Durham Magazine February/March 2022

Page 28

d ay t r i p s

on the road again

A travel expert shares her picks for spring road trips WO RDS A N D P H OTO GR AP HY B Y C H RI ST I N A RI L E Y


ur area is surrounded by small towns and iconic attractions that many people know very little about. Here are five destinations that deserve your attention the next time you want to head out for a daytrip. SE AG ROV E

Randolph County gets a lot of attention thanks to the North Carolina Zoo, but Seagrove is another excellent spot to visit in the area. Home to slightly more than 200 people, this is the handmade pottery capital of the U.S., thanks to the local clay’s rich minerals. You’ll find at least 100 potters and more than 50 studios within this small community. Start by grabbing a map from the North Carolina Pottery Center. Then drive up and down “Pottery Road,” designated as a scenic road by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. You can also ask the kind people at the visitors center where to go, and they’ll then ask what you’re seeking. Find just about any style, including popular ModdWare and one-of-a-kind agateware from Eck McCanless. Speaking of Eck, he is always happy to provide a demo, which is truly a wonderful experience. When you get hungry, head to nearby Asheboro for a meal at The Table. The farmhouse-style restaurant keeps things as local as possible and also makes the best cinnamon rolls in central North Carolina. If you need another option, don’t count out the legendary fried chicken at Magnolia 23. BEAU F ORT

The Crystal Coast, located between Wilmington and the Outer Banks, is another incredible daytrip. In this 26




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stretch of coastal byways is Beaufort, a wonderful town full of charm and history. Take time to walk down the boardwalk that runs parallel to Front Street. The views of Taylor’s Creek and boats docked in the marina provide for a beautiful backdrop to any daytrip. Learn about the area’s 300-year history at the Beaufort Historic Site and at the North Carolina Maritime Museum. It is the third oldest town in the state and was originally a fishing village. Beaufort offers one of the easiest ways to see wild horses in North Carolina. You can sometimes see them from the mainland as they graze and roam the inlets and islands’ part of the Rachel Carson Reserve. You can also kayak or hire a boat to take you across the creek and get a closer look. Another option from Beaufort is to take a ferry to Shackleford Banks, where you can see more horses and explore the iconic Cape Lookout National Seashore. After your adventures, enjoy a refreshing meal at Moonrakers in the Beaufort Historic District. The restaurant has some of the best views of Beaufort from its rooftop and a great local beer selection. Start your meal off with a delicious appetizer of whipped feta, and ask about the local catch of the day. Make sure to browse its extensive wine list with more than 90 selections – the restaurant earned an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine.

ABOVE Eck McCanless is a Seagrove potter who specializes in agateware. BELOW Enjoy a small plate of baked shrimp with jerk butter, coconut and pineapple at Moonrakers.


This county northeast of the Triangle is home to important North Carolina history and has lots of opportunities for outdoor adventures. Start in the county seat, Halifax, which is partly