Wednesday, December 6, 2017

#LocalWanderer for Raleigh! My Alaska Airlines Instagram Takeover

This past week, I got a very exciting opportunity to partner with Alaska Airlines to be one of their Local Wanderers and to show off a little of our wonderful city of Raleigh. I got to highlight some of my favorite parts of Raleigh on their Instagram account as well as featuring some photos on my RaleighWhatsUp Instagram account as well.  I also got to be featured on Alaska Airline's website on their blog, feel free to jump over there and have a read!

I am happy to help them spread the word that Alaska Airlines offers several direct flights to many amazing destinations out of RDU airport. We flew Alaska Airlines last year to Seattle with our family and friends and it was a fantastic experience from start to finish. They fly to some great destinations out of RDU like Hawaii, Mexico City, Seattle, Canada and more.

I wanted to do a little recap of some of the places I chose to spotlight over my Instagram takeover/Local Wanderer experience.

Brewery Bhavana is a must visit in downtown Raleigh!  They recently received the honor of being one of  Bon Appetit Magazine’s 10 best new restaurants in America!

When we made our first visit here we knew something amazing was happening in Raleigh.  Not just an outstanding brewery with an incredible array of beers to choose from, Bhavana is also a bookstore, flower shop, dim sum restaurant, and an amazing place to gather with friends.  The space pleases all your senses from the aroma of freshly cut flowers, to a curated bookstore, a library to peruse, beer to taste + delicious dim sum dining. The space is bright and airy, the staff is extremely knowledgeable and professional.  Every detail is intentional and has meaning and purpose. This is a one of a kind place to visit again and again and Raleigh is lucky to call Brewery Bhavana their own. 

I recommend trying a beer even if you aren’t a beer drinker (Yield - Luscious Little Session IPA 4.5% is my personal favorite). The food is delicious, comforting and thoughtful.  The menu is ideal for sharing. Raleigh has a strong sense of community and you really feel it here.  Truly a unique experience, definitely put Brewery Bhavana on your Raleigh list of things not to miss!

A few additional places that I love to visit in downtown Raleigh for dining out:
St. Roch, Bida Manda, Trophy Brewing Pizza, Garland, Beasley’s Chicken, Virgil’s Tacos, Stanbury, Gonza Tacos y Tequila, Fiction Kitchen, Death & Taxes and Crawford & Son.

Looking for cocktails in Raleigh?  One of our favorite spots is located in a former garage in the heart of downtown Raleigh. Whiskey Kitchen has well over 200 whiskeys stocking the bar shelves, along with plenty of other options!  It’s definitely the spot for a proper drink.  Next door to Nash Square Park and bordering the warehouse district, there are plenty of fabulous southern kitchen dining options as well as outside patio seating or classy casual drinking + dining inside. 

Additional cocktail spots: Foundation, Gallo Pelon Mezcaleria, Bittersweet, The Haymaker, William & Company, Fox’s Liquor Bar, Watts & Ward and Person Street Bar.

Lots of great local coffee flowing in Raleigh.  One of my favorite coffee shops is Sola Coffee Cafe.  Located in North Raleigh about 15 minutes from RDU airport, Sola Coffee serves up plenty of great food and drink options for breakfast, lunch and dinner AND they are some of the nicest people I know!  Grab a few hot mini donuts with your coffee and snap a selfie in front of their ‘I Believe In Raleigh’ mural outside!

Additional coffee cafes:  BREW, Jubala, Morning Times, Cup a Joe, Liquid State, Yellow Dog Bread Co., 42 and Lawrence, Sir Walter Coffee and the brand new Hummingbird.

North Carolina is famous for its top notch breweries throughout the state.  Some of my favorite NC breweries in Raleigh include Trophy Brewing, Brewery Bhavana, Neuse River Brewing, Crank Arm Brewing, Lynnwood Brewing Concern, Big Boss, and Bond Brothers.  Stop by for a quick beer at Lonerider Brewing Company just minutes from RDU airport!


NC Museum of Art is one of my favorite places to explore in Raleigh!  The NCMA is a premier destination museum with stunning permanent and temporary exhibits.  The museum is home to a Rodin exhibit featuring 30 sculptures in the gallery and garden.  It is the most extensive Rodin collection between Philadelphia and the West Coast.  The museum also hosts a wonderful outdoor park with works of art all along the walking/bike paths.  Great way to spend an afternoon in Raleigh!

NOTE: They are currently featuring an amazing exhibit called Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair - I have a recent post on that for more info.

Another great Raleigh museum to visit is the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) located in the warehouse district in downtown Raleigh.  CAM seeks to curate the most contemporary works of art and design possible and they are very community-focused.  The NC Museum of Natural Sciences is the state’s most visited museum and you can’t miss it with the giant planet earth globe outside.  It’s a fantastic place for the family with four floors of exciting exhibits.  Be sure to visit the dinosaurs at the top! 

Raleigh is extremely fortunate to have a state park directly within our city limits.  Umstead State Park is perfect for so many outdoor activities such as biking, camping, hiking, picnicking and more.  Newly acquired by the City of Raleigh, Dorothea Dix Park is a 308 acre park that is sure to become our ‘Central Park’ and is currently open to the public daily from dawn to dusk.  Pullen Park on the NC State college campus, has tons of fun rides for the kiddies, including a train and a classic wood carousel built in 1900 and is a designated Raleigh Historic Landmark.  Raleigh also hosts an amazing greenway spanning over 112 miles and 3800 acres for running and biking throughout the city and beyond.

I hope you will find these recommendations helpful and come visit the City of Oaks soon!

Sola Coffee Cafe

Brewery Bhavana beer

Bhavana Flower Shop

In-House Library at Brewery Bhavana

Bhavana Bar

Rodin Garden at NCMA


Whiskey Kitchen