Updated: Jul 14
Updated: July 13, 2020
STOP THE WORLD! James Taylor isn't originally from North Carolina so just ignore that section of my ramblings below. I've been informed he is originally from Boston.
I realize that James Taylor is from Chapel Hill. However, if I didn't know any better I would think he was from Saxapahaw, North Carolina. While sitting on my front porch, sipping a cup of coffee and listening to Going to Carolina in My Mind (by James Taylor), I flashed back to Saxapahaw. You see, Saxapahaw, in my opinion, is the perfect picturesque town to represent North Carolina. It is a great reminder of why I love this state so much. The pure natural beauty here surrounds, envelopes and overtakes the senses, whisking you away to a simpler place and time. While there, I literally sat gazing at the river for a bit, waiting for Tom Sawyer to come drifting by humming Ol' Man River (James Taylor also has a version). Yes, it's that peaceful.
My daughter and I visited Saxapahaw for the first time about three weeks ago. Now I pride myself on having traveled all around and throughout North Carolina, especially being that I was born here and looooooovve traveling! Yet, somehow this golden nugget had escaped me, until now. I long to go back (and probably will before the weekend is over).
The Saxapahaw area is located on the Haw River and was settled by the Sissipahaw Indians. There is a link below if you would like more information about the tribe. It is located about 20 minutes East of Mebane. When you first arrive in Saxapahaw its like leaving your weight or stressors at the door. You know, like when you go to grandma's house, once you hit the door she's standing there with open arms and anything that was wrong immediately fades away. Hence the title Just Breathe. Time, to me, has become a precious commodity (especially since losing my father a couple years ago). We often take for granted, how special the moments are we share with loved ones. This year, I'm spending with my daughter road-tripping weekends so that I will have memories to look back on when she deserts me for college next year, but I digress.
This small town possesses such a welcoming community vibe and everyone seems happy and relaxed. If you would like to see video, there is a link below to a episode of Carolina Weekend that aired in 2011 (Bob tries the Eddy Pub). I didn't get a good picture of the Eddy Pub (it has patio seating overlooking the Haw River) and it looked like it was closed due to COVID so you should probably check online for potential open hours. However, that episode mentions the since of community that is felt here and that holds true for each place we stopped. We visited the General Store (which also has a grill where we were greeted with smiles. There is also a gift shop with crystals, herbal teas and beautiful gift ideas. Don't forget to check out Haw River Farmhouse Ale's and Events at the Haw River Ballroom (calendar of events can be found on www.saxapahawnc.com). There's a butcher's shop (which I plan on visiting this weekend), a couple of canoe rental options (there's even a Haw River canoe river tour), outdoor adventure excursions, quite a bit to see and do. Saxapahaw is a nice family outing type place, because you could spend the day or the weekend relaxing and reconnecting with each other and nature.
Speaking of nature, take a hike! The Saxapahaw Island Park is across the River from the General Store and is the access point for canoeing, fishing, wading in the water and several clearly marked hiking trails.
Saxapahaw even features a Farmer's Market and music series. As I stated, there's much to do and the best part about it is you do it at your own pace! So if you're looking for a cure to those "cabin fever blues", look no further! Saxapahaw is where you want to be. Now you may be thinking, but where would I sleep? Well, true, there are no hotels in Saxapahaw. The nearest hotels would probably be around Graham or Mebane. They do have TerraStay Farm. It's located on the edge of town and they have several little cozy cottages (you can find them on Airbnb). You can visit there website https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGswHsElr-k and check them out. They are also on facebook https://www.facebook.com/terrastayfarm/.
So check out the links listed above and below, so pack up the kids, jump into your vehicle, set Waze to Saxapahaw, NC and take a much needed road trip to a simpler place and time where all you really have to do is Just Breathe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow-Cx9IX4So.