Romantic weekend in central North Carolina
January 2, 2008 6:41 PM   Subscribe

My roommate is heading to central North Carolina for a few days this month for a romantic getaway with his long distance girlfriend, and they are looking for some romantic getaway ideas.

Neither has been to North Carolina before, so they have no idea what to look for in and around Raleigh/Durham. They've decided to exclude a couple of obvious travel options (Asheville and Outer Banks) because they don't want to spend what little time they have driving around (but they are open to small day trips). I was hoping the mefi community might have some local info. Hole-in-the-wall restaurants, cafes, bed and breakfasts, wineries, etc. Cute, small towns where they can stay and get around on foot would be a big draw.

Neither of these people are high rollers, but they aren't against spending money to have fun. I don't think they want to go to the most expensive restaurant in the area just because it is the most expensive restaurant. They'd rather go somewhere with great atmosphere.

I've never seen him so smitten, so help my roomie have the best weekend ever!
posted by monkeystronghold to Travel & Transportation around North Carolina (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The Q Shack in Raleigh is the best barbecue I've ever eaten in my life and I'm pretty fat, so that's saying quite a bit.
posted by Oktober at 6:48 PM on January 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I meant the Original Q Shack!

Sneaky bastards!
posted by Oktober at 6:49 PM on January 2, 2008

Best answer: This is a pretty good guide to travel in NC, I've found. Lots of great stuff in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. The Independent is a good source for what's going on. I also like Chatham County; The Inn at Celebrity Dairy is my favorite local romantic getaway (if what you're after is peace and quiet. And goats and chickens on the roam.), and it's only about 20 minutes outside Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

Happy to offer further commentary and/or info if your roommate wants to contact me by email, via profile.
posted by butternut at 7:06 PM on January 2, 2008

I'll second Chapel Hill, especially if you'd rather walk than drive around. I'd also strongly suggest checking the Duke and UNC basketball schedules before deciding where to stay, unless your roommate has an affinity for screaming folks clad in shades of blue.

In Chapel Hill, I'd recommend 411 West for dinner, and Crook's Corner for lunch (shrimp & grits = yum) ... though I'm partial to Pepper's Pizza as often as I can get it.
posted by joe vrrr at 7:29 PM on January 2, 2008

Cheese Fries at Linda's on Franklin St in Chapel Hill! South point mall is also pretty good if you want to do a little shopping while there.
posted by uncballzer at 7:55 PM on January 2, 2008

Best answer: I'll second the Celebrity Dairy, its a neat romantic place good for strolling (though the weather, which can be hit or miss this time of year, could limit strolling opportunities.) Near the Celebrity Dairy, is the town of Pittsboro. Its a fairly small town, but there are some interesting antique and second hand stores in the downtown along with a pretty good restaurant The General Store Cafe.

In Chapel Hill, I'd suggest Sandwhich (that's how it's spelled) and/or its sister coffee house, 3 Cups as a quiet place to sit around, enjoy a great sandwich or cup of coffee.

In Durham, they could see a movie at the Carolina Theater (a cool restored movie palace) and then go have an amazing dinner at Piedmont Restaurant. My wife and I had a birthday dinner there last weekend and it's now on my list of "best restaurants" for the area.

Lastly, I have to mention West End Wine Bar in Chapel Hill (Warning, their web site has really cheesy music that you can't turn off). The Wine Bar was a place that my wife and I had several romantic evenings when we were first dating.

Apologies for the restaurant centric response, but at this time of year, the weather limits a lot of outdoor activity. But if they luck up, the weather could be ok and then I'd suggest things like walking around Eno State Park or Duke Forest, walking around any of the college campuses (Duke or UNC). Walking around the flea market at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh can be fun if they're into flea market kind of stuff.

I hope they have a great time.

Oh and I'll second the suggestion to check the basketball schedule for UNC, Duke and NC State. Chapel Hill has a great feel on game day, but it can cause some minor traffic backups. Similar traffic problems can happen near the Duke and NC State campuses around game time.
posted by cptspalding at 8:02 PM on January 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

P.S. I should add Piedmont has a nice romantic atmosphere.
posted by cptspalding at 8:03 PM on January 2, 2008

Best answer: cptspaulding has covered a lot of ground. For Durham, the combination of the Carolina and Piedmont is awesome. Here are some cute B&B type places close to downtown. The Brightleaf area of downtown has lots of nice, upscale bars.

For a daytrip, maybe they could spend a day in Seagrove checking out the pottery studios? The NC Zoo is close to there, too, if they like really cool zoos with lots of open space natural habitat displays.

(For the love of all things decent, they should not go to Q Shack. At least not if they're expecting actual NC barbecue. If they want Texas style gristle drowned in tomato sauce, then Q Shack is fine. The best authentic NC barbecue in the Triangle can be found in Pittsboro at Allen and Sons. Pittsboro has some nice pottery studios, too.)
posted by hydropsyche at 6:17 AM on January 3, 2008

Don't know if it fits the romantic bill, but previously.
posted by yoga at 6:23 AM on January 3, 2008

a friend of mine did a tour of NC wineries for her bachelorette party and had a great time. granted, this involves driving, but it may be worth it as a romantic roadtrip:
posted by kidsleepy at 8:46 AM on January 3, 2008

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