Stay overnight at the Proximity
Consider an overnight stay at the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro. It’s luxe, for certain, but also named “the greenest hotel in America” by the 2009 North Carolina Travel Guide. The attached Printworks Bistro is also an elegant hideaway close to home.
Camp in a national forest
Camping is affordable and adventurous. Uwharrie National Forest is about an hour and 15 minutes south of the Triad, Cherokee National Forest about three and a half hours to the west. YES! Weekly intern Eric Ginsburg says he hiked through clouds after setting up camp to get to Klingman’s Dome, the third highest peak in the Appalachian Mountains.
Heavy Rebel Weekender
Three days of growling custom cars and feats of backwoods endurance such as ’nanner puddin’ eating contests, the Heavy Rebel Weekend celebrates the original spirit of rock and roll, albeit in all its splintered genres: rockabilly, psychobilly, honky tonk, garage rock, ska and, of course, rock and roll. With more than 85 acts filling multiple venues, the July 1-3 event can be experienced in either measured doses or brutal excess.
The Eastern Music Festival’s avant-roots side festival begins July 1 with a kickoff party at Triad Stage with the Roys. The Greensboro concert series lasts through the end of the month. Other acts include Toubab Krewe (July 8), Peter Case (July 14), the Waybacks (July 21), the Soul Central Band with Jaybird (July 24) and Seth Walker (July 29).
Located in southeast Alamance County, Saxapahaw remains something of a secret to Triad residents, the Haw River mill village has been celebrated as an example of how the arts can revitalize fading industrial communities. Kayaking and a Saturday farmers market and music series are among its charms.
Another historic mill village, Eden is also one of the last locations of that great American institution, the drive-in movie theater. It’s only about a mile from the Triad, and a double feature nicely fills out the time at an attractive price — $5 for each adult, $2 for children and free for those five and under.
Concert road trip
Hit the road to see a concert at one of the state’s venerable music venues like the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro or the Orange Peel. The hour — or two or three — on the road build your anticipation. Recommended this summer: Dinosaur Jr. performs Bug in its entirety, with Mac McCaughan from Superchunk opening and Henry Rollins interviewing the headline band live at the Cat’s Cradle on June 27; and Neko Case (Aug. 18) at the Orange Peel. And speaking of venerable, Ziggy’s reopens in our backyard, in Winston-Salem, on July 29.
Seagrove pottery tour
One time, I took a day off for my wife’s birthday, and we filled the day touring pottery shops in Seagrove and visiting a greenhouse to look at orchids. It’s an hour drive south on Interstate 73-74. There are at least half a dozen pottery shops in town and more if you drive along NC Highway 705 into Moore County.
Art collections across the state
Almost every sizable city in North Carolina has a decent art collection or two. The NC Museum of Arts in Raleigh, which opened the light-filled West Building last year, is highly regarded. Also worth checking out: the Mint Museum Uptown in Charlotte and the Center for Documentary Studies in Durham.
Fun Fourth Festival
The street festival with performance stages dotted around downtown Greensboro is a pretty good for a relaxing hangout on July 4, which falls on a Monday this year, although navigating the vendors can be a bit hairy.
Head to the beach
There’s always the beach, which is about three or four hours away, whether you prefer the Outer Banks or Wilmington. You can find a patch of sand and a reasonably priced hotel along most parts of the coastline. And seafood always seems to taste better near the coast.