Thursday, October 4, 2012

How I Spent my Summer Staycation.

It's officially Fall in Raleigh. Even if the weather doesn't feel like it yet.

So, quick flashback to August and what I am calling our "Staycation" in Raleigh/Durham. This was unique for us because the kids were away M-F and this allowed for some random flexible evenings to enjoy some shopping, wining and dining  (and beering) in our local area while the kids were in WV for a week of country living with their grandparents.  Following are some of the fabulous places we were able to get out and discover or revisit in one week.

While the kids are away....!

Moon & Lola on Wilmington Street
Feelgoodz on Wilmington
M&L boutique.

Our first evening out started with a stop at Feelgoodz and Moon & Lola...both new and creative boutique shopping located on Wilmington Street downtown Raleigh. We picked up some cool flip flops from Feelgoodz and then headed next door to Moon & Lola. I proceeded to pick up a very cool "RALEIGH" pendant that I have enjoyed wearing around town and out of town! You can customize your necklaces to say your name or whatever you want. They are a GREAT gift idea! Moon & Lola's store is a beautiful shopping experience and the staff are friendly and helpful.

After doing some shopping, we proceeded to Raleigh Times for a relaxing drink, located right around the corner.  Raleigh Times is currently undergoing a major renovation that will be finished hopefully soon that should include a new rooftop patio over Stitch. The seating capacity of the bar will be greatly increased and patrons of Raleigh Times may even be able to access the boutique shops from inside the bar which is a cool little feature for all...whether you are there to shop, drink or eat...or all three!

View of Raleigh from Boylan Bridge Pub outdoor patio.
Next, since the weather was great, we decided to stop off at Boylan Bridge Pub for a lovely view of Raleigh and a great summer ale. Always one of our favorite Raleigh locations and we've taken many out of town guests to this spot when the weather is good.

Food and beverages are great...try the onion rings, (they are to die for!) and the view of the Raleigh skyline is a good one.

David's Dumpling & Noodle Bar at Oberlin and Hillsborough Street.
Dinner time was quickly approaching so we headed to Oberlin/Hillsborough Street for a fantastic dinner at David's Dumpling and Noodle Bar.     David Mao was formerly of Duck and Dumpling which some "Raleigh-ites" might remember from a few years back. It had great food and atmosphere. The food was tasty at David's and the dumplings were delicious. Definitely worth checking out for lunch or dinner. Food was just as tasty as I remembered from Duck and Dumpling. They have local beers on draft and some good drink specials. We will definitely be back. (I believe you can get take out too!)

Game Time at Fullsteam Brewery in Durham.

We decided to venture West to Durham for some fun. First stop was Fullsteam Brewery for a beverage and a mean game of ping pong with some of the locals. Even enjoyed a little old school arcade style pinball action. Love that place!

After a beverage at Fullsteam, we headed to the famous Watts Grocery for dinner. I'd heard great things about it, but had never been.

Watts Grocery features fabulous dishes, all using local farm fresh foods often raised, caught or produced within two miles of the restaurant. It was busy as we guessed it would be but we were able to enjoy a delicious, quiet dinner at the bar.

Decided to stay local in North Raleigh and hit Lafayette Village. This fun European style village has lots to offer as far as shopping and dining in a unique setting. We enjoyed a casual dinner at the Village Grill topped off with a glass of red wine at the cozy Vinos Finos Wine & Tapas Bar.

Drinks at Capital Club 16
It's Thursday and Lonerider brewery was open for Happy Hour! We headed there first and ended up running into an old friend! The summer weather was perfect for hanging outside and they shared with us new plans to extend the outdoor area for more seating and hanging out. Can't wait to see when they finish that. Such a great local spot and great beer!!

Headed back into Raleigh for dinner at Poole's Diner. Being the popular place that it is, the wait to be seated was long so we headed down and across the street to check out  Capital Club 16 located on W. Martin Street. I had heard about it from several friends but never been! It turned out to be packed and we enjoyed a great burger for dinner.  I really liked the atmosphere of this bar and we will be back.  We did stop back by Poole's for a night cap before heading home.  Insider tip for the ladies: The women's bathroom in Poole's is probably one of the BEST bathrooms I've ever been in for ladies!! Check it out and you will probably agree! :-)

Sweet ladies room!
Well, kids are back in town from a great week away and there ends our week of spontaneous nights out and a fun "staycation". It was great to revisit some of our favorite spots and discover some new great places.

Back to work...oh wait, TGIF!


  1. That is a whole lotta good Raleigh pit stops :) I'm such a huge fan of David's Dumpling Bar! Have you seen the bathroom at the Empress Room in Glenwood? Interesting little spot, but the bathroom is gorgeous!

    Cristina (

  2. Cristina,
    I agree David's is a great spot and I don't think enough people know about his place! Will have to spread the word. I will have to put the Empress Room on my list of new places to check out. Thanks for the info! And thanks for following RaleighWhatsUp!