I may not have grown up here in the South, but in my heart I feel as though I should have. North Carolina is known for her Southern charm and hospitality; in many ways I am inspired to write simply because of her beauty. One of my favorite places to frequent is Chapel Hill where giant oaks line the many winding roads and brick sidewalks, and along them you’ll find large plantation styled homes with wrap around porches complete with rocking chairs and porch swings. In their gardens, dogwoods, hydrangeas, ferns and perhaps a fountain to cool a wandering guest. In this neighborhood, the porch lights are on in the evening, just beckoning neighbors and friends to stop by for a while. The pace seems slower during the summer and time with family and friends are what matters most.
Chapel Hill can be many things, but for my husband Steve and me, it’s a great place to go for a date night. This Friday evening we decided to take that winding drive through the country where even the scenery became the backdrop to relaxing conversation and time to catch up with each other’s day. As a tip from a dear friend, we ventured in to Crook’s Corner for an early dinner where they boast of fine Southern cuisine with casual Southern dining. We chose to eat on the back porch and it seemed that we were not the only ones with this idea. Surrounded by a bamboo forest, modern artwork and the sound of a water garden added to our experience, but the Carolina Sampler we ordered was the main attraction.
There’s always something fun going on in town. This evening was no different as we walked past the historic Carolina Inn, where many gathered on the front lawn to enjoy a bluegrass band entertaining a large gathering of folks. This fun event was called Friday Nights on the Front Porch. To check out other gatherings, contact Carolinainnevents.com
E Franklin Street is where we headed next and because it’s a Friday night, this little college town was with young students, professors, business men in bow ties, their wives In colorful sundresses and those like us who wanted to spend a little time with their sweethearts. There’s something wonderful about taking an evening and spending it with a walk, hand in hand. The sun is setting, so we ventured to the bell tower just in time to see it light up before the sky grew dark and then headed over to another favorite hot spot of ours… off to Sugarland’s, for dessert! The place is amazing as you walk in through its colorful doors and are immediately greeted with the smell of sweet treats. They specialize in their signature cupcakes and gelatos. Let’s not forget about a great cup of coffee or mocha. I also noticed this evening that they serve martinis for those who might like to indulge one step further. This place was bustling at 8:30pm and that’s ok, because they stay open late on Friday nights until midnight.