Daycations: Alamance County offers variety of fun activities

Commentary by Bailey Pennington
Times-News correspondent
teens20@thetimesnews.com

Sam Ceparano, 10, paddles a kayak along Rock Creek inside Cedarock Park. / Sam Roberts, Times-News

   As summer draws near, adults and kids everywhere are itching for a get-away. Unfortunately, in today’s economy, it is becoming increasingly difficult for individuals and families to plan inexpensive vacations. As prices have skyrocketed, it has become increasingly popular to plan “daycations”— or small vacations lasting only about a day or less. Typical daycations include a trip to the beach or the mountains, visiting a theme park or museum, amongst many others. Although these are great temporary get-aways, there are many more simplified ways to escape inexpensively without even leaving the county. Here’s a short list daycation opportunities within Alamance County:

 Burlington City Park

   In the heart of Alamance County lies a 75-acre park filled with many ways to escape daily life. The Burlington City Park features multiple amusement rides for kids, including a historic Dentzel Carousel. Apart from the rides, the park offers multiple picnic areas, athletic fields, walking tracks and playgrounds. Multiple times a year, it is home for weekend tournaments, concerts, and even the annual Carousel Festival. For more information, visit the website at www.ci.burlington.nc.us/index.aspx?NID=233.

 Burlington Royals’ game

    Also located in Burlington is Alamance County’s own minor league baseball team. The Burlington Royals season opens in June and runs through August. It’s easy to take an evening to catch a game, grab a bite to eat, and stay afterwards to watch the fireworks show. The Royals even offer special events and discount days. Be sure to check out the website for more details: www.burlingtonroyals.com.

 Cedarock Park

   Historic Cedarock Park also offers potential daycationers many ways to have a good time. Apart from the historical Cedarock Farm, the area offers multiple mountain biking, equestrian, and walking trails spanning the scenic outdoors. The park also offers an 18-hole disc golf course as well as picnic shelters and a camping area. For further information about Cedarock Park, find them on the web at www.alamance-nc.com/d/recreation-and-parks/parks-and-centers/cedarock-park.html.

Haw River Trail

   The Haw River Trail is a 10-mile stretch of a currently 70-mile long trail system, located along Alamance County’s Haw River. Although the walking trail is constantly being updated and expanded to become a portion of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail spanning North Carolina, the Haw River Trail also offers a unique paddle trail as well. The public is encouraged to kayak and canoe up the Haw River along the mapped paddle course. For more info regarding the trails and more, visit www.hawrivertrail.org.

Lake Michael Park

   Located in Mebane, Lake Michael Park offers another great way to escape for a day. Besides their miles of walking and running trails, Lake Michael has several picnic areas, playgrounds, and volleyball facilities. The main attraction, though, is the lake itself. Scheduled pontoon boat rides are available, as well as paddle boat and johnboat rentals; and, of course, enjoying fishing off the piers is always an option. To find out more information about Lake Michael park, check out its website: www.cityofmebane.com/lakemichaelpark.asp.

Alamance Battleground

   For those interested in history, the local Alamance Battleground offers a little piece of the Revolutionary War for all those willing to stop by. Take a step back in time to the 1771 armed rebellion of backcountry farmers against the militia through the Battleground reenactment. The site also offers a museum and small attractions where visitors can recreate the colonial period. For further information, visit its website at www.alamancebattlegroundfriends.com/.

Ace Speedway

   Anyone interested in a more exciting daycation should look no further than Ace Speedway. Located in Altamahaw, the ASA member track offers months of stock car racing for everyone to enjoy. Along with their regularly scheduled races, the speedway also offers special events and group rates. Be sure to check out the website for more information: www.acespeedway.com/.

Saturdays at Saxapahaw

   Every Saturday of the summer, downtown Saxapahaw offers a daylong festival worth stopping in for. The weekly event centers around the locally grown farmer’s market, but also offers crafts and other goods available for purchase. A concert series follows the weekly festival and admission is free, although donations are accepted. More information can be found by visiting the website: www.rivermillvillage.com/saturdays-in-saxapahaw-2.
Vacations do not always have to be expensive and lengthy ordeals. All these opportunities and more await here in Alamance County. For even more information about other daycation ideas, check out www.visitalamance.com/.
Happy daycationing! And if you have Quick Getaways of your own to share, send them to Accent editor/Teens & Twenties adviser Charity Apple at capple@thetimesnews.com or call (336) 506-3057; she may use them on Accent’s Travel page on Sundays.

 Bailey Pennington is a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Teens & Twenties writer.

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