By Guest Blogger Aprille Donaldson

While North Carolina’s coastline is well-known for its notorious and infamous pirates of the golden age, you probably wouldn’t think there would be any pirate attractions nearby in the Piedmont. I admit, I was quite surprised myself when I Googled “pirate attraction near me” and something came up less than an hour away!

Let me introduce you to Pirate’s Landing Seafood and Steak Restaurant in Elkin, NC.

“AHOY THERE MATEY! Welcome aboard Pirate’s Landing, where dining becomes an adventure! Located in Elkin, North Carolina, Pirate’s Landing is the most exciting restaurant in the Southeast! Your entire family will enjoy not only our delicious seafood and steaks, but also our unique pirate-themed atmosphere.

Your voyage begins upon approaching the deck of the ship surrounded by water and fish. The outside and inside have been constructed to resemble a dry-landed ship, with 200 year old supporting wood beams brought directly from the St. Lawrence Seaway and antique planking throughout. Not to be missed are the detailed murals of the history of pirates and of the book Treasure Island.”

First, I checked out both their website and reviews. Their Facebook reviews were a bit discouraging, but I was feeling up for an adventure. I decided to plan our afternoon out as a surprise for my family. Because it seemed as though the biggest complaint on negative reviews was that of slow service, and we never eat out with our hyper children because they can barely sit through a meal at home, I decided we would go for a late lunch or early dinner. Their website said they were opening at 2 PM.

We have been studying pirates in our homeschooling as part of a greater study of United States history. Our boys loved getting dressed up in their pirate gear, even though they had no idea where we were going. 

We showed up to an empty parking lot on a Friday afternoon about 2:30 PM, and my heart sank. I called the restaurant on my phone and they said that they opened at 3PM, not 2PM. The building’s exterior was a bit run-down, and my husband was skeptical. Our boys, however, thought it was incredibly cool. They loved exploring, and we got a lot of great pictures! There were cannons, a fish pond, ropes, pulleys – and even a crow on the crow’s nest! 

Finally the doors opened, and we were pleasantly surprised at just how interesting it was inside! I had brought a bunch of pirate-themed coloring pages and worksheets for the boys to do at the table, in case there was a long wait. After we ordered, my husband and I took turns with one boy each to explore the two floors of the restaurant. (The upper level was closed for seating due to COVID restrictions, but we could still walk around.)

The restaurant is covered in huge murals and there are life-sized pirate sculptures around every corner. 

While we did not eat during a peak dinner time, we had absolutely no issues with timely service and hot, tasty food. My picky boys had a corn dog and grilled cheese off of the kid’s menu, and I had a wonderful steak! 

For us, the experience was worth the wait. It was definitely the most grown-up restaurant we had ever taken our children to, but it didn’t feel so fancy that we couldn’t enjoy ourselves and let our kids be kids. If you live in the Triad and feel up for a drive, I think it’s somewhere you should take your kids at least once! 

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