A few years ago, Cameron and I started an annual tradition of visiting his brother and our sister-in-law in Raleigh for Easter. It gives us an excuse to get away for a long weekend and gives them the opportunity to have family around for a holiday without having to take time off of work.
A lot of our time is spent relaxing, eating, and drinking. But we also go on some adventures too! I’ll share all of our favorites here.
But first, planning. We try to wait for a Southwest sale that encompasses the dates around Easter (or whatever other weekend we decide to go). Southwest has early morning nonstop flights from Tampa to Raleigh, so it’s a really easy and convenient way to get there. You can also look at Delta. Allegiant tends to have inexpensive fares but the dates aren’t as flexible. If you can’t find a sale through Southwest, tickets are typically $250 per person round-trip.
Let’s start with the most important parts of this trip – food. If you like southern food and have not been to Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, add it to your list of places to try! I get the chicken & waffles every year but have also tried almost the entire menu! My top 3 picks are the chicken & waffles, chicken biscuit, and chicken pot pie. And I think it’s pretty necessary to get a side order of biscuits to-go. You’ll thank me in the morning.
Right across the street from Beasley’s is Bitter Sweet – a specialty coffee, dessert, and cocktail bar. This picture isn’t great, but I can assure you that this s’mores sundae was!
Smashed Waffle in Durham. These little treats are delicious! Grab a waffle-wich to share so that you have some protein and then one of each specialty waffle to share (6 total). This is definitely the way to go so you can try a little of everything!
A few other favorites:
Boylan Bridge Brewpub – great stop for views, apps, and drinks!
Torchy’s Tacos – YUM! These things are huge so you may not need to order as many as you think.
The Station at Person Street – BRUNCH! This is my favorite brunch spot. Be mindful that alcohol cannot be served on Sunday until 12:00 PM in Raleigh.
Boulted Bread – There will always be a line. Go early to grab your favorites!
Whiskey Kitchen – Fun atmosphere, good drinks, good food.
Trophy Brewing Co. – Our go-to pizza place in Raleigh.
The Third Place – Our go-to breakfast spot in Five Points. The smoothies are delicious!
Lonerider at Five Points – Fun brewery with tons of outdoor seating. Dog and kid friendly.
Bowstring Pizza and Brewyard – Fun brewery with outdoor seating and great cocktails included on the menu. Limited parking.
You’ll see The Pit as a highly rated destination but if you’re looking for good bbq, find a nice little hole in the wall place. It was good, but not memorable.
Our usual Friday plans when we land include a round of golf at The Preserve at Jordan Lake Golf Club. Some years, winter may be longer than normal and Easter may land in March, so the course won’t be in ideal condition to play. If it’s not, we’ll relax and nap with the pups.
Centennial Campus Disc Golf Course – We’re all terrible at disc golf but it was a lot of fun to walk the course and try out our non-existent Frisbee skills. This course is only 9 holes so we played twice. It was a gorgeous day and a fun way to spend it outside.
On Easter Sunday, we go to the Sarah P. Duke Botanical Gardens. This is an annual tradition that I love! The gardens were closed for Easter 2020 and 2021 due to Covid, but they are open again!
Since the gardens were closed for 2021, we visited the WRAL Azalea Garden. It’s free to enter, just like the Duke Gardens!
Walking the trail at Lake Johnson. This is a great paved trail to enjoy.
Pullen Park. We love this park and try to stop by every year. Pre-kids, it was fun. With kids, it’s fun. Overall, great spot to walk around and enjoy. Playgrounds, pond, gorgeous flowers, train, carousel, and more.
Laurel Hills Park. HUGE playground, walking trails, baseball fields, soccer fields, a pond. The playground is ADA accessible and really impressive.
North Carolina Museum of Art. Another great outdoor trail to enjoy!
Roanoke Park. This park is in Five Points. We grab breakfast at The Third Place and then head to the playground.
Marbles Children’s Museum. Awesome spot for kids and different areas are geared toward different age groups.
Museum of Life and Science. We visited in October and attended their pumpkin patch event (museum admission + pumpkin patch admission). The kids played games, picked a pumpkin to take home, and rode a train!
NC Chinese Lantern Festival (winter time). One of the coolest light displays I’ve ever seen.
Drive Shack. Great spot if you’re looking for something to do with adults or kids.
Message me with any questions that you might have! If you get the chance to visit, I hope you enjoy!