The Top Ten Things We Love About Rocky Mount, NC

Our Top 10 Countdown of Things to Absolutely Love about Rocky Mount


When the first pioneers explored the banks of the Tar River, could they have envisioned the All-American City that would develop from the rocky mound from which the area got its name? Perhaps they did envision something fantastic, pulling together bits and pieces of their imagination like constructing a dream.

Things we love about Rocky Mount NC

These explorers had a love for Eastern North Carolina - the area that they would call home. They discovered, as many have through the years, that there are a lot of things to love about Rocky Mount. 

Through the centuries, it has blossomed thanks to railroads, industry, and the hard-working determination of its citizens.

So what’s there to love about Rocky Mount? It’s hard to come up with only ten items – and we admit, this list is very subjective. We’ve compiled a countdown for the top 10 things we absolutely love about Rocky Mount, NC.

10. Downtown’s New Beginnings

Speak to some of the Rocky Mount natives and they’ll tell you about a time before shopping malls and chain retailers when downtown was the only center of business in the city. Rocky Mount has revived that hometown feel with innovative renovation projects that have preserved the city’s historic heritage while, at the same time, creating a perfect environment for local entrepreneurs.

9. Lower Cost of Living Helps Fight Poverty

Compared to cities across North Carolina, Rocky Mount offers a variety of activities at a fraction of the cost. The nationwide average cost of living index is 100, and Rocky Mount’s cost of living clocks in at 90. For comparison, Raleigh is 102, Charlotte is 98, and New York City is 216. 

8. Rocky Mount Mills: Then and Now

Rocky Mount Mills, located on the falls of the Tar River, was one of the first cotton mills in North Carolina. Now it’s making history again as the first brewery incubator in the state. The historic mill area has been revived with craft breweries and renovated Rocky Mount housing

7. Variety of Educational Opportunities

The area has many opportunities for local students and scholars from across the state. The Rocky Mount campus of Edgecombe Community College just recently opened its new Biotechnology and Medical Simulation Center in downtown Rocky Mount. Nash Community College recently established a degree program in craft beer brewing, and NC Wesleyan College was named the fastest-growing college in North Carolina .

6. Natural Beauty and Recreational Opportunities

Take a stroll through Battle Park or walk along the Tar River Trail to see gorgeous scenery. Rocky Mount offers a variety of recreational opportunities including the Tar River Paddle Trail and several bike trails.

5. Architecture

Next time you’re in downtown Rocky Mount, look up. You’ll see some gorgeous examples of architecture.

4. Artistic Endeavors

Where else can you visit an alligator, fly to Mars, grab a gourmet meal and then catch a production of “My Fair Lady”? The Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences houses a children’s museum, community theatre, restaurant and dozens of activities, galleries and classes for every age and interest.

3. Reduction in Crime Rates

Reducing crime rates makes cities less dangerous. In Rocky Mount, crime is at a 37-year low, thanks to collaborative efforts between community members and law enforcement.

2. MLK: Touching History Through Positive Race Relations

Rocky Mount has a rich, African-American heritage, and it’s exciting that parts of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” made their first debut in Rocky Mount. Through events such as Harambee and other cultural activities, Rocky Mount strives to keep King’s dream alive and well. 

1. People

Yes, we know that this may seem to be an easy way out, but you have to admit, there is something wonderful about the citizens of Rocky Mount. It’s reflected in the way they take pride in the city and want to see it continue to grow. It’s evidenced in the way neighbors helped each other in the wake of devastation after Hurricane Floyd. It’s demonstrated by the many volunteers who work with youth mentoring programs. Rocky Mount citizens have a deep appreciation for their heritage, and a sincere love for their home, whether they are the third or fourth generation or new transplants.

Home is much more than where you hang your hat. It’s a place that imparts a sense of belonging and inspiration to its residents - which is why so many are proud to call Rocky Mount home.
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