Rutty McRutterson
April 11, 2008 6:33 AM   Subscribe

Help me find new and/or offbeat things to do in central North Carolina--any suggestions? Bonus if it's just as easily enjoyed alone as with company.

I'm finding I'm spending more and more time alone and online, due to my close friends mostly being wrapped up in their own stuff. I've also made a conscious decision recently to avoid a group of friend/acquaintances I have who have become more and more drama-filled. They're the ones, however, who are available for hanging out.

So this is my mission: finding ways to spend my time not on the damn internet, mostly on weekends, that don't require others (but could be done with others if they're available), where there could be the possibility of meeting new people, that are somewhere in the greater Triangle area, and that are on the inexpensive side.

Some things I do and/or like to do: 1) birding 2) gardening in my yard 3) crochet 4) camping 5) communing with nature 6) cooking. I'm 37 and silly but chill. I'm not particularly into going to shows/bars. Early to bed and all that.

General suggestions that would work anywhere are also welcome, but I'm mostly looking for specific-to-Central NC goodness.
posted by Stewriffic to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Have you been to the windmill/whirligig farm in Wilson? A man named Vollis Simpson builds huge windmills out of crazy things on his farm. It's surreal and an awesome way to waste a Saturday.
posted by deepscene at 7:01 AM on April 11, 2008


Well, the zoo, of course. Reed Gold Mine has always fascinated me, as well.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:20 AM on April 11, 2008


I've always wanted to visit the Devil's Tramping Ground in Siler City, but I fear its lameness. The Hare Krishna center might be worth a try, too; they have an open house on Sundays.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:27 AM on April 11, 2008


I know this isn't on the weekend or a solo activity, but it does fulfill the meeting new people requirement and tie into one of your hobbies:

You could join one of the local stitch n bitch groups. I knit with stitch n bitch chapel hill and we meet every Monday night at 7:30 at the Open Eye Cafe in Carrboro. We're pretty nice and relatively drama-free. And we always love to meet new people.
posted by missjenny at 7:57 AM on April 11, 2008


This is a one-off, but the Rock and Shop Market is coming up in June.

I apologize if this is "too obvious" but I was happy when I discovered the Upcoming page for Raleigh. It had stuff that I had trouble finding listed out elsewhere. There's a Herbfest coming up this next weekend, for example.

I also like Local Harvest's calendar.

I'm not sure what other state parks are nearby, but at least Umstead has ranger talks about birds, flora and fauna, etc. that provide interesting opportunities to tramp around outside and potentially meet other nature geeks.

Really, it sounds like we have a lot of common interests. :) I'll have to finish trolling through my delicious links and see if anything else jumps out.
posted by artifarce at 8:30 AM on April 11, 2008


It's more of a Western NC location, but if you haven't been to Stone Mtn, it's worth the drive.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 10:10 AM on April 11, 2008


North Carolina is home to 60 some-odd wineries, almost all of which are only a few years old. I've quite enjoyed seeing small wineries, as each is usually home to at least one unique/tasty variety. Tastings are usually ~$5 and you can often ask questions to the people who made the wine themselves.

I can't speak that knowledgably about the triangle, but here's some Triad focused recommendations if you're willing to hop on 40/85 for 50mins to check something out.

Greensboro has more going on than most people realize, Guilford College has ongoing lectures and art shows, there are film screenings and music at The Scene and while your on Elm St why not check out The Green Bean (Tasty coffee, $1 wifi and things on Tue/Thu/Fri nights) or Natty Greene's for the best burgers and beer (beer brewed and beef ground onsite, get it as rare as you'd like without cross-contamination worries). In July Guilford is also home to the Eastern Music Festival with concerts at least twice a week. Ask about student discounts (if you qualify) and they usually have at least one free concert outside where you can picnic on the lawn.

Might be a bit of a drive from the Triangle, but Winson-Salem has Alive After Five with free concerts and events downtown every Summer saturday (May-Aug). The NC Shakespeare Festival has ongoing events in High Point and W-S if you don't mind hanging out with a bunch of thespians.

Other good sources for ongoing events GoTriad, the WFDD Arts & Community Calendar and WUNC's Back Porch Music Series(May-Oct) and finally NCNatural's Big List of Calendars. I also second the recommendation to checkout upcoming.org.
posted by notpeter at 10:24 AM on April 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


When I lived in Durham I really liked going to the farmer's market downtown on Saturday mornings in the summer. It has (or had) sort of limited hours so it meant you had to get yourself up before noon, and it was semi-social in that I tended to run into semi-acquaintances and chat. A nice ritual each week.

Duke Homestead tobacco museum. There is an animatronic tobacco farmer. It is awesome.

Looks like you just missed Full Frame.
posted by yarrow at 11:44 AM on April 11, 2008


Y'all are awesome.
posted by Stewriffic at 12:29 PM on April 11, 2008


geocaching
posted by dinger at 2:08 PM on April 11, 2008


Join a green thumb group/club? Not sure of the technical name for it. They would be the groups that make public land "pretty" by planting flowers etc.

Then check out some of your local brewery's with your new green friends!
posted by thetenthstory at 2:20 PM on April 11, 2008


The Duke Natural History Society is always going on hikes and birding trips as well as trips to look for rare mosses and other random things. I know that they are not a Duke exclusive group and the Duke folks who I know who are involved are grad students and staff who are in your age range. I've never actually managed to get up on a Saturday morning and go with them, but the trips always sound cool.

And we still ought to have that Durham MeFi Meet-up sometime.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:00 PM on April 11, 2008


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