On Hyco Lake in Person County, Allie Doiron leads a yoga class on a long peninsula. At 10 a.m., when the registered dietitian asks her students to flow into downward dog, few boats ply the lake’s waters, and the yogis get a 270-degree view of the tall, lush trees along the shoreline.
“I think the environment is extremely important to a yoga practice,” says Doiron, who runs classes all over the county through her company, Water and the Well.
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Person County, Charming for Generations
Established in 1792, Person County prides itself on its Southern hospitality. Drive through back roads, stroll our Historic Uptown, nail a jump on a wakeboard, or try locally grown wine. Here you can embrace adventure, at your own pace.
Here in Person County, the environment is peaceful and quiet. With only 40,000 people, there’s plenty of breathing room for outdoor activities ranging from yoga classes on the lake to wineries and breweries, rides through a bison herd, and movies in the park.
Pick your travel partners, then read on to plan your weekend itinerary.
Go fishing, swimming, and boating at Hyco Lake. Photography courtesy of Person County Tourism Development Authority
Reconnect with a loved one
After loosening up with a Water and the Well yoga class (be sure to sign up in advance on their website), hop in for a swim. “Don’t forget to bring along a bathing suit,” Doiron says. “Our yogis have been known to cool off with a dip after class.”
When you’re feeling rested and rejuvenated, take a trip to one of two local vineyards. Rock of Ages Winery in the southern part of the county is located on farmland owned by the Moore family. Once a tobacco farm, the land also grew grapes used to make wine for communion in a nearby church. Today, Kevin Moore and his wife, Kim, run the vineyard and winery. They make lots of varieties to appeal to different tastes, so they suggest sampling the wines you normally like to find your favorites.
Sip wine and stroll through rows of grapes at Tunnel Creek Vineyards. Photography courtesy of Person County Tourism Development Authority
Further north, Sharon and Larry Holler run Tunnel Creek Vineyards on 400 rolling acres that the couple purchased in 2013. After North Carolina State University conducted testing and found the rocky terrain to be the perfect environment for growing grapes, The Hollers planted nearly 15,000 vines.
“When people who were told how beautiful it is here come in, they still say they had no idea until they walk in the door or come through the gated entrance,” Sharon says. “Not only are the people wonderful, but the land is just perfect.” Sample Tunnel Creek’s varietals and walk the property’s trails. On weekends, the vineyard hosts live music.
After your vineyard visit, swing by SP Gentry Store for picnic provisions like hoop cheese or chocolate-covered peanuts. Lay out your spread at the Mayo Lake Campground, which has RV and tent sites (as does a campground at Hyco Lake), and enjoy dinner and stargazing before crawling into your sleeping bag.
Take a trailor tour through a herd of bison at Sunset Ridge Buffalo Farm. Photography courtesy of Person County Tourism Development Authority
Kids in tow
Children need only one reason to make their way to Person County: multiple confectioneries, each with their own twist. At Hopper’s Poppers, you can satisfy your sweet — and salty — tooth with a cone of Hershey’s ice cream and an order of their famous gourmet popcorn. Or you could head over to Sweet Tooth Bakery, which boasts treats like vanilla ice cream cone cupcakes and apple fritter donuts.
Then take the kids on an afternoon adventure: At Sunset Ridge Buffalo Farm, Jack and Sandy Pleasant have been raising bison for meat since 2001 on land that’s been in the family for 225 years. Take a trailer tour through their herd of roughly 70 bison, and you’ll learn all about the history of bison in the United States. “A lot of people don’t know that they were native to the area,” Jack says. At the end of the hour-long ride through the pasture, visitors can buy bison tenderloins, steaks, and sausages at the Sunset Ridge Buffalo Farm store.
After the sun sets, catch an outdoor movie at the Mayo Lake Park amphitheater. Person County Recreation Arts & Parks presents shows from May through October. This year, they played Clifford the Big Red Dog, Encanto, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. The park also has two canoe and kayak launches.
If you’re traveling to Person County toward the end of September, don’t miss the annual Personality Festival, a play on the county’s name. A decades-long tradition, the event attracts people who come to enjoy music, performances, crafts, and carnival games in the beer garden at Merritt Commons.
See painted barn quilts as you explore the Person County Quilt Trail. Photography courtesy of Person County Tourism Development Authority
Gang’s all here
Person County is also a great destination for a getaway with a few buddies. Find your lay of the land at the seasonal Roxboro Farmer’s Market on Depot Street, which runs on Saturdays. There, you can start the day — and plan dinner — as you stock up on fresh veggies, eggs, and meats, plus homemade cakes and brownies from local vendors.
The agricultural history of North Carolina’s Piedmont region is captured in painted quilts displayed on homes scattered throughout Person, Randolph, and Rockingham counties. The Person County Quilt Trail started in 2015 with funding from the North Carolina Department of Commerce and is managed by the Piedmont Conservation Council. Take in the beautiful vistas as you drive to see the more than two dozen quilts. Find a map of the sites here.
At Milton 66, enjoy a local brew in the beer garden. Photography courtesy of Person County Tourism Development Authority
Don’t leave without visiting the newly opened Milton 66, a women-owned beer garden that also sells seasonal plants just beyond the county line. Formerly a gas station, the venue has a rotating list of North Carolina craft beers on tap, including ones from breweries like Old Hickory, Brown Truck, and Wicked Weed.
Co-owner Hosanna Blanchard, who grew up in town, put in raised flower beds that attract pollinators, and she left space in the design for food trucks to park. The owners even host yoga classes taught by Doiron. “Since we opened earlier this year, says Blanchard, “it has turned into this really neat outdoor community gathering place,” somewhere to meet friends among the peace and quiet.
In other words, it fits perfectly into relaxed and friendly Person County. Kick your feet up and soak up the simple life.
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