In Need of a little getaway this fall season? Might I suggest that you look no further than North Carolina’s Triad region connecting three major cities all within a half hour drive of each other and about a hour and half in travel time from Charlotte, making a trip to any of the Triad cities – High Point, Winston-Salem and Greensboro – worthy of a three day weekend status.
Fun to do my October 3 day weekend segment for WCNC’s Charlotte tOday on the city of Greensboro, NC. The details are all here in the post, but if you want to watch the video, scroll to the end and simply click on the link.
Greensboro, home to the sit in protests of the 1960s, Harlem Globetrotter “Curly” Neal and the place where Vick’s VaporRub was invented, is also know as the Gate City due to the heavy flow of railroad traffic that went in and out of the city in the late 1800s. Today Greensboro is still a major Amtrack hub with trains arriving and leaving from The Greensboro Southern Railway Depot, now known as The Depot, originally built in 1899.
How to get to Greensboro, Nc
While Greensboro is an easy car ride from Charlotte, a fun nod to our state’s history would be to take the train for your three day weekend visit, and then uber or bike around the city as needed. Amtrack tickets from Charlotte start at just $19 one way and you can book a reservation for your bike as well. While the original Greensboro Depot is now the home to all sorts of transportation, a portion of the original train station still remains and makes for a fun and historic way to kick off your trip.
What to do in Greensboro
Once you get off the train at The Depot in downtown Greensboro, you are a quick walk or bike ride from the Greensboro Children’s Museum, a great place to spend some time with the kids.
One of the most fascinating exhibits for kids and adults alike is Greensboro’s Edible SchoolYard Garden, the only sanctioned Edible Schoolyard garden to be a major exhibit in a museum.
This working hands-on garden is used to teach kids about growing and planting, raising crops taking care of farm animals – the garden includes its own family of laying hens for fresh eggs, as well as taking care of and feeding the hungry in the community.
The garden is used as a major source of product for adult and children’s cooking classes taught year round int he museum kitchen. And chefs around town also teach at teh museum and use produce from the garden in their seasonal menus. For more information about regular events at the museum as well as the schedule of cooking classes, here’s where to find the details.
Agriculture is king in North Carolina and there are lots of farms in around the Greensboro area with lots of fun events coming up this fall season – any one of them would be a great anchor around which to plan your three day weekend Greensboro getaway.
Among them High Rock Farm, in Gibsonville, NC. The farm house on High Rock Road was originally used as a stage coach stay in the 1800s and has also been a tavern and a post office. Now it is home to High Rock Farm owner Richard Teague, who planted the first chestnut tree on the property in 1991. High Rock Farm is now the largest working and producing chestnut orchard in the mid-Atlantic Region. The farm celebrates it harvest each year with an annual Chestnut Roasting Festival, this year on Nov 6, from noon – t5 pm. Admission is just $8 per person. The fun includes hay rides through the orchard, music, food trucks, tours of the historic home and more. Kids under 10 are free. For more info HighRockFarm.com
Goat Lady Dairy in Julian, NC, a stones throw away from Greensboro is home to a large goat cheese making operation and the dairy offers monthly cheese-centric 5 course Dinners at the Dairy as well as farm and dairy tours. The remaining dinner dates for this year are Nov 11 and 12 and December 2 and 3, so make your reservations now. For more information visit GoatLadyDairy.com
If you, like me love to shop for housewares and china, old and new and find the fun is int he hunt for that can’t live without piece; then you simply cannot miss a trip to Greensboro’s own Replacement’s.
Located at 1089 Knox Rd. in McLeansville, NC, just outside of Greensboro, Replacement’s is the world’s largest supplier of old and new china, crystal, silver, and collectibles.
The 500,000-square-foot facilities (the size of 8 football fields) house an inventory of 12 million pieces in more than 425,000 patterns, some more than 100 years old. You can order from Replacements online, look for a missing piece to your grandmothers good china or browse through the inventory online, but there there is nothing quite like being there and to my mind this one of kind shopping extravanganza is worth the 3 day weekend jaunt in and of itself. For more info, or to buy or sell your favorite china pieces visit the website here
Where to stay for the trip?
Lots of choices from the historic, charming and said to be haunted 1903 era boutique Biltmore Hotel in the downtown area – an easy walk from the Amtrack station. Visit the website for more info or reservations
To The O’Henry, an elegant hotel located a short and easy 4-minute walk from the Shops At Friendly Center. Beautiful guest rooms have tall ceilings, unique furnishings, plush beds and en suite bathrooms with soaking tubs and separate dressing rooms. Your reservation includes a free Southern-style breakfast is served in the pavilion or the garden, while afternoon tea and pre-dinner cocktails are available in the lovely Craftsman-style lobby. For reservations and more info visit the website here
The Proximity , the sister property to the O’Henry, may be one of my favorite hotels in the area. Its the first green LEED hotels in the country with strict sustainable practices designed to save energy and help the environment while still offering a luxurious place to stay. 100 sun panels on the hotel roof, heat the water in the hotel and the energy the elevators create going down, allow them to go up as well. Bicycles are available for guests to ride on the nearby five-mile greenway that extends to over 75 miles of trails and routes throughout the Greensboro area. For reservations and more info visit the website here
Where to eat in Greensboro
Once you have your hotel reservations and have honed in on what you want to see and do in the area, you’ll need to decide what and where to eat. The restaurants at both The Proximity Hotel – Print Works Bistro , fresh local ingredients used to create fabulous comfort food; and at the O’Henry Hotel – Green Valley Grill – informally elegant interiors serving seasonal favorites in a Mediterranean style- are both excellent choices.
For burgers, beef, vegetarian and otherwise, Hops Burger Bar with two locations in Greensboro, is a popular local favorite you won’t want to miss. Parking is tight and there is often a wait, but its worth each and every juicy bite-o-burger! If Mexican is more your style, go eat where nearly every chef in the Greensboro area sent me – El Camino Real – an understated Mexican joint in a strip center at 4131 E. Spring Garden Street.
Finally for more white table cloth dining, check out Undercurrent Restaurant in downtown Greensboro, Listed as one of the “Top Ten Restaurants in Greensboro” by USA Today, the focus at Undercurrent is farm to fork. Sourcing all sorts of local ingredients from farms large and small, Chef de Cuisine, Michael Harkenreader and the Undertcurrent’s team will wow you for sure. Open for lunch dinner and brunch, Don’t miss the opportunity to eat at Undercurrent soon!
Here is the link the to segment I did on Charlotte Today with hosts Colleen Odegaard and Eugene Robinson sharing a couple of reasons why you need to think about visiting Greensboro this fall. Enjoy!
For more info on all that is happening in Greensboro, North Carolina, visit the Convention and Visitors Bureau #TellThemHeidiSentYou