Suggestions for things to do while visiting Raleigh, NC?
July 21, 2016 6:59 PM   Subscribe

I moved to Raleigh, NC a while ago. I like it here a lot. It's great. I'm really glad I moved here. Now I have a friend coming out to visit. I'd like to show her around. This is kind of embarrassing, but I don't know where to take her. I've spent the entire time I've been here either working or riding. She isn't super into horses.

I know she'll like Fiction Kitchen. Ok, there's that.

I'm thinking of driving over to Carboro. I'm pretty sure she'll like Carboro.

There's also that strip along W. Franklin Street near UNC Chapel Hill with the nice restaurants and stuff. I think she'd like Chapel Hill Comics and that Indian restaurant "Mint."

I really like Quail Ridge Books and I haven't been to their new location in North Hills, so I was thinking we could go over there.

I know she likes browsing in shops. This is so embarrassing. I can't believe I've been here for months and I can't name a single shop. I can tell you where the horses are, though.
posted by trevor_case to Travel & Transportation around Chapel Hill, NC (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Just want to say hooray for Chapel Hill Comics! (I used to work there!)

We once had a Mefi meetup in this cute little part of Raleigh that had shops and bakeries and stuff, it was somewhere on Blake Street. I also like Foundation and Beasley's and feel like there are shops and things over by those places. I don't go to Raleigh super often but am happy to suggest Durham places if you want. :) Hopefully some of the Raleigh-area ppl will chime in soon!
posted by leesh at 7:08 PM on July 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

I lived in Raleigh for 8 years. This is the stuff I go to when I'm visiting Raleigh now.

State Farmer's Market
Father and Son
North Carolina Museum of Art
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
JC Raulston Arboretum
posted by Coatlicue at 8:27 PM on July 21, 2016 [5 favorites]

Does she like beer? Raleigh has a Flying Saucer, a small chain (maybe 2 dozen locations across the SE) which has lots and lots of different beers, hundreds of taps. Usually located near a college, but I won't pretend to know where 328 W Morgan St is.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:48 PM on July 21, 2016

Here are the weekend picks from Triangle Explorer, whose archives you and your friend might enjoy browsing. This Saturday (tomorrow) there's a day-long party to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the city buying Dorothea Dix Park from the state, to get folks excited about the future plans for the site. Bands, food trucks, etc.

What kind of shops? Father and Son, mentioned above, is a fun two-story antique shop with a collection of other dealers' shops on the 2nd floor, and the Cheshire Cat antique gallery in the basement of Cameron Village is big and fun to wander.
posted by mediareport at 2:49 AM on July 22, 2016

If you're willing to drive to Chapel Hill/Carrboro, then don't forget Durham! How about a trip to Duke Gardens, Nasher Museum of Art, and/or Duke Lemur Center followed by a stroll along Ninth Street or through downtown, both of which have tons of interesting/weird shops and amazing places to eat.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:37 AM on July 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Wow, great timing for this question! I am here visiting and just yesterday ran into a lady whose hobby seems to be collating this kind of information. She spent half an hour telling me everywhere I should go and then e-mailed me a staggering amount of information on things to see and do here. Me-mail me a regular e-mail address and I'll forward it all to you!
posted by HotToddy at 5:27 AM on July 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Raleigh Rose Garden is gorgeous, especially at this time of year. Nearby shopping area Cameron Village has some cute shops, and is also becoming condo-gentrified, as well (lots of sad boxy new development, boo). The Flying Biscuit restaurant there is an excellent brunch spot (but crowded on weekends, so be prepared for a wait if you go). The shrimp and grits there are one of the very few things I miss about living there.

Nearby is the Oakwood Cemetery, a beautiful resting place tucked into the Oakwood neighborhood on the other side of the downtown/Capitol area, by the Governor's Mansion. The cemetery has strict hours, and they will lock the gates at the posted time.

The Capitol area along with Fayetteville St. all the way down to the Duke Energy Center for the Perfoming Arts will give you plenty of eating and drinking options. Just north of the Capitol building are Museums and plenty of historical markers and statuary. I especially like Garland (food and cocktails), lucette grace (patisserie featuring amazeballs macaron ice cream sandwiches), and The Remedy Diner (cocktails and good veggie/vegan options).

(If you play Ingress or Pokemon Go or do geocaching, the Capitol area will keep you quite busy, too)
posted by wells at 5:50 AM on July 22, 2016

I have family in Carrboro. They have a great farmers market on Saturday mornings. I also like sitting in the picnic area outside Weaver Street Market.

Franklin Street is definitely good for browsing shops. Sounds like bookstores are an interest, so don't miss The Bookshop. They have cats in the store too!

I recently went to Fullsteam Brewery in Durham. Tasty beer, and they have board games.
posted by treachery, faith, and the great river at 8:42 AM on July 22, 2016

Does she like museums and/or art? There is the Contemporary Art Museum downtown and the NC Museum of Art not too far from there.

I grew up in Raleigh and a lot of my love-to-visit places when I'm in town are the same as on Coatlicue's list. For nostalgic reasons, I usually add the Cup a Joe on Hillsborough Street, Nice Price, then Reader's Corner a short (3 minute) walk up the street. If you want to complete the stroll with coffee and new (used) books in hand, you can go to the LRT Rose Garden.

If you want to continue the BOOKSBOOKSBOOKS theme, the new Hunt Library at NC State is really cool and almost a museum-like experience.

Chapel Hill/Carrboro are pretty great, too. If you begin in the morning, you can stop at Sunrise Biscuits on E. Franklin Street, then drive up the road and park near the Planetarium. Visitors really enjoy that space, and it's on a particularly pretty quad of UNC's campus. If the weather is nice, you can just walk the length of Franklin Street until it turns into to Carrboro (a little over a mile). And Carrboro is a lovely place to spend time: there is Weaver Street Market and All Day Records just (kind of) across the street.
posted by witchen at 8:45 AM on July 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Coatlicue and witchen have excellent suggestions. There used to be lots of good shopping in Chapel Hill / Carrboro. I really miss living there!!
posted by bessiemae at 4:01 PM on July 22, 2016

If you're out in Carrboro, I highly recommend Pizzeria Mercato.

If your friend is into food and cooking, Southern Season in Chapel Hill is a fun place to browse. And if you get peckish you can have a bite at the attached restaurant, the Weathervane.

If you end up in the Brightleaf Square area of Durham, you can browse for gifts and also eat at Parker and Otis, gawk at tchotchkes and various kinds of merchandise at Morgan Imports, and check out clothing and accessories at Vert & Vogue.
posted by research monkey at 6:16 PM on July 22, 2016

Is she crafty? Does she like thrift shops? Is she okay with getting a little dusty while digging through bins of stuff? If so, take her to The Scrap Exchange! This is a creative reuse store that runs bootcamps on how to open and run creative reuse stores. I was visiting the Raleigh/Durham area in February, and spent HOURS there.
posted by booksherpa at 4:30 PM on July 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

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