…Because we have greasy spoons
(Well, small, single-location eateries)
America knows Raleigh as the big city with a small town feel, a reputation our city’s food culture exemplifies. While downtown has plenty of trendy restaurants blowing up Yelp, locals find joy in the hidden gems. Two major examples are Pam’s Farmhouse–modeled after a farmer’s breakfast kitchen–and Sidestreet Cafe–a historical, very personal sandwich bistro.
Pam’s Farmhouse is the epitome of smalltown cooking and charm. For those who crave your southern grandmother’s cooking and “What would you like with that, darlin’?”s, this small eatery is ideal. ‘Fancy’ is not a term to describe the place, but ‘quality’ and ‘genuine’ are.
The agricultural, homegrown feel is reiterated through the simple framed farm jokes and plastic tablecloths.
You can expect to find the Southerners of Raleigh flocking for a weekend breakfast here, mouths watering for the eggs, sausage, bacon, grits, pancakes, redeye gravy (in this case, black coffee and cooked ham grease) and other staples.
Walking in, one finds themselves feeling at home with the dining room look of Sidestreet Cafe.
However, it’s the staff that serves as the main attraction for the Oakwood destination. “The staff here, you have continuity with them. You will have conversations and follow up later on those conversations, so it sort of becomes a family of patrons.” said Hazel Pearson, a regular guest.
Because the Downtown Transport is free
Transportation is cheaper downtown due to the Raleigh Line, or R-LINE, a free transport that started in 2009. The R-LINE is a way to get from place to place in the downtown area. The R-LINE is eco-friendly because it’s hybrid electric, which means it uses conventional fuel instead of gasoline. Although there is only two buses, they run everyday every 10-15 minutes with a total of twenty stops throughout downtown. The bus stops at the warehouse district, the Performing Arts Center, and the NC Museum of Science throughout its route. The tenth and eleventh stops in the warehouse district don’t run until 6:30pm and later, as well at the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth stops near Moore Square.
Because neighborhoods back green ways
The Greenway and the parks that Raleigh offers people a reason to love Raleigh. The Capital Area Greenway Trail System, or simply the Greenway, is made up of large open spaces people use for outdoor activities, such as picnicking, bird watching, and other nature hobbies. The Greenway offers a network of trails that travel throughout Raleigh. These parks include trails of their own, as well as lakes for swimming, fishing, and boating. Schools also benefit from these trails for fitness classes that would like a bit of variety from the school track, including the Personal Fitness Class from Leesville High School. Everyone from students to parents can use the Greenway and parks.
Because it’s two hours from the beach and three from the mountains
Since elementary school, we have learned about North Carolina’s topographical regions; the mountains, the Piedmont and the coastal plains. Raleigh – located in the piedmont – is two hours from the beach and three hours from the mountains. The city’s location provides us with the perfect getaway, no matter what our preference. Western NC is home to the highest peak east of the Mississippi rivers: Mt. Mitchell. The High Country is the perfect place to hike, camp and become more intuned with nature. Mountain towns like Boone and Asheville, have an array of activities all year round. The towns flip from skiing and snowboarding in the winter, to biking and zip lining in the summer. However, if you’re more into leisurely strolling along the ocean, or taking time to just relax under the sun, the coastal plains are only a couple of hours away. Places like Kitty Hawk and Ocracoke, give you the opportunity to experience a slower pace of life – a good break from the stressful responsibilities of daily life. And like any other place found along the coast, the seafood is terrific.
Because there are farms in the middle of suburbia
While located in the south, North Carolina is famous for being a political swing state and this is not just limited to politics. Raleigh is home to a diverse population. Research Triangle Park (RTP) has been key in diversifying Raleigh’s population, with the district containing the American headquarters for several international companies. Along with the expansion of RTP, North Raleigh’s farms are still allowed to prosper. Page Farms, located not even five minutes away from Brier Creek shopping center, takes advantage of their suburban location to offer strawberry picking. Raleigh’s southern climate is also mild, with cool winters and warm summers. By avoiding radical characteristics, Raleigh is capable of being a cultural melting pot, welcoming people from all over the globe.