5 Fun Spots in Raleigh North Carolina

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I recently headed to Raleigh North Carolina to visit family. While most trips to visit family are focused on quality time, I decided to skip out and explore a bit of what Raleigh has to offer.

Raleigh North Carolina

Rise in Raleigh North Carolina – credit: Rise FB page

The below list are five spots I absolutely loved, and would definitely suggest you check out if you ever find yourself in the area and wanting to treat yourself!

1. The Umstead Hotel + Spa

I heard rave reviews from Raleigh locals about The Umstead Hotel and Spa, and I must say, it did not disappoint! There’s plenty of gorgeous grounds to explore, an art gallery to peruse, and a delightful spa including a heated outdoor whirlpool, saunas, steam rooms, and jacuzzis.

Their onsite restaurant, Herons, is true five star dining–but if you’re not up for the whole dinner, they do an afternoon tea in the lobby accompanied by a harpist, or cocktails in the evening accompanied by live jazz. If you’re in search of a place to #treatyoself, this is certainly it!

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2. Rise

I’m only slightly embarrassed to say we ate breakfast at Rise 4 of the 6 mornings we were in Raleigh…it’s just that good! With donuts made onsite (try their version of a Boston Cream–but instead of cream, it has dark chocolate pudding inside!), and phenomenal homemade biscuits (I loved the fried green tomato with pimento cheese), these guys do breakfast up right! Note: they are only open until 2pm daily, so make sure to get there early!

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3. Brewery Bhavana

Part craft brewery, part bookstore, part flower shop, part restaurant, Brewery Bhavana does it all and does it all so dang well.  The food is best described as Asian fusion, and their beers are wildly hoppy in all the right ways!

I love how the back wall of the space is a used lending library, where people can leave a book/read a book…it really inspires a sense of community, and a place where you want to hang out.

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4. Watts & Ward

If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you know I have a soft spot for everything 1920’s. Watts & Ward is an underground speakeasy in Raleigh with a literary 1920’s vibe–they have little nooks and crannies full of books, comfy couches and chairs, and plenty of rooms and several different bars, meaning everyone has enough space to relax and enjoy the atmosphere without being on top of one another.

Featuring an extensive selection of craft cocktails on top of local brews and wines, it’s the perfect place to spend a Saturday night.

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5. The Raleigh Grande

If you love the movie theater as much as I do, you sure will appreciate the Raleigh Grande! They have “luxury loungers”, which allow you to literally lean back as far as you want with your feet reclined…while sipping on your choice of adult beverage. After experiencing a movie this way, it’s really hard to go back to a normal theater.

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Photo Credit: Facebook Pages Of Each Business

Tips: Be sure to visit our North Carolina page.

Jessica Tiare Bowen
Jessica Tiare Bowen lives in the juicy Big Apple with her adorable pink-nosed chihuahua, Gillman. He's the inspiration for her first published children's book, "Park Avenue Pound Puppy." The book is the combined result of her two greatest passions: pooches and penning stories.

Her passions include art, urban hikes through Manhattan, drinking coffee with 3 creams and 6 sugars, making extremely detailed itineraries and traveling to far away places, singing along to Broadway shows, Netflix movie nights, discovering incredible treasures at Goodwill and thrift stores, and listening to stories from little people under 7 and big people over 70.

She started her career as New York City Teaching Fellow, teaching elementary school and theater arts at a special education school in the South Bronx for 6 years. She is now a Special Education School Improvement Specialist working in public schools throughout New York City. She is the Editor-In-Chief of the online New York City travel magazine, Used York City. The magazine focuses on finding the best of New York...as used by New Yorkers. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and an ASPCA Ambassador.
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