a serene open-air teahouse that’s totally worth the drive
written by Avivah with Offline
Honeysuckle Tea House 101
No big summer vacay plans? No worries. We’ve got a day-trip spot that’ll make you feel miles away….
Take a deep breath in and imagine yourself on sixteen acres of serene farmland where flowers grow tall, hammocks sway in the breeze, and butterflies flutter lazily in and out of sight. You’ve got a healing cup of tea in hand, a view of children playing around the maypole and as the sun sets, string lights flicker on above you. Now deep, slow breath out. Ahh. Feel better? Yeah, you do.
Now, are you ready to pick up these tranquil vibes IRL? Great, because we’ve got good news: this magical place exists outside of your mind, and (even better) it’s right inside the Triangle! So hop in the car, and drive 15 minutes past downtown Chapel Hill—you’re about to discover one of the Triangle’s best hidden gems that’s 110% worth the drive.
Nestled in a wooded oasis sits Honeysuckle Tea House, the perfect zen getaway in the Triangle. It’s a seasonal, open-air teahouse made of upcycled materials (like shipping containers and telephone poles!), offering a peaceful respite where you can enjoy the fresh air and sip a cup of “garden-to-glass” tea, grown right on site.
It’s a pet and family-friendly spot with outdoor picnic tables, covered hammocks, and sprawling farmland that’s the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll. There’s also a natural playground for the little ones, a maypole, and a stage lit by fairy lights where local bands will fill the night air with lively tunes. Bring your tribe, snag a board game and a bottle of wine, and embrace the whimsical vibes. You’re welcome (nay, encouraged!) to wander the sprawling grounds. Lined with 40+ tea beds, blueberry bushes, and muscadine grapes, it’s a naturalist’s paradise.
An enchanting space that impresses on any occasion, Honeysuckle also offers a variety of programming and special events for all ages. Swing by to catch a movie under the stars, hear some live music, enjoy storytime with the kiddos, or take a class. (We’ve got our eye on their herbal perfume making!) Each event aims to nurture a sense of community.
Whether you’re looking for a rustic date spot, tranquil place to get some work done (yeah, they have WiFi), or just some general R+R, Honeysuckle Tea House is a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Oh, and do keep in mind that Honeysuckle is only open a few months out of the year when the weather is warm (that’s the pro and con of having a wall-less establishment). During the season, they’re open Friday and Saturday (9a-9p) and Sunday (9a-7p).
What to order
Honeysuckle Tea House offers a limited menu mainly made up of smoothies and tea. Their offerings change frequently, but you’re always guaranteed to find a soothing sip, a little nosh, and homemade mead for the 21+ crowd.
There are, of course, all of the standard barista bevs, though tea continues to reign supreme here (when in Rome, right?). They’ve got five teas made using their own harvest and their iced tea—which rotates flavors weekly—remains their most popular seller, hands down.
All of their smoothies are good but pay special attention to the Purple Fury and Carolina Blue Sky, which are both made using blueberries grown right on site. All of their smoothies (there’s usually about five or so to choose from) can be made into bowls and topped with granola, banana, and strawberry for added texture and ‘grammability.
They also make their own mead so if you’ve never tried mead before, now’s as good a time as any. According to the Honeysuckle team, “Honeysuckle Mead is a wine crafted with care on a bountiful stretch of land. Honeysuckle farm overflows with flowers, fruits, and herbs. We ferment our wines using what’s in season, often harvested by our own hands.” Um, we’re sold. They’ll also have a few seasonal varieties to choose from.
Current offerings include:
- Sap Moon: maple and honey flavors
- Elderberry + Elderflower: a dry honey-wine made with Honeysuckle-grown elderberry and flower
- Bounty: Honeysuckle Farm grown blackberry honey-wine with fig, plum, and Darjeeling tea
Now, if you’re panicking about having to choose just one of these indulgent-sounding sips, don’t worry. You can order a flight. (Phewf!)
And if you’re feeling peckish, they’ve got a small assortment of pastries from Durham’s Ninth St. Bakery and Raleigh’s Whisk and Rye. By popular demand, they’re also always fully-stocked with local Locopops.
- Because the teahouse is exposed to the elements, you’ll want to be sure and check the weather before heading out. It can be peaceful on a rainy day, but watch out for wind.
- If there is a chill in the air, Honeysuckle’s got a basket full of blankets to keep you nice and cozy.
- Not to sound like your mother here, but bring sunscreen! It’s an outdoorsy spot and a sunburn is the fastest way to kill the good vibes.
- They rarely close due to bad weather, but if it’s truly horrendous outside, they’ll post an update on FB.
- Keep an eye out for their ever-popular U-pick blueberries. No guarantee it’ll happen again this year, but if it does (fingers crossed!), they’ll keep you posted here.
- Programming is still underway for the season so follow their Facebook for updates on upcoming events.