Worth the Visit: Pittsboro, North Carolina
Located 17 miles from the rowdy college town of Chapel Hill, bucolic Pittsboro claims only about 4,000 residents, yet supports two robust farmers markets: Chatham Mills on Saturday mornings and the Pittsboro market on Thursday afternoons. So while this community may be tiny, it buzzes with agricultural activity.
What to Do
Carve out a few hours to spend at The Plant, a 14-acre facility on Lorax Lane (really!) that houses 10 sustainable businesses and nonprofits. The facility’s anchor, an organization called Abundance NC, offers free Sunday tours of its biodiesel plant, plus regular foraging walks and beekeeping workshops. Another tenant, Fair Game Beverage Co., crafts small-batch wines and spirits: brandy, vodka, and rum made from sorghum farmed on-site; five bucks buys access to weekend tastings. An eight-minute drive from downtown, the Bynum Front Porch Music Series, held on Friday evenings all summer, stages live bluegrass, jazz, and rockabilly concerts at an old general store. You won’t pay a cover charge, though it’s customary to throw $10 in the hat as it’s passed around.
Where to Eat
There’s no set menu at Oakleaf, housed in a 1920s textile mill, because chef Brendan Cox cooks whatever’s been harvested at nearby farms that morning. The blue Corinthian columns framing the entryway at Angelina’s Kitchen signal Greek fare, but these gyros include local pasture-raised beef, while the flaky baklava’s thick with honey from Pittsboro’s Busy Bee Farm.
Where to Stay
The family-owned Small B&B and Café has three charming, pet-friendly rooms; a farm-to-table café serving breakfast and lunch; and a gallery featuring regional folk and outsider art (from $80 per night, breakfast included). Those with deeper pockets might prefer the elegant 32-room Fearrington House Inn (from $350 per night, breakfast included). Even if you can’t swing a stay, it’s worth visiting the historic 100-acre property to check out the Belted Galloway cows, indulge in a spa treatment, or grab a drink in the beer garden.