Pittsboro is one of my favorite towns in the Triangle. I promise it isn't because my last name is Pitts, although my husband's family does have some distant familial relation to the area. Whenever I feel like I need to get out of the hustle and bustle of the Triangle, I head to Pittsboro. Walking the quaint streets and visiting the local shops always makes me feel like I've stepped back a bit to simpler, less busy times. Many people feel the same way.
Although Pittsboro is in a rural area, nearby UNC Chapel Hill lends a bit of it’s eco-consciousness to this unique town. Filled with privately owned shops and restaurants, farm to table dining options and even a cooperative health-minded grocery store, you won’t have to give up many of your urban pleasures to gain a slower paced lifestyle. Here are four reasons why I love Pittsboro.
As I mentioned in the opening, Pittsboro just has a feel that you can't quite find anywhere else in the Triangle. That's probably because with only 4200 people, it is the smallest town in the Triangle. But unlike many other towns of it's size, Pittsboro is a vibrant, connected community. It's the kind of place where you can walk down the streets, drop into the restaurants and shops...just BE, and people will stop and chat with you.
On a recent visit, my husband and I dropped into the S & T Soda Shop because he was dying of thirst and wanted to grab a soda. He ordered a root beer, we sat at the counter for 3 minutes as he drank it and we tried to pay...with a debit card. Like many small businesses they don't accept cards if your bill is under a certain amount. We tried to order more food, but, no, they wouldn't let us! It was on the house. Not only that, the owner chatted with us like we were old friends while we sat at the counter. Of course, we have gone back since and given them our business.
Downtown Pittsboro has an energy to it. There is the Woodright's School, the woodworking store made famous (at least around here) by the PBS show The Woodright's Shop, right next door to S & T's.
And I love how artistic the shop owners are in Pittsboro. A quick foot tour of the town uncovers creative gems like these...
And if you visit, don't miss the best vintage store in the Triangle, Screaming for Vintage.
Pittsboro is a town of much talent. When many small towns in America are dying, Pittsboro is thriving, filled with plenty to see and do. Pittsboro also is filled with small, locally owned restaurants and many have a farm to table commitment.
Pittsboro Roadhouse - The Roadhouse has turned an ugly old car dealership into a beautiful bar & grill with floor to ceiling windows, serving locally sourced food. In what used to be the garage, they serve up live music every weekend and Monday nights.
Angelina's serves farm-to-table, made from scratch Greek & New Mexican inspired dishes.
The Root Cellar serves scratch made breakfast and lunch, as well as baked goods, all using locally sourced ingredients. You can see the list of farms they source from on their website.
Small BandB Cafe is located in a funky metal building on their own property, Small's serves casual, local organic fare. They do their best to recycle and reuse, collecting rain water in their cistern for irrigation and crop watering, as well as composting 10-20 gallons of food waste each week.
Ciderworks is a Pittsboro cidery, making small batch hard cider from North Carolina Apples. They are available by the bottle and by the keg at local eateries throughout the area. The cidery is also available for tours.
Three conservation-minded non-profits are headquartered in Pittsboro, which is surprising for it's small size.
Livestock Breeds Conservancy protects endangered livestock from extinction. As the size of farms has grown, the diversity in livestock breeds has shrunk from hundreds of different breeds to just a few. The danger in this is that entire species can easily die out from diseases to which these limited numbers are susceptible and current popular breeds aren't suited well to organic and grass based production. LBC helps to keep the necessary diversity in our livestock pools.
Carolina Wild Cat Rescue saves and protects wild cats both in captivity and in the wild. CWCR is open for public and private tours. They also host summer camps. Proceeds from these activities support their rescue and conservation work.
Piedmont Biofuels is "one of the first biodiesel distributors in the state of North Carolina. Its mission is to lead the grassroots sustainability movement in North Carolina by using and encouraging the use of clean, renewable biofuels."
Fearrington Village is a planned development of homes, restaurants, shops and event venues on the north side of Pittsboro, with a unique twist. They incorporated farm animals into their shopping district. Fearrington's belted cattle and fainting goats are both on the endangered livestock list and I have to wonder if there was some connection between the Livestock Conservancy and Fearrinngton Village.
There is no doubt that the sweet animals add a special touch to the upscale village in the rolling hills of Chatham County.
Haw River State Recreation Area is over 1000 acres of natural area along the Haw River in Chatham County. This is a fantastic area for hiking, paddling, bird watching and more activities for the outdoor enthusiast.
Jordan Lake is a 14,000 acre reservoir with over 1,000 campsites available for reservation. This beautiful NC State park provides beaches and picnic areas in the summer and many miles of trails for hiking and biking year round. The beach area has a playground, sand volleyball court, bathrooms, plenty of picnic tables.
There are multiple boat ramps and if you want to rent a boat, Crosswinds Boat rental has them and they also have boat storage if you need a place to keep your boat.
Eagle watching is another popular activity at Jordan Lake. You can see the live eagle cam here. Sometimes there are baby eagles in the nest!
Ellen is the founder of Harmony Realty, a socially conscious realty company. Ellen believes in empowering her clients through education and open communication. Ellen is a number-cruncher at heart and takes great pleasure in following and analyzing the trends of the housing industry. She loves communicating the big picture to her clients and helping them to understand how the market affects their sale or purchase. Her honest and down-to-earth approach allows her clients to make informed and intelligent decisions to get the most out of their offers and negotiations.