Ours is a bit of a sprawling city, so let’s narrow things down a little and design an itinerary for a perfect day in downtown Raleigh and nearby surrounds. Whether you’ve lived here your entire life, or you just arrived in the past few months, this will give you options for a few fun ways to unwind in the City of Oaks!
Start the Day with Brunch and Fresh Air
For most of us a perfect day does NOT start with the sunrise, so sleep in a little and then hit Jose and Sons for brunch, just outside downtown. Leave the waffles and other traditional brunch foods to the less adventurous. This Mexican hotspot makes a killer Bloody Mary with your choice of tequila or vodka. The menu includes all your favorite Mexican foods.
With a full belly, you may want to stop and smell the roses. The Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden is home to 60 beds filled with roses of all sizes and colors. Open to the public for free each day of the year, it’s a great place to take a blanket and relax in the sunshine.
It sits next door to the Raleigh Little Theater that offers live shows and other types of entertainment. Depending on its schedule, you might catch a matinée in the early afternoon.
While Away the Afternoon with Lunch and Sunshine
Eat with a purpose, when you snag a takeout order of sandwiches or kolaches from Carroll’s Kitchen. This non-profit restaurant donates its profits to help women in crisis find employment. After picking up your lunch, head over to Pullen Park and settle into one of the many fine picnic spots.
And after eating, you can hop on the carousel to relive your favorite childhood activity or rent a pedal boat to get some exercise. If you bring your racket and a friend, you can even enjoy a game of tennis in the park.
Looking for something a little more climate-controlled? Videri Chocolate Factory offers a self-guided tour, so you can learn more about how your favorite treat is made. You can start the tour in the attached café that sells its hand-crafted chocolate bars, bonbons, and espresso.
If you want to learn more about the state’s history, check out the North Carolina Museum of History. First opened in 1902, the museum offers a look at the culture and history of North Carolina with permanent and temporary exhibits.
Finish your perfect day in downtown Raleigh with a night on the town
If you opted for a tour of the chocolate factory, you can start your night on the town with dinner at The Pit. Our Carolinas are known for barbecue, and The Pit delivers some of the best in the area in an upscale, though still easy going, restaurant. Your meal starts with a basket of fresh hush puppies and only gets better from there.
Still ready for fun? How about winding down the rest of the night at Stars & Strikes?, just North of downtown. This is a playground for all ages with bowling, laser tag, and arcade games. You can bowl a strike or take out your friends with a friendly and competitive game of laser tag. If you get the munchies, snacks and beer on tap are available.
On the way home, stop by Krispy Kreme for a midnight snack or prep for a quick breakfast tomorrow morning. This donut chain got its start right here in North Carolina. The founder opened his first shop in Winston-Salem, and the rest is how dreams are made.
If you aren’t going home to your dream house after your perfect day in downtown Raleigh, we hope you’ll let us help you find it. Our team loves Raleigh and the Triangle area. We know where all the best places are and the home you’re looking for. Contact us when you’re ready to find your dream house.