We love Raleigh, but we also love to explore. To help switch up your weekend routine, here are three, one-day NC road trip ideas not too far from the City of Oaks.
About 40 minutes from downtown Raleigh is Carrboro, Chapel Hill’s small-but-not-forgotten neighbor. Start your day with a fresh brew from Open Eye Cafe, which serves Carrboro Coffee Roasters, a small-batch roaster located just a few feet from where you order your coffee.
Walk across the street to Fifth Season Gardening Co. to explore indoor and outdoor plants + pottery. Shop local at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market and explore Peel, an art gallery, photo lab, and shop featuring local artists and contemporary art.
For dinner, we recommend Oakleaf, a farm-to-table restaurant that supports local farmers and serves sustainably harvested seafood. Be sure to check out upcoming concerts at Cat’s Cradle, a two-stage venue for both established and up-and-coming musicians.
Just a little over one hour away from Raleigh is Pinehurst, home to the historic Pinehurst Resort where multiple US Open Championships have been held. There, you can play The Cradle, a 9-hole, par-3 short course perfect for any level of golfer. The Golf Channel even called it the most fun 10 acres in all of golf.
Relax and recharge at The Roast Office, a post-office-turned-coffee-shop + bookstore. Take a walk through Sandhills Horticultural Gardens to see outdoor sculptures, lush greenery, and flowers. Finally, be sure to order a craft beer and smokehouse BBQ from Pinehurst Brewing Co.
If you’re up for a longer drive, Asheboro is worth the mileage. Approximately an hour and a half from Raleigh is the 2,600-acre NC Zoo, the world’s largest natural habitat zoo with 1,600+ animals. Adventure seekers can try the Air Hike ropes course + Zoofari, an African wildlife adventure reopening this spring.
Located on top of the Heritage Diner is the American Classic Motorcycle Museum filled with vintage Harley-Davidson bikes. End the day with a beer (we like the sours + IPAs) from Four Saints Brewing Co.