Greensboro by Train

In April 2019, Do by Lauren KruchtenLeave a Comment

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Raleigh’s new Union Station yields the perfect excuse to take an Amtrak day trip to a nearby city, no car required. With stops in Cary, Durham, Greensboro, High Point and Charlotte, there are plenty of opportunities for adventure and new experiences to be had.

Greensboro, just an hour and 38 minutes from Raleigh by train, makes for a culturally invigorating excursion, and, with its J. Douglas Galyon Depot located right in downtown, you can fit in a full day’s worth of activities if you leave in the morning and catch the train back at night.

Within 20 minutes walking distance of the station, you’ll find many of Greensboro’s best restaurants, bars, museums and shops. Squeeze in breakfast, lunch and dinner interspersed with drinks from one of the city’s cocktail bars or breweries or learn a thing or two about Greensboro’s history touring the Civil Rights Museum. Get a taste of the local culture with a visit to a park, gallery or market for handcrafted local goods. But be sure to keep an alarm on your phone for when the final train back home departs because time chugs along when you’re having fun.


Chez Genèse (11 Min Walk)

Start your trip with breakfast at this contemporary French-inspired restaurant. Served from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on weekdays and until 2 p.m. on weekends, offerings include traditional French pastries such as Pain au Chocolat, Jambon Beurre Baguette (ham and butter) and croissants; or try a heartier dish like strawberry crêpes, breakfast pizza and an omelet, egg scramble, crêpe or cocotte with fresh toppings.

Liberty Oak (5 Min Walk)

A high-end American restaurant in the historic Vernon Building, the oldest building remaining in the Old Greensborough Historic District, Liberty Oak is a fine place to dine. For lunch, choose from a traditional menu of soups, salads and sandwiches, and for dinner, splurge on dishes like Scallop Linguine, Filet Mignon and Pecan Fried Chicken.

Cheesecakes by Alex (5 Min Walk)

When your midday sweet tooth hits, stop by Cheesecakes by Alex for a slice of handmade cheesecake. Choose from 20 year-round flavors, including Chocolate Brownie Turtle, White Chocolate Raz, Sweet Potato Soufflé and Creme Brûlée. The shop also offers layer cakes, assorted pastries and scoops of ice cream from Homeland Creamery.

1618 Downtown (5 Min Walk)

Just a couple of blocks from the train station, 1618 boasts a menu of diverse offerings for “Happenin’ Hour,” a collection of light snacks and late lunch options, plus dinner. The dinner menu consists of both “little” and “big” dishes, allowing guests to split and share, including Korean BBQ wings, grilled chicken pizza and seared duck breast, as well as a Southern-style “meat and three” option with offerings of pork schnitzel, charred broccoli, parsnip coleslaw and more.


The Green Bean (6 Min Walk)

A downtown staple for over a decade, the Bean offers coffee from nearby roasters Joe Van Gogh, plus scratch made breakfast and lunch items. Talented, friendly baristas craft specialty coffees and teas and the shop’s bright mural, retro decor and location on the ground floor of a historic building make it a pleasant place to spend a morning.

M’Coul’s Public House (7 Min Walk)

For a good ‘ole pint of beer stop by M’Coul’s, an authentic Irish pub complete with a hefty drink menu including Guinness, craft brews, signature cocktails and more. The Celtic-themed space consists of an upstairs and downstairs bar, plenty of tables and a gorgeous outdoor patio to enjoy drinks on a warm spring day, plus a full Irish-American pub menu. 

Horigan’s House of Taps (10 Min Walk)

Greensboro’s only self serve bar lets guests taste and pour their own from a selection of 48 rotating taps of craft beer, cider and wine. You’ll find both national and local brews including lagers, IPAs, porters, saisons and more. Perks of taking the train: you can drink as much as you want without worrying about driving back home.

Dram & Draught (16 Min Walk)

We all know and love the Dram & Draught in Raleigh, so make a stop at the Greensboro location for a whole different lineup of craft cocktails. The bar retains the same casual sophistication with a vibrant liquor selection stacked high on the back wall, leather bar stools and a spacious outdoor patio.


Boxcar Arcade (11 Min Walk)

Your favorite bar arcade also has a Greenboro location with more than 100 old-school arcade games, pinball machines, interactive games like air hockey and skeeball, and game consoles. Along with fresh popcorn, Greensboro’s Boxcar has an outdoor pizza kitchen which serves up 12-inch wood-fired pies. The full bar has 24 rotating craft brews on draft and drink specials every day.

International Civil Rights Center and Museum (6 Min Walk)

The International Civil Rights Museum celebrates the nonviolent protests of the 1960 Greensboro sit-ins during the Civil Rights Movement with permanent and seasonal exhibitions. “The Battlegrounds,” the museum’s permanent exhibit, takes visitors back in time through pictures, artifacts, video reenactments and interactive activities.

Elsewhere (10 Min Walk)

Elsewhere is a fascinating creative space set in a former thrift store that’s “part residency, school, playground, meeting ground, theater, project space, and laboratory for creative ideas,” with opportunities for living museum tours, workshops and volunteering. Explore eclectic installations within the main exhibit space, then venture outside to The Yard, a green space designed and planted by the Greensboro Permaculture Guild.

LaBauer Park (9 Min Walk)

Catch a breath of fresh air at LaBauer Park on the 17,000-square foot grass lawn. The park also features a playground, dog park, ping pong and foosball tables, a sculptural sensory wall, interactive fountains and the Janet Echelman aerial sculpture “Where We Met.” Three cafés—Ghassan’s, Café Europa and PorterHouse Burger Company—offer breakfast and lunch.

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