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ChicagoDallasGirl Dec 13th, 2010 08:36 AM

Raleigh/Asheville getaway, what to do?
We are all set for our January visit to NC. Flights booked, into RDU on Saturday morning and out of CLT on Wednesday morning, as well as one-way rental (all on points - yeah!). Also found a gorgeous, reasonably priced apartment that we're told is a stone's throw from Biltmore estate's entrance.

Now, I'm building an itinerary and would appreciate any feedback and/or suggestions. Here's what I'm thinking so far...


Arrive at RDU at 9:30 am and pick up rental

Breakfast downtown Raleigh ((any fab breakfast spots?)

Head to Capitol building and look around before 2 p.m. tour

What to do in Raleigh in the evening? Any great theaters, orchestra? Cozy restaurant suggestions? Nothing fancy.. Maybe barbecue? We love Italian cuisine and seafood...


Breakfast/jump on I-40 and head to Asheville

Is it worth stopping in Lexington for #1 bbq?

Arrive in Asheville around noon/1-ish/check in

Explore Biltmore Village

Visit Billy Graham's Cove training center, Basilica St. Lawrence or Thomas Wolfe Memorial?

Dinner at Early Girl Eatery, Tupelo Honey or Tingles?

Snuggle in for the evening

Our anniversary!</b>


Dinner at Red Stag Grill (open to other options)


Breakfast at Corner Kitchen

Not sure what to do with this day...

Any nearby towns to pop in? Or, what else in Asheville?

suewoo Dec 13th, 2010 08:55 AM

That looks like fun. I think on the last day you may want to check out the shops in A'ville. And ABSOLUTELY stop by Lex #1. It's worth the side trip. Wish I was there now.

Jimingso Dec 13th, 2010 09:50 AM

I believe Lexington Barbecue #1 is closed on Sunday.

ChicagoDallasGirl Dec 13th, 2010 10:56 AM

Jimingso, any runners up that will be open on a Sunday?

starrs Dec 13th, 2010 11:00 AM

One option would be to move everything up a day. Leave for Asheville after you arrive and stop in Lexington on the way for BBQ - especially if you don't have plans for your first night. I'd rather get to Asheville anyway. If you are really set on the Capitol tour then come back and do that on your last day.

No offense intended to the Raliegh folks, but I'd head for the hills :-)

shormk2 Dec 13th, 2010 11:44 AM

Asheville is such an awesome town! I would get there as soon as possible and just explore downtown,Biltmore Village, the funky area near UNCA, etc. I would do dinner at Rezaz and after dinner drinks at the Red Stag Grill. Bouchon is also fabulous. Tupelo Honey is one of my favorites- I know it's touristy, but it's good! Corner Kitchen is great as well. So, I think you've got some good choices depending on where you find yourself when you get hungry! On Tuesday, if you feel like you've exhausted Asheville, you could visit Hendersonville (very cute town outside of Asheville on I-26).

If you're set on spending the first night in Raleigh (which I wouldn't be inclined to do and I've lived there), go to 42nd Street Oyster Bar- it's more on the fancy side, but not too much so. For cozy, I'd go to the Rockford on Glenwood South (I'm pretty sure it reopened). This is all assuming you're staying near downtown... Raleigh is pretty spread out, so my recommendations may change depending on where you're staying.

If you want to be more adventurous, spend the night in Chapel Hill instead of Raleigh. Do dinner on Franklin Street (Top of the Hill or 411 West (Italian)) and then catch a performance of some type going on at the University (there is always something) or a live show just down the street in Carboro. Depending on when you're there, UNC basketball may have a home game. You won't be able to get tickets to the game, but watching it from a bar on Franklin Street is quite an experience.

Enjoy your travels in NC- I hope the weather cooperates for you!

SAnParis2 Dec 13th, 2010 12:16 PM

Not sure why you chose the RDU bit but I'd also just head staright to Asheville. Lots of Asheville info, already on here.

SAnParis2 Dec 13th, 2010 12:17 PM

You'll also be traveling right teh the primary wine making corridor of NC. Wouldn't hurt to stop @ a couple of those either.

Subway_Scoundrel Dec 13th, 2010 12:23 PM

Not sure what weekend, but the NHL All Star Game is on Jan. 28th. The NHL experience will be at the convention center and all kinds of stuff on Fayetteville Street.

The key is to checkout what is going on the weekend you are in Raleigh.

Also, don't know your age or what you are looking but plenty of good restaurants for everyone.

For DT Raleigh, there are 4 sections but all runs together. Fayetteville St area which is right DT near the Capital, Glenwood south which there are bars and restuarants, the Warehouse/Depot District. Still building up but some things there and the Capital District which is where the Gov offices and Museums are.

Not sure what FAB Breakfast is but if you would like a southern experience, try Big Eds. I don't consider Raleigh a big true southern city but you get some of the south here. I am sure there are nice brunches DT but I would have to look more.

Also, a diner on Glenwood south called The Diner.

Also, a dive place to eat DT is Finches, but understand, it is a dive.

One thing to know about DT Raleigh, the Circulator Bus all day so you can cover DT, Glenwood South and the Warehouse area with ease. Not sure where you are staying. DT or not? but it is a good way to get around.

Near Big Eds in City Market with some unique shops and such. Not a ton of stuff but some.

For restaurants at night, here are some choices. Not to many BBQ places, especially DT except The Pit, which is more upscale but not fancy. The Pit is in the Warehouse/Depot District along with Humble Pie which is in an old building. HP is a little expensive but good. One of favorites is Siti. Not expensive and near nightlife with people on the street. Also, Baku. Maybe head down the Moore Square and go to Tir na Nog for a beer after dinner.

Not much shopping DT but if you like women handbags and pocketbooks, you should not miss Raleighs' designer Holly Aiken and her store Stich.

Look at the Progress Energy Center for culture. Since DPAC opened (Durham Performing Arts Center), much has left DT Raleigh for Durham, but still has a lot ot offer. If you are younger and want to see a band, there is the Lincoln Theater.

Near DT is The Mordecai House which does not take long, but has the house and few others that has been moved there. I say this as between DT Raleigh and The Mordicai (a mile apart) is a Krispy Kreme with a mfg line so a good hot donut is near by that they will pick off the mfg line. Also a Krispy Kreme kiosk downtown.

Not sure of your age but if you can handle a good bar, try the following. With Raleigh, there is a large younger crowd and a large married crowd but the two do not always mix. Here are some bars for a drink if out. Crowds may be younger 25 to 38 but anyone is welcomed and like most places, the later, the younger.

These are DT

The Raleigh Times Bar
The old newspaper HQ. Not big and turns to a bar pretty quick at night but the Pork Nachos are great.

Hand made mixers and NC beers. Get a drink of Junior Johnson Moonshine. (it's legal) A private club but easy to get in....usually.

A couple of general websites

If you need more info on Raleigh....I will check back every once in a while

ChicagoDallasGirl Dec 13th, 2010 12:30 PM

starrs, our flight is already booked and dates pretty firm. One of the few common hobbies we have is visiting Capitols, so that's a must do for us. I think it'll be #16 or #17 since we married seven years ago. :)

shormk2, thanks bunches for the input. Will def check University for goings-on. We found a $68 hotel stay (total bargain) in downtown Raleigh, so sounds like the 42nd Street Oyster Bar or Rockford would be close. I too hope the weather is good. :)

ChicagoDallasGirl Dec 13th, 2010 12:33 PM

I was sitting in the reply box for a while and now see SAnParis2 and SS's responses. SAnParis2 we're Capitol buffs and I'll be 5 months pregnant, so no wine for me. :)

SS, this is an extensive list! You've given me lots to consider and hours more research for sure! LOL

Subway_Scoundrel Dec 13th, 2010 12:42 PM

CBG So I guess at $68 DT, it is the CHotel or DIs. More near Glenwood South with the Capital just 2 blocks away.

3 Italian places I would suggest are

Care Luna (see above)

La Volta


And use the Circulator. Clean easy and safe and park your car

Littleman Dec 14th, 2010 02:35 PM

Lexington is closed on Sunday. Stop at Carolina in Statesville for lunch and good BBQ. Here's a link to NC BBQ Trail.

Carolina Bar B Que @ 213 Sailibury Rd., Statesville, NC. 704 - 873 - 5589.

ChicagoDallasGirl Dec 14th, 2010 03:40 PM

SS, Comfort Suites is the place. Thanks for the Italian spots!

Littleman, Appreciate the re-direct to Carolina Bar B Que! And, wow! Had no idea this society existed. Very cool! Thanks for the links!

ChicagoDallasGirl Jan 27th, 2011 03:26 AM

Just 48 hours until we board flight for RDU. Thanks again for every suggestion, link, opinion, etc. in reference to our get-away. Happy travels! cdg

Gretchen Jan 27th, 2011 03:37 AM

If you want more BBQ before you get on the plane in Charlotte go to Mac's Speed Shop on South Blvd,--not too far from the airport.
I might still head for Asheville after the Capitol tour. Or take in chapel Hill for the evening. You'll have spent part of the day in Raleigh. Don't get lost on the beltways. Get a GPS or bring yours.

Gretchen Jan 27th, 2011 03:37 AM

If you want more BBQ before you get on the plane in Charlotte go to Mac's Speed Shop on South Blvd,--not too far from the airport.
I might still head for Asheville after the Capitol tour. Or take in chapel Hill for the evening. You'll have spent part of the day in Raleigh. Don't get lost on the beltways. Get a GPS or bring yours.

ChicagoDallasGirl Jan 27th, 2011 08:16 AM

Hey Gretchen, We'll be technology-laden with two iPhones and an iPad, so directions shouldn't be too much trouble, but thanks for the head's up! After the Capitol tour, DH wants to visit UNC and Duke campuses, just to ride around and have a look-see. We typically do this wherever we travel... basically get lost and discover things. We've both had a busy week (DH is traveling as I type) so I'm sure we'll be ready to crash after that and be bright eyed and bushy tailed for the drive to Asheville the next morning. :-)

Gretchen Jan 27th, 2011 08:46 AM

You are definitely covered. If you are a foodie, you might want to pop into A Southern Season in Chapel Hill. Do eat on Franklin street if you have time. Pick up a greasy delicious pita at Mel's!! Crook's Corner is Bill Neal's old restaurant where shrimp and grits was made mainstream fare.

whataboutit Jan 27th, 2011 09:38 AM

Well last time we went to Raleigh we ate breakfast at The Flying Biscuit.

It was really good!

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