Simply put — Clinton’s Downtown District rocks! While taking a relaxing stroll around the square, with a coffee in hand (from Alfredo’s or Simply NC), it’s easy to be enchanted by the shops and restaurants mixed in seamlessly with those that have thrived over the years. Old favorites, new favorites – all together. Festivals, a weekly farmers’ market and monthly outdoor summer concerts. Aaahhhh! What’s not to love?
With all the southern charm that a quintessential North Carolina small town can possibly have, Downtown Clinton has more than 180 businesses and organizations including more than 40 specialty and traditional retail stores.
The buildings now being revamped into new shops and restaurants in the district were mostly constructed in the early 20th century after a devastating fire in 1902 burned most of Clinton’s commercial area. It’s inspiring to see the vitality and care that revitalization seen everywhere in Downtown Clinton.
All these places to see and things to do — plus genuine Southern hospitality that’s the hallmark of Sampson County.
Here is a sampling of some (not all!) of the best shops and restaurants in town:
Alfredo’s Ristorante Italiano
A restaurant that combines authentic Italian recipes and local fresh ingredients in a southern North Carolina town – gotta love it! This place is relaxed and sophisticated at the same time, and certainly lives up to its motto: “Alfredo’s … it’s like eating with family.”
INSIDER TIP: Check out their coffee bar in the back! They also have a cheesecake that is out of this world!
If you’ve got a sweet tooth — this is the bakery for you. They’re a staple in Clinton and locals rave about it. Cupcakes while you shop? Of course! You’ve found the right place!
Rebecca’s of Clinton
You will find fashion with a flair for how you live your life in this shop. Rebecca’s has fun accessories that are on trend. A fashion-forward boutique offering unique and stylish items that one can’t find in a mall.
For over 50 years, this quintessential small town jeweler has some lovely things! Do you have an antique watch that you’d like to have repaired or a custom-designed piece to be made? This is the place.
105 Wall St.
Phone: (910) 592-5249
INSIDER TIP: If you’re looking for a super comfortable and sleek ballet flat that comes in literally every color – Rebecca’s has them. As we chatted about fashion, she told us that her customers start with one pair – and love them so much – it’s not uncommon to end up purchasing the same shoe in at least 4 more colors!
Royal Gifts and Fine China
This is a huge store that is the former home of a department store. An amazing historic preservation of this grand building. The walls are lined with and dining hutches filled with decorative accessories and amazing china displays. It is truly a pleasure to shop in this store.
117 Wall Street
Phone: (910) 590-2795
INSIDER TIP: If you are engaged and getting married, this is the place to go register for top-of-the-line modern and traditional china, gifts and home décor.
A coffee and ice cream shop and so much more. Specializing in handmade crafts, locally produced items from across NC. There is a cozy sitting area with chairs and a sofa. What a wonderful place to relax for a while!
If you are a history buff, and even if you aren’t! ~ the Sampson County History Museum is a wonderful place to learn about history in our area. It’s not just a museum, it’s actually more of a mini “campus” of various buildings, all with different themes and displays – from a log cabin built in the 1750’s to an old gas station and store that has been preserved as if walking back in time. The hours are Thursday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.
A perfect way to top off a Saturday afternoon is to check out our farmers market!
Sampson County Farmers’ Market
215 Lisbon Street
Phone: (910) 299-4904
Clinton City Market – Downtown Clinton
“Bringing the best of the County into the heart of the City.” Open from May to October from 9 am to 2 pm May to October.
And a trip to downtown Clinton won’t be complete until you see the amazing public art piece “Milling Around,” located prominently on Main Street. The silk-screened, hand-painted laminated glass wall is a collaboration between artist Heidi Lippman and landscape architect Kofi Boone. They studied Sampson County and its history and discovered the importance of the millstones that have been used for centuries to grind grains, nuts and corn. Did you know that prior to 1900, there were more than 200 water-powered mills in Sampson County?
We invite you to become a part of Historic Downtown Clinton — a place that combines Southern culture, historic preservation, new enterprise, great shops and restaurants and plenty of charm!