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Where to take out-of-town guests in Raleigh

Don’t leave your out-of-town guests with nothing to do while they visit the City of Oaks. Our readers gave us restaurant and activity suggestions for every type of occasion — here are some of our favs.

A twisted wooden sculpture on the wall of a bustling cafe.

In addition to its exhibits, the North Carolina Museum of Art has a cafe.

Photo by RALtoday

With the holidays approaching, we asked our readers where they take out-of-town guests to get them acquainted with Raleigh.

Keep this list in your back pocket all season long to keep your guests well-fed and entertained their whole trip to the City of Oaks.

Still stumped on what to do with your out-of-towners? Check out our City Guides with suggestions for tours, local coffee, museums, and plenty more.

Share a taste of Raleigh

A brisket sandwich with a side of pimento mac and cheese and esquites.

Try this at Longleaf Swine: The pimento mac and cheese.

Photo by RALtoday

For an upscale experience, take your loved ones to Stanbury for non-traditional American fare, Cortez for a Mexican-inspired meal, or the new Ajja for Mediterranean-style food with a twist.

For a sit-down meal with a more casual ambience, our readers recommend Wye Hill for a stunning downtown view + brews and Whiskey Kitchen for inventive Southern cooking.

If you’re guests aren’t from the area and you really want to impress them with some NC-style barbecue, our readers recommend Longleaf Swine and Lawrence BBQ. Keep the casual vibes going at one of the area’s many food halls with something to please everyone.

Explore, shop, and learn about Raleigh

A variety of plants lit with colorful lights

JC Raulston Arboretum is lit up just two weekends a year to explore after hours.

Photo by RALtoday

Our readers suggested walking through Umstead State Park, the local greenways, JC Raulston Arboretum, Pullen Park, and the Raleigh Rose Garden for an outdoor stroll, weather permitting.

Take your guests on a shopping spree at Village District, the State Farmers Market, or one of the many pop-up events happening every weekend around town. Keep up to date with these using our events calendar.

Show your guests Raleigh art + culture with a visit to the NC Museum of Art — mentioned by almost half of our readers — enjoy a concert or show at one of Raleigh’s live music venues, or show off our blossoming beer scene with a local brewery tour.

Do you have more out-of-towner suggestions? Submit them to us.