Raleigh Vacation (relocation?)

Old Apr 6th, 2005, 08:21 PM
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Raleigh Vacation (relocation?)

Hello everyone!!

My husband, one year old and I are considering relocating to Raleigh from Ventura California. I am ready to pack my bags, but my husband is going to need a bit of convincing. We are going to take a look at the area the week after Memorial Day. I am looking for suggestions on where to eat and what to do (things to impress my hubby.

My husband grew up in Toronto and has travelled abroad extensively. I want to show him the culture and arts in Raleigh. Show him that not everyone is into fried foods and NASCAR

Where to eat? I want to avoid tourist hangouts, find good food that can accomodate a one year old. Our son goes out to eat with us regularly and has never been a problem. I are looking for those small hidden gems only the locals know about.

We will be staying at a bed and breakfast in downtown Raleigh. We look forward to walking as much as possible, but we also want to check out all the areas.

We are both in our early thirtys, active and like to eat healthy food. We are flying into Charlotte to visit with my brother, and driving into Raleigh, so any hot spots along the way would be great. I love this board and thank you in advance for your advice.

Debra
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 03:45 AM
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Why not take a look at Charlotte while you are here?
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 05:23 AM
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It's always dicey to try to make Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill look like the equivalent of a big city, and making the area look like Toronto is hopeless. Also, you'll be shocked, I'm afraid, at the humidity compared to Ventura. But to turn to the positive:

The N.C. Museum of Art, while small, is still a charming place and has a nice restaurant on the premises (people bring kids, although it is a museum so 1-yr.-olds aren't as plentiful). If you go there on the weekend, Sun. brunch is usually so popular that you need a reservation.

I'm wondering where, exactly, your B&B is, because downtown Raleigh is probably the least appealing part of the area, esp. at night. Going north out Glenwood Avenue has more to offer, esp. restaurants. Frankly, I think you might want to make sure you get hubby to Durham (Duke Gardens on the Duke campus and the Duke campus itself, the 9th street corridor) and to Chapel Hill (Franklin St.) to make sure the flavor of the whole area comes through.

Here's a good website for restaurants: http://www.triangle.com/dining/
Probably bonniebroad and some others can be more helpful with Raleigh restaurants but I'll list some good family bets in Chapel Hill and Durham:

CH: My favorite family place: Elmo's in Carr Mill Mall in Carrboro ( a sort of attached "suburb" at the west end of Chapel Hill); 411 West (up to about 6-6:30 pm) on Franklin St.; Aurora (on Rte. 54); O'Neil's Neighborhood Grill on 54; and a real "locals only" gem in a strip mall ("Timberlyne") on Weaver Dairy Rd. is "Margaret's Cantina." I'm not listing our 3-star and 4-star places where a 1-yr. old might be a liability, but we do have some great ones. I also will mention Mama Dip's, which is nationally recognized but is down-home, soul/Southern cooking -- might not be what you have in mind for hubby, but the food is good.

Durham: Durham's got some of the really fine 4-star places sprinkled around parts of the city (not downtown), but for good/family dinners, some of the best are in/near shopping malls, which means they are chains like PJ Changs and Maggiano's. Otherwise, the 9th St. corridor has some interesting small places; and one of our favorites is Anotherthyme near Brightleaf Square in the downtown area -- not strictly a family place but can probably handle a one-year-old since it's not a stiff/starched place at all.

I'm not mentioning a couple of outstanding BBQ places because of your "not-NASCAR" comment; and I will be glad to supply the 4-star places (although that website can do it, too).

Be sure to check the area here on the Fodors destination guides, too.

Finally, while I'm sure that the Whole Foods chain is familiar to hubby, you might particularly want to go to the one in Chapel Hill or Durham (don't know if the one in Raleigh has an attached deli-restaurant - sorry, forgot) with your 1-year-old to eat a very casual but very good meal.
 
Old Apr 7th, 2005, 05:29 AM
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Huh! Lost a paragraph. Something like this: As is often pointed out on threads like this, each time you change areas, the temptation is to try to get out of the new area what you loved about the old area. Rarely works and leads to frustration and anger with the new place -- and is the reason people go back where they started often, because they never quite get what there is to get out of the new place.

The Triangle just isn't going to be a big culture-and-arts place, although it's evolving nicely in some areas -- notably music with the new director of the NC Symphony. What we do have (NASCAR is Charlotte, btw!): a glorious, changeable but mostly pleasant climate -- should be here now, with blooming pink, purple, white trees and green green green coming out everywhere; universities and colleges; accessibility (I'm always stunned at the growth of the crowds and lines when I visit a more urban area); sports, esp. basketball ; easy reach to beautiful mountains and beautiful shoreline; and more diversity of population than you probably think.
 
Old Apr 7th, 2005, 06:01 AM
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Thank you for your wonderful suggestions Cassandra. I will also keep in mind your advice in regard to moving.

There are things I miss about living in the Poconos, Toronto, and I'm sure I will miss things about Ventura (the weather is absolutely perfect). But, I'm also excited to have seasons again, to raise my children closer to our families, and to live where the cost of living is more reasonable. I've never been to Raleigh and I'm really excited to check it out in a few weeks.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 06:16 AM
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I will just add that Charlotte is A LOT more than NASCAR. Please. But I guess getting $100 million from one race in the spring can't hurt a city a lot. The actual garages and speedway is north of Charlotte.
And we don't have to drive to the next town to have 4* dining. It's right here in many parts of town.
And our downtown is quite appealing at all times of day.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 11:43 AM
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I will definitely be checking out Charlotte while we are in town. My brother lives in Cornelius, outside of Charlotte. So, we will be spending a few days with him before making our way to Raleigh.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 01:59 PM
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Charlotte is indeed more than NASCAR -- didn't mean to imply that's all it was, by any means. Just clarifying for debra lea that there's more evidence of interest in NASCAR in the Charlotte area, because it's nearby.

Charlotte is the "Queen City" in many ways, and might actually appeal more to debra lea's husband -- depending on what he's looking for.
 
Old Apr 11th, 2005, 09:21 AM
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While staying in downtown, go to the 3 areas. I see where people say nothing is going on downtown, but I sometimes wonder if these people ever go anywhere except their local strip center. The 3 areas are the following 1) Moore Square. It has slowed down some but a little older crowd. The city market is there along with some good resturants like Duck and Dumpling, Mo Diner and Cafe Luna. Also a few other local cheaper resturants called Vics Italian and El Rodeo (basic Mexican) Also, an irish pub called Tir na Nog. A few other dives/bars like Slims, Woody Sport Bar and a jazz bar. The 2nd location is the warehouse district on the other side of downtown. Some very good resturants like Nans's and Humble Pie (Tapas) Also, Pooles, which is a bar and resturant. Also, 5 Star (Asian). Several Bars also like Flying Saucer and high end resturant 2nd Empire (very very expensive) The 3rd location which is the largest and worth a nightly walk is Glenwood South. Numerous resturants but the best would be Vin, Diely & Ritz and maybe Sushi Blues. Other places include Sulivans, Moonlight Pizza, Red Room, Bogarts, Hi5, 518 West, 42nd St Oyster bar (I would stay awasy from here), Southend Brewery, Mello Mushroom, Cody's Asian food. Bars include almost all the above including RiRa irish pub, Rockford, Hibernia Irish Pub, Rush(very young crowd), a other wine bar (near Sullivans). Late night food I would go to Snoopys and Char grill near Hillsbough/Glenwood, Armadillo Grill and Sushi Blues. There are numerous other places I am not think. Live music places downtown are Martin Street Music Hall, The lincoln theater and Kings. With Kings being the lower end, local group concrete floor beer hall. Also, The Berkley (Bezerkly), which is a blues club/bar/. Good bands and as a friend of mine said "I like this place, I am one of the pretty people." All ages go. Pick up an Independent magazine, the local weekly to see al that is going on. Also check out what is going on at the BTI center. A few museums in Raleigh as people mentioned. My opinion is much more nightlife in Raleigh than in Durham. Chapel has Franklin St which is nice, especially the Carboro side. Websites for downtown are http://www.downtownraleigh.org/ , http://www.exploris.org/visit/info/dtmap.pdf , http://www.raleighnc.gov/portal/serv...eets/index.htm , http://indyweek.com/durham/current/ . I can guide you to more but please
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Old Apr 11th, 2005, 09:26 AM
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If you are into going to a coffe shop outside of Starbucks, got to "3rd Place" in 5 points or for a very unique/ecletic coffee shop visit, go to "Cup-of-Joe" on Hillsborough Street between NCSU and Meridith College. Also, a few resturants/bars on Hillsbough St of non-20 year-olds like Porters, Fraziers. Also a go smoke on a Houka at a Morican resturant although mostly college kids up the street from Porters.
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Old Apr 11th, 2005, 10:39 AM
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If you're not into NASCAR, you've visiting the wrong week. The week before Memorial Day is All-Star race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, and Memorial Day is the big race: Coca-Cola 600. Lots of race fans in Charlotte at that time, so you might want to visit your family after the race.

Eating out with a child shoulnd't be too much of a problem in the Triangle, lots of kids around here. Most places in strip malls are family friendly. I'd stay away from 4* with the kids though.

The Museum of Life and Science is a kid's museum, but I don't know how much a 1-year-old would get out of it.

Walk around the campuses of all the universities here. Most have gardens that are beautiful. Duke gardens has Japanese maples so you don't have to wait in the crowds DC has in springtime (though not as many and no tidal basin).

You want to impress your hubby as a great place to live? Show him a copy of US News & World Report rankings of Duke and UNC health care. Or Money magazine rankings of the Triangle as a great place to live. Some business magazines rank the area as good.

Jobwise, will you have one before you arrive? It can be hard finding a job. I know, because I've been looking since the beginning of the year and having no luck. There is always someone here with a better education than you.

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Old Apr 11th, 2005, 11:05 AM
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I thought about the races also but she says they are coming the week after. And they won't have to worry about a place to stay in Charlotte/Cornelius.
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