While Saxapahaw might be a small, it is an idyllic presence situated right on the Haw River. This former mill town was originally settled by the Sissapahaw Native American tribe and is a true gem in the North Carolina Piedmont. Saxapahaw offers a lot for a wonderful day trip including entertainment, art, gifts, and outdoor activities. Keep scrolling for a day trip guide featuring the best things to do in Saxapahaw.
Day Trip Guide: the Best Things to Do in Saxapahaw
Enjoy Lunch at Saxapahaw General Store
Photo via Saxapahaw General Store
Head to Saxapahaw General Store to start your afternoon in town. Have lunch on the patio and pick up any essentials for the day ahead. They have a delicious, expansive menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also have a great assortment of local beers and wines. We definitely recommend bringing a cooler to bring back some of the local goods!
Kayak the Haw River
Rent a kayak and explore the Haw River either on a self-guided or guided tour through the Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. They also have stand-up paddle boards and canoes for rent. Be sure to reserve your spots ahead of time to spend some time on the beautiful Haw.
If trails are more your thing, then check out the hiking trails in the area for stunning views and a unique way to experience the natural history of Saxapahaw.
Grab a Pint at Haw River Farmhouse Ales
Haw River Farmhouse Ales has a delicious selection of locally brewed beers and recently reopened their taproom for guests without needing a reservation. Haw River Farmhouse Ales handcrafts traditional European-style ales with a little southern flair, using locally-grown ingredients where possible in each of their beers.
Shop Local at Freehand Market and Left Bank Butchery
Located in between the General Store and Haw River Farmhouse Ales, enjoy a little shopping at Freehand Market. This shop sources eco-friendly, ethically made products and 85 percent of the makers are women-owned businesses. The shop has an eclectic range of items including home items, baby gifts, and jewelry. Get a jump start on your holiday shopping and support local makers!
Learn Local History at Saxapahaw Museum
Photo via Visit Alamance County
Visit the Saxapahaw Museum to learn more about the history of the Saxapahaw Cotton Mill and the Jordan family history. The Museum is located right in town next to the General Store in a one-room school house that was used from 1929-1949.
Have a Bite at the Eddy Pub
The Eddy Pub features food from many local farms and a unique version of pub food ranging from Southern comfort to European bistro. The restaurant is in an old cotton mill and is the highest point in Saxapahaw. Enjoy your meal and a glass of wine on the 2nd floor patio for gorgeous sunset views of the Haw River. The Eddy highly recommends reservations, so be sure to book in advance!
Catch a Show at the Haw River Ballroom
Photo via Haw River Ballroom
The Haw River Ballroom is an awesome music venue and is the perfect place to enjoy a show to finish out your day in Saxapahaw.
And if you decide to stay overnight, check out the accommodations at the Inn at Bingham School. It’s on my running list of places to stay!
Looking for more North Carolina day trip options? Check out my Best of North Carolina travel guides here.
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