Whether you’re visiting Orange County, NC as a first-timer, coming home or just passing through, we’re excited to have you this Thanksgiving!  We've compiled some of the best places to dine, stretch your legs and shop 'til you drop this turkey day weekend.

Who's Cookin'

If you’re looking to have someone do the thanksgiving meal for you this year, there are plenty of options


This year Tandem will be offering a family style traditional Thanksgiving feast to be shared with those you love. As well as all the traditional trimmings, there will be some incredible salads, side dishes, desserts, and specials from the bar. The main course will be Turkey, roasted stuffed breast, dark meat confit with turkey gravy and citrus cranberry sauce. Tandem will be offering dine in and take out from 11am to 4pm. Reservations are required as well as a credit card for confirmation. For the to-go option, please email Emma at Tandem Carrboro. Tandem is located at Carr Mill Mall, 200 N. Greensboro St in Carrboro, Phone 919-240-7937.

Kim’s Bake Shop at Wooden Nickel Pub

Preorder your Thanksgiving pies from Kim! How does a local pumpkin pie and a bourbon maple pecan pie sound?  If cakes are more your thing there’s an apple cider toffee layer cake and orange cranberry swirl cheesecake to sweeten up your Thanksgiving table. Order online or in person. Pick up days are Tuesday, November 22 or Wednesday, November 23, order deadline is Sunday, November 20.  Find Kim’s Bake Shop at 111 North Churton Street in Hillsborough, phone 919-932-0134.

Il Palio

Have you explored Chef Adam's decadent three-course Thanksgiving dinner menu? Salads, soups and squash for the first course, five choices for the main course and Pumpkin Cheesecake, Apple Pie or Focaccia Bread Pudding for dessert. Don't miss out! For reservations, please visit their website. Il Palio is located inside The Siena Hotel, 1505 East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, phone 919-918-2545.

Who has Local Ingredients

For the chef of the house, plan your Thanksgiving meal with fresh local ingredients from these markets:

Steve's Garden Market and Butchery, 610 N Churton St in Hillsborough | 919-732-4712 

Carrboro Farmers' Market, 301 W. Main St, Carrboro | Pre-Thanksgiving Market is Tuesday, November 22nd, 3-5 pm

Chapel Hill Farmers' Market, 201 S Estes Drive, University Place, Chapel Hill (in front of the old Southern Season building adjacent to Forham Blvd). | Pre-Thanksgiving Market is also Tuesday, November 22nd, 3-5 pm

More businesses serving up Thanksgiving can be found here.


Events and Entertainment

Gallop and Gorge 8K

Before the turkey and football, wake up early on Thanksgiving morning and get your heart pumping with an 8K race that will take runners through Carrboro neighborhoods, starting at 8 am on Weaver Street.

Last Fridays in Hillsborough

This Last Friday, november 25th, will be the end of the 2022 season; activities span both the downtown area and Nash Street's West End. Visitors are encouraged to come for dinner, catch some entertainment, shop, explore, and safely circulate the beautiful town of Hillsborough.

The Carolina Inn Holiday Market and Bier Garten

The Carolina Inn Holiday Market on November 27, Noon-4pm is a European style market with a nod of southern flare. With vendors from all over the state, the market will be a wonderful place to shop for hand crafted yuletide gifts from chocolates, to jewelry, to ornaments and more! You won’t want to miss the Bier garten either, they have planned an exceptional lineup of craft beers, mulled wine, and signature cocktails. You’ll be able to feast on everything from soft pretzels, corndogs, pulled pork, to sausage and peppers!  Your sweet tooth won’t be disappointed either. Dig into some fried dough, donuts, or caramel apples. Better yet, cuddle up to the fire and enjoy some s’mores. The Carolina Inn is located at 211 Pittsboro Street in Chapel Hill.

Stretch Your Legs

Take a break from the couch to trot off your turkey at some of these scenic natural areas tucked away in Chapel Hill and Orange County.

Riverwalk Greenway
This Hillsborough treasure is the perfect place to stretch your legs and take a tranquil walk through nature. Let the sounds of the Eno River guide you along this paved path that stretches through 1.8 miles of Hillsborough.

North Carolina Botanical Garden
Take some time to stop and smell the flowers – literally! As one of the largest botanical gardens in the southeast, the North Carolina Botanical Garden is home to different trails, herb gardens, carnivorous plants and more. It’s time to explore! Don't forget the Sculpture in the Garden which runs through December 4th.

Franklin Street
This is easily the busiest street in Orange County! It sits right along UNC’s campus and has a wide variety of restaurants, bars, shops, museums and more. Franklin Street is one of the best places to stretch your legs after a long car ride and take in an iconic part of Chapel Hill history.

Spring Haven Farm
Winter Wonderland with Goats opens November 16th and runs Wednesdays - Sundays through December 25th. Upon your arrival you’ll be transported to a magical Winter Wonderland. There’s no better way to spread cheer than feeding Peppa Pig or Annie the Donkey a holiday snack! As you sip on Hot Cocoa you’ll be able to interact with all of thier farm animals like Huck the Horse, and snuggle Holly, the baby goat! Head over to the Snowflake Barn to enjoy sweets and treats from our concession stand that will fill you with sugar, spice and everything nice. You’ll even be able to write a letter to send off to Santa while you snack!

Poet's Walk at Ayr Mount
Explore 60-acres of gardens, woodlands and pastures or hop on the first trail, known as Poet’s Walk, for a one-mile loop around the historic Ayr Mount house. House tours are available March – November, Thursday and Friday 1pm and 2:30pm, Saturdays at 11am, 1pm and 2:30pm, Tickets are  $10, sign up on the website. Poet's Walk is open 9 am - 7pm.

Shop 'Til You Drop

Have some time to kill? Do double duty and shop local! Spend your time enjoying the local shops that Orange County has to offer and be sure to pick up something that reminds friends and family of this special place. Saturday November 26 is Shop Small Businesses in Orange County; we encourage everyone to Shop Local!

Carr Mill Mall
The historic Carr Mill Mall is one of the most unique places to shop in Orange County. Located in an old cotton mill in Carrboro and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it has everything from Pilates classes to cute boutiques and delectable food.


What else are you looking forward to in Chapel Hill & Orange County this Thanksgiving? Share with us in the comments below and be sure to book your hotel ahead of time: https://www.visitchapelhill.org/hotels/



(photo credits:  Top Image, Front Porch of Ayr Mount Historic Home)