Chapel Hill, North Carolina is a lovely college town often graced with beautiful weather and scenery. After spending nearly four years here, I have found countless tasty bites, reading nooks, and relaxing natural areas. I feel lucky to spend a bit of my life here.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to get away sometimes.
Below I have listed my three favorite escapes near Chapel Hill for those days when I just need to leave the UNC campus bubble. The following are all charming places to unwind and be refreshed.
1.) Caffe Driade — biking distance
Caffe Driade is a cozy Turkish coffeehouse that sells everything from coffee and sweets to bear and wine. During the summer there’s live music on the outdoor patio and local art is featured on the walls year-round.
What I love about Caffe Driade
2.) Eno River State Park — driving distance
While there are many wonderful state parks in North Carolina, Eno River State Park is one of my favorites for two reasons: it’s close, and
By easy I mean there’s plenty of space to park and no entry fee, no parking fee, no reservations that have to be made, and no chance of getting lost. Even with my absolutely horrid navigational skills and no map, I can always find my way around the park because following the river always leads back toward the parking lot. There are a few water fountains and covered areas in the park as well as restrooms and well-marked trails, so this is a good spot for less “
My favorite thing to do is bring a hammock, book, and some snacks (preferably cheese, grapes and olives) and find a spot off-trail to read and nap. But, of course, hiking through the park is fun too.
3.) Weaver Street Market — walking distance
This one is a bit closer to home, but a good way to escape campus nonetheless. Weaver Street Market is a
What I enjoy about Weaver Street Market the most is the giant outdoor seating area. After picking up food inside, customers can relax at one of the many picnic tables in a shady garden outside the store. It normally isn’t too crowded or rowdy, so this is also a nice place to study on a beautiful day.
I hope this list encourages you to get outside and off-campus. North Carolina is a beautiful state and there are hundreds of lovely places to find. Start with this list if you need a boost, but then try your luck and head somewhere new. You never know when you’ll find your new favorite escape.