Martin Roemers, Karachi Pakistan 2013/ Eyes on Main Street

New M.A. Jinnah Road, Saddar Town, Karachi, Pakistan. From the series "Metropolis". Photo: Martin Roemers / Courtesy of Anastasia Photo, New York.

This image of Karachi, Pakistan, shows a different culture’s main street and is part of the 2019 Eyes on Main Street exhibition in Wilson, N.C/ © Martin Roemers

According to the folks at the visitor’s bureau, Wilson is one of the most unique towns in North Carolina. So what’s to love? Here are just five, out of many, things that make Wilson a special place to visit:


Wilson lies along I-95 in eastern North Carolina, conveniently reachable for an overnight or weekend stay.

Eyes on Main Street

The fifth edition of this highly successful outdoor gallery of large-scale photographs runs April 27-Aug. 4. Six city blocks of the historic downtown area are transformed with storefronts hosting 100 photographs by 100 photographers from around the world. The theme, “Main Street, a Crossroads of Cultures,” presents an international interpretation through the photographer’s lens. Four additional exhibits have been added this year.


Wilson has the largest collection of whirligigs in the world. Area native Vollis Simpson’s giant creations are North Carolina’s official folk art and are featured in a 2-acre downtown park as well as in other areas of the city. The first weekend of November brings the Whirligig Festival, celebrating these monumental welded and painted constructions that are also exhibited at a number of museums in the southeast and at locations in Maryland, California, Canada, Russia and London.


Wilson offers two beautiful rose gardens. The Wilson Rose Garden, usually in bloom May 1-Oct. 30, is an accredited All-America Rose Selections Public Garden containing 1,200 plantings of 180 different varieties. The Library Rose Garden, near the visitor center, features 120 plants of 24 varieties of roses. The Wilson Botanical Gardens offer a variety of 235 plant species, including bird and butterfly gardens.


About 20 different antique dealers, some internationally known, offer a wide variety antiquing opportunities.

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