Summer Travel: NC Big Cities

In July 2022/August 2022 by Raleigh MagazineLeave a Comment

Share this Post

By Melissa Howsam and Lauren Kruchten


And we’ll never be royals… but we can romp around the Queen City.

Uptown Girls (and Boys)

Uptown (not to be called downtown—they’ll know you’re a tourist) is the beating heart of CLT, and it’s chock-full of fun things to do—from the NASCAR Hall of Fame to open-air shopping to museums to acclaimed restaurants and bars. Soak it all up

For the Fanatics

Sports fans can get their fill year-round in Charlotte, thanks to the Panthers, Charlotte FC, the Hornets and the Knights(P.S. Stick around Truist Field after home games for fireworks!). Game on.

Beer Me

For the ultimate day of barhopping, take the train from Raleigh—cheap, easy and, best of all, no DD required! Our recs? Sycamore Brewing, The Suffolk Punch and The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. Cheers!



Savor the Asheville flavor during the two remaining weekends of culinary event series Chow Chow (Aug. 4–7, Sept. 8–11) feat. multiple food-focused events—including a handmade tamale workshop
and a free Sunday super series. Chow down! 

Jam Out

Live music fans are gonna wanna grab tix to a show at legendary music venue The Orange Peel—this summer hosting Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Spoon, Switchfoot and more. Ah, “the way we get by…”

Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival 

Your ribs’ll be shaking from laughter after attending the Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival, aka the largest stand-up comedy event in the Southeast, with 40 comics performing at an array of Asheville venues.


Brunch is always a good idea. And the perfect day in Winston-Salem starts with brunch at Parisian restaurant The Katharine Brasserie & Bar, located in the The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel (Pro tip: Get the croque-monsieur)—where you should also absolutely lay your head after a day of adventuring. Post-noshing, stroll Winston-Salem’s Downtown Arts District and check out the breweries and ’cue joints on The NCBS Historic Barbecue Trail.


“Get your awe back” in the “high country”—from breweries and artastic attractions to the Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock (whitewater rafting, wineries, spas!) and, of course, Grandfather Mountain, where you’re gonna wanna hike the highlands. Plus you can’t say you’re an NC’er until you’ve seen NC from the famed  Mile High Swinging Bridge (aka America’s highest suspension footbridge—and, yes, it literally swings). Poetry in motion, really.


Staycation all I ever wanted. … Skip the heavy baggage and gas prices for a summer siesta in the Bull City. Whether you like it dirty or keepin’ it neat, Bar Virgile’s award-winning bar and resto’ll help you get in the spirit and kick it into #vacationmode with a craft cocktail via one of the largest liquor selections in the Triangle. Then keep it jamon at multi-Beard-nominated chef Matt Kelly’s Mateo for tapas that’ll straight transport you to Spain before a nightcap on the rooftop of bougee midcentury-modern boutique hotel The Durham (pro tip: Book the Night Out Package so your nightcap is mere steps from your swank sleep sitch). 


Garden Variety

Stop and smell the flowers at the year-round Airlie Gardens, also home to the Airlie Luncheon Garden Party—Wilmington’s premier event during the annual spring NC Azalea Festival

Flock Here

’Tis the season for seafood, and there’s no better spot to get your fill than ​​Dean Neff and Lydia Clopton’s recently opened Seabird restaurant, which puts a spotlight on local seafood, natch, in addition to creative and seasonal breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes.

Beach Music

Get down down east at Wilmington’s newest waterfront (!) live music venue, Live Oak Bank Pavilion at Riverfront Park. This summer’s lineup includes Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Josh Groban, GRiZ, Darius Rucker and more.

Share this Post

Leave a Comment