Downtown Graham, NC
Continuing with our Road Trip Week 2010, C and I hit the road on a gloomy day to see what Graham, NC had to offer. This little downtown area was recommended to us by a blog reader quite a time ago. And even though this isn't far at all from Chapel Hill (1 hour max down 54 headed out to Greensboro), with our big house move it took us a few months to get here. But I am so glad we went. You know the whole 'sha-poopy' scene in The Music Man? This downtown area made me feel like I was THERE.
So the best part is the Graham Cinema. This old, classic cinema is right downtown (which Downtown Graham isn't too terribly big so you truly "can't miss it"). They play one movie at a time, only one showing during the weekday and multiple times during the weekends, but the movie is family-friendly. The best part? All seats are $3. And we heard that the popcorn is refillable, for free. C still can't sit through a movie, so we skipped it, but the cinema was old school.
There were 3 consignment shops downtown: 2 for kids (Little Blessings and Miss Tiggy Winkle's) and 1 for ladies (Sandy's). C and I browsed through the kids' consignment places. These are all about the clothes. The racks were teeming.
Then we started walking. Since the downtown area isn't too large, the walking didn't wear us out. But within a stone's throw of the Cinema is the Graham Public Library. I was also pleased to see that The Children's Museum of Alamance County is going in soon next to the library.
Which brings me to the point that Downtown Graham is definitely a place undergoing a revitalization. Although it was founded in 1851 and has a deep history, you can tell that it has seen a depressed era (alas, it appears that the Graham Historical Museum is closed). But you can also tell that the local government is doing a lot to restore and give a facelift to the downtown area. So while there are still empty storefronts and some not-so-safe-looking burroughs right near the downtown area, the historic courthouse is getting a massive facelift, a new museum is slated to go in, and there are signs all over town announcing that they are reinvesting in downtown Graham by "Preserving Our Heritage/Promoting Our Future." And since I have always wanted to live as they do in The Music Man I am a sucker for that. But that means you see a beautiful Bank of America located in a historic, restored colonial house across the street from the Dollar General. I can't wait to see what Graham becomes over the next few years.
Right now, though, you can still live in the past. The Sneauxball Effect is, apparently, a big hit with kids (and they have the Tiger's Blood flavor I have mentioned before). But it was closed when we were there for their off-season hours, so C and I had a milkshake at the fantastic Downtown Graham Soda Shoppe. This place was great!! No longer in The Music Man, I had moved on to Grease. C had a great time grooving to the 50s music, the milkshake was delicious, and the memorabilia in the shop fun to look at.
If you keep walking downtown, you will surely want to sip a coffee from the Roasted Coffee Depot and sit outside in the Sesquicentennial Park (what year is that?). This park right off of the courthouse is a covered arbor with beautiful landscaping. It isn't large but has some benches.
There are some other cute places to eat off of Court Square, including Just Desserts and Barrister's Cafe.
Of course, go 1/2 a mile and there is a McDonald's with a huge playplace as well as some Burger King, Zaxby's, and Arby's. Like I said, I really enjoyed Graham's unique character and can't wait to see how it grows! Definitely worth a visit.
119 North Main Street
Miss Tiggy Winkle's Consignment for Kids
102 E. Pine Street
Little Blessings Consignment for Kids
134 North Main Street
Sandy's Ladies Consignment
142 North Main Street
The Sneauxball Effect
10 NE Court Square
Graham Soda Shoppe
22 NE Court Square
Roasted Coffee Depot
131 West Elm Street
(336) 229- 2295