- What’s with all the nuts? Nutty fruitcakes NC’s largest producer! Tantalizing tour, treats, and tastings at Southern Supreme Gourmet Confections (Bear Creek). Family-owned and operated, they celebrate 25 years in business in 2009.
- See an ocelot, serval or binturong-what are they?! More than 70 exotic animals reside in a “big cat” sanctuary (Pittsboro).
- Special stays in distinctive B&Bs, each offering something different: a goat dairy farm famous for its cheese, wraparound porches (check e-mail if you must), one borders the Rocky River, one with the best panini and crepes, and more. We’re home to six B&Bs, five of which are on the Heart of Carolina Bed & Breakfast Trail.
- Food fascination. Foods created and sold here–Silk Hope Winery, Kerala Curry, Celebrity Dairy Goat Cheese, and Southern Supreme Gourmet Confections. Many offer tours.
- Endless blooms. Signature gardens of Fearrington. More than 50 small farms and nurseries. Five farmers’ markets. Country miles to explore. Annual Piedmont Farm Tour—food & fun on the farm!
- Five-star golf, environmentally conscious golf, challenging golf, and fair-priced golf.
- 14,000 acres of water; 108 holes of incredible golf; 2 resorts; 100+ exotic animals; three rivers; 707 square miles; six Fearrington gardens; 1,055 campsites; 4.6 miles of the regional attraction, The American Tobacco Trail; six distinct bed & breakfast inns; and endless memories.
- Splash the day away…canoe, kayak, swim, sunbathe, sail, or fish. Explore, hike, bike, picnic, bird watch, and more at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area, Jordan Lake State Educational Forest, Camelback Bridge, Deep River, Haw River, and/or Rocky River!
- Rails and trails, riding and biking–transport yourself to another place! Drive or ride motorcycles along Devil’s Stomping Ground Road (named for the legend at Devil’s Tramping Ground) is a North Carolina scenic byway. Cycle a number of trails–198-mile system, walk or hike along numerous walking trails (including the Talking Tree Trail), and soon, enjoy the historic American Tobacco Trail.
- Five historic districts recognized by the National Register of Historic Places and 53 historic sites.
Walk the Catwalk
One of the region’s hidden treasures is the Carnivore Preservation Trust, a wildlife sanctuary offering guided “big cat” tours that are up close and personal (and safe) with an opportunity to see more than 100 exotic animals. Walk the Cat Walk to see tigers, kinkajous, ocelets, binturongs, servals, leopards, and more. The tour lasts two and a half hours and questions are welcome. Open year-round, twilight tours available April through October. Exotic animals, with just five feet distance. Private tours and party (with the) animals!
Brews and Views
From Grist Mill to Mast Tun to Kettle to Serving Tank to Tap, and all points in between, award-winning brews are created at Carolina Brewery & Grill. The national award-winning brewery offers tours, tastings, and even paddle dinners (canoe and kayak and then drink!).
- Special behind-the-scenes look at the free Brewery Tours & Tastings
- Free beer tastings every Friday & Saturday night from 5pm – 7pm
- Beer Garden and music series in the summer
- Family-friendly kids’ night
- Locally-owned brewery
- Many menu items incorporating the farm to table concept.
- Hand-crafted signature brews: Sky Blue Golden Ale, Copperline Amber Ale, Flagship IPA, Oatmeal Porter, Alter Ego Alt Beer, Maibock, Circle City Wheat, Firecracker Pale Ale
Prefer wine? Visit our boutique winery, Horizon Cellars, or Silk Hope Winery, for award-winning wines amidst grand views. Horizon Cellars offers barrel room dinners, wine tastings (includes souvenir glass), custom labels (even just one!), wedding receptions, events and more.
Cakes Reign Supreme (and Silver)
An all-American success story, Berta Scott gave nutty fruitcakes as gifts for the holidays. Despite conventional connotations of fruitcakes, these were a hit and she made it a global mail-order business. Today, she keeps it local and limits production to ensure quality.
Southern Supreme Gourmet Specialties is open year-round for tours and tastings of nutty fruitcakes (their signature item), jams, jellies, chocolates, cookies, and more. Watching the staff at the cooking stations will bring back memories of Lucy & Ethel gobbling chocolates as they came off the conveyer belt.
Southern Supreme celebrates 25 years in business in 2009. Visit their special Holiday Open House every October. The fall Crayola-color setting makes the drive exceptional as travelers take the Devil’s Stomping Ground Road (NC 902), a North Carolina Scenic Byway, from Pittsboro to Bear Creek.
Farm to Table
More than 50 small farms, nurseries, gardens, make our region a blooming and bountiful one. Strawberries, squash, watermelon, cucumbers, hostas, orchids, gourmet cheese, curries, and Christmas trees are just a few of the home-grown and produced items. Fresh flowers, fresh produce, and fresh air are all part of the scene. Taste a variety of good eats at any of four Farmers’ Markets. Our food items are featured on numerous casual and fine tables throughout North Carolina.
Just a sampling of homegrown delights in our area:
- Kerala Curry’s line of products: curry sauces, masalas, chutneys, samosas and more. Kerala Curry’s Tomato Chutney won Outstanding Condiment at the 2008 Sofi awards.
- Celebrity Dairy cheeses: Garbo, Montrachet, French Kiss, Asian Luv, Confetti, Curry and more
- Chatham Marketplace, a local co-op grocery and café, offers plenty of local foods. They also host tapas and tastings, dinner series, live music and much more.
- Take the annual Piedmont Farm Tour every April when carloads of travelers visit farms and nurseries in a multi-county region. Taste, pick-your-own, and celebrate Earth Day!
Hiking, Biking, Golfing, Canoeing, Kayaking…Fun in the Sun
Splash the day away…canoe, kayak, swim, sunbathe, sail, or fish. Explore, hike, bike, picnic, bird watch, camp and more at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area; Jordan Lake State Educational Forest (and its Talking Tree Trail); Camelback Bridge; or any of our three rivers, Deep, Haw, and Rocky!
Our region is a veritable health and fitness playground with 198 miles of bicycle trails, 312 known species of birds on the N.C. Birding Trail – Jordan Lake, five trails at White Pines Nature Preserve (check out the Comet Trail), the multi-county American Tobacco Trail and many more options for recreation.
Chatham County is home to six golf courses, one of which is an Audubon Certified Sanctuary Golf Course. Play a round, take advantage of great deals and challenging golf.
Girl (and Guy) Getaways
Stay in one of six delightful bed and breakfast inns that are distinct: romantic hideaway, family-friendly, historic, and indulgent. Opt for a getaway at our five-star accommodation, Fearrington House Country Inn. Make it a convenient visit with our central location to the region’s many attractions and choose from our special getaways (golf, shopping, spa, paddling, wine, culinary) or create a custom package of your own.
- Culinary adventures
- Best places for family getaways
- Places where the dollar stretches the farthest
- Alternative and small meeting sites
- Best urban parks, best places to sleep under the stars
- Variety of festivals featuring heritage, local legends and fall frolic