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by | Feb 1, 2017 | The Triangle | 3 comments

As a 28 year resident of the Triangle, my family and I have been privileged to have tons of great activities near our home. In this series of posts, I will look at places and activities for any age within an hour’s drive of the Triangle – in the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill area.

Inside Comforts

Raleigh, North Carolina’s Capital, is full of fun museums to explore  such as the North Carolina Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of North Carolina History.

The North Carolina Museum of Art rivals some of the best art museums in the nation. As a longtime supporter of this museum, I have witnessed the care and attention given to the facility to bring us leading nationally recognized exhibits,  arts education, and interactive experiences. From February to May, the Museum of Art is privileged to host renowned landscape photographer Ansel Adam’s exhibit of breathtaking photography.

Whale skeleton at the Museum of Natural Sciences.

The North Carolina Museum of History, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Museum, has one of the largest collections of North Carolina memorabilia,  including a full size replica of the Wright Brothers’s airplane.

The Museum of Natural Sciences is known for the dinosaur exhibit Acrocanthosaurus — or, as we like to call him, the Terror of the South. It also has an Interactive Learning Center that examines our Earth and the environments that we live in across the globe.

There are quite a few other notable museums in town, such as –

CAM, the Contemporary Art Museum and Marbles Kid Museum, both located in Downtown Raleigh.

The University of Chapel Hill’s Ackland Museum, found in the heart of Chapel Hill, is considered one of North Carolina’s most important cultural resources. Its close proximity to the famous Franklin Street can’t be beat. Head over for a good meal in the college town after touring the Museum.

All are Welcome in Raleigh, a mural on the side of Poole's Diner.

In Durham, Duke University’s Nasher Art Museum can be coupled with a stroll through Duke Gardens for an enjoyable afternoon, especially in the spring when the wisteria is blooming. Also, the Museum of Life and Science is both educational and entertaining. The Magic Wings Butterfly House is a local favorite, as well as the walking trails and train ride on their 84 acre campus.

Animal Lovers

Fayetteville Street in Downtown Raleigh is a popular destination point.

The Triangle is privileged to have several conservation and education centers for unique breeds. I personally recommend heading out Highway 64 past Jordan Lake to the Carolina Tiger Rescue. Tour and engage with the majestic carnivore cats that call this amazing facility home. This organization rescues carnivore cats that have been neglected, held as a pets, or displaced from zoos or facilities that were no longer able to care for them.

Another distinguished local facility is the Lemur Center at Duke University. Unbeknownst to many, Duke University holds the leading research and observation facility for this endangered species from Madagascar. Visits to the Lemur Center will include a tour and up close and personal encounters with this amazing breed.

Food and Fun.

If you’re looking for an easy road trip that features food and fun, consider driving west of Chapel Hill to Saxapahaw. This quaint little town features The Eddy Pub, an award-winning farm-to-table restaurant, as well as Fall River Farmhouse Ales, a brewery with ties to the heart of the community. The Haw River canoe and Kayak Company provides tours and River experiences year round. We participated in a paddle tour and dinner that was a highlight of the warmer weather season.

Saxaphaw is also home to the Paperhand Puppet Company, a unique organization who tell stories using puppets made of cardboard, bamboo, and other assorted “junk”!

Fearrington Village, located near the historic town of Pittsboro, offers a day of food, art and shopping. On February 25th, the annual Fearrington Folk Art Show will be hosted at the Barn At Fearrington Village. Make a plan to visit the charming community to see the famous Belted Galloway cows, enjoy the whimsical folk art and browse the quaint shops of the Village.  When done, hop in the car and for a short trip down to Pittsboro and enjoy lunch at one of the fun restaurants on the historic district. My favorite is S&T Soda Shop, where I recommend the soda fountain ice cream float!

Cameron Village in Raleigh is a popular local destination.

In our next blog we’ll talk about some of the fun activities and sites just a little further down the road but not more than two hours, followed by destinations for a weekend getaway. All in all, it just goes to show you that we do live in the best place in the country. I love calling North Carolina my home and I hope you can see why so many people agree!

Want to know more about local hot spots?

Reach out today!

About Kate Mazza.

Kate Mazza is a full-time sales associate of the Fonville Morisey Realty Brier Creek office.

With over 27 years living and working in the Triangle, Kate has experience in and knowledge of our housing market that will help her clients make smart decisions. Whether buying, selling, renting or building your home, she offers a full range of services to support you.

She has a passion for the arts and the environment, and involved in many local organizations and committees, such as the NC Conservation Network Advisory Board, Town of Cary Cultural Arts Advisory Board and Town of Cary Waste Management and Recycling Advisory Board, Dorcas Ministries Capital Campaign and Marketing Committees, and the Heart of Cary Board of Directors.

Kate’s and her husband, an IT professional and former Naval Officer, have two Tar Heel daughters. In her free time, she can be found outside in the garden, on the local Greenways, or meeting friends at the best bottle shops, tailgates and restaurants in the Triangle.

Fonville Morisey Realty has 11 sales offices, with over 850 associates and employees throughout the Greater Triangle region.  FM offers mortgage, insurance, property management, title services, real estate education courses and relocation services through its divisions and partners. For more information about Fonville Morisey Realty, visit