North Carolina never ceases to impress me. Having traveled to the Great Smoky Mountains since I was a child, there was no doubt in my mind that North Carolina is among the most beautiful of our states. But if you had told me that I would fall in love with Greensboro a town located smack in the middle of the state away from both the mountains and coast, I probably would have never believed you. But fall in love I did.
Arriving in Greensboro seems not much different than other towns, connecting interstates and highways, average topography, but turning onto Green Valley Road you notice a large hotel with the word Proximity in large letters across the top. Soon you realize you are in no average town, pulling into the hotel you are greeted with 20 foot black and white drapes that hang from the entrance ceiling. Two vintage cars sit under the portico, one a black and white checkerboard cab. You will also notice two vintage style bicycles posed in the entrance windows. The large lobby opens up overlooking a modern opulently furnished lower level. The entrance to the hotel is sleek with clean lines, and very elegantly adorned.
The Proximity is eight floors of rooms with 14 foot ceilings and large glass windows with window seats making it an ideal spot to watch the sunset. Beautifully decorated black and white bathrooms with windows that open over the bathtub out into the room provide an intimate detail making the hotel ideal for a romantic getaway. The rooms are spacious with adequate storage and large seating areas. A common area with a lounge, laptops, water, and sodas are located on each floor.
A well kept courtyard with garden nooks nestled among the vines and greenery provide the perfect setting to enjoy a happy hour cocktail or to sip rose under the stars. Perhaps my favorite spot, the pool is encased in vines and greenery with a select number of loungers poolside. Rarely will you see other guests at the pool, so most of the time you have it all to yourself. A nice way to start the day with a morning swim or enjoy some couple’s time at the end of the day.
The highlight of the hotel is its shining star restaurant, Print Works Bistro. Bustling with activity whether its happy hour, breakfast or dinner, Print Works Bistro is a place to socialize. This isn’t your typical ‘tourist’ hotel restaurant, this is one of Greensboro residents favorite places to meet and eat. The bar specializes in delicious seasonal cocktails like the Sandy Ridge Smash made with grilled peaches or Spring Rain made with mint and a lemon-lavender simple syrup. Print Works’ charcuterie plate is compressed of local cheeses, meat, and other accoutrements. Their heirloom tomato plate is a light way to whet your palette. Enjoy entrees of Pan Seared Scallops, Steak Frites, Mountain Trout or their daily selection, for instance Wednesday is Mussels night where you can also enjoy bottle of wine for $10-$15. Certain nights there is also live music.
The owners of The Proximity had a goal in mind – to create a hotel that was not just a ‘place to sleep’ but a place the community would enjoy as well. To make the hotel a hub of socialization that residents and guests alike would enjoy going to. They have done just that.
The Proximity is actually the sister hotel of Greensboro’s iconic O.Henry Hotel just down the street. The O.Henry is a gorgeous, more traditional hotel with beautiful wood walls and Victorian upholstered furniture. Guests can enjoy tea time at the O.Henry and also the towns Green Valley Grill restaurant. The vintage cars can take guests back and forth from each hotel.
Although these hotels are reason alone to visit Greensboro, there is more to explore. Greenways throughout the city make it an ideal place to run or bike. In fact guests can reserve bikes at The Proximity and scoot out for a morning bike ride.
Things To Do
Bog Garden – This garden features an elevated boardwalk through 7 acres of natural wetlands. Enjoy Serenity Falls while viewing the many varieties of plants, birds, and other wildlife inhabiting the area.
Greensboro Arboretum – This 17-acre site features 14 plant collections, special display gardens and distinct structural features. The extensive variety of plants offers rich educational opportunities for children and adults, landscape designers, and homeowners. The garden is open year-round. Hours vary throughout the year. Admission is free.
Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden – Known for its massive annual plantings and bronze sculpture, this 7.5-acre garden is a popular and relaxing retreat. The garden is open year-round. Hours vary throughout the year. Admission is free.
Weatherspoon Art Museum – With exhibits like ‘Inside The Outside: Five Self Taught Artists’ featuring Alabama’s Thornton Dial and other artists as well as ‘Matisse Drawings: Curated By Ellsworth Kelley’, the museum is a stellar collection of 20th and 21st century art in the Southeast.
The Carolina Theater of Greensboro – Billed as the Showplace of the Carolinas when she opened in 1927, today the theatre is home to concerts from artists across all genres, classic and independent movies, community theatre and dance, as well as local performances in our third-floor loft theatre, The Crown. Last year, the Carolina Theatre welcomed more than 100,000 people through her doors, helping to ensure the mission of Presenting Arts, Preserving History.
Where To Eat
1618 Seafood Grill – Incredible restaurant that you need reservation for because it is among the hottest spots in town. Serving entrees like Tempura Fried Lobster and fresh regional catches, 1618 Seafood Grill packs them in and wines and dines their guests very well. Their craft cocktail list is quite impressive as is their selection of great wines.
Iron Hen Cafe – Fresh. Local. Good. That is Iron Hen’s mantra and it does not disappoint. Their coffee bar is outstanding and they serve 3 meals a day that are packed with goodness. At breakfast enjoy entrees like Black Bean Cakes with Sunny Side Eggs Topped with Tomatillo Salsa and Sweet Potato Pancakes. At lunch enjoy a selection of sandwiches and salads with plenty of vegetarian options and for a real treat ask for a side of their Collard Green and Bacon Egg Roll – absolutely delicious and creative!
Print Works Bistro – The highlight of The Proximity Hotel is its shining star restaurant, Print Works. Bustling with activity whether its happy hour, breakfast or dinner, Print Works is a place to socialize. This isn’t your typical ‘tourist’ hotel restaurant, this is one of Greensboro residents favorite places to meet and eat. The bar specializes in delicious seasonal cocktails like the Sandy Ridge Smash made with grilled peaches or Spring Rain made with mint and a lemon-lavender simple syrup. Print Works’ charcuterie plate is compressed of local cheeses, meat, and other accoutrements. Their heirloom tomato plate is a light way to whet your palette. Enjoy entrees of Pan Seared Scallops, Steak Frites, Mountain Trout or their daily selection, for instance Wednesday is Mussels night where you can also enjoy bottle of wine for $10-$15. Certain nights there is also live music.
Green Valley Grill – An iconic Greensboro restaurant, Green Valley Grill has an excellent selection of fresh catches and steak along with tasty apps and mouthwatering desserts that change daily. Their Italian donuts were on the menu while we were there.
Crafted – Creative joint serving global-inspired gourmet tacos & burgers, with beer & vegan options available.
Where To Shop
Hudson’s Hill – The epitome of cool, this is hands down one of the best men’s shops in the United States specializing in leather goods, shoes, and denim.
Boho Blu – Family owned North Carolina boutique offering trendy and classic clothing and accessories at great prices.
Thank Heaven – Precious children’s boutique where you can shop for all your little ones.