What do you love about Chapel Hill?

leestorrow's picture

Did you know that visitor spending in Chapel Hill and Orange County accounts for over $160 million in economic impact ever year? Tourism is a clean business that creates jobs and tax revenue that helps keep our county the amazing place it is. I was appointed to represent the Town Council on the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitor's Bureau at the start of this year, and am committed to increasing the economic impact from tourism over this year. 

To celebrate the great visitor and tourist attractions in Orange County, I'm headed on a stay-cation over Memorial Day weekend. I'll be packing my bag on Friday and won't return until Monday afternoon, but I'll never be more than 25 miles away from my home. I'm spending Friday night in Carrboro, will be visiting Hillsborough and Northern Orange on Saturday, and will be finishing up in the southern part of heaven on Sunday.

What attractions and businesses should be on my must-see list? Often we overlook amazing attractions and businesses in our own backyard. I've got a couple items on my list that I've embarrassingly never visited (UNC Basketball Museum, Orange County Speedway). Help me set my schedule by posting on the comments to let me know what I need to make sure is on the agenda.

Over the course of the weekend, I'll be blogging on OrangePolitics, and tweeting about my travels with the hashtag #OCStaycation. On Friday I'll be carrying RDUBaton. I hope you'll follow along, and think how you can support and build tourism in our community! 

Tags: 

issue: 

Total votes: 21

12 Comments

Molly De Marco's picture

Lot's to see in OC- ideas

This is a great idea Lee. Here are some ideas from Allison and me:North County - Tour of downtown Hillsborough (go into Matthew's Chocolates and ask about the old secret passageway).- Take a walk around the old Occoneechee SpeedwaySouth County- The NC Botanical Garden- Take in a show at The Kracken- Check out Patterson's Mill Country Store (especially the penny candy and the recreated old pharmacy in the back).- The Calvander Standing Stones 

Ed Harrison's picture

Patterson's Mill Country Store

The store's a treat, but hasn't been in Orange County since 1881. That's when the tobacco barons of Durham successfully petitioned the NC General Assembly for a county where Hillsborough would not be the county seat. The store is about a mile in air distance east of the county line, and is q quick trip from OC by car or bike.  Ed Harrison

Linda Convissor's picture

On your way to the Durham

On your way to the Durham County Patterson's Mill store, stop at the
BCBS buidling.  You can walk around the plaza of this double oblate
rectangular prism and get totally dizzy staring up at your reflection. 
It has one of the nicest parking lots around (especially when the trees
are in bloom, they're not now) and enjoy the informal great lawn and
sweet little walking trail that function as our neighborhood park.  You
could even get in a little volleyball on the court off Old Durham Rd.  Now
that the building is obscured by trees, it has ceased being the
landmark it once was but it is very cool up close and definitely worth a visit.BCBS does have security but a smile and a wave seem to be sufficient to keep everyone happy.And then you can stop by and visit your Town of Chapel Hill/Durham County friends. Linda Convissor

Wandering

I hope you take time to simply wander around on the back roads. We have many beautiful old churches with cemeteries dating back into the 1700s. We have old farm houses and barns, some falling down, some well maintained, in a variety of architectural styles. We have wide open farm lands, forests, and wetlands. You'll be surprised at the variety of livestock you will see, including buffalo, alpacas, and emus. And we have old stores, mostly empty now that show where past centers of commerce were located. 

My strategy

I usually start with the National Register of Historic Places for the specific county I am going to be in. Here's the link for Orange County:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Register_of_Historic_Places_listin...I don't always find the listed properties but generally where there's one there are others that didn't qualify for listing but are still interesting.Carr Store Road is good for a short (2-3 hour) outing. For an even shorter trip, go out to Maple View Farms (Dairyland Road) and then keep going north on Rocky Ridge Road to Arthur Minnis Road then cut back south on Union Grove Road. I've posted pictures of the Union Grove Methodist Church (all stone from 1700s with old cemetery), some old buildings, and an alpaca farm on my FB page--all on Union Grove Road.  

Sights to see and visit in Hillsborough

Be sure to glance at the Town Clock in the cupola of the Old Orange County Courthouse as you go North on Churton Street. The Clock was given to Hillsborough in 1756 by King George III. The old Town Cemetery is very  interesting and you can read the tombstones of John Berry, Frances Burwell ,  James Hogg, William Hooper, and many others. You will want to stop by      Cup of Joe  and Lloyd's Pharmacy on your way from the Inn at Teardrops.Tom Roberts is a good friend of mine and he can tell you about     other interesting stops in our town.There are alot of things to see and I        hope that you have a good visit.

Happy Traveling,

Evelyn Lloyd

evelyn.lloyd@hillsboroughnc.org 

 

Suzanne Haff's picture

Special Places in OC and Chapel Hill

I think you will find the Uncommon Garden a secret surprise and wonder to behold. Call Art Minnis at the Art Center for more details. I also love Niche Gardens on the south side - not sure if it is Orange or Chatham County. There's a great vineyard and wine tasting location up near Hurdle Mills.And...have you ever been to Cedar Grove in north county (Hillsborough is central, not north county, by the way). How about Effland? Use route 70, not the interstate, please.Have fun!  

One of my favorite OC places

Reading this thread I wanted to add one of my favorite places and activities, walking in the Duke Forest section between Mt. Sinai Rd. and Whitfield Rd.  There is an old cemetery on a bluff above the concrete bridge and other artifacts of earlier times.  It is beautiful where they are not logging.