Plan Your Ideal Weekend in The City of Oaks
Celebrate your participation in the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon at the World Beer Festival Raleigh, where you can increase your appreciation of beer by discovering brewing methods, learning the history behind beer styles and, of course, tasting beers from across the globe. If you want more local brews, take a tour at one of Greater Raleigh’s 13-plus craft breweries, or join a Beltline Brew Tour to enjoy many of the area’s different suds in one trip.
Pay homage to many of the state’s sports stars at the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame at the N.C. Museum of History, which highlights sports stars of N.C. including Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Jim “Catfish” Hunter and Michael Jordan. Then taste some of the South’s best “downhome” favorites at 18 Seaboard, NoFo At the Pig, Lucky 32, Poole’s Diner, or the State Farmer’s Market Restaurant; or, enjoy some classic Eastern Carolina barbecue at The Pit or Clyde Cooper’s BBQ–all local favorites.
Don’t let your love of rock ‘n’ roll end after the marathon; explore 85+ live music venues ranging from small bars to lively restaurants and dedicated music halls that welcome all types of musicians and the local residents who love them 365 days a year.
Enjoy a day with your girls while shopping at one of Greater Raleigh’s shopping areas. Spend the day roaming the unique shops at North Hills in Midtown Raleigh, featuring premier dining establishments, high-end boutiques, familiar department stores and cafes just a few steps in any direction–making sure to stop by Lululemon and REI to pick up some great running apparel. Take a lunch break for sushi at Mura at North Hills, Tex-Mex at Chuy’s or try the New American fare at Midtown Grille. For well-known national brands as well as exclusive restaurants, shop ‘til you drop at Crabtree Valley Mall, featuring Athleta, Madewell, Fossil and The North Face just to name a few stores.
After the race head to an area spa to recover and relax. The Sports Massage at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary concentrates on specific areas of the body, increasing flexibility for the muscle groups directly related to certain sports: it will also help speed muscle recovery after the marathon. After some pampering and relaxation, head out for a night on the town. For nightlife with a fun, competitive spin, hit up Sparians Bowling Boutique & Bistro in Midtown Raleigh for drinks and bowling, or head to the Fayetteville St. or Glenwood South districts of downtown Raleigh for cocktails, dancing and good times.
Greater Raleigh prides itself on being a family-friendly destination, with a wealth of museums, festivals, live performances, parks and lakes that are fun for everyone. From hands-on exhibits at the Marbles Kids Museum to the historic carousel and train at Pullen Park, the Raleigh area offers many family attractions and activities for kids of all ages.
April is the perfect time to attend a variety of spectator sports events since Greater Raleigh is home to winning collegiate and professional sports teams. Take in the Carolina Hurricanes’ last NHL home game of the regular season, or cheer on the Carolina RailHawks in their first spring season soccer matches. If baseball is your favorite sport, go see Greater Raleigh’s minor-league baseball team, the Carolina Mudcats, at Five County Stadium in the town of Zebulon; or root for the Wolfpack at a N.C State baseball game. Let the kids play some sports themselves at one of Greater Raleigh’s many sports facilities open to the public, or have fun at one of the area’s family fun parks or amusements including Frankie’s Fun Park, Adventure Landing and Dave and Busters.
If your training group is participating in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon, check out the Capital Area Greenway System or specifically the American Tobacco Trail for miles upon miles of trails that will give you the insider’s glimpse into the Greater Raleigh region. If carb loading is one of your biggest concerns in getting ready for the big day, try out one of the pasta dishes at Raleigh’s Caffe Luna, Vivace or 518 West Italian Cafe, Morrisville’s Travinia Italian Kitchen or try one of the rice plates at Zinda. If breakfast is your ideal time to load up on carbs, get the massive pancakes at Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant, or try the chicken ‘n’ waffles at Beasley’s Chicken & Honey during lunch or dinner. Check out some of the area’s Thai, Irish, and Polish options as well.
Celebrate the completion of the marathon while peddling with your group around downtown Raleigh on the Trolley Pub. Also learn more about Raleigh by taking a Triangle Glides Segway or trek tour around downtown, or enjoy their standup paddleboarding classes at Lake Wheeler. Raleigh is also host to many weekly running clubs, where you can meet some locals who share the same interest and passion as you, including the Nog Run Club that meets every Monday at Tir Na Nog Irish Pub in downtown Raleigh.
If you are hoping to spend some quality time before or after the marathon with your sweetheart, Greater Raleigh is a perfect place to be. Spend the day at the North Carolina Museum of Art, where you can take in some of the museum’s amazing exhibitions and walk hand-in-hand through the sculpture-lined greenway at its Museum Park.
Have a date night with dinner at one of downtown Raleigh’s amazing restaurants such as Battistella’s, Bida Manda or Humble Pie; and, attend a larger-than-life movie at the Wells Fargo IMAX Theatre at Marbles. Ride a Crank Arm Rickshaw throughout the downtown districts to each of your destinations, making sure to stop by the celebrated Fox Liquor Bar for a nightcap. Your official hotel also may be able to add a romance package to make your night even more special—ask when making your reservation in Greater Raleigh.