It has been Brian and mine’s goal to check out the different cities in North Carolina because we love the south and dream of living there. A few years ago when I was talking about wanting to move out of state, Brian mentioned Asheville to me. I fell in love with the pictures of mountains. On our way home from our Myrtle Beach vacation in 2015, we drove to Asheville to hang out for a few hours (literally 3 hours). Of course it was as amazing as I had imagined, but Brian wasn’t convinced. I researched about moving there because I still had a strong interest. Unfortunately, Asheville is not known for their job market and housing costs were getting to be ridiculous.
So, back to the drawing board. One of my favorite bloggers, Taralynn at Simply Taralynn, lives in Charlotte and always writes about how great the city is. I was determined to check it out. I actually applied for a job there, because I was convinced that it would be the city for me and Brian. We visited in September 2016 and I really liked the city. I’m not sure if it’s the city for me, but if I had the opportunity to move there, I would do it. Brian didn’t like Charlotte and that’s what led to him wanting to visit Raleigh. I was convinced that Raleigh wouldn’t really be a city I would like, but I agreed that we should visit.
With Brian’s current job, his schedule is ridiculous and it makes planning very difficult, but we kept talking about taking a road trip to Raleigh soon. I finally booked the trip for the weekend of April 21st on a whim and I told him when to request off of work. I am so glad that we got a chance to go!
Friday morning, we left Pittsburgh to drive to Raleigh. We had a few hiccups along the way and we hit traffic on the way into Raleigh (Friday rush hour, ya know) which resulted in us arriving at our Airbnb (affiliate link) just before 6pm. The place we stayed at was even better in person than in the pictures. We were greeted by a huge pool table, lots of open space in the room, and adorable decor. Once we were settled in, we decided to take nap. I set my alarm for 8pm, but I didn’t wake up until 9:30pm.
We quickly got ready and requested an Uber ride to go to Flying Burrito for (a very late) dinner. Since we ordered food after 10pm, we took advantage of $2 tacos. I got the pulled pork tacos and Brian got three different kinds (I can’t remember which ones). Everything was amazing. I highly recommend going there!!! I didn’t get any pictures because I was so out of it from not getting enough sleep that I could barely eat haha. But really, if you’re in Raleigh, go here without a doubt.
When we headed back to the Airbnb, we took advantage of the hot tub that our wonderful host left open for us. She said that she usually closes it up for the season once it starts getting too warm, but the weather at night was perfect. Sleeping that night was the best sleep I’ve had in over a week.
Saturday was all about exploring the city and surrounding areas. I really wanted to go to the Flying Biscuit since we went there in Charlotte and their apple butter and biscuits are to die for, but the wait was too long so we headed to Saltwater Seafood Market for some fried fish. Since there was no place to sit and eat there, we headed to a nearby park and sat at a picnic table. Oh my goodness, the fried fish was so good. I got shrimp and Brian got scallops, shrimp, and white fish. I highly recommend going here as well.
After our breakfast/lunch, we drove to Cary. We took a short walk through the downtown area (it’s adorable). Ashworth Drugs had a sign that said they were offering free ice cream with a purchase. So we stopped in to get a soda and ice cream. I loved the old fashioned feel of the drugstore and town.
From Cary, we drove to the William B. Umstead State Park. We just did a quick drive through, but I liked what I saw and there seemed to be a lot of trails. When we go back to Raleigh, I would love to walk some of the trails.
We were going to head back and get ready to take an Uber downtown, but then we remembered that Raleigh has something that Pittsburgh doesn’t have close by at all….an Earthbound store! Ours recently closed at a local mall that isn’t doing so well, so we were thrilled when we found out that Raleigh has one. We detoured to the Crabtree Mall, which we discovered is MASSIVE. We don’t have anything like that near/in Pittsburgh, let alone anything that is doing that well. Our local mall constantly has empty spaces and stores coming and going. The mall in Raleigh seems to thriving! However, Saturday at the mall means mass chaos and tons of traffic. After finding our way through the underground parking area, we finally found a parking spot and by fate, the Earthbound store was right where we parked. I thought that was pretty cool. I bought my best friend’s birthday gift and few things for myself, and then we headed back to the Airbnb after making a small lap around one end of the mall just to see what stores they have.
We took an Uber ride to downtown. Our first stop was to get BBQ for dinner. I won’t name the place we went to because it wasn’t very good, but we had a second chance for BBQ on Sunday. Once we were finished with dinner, we walked over to the Brewgaloo event. There were a ridiculous amount of breweries at this event, many food trucks to choose from, and good music. I loved that they had this event right in the downtown of Raleigh, but it was chaos with so many people. We couldn’t really see what the different booths were offering and we picked a beer on a whim because they had the shortest line, but it was definitely a cool experience.
From there, we walked around downtown to see what it has to offer. I must admit, I love downtown Raleigh. There are so many trees! I mean, I know they are known for their oak trees, but I wasn’t expecting to see so much “green” downtown. It was refreshing.
I really wanted to check out Videri Chocolate Factory, so we walked there and I got some yummy chocolate and walked through their self-guided tour. It was a really neat place.
We stopped at Nash Square Park and sat down to enjoy the beautiful evening.
(I know this is some political building, but I thought it was really neat looking building especially for being downtown)
After walking around and trying to decide where we wanted to end up for the night, we ended up at Deep South to enjoy the Raleigh music scene. It was an awesome place and I would gladly go back! The drinks and music were good.
Sunday’s itinerary included breakfast at the State Farmer’s Market Restaurant and our second chance for bbq at The Pit. The wait for breakfast for was a little longer than we wanted, but it was to be expected on a Sunday. It was definitely worth the wait! And The Pit….oh my goodness, that was some excellent bbq. We didn’t even eat it until about an hour after we got onto the road because we were still full from breakfast.
We had so much fun in Raleigh and we’ll definitely be back!
Next up: Our spontaneous trip to Asheville