Safely Visit Orange County this Autumn

To keep locals and visitors aware of Autumn 2020 activities, the Visitors Bureau is publishing quarterly newsletters highlighting Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough and Orange County. The printed four page piece for Fall features outdoor trails, preserves, tours, farmers markets, gardens, disc golf as well as what restaurants are open. There is also a Hillsborough section featuring some landmarks and retail. You may view the current issue by clicking below. Be on the lookout for the winter issue highlighting the upcoming Holidays. Click here for more information from Chapel Hill

Pumpkins, Goats & Haunted Barns

October leading up to Halloween is packed with fun events for children, adults and families to do. Activities include the Pumpkin Patch at Camp Chestnut Ridge, Carving Pumpkins with Goats at Spring Haven Farm, Halloween at 1870 Farm, and The Witch’s Haunted Barn at Firefly Farm. For those who love a scare, don’t forget the annual Orange County Feargrounds at Lloyd’s Dairy Farm. Read more on Chapel Hill’s Parks and Recreation 31 Programs of Halloween here.

Limited Fans Allowed in Kenan Stadium

NC Governor Roy Cooper announced on September 22 that he is allowing stadiums to fill 7% of their seats with fans. Although this will not yet open the Fall Olympic sports stadiums to supporters beyond players’ families, UNC will be able to welcome approximately 3,500 fans to Kenan Stadium for the football home games, beginning October 10 vs. Virginia Tech. Kickoff is Noon. Read More

Film Fest 919

Don’t miss the reimagined 2020 version of Film Fest 919 with a LIVE event, offering the best in pandemic viewing, using two outdoor venues: the newly-created Drive-in at Carraway Village and The Green at Southern Village. Film Fest 919 will open their 3rd edition on Wednesday, October 14, and continue with showings on Wednesdays through Saturdays, closing on October 31. After the festival, The Drive-in at Carraway Village will continue to show the latest Hollywood releases, Event Cinema programming and special Film Fest 919-hosted events. Read More

See the Fall Colors Biking in Orange County

Biking across North Carolina takes you through Orange County on the NC 2 – Mountains to Sea Bikeway. The Orange County portion starts at the Haw River where Alamance County crosses into Orange County and continues on the Old Greensboro Road. Turn left onto Jones Ferry Road into Carrboro. After becoming W. Main Street, the route turns right onto S. Greensboro Street. Traveling south, the route becomes Smith Level Road and you then take a left on Culbreth Road. Finally cross over Columbia Street (15-501) onto Mount Carmel Church Road on into Chatham County. The NC 2 Mountains to the Sea Route eventually ends in Manteo. For other beautiful bike routes, map out your journey on northern Orange County’s rural roads as the leaves begin to change. Read More

Hillsborough Attractions Reopen

The Orange County Historical Museum has reopened Fri – Sun, 11am – 5pm. All guests over the age of 5 must wear masks. Before entering the museum, guests must reserve a one-hour time slot. See the museum’s newest exhibit, “Yesah: Journeys of the Occaneechi.” The Burwell School Historic Site returns to their their normal hours October 1 of Wed-Sat from 11am – 4pm and Sun 1-4pm. This month you will not need to schedule your visit; you can just stop by anytime during open hours. Masks are required. Both venues have hand sanitizer, maintain social distancing and visitors are limited to 1 group of no more than six at a time.  Read More

More Hot Happenings 

October 2 – UNC Music First Fridays Virtual Concerts

October 3-4 – Carrboro Music Festival

October 10 – The Winery Comedy Tour at Botanist & Barrel

October 10 – Frank Gallery off The Wall Gala

October 10 – Sunshine Lavender Farm Plant Sale & Pre-Holiday Open Air Market

October 14 & 28 – Eno River Farm Food Trucks

October 17-18 – Tarheel Antiques Festival

October 24 – Burwell School Online Fundraising Party

October 22-26 – Vietri Virtual Warehouse Sale

After extensive renovations, the Morehead Planetarium & Science Center looks to reopen to the public after mid-October. Visit as details are announced.

The ArtsCenter is excited to announce that it has selected muralist Jermaine “JP” Powell for the forthcoming mural project on the wall of Gray Squirrel Coffee at 360 E. Main Street in downtown Carrboro. Carrboro residents are invited to contribute ideas to the project via a public survey and have their photographs taken by the muralist for mural design inspiration at outdoor, socially distanced pop-up photo shoots October 3, 11am – 1pm outside of Gray Squirrel and October 4, 11am – 1pm outside of Weaver Street Market. Installation on the mural is planned to start in October, with the project completed by early November 2020.

Food and Drink News Since Last Newsletter

What’s Open– Breadman’s is open at 261 S. Elliott Road; Just Salad is open in the Village Plaza on Elliott Road; Japan Express at 106 S. Estes Drive, and Market and Moss will soon open to the former Pazzo location in Southern Village. Panciuto’s Hillsborough Bake Shop is open in downtown Hillsborough.

What’s Coming – Bottle Rev Chapel Hill will move across the way and into the space vacated by Tobacco Road Sports Cafe at East 54. The shop and taproom will rebrand to become Old East Tavern and will be bringing on Josh Coburn, formerly with City Kitchen, to be its executive chef. Look for a 2021 opening. Summit Coffee is moving into the former Frutta Bowl location at 140 W. Franklin Street. In Carrboro, Iza Whiskey & Eats is coming soon to 370 E. Main Street where One Fish, Two Fish used to be.

What’s Closed – Blue Spoon Microcreamery at 140 E. Franklin Street, City Kitchen in University Place and Elmo’s Diner in Carr Mill Mall. In downtown Carrboro, the Carrboro Beverage Company, which includes the Tyler’s Taproom and its Speakeasy.

If you miss the NC State Fair, Mama Dip’s Kitchen will be preparing some lip smacking goodness for you to enjoy while bringing nostalgia to Rosemary Street October 15 – 18 from 11am – 3pm each day. Try Corndogs, Fried Snickers, Fresh Cut Fries, Roasted Corn, Funnel Cakes, Caramel Apples, Fried Pickles, BBQ Sandwiches and much more.

What Shops are Open. So many opportunities to support Orange County retail via in person and online. What is the latest in dining options in Orange County.

To receive visitor information email or leave a message at (919) 245-4320. You may also get up to date information on our Visit Chapel Hill website.

Follow along the progress of the Count on Me NC safety program brought to you by The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, VisitNC, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and NC State Extension.

Remember the 3 W’s: Wear a Face Covering, Wait 6 Feet and Wash Your Hands and use hand sanitizer. Be safe as you visit Orange County.

External photo credits – Goats with Pumpkins by Elyse Ribbons, Daily Tar Heel; Kenan Stadium by Dakota Moyer,; Turtle Shell Rattle with Beaded Handle image from the Yesah: Journeys of the Occaneechi exhibit, Orange County Historical Museum website.

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