th-century medical artifacts at the Country Doctor museum in Bailey. Visit a restored tobacco farm in the Tobacco Farm Life museum in Henley.