Travel Guide: 24 Hours in Raleigh, North Carolina
Hello friends and welcome to the final blog post of 2017! Kind of crazy to say that, considering it feels like 2017 just began. But, I am heading up to New Hampshire with my fiancé to be with family over Christmas and I am hoping to get LOTS of wedding planning accomplished. So, I am going to devote my time to that and just relax for a few days. I will resume your regularly scheduled programming in the new year, with lots of exciting content coming, including a whole bunch of wedding-related posts!
Anyways, let’s dive right into the 24 hours I spent in Raleigh, North Carolina this past weekend. Jarrett was volunteering at a Strongman competition on Saturday, so my sister, Elli, and her boyfriend, Brandon, drove up from Charleston to hang out!
Saturday, December 16th
I met up with Elli and Brandon for brunch at The Flying Biscuit and it was packed! We waited around 45 minutes for a table, but it was 100% worth it. Every meal comes with a mile-high, perfectly doughy and buttery biscuit, served with apple butter. Mmm mmm mmm. I ordered a Mexican wrap, which was served with the freshest salsa. Elli went for French toast with raspberry syrup and let me taste a bite. This was another solid choice for those of you that can survive on just sugar for breakfast!
*I would highly recommend this restaurant, just come prepared to wait.
We followed up our delicious breakfast with, you guessed it, more food! We drove closer to downtown and went to the Videri Chocolate Factory. The factory allows self-guided tours through their small showroom, with windows into the working factory. The best part was the samples! Videri specializes in dark chocolate, and we tried four different varieties, before each selecting a piece of specialty chocolate for the road. My sugar plum ganache did not disappoint 😊
*This is across the street from The Pit, which is an amazing barbecue restaurant that I went to during my last trip to Raleigh. The cornbread was served in a cast iron skillet and was out-of-this-world amazing. If you are heading to Raleigh for BBQ, The Pit is where you need to be.
We decided to walk from Videri to downtown Raleigh, hoping to make room in our stomachs for all the craft beer later! We strolled through the main streets, which honestly do not have much going on during the weekend. Somehow, we meandered towards the North Carolina Museum of History. Upon realizing it was free, we peeked inside for about 30 minutes. Sorry to those of you that love museums, but 30 minutes is pretty much my limit. I prefer to do my traveling by walking and eating. This would be a great museum to explore on a rainy day, or with children!
From downtown, we walked back towards Crank Arm Brewing, which was conveniently next door to Videri. This brewery is a cyclist’s dream, with bikes on the walls and the beers named about the sport. The bartender was very accommodating and let us sample a few beers before we decided on a pint each. My sister surprisingly went for a cask beer, which is served room temperature with very little carbonation. It looked like they had a great outdoor space for warmer weather, and the inside was large with a few board games and giant Jenga.
After Crank Arm, we checked into the hotel and relaxed before Jarrett finished up his volunteering duties and joined us for dinner! We were craving pizza, and Jarrett and I usually plan our travels around breweries, so Trophy seemed liked a great option! There are three locations, one with a full restaurant, so be sure to check them out! We unfortunately had to sit outside, and despite the overhead heaters, were a little chilly during our meal. Luckily, the pizza was heavenly! I had a pesto chicken pizza, Jarrett a meat-lovers, and Elli and Brandon shared margherita.
*The indoor space at this location was tiny. There was a lot of seating at the bar, but not enough for a large group.
We wrapped up the night at one final brewery, Raleigh Brewing. There were many draft options, with flights beginning at $8 for four tastings and increasing based on ABV (alcohol by volume). There were dartboards available and it was dog-friendly, even on the inside! Seeing dogs at breweries is one of my favorite things- Jarrett can attest haha
Sunday, December 17th
Lastly, Sunday morning we headed to Rise for donuts! And you thought I could travel without getting any… Rise had many options, but I chose red velvet and Ranger Dream, a chocolate pudding filled donut. Jarrett went for an apple fritter and chocolate-chocolate. The red velvet was the clear winner to me, with a layer of frosting in the middle of the donut! The donut itself in Ranger Dream was so fluffy, but the chocolate pudding was a little disappointing. All in all, I would wholeheartedly recommend you visit Rise if you are in the Raleigh area.
After a quick 24-ish hours in Raleigh, North Carolina, we made the 3-hour drive home. I have been to Raleigh a couple times now, and always leave feeling the same way. Outside of food, I haven’t found that there is a ton to do. Now, don’t get me wrong, I can eat all day, but when I travel, I do want to explore other activities. And I know that the areas surround Raleigh, including Durham, have a lot to offer, but in my opinion, Raleigh can be seen in a weekend. Anyone disagree with me on this? What am I missing that I must try?
Here are a few restaurants that I would have loved to try:
The Raleigh Times
Dames Chicken and Waffles (Cary, NC)
Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant
Check out my other travel guides here!
Also, if you live in or near North Carolina and are curious about other ways to explore, check out this great article on Glamping North Carolina: The Top Picks!