Chana Lynn Tells Us What’s Up With Raleigh
We caught up with Chana Lynn, the blogger behind RaleighWhatsUp to get her take on why this bustling city should be a stop on your ‘must-visit’ list!
Amtrak: Tell us about Raleigh. What makes it a great city to live in?
Chana: In the last 10 years, Raleigh has seen big changes. The amount of new restaurants, breweries and small businesses in just a few short years has really changed the landscape of downtown Raleigh. I love that there are so many great choices in Raleigh, yet it still has a local feel to it. There’s a hip, creative and relaxed style to this city and it’s full of smart, talented, and entrepreneurial people and businesses that are passionate about making Raleigh a great place to live and visit.
What’s the food scene like? Any favorite places for a great meal or happy hour?
For coffee we have BREW, Café de los Muertos, Joule and Morning Times. Just on the outskirts of town there is the amazing Sola Coffee Café famous for their coffee and hot mini donuts! For a great meal, some favorites are Garland, Bida Manda and any of the Ashley Christensen restaurants. I personally love a 5 o’clock beer at Trophy Brewing and their pizza is some of the best in NC. North Carolina has become one of the greatest producers of craft beer and Tasty Beverage Company offers an amazing array of unique international and domestic craft beers for tasting and purchasing. For some deliciously crafted cocktails and dessert, drop in to Bittersweet and try their seasonal cocktail menu and pair it with something sweet.
If you’re a first time visitor to Raleigh, where should you go?
If you are visiting Raleigh for the first time I highly recommend a visit to the NC Art Museum and Art Park. It’s the largest museum art park in the country! We also have some great History and Natural Science museums downtown that are great for exploring indoors. Marbles museum is a great place for young children. Carolina BBQ is always a good choice here in Raleigh, so have lunch at The Pit. Across the street is our chocolate factory, Videri Chocolate. You can take a fun tour and sample some amazing chocolate. For the sports enthusiast Raleigh is home to the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes and is a hotbed for college sports with NC State close to downtown and UNC and Duke not far away.
Any great shops?
In downtown Raleigh you can find great shopping and all things local at Stitch by Holly Aiken, High Cotton Bow Ties for the southern gentleman, Father & Son Antiques for some fun retro/vintage items and Deco Raleigh for all things Raleigh/NC. Raleigh Denim Jeans has its cool workshop located in the warehouse district. For shopping and dining one of my favorite spots is North Person Street, with Edge of Urge, Lumina Men’s Clothing, Yellow Dog Bread Company and Wine Authorities. Cameron Village where old meets new, is host to lots of great boutique shopping including the new Southern Season, Moon & Lola and Furbish Studio as well as many others.
For music lovers, museum connoisseurs, or outdoor explorers, where are some top spots to go?
If you are a music fan, catch a show at the awesome Red Hat Amphitheatre in the heart of downtown. I also would recommend dropping by CAM art museum for the latest in contemporary art exhibits. The building is spectacular and the museum is easy to view and enjoy nearby art galleries, restaurants and breweries such as the fabulous Lucette Grace and tasty Crank Arm Brewing. The NC Art Museum has a fabulous outdoor Museum park for walking or riding your bike through art exhibits and enjoying the outdoors. We are also lucky to have the nearly 6000-acre William B. Umstead State Park, making Raleigh one of the few cities with a state park located very close to downtown.