Embracing agricultural serenity: enjoy farms around Chapel Hill and Hillsborough, NC


By Laurie Paolicelli

Blawesome Flowers.

In the bustling region surrounding Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough, North Carolina, lies a hidden oasis of tranquility and connection with nature: the numerous farms dotting the landscape.

As we enter spring, it’s a great reminder that the expansive fields, meandering paths, and peaceful barns of farms offer the perfect backdrop for solitary or family exploration.

In today’s fast-paced society, where constant connectivity is the norm, farms offer a sanctuary of stillness and simplicity where you can escape the noise and chaos of everyday life. Farms in the Chapel Hill and Hillsborough area offer a wealth of opportunities for solo travelers and families to enjoy quiet solitude, meaningful activities, and authentic connections with nature and like-minded individuals.

Nurture your soul, recharge your energy, and cultivate a deeper appreciation for the simple joys of rural living.

Annual Harvest Tasting at Eno Rivers Farm Market.

The farmlands surrounding Chapel Hill and Hillsborough, NC, contribute to the region’s vibrant agricultural landscape, providing fresh, locally grown food, supporting the local economy, and preserving the area’s rural character.

From picking fresh produce to engaging in hands-on workshops, there are plenty of opportunities for quiet immersion in the agricultural experience that is Orange County. But please remember: Nearly all the farms involved in agri-tourism (open farm activities for visitors) require a bit of planning. Be sure to check their websites first. Be sure that blueberry and strawberry plants are in fact, bearing fruit and when planning your fresh flower picking, call ahead.

McAdams Farm.

Many farms offer unforgettable experiences. Here’s a sampling:

Berry picking:

Botanist & Barrel.

Hard Cider Libations:

Farm products fresh to Farm Market:

Planned tour – Call to play with goats, herd sheep, and tour the grounds:

Planned summer camp:

Planned pick your own flowers:

  • Blawesome Flowers
  • Fern Rock Farm
  • Firefly Farm – Mark your calendar: Open Farm Day is Saturday, April 6, 2024. This is a free event for you and your family and friends to come wander the farm, walk the trails, pet the animals, and ask Farmer Cindy questions about the farm. While they will not be open for U-pick flowers then, they will have flowers available for purchase. Bring a picnic and enjoy a beautiful Spring day!
  • Lavender Oaks Farm

Planned yoga and goat play:

Take a hike:

Participate in farm-to-table cooking:

1870 Farm.

For those who prefer animal companionship to human interaction, farms are a haven of furry and feathered friends waiting to be discovered. From the gentle nuzzle of a horse to the playful antics of barnyard chickens, interacting with animals can provide a sense of comfort and connection for introverted visitors.

Some farms even offer animal-assisted therapy programs, where introverts can find solace and companionship in the company of therapy animals.

Therapy Farms

Sincerus Leadership, a learning company where groups of people can join Helen Ingersoll and prized horses.

Farmers’ Markets

P.S. Check out the Piedmont Farm Tour, April 20 – 21, 2024

Patrons of the Carrboro Farmers Market talk to vendors on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. Photo by Samantha Lewis / The Daily Tar Heel.

Laurie Paolicelli is executive director for the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, a position she has held since 2005. Laurie has worked in tourism and marketing for twenty-five years, having served in leadership roles in Houston and California convention and visitor bureaus. She is a native of the Twin Ports of Duluth, MN/Superior Wisconsin. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Communications from the University Wisconsin-Superior and graduate certification in Technology In Marketing from the UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media.

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