If you’re heading down south to the land of the pine, make sure to stop in North Caroline.
Old Crow Medicine Show says it best.
North Carolina stretches from the Smokey Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. With true southern hospitality, she offers a diverse menu of attractions. While some are typical of what you would expect of any tourist destination, others are downright unique. If you’re looking to go beyond the same old, same old stuff, here are some events and attractions that the guidebooks forgot to tell you about.
Raleigh: The Krispy Kreme Challenge
Due to its abundance of museums and educational institutions, Raleigh North Carolina is often referred to as the Smithsonian of the South. Over 150 parks, gardens and lakes embellish its neighborhoods.
“Trees, trees and PhDs” is the city’s motto, but even intellectuals have to let their hair down once in awhile. If you have kids attending one of the Universities in the Triangle –the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill region – or if you just want to see the area, book a vacation rental and arrange to enter the Krispy Kreme Challenge.
Held in either January or February, this charity event benefits the North Carolina Children’s Hospital. To complete this race, participants begin at the North Carolina State Belltower on Hillsborough Street, run two miles to the Krispy Kreme store of Raleigh, eat one dozen doughnuts and run back to the Belltower.
The catch: You must complete the event in under an hour, so forget everything your mother ever told you about chewing your food and eating slowly to digest. Your kids might be embarrassed. They might even pretend they don’t know you, but it’s no less humiliating than having their parents friend them on Facebook.
Exploring Lake Lynn
If your preferences lean toward savoring the sweetness of the Raleigh scenery, as opposed to the sugary sweetness of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, pay a visit to Lake Lynn in North Raleigh. The lake is one of the lesser-known parks in Raleigh, which adds to its charm.
It rarely inspires discussion on the commercial tourist websites. As such, despite the number of dog-walkers, hikers and joggers, the trail is relatively uncrowded.
Generations of native ducks and geese call Lake Lynn home. The majority of the geese are multi-colored, and look nothing like the geese you’ve seen in other places. May is their hatching season, so if you have an uncontrollable weakness for adorable baby birds, this is the time to visit. Cuteness surrounds the area.
You might occasionally see a baby goose riding on the back of a turtle. If you’re lucky, a deer or rabbit might cross your path.
Lake Lynn is a place where animals and humans can exist in perfect harmony with nature. According to visitor Max O’Well, “Saint Francis would love this place.” The 2.2 mile trail has a few hills, so wear your sturdy walking shoes.
If you like to fish, bring your gear. Fishing is permitted at Lake Lynn.
Raleigh: The Marbles Children’s Museum and IMAX Theater
The Marbles Kids’Museum in Downtown Raleigh is an interactive children’s museum, which houses an IMAX, 3D theater. The theater features the type of films that benefit from the 3D experience, such as kids films, action films and Hollywood Blockbusters. It’s not just the 3D experience, but the overall ambiance that makes this a special place.
The theater’s location within a kids’ museum makes people comfortable enough to act like kids. People will share their popcorn with strangers, and hoot and holler during the exciting parts of the movie.
Fiddler’s Grove Festival
Want to get out of Raleigh? Here’s an idea!The Fiddler’s Grove Ole Time Fiddler’s and Bluegrass Event blends a music festival with a camping experience. It takes place in May at the Fiddler’s Grove Campground in Union Grove, North Carolina.
This authentic, three-day event received the Local Legacy from the Library of Congress Bicentennial Celebration 2000. The event originated in 1924. Fiddlers from all parts of the country gather in Union grove to compete for different prizes.
A Friday evening barn dance serves as the opening for the festival.
If you are new to the camping experience, this is a “camping light,” with plenty of restrooms and food stands. You might even get your first introduction to authentic grits and black-eyed peas, but don’t worry if the thought of camping evokes images of cold temperatures and creepy crawlies.
The neighboring towns have plenty of vacation rentals and bed and breakfasts.
About the author: Andrew Prince is the sales and marketing contact at Vacation Rental St Lucia. We provide some the finest accommodation and tours options on the island. You can also read more on my St Lucia Vacation Rental Blog here.
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