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Just outside Jacksonville, surrounded by open farmland and forests, lies the town of Richlands, where family and hospitality thrive. Founded in 1880 and named after its rich soil, Richlands continues to have strong agricultural roots but enjoys continued growth with new shopping centers, restaurants, and businesses. The best way to see how well Richlands blends old with new is with a stop at the Onslow County Museum, where exhibits and artifacts tell many stories of Onslow County’s history, from its earliest settlement to current times. For more history, take a walking tour of the downtown and its historic homes.

Your taste buds will get a workout, too, with a family-style dinner at Mike’s Farm, where a local family has transformed their farm into a year-round agri-tourism business, that features live entertainment, a restaurant, gift store, a wedding venue, and the brand new NC Products Barn, featuring products crafted and made from all around the state of North Carolina. Throughout the year, visitors of all ages enjoy the petting zoo, strawberry picking, pumpkin patch, and a Christmas hayride through a maze of twinkling lights. Another popular spot for getting a true “flavor” of the region is Walton’s Distillery, where corn whiskey and moonshine are produced in small batches. Stop by for a free tour to see every stage of distillation, from the mashing of the grain to the bottling process. Sample “E.M. Walton’s Corn Whiskey” or “Kitty Walton’s Apple Pie Moonshine.” More local spirits are on display at Huffman Vineyards, where thirty different wines, ranging from sweet to dry, are handcrafted from grapes grown on a family farm once dominated by tobacco crops. The tasting bar is popular, as is the seasonal outdoor patio.

Mike’s Farm Restaurant

There’s more to do than eat at Mike’s Farm; check out the gift shop for fun souvenirs, take a hayride tour in the fall or visit the Christmas lights display in winter, or stop by in the late spring... 
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Thig’s BBQ

Dig in to southern style barbeque at Thig’s. Other favorites include the country-style breakfast and smoked-meat platters. Not in Richlands? Keep an eye out for their food truck, which stops by local... 
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Walton’s Distillery

Walton’s is a locally owned craft distillery producing small batches of corn whiskey, moonshine and bourbon. Come explore their facility and learn how this family tradition has continued to thrive throughout... 
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Huffman Vineyards

Handcrafted wines made in small batches such as sweet muscadine, vinifera and exciting fruit wines are all available at Huffman Vineyards.Try a sip or take home a whole bottle as you discover the magic... 
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Like many eastern North Carolina towns, Richlands is also known for its barbecue. At Thig’s BBQ House, country-style breakfasts, fried chicken and hand-chopped barbecue platters are served with sweet tea and a smile. The laid-back atmosphere and the barbecue’s slightly sweet, vinegary sauce have earned Thig’s several mentions in state magazines and newspapers. More local specialties, like fresh corn, tomatoes, and strawberries as well as homemade preserves and breads can be found at the Onslow County Farmer’s Market, open seasonally. Stop by the Oakwood BBQ truck for a pulled pork sandwich topped with coleslaw prepared by the Thompson family. The NC Cooperative Extension runs the seasonal market and hosts popular youth workshops and year-round classes. Need to know how to freeze the bushels of fresh sweet corn you purchased from the Farmer’s Market? They’ll get you started!

Having recently undergone a modern expansion, the Albert J. Ellis Airport (OAJ-Ellis) makes traveling to and from the region a breeze. This convenient, affordable airport offers daily flights to and from Atlanta, Charlotte and beyond.  Start planning now for an Onslow County arrival!

View region map page to see other cities & towns of interest.