This quaint historic town near Wilmington is home to the popular NC Blueberry Festival. Pair the festival with the many blueberry farms and the blueberry-related attractions and you’ve got the ideal destination for berry lovers. For this reason, North Carolinians have lovingly dubbed Burgaw “Blueberrytown”.
Burgaw’s population is 4,080 and the town has a whopping total area of 3.5 square miles. Don’t let the small size fool you; there’s plenty to see and do during a weekend visit. Below, we’re highlighting the tastes and sights that blueberry-lovers won’t want to miss.
Attend the NC Blueberry Festival
Started in 2003, the NC Blueberry Festival has grown to become the largest event in Burgaw. The festival attracts 30,000+ visitors annually and exhibits blueberries grown in Duplin, New Hanover, Pender, Bladen, and Sampson counties.
Festival events include a 5k run & 1-mile walk, blueberry recipe contest, BMX showcases, car & truck show, craft beer, BBQ cook-off, live music, and a Tour de Blueberry non-competitive bicycling ride. Of course, there are lots of blueberries and blueberry-flavored foods for sale.
Typically held on the third Saturday in June, the 2022 festival is scheduled for June 17-18. Admission is free. The Blueberry Festival is the perfect way to experience southern hospitality and a taste of the summer. For more information, check out the NC Blueberry Festival website.
Visit a Blueberry Farm
Blueberries flourish in Pender County soil. Annually, the area produces millions of berries that are sold to businesses, residents, and visitors.
North Carolina’s blueberry season typically lasts from late May to late July or early August. This of course can change depending on the growing conditions of the year. Whether you want to hand-pick your own blueberries or simply stop by a farm for the freshest berries you’ll ever taste, there are a few farms nearby Burgaw that are worth a visit. Many farms also offer up their own blueberry jams, jellies, ice cream, and baked items.
Be sure to call the farm before visiting to guarantee that berries are available.
Murray Blueberry Farm
180 Murray-Turner Farm Rd. Burgaw, NC 28425, 910-259-4285 for more information
Murray Blueberry Farm has acres of fresh-picked blueberries already picked for you and ready to go. They are owned and operated by Ivanhoe Blueberry Farms. In addition to the fresh blueberries, Murray Blueberry Farm also offers blueberry cakes, pies, muffins, popsicles, and jams.
Shaken Creek Farms
7429 Old Maple Hill Rd. Burgaw, NC 28425, 910-540-4611 for more information
A family-owned business, Shaken Creek Farms produces four varieties of Southern Highbush blueberries. The farm was founded by brothers Curtis and Alfred in 2009. In addition to over 100 acres of blueberries, the brothers produce raw, local honey. Blueberries need bees for pollination. What initially started as a dozen hives to pollinate the blueberries has grown to 900+ hives.
Ivanhoe Blueberry Farms
1091 Eddie L. Jones Road Ivanhoe, NC 28447, 910-532-2880 for more information
Ivanhoe Blueberry Farms is a bit further out (about a 25-minute drive from Burgaw), but another popular family-owned farm in the area. The Ivanhoe Blueberry Farms spans four generations. The initial farm was started in 1941. The farm began as a five-acre endeavor and grew to over 80 acres. The family has also acquired several other blueberry farms in the area.
Ivanhoe Blueberry Farms berries are available fresh-packed from mid-May through July. The farm offers thirteen varieties of blueberry including Legacy, Star, and Powder-blue.
Try Some of Burgaw’s Tastiest Blueberry Treats
With so many incredible blueberry farms nearby, it’s no wonder that Blueberrytown restaurants and cafes offer delectable blueberry treats. A few of the local favorites are below.
Brown Dog Coffee Company
103 W Fremont St. Burgaw, NC 28425
Locals love Brown Dog Coffee Company for a daily caffeine kick. In addition to the more traditional coffee drinks, Brown Dog Coffee Company offers several blueberry drink options. Try a blueberry lavender latte, frozen blueberry lemonade, blueberry shake, or a blueberry goddess smoothie.
Olde Carolina Eatery
113 W Fremont St. Burgaw, NC 28425
A stop at Olde Carolina Eatery is a must when visiting Burgaw. Drop-in for lunch and enjoy something savory, but be sure to save room for a blueberry-themed dessert! Locals rave about the blueberry muffins, cobbler, pound cake, and cupcakes. Francis, the owner and baker, has also been featured in the press for her blueberry pie recipe.
Unique Blueberry Attractions
Throughout the year, Burgaw has several blueberry-themed events such as the NC Blueberry Scholarship Pageant and the Blueberry Pancake Breakfast which is held each February to raise funds for the NC Blueberry Festival.
On the day-to-day, Pender County has several unique blueberry-themed attractions that any blueberry lover must-see.
Burgaw Blueberry Statue
Burgaw has truly lived up to its nickname with so many blueberry relics throughout town. In 2018, a new blueberry-themed site was set into motion. The NC Blueberry Festival committee, The Pender Historical Society, and the Town of Burgaw commissioned a work of art. A year later, the Burgaw Blueberry Statue was installed along the Osgood Canal Walking Trail. Find the beautiful and unique statue at the intersection of NC Highway 53 and East Bridges Street.
Downtown Burgaw, NC
Burgaw has several antique stores downtown which hold treasures and unique finds. Many shops feature blueberry-themed pieces among their collector’s items. Find the perfect blueberry decor or a special blueberry painting.
Art Beat Community Arts Center Mural
108 E. Wilmington St. Burgaw, NC 28425
Strolling through town, you might cross paths with some beautiful scenery but no views are quite like that of the “Pender Panorama” contemporary art. This mural was commissioned in 2017 by the Pender County Arts Council. International artist Danae Brissonet painted a stunning work of art on the side of the Community Arts Center. The piece showcases all aspects of life in Pender County and, of course, blueberries make an appearance.
Burgaw Blueberry Drop
Although Burgaw’s peak blueberry-tourism season is in the summer, visitors can also partake in a unique blueberry experience during the colder season. The Burgaw Blueberry Drop takes place on New Year’s Eve and marks the strike of midnight according to Greenwich Mean Time. The 2020-2021 event marked the third annual Burgaw Blueberry Drop and the new tradition is one that will continue to grow over the coming years.