Five Outside – Summer Picks

In Do, July/August 2020 by Lauren KruchtenLeave a Comment

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Photo courtesy of Bill Russ,

Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area
The highest point in the Triangle, Occoneechee Mountain offers a 350-foot-high expansive view. Four hiking trails flow through the park alongside the Eno River, Eno Rock Quarry, Mountain Laurel and lush oak forests, ranging from .10 miles to 2.2 miles long. Fishing is allowed on the Eno River’s banks and shallows or in the surrounding ponds. Popular catches include bass and panfish. Pack a picnic for lunching on the grassy lawns underneath large, shady oak trees.

Photo courtesy of @betterwithju on Instagram

Love Bao Taiwanese Kitchen
Tucked inside the H-Mart food court in Cary, Love Bao has a cult following for its soft, steamy bao buns stuffed with a variety of traditional and unique fillings. There’s the original pork belly gua bao with braised pork belly, pickled mustard greens, powdered peanuts, brown sugar and cilantro, a popular street food in Taiwan. Then there’s an Americanized chicken filet bao and crispy fish bao along with a vegetarian soy steak bao. Soups, Taiwanese cold noodles, rice plates and small bites like basil popcorn chicken round out the menu.

Summer Patchwork Market
DURHAM | August 23
The Patchwork Market was founded in 2014 in order to create a space where local vendors and creatives could sell their goods directly to the community. “Desiring to put a face, name and story with what we buy, the Patchwork Market wants to promote mindfulness and intentional relationships with each other and consumer goods,” the market’s website states. The summer market offers a unique shopping experience where guests will discover one-of-a-kind pieces of art and original goods. Past vendors include Veronica Blue, Feather and Mountain (pictured), Free Sparrow Co. and Heart + Hustle. The Summer Patchwork Market is free to enter and takes place from noon to 5 p.m. in the Durham Armory.

Cloche Coffee
This Durham coffee shop aspires to be just like a cloche—a bell-shaped glass covering that encourages plant growth—by facilitating good energy and inspiring community within its airy, plant-filled space. Cloche serves Larry’s Coffee in lattes, macchiatos, cortados and other coffee and espresso creations, along with matcha lattes, chai and other teas. Cloche offers freshly baked pastries, such as cookies and croissants, that pair perfectly with a hot or cold brew. Currently, food and drinks are available for takeout only, though Cloche’s patio is open with social distancing. (919)748-3333;

Apex Eats
On the last Saturday of each month, chef Ana Tapioca of Global Comfy, a food blog focused on international comfort foods, creates delicious community meals using fresh ingredients from the Apex Farmers Market. One of Tapioca’s most popular dishes is shrimp and grits made with North Carolina-caught shrimp, tomatoes from Hilltop Farm in Willow Springs and okra from Sweet Flowers and Fruits, a small farm just outside of Pittsboro. Place meal orders on the Thursday prior to the Saturday pickup day.

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