North Carolina

University gardens, fireflies, memorable coffee shops, greenways, and brick architecture.

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WRAL Azalea Garden, Raleigh

Beautiful in spring, especially April! Lovely artistically laid out medium-sized garden.

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh

Airy modern architecture and many paintings. Cafe, gift shop, amazing landscaped grounds with sculptures and boulders to climb. Summer concerts.

Duke University and Chapel, Durham

Gorgeous Gothic architecture, impressive chapel, and cute patios under leafy trees.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Historic buildings, sunny quad where students hang out, flowers and old trees, and fun student center area.

Guglhupf Bakery and Cafe, Durham

Magical patio with plants and fountains, plus nice interior as well!

Museum of Life and Science, Durham

Amazing museum and grounds with so much for kids to do!

Marbles Kids Museum, Raleigh

Fantastic children's museum with lots to do!

NC Museum of History, Raleigh

Free state-of-the-art history museum with exhibits on pirates, the civil war, and World War II in North Carolina.

Pullen Park (central park), Raleigh

Pullen Park is the central park of Raleigh, an enchanting place with some fun things to do.

Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, Raleigh

Beautiful, modern cathedral with colorful statues, the twelve stations of the cross, bright stained glass, light-filled rotunda, and amazing organ.

Kids Together Playground, Marla Dorrell Park, Cary

Wonderful playground with dragon on little hills, many different play areas, winding paths, and landscaping.

Greensboro Science Center

Unique and wonderful science center. Kids adore it!

Cedarock Park and Historic Farm, Burlington

Beautiful park where you can walk the perimeter of the pond, and check out the cute animals.

Children's Museum of Alamance County

Beautiful, bright children's museum with lots of fun things to play.

Bolin Creek Greenway, Chapel Hill

Lovely shady greenway- great for a long walk.

North Carolina Zoo, Asheboro

Fantastic zoo with active animals and lots to do!

Honeysuckle Tea House, Chapel Hill

Open-air popular tea house made of logs. Sit in the sweet breeze high up over the gardens. Not just tea!

Ninth Street, Durham

Cool area with coffee shops, cafes, and unique shops.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Durham

Large world-class garden with lakeside allees, flower terraces, and small Japanese garden.

Southern Village Restaurants, Chapel Hill

Cute area with outdoor cafes, flower boxes, church steeple with chimes, and village green where family events such as movie night or games night are held.

Meadowmont Greenway, Chapel Hill

Gorgeous one-mile greenway or bike path with shady forest, flowers, little hills, and pond with fountain.

Southern Community Playground, Southern Village

Awesome playground with lots of structures and little hill to play on.

Durham town

Humble town with youthful coffee shops and restaurants.

Downtown Chapel Hill

Cute downtown area with big trees, sidewalk cafes, and brick buildings.

Meadowmont Village Restaurants, Chapel Hill

Lovely development with brick buildings, outdoor cafes in the sun, and a fountain, plus a great bike path nearby.

Weaver Street Market and Downtown Carrboro

Health food store with great bakery, indoor seating with big windows, and outdoor picnic tables under thick leafy shade.

American Tobacco Campus, Durham

Unique redevelopment complex with man-made river, bee hive behind glass, colorful decorations, live music, and a few restaurants.

Old Chapel Hill Road Playground, Durham

Especially good playground for older kids!

Swinging Bridge, Eno River State Park, Durham

Pretty area with flowing river, rocks to play on, forest and flowers, and swinging bridge.

Koka Booth Amphitheater, Cary

Concerts under the stars with tall pines reaching to the sky.

Fearrington Village, Chapel Hill

Cute neighborhood with shady streets, wonderful bookstore, coffee shop with great outdoor seating, and belted goats to check out.

Coker Arboretum, UNC Chapel Hill

A quiet spot to take a minute in nature.

JC Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh

Beautiful plantings with huge flowers and large splashes of color!

Dorothea Dix Park Sunflowers, Raleigh

In early July, walk amid hundreds of sunflowers!

East Franklin Street Walk, Chapel Hill

Walk past the beautiful sorority and fraternity houses in the shade of trees.

Duke East Campus and Trail, Durham

Great place for a walk, with Georgian architecture, busy students, main quad, and trail around the perimeter under gorgeous trees.

Umstead Park, Chapel Hill

Large shady playground with two cool spinners, beach volleyball court, basketball court, and long bike path along a beautiful creek.

Airborne and Special Ops Museum, Fayetteville

Large, modern army museum with impressive scenes made up of lifelike sculptures combined with equipment like tanks, planes, and helicopters.

NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh

Two beautiful modern buildings full of attractive exhibits including some live animals.

MacDonald Woods Playground and Trail, Cary

Lovely playground in a recessed forest area, with a greenway connecting to another great playground.

Friendly Center, Greensboro

Modern outdoor shopping center with every store you could want.

Greensboro town

University town with many nice spots to explore.

Parkside Town Commons, Cary

Attractive modern development with many cafes with outdoor seating.

Cary Park Lake Greenway, Cary

Two mile walk or bike ride around Cary Park Lake!

Chapel Hill Community Center Park

Large shady playground with fun three-person spinner swing. Bolin Creek bike path starts here.

Trinity Park neighborhood walk, Durham

It's pleasant to walk around Trinity Park admiring the historic homes!

McKee Corn Maze (25 mins from Durham)

12 acre corn maze, tree swing, hay ride, barrel train ride, cozy coupes, sand pit with tractors, pretend cow milking, goats, donkey, chickens, scarecrows, and pumpkins.

Southern Village Greenway, Chapel Hill

2.4 mile paved, intermittently shady greenway with varied sights!

Carolina Inn Fridays on the Porch, Chapel Hill

Fun live music event every Friday during the warm season.

Hillsborough Riverwalk and Town

Beautiful 1.8 mile riverwalk, and Weaver Street Market with outdoor seating.

Streets at Southpoint Mall, Durham

Upscale mall with indoor section like colorful streets and outdoor section with sidewalk cafes.

Lake Johnson Greenway

Beautiful lake with small beach, kayak rentals, and 3 mile shady paved walking loop around the lake.

Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University

Attractive light-filled museum with three halls, one permanent and two temporary, and a museum store.

Beaver Creek Lake Walkway, Apex

Inspiring walking path on Beaver Creak Lake.

Pritchard Park forest play areas, Chapel Hill

Lovely play areas in the middle of the forest, and a short walking path.

Lake Hogan Farm Greenway, Chapel Hill

Peaceful greenway with flowers and almost tropical vegetation, that takes you to a lake!

Carolina Basketball Museum, UNC Chapel Hill

Attractive and interesting museum about important athletes, coaches, and moments in UNC basketball.

Morehead Planetarium, UNC Chapel Hill

Planetarium with great shows! And one floor dedicated to science exhibits.

Patchwork Farm Blueberry Picking, Chapel Hill

Lovely clearing of land in the forest with tall blueberry bushes for picking!

Northgate Park, Durham

A beautiful park with very tall trees, winding paths, blossoming trees, and lovely patches of grass.

Seaforth Beach, Jordan Lake

Peaceful spot with nice sand (great for building), blue water (from a distance), the sound of water lapping the shore, green lawn, playground, and trees for shade.

Beaver Creek Commons, Apex

Nice development with cafes and every store you could need!

Biltmore Estate, Asheville

Grand estate with beautiful furnishings, countryside views, indoor pool, and gardens.

Asheville town

Interesting hippy town, with great restaurants.

Market at Colonnade Plaza, Raleigh

Nice place to sit out at outdoor cafes, in a pretty, suburban neighborhood.

Eastgate Crossing Plaza, Chapel Hill

Modern shopping plaza with flower pots, Kipos Greek Taverna (pretty outdoor seating), Guglhupf Bakery, Trader Joe's, and Clean Juice.

University Place Indoor Mall, Chapel Hill

Nice place to walk around when it's cold or hot outside.

Kidzu Children's Museum, Chapel Hill

Fairly fun place to come with little kids for the play areas and with big kids for the maker space.

Crabtree Valley Mall, Raleigh

Attractive mall with many upscale chain restaurants.

West Point on the Eno River, Durham

Cute spot on the river with historic mill, tobacco packhouse, and farmhouse, plus a dam.

Duke Lemur Center, Durham

Forested area with cute lemurs in cages.

Lafayette Village, Raleigh

Stark French-style outdoor shopping center with large lawn for kids to play.

Harold D. Ritter Playground, Cary

Pretty park in the forest, with good play equipment.

Briar Chapel Playgrounds, Chapel Hill

Recent, shadeless housing development with a few playgrounds.

North Carolina State University, Raleigh

Pleasant campus with lots of open spaces to hang out.

Maple View Farm Ice Cream, Hillsborough

Wide patio with rocking chairs looking out on farmland.

Morgan Street, Downtown Raleigh

Historic downtown street with a few nice cafes.

Glenwood Ave, Downtown Raleigh

Downtown street with many blocks of bars, near NC State University.

Bass Pro Shop, Cary

Fun shop with aquarium and animals, especially nice at Christmastime or when they have a kids activity.

American Tobacco Trail at Solite Park

Very long greenway, and cute park for little kids.

Al Buehler Trail, Duke Forest, Durham

Popular three mile hard-packed dirt loop.

Lassiter Mill Park, Raleigh

Small park with a dam and smooth sunny rocks to sit on.

Falls Lake Dam, Raleigh

Watch water come rushing out of a dam, and then  picnic on the grass or fish at the lake.

Forest Ridge Playground, Raleigh

Large playground with dinosaur bouncy, stepping stones, zipline and more!

Shelley Lake Park, Raleigh

Two-mile paved walking loop around lake, in forest and open fields, past geese and bald eagles.

Duke Homestead and Tobacco Museum

Tour the homestead and tobacco barns, and see the museum about many facets of tobacco.

Shepherd's Vineyard Greenway, Apex

Shady greenway in forest between houses in suburban Apex.

Raleigh Rose Garden

Rows of roses in a recessed area behind Raleigh Little Theater.

Cameron Village Shopping Plaza, Raleigh

Older shopping plaza with plenty of stores and some cafes.

NC Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill

Fairly plain garden with some flowers, herbs, giant chess set, and sectioned off walkways for kids to run around.

Morgan Creek Greenway, Chapel Hill


Paved greenway with tall trees that leads to Merritt's Pasture, a field. Stinky sewer in summer.

Sandy Creek Park Greenway, Chapel Hill

Pretty greenway past a swamp, with horrible sewer cylinders.

Joslin Garden, Raleigh

A forest and some flower bushes with a plain house where events are held.

Lower Booker Creek Greenway, Chapel Hill

A straight shady path beneath forest trees, with sewer cylinders.

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