A Day Trip to Windsor, North Carolina

Today marks a new trend for Champagne & Suburbs and I am less than a month away from my rebranding.  Did you miss my announcement?  Check it out here.  The launch will be in August (date TBA).

I am so excited to start sharing day and weekend trip guides to parts of North Carolina that are often overlooked.  I'v shared my love of eastern NC before here and here, but now I get to truly expose some of the unique aspects of the region.  I am pleased with the work that eastern NC is doing to attract visitors to the area and I hope to help support the efforts of local governments & businesses by uncovering some of these not-so-hidden gems to you!

So, today, we start our adventure in Windsor, North Carolina.  I should issue you a disclaimer that my dad helped me coordinate this guide.  My parents lived in Windsor after they got married, and he was excited to check out some of the new changes the town has implemented to help with tourism.  We had a great time touring around, and I am excited to have his help with future day trip guides.  

Alright, so first things first.  Windsor is approximately an hour and 45 minutes from Raleigh, 4 hours from Charlotte, and an hour from Greenville.  It's a smooth ride on not so crowded highways once you get out of the major city traffic.  It's a great pitstop if you're heading to the Outer Banks!

The first thing I recommend you do is take the Sans Souchi (pronounced "Suzy") ferry across the Cashie River.  It's about 11 miles outside of Windsor on a small country road.  The ferry is free to use and holds up to 2 cars & 6 people.  It's a short 4 minute ride across the extremely calm Cashie River.  This ferry is generally used by farmers.  We got off on the other side of the ferry & drove through some farmland before hitting the major highway to circle back in to Windsor.  What makes this ferry unique is that it's one of 3 remaining cable ferries in the state.  The state won't pay for a bridge to be built here, so it doesn't look like this tiny ferry will be going anywhere anytime soon.

Once you get back to the town limits, head to the Roanoke-Cashie River Center.  It's here that you can learn more about the history of the county and its significance to the development of North Carolina.  If you're a history buff like me, they are currently researching some artifacts found that may be linked to the Lost Colony.  It's also here where you can rent kayaks and canoes to take out on the Cashie River.  On Saturdays, you can take a free boat ride from 10-11AM.  There's also a section of the river that has a nice, shaded walkway & a small amphitheatre.

I've posted about these sweet little treehouses here before, but these are getting a lot of press.  The Treehouse Guys from DIY Network built these treehouses for the town of Windsor as an addition to an existing campground.  These two houses are right on the water, and the town will build a few more.  These should be available for rent this fall.  Bonus, there is a boat ramp right beside the walkway to these little treehouses.  It'd be the perfect spot for kayaking.

Head to lunch at Bunn's Barbeque.  Their cornbread and BBQ sandwiches are the perfect lunch and their sweet tea was just what we needed to refuel before continuing.

We went on the Cashie Wetlands Walk right behind Bunn's.  They have plants and trees marked and it would be a fun little tour with kiddos.  And the entrance has sweet areas to sit and enjoy lunch if you get your BBQ to go.  You'll also get the sites (& smells) of the Liverman Mini-Zoo, which has a wide variety of animals including bison, emu, goats, cows, llamas, & a zebra.  You may have seen that on my snapchat (@mbg011) from my visit.

If you've been reading here for a while, you know I love a historic house, so we stopped at the Historic Hope Plantation to check out the grounds.  The Hope Mansion has $2 million worth of period furniture.  The grounds include walking trials and the King-Bazemore House.  There is also an information center with incredibly historic documents, like a pamphlet written by John Smith.  Y'all know I was geeking out over that.

Our final stop on our tour was at Bertie Peanuts to take home some samples to DG & my mom.  These peanuts are pretty darn famous across North Carolina.  They're sold at a lot of local businesses in Raleigh and make great gifts.  They start preparing for their Christmas orders in August.  I'd recommend popping in for a container before heading back home so you'll have something to snack on in the car.  My favorite are the Sans Souchi Smokey.

It's worth one last drive through town to check out the architecture of some of the houses, like this one.

If you decide to spend the night and don't want to camp, there is a cute little bed and breakfast hidden by the prettiest crepe myrtles & is in walking distance to the quaint downtown area & the Roanoke-Cashie River Center.

So, there you have it.  A fun little day trip to get out of the city and to explore a new part of North Carolina.  DG and I are definitely wanting to head back this fall to kayak on the river and to do a little more exploring on the water.

Hope you're having a great week!
Special Thanks to my dad for (willingly) planning, photographing, and driving around with me.  


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