Johnston/So. Wake County

VOL16ISS1 2017

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Page 39 of 53

THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE—JOHNSTON/SOUTHERN WAKE COUNTIES NC | VOLUME 16—ISSUE 1 36 RELOCATING SENIORS Relocating Seniors BY LAUREL HYATT Even though the population continues to age — through medical breakthroughs, exercise, and more attention to healthy lifestyles— seniors are living longer and are more active than ever. That's what makes the piedmont of North Carolina so attractive to relocating seniors. With a welcoming climate, variety of sports teams, a diverse selection of museums and parks, great shops, restaurants and emphasis on history, the Johnston and Wake County region has something to offer everyone — no matter whether you are a senior, or not! Agritourism is huge in Johnston County since it has the largest number of working farms in North Carolina, and continues to lead the nation in production of cash crops. Area farmers have now expanded their operations offering agritourism activities, farm markets, on-farm tours and promoting local products with pick-your-own operations. So if you grew up on a farm and want to reminisce, or you want to introduce to your children or grandchildren where local foods are produced, you will enjoy getting out and around Johnston County farms. Johnston County also now has three wineries for tours, special events and wine tastings and their "wine trail" has expanded to include two new breweries on the Beer, Wine and Shine Trail. Be sure to see the Tobacco Farm Life Museum offering agritourism educational programs and special events on a site that includes a restored homestead, farm life exhibits and even a one- room schoolhouse. The calendar of arts and entertainment in the county is always full. Check out the Paul A. Johnston starting a new life in senior years Auditorium or Neuse Little Theatre in Smithfield, The Clayton Center in historic downtown Clayton, or the W. J. Barefoot Auditorium in Benson. The Farm Entertainment Venue just opened last year and is hosting national country and beach music concerts. For a touch of Hollywood film heritage, visit the Ava Gardner Museum in downtown Smithfield, which pays tribute to native daughter and screen legend, Ava Gardner. The Tom Banks Library holds a collection of portraits painted by Dutch artist Bert Pfeiffer plus there are several local art studios and the Frank Creech Art Gallery at the Johnston Community College campus in Smithfield. Clayton Visual Arts shows held in the lobby of The Clayton Center showcase local artists and their talents all year round. The town of Selma is home to the American Music Jubilee Theatre with a variety of music. If museums, heritage and history are more to your liking, the American Civil War history of the region was centered in and near Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site near Four Oaks. Bentonville was the largest battle fought in North Carolina and the last major Confederate offensive of the war. You should also take a drive along the Carolina Campaign Driving Tour which includes stops at the Historic Hastings House and Johnston County Courthouse in Smithfield. From Smithfield the drive heads to Selma's Historic Train Station and downtown Clayton, where markers note negotiations saving the state capital from destruction. Golfers can play nearly year-round in the surrounding mild climate, but the best times of the year are from March to November. Courses are typically flat with some rolling terrains to create some hazards, and all are surrounded by towering pine trees. Green fees are very affordable. If you need to relax from a day of golf, or work, Johnston County's spas will do the trick. Several day spas offer a variety of services, facials, botanicals, and special events. Of course nothing speaks to the soul like nature itself. A variety of hiking, biking, bird watching and nature activities may be enjoyed at Howell Woods Environmental Center, Neuse River Walk/Buffalo Creek Greenway, Clayton River Walk, and Clemmons Educational State Park. For biking on road, Johnston County offers four new bike trails and Legend Park in Clayton offers an 8-mile off-road course for beginners or experienced mountain bike riders. For indoor/ outdoor facilities visit the Smithfield Recreation & Aquatic Center, Smithfield Community Park, or Clayton Community Center (all offer day passes if you're just visiting). If you should need specific senior assistance in Johnston County seek out Community and Senior Services of Johnston County. >>

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