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2 day trip to Raleigh w/2 boys. Where to Eat? Do? Stay?

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116 posts
12 reviews
2 day trip to Raleigh w/2 boys. Where to Eat? Do? Stay?

Heading to Raleigh w/2 boys (11 and 16) for a UNC game at the RBC Center in mid-December. We're staying Saturday and Sunday night, giving us basically 48-hours to "see the town."

We currently have reservations at the Comfort Suites Arena so we could walk to the RBC Center for the game, but now I'm wondering if we should stay someplace else with other attractions/restaurants within walking distance.

How is the traffic to/from the RBC center during a game?

Must-do things for us: Eat good food-- We prefer to go to "locals" kind of places and want to go to a Carolina BBQ joint. We also like geo-caching, so we will be driving around a little bit finding caches. A trip to the local Science Museum is always a good way to kill a few hours.

Any suggestions for me? Thanks so much!

Durham, North...
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1. Re: 2 day trip to Raleigh w/2 boys. Where to Eat? Do? Stay?

Traffic around the RBC can be a headache during a big event, so staying at the Comfort Suites is not a bad option. There is also a big, family-friendly sports bar between the two so food would always be in walking distance. The RBC Center is close to I40, so it would be easy to drive anywhere else during non-event times. You can drive to downtown Raleigh and park one place and walk to anything there. Exploris science museum and the Museum of Natural History are worth visits. I am confused as to what UNC game you would be seeing at the RBC Center in December though, as that is NCSU's home court and UNC plays there in February, at their away game vs. State.

As for barbecue, The Pit in downtown Raleigh seems to be very popular.

Destination Expert
for Raleigh
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2. Re: 2 day trip to Raleigh w/2 boys. Where to Eat? Do? Stay?

For 11 to 16 yr old boys, Exploris with its new format would be WAY too young, but it does have a REAL imax theater. They may find Museum of Natural Science not to be too exciting too, although it does have dinosaur bones, including one with a heart.

To me the more interesting museum for older kids (and younger) is the museum of Life and Science in Durham. They have little kids things, like the train, but also some cool weather, engineering and space exhibits inside. And the insecterium is awesome at any age. I love going to that museum and I am 52.

The Rembrandt show is at the Art Museum, so if your kids are into art and history at all, that would be a great show to see as it is the only west coast show. And there is a great hike in the museum property with art AND a cool cloud chamber, where you get inside, let your eyes adjust and see the cloud reflected on the floor. My kids (older like yours) think it is way cool.

The Pit is a good option for BBQ, but get there early or get reservations. It tends to be crowded.

Out by RBC you will be near Umstead State park which is a great place to hike. Another great hike, and different, is Hemlock Bluffs townofcary.org/Departments/Parks__Recreation… It has a stand of hemlocks (only place to find them in NC...maybe east coast) because of a very wierd micro-climate on the property which is fascinating. And if nothing else, its a good short hike.

Let us know when it gets closer and we can tell you if anything is going on that weekend that would be fun to participate in.

Oh, and if you like going to the "local institutions" you could also visit "Hot Weiners" aka The Roast Grill http://roastgrill.com/ The Man vs Food guy and others have visited there. Just don't ask for ketchup.

Charlotte, NC
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3. Re: 2 day trip to Raleigh w/2 boys. Where to Eat? Do? Stay?

How about driving to Chapel Hill?



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12 reviews
4. Re: 2 day trip to Raleigh w/2 boys. Where to Eat? Do? Stay?

Thanks, all, for your suggestions-- And a big OOPS! I meant to write that we are seeing a NC St game-- not UNC. My bad.

adamunc-- Thanks for the info about staying near the RBC Center. I'm not a fan of dealing with traffic, and would much rather have no hassles and walk to the game.

VaNC-- Thanks for the good suggestions-- especially that cloud room-- that sounds interesting. And, I got a giggle out of your comment about not ordering ketchup at the Hot Weiners place-- my husband would thoroughly agree with you!

Chapel Hill, North...
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5,768 posts
27 reviews
5. Re: 2 day trip to Raleigh w/2 boys. Where to Eat? Do? Stay?

Regarding hemlocks in Umstead State Park, surely you meant to say it was a unique microclimate and rare to find hemlocks in the wild in the piedmont. They're all over the NC mountains, however, and are certainly not a rare tree in NC. They are struggling with an invasive insect species, the hemlock woolly adelgid, which is killing many trees in the mts.

I agree that the NC Museum of Life and Science in Durham is my fave local museum for kids. Tons of hands-on activities, rather than just looking at things you can't do something with. The Natural Sciences and History museums (right next to each other) downtown are good, too, though, and if you're only going to be in Raleigh for two days you might just want to stay in Raleigh. They're free, too. The NC History museum just opened up a new exhibit on life in NC which is supposed to be really good.

6. Re: 2 day trip to Raleigh w/2 boys. Where to Eat? Do? Stay?

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