The City

Stop by and stay a while in Historic Downtown Wilson, North Carolina, located at the crossroads of Southern charm and modern innovation.

Once heralded as “the World’s Greatest Tobacco Market, ” Wilson is now a thriving city of almost 50,000 people. Nearly 2,000 people work for BB&T, once of the nations largest financial services. Other large employers are Bridgestone, Merck, Sandoz and LiveDo. They city is home to Barton College, Wilson Community College and the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf. Our hospital, Wilson Medical Center, is part of the Duke LifePoint network.

Just as the city has transformed from a tobacco-based economy to a more modern one, the Historic Downtown Wilson is going through a similar revitalization. The “five & dime” stores of yesteryear are the bones of modern loft apartments and boutique shops. Weathered brick tobacco warehouses are being reborn as businesses, restaurants and apartments.

Historic Downtown Wilson is also home to a burgeoning arts community. The historic Boykin Theater hosts concerts and a variety of local and regional productions. VisitĀ Arts Council Gallery in the historic BB&T Building, the Oliver Nestus Freeman Roundhouse African American History Museum, and Imagination Station Science & History Museum.

The annual Whirligig Festival, held the first weekend of November, showcases local crafts and the best music acts. The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park features the fanciful, wind-driven pieces created by the late Vollis Simpson, named North Carolina’s official folk art. The park features 30 whirligigs, a shade structure and beautiful landscaping.