Travel Guide | North Carolina

10 Things to Do If You Go to Elon University

What every Elon University student must do around campus for fun

Elon University is located in the tiny college town of Elon, North Carolina. (Yes, the town was named for the college.) Here’s a comprehensive list of the best student activities around campus and further outside the “Elon Bubble.”

Best on campus event/activity
College Coffee is one of Elon’s best-kept traditions where students and faculty alike gather outside one of the gorgeous campus quads for free coffee and pastries every Tuesday morning. A great perk of going to a small college town.

Fun for Free
As college students, sticking to a budget is necessary, and there are plenty of fun things to do nearby, including exploring downtown, historic Burlington. There’s a lot of cool, local shops, restaurants, markets, historic sites and museums to see, that’s not just cookie-cutter campus activities or mega-shops like Target or shopping malls.

Best Farmers’ Markets
The Company Shops Market (or perhaps better known as the Co-Op) in downtown Burlington is an organic local grocer and weekend market that make the perfect place to find all-natural, organic products and a quiet, interesting place in town to do work. Think Whole Foods, but all organic and local; it’s so cool.

Co Op

Best spot to feed your sweet tooth
Cookout milkshakes are definitely go-to Southern sweet treat when you go to Elon. With tons of variety of flavors and a late-night drive-thru, it’s no wonder student flock to the popular dining establishment just for a milkshake, no matter the weather. Throughout my three years at Elon, I’ve had my fair share of milkshakes here, but the mint chocolate chip has to be the most delicious in my book.


Best local cuisine
Yes, there’s a plethora of good Italian, Asian, Mexican, American, Indian and Southern cuisine around, but nothing is more quintessential Elon than The Root. Located right on the main street of downtown Elon, is one of students’ favorite off-campus dining options, and it just happens to be in walking distance of campus. The menu features delicious sandwich, burger, wrap and salad options; but you can’t go without splitting a platter of Crispy Topped truffle aioli fries with your table—truly mouthwatering.

Most interesting historic landmark
Downtown Burlington’s City Park Carousel was purchased in 1948 and still runs, and every September, the town still celebrates the history of the carousel with the all-ages fun Carousel Festival–  because who doesn’t love a fun, outdoor fair? There’s tons of handmade shopping, crafts, and food vendors, as well as your traditional carnival rides and events.


Best Fall Activity
Pumpkin picking! Nothing says fall like taking home a pumpkin, and there’s plenty of farms around perfect for choosing your ideal jack-o-lantern, that also has other fun fall activities at the same time, such as Burlington’s own Iseley Farms.


Best Holiday event
One of the best-known college traditions in December are the Luminaries, when the entire campus is lit up, creating a magical experience that is simply the best at Elon. It’s something every student and alumni can never forget.


Best outdoor adventure
An easy weekend activity is to venture to for a hike. Many students enjoy venturing to Hanging Rock State Park for a quick day hike and some picturesque views at the top, at only an hour and a half’s drive away. Any easy outdoor excursion for any Elon student is to drive a little bit and spend the day hiking and exploring nature.

Drive a little bit
Get outside the “Elon Bubble” and take a short drive to larger cities of Greensboro and Raleigh and explore what makes these places unique. One popular Elon student drive is the Tanger Outlets in Greensboro! Bigger cities like Greensboro and Raleigh have more to offer in ways of shopping, restaurants,  museums and concerts that make for a fun weekend drive in the Triad.

10 Things You Must Do If You Go To Elon University

Miranda Siwak

Elon University | 6 stories

I'm currently a junior at Elon University in North Carolina, majoring in Journalism. I recently returned from studying abroad in London, England this past fall where I adored exploring all over the city, the country and Europe. In my free time, I enjoy curling up with a good book, writing, volunteering and, of course, traveling.

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