Perfect Day in Downtown Cary NC


As anyone who lives in the Triangle knows (or anyone who’s exploring the region online will soon find out), Downtown Cary, NC is just one of many charming areas in our nearly 60-mile township. Starting from the 4-way intersection of Chatham and Academy Streets, the downtown district runs 3-4 blocks in each direction.

There are so many intriguing stops you could make, we couldn’t possibly cover them all in one article, but we wanted to share a sampling for you to build into your own Perfect Day in Downtown Cary!

Outdoor art, nature and people-watching

It’s summertime, so if you’d like to enjoy some outdoor time early in the day, before the heat kicks in, stroll S. Academy Street. Take in the art installations (also great for photo ops!), or have breakfast on The Mayton Inn’s patio. Relaxing near the soothing fountain that bubbles away at the Downtown Park will make you feel like you’re miles away from hectic daily life.

From here you can stroll the shops, or stop at the library. Or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, just a short drive from downtown you’ll find one of Cary’s many green areas:

Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve

This beautiful, 140-acre preserve provides unlimited nature trails that are well patched and mulched—making them safe for all ages. As you enjoy your walk, you can explore the wide range of native plants and trees, including the abundant Eastern Hemlocks.

Bring binoculars or camera to take advantage of wildlife and bird-watching opportunities. Or just relax at one of the elevated areas perfect for a little quiet meditation. The preserve is open from 9.00 am to sunset.

Is history or indoor adventure more your speed? If so, take a trip back in time at:

Page-Walker Arts & History Center

One way to understand the culture and identity of a town is using the lens of history. A visit to the Page-Walker Arts & History Center, a former hotel built in 1868, can offer you the perfect historical perspective. The center, located at 119 Ambassador Loop, offers:

  • Art Exhibitions: The first and second floors of the building boast rotating art displays. (Try out the Cary Art Loop, on the last Friday of each the month; from 6-8pm, you can meet and mingle with artists as they launch new pieces.)
  • Special Events: Check the town calendar for special events that might add interest to your visit. If you’re lucky, you may get to attend a poetry session, preservation concert, or arts and crafts festival.

(Note that the Center is open 10am to 1pm Saturdays, and closed Sundays.)

Whichever way you’ve worked up your appetite, you’ll almost certainly want something scrumptious next, which is why…

A perfect day in downtown Cary must include lunch…

  • Sample tasty dishes like Grilled Brie w/Raspberry-Pistachio Honey and Crostinis, or scrumptious Mussels in a Basil White Wine Cream (and those are just for starters), at Academy Street Bistro.
  • Just a few blocks away, the original downtown pub, Crosstown Pub & Grill will treat you to a more casual and still mouth-watering array of pub grub including burgers, wings, nachos with assorted meat-topping options and more.
  • For a wonderful blend of modern Asian cuisine in an historic restored home setting, MC Cuisines, across from the Downtown Park on S. Academy St, is a perfect choice. Each dish is as visually beautiful as it is delicious. The menu includes imaginative entrees as well as sushi and sashimi—and since ingredients are sourced locally, it changes often.

This is really just the beginning of the fun that downtown Cary, NC has to offer. We’d love to hear your favorite spots!

And if you’re considering settling down in Cary, we’d love to help you find the home and area that will give you the most joy. Contact us today to connect with one of our experienced realtors.

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