Archives for the month of: June, 2010

When the weather is warm and you’re venturing out for the night, why not enjoy your evening outdoors in the fresh air?  Greater Raleigh is home to several bars and pubs that offer outdoor seating (or standing) during late-night hours so you’ll never have to stay cooped up indoors on a beautiful summer night.

The Carolina Ale House has outdoor seating at several of its Greater Raleigh locations, including Wake Forest, Cary and Raleigh’s Brier Creek.  Not only will you find a great selection of unique brews here, but you’ll also be able to order off of their full menu until 2 a.m.  Who doesn’t love late-night grub?

Located in Cary, Tribeca Tavern has outdoor seating with a second-story view.  Its outdoor patio may be upstairs, but there’s also outdoor seating on the lower level, for all of those with a fear of heights.  The bar here may close a little earlier at 12 a.m., but on Friday and Saturday you’ll also get to order late-night food until closing time.

Downtown Raleigh has plenty of outdoor nightlife options at dance clubs, bars and restaurants open late night.  Solas has a beautiful rooftop patio with a full bar that is equipped for your enjoyment rain or shine.  Other downtown outdoor areas you might want to check out are at 606, The Hive and Buku.

Enjoy your next nightlife outing in Greater Raleigh under the summer stars.

Photo courtesy of newraleigh.com

With cobblestone streets lined with old-fashioned lanterns, Historic City Market stands out as one of a kind in the area.  Located in downtown Raleigh, this market takes visitors away from the current downtown scene and whisks them away to the quaint, charming feel of years past.

Naturally romantic, City Market is a great dating destination.  Start out your date by admiring local art and watching artists work at Artspace galleries.  Then browse around shops and boutiques until hunger sets in, at which point you can dine at one of eight charming restaurants.  As the sun sets over the downtown skyline, stop in one of the district’s several casual bars for a few cocktails and reflect on all the fun you had while only having to venture within a few blocks.

Families and friends may want to experience a similar relaxing City Market day, or get a little more adventurous.  Come to City Market and enjoy a delicious breakfast or lunch meal at Big Ed’s City Market, and then head over to Triangle Segway right next door.  Here, you can sign up for guided Segway tours of the city, which start and end at City Market.  After a fun exploration of the surrounding areas, settle down in the shade with a delicious smoothie from Colibrisa.

As beautiful as City Market is, it’s no surprise that the large event space located in the center (the original market building) is booked for weddings, receptions and special events throughout the year.  The next time you’re looking for an event space, keep Cobblestone Hall in mind.

For those who love horses, the nationally acclaimed Governor James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds is the place to be.  This 30-acre complex has more than 485 permanent stalls, a main show arena with 3,744 seats and many other amenities that make it easily the busiest equine facility in both North Carolina and Virginia.

Some of the complex’s upcoming summer events include the NCHJA Annual Hunter Show, the State 4-H Horse Show, the NBHA Barrel Racing State Finals and a Dressage Show.

While visiting the complex either with your own horse or just to attend an event, you’ll have access to a restaurant that can seat 200 people, which can also be rented out for special events when there are no shows taking place.  The beautiful rolling acres of the complex make you feel like you’re far from the city, but really downtown is only a short 10 minutes away.

For a full list of 2010 events at the Hunt Horse Complex, visit this website.

Every engaged woman knows that in order for wedding preparations to be complete, you must find the perfect bridal gown.  Sometimes, bridal boutiques can be few and far between, but in Greater Raleigh you’ll never have difficulty finding the perfect gown.

For a truly elegant bridal shopping experience, Alexia’s Bridal Boutique and Vera Wang Salon is the perfect boutique to visit.  This Cary boutique carries gowns from designers such as Vera Wang, Suzanne Ermann, Reem Acra and Carmela Sutera, to name a few.  If you’re on a bit of a budget, you can find excellent selection, service and reasonable prices at The Bridal Gallery at MacGregor Village, also located in Cary.

Located in Fuquay-Varina, Enchanting Moments has a wide range of bridal gowns that includes all styles, fabrics, sizes and price points.  This bridal shop was the 2008 pick for The Knot’s Best of Weddings and has decades of experience with designers and clients.

If you venture into Raleigh, you’ll find many options for bridal shopping, including Victorian Rose Bridals on Glenwood Avenue and The Bridal Boutique of Raleigh on Hillsborough Street.  The Bridal Boutique is the sister store of The Bridal Gallery at MacGregor Village in Cary, so visiting one of these boutiques is like visiting the inventory of two.

These are just a few of the many bridal boutiques and shops sprinkled across Greater Raleigh.  Head into the area for a day trip or a relaxing overnight stay and enjoy the wedding gown shopping experience that you deserve!

Grass-fed and pasture-raised farm foods are all the rage at the Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market’s GrazeFest event on June 23 at City Plaza.  From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the market invites food lovers to join in a celebration of North Carolina’s harvest of beef, lamb, pork, poultry, cheeses, eggs, milk and other dairy products.

Come out and relax to the bluegrass tunes of Old Habits and witness a chef demonstration by Sarig Agasi of Zely & Ritz, participate in Lumpy’s ice cream eating contest and dine on delicious grilled bratwursts from pasture-raised heritage breeds.

This event is kid-friendly, so be sure to bring your young ones out to enjoy this celebration.  At 11:30 a.m., kids can participate in an EGGstravaganza which includes egg relays, veggie trivia, veggie charades and a fun market scavenger hunt.

Come out and sample foods from the region’s most dedicated small-scale farmers and help raise awareness of the health, environmental, animal-welfare and culinary benefits of allowing farm animals to roam on pasture and eat what nature intended!

Have fun this summer with a splash by participating in these exciting outdoor water activities.  With rivers and lakes galore, Greater Raleigh can offer you plenty of aqua activities, from guided boat tours to scuba diving adventures.

Maybe you’re not feeling too active, and would like to sit back and enjoy the day.  Step aboard one of Jordan Lake Tour’s large, comfortable pontoon boats and relax under the shade or in the sun while your tour guide Dave navigates the waters like the true wildlife expert that he is.  You’ll see bald eagles, herons, finches and other wildlife while enjoying the beautiful weather on a warm, sunny day.

If you’re feeling more active and ready to delve into a fun recreational activity, then head on over to Fantasy Lake Scuba Park in Wake Forest.  With more than 100 acres of scenic natural environment, you’ll feel in touch with nature as you undergo diving training, log diving hours and have fun building up your diving experience.

In addition to boating and scuba diving, you can paddle boat, swim, fish, water ski and so much more in the Raleigh area. Just visit this site and you’ll find plenty of fun water activities to enjoy.

This July, some of your favorite classic movies will be coming to Greater Raleigh in the form of live symphony performances.  The awe-inspiring music from the beloved films The Wizard of Oz and Stars Wars will be played by live symphonies in the area, allowing you and yours to experience these movies in a whole new way.

The Wizard of Oz’s classic tunes will come to Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre on July 10 as part of the NC Symphony’s Summerfest series.  The movie’s popular soundtrack will be played live on stage by the North Carolina Symphony.  This is a great event for families as kids 12 and under are free and the symphony’s special instrument-petting zoo for kids will be open prior to the live performance.  Pack up your picnic basket, prepare for family fun, and don’t forget to bring extra snacks for the lake ducks!

Star Wars: In Concert will be making its only stop in North Carolina at Raleigh’s very own RBC Center on July 18th.  This is a truly unique event that fully entertains by combining a performance by a live symphony orchestra and chorus with footage from all six Star Wars films.  This outstanding performance will take you on a journey through the Star Wars epic story and let you enjoy it in a completely new way.  There are a limited amount of family 4-packs available at $25 per ticket, as well as group discounts of $5 off for groups of 10 or more.

From the big screen to Greater Raleigh, these classic film soundtracks are sure to entertain and engage you in a great summer experience.  Buy your tickets today and enjoy a little taste of non-traditional symphony music this July.

After a day of exploring the area or an evening out on the town, what better way to wind down than with a decadent, delicious dessert.  You can easily find a delicious sweet around every corner in Greater Raleigh; it just so happens that these restaurants have impressive dessert lists that make our mouths water.

A true French restaurant in North Raleigh, Saint-Jacques French Cuisine has a dessert list that will please almost any palate.  With dishes ranging in flavor from assorted imported cheeses to fresh berries mille feuille to chocolate and cappuccino tort, you’re sure to find something to hit your sweet spot.

A popular name in outstanding cuisine, Ruth’s Chris Steak House whips up desserts just as delicious as their savory steaks.  With locations in both Raleigh and Cary, Ruth’s Chris desserts spread smiles to mouths all over Greater Raleigh.  The chocolate sin cake takes chocolate and espresso cake to a whole new level, while the caramelized banana crème pie and bread pudding with whiskey sauce are deliciously different than other desserts.

Hayes Barton Café and Dessertery has one of the longer dessert menus in the area, but don’t worry, you’ll still enjoy both the quantity and amazing quality.  The restaurant’s white chocolate banana mousse pie, bailey’s Irish crème tiramisu, apple pie and almond joy torte will have you begging for more.  Their dessert menu is so long, they can’t even fit it all on one page.  You’ll have to stop in to see all of the many sweet things you could enjoy.

Then next time you’re out in Raleigh or Cary, make sure to satisfy your sweet tooth at any of these restaurants or one that you can find here. You won’t regret sticking a fork in these tantalizing dessert options throughout Greater Raleigh.

The weather is warm, the sky is Carolina blue and people are venturing out to explore the beauty of Greater Raleigh.  When love is in the sweet, North Carolina air, how will you spend time with your special someone?  If you love enjoying the summer weather and saving some money, then these summer dates options are perfect for you and yours.

If you like a little romance, then why not take your date to one of Koka Booth Amphitheatre’s Movies by Moonlight.  For only $3 each, you and your date can catch a film such as Dirty Dancing, The Sting or 2012.  Movies start at 8:30 p.m. so you can venture over after dinner, or you can bring your own picnic basket to dine on while you watch under the moonlight.

Another outdoor movie option exists at the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Bryan Theater.  This open-air theater is a favorite destination for those who love art, music and movies.  Admission is only $4, and if you’re a member of the museum, then you get in for free!

If you’d rather relax to live music than catch a flick, then head on over to Music on the Porch at Seaboard Station.  Every Friday night this summer there will be free music, come rain or shine.  Bands start playing at 7 p.m., and the event is dog-friendly.

You can also find a whole slew of free outdoor concerts in the area on visitRaleigh.com’s events calendar.  The summer is packed full of them.  Also, don’t forget about First Fridays downtown.  The first Friday of every month you can take a self-guided tour with your special someone and hop around to several participating venues to explore the art, music and food scene.  Grab your sweetheart and sweep them off their feet with one of these fun, cheap summer date ideas.

Do you love a good laugh?  Are you looking to mix it up and do something fun with your friends or family?  What better way to enjoy an evening of laughter and fun than to attend one of Raleigh’s many comedy shows.

For an interactive experience, visit ComedyWorx on Peace Street in downtown Raleigh.  This hilarious comedy club has the area’s longest running improv show.  Typically, two teams of comedians will compete for your laughter, earning points as they go.  Whoever you think is funnier, wins!  Every Friday and Saturday night, they present theater-style improvisation for mature audiences, called Late Night at The Worx.  At just $5, tickets are extremely affordable, and the laughs you leave with will be priceless.

If you enjoy classic stand-up comedy, then Charlie Goodnight’s Comedy Club is the place for you.  Here, you can enjoy great deals on dinner and a show combinations, and hear the comedy routines of some of the funniest people in the biz, such as Kevin Meaney, Damon Wayans and Mitch Fatel.  In addition to its comedy club, Goodnight’s also features Old Bar restaurant and bar and the Grille at Goodnight’s, which is a more upscale restaurant located above the comedy club theater.  Check here to buy tickets online!

While these two comedy clubs are constantly holding shows to make you laugh, there are also plenty of comedy tours that visit other venues around town.  Make sure to check the lineup for the RBC Center, Raleigh Amphitheater and other venues in the area for shows that are sure to put a smile on your face.

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