Homes for Rent in Kinston, NC: What You Need to Know
If the best things come in small packages, then Kinston may very well be the best small package of a city in all of North Carolina.
The Cost of Living in Kinston
You’ll get more for your money in Kinston (population: 21,677) where the cost of living is 10.3% lower than the national average. Housing and transportation costs are 18.6% and 4.1% lower than the national average, respectively. However, food cost is 14.8% higher than the national average. Kinston’s median gross rent is $708. North Carolina collects a flat income tax rate of 5.25%.
Know Your Neighborhoods
Living downtown means easy access to fine restaurants and shops. Housing options near downtown include houses built after World War II, apartment complexes, and townhouses. The majority of downtown residents are renters. For suburbanites, La Grange is a great choice for its proximity to Kinston. Ayden, also within commuting distance, is known for its Collard Festival and active community life. A large percentage of Ayden’s residents are renters.
Things to Do in Kinston
Immerse in a unique cultural experience at Kinston Music Park, which celebrates African American musical heritage. Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and James Brown have all performed in Kinston. The park features a 12-foot-high sculpture representing jazz, rhythm, and blues, as well as song titles and lyrics etched in concrete.
The First Battle of Kinston Park is also a popular tourist destination. Thousands of Confederate and Union troops fought there in 1862. Harriet's Chapel, also located in the park, served as a hospital for treating the wounded after the battle. Visitors can stroll along the boardwalk to view interpretive signs leading to Captain Joseph Starr’s Battery Site where his men defended the position with six cannons.
A Storied Local History
Kinston has been the seat of Lenoir County since its incorporation in 1762. It has changed names twice. It was originally called Kingston to honor King George III of England. In 1784, after the American Revolutionary War, the name was changed to Kinston (without “g”). From 1833 to 1834, the city was called Caswell, after Richard Caswell, North Carolina’s first governor, who lived there. During the Civil War, Kinston served as the eastern front for the Confederacy. It’s known as the site of two key battles fought over the control of the railroad, which was critical in supplying the troops in Virginia.
Shopping in Town
Small-town shopping is at its best downtown where you’ll find antique stores, general stores, and specialty shops. Twice a week, local growers and vendors bring their produce, crafts, baked goods, and other products downtown for the Lenoir County Farmers Market. For big-name brands, visit Vernon Park Mall, which boasts of over 623,000 square feet of shopping space. Belk, a North Carolina-based retailer, is one of the anchor stores at the mall.