Archives for posts with tag: outdoors

One of the nation’s largest and most prestigious cross country events, the Great American Cross Country Festival, returned to Cary’s WakeMed Soccer Park Cross Country Course this past weekend for the sixth consecutive year. More than 2,500 runners from 140 high schools and colleges across the U.S. met in Cary on a beautiful morning, Sat., Oct. 4, and competed against each other as well as the 5k course. Results from the meet can be found on the Great American website.

Here are some photos from race morning. Click the photos to zoom in.

Great American XC 7

Great American XC 13

Great American XC 11

Great American XC 12

Great American XC 10

Great American XC 2

Great American XC 4

Great American XC 6

Great American XC 1

Great American XC 5

Great American XC 3

Great American XC 8All photos are courtesy of the Great Raleigh Sports Alliance. You can follow GRSA on Twitter at @raleighncsports and Instagram at @raleighncsports. There’s more cross country happening in Greater Raleigh this fall and you can see a schedule of sports events at

The name “marathon” comes from the legend of a Greek messenger who is fabled to have run 26.2 miles straight in order to announce an Athenian victory in the Battle of Marathon. Unfortunately, this intense run didn’t turn out too well for him, but if you think you’re up for the challenge, you can test your endurance in the Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon.

The Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon attracts thousands of long-distance runners every year with a beautiful course that showcases the Triangle’s natural areas and the capital’s rich, Southern history. The marathon starts out at the North Carolina State University Bell Tower and finishes near Cameron Village, where a post-race runner festival will be held.

If you haven’t been training for a marathon, then you can take a shot at the REX Healthcare Half Marathon, the News & Observer Old Reliable 10k or four-person marathon relay which all start simultaneously at 7 a.m. on November 6th.  Feel free to bring the kids, because there is also a YMCA Kids’ Marathon Mile that starts at 7:20 a.m.

Until November 3rd, the cost to participate is $90 for the full marathon, $80 for the half marathon, $30 for the 10k and $30 for the kids’ marathon. For a full list of prices and registration info, visit this site. There simply isn’t a more beautiful and historically rich marathon course to run!

As it warms up, many people are yearning to get outside and have some fun at every opportunity.  One of the best places to be when enjoying a warm North Carolina day is near a lake or river, where you can cool down and relax without having to go indoors.

There are plenty of places to go boating in Greater Raleigh, including Bass Lake Park & Retreat Center in Holly Springs, William B. Umstead State Park in Raleigh, and Lake Wheeler Park in Raleigh. If you don’t have a boat of your own, don’t worry. You can enjoy a boat ride through Jordan Lake Guided Pontoon Boat Tours or Triangle Boat Tours.

The Falls Lake State Recreational Area is the perfect location for swimming in Greater Raleigh. Here, you’ll find more than 12,000 acres of lake where you can go swimming, boating or fishing.  If you want to take swimming to the next level, try going scuba diving at the Fantasy Lake Scuba Park in Wake Forest.

If you’re looking to hook a few fish, then check out all of the places you can go fishing here. Or, if you’d like to look into recreational rentals such as boats, fishing gear and other equipment you can use on the water, contact one of these rental companies.

You see people on TV saddling up on sprawling western ranches and hear stories about a friend of a friend who enjoyed a fairytale day at the beach on horseback.  What you don’t always see is that you don’t need to head west or splurge on an expensive resort vacation to enjoy a day of horseback riding.  In fact, there are many trails and horses awaiting you right here in Greater Raleigh.

Painted Sunset Farm is a family-oriented Raleigh farm that offers scenic trails, where you’ll likely encounter deer, wild turkey, foxes, rabbits or groundhogs. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rider, you can enjoy Painted Farm’s relaxing western-style horseback riding experiences.

If you have a horse of your own and are looking for a great new bridle trail to enjoy, William B. Umstead State Park has more than 13 miles of bridle trails that travel through some of the most secluded and scenic areas within the park.  Get in touch with nature on this trail and introduce your horse to a whole new area.

For a comprehensive list of places where you can find trail rides, riding lessons, horseback riding camps, and shows, visit this site.

Culture and entertainment are always present in a Shakespearean play, and luckily for visitors to the town of Cary, August will bring three fantastic performances of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night or What You Will.  Taking place the weekend of August 26th to the 28th, Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre has banded together some of the most talented actors in the region to perform this Shakespeare favorite.

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night performance is Booth Amphitheatre’s first annual outdoor theatre event and takes place during the amphitheatre’s 10th anniversary.  This family friendly event is both fun and affordable, with general admission tickets for only $20 each and reserved table seating for only $30 each.  For all of your youngsters who are 12 and under, admission is free!

Picnics, umbrellas, blankets and lawn chairs are allowed at this outdoor event, so gather up your gear, your family and your friends on August 26th to 28th for what is sure to be an outstanding performance.  Buy your tickets here.

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’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.

There’s nothing sweeter than biting into a large, juicy strawberry on a beautiful, warm day.  Sure, the ones from your local grocery store are just fine, but there’s something about a fresh-picked strawberry that really satisfies.  Thankfully, Greater Raleigh has plenty of strawberry farms ripe for the picking.

With approximately three acres of delicious strawberries, Buckwheat Farm in Apex is a great pick-your-own strawberry farm to visit.  Here, you can purchase fresh jams, jellies and honey or take a break from strawberry picking at a shaded picnic table.  You can also try D.J.’s Berry Patch in Apex as well.

With locations in the Willow Spring neighborhood of Wake County and in Raleigh, Porter Farms & Nursery offers pre-picked and u-pick strawberries.  All of the delicious strawberries you eat out in the field at Porter Farms are free, so make sure to come hungry!  Other great farms offering strawberry picking in Raleigh are Page Farms, Hunt’s Strawberries and Ball’s Berries and Produce.

For a complete list of all of the strawberry farms in Greater Raleigh, visit this website, where you’ll find listings from Cary, Knightdale, Wake Forest, Raleigh, the Willow Spring neighborhood, Holly Springs and Apex.  Then all you have to do is pick the perfect day and your favorite company and you’re set to stock up on some of the most delicious strawberries around!

Outdoor lovers in the area are rejoicing as the weather warms up and the flowers begin to bloom.  One of the must-do outdoor activities this season is biking.  Everyone from biking beginner to hardcore extremes can find a trail in Greater Raleigh that matches his experience level, so this activity is great for anyone who’s craving some fresh spring air.

For a beautiful green trail, check out the Capital Area Greenway Trail System.  The greenway has developed into a 63-mile, 3,000-acre system which continues to grow.  Most of the trails are 10 feet wide, providing you and your family or friends with plenty of space to bike safely and comfortably.  The N.C. Museum of Art’s park also has a great bike trail where you can encounter works of art and woodland scenery, all from the same paved path.

If you’d like to find some trails that are little more strenuous, then look into some designed specifically for mountain biking.  You can check out Garner Recreational Park, where you’ll find six tight and twisty miles of mountain biking trails, complete with technical areas. Other great trails can be found in Lake Crabtree County Park, Beaver Dam and Umstead State Park.

While you’re here, you may need to rent a bike or get yours repaired.  For a full list of Bike Rental and Repair Shops, visit this site.

Grab your bike or rent one for the day and find your trail match.  With beautiful spring North Carolina days like these, there’s no way you won’t want to enjoy them.


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