History Finds Its Home in Guilford County
With over half a million residents, plenty of people call Guilford County, North Carolina home. The county is nestled near the center of the state, with big city Greensboro claiming nearly 300,000 of the county's population, and High Point claiming more than 100,000. Greensboro, as well as many of the other cities and towns in the county, has seen numerous historical events since Quakers from New England first settled the land in the 1700s. As such, there is plenty for history buffs to enjoy here, though those more interested in other sorts of sights and attractions will find themselves entertained with much more to do as well.
Greensboro holds most of the county's attractions, including botanical gardens, parks, museums, entertainment complexes, water parks and even the famous Woods of Terror haunted house for those who are particularly daring. Surrounding cities Archdale, Burlington (in Alamance county) and High Point also have lots to offer residents and tourists alike, including such offerings as theaters, galleries, libraries and the World's Largest Chest of Drawers. Low-key visitors can enjoy the small towns in the county as well, including Gibsonville and Pleasant Garden, both of which have under 5,000 residents. For many, Guilford County acts as the perfect escape from much larger counties on the East Coast.
A Revolutionary County (Literally)
In 1740, Quakers from New England arrived in the area in search of fertile land. In 1771, after more and more settlers had moved to the region, the area officially became a county, named after Francis North, Earl of Guilford. It was ten years later, in 1781, that the county began to make history. During this year, The Battle of Guilford Court House took place and would shape the state of the entire American Revolutionary War. During this battle, the British army lost so many soldiers that they were forced to retreat and ended up surrounding in Yorktown, Virginia, during the surrender of the British to George Washington at Yorktown.
Moreover, many residents in the area were opposed to slavery when it was occurring during the 17th and 18th centuries. Due to this, the county became a stop in The Underground Railroad, where slaves traveled to freedom in the North with the help of abolitionists in the area. In 1891, the county made more history when it established North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, the first college in North Carolina to support students of color. Since its inception, Guilford County has been blazing a trail!
Geography of Guilford County
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county covers a total of 658 square miles. Notably, the county is drained by the Deep and Haw Rivers, with the city of High Point sitting in the major watershed, Cape Fear. The county also finds itself in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, full of rolling hillsides that stretch across the Eastern United States.
The region has a humid subtropical climate, with hot and humid summers and cold winters. The summers attract many tourists who enjoy strolling the area's many parks and going fishing at one of its many rivers. The winters typically bring some snowfall in January and February. Still, many visitors enjoy a trip to the area during the cooler winter months as the weather is much more mild compared to other regions in the U.S.
The Land of Good Health
In Guilford County, the median age sits at 35 years old, with 31% of the population between the ages of 25 and 44. 30% of households have children under the age of 18 living with them, while 34% of homes were non-families. The racial makeup sits at 64% White, 29% Black and 7% other races.
Interestingly, Guilford County is known for the long life expectancy of its residents. In 2020, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a large philanthropic foundation focused on health, named Guilford County the 23rd healthiest county in the state of North Carolina, of its 100 counties.
Economy of Guilford County
The largest industries in the county include health care & social assistance, manufacturing and retail trade. The median household income sits at $51,803, as of 2018. The region also benefits from Guilford College, High Point University and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, which attracts international students, researchers and employees to the area.
What to Do in Guilford County
Greensboro and High Point are perfect for visitors who want to explore a more populated and thriving area. By far the biggest appeal of these cities is the vast range of gardens and parks, with some of the most loved including The Bog Garden, Bicentennial Garden, The Greensboro Arboretum, Blandwood Mansion and Gardens and Hagan-Stone Park. Any of these parks will prove to be fascinating to flower, tree and nature lovers, as there are thousands of flora on display.
Those who could do without looking at flowers all day can enjoy an adventurous afternoon at Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe, a waterpark that houses the Daredevil Drop, one of the tallest water slides in all of America. Over 500,000 annual visitors come to the park from all over the globe to try their hand at the 36 water rides!
Visitors who enjoy a bit of a thrill but are not a fan of waterparks should head to either the city of High Point or to Burlington, partially in the county, where they can have access to the flagship of the Burlington Parks System. Spread out over 75 acres, the park has such attractions as a carousel, miniature train, a boat ride, a large baseball field and an amphitheater. Throughout the year, there are various festivals and events related to particular holidays such as Christmas and Easter, making it the ultimate hotspot for visitors with families.
Of course, history buffs will have nonstop fun in this county. In High Point, history fans can scope out the Museum of Old Domestic Life, a look into the life of the Quaker settlers of days past. Additionally, those interested in local culture can head to the High Point Museum and Historical Park for an in-depth exploration of the events that occurred in the city. The International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro will spark interest in those interested in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Finally, the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park commemorates the Battle of Guilford Court House of 1781. This Battle would act as an important pathway to the eventual win of the American Revolutionary War. Yes, it's true -- visitors to Guilford County will never run out of things to do!!