48 Hours in Raleigh, NC

    via flickr.com

    Raleigh, NC has a myriad of options for both newcomers and long-time residents to enjoy themselves on the weekends. Great fine dining, nightlife, live entertainment, shopping and other attractions are all within reach in the Raleigh area.

    Below is just one of many recommended ways to enjoy the absolute most that Raleigh, NC has to offer:

    Day One: Downtown

    Breakfast

    Big Ed’s City Market is dedicated to the best Southern breakfast. Located on Wolfe Street, it’s a good place to start your first day in Raleigh.

    NC Museum of Natural Sciences

    From Big Ed’s, you can walk a few blocks downtown to see the three-story globe that marks the most-visited site in North Carolina, the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. This free Museum offers exhibits from dinosaurs to precious gems to living creatures like the two-toed sloth.

    Lunch

    State Farmer’s Market Restaurant is adjacent to the real farmers’ market and the food is fresh. This is an old-fashioned meat and three type of place, but there are plenty of choices to suit modern taste buds, including vegetarians.

    North Carolina Museum of History

    The North Carolina Museum of History is another free museum. Exhibits are designed to educate and fascinate you. While you are there, walk across the street to the North Carolina State Capitol. The museum and capitol building are located across from each other on West Edenton.

    Dinner

    What’s your preference? Stay downtown and find one of these delights. Enjoy pizza at the Mellow Mushroom. Grab a brew and a burger at Bull City Brewery. Go upscale with TuscanBlu, gourmet Italian.

    Entertainment

    For live music downtown, try the Kings Barcade or the Sushi Blues Cafe. Other downtown venues include Deep South, C Grace, Zydeco Downtown and Raleigh Brewing Co. If you want something smaller, try Napper Tandy’s Irish Pub. If you are more interested in sports, the winter season features the Carolina Hurricanes and NHL hockey while spring/summer brings regional baseball and the Carolina Mudcats.

    Day Two: Around Town

    Breakfast

    Stop by the Flying Biscuit on Clark Ave. for a bite to eat. This hosts one of the best and least expensive meals for the money. While you are out, grab some sandwiches to take with you for a picnic.

    N.C. Museum of Art

    After breakfast, drive to the N.C. Museum of Art. Parking and your visit are free. The museum is open until five most days except Fridays when it is open until 9 p.m. Brunch is good there, too.

    Nature Calls

    The Park at the Museum offers a chance to get outside and enjoy giant-sized works of art among nature’s own artistic treasures. This is a path that meanders through fields and forests. It’s a great place to take a picnic.

    Open Up Your Options

    Can’t get enough art? Visit CAM, home of contemporary art. Huge history buff? Visit one of Raleigh’s numerous historical homes. This includes the Pope House Museum and the Joel Lane Museum House. You can step back in time and enjoy beautiful gardens while you are there.

    Take a leisurely drive through a historic and beautiful Victorian neighborhood. Visit the Capital Area Greenway Trails for walking or biking. You may want to rent a canoe and enjoy some sightseeing by water.

    Dinner

    Get dressed up and head to the Glenwood South area. You can drive, but there’s also a connector bus that circulates through downtown and can get you there. The area offers upscale dining, trendy bars and lots of fun.

    Entertainment

    Since you are already dressed for the town, you may want to head to the beautiful Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts. With multiple venues all in one place, you can find theater, classical concerts, ballet, opera and touring musical acts to suit any taste.

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