Gastonia is the largest town in Gaston County, North Carolina and can be found just south of I-85 off of exit 17 in the center of the county. Hwy 321 runs north and south straight through town giving even better access to this booming metropolis.
Things to Do
A three-time All-America City and recipient of the U.S. Conference of Mayors top Livability Award, Gastonia is recognized as one of the area’s best places to live and work with an ideal combination of location, size, and quality of life. The city’s slogan: Great Place, Great People, Great Promise.
SCHIELE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
Located a little outside of the downtown but a "Must SEE" is the Schiele Museum of Natural History and Planetarium. This museum is one of 70 museums in the U.S. designated as an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and features the largest collection of mounted land mammals in the Southeast. Experience galleries with vivid natural history exhibits, plus outdoor recreations of a Catawba Indian Village and an 18th Century Farm. Discover our planetarium, Stone Age site, nature trail, live animal enclosures and many other interactive exhibits.
Other museums include the Alfred C. Kessell Center and the African American Museum of History & Culture both located in the renovated Loray Mill as well as the American Military Museum.
Gastonia began in 1873 as a small railroad depot. The combined effect of the realignment of the Atlanta & Charlotte Airline Railroad (now Norfolk Southern) from its original intended path several miles to the north of the City, and the Chester and Lenoir Narrow Gauge Railroad (now CSX) and the introduction of the steam powered textile mill. It was the crossing of these two railroads and the beginning of the City's textile industry which brought opportunity to the town.
Explore all there is to do in
Caromont Health Park
The Gastonia Honey Hunters are a professional baseball team in the Atlantic League based in Gastonia, a "partner league" of Major League Baseball. Their home base is the FUSE District Stadium.
African American Museum of History and Culture
Found in the Loray Mill, the African American Museum of History Culture provides visitors an opportunity to explore, examine, engage and encourage all to seek a better understanding and deeper appreciation for the community
The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Visiting the Schiele Museum is a fun and educational experience for all ages! Experience galleries with vivid natural history exhibits, a Catawba Indian Village and an 18th Century Farm and planetarium.
Alfred C. Kessell Center
Housed in the renovated Loray Mill the Alfred C. Kessell History Center features a multimedia exhibit on the history of the Loray/Firestone mill as well as its employees and surrounding mill village.
George Pappas’ Liberty Lanes
George Pappas Liberty Lanes is a 32 lane bowling center. We offer Bumper Bowling, cosmic bowling, birthday and corporate parties. We offer league bowling for everyone regardless of age and skill level.
American Military Museum
The American Military Museum has an extensive collection of authentic U.S. military and related memorabilia from past wars and time periods. This museum offers limited hours.
Gastonia Conference Center
Designed to pay homage to the surrounding architecture and heritage of the area, Gastonia Conference Center is the premier destination for local, regional, and state-wide conferences and events, from metro-Charlotte based corporate meetings, to state-wide conventions, to local and community events, to memorable weddings.
'Vintage Christmas' Holiday Lights in Downtown Gastonia
Recapturing past magic, Gastonia’s Downtown is displaying vintage-style Christmas lights and decorations throughout the holiday season.
Gaston All American Fair
The Gaston All American Fair is 9 days filled with spectacular rides, live music, food, crafts, jewelry, games, art, music, entertainment, eating contests, a spectacular fireworks show and Soapbox Derby Races. Admission is always free! Beer and wine garden will be available on Friday and Saturday nights.
Explore the wild world of insects, spiders, and other interesting arthropods on Bug Day at The Schiele Museum of Natural History. Learn all about bugs by meeting entomologists, have hands-on opportunities with live insects, and enjoy insect-themed crafts, games and activities.
Spring on the Farm
Celebrate the arrival of spring on The Farm! Meet baby farm animals, explore newly planted gardens and enjoy outdoor activities and displays. The event happens at The Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia.
The City of Gastonia and Gaston County Public Library host Gaston MAX (Multicultural Arts Xperience) at the Rotary Pavilion in downtown Gastonia. This event and showcase art, music, literature, and culture with food trucks, cultural and artistic vendors, cultural dances and activities, artists, authors, and musical performances.
Travel back through time by exploring fossils, rocks, minerals, and the ancient stories they tell. Mine for gemstones, visit our Dino Safari and Tiny Titans exhibits, search for tiny fossils from the Carolina coast, and even meet some living fossils at The Schiele Museum of Natural History.