It’s located right next to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but this outpost of 20,000 has a much slower pace than a rowdy college town. It’s a bastion of liberalism (it elected the state’s first openly gay mayor) and one of the epicenters of the locavore movement. There are more than 200 farms within a 50-mile radius, and the harvest is funneled into the weekly farmers’ market, the local-favorite Open Eye Cafe, and the Weaver Street Market, a co-op referred to as “Carrboro’s front yard.” The town also has 213-acre University Lake, a haven for SUPers and kayakers. And trails along Bolin Creek and in the Horace Williams Tract are popular with runners, although “there are a lot of nameless gems, too,” says Jen Ellis, of local outfitter Townsend Bertram and Company. Don’t feel like running? You can also get around via city bus—they’re 100 percent free.