3109 Dairyland Road, Hillsborough
Since 2001, Maple View Farm, out in the countryside south of Hillsborough, has sold homemade "cow-to-cone" ice cream out of a store on its property. As tasty as its treats are, they're arguably secondary to the other product the farm is peddling: pure bucolic charm. In this, it has few peers in the Triangle. If you can't find a seat on one of the couple-dozen rocking chairs that line the ice cream shop's wraparound porch, there are picnic tables on the hill; both offer stunning, westward views of North Carolina pastureland. If we were more adult, we would order the seasonal flavors of ice cream—blueberry or blackberry in the summer, North Carolina sweet potato in the fall, eggnog come Christmastime. But we can't help ourselves: the Carolina Crunch (vanilla ice cream, Butterfinger and Heath bits, caramel swirl) is simply too good. We order it in a waffle cone and time our trip so that it can be enjoyed as the sun falls out of the sky. Then we rock on the porch a little while longer and drive home, belly full, soul full.