With the semester coming to an end, I’m sure many of you collegiettes™ are thinking of fun things do to during the long awaited (and much deserved) summer break. If any of you are like me, you’ll be spending the next few months in the Dash while your friends are at the beach or traveling throughout Europe. But not to worry, there’s still plenty to do around here, too!
One of my favorite places to go on a sunny day is Pilot Mountain. It’s only a short 25-minute drive up North 52, and it’s completely worth it. On your way up the 1,000-ft incline to the top, there are several overlooks where you can pull off and snap a few pictures with your friends. Prof pic time!
There are different trails you can explore based on length and difficultly. Two of my favorites are Jomeokee Trail, which is less than a mile long and leads around the bottom on the knob, and Ledge Spring Trail, which is a little over 2 miles long. Jomeokee Trail is more for beginners, however, if you’re looking for something more adventurous, go for the Ledge Spring Trail. This trail goes along the rocky ridge crest and is one of the more scenic routes. Plus, if you’re feeling particularly daring, there are several opportunities for rock climbing on that trail.
After a day of hiking and exploring, I’m always starving, and instead of driving back to campus for another Pit meal, I like to drive less than 15 miles north to Mt. Airy. Most of you know this small, peaceful town as Mayberry, but to me it is home. Though there are countless cute, little restaurants, I usually end up at Trio, located inside the Main Oak Emporium. Trio, established in late 2010, is relatively new but already pretty popular with the locals.
My favorite lunch? The chicken salad sandwich with a side of fresh fruit – a refreshing wind-down after a long hike. For dinner, I strongly suggest the Maryland-style crab cakes with the to-die-for chocolate ganache torte for dessert. If you’re 21, check out one of their local wines straight from the Yadkin Valley.
If you’re in the mood for a little shopping, pop into The Good Life Outfitter to stock up on gear from The North Face, Mountain Hardware, Frye, and Jack Rodgers. And if you still have some time to kill, take a stroll along Main Street and explore some of Mt. Airy’s mom-&-pop shops. I always go to Opie’s Candy Store to pick up some chocolate-coated cocoa beans (yum!).
*Photography by Elizabeth Thomas and Varian Tunstall