You have know idea how excited I am to write this for you! I have fallen in love with Raleigh, over and over again. So, after much thought, I decided on what a perfect day spent in Raleigh looks like for me. & I hope it will be just as amazing for you!
Let’s start the morning off with a trip to Black and White Coffee. With an industrial/minimalist vibe, Black and White is very inviting and people rave over their menu. If you have a sweet tooth try their “sipping chocolate” which is a 3 ounce shot of melted 100% milk chocolate. Yes, you read that right.
Now, you need to hear this. TRY. THE. HOT. CHOCOLATE.
I am 10000% serious, y’all. Their hot chocolate has a layer of cream at the top and is by far the best drink I have ever had from any coffee shop. EVER.
A cup of this goodness will cost between $3 and $3.50.
I haven’t shut up about it since I first had it. Now, I’m going back every chance I get to get it again and again. If you go to one coffee shop in Raleigh, go to Black and White.
Next, head to The Historic Yates Mill. This is a free attraction in Raleigh and is totally gorgeous. The mill is a popular location for photographers, and rightfully so. It’s worth visiting, exploring the grounds of the preserved land, and having a mini photoshoot of your own!
Deciding a lunch location was easy as pie for me. You are going to love Taverna Agora. I have to be honest, I haven’t taken a single trip to Raleigh without eating at Taverna Agora. It is to die for. The decor is really cool and the atmosphere in the restaurant and outside on the roof top bar is warming. They have a full menu of Mediterranean goodies, but here are a few of my favorites!
Afternoon & Early Evening
The rest of the day is spent exploring downtown Raleigh.
Let’s start by heading to The Marbles Children’s Museum. This is a must-visit for all families because, I always have found it really important that no matter where you travel to, that when children are stimulated and involved in the travel days, the whole experience is more satisfying for all members of the family.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–This is the BEST attraction in Raleigh for young kids. A can’t miss for family travelers.
You can park in the parking lot behind the children’s museum for $3/hour and this will be a great location to park for you to walk around exploring the surrounding attractions as well.
Next, take a walk around the North Carolina State Capital before heading to the North Carolina Museum of History! This is a free museum in downtown Raleigh. It offers a lot of information about slavery, the evolution of North Carolina as a state as well as the Wright brothers and the first moon landing!
On your first visit to the museum, you can spend an hour and half to two hours exploring.
Next, head right across the street to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Another free museum that you can spend an hour and a half to two hours exploring. Personally, we spend more time in the Natural Sciences Museum than the History Museum because my daughters are able to enjoy it more. Full of fossils, live wildlife, and exhibits– this museum pleases the whole family.
For dinner, head to The Pit for authentic southern barbecue. They have complimentary valet and the interior is upscale. However, the prices are much lower than you would expect. Two adult meals and a one from the children’s menu cost us just $40. You’ll be served southern biscuits and hushpuppies while you wait for your food-which is a must-try if you aren’t from the south!
The meal in the picture below is their southern fired chicken. You’re served a half a chicken and can choose wether you want white meat, dark meat, or a combination. I recommend the fried chicken, it was the most un-greasy fried chicken I’ve had while still being tasty and not dry. The mac n cheese was delish, but skip the fries in my opinion.
Super great service, super good food, great price!
Walk across from the street from The Pit and you will be back and Black and White Coffee which is in the same building as the Videri Chocolate Factory. Here you can get the RICHEST chocolates made right there in Raleigh. Step to the back of the room and watch the cocoa beans being ground and the chocolate being made.
They offer chocolates made with honey, cold brew, and more. My daughters enjoyed a chocolate marshmallow and I had my favorite– the dark chocolate ganache. Be prepared for their prices. You can expect to pay up to $3.50 for each piece of chocolate!
You may even want to get another one of those delectable hot chocolates while you’re here;)
If you aren’t traveling with kids, the Boxcar Bar & Arcade is across the street from Videri. Play old school arcade games or life size Jenga, get a drink, and order some tasty finger foods to enjoy the night.
If you’re a fellow family traveler, call it a night! Traveling with kids (especially toddlers) all day is exhausting haha!
When it comes to parking: we pulled into the parking lot next to the chocolate factory and an employee asked us where we were going. I said the chocolate factory and he told us to go on it without paying. There was a sign up saying $10 for parking. So I guess, if you don’t want to pay for parking just say what I said. :p
I love to share cost breakdowns with you. I think it’s important to be transparent and to also give you an idea of what to expect. A day in Raleigh can definitely be done for more and less than the day in this article, but here is how much this day costs me and my two daughters.
Coffee shop: $6
Related Post: The Best Thing To Do With Kids In Raleigh