Where I-40 and I-95 Meet – Brake for Berries!


Johnston County is located on I-95 halfway through North Carolina. It is an excellent place to stop and find refuge from the road for a while. There’s retail therapy, comfortable hotels, local dining, and interesting attractions. During your annual trek north this Spring, think about stopping in Johnston County (JoCo to the locals). Johnston County towns along I-95 exits include Kenly, Selma, Smithfield, Four Oaks, and Benson. The weather warms early in the south and so Spring is pleasant in JoCo. Enjoy exploring our many historic downtown areas as you drive through.

Brake for Berries!

Johnston County has a rich history in farming and agriculture. Get your hands dirty at Smith’s Nursery in Benson, where you can pick-your-own strawberries or purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from the produce stand. Smith’s Nursery is open year-round but, the pick-your-own season offers visitors the opportunity to pick strawberries in late-April to June, and blueberries and blackberries in the summer months. Picking your own strawberries right out of the field is sure something to check off your bucket list, and Smith’s is located less than 15 miles from I-95. It’s well worth the stop!

Farm Fresh and Chef Crafted

JoCo’s farming history asserts itself anew in the growing number of chef-owned restaurants in the county serving up fresh and local ingredients in delightfully southern dishes. A great example of this is Colleen and Nate Roby from Simple Twist who have close relationships with farmers in the area, like Smith’s Nursery, so they can use high quality ingredients to create delicious meals. Or SoDoSoPa, taking traditional ideas and incorporating culinary flair, like their locally famous Hog Cakes – think crab cake, but with pulled pork instead. Just a few minutes away from Smith’s Nursery check-out newcomer Redneck BBQ Lab, owned by award-winning BBQ competition master Jerry Stephenson. He’s smoking pork, brisket, turkey, and chicken daily.

While you’re in Benson

If you have time, explore more of Benson, located at Exit 79, where I-95 and I-40 come together, mid-way through North Carolina, which makes it a perfect stop for travelers. Broadslab Distillery, located four miles off of I-95, offers tours and tastings of moonshine crafted by master distiller and owner Jeremy Norris. He uses a recipe passed down over 5 generations of moonshiners in his family. Benson is also home to GALOT Motorsports Park – a brand new state of the art racing facility; GALOT promises thrilling events for audiences through-out the year. In the Spring of this year Benson will be opening a Hampton Inn, which will provide travelers to Benson and its attractions a place to stay and rest from the road. Across from the hotel there is a 3-acre dog park, perfect for your furry traveling companion to stretch their paws!

For more information about everything Johnston County has to offer visit johnstoncountync.org or call 1-800-441-7829.