Things to Do in Beautiful Orange County, North Carolina

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In a place that’s been awarded almost every “Best Places” award ever invented, you’re not going to have trouble finding fun things to do. From water sports to shopping, museums & breweries in Hillsborough, you’re sure to find something that strikes your fancy.

Ackland Art Museum

The Ackland Art Museum is located in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The museum’s collection holds over 2,000 pieces of art, including ancient Greek pottery and sculptures. It opened in 1930 and is one of the oldest galleries in the South. The museum’s pieces were compiled by a local doctor and lawyer, William Hayes Ackland, and his wife. It’s managed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

For more information, visit http://acklandmuseum.org/ or call (919) 962-5999.

Carolina Basketball Museum

The Carolina Basketball Museum at the Dean E. Smith Center, home of UNC-Chapel Hill Tarheels basketball, is open to all visitors. The museum is filled with memorabilia and full-sized statues of Carolina players, including Michael Jordan and Antawn Jamison.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/TarheelStateTour/ or call (919) 843-6200.

Kitzu Children's Museum

The Kitzu Children’s Museum is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The museum contains exhibits that will keep children entertained and stimulated for hours, including a play corner and water exhibits.

For more information, visit http://www.kitzumuseum.com/ or call (252) 756-6555.

North Carolina Botanical Garden

Spanning 85 acres in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the North Carolina Botanical Garden is home to over 10,000 plant species. There are more than 50 themed gardens on-site, including a Japanese garden and swamp garden.

Guests can take guided tours of the site or visit the gift shop when they’re finished exploring. The garden hosts numerous free events throughout the year, such as Shakespeare in the Gardens and Jazz at JC Ranks Amphitheatre.

The garden is located at 100 Old Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27517. For more information, visit www.ncbg.unc.edu/ or call (919) 962-0522.

Coker Arboretum

In 1903, Dr. William Chambers Coker, the University’s first Professor of Botany and the first chair of the University Buildings and Grounds Committee, began developing a five-acre boggy pasture into an outdoor University classroom for the study of trees, shrubs, and vines native to North Carolina.

Beginning in the 1920s and continuing through the 1940s, Dr. Coker added many East Asian trees and shrubs. These species, closely related counterparts to many North Carolina native plants, enhanced the beauty and educational value of the Arboretum. Today the collection consists of a wide variety of plantings including flowering trees and shrubs as well as bulb and perennial displays. The Arboretum has something unique to offer during every season of the year.

For more information about Coker Arboretum, visit https://ncbg.unc.edu/visit/coker-arboretum/ or call (919)962-0522.

Eno River State Park

The Eno River is a tributary of the Neuse River that winds through central North Carolina. Visitors to the Eno River State Park can enjoy fishing, kayaking, hiking, and picnicking.

There are over 40 miles worth of trails for visitors to explore throughout the year. Eno River State Park offers a variety of learning opportunities for all ages. Visit https://www.ncparks.gov/eno-river-state-park/events-and-programs

For more information, visit  https://www.ncparks.gov/eno-river-state-park/home  or call (919) 664-4828.

Located in Hillsborough, is the Eno River Walk, a popular trail for residents who enjoy cycling, jogging, and walking, including convenient connections between several neighborhoods. The 1.8 mile-long trail runs between Gold Park and the trails east of town.

Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area

Located in the western section of Orange County, Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area spans 2,946 acres and contains a mountain and lake. The mountain is one of the highest peaks in the county, offering scenic views of the surrounding area.

The natural area features 3 miles of several trails for hiking and bluffs reaching to the highest point in the area and mountain laurel and rhododendron thickets. Visitors can fish in a pair of quiet ponds for bass and panfish or in the Eno River, either from the bank or by wading its shallows. Picnic grounds supply a grassy lawn and large, shading oaks.

For more info visit https://www.ncparks.gov/occoneechee-mountain-state-natural-area/home or call (919) 563-0400.

The natural area is located at 625 Virginia Cates Road, Hillsborough, NC 27278

Shopping in Orange County, North Carolina

Shop one of a kind stores where the wares are as unique as the shop owners. From trendy clothing to high end antiques, Orange County has it all.

Dining in Orange County, North Carolina

Did you know that Bon Appetit magazine dubbed Chapel Hill “America’s Foodiest Small Town”? 

From bars and taprooms, to 5-star restaurants, you are sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds.

Golf and Country Clubs in Orange County, North Carolina

Visitors and residents in Orange County can tee off at one of the many golf courses located in the area. Some local favorites include UNC Finley Country Club www.uncfinley.com, Occoneechee Golf Club www.Occoneechee.com and the Governor’s Club www.governorsclubnc.com.

Other Things to Do in Orange County, NC

Don’t forget to check out events and activities going on in Orange County. From the North Carolina Azalea Festival in Chapel Hill one of the largest festivals in Chapel Hill and takes place during April, to  Historic Franklin Street considered the center of social life for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as the town of Chapel Hill, to Last Friday’s in Historic Downtown Hillsborough, there’s always something exciting happening!

For more information on what’s going on around the county, visit http://www.visitorcenter.com/listings/north-carolina-counties/orange.asp.

Conclusion

Boredom is never a problem in Orange County, North Carolina. With lots of parks, shopping, and dining options available, it’s easy to find something fun to do at any time of year.

Whether you’re hiking Occoneechee Mountain or taking a day trip in downtown Chapel Hill, Orange County has so much waiting for visitors from all walks of life!

Talk with your local professional real estate agent for more information about living in Orange County, North Carolina.

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