How to Spend 24 Hours in Raleigh, NC

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For a day in town? Here are some of my favorite places to take my friends and family when they visit.

Where to sleep: The Longleaf Hotel or Heights House.

  • Or if you want to treat yourself to a 5 star option, you can’t go wrong with The Umstead.
  • All three have great bars.

Breakfast: Coffee at Optimist and food at Benchwarmers Bagels.

  • Order Zach’s bench press: Fried bologna bagel, obviously
  • Order Lucille’s bench press: Definitely not. Allspice, egg and cheese on a salted bagel or bust.

Hike: Umstead State Park.

Business: If you want to stay away from the heat, stroll through the Village District. It’s packed with furniture stores, jewelry stores, boutiques, art galleries, and skincare and makeup shops.

  • Attractions in Lucille’s Village District: Great Outdoor Provision Co. and Aillea Beauty.
Photo: Lucille Sherman/Axios

Next: Check out the State Farmers Market. It’s covered, so it’s worth a visit any day of the week, rain or shine.

  • Lucille’s thought bubble: You’ll find me here almost every weekend, browsing plants and lugging around veggies, flowers, and berries.
  • You have to go, especially if you’re in Raleigh during strawberry or tomato season.

Having lunch: Wilson’s eatery. You can’t go wrong with the veggie burger and fries. Don’t forget the aioli.

stroll: The incomparable North Carolina Museum of Art. You could spend hours here. Explore the trails to see art in the park or browse the indoor exhibits.

  • If you’re visiting the museum in the spring, don’t miss NCMA’s Art in Bloom, where floral designers interpret some of the museum’s artwork. It’s one of the best parts of living in Raleigh.

Before dinner: Browse shops – like So and So Books, Edge of Urge and Unlikely Pros – on Person Street near historic Oakwood.

Cocktail before dinner: William & Company.

Dinner: Crawford and Son. Don’t miss out on the manchego herb biscuits and reserve in advance.

  • If you forgot to plan ahead, You can’t go wrong with Oakwood Pizza Box.
  • Hot Tip: You can come in and order a pizza while you’re still at William & Company and they’ll bring it to you so you don’t lose your cozy spot on the couch.

For dessert: Why leave Oakwood? Proceed to Two Roosters, Lucille’s favorite ice cream shop on the planet.

nightcap: Watt & Ward.

And for breakfast Before heading out, try Big Ed’s if you have time to sit down and enjoy your breakfast.

  • Try Boulted Bread for a quicker grab-and-go alternative on your way out of town. Be warned though: it’s so good there might be a line down the block.
  • Order Lucille’s Boulted Bread: A morning roll or all croissant.

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