Lexington, NC

Lexington, situated in Davidson County, is a city made up of 18 square miles.

2018 Best Guide to Lexington, NC

April 24, 2018

The land that would become Lexington was settled in the 1770s, and was named after Lexington, Massachusetts; a pivotal location in the Revolutionary War. The city was incorporated in 1828.  

Lexington NC is located near the center of the state, in the Yadkin River valley of the Piedmont area, about 18 miles south of Winston Salem. It is in Davidson County and is part of the Piedmont Triad.  

The town also is the county seat. There are about 19,000 people living here ( a drop from 21,000 in 2007), in an area of almost 18 square miles. The town is named in honor of the battle in Lexington, Massachusetts, given by the residents of the area during the American Revolution.  

One of the first landowners in Lexington was Dr. William Rainey Holt, a physician and Secessionist from Pennsylvania, who built a home here, called The Homestead. A strong supporter for the South in the Civil War, three of Holt's sons were killed in fighting for the Rebels. Even his beloved home was occupied by Union soldiers.

Incorporated in 1828, and named the Davidson County seat in 1847, Lexington NC lays claim to several notable distinctions. Primarily, it opened America's first silver mine (1838).

Next, its residents today proudly boast the town as the barbeque capital of the state. The old Davidson County Courthouse in Lexington was built in 1858, and presently is home to the Historical Museum. It is a temple-form building.

In 1905, a monument was erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy in honor of the County's Civil War dead. It was moved to its present location in 1950.

Lexington was mostly a town of textiles and furniture makers, until recently when factory owners moved their locations overseas and into Mexico.

This resulted in the town's economy becoming weak. Today, however growth is happening as a number of large companies have made Lexington NC their home.

The town has been holding its famous Barbecue Festival each year now since 1984. It boasts almost two dozen barbecue restaurants. And, Lexington has been recognized as a top barbecue city in America by U.S. News and World Report (2012).

Each year since 1984 Lexington NC features one of the largest street festivals in small town America. It's called the Lexington Barbecue Festival, if you have to ask. Several blocks of downtown are closed off to traffic to make way for the fun. It's a one-day event held in October and sees more than 150,000 visitors from around the country.

Annually, the festival serves about 15,000 pounds of barbecue. Pepsi, Wal-Mart, BB&T Bank, and other large companies have been sponsors. Even Amtrak routes trains to the town for the day from Raleigh and Charlotte, NC.
Other events at the festival include live music from several stages, street performers, and lumberjack games.


The median resident age in Lexington is 36 years. The median estimated household income is about $30,000 making it about $18,000 less than the North Carolina average. The estimated per capita is about $16,000.

The average price for a home in Lexington is about $105,000 (2015) which is $55,000 less than the North Carolina Average. Expect to pay about $700 a month for rent.

The racial makeup of Lexington is 51% White, 26% Black, 3% Two or more races, and 20% other. 70% of the population are high school graduates, with 15% holding a Bachelor's Degree or higher. 42% are married, 14% are divorced, 4% are separated, 8% are widowed, leaving 32% that have never been married.

Towns Nearby

Welcome, NC
Tyro, NC
Southmont, NC
Thomasville, NC
Advance, NC
Spencer, NC
East Spencer, NC
Trinity, NC

Davidson County

Lexington belongs to Davidson County in the central part of North Carolina. The County, named after William Lee Davidson, is part of the Winston-Salem, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area.

In 1822, Davidson County was formed from a part of Rowan County. Davidson County has a population of 163,000 and the city Lexington, with a population of 19,000, is the county seat.

Davidson County borders Davie, Guilford, Forsyth, Montgomery, Randolph, Rowan, and Stanly counties.

Davidson County is made up of 567 square miles. 553 of which is land with the remaining 14 as water.


The population of Lexington, NC is about 19,000. The population has been steadily increasing since the 1870s.


The elevation of Lexington, NC is 809 feet above sea level.

Zip Code

The zip code for Lexington, NC is 27295.

Area Code

The area code for Lexington, NC is 336.

Politics and Religion

Historically speaking Lexington and Davidson County have voted mostly Republican, with 67% going to Mitt Romney during the 2012 Presidential Election. This represents the trend for the previous four or five elections.

As of 2010, 60% of the population are religiously unafiliated (Nones). About 38% are Protestants with Catholics making up around 2%.


The unemployment rate for Lexington is about 5% (2015), making it roughly equal to the state average of around 5%.

Manufacturing, construction, and waste management make nearly 50% of the most common industries in the town.

Newspaper & Obituaries

The Dispatch of Lexington is the primary newspaper that covers the Davidson County area.


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