If you’re looking to experience some hidden gems in Sanford, NC this fall, look no further. Here are a handful of experiences that would be fun really in any season, but especially when the cooler weather begins to set in and you break out your scarves and flannel.
1606 Pickett Road
Sanford, NC 27332
Gross Farm has been in the Gross family for over five generations and is a source of clean entertainment for the whole family. Though they grow produce year-round, the fall is a particularly exciting time to visit them as they feature activities like a hayride, pumpkin patch and corn maze!
Head over with your family and friends on a crisp, fall afternoon and test your skills on the corn maze, which spans a 10-acre field of corn. One of the largest in the area, this maze has four miles of winding pathways and three different puzzles to solve. For the kids, Farm Scene Investigation (or FSI) adds a fun twist as they seek to find the missing Farmer Joe!
After navigating the corn maze, head over to the pumpkin patch to pick out your perfect pumpkin and, more importantly, take that perfect Instagram picture.
To complete your perfect afternoon at Gross Farm, bundle up and go for a hayride. This is a perfect activity for a chilly evening, and 50-60 people can ride at a time! This family-owned, charming farm is emblematic of Sanford’s culture, and their many activities are suitable for all ages.
Tobacco Road Golf Club
442 Tobacco Road
Sanford, NC 27332
A staple of Sanford is none other than the Tobacco Road Golf Club. It boasts to be number 50 of the top 100 golf courses in the world. Not only can you enjoy beautiful landscapes as you move throughout the course but genuine Southern hospitality as well from the staff at the clubhouse.
If golf isn’t your thing, it is still more than worth a visit. Check out the golf shop and snack bar or read a book on the sofas by the open fireplace. Their two stone porches and comfortable rocking chairs offer the ideal viewpoint to witness the action on the 1st and 10th tee boxes, as well as the finishing 18th green.
This is a truly classic Sanford experience suited for the cooler fall temperatures. Whether you’re a golfer, a spectator or still wondering who Tiger Woods is, this is a lovely fall activity that is worth a Saturday afternoon.
Deep River adventures with Endor Paddle
3485 R Jordan Rd.
Sanford, NC 27330
If you’re hoping to be outdoors this fall and get some physical exercise, Endor Paddle has your next river adventure lined up for you. Explore Deep River Park and Camelback Bridge by kayak or – for the lazy river seekers – by inner tube! Endor Paddle is an outdoor company that offers different levels of adventure on the Deep River. They also make sure you feel prepared before your adventure, equipping you on their website with ideas of what to wear, what to bring and cost. Reservations are required, so get your group together and make plans to explore Deep River this fall!
This is a great activity for all ages because you can choose from a variety of different options. For the more active ones out there, try the Navigator course. This is a longer, 12-mile experience that includes a nice little break on a sandy island. You might even encounter some rapids along the way! For those who are looking for a relaxing experience, try the river tubing and float your afternoon away – though no guarantees it won’t get exciting from time to time!
As any river should be, it’s off the beaten trail, but look no further than their website for all the necessary details to arrive on-time and at the right place.
Mrs. Lacy’s Magnolia House
405 Carthage St.
Sanford, NC 27330
Whether you’re a local in Sanford, or just visiting for the day, you simply must acquaint yourself with Mrs. Lacy. Mrs. Lacy’s Magnolia House is over 100 years old and was converted into a tea room in 2005. It’s currently owned by Mrs. Lacy’s daughter Faye Schultz.
This 1902 Victorian home is the culmination of Southern hospitality and charm. Their quaint tea room is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11-2 pm, so plan your visit accordingly. Mrs. Lacy’s hosts a variety of events and luncheons, from birthday parties to bridal showers. Or, drop in for lunch and order off their extensive menu, which boasts of a variety of lunch entrees, desserts and, of course, tea.
Whether you’re looking to chat with friends or have a quiet moment to yourself, sitting on their large front porch, admiring the fall foliage around you, is more than therapeutic. The delightful experience and views coupled with the good-natured, hospitable people that work there truly match the heart of Sanford.
If you’re dying for more of Sanford, here are a few other ideas we thought we’d toss your way. To start, you can watch a show at the Temple Theatre. Check their website for full details and showtimes, but don’t wait long! 1776 The Musical is playing throughout September!
If you need to beef up your fall wardrobe or decorate your house for the season, take a stroll through historic downtown Sanford and get your shopping game on. For all your Pinterest-fabulous décor, check out Added Accents for adorable home accessories, gifts and clothing. Or walk through 18,000 feet of Sanford Antique Mall, the Sandhills’ largest antique mall. If you need some caffeine, stop in Karma Boutique & Coffee Bar for a coffee while you browse through their handcrafted items. There’s so much more to explore in downtown Sanford, so put on your walking shoes and take your time wandering through the streets!
Lastly, if you’re out for a Sunday drive, consider taking a few backroads to simply take in the breathtaking fall foliage. San Lee Park is a good place to start, as is Ole Gilliam Mill Park. Or just cruise down Henley Road and wherever else the road may lead. Roll those windows down and get your cameras ready.
Though you can experience Sanford year-round, the cooler temperatures really are the perfect excuse to get out of the house and explore. Whether you’re from the area or a visitor, these activities are the perfect ways to get a feel for this charming Southern town. For visitors, we courage that you take a weekend or at least stay a night to fully experience all that Sanford has to offer. It’s fall, y’all, and Sanford is a wonderful place to enjoy the season to the fullest.