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Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary The Triangle Area
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:32 PM
 
242 posts, read 594,005 times
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We moved to the area 10 mths ago and are still learning our way around. My parents and sister are visiting next week and we need some suggestions for daytime & evening activities in Cary, Raleigh, Durham areas (sightseeing, walking trails, restaurants, etc...). We are trying to convince them to move here and want to make the most of their week-long trip.
Thanks for your suggestions.
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Old 12-31-2011, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
43,269 posts, read 77,063,738 times
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Go to Black Creek Greenway parking lot on NW Maynard Rd. in Cary,

Black Creek Greenway access is just up the street from Godbold Park.
You can park and take a very pleasant walk.

Hemlock Bluffs is very pleasant, too.
2616 kildaire farm road cary nc - Google Maps

I really like Sears Farm Road Park at Highcroft, too.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:11 AM
 
924 posts, read 2,102,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinPrincesses View Post
We moved to the area 10 mths ago and are still learning our way around. My parents and sister are visiting next week and we need some suggestions for daytime & evening activities in Cary, Raleigh, Durham areas (sightseeing, walking trails, restaurants, etc...). We are trying to convince them to move here and want to make the most of their week-long trip.
Thanks for your suggestions.
TwinPrincesses, What kinds of activities does your family enjoy? That seems to me like an important consideration, especially if you're purposely trying to use their visit as a tool to persuade them. For example, are they more indoor- or outdoor-oriented people? Will there be kids in the group, or just adults? Do they prefer an urban, suburban, small-town, or rural setting? Do they like fine dining, or more of a casual, funky atmosphere? Do they enjoy long walks and/or drives, or will they be happier if you can just go to a specific attraction and spend a long time there? Do they enjoy live music? Sports? Art? Architecture? History? Nature? When I entertain out-of-town guests, I try to take all of these things into consideration, because the Triangle offers some of all these elements, but not necessarily tons of any of them. But of course, since you have a week with your family, you should have enough time to do a number of different things. Depending on your or their preferences, some of the area attractions that I've found popular with people visiting from elsewhere:
  • downtown Raleigh - people from bigger cities tend to look down their noses at it, and it's not "impressive" compared to other cities, it's actually deceptively fun, cool, and interesting if you have an open mind about it. It's accessible, affordable, friendly, and safe, so I find that people generally enjoy spending some time just kind of walking around and exploring the downtown area, either during the day or at night, as long as the weather isn't horrible. These days there a lot of nice places there to stop in and get some food or a drink, too, or else you can just wander.
  • Cooper's Barbecue, or some of the other "old-timey" dining establishments that retain hints of the area's history and Southern-ness, especially if they serve the local eastern NC-style pork barbecue, which many people from other parts of the country have never had.
  • the Oakwood neighborhood
  • Oakwood Cemetery
  • Pullen Park
  • Dorothea Dix campus area
  • J.C. Raulston Arboretum
  • Umstead State Park
  • the N.C. Museum of Art
  • Jordan Lake
  • the DPAC in downtown Durham
  • the American Tobacco Historic District
  • the Duke University West Campus, especially Duke Chapel, Duke Gardens, and the Nasher Museum
  • the UNC campus in Chapel Hill
  • Franklin Street and adjacent areas
  • Carrboro
  • the Cat's Cradle
  • Hillsborough, NC
  • Warrenton, NC
  • the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro (arguably part of the area. but not too far away)
  • Pinehurst/Southern Pines (likewise)
And, of course, there are a bazillion other things to do and places to eat in the area, but those are just a few that I've found guests to particularly enjoy. There are also some specific events this week that might be worth checking out, although probably not as many as there would be at most other times of the year. This coming Friday (the 6th) will be the first Friday of the month, though, so the First Friday activities will be going on in the downtown Raleigh area, which is kind of fun. Some people I've entertained in the area have enjoyed going to sporting events, especially Hurricanes hockey, Durham Bulls baseball, Duke or UNC men's basketball, or N.C. State football. The Canes have been playing so badly this year that their games haven't been as energetic or exciting as they usually are, but they still can be fun, and they're playing at home on Tuesday and Friday nights this week. UNC is playing Boston College at the DeanDome to start the ACC season on Saturday afternoon. Tickets would be expensive, but might be worth it if they like that kind of thing.

Beyond any of this, in my experience, the key thing is to emphasize to your guests that the real appeal of the Triangle area is not about specific events or attractions anyway. It's not a very tourist-oriented area, and so it's not focused around any particular must-see destination or destinations, the way some cities are. Instead, what the Triangle is really about as a region is its quality of life, and the eclectic but down-to-earth culture and communities here. So, the best way to convey that is to simply experience it, by exploring the various parts of the area by car or on foot (or also a bicycle can be a terrific way to get to know many parts of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill/Carrboro, though that can be difficult with out-of-town guests, and this is not the most fun time of year for it either). Let your guests observe and experience the subtle beauty and laid-back charm of the region, and look for opportunities for them to meet and interact with some of the overwhelmingly friendly and diverse local people. I'll bet they'll be hooked.

Finally, to me, one of the very best thing about living in the Triangle area is actually its proximity to other interesting places. I love that you can drive two to four hours one direction and get to incredibly beautiful beaches, sounds, and other coastal areas, or drive three to five hours the other direction and reach the most rugged mountains east of the Rockies. The Triangle is also wonderfully close to other great places like Washington, D.C. and Charleston, SC, and it's a manageable drive from Philadelphia, Atlanta, and even New York City. And we have a very nice airport for its size, from which one can get short, inexpensive flights to and from Florida, Chicago, or most other attractions in the eastern United States. It may seem kind of weird to welcome in guests from out of town, only to leave and go somewhere else. But since you have a whole week with your family, I think it might be worth taking a day to drive down to Atlantic Beach, let's say, or up to Boone, since having those kinds of amenities fairly close-by may further help to sway them.

Best of luck, and have fun!
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:56 AM
 
166 posts, read 304,341 times
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tompope, you should be in marketing! What a wonderful assessment of the area.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:53 PM
 
242 posts, read 594,005 times
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Thank you for the suggestions.
Wow tompope!! Thank you so much!!! You gave me a VERY DETAILED "Things to do in the Triangle" list! This will be my "go to" list when any of my family/friends visit. Definitely a wonderful assessment of the area and very much appreciated.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:35 PM
 
6,297 posts, read 16,091,761 times
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Here's a thread that some found helpful on the topic:

//www.city-data.com/forum/ralei...-add-list.html
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
520 posts, read 1,016,295 times
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Check out the Events Calendar @ the Visitor's Center:
Durham, NC - Official Visitors and Newcomers Information (http://www.durham-nc.com/ - broken link)
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:05 AM
 
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Default Places to see in Raleigh - Natural Science Museum

I'd suggest adding this to your list: The Museum of Natural Science in downtown Raleigh is a great place to visit, especially with kids. It's one of the best in the nation for what it offers. They also have special exhibits from time to time, from Dead Sea Scrolls to bugs and dinosaur bones... very cool place and extremely professional.
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goin2carolina View Post
tompope, you should be in marketing! What a wonderful assessment of the area.
Agree!

I'm all excited about moving to the area, and I already live here.
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