57. Raleigh, North Carolina

With one night left in North Carolina, we made the journey to Raleigh, the only city in the Triangle area we had yet to explore.

It was night, and it was raining, but the the part of Raleigh we did see made me want to see more. The streets and shops looked cute and quaint, and I don’t think it was just because of the string lights (though string lights always help).


Peeking inside downtown boutique Dogwood Collective

How I got there:
Drove east on I-40. It’s about a 40-minute drive from Carrboro–tough if you’re trying to go out for the evening, but not bad for a daytime excursion.

What I did:
Ate, drank (see below), and walked around wishing we had more time to explore.

Sorrrrrryyyyy, it’s so grainy. But the important thing is that you see the string lights.

Where I ate/drank:
Our main event for the evening was Bida Manda, which Google pretty accurately describes as a “hip, modern hideaway for Laotian fare and exotic cocktails in a slick, yet woodsy looking space.” We loved everything about it, from the space–the “design process focused on the Laotian people’s holistic understanding of space and its immediate relationship with nature,” says the website–to the food to the cocktails.


Afterward, we came across the Raleigh Times and, being a group of journalists/former journalists, stopped there for a beer. Good draft list, seats, no complaints.

What I missed:
I’d love to come back in the daytime, for starters. Ideally on a day when the Blackhawks are playing the Hurricanes. That’s happening this year on a weeknight in January though, so we’ll see…

The Raleigh Beer Garden, new as of this year, also claims to offer “the world’s largest selection of draft beers available in one restaurant,” so I’m going to have to check that out for myself.


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