TRAVEL | Stay, Eat and Play in #ColorfulFay! My 2 Day Travel Guide to Fayetteville, NC @VisitFayNC

Recently, SobeSavvy.com along with 8 other travel writers & photographers from around NC were hosted for a weekend in Fayetteville, NC. We got to  see some of the most beautiful and diverse places in Cumberland County for a 2 day #ColorfulFay tour. Here is a look at the itinerary ( which was slightly adjusted for us due to rain), as well as my recap of where to Stay, Eat and Play! I hope it inspires you to pay a visit to Fayetteville, NC soon.

STAY

The MacPherson House,  701 Hay St. Fayetteville, NC 28301

We checked in to The MacPherson House, a 5 room Bed & Breakfast, in Fayetteville, NC. It is a brand-new, large B&B, which has opened up in an historic house on the outskirts of downtown. We were hosted as part of a tour organized by Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and we stayed in a lovely room with a king-size bed,and a private bathroom.  Every room is uniquely styled and named but each one has a fireplace. One of the unique features is the on-site wellness center, where you can start your day with yoga from Hayat, who is not only the MacPherson House B&B’s manager but also happens to be one of the top yogis in Fayetteville. Another great reason to nama-stay in #ColorfulFay! Check in to peaceful views, renovated rooms, featuring unique details & private bathrooms for a #ColorfulFay vacay at The MacPherson House
**SobeSavvy Tip: Use discount code “COLORFULFAY” for 15% percent off your stay when you book between now and December 31, 2020!

πŸ‘€Watch my YouTube video for an inside look‡️

EAT

● GARDEN VIEW CAFE
Located at Cape Fear Botanical Garden, enjoy lunch with a view of nature on the lovely patio! They use fresh ingredients from the garden as well as quality meats to make delicious deli sandwiches. Chef Lou and his family take a creative approach to make food taste as good as it look by using colorful bread for our tour group! ● DIRTBAG ALES BREWERY & TAPROOM + NAPKINS RESTAURANT Looking for Beer, Food and Fun in a family & pet-friendly atmosphere? DirtBag Ales & Napkins Restaurant is where to find it! We were treated to a craft-beer tasting + snacks on the grounds and it fueled us for a fun day ahead!● PHARAOH’S LEGACY: MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE & BAR
In the mood for authentic Mediterranean food? Pharaoh’s Legacy: Mediterranean Cuisine & Bar is the place to feast on the most delicious eats combining flavors of Egypt, Greece, Lebanese & Turkey!● BLUE MOON CAFΓ‰
Having Sunday Brunch inside or on the patio at Blue Moon CafΓ© is truly delightful! Kick of brunch with Bottle Service Mimosas and start off with the crab dip. It is addictive and amazing!  I also recommend their Monte Cristo which was the perfect mix of sweet & savory! For a visual taste of our brunch experience, feast your eyes on this fun Tik Tok video I made and posted on IG ‡️

● UPTOWN’S CHICKEN & WAFFLES
Our last stop to eat on the @VisitFayNC #ColorfulFay tour was dinner at Uptown’s Chicken & Waffles! Chef Judy puts her heart and soul into Southern/Soul Food classics like mac & cheese, collard greens, fried chicken and waffles. Get a taste of everything and order the Uptown Sampler, which includes her infamous shrimp & grits! They also feature signature cocktails that almost look to good to drink.

PLAY

● CAPE FEAR BOTANICAL GARDEN
I love nature and being surrounded by all its beauty. So when I saw that a guided nature tour of Cape Fear Botanical Garden was on the itinerary,  I was excited to learn more about this attraction that features “80 acres of NC beauty”! There is plenty of open space for kids to play and explore plus a dedicated kids area. And if you are looking for a wedding venue, consider Cape Fear Botanical Garden! Make sure to stop in the gift shop for unique finds and grab a bite from the Garden View CafΓ©. β— HOPE MILLS LAKE
Hope Mills Lake is where locals & visitors can have fun lakeside, with snow cones on the patio from Big T’s Snoballs while enjoying some R&R. Some of us got a fishing lesson with Cedar Creek Fish Farm, while others took a sunset kayak tour on the lake with Yakalacky Outfitters. We opted for the kayak tour and had fun being one with the lake.  It’s a great way to exercise and take in the scenery while social distancing. No matter if you are a novice or expert, Yakalacky Outfitters will have you feeling comfortable on the water in no time!● HUMMINGBIRD CANDLE CO.
Get lit πŸ”₯ with Hummingbird Candle Co., where you can shop and learn how to make your own candles from over 40 + scents. We got to experience candle-making while sipping beverages fromThe Wine CafΓ©, which is also on Hay St. Candles are just one of my love languages. These eco-friendly candles make awesome gifts as well as provide the perfect ambiance to any situation. This is a great date night, girls night or group activity idea.  Congrats to the owner Tianna for opening up her second shop in Asheville. Be sure to stop in either location to shop local and support a ‘For Women by Women’ owned business!● DOWNTOWN FAYETTEVILLE/COOL SPRING DOWNTOWN DISTRICT Cool art, murals, history, plenty of outdoor photo-ops and people who all describe the community as family.. that’s what you’ll find in Downtown Fayetteville’s Cool Spring Downtown District. A guided arts tour (thank you Sam for being our wonderful guide) is a great way to explore and when it is time to refuel, stop in for tea, coffee & sweets at The Coffee Cup. ● TURNER LANE’S SUCCULENT PUMPKIN CENTERPIECE WORKSHOP
We attended a succulent pumpkin centerpiece workshop, a curated experience by Turner Lane, which is a “tiny but mighty gift store” in Downtown Fayetteville. We met Elaine, who showed us how to make and care for a beautiful living Succulent Pumpkin! This makes for a wonderful holiday centerpiece and was a fun project to do with a group. Follow them on Facebook to see when the next “Made By Me” classes are happening!Our final day on this tour had me full of smiles and a few happy tears as I got to learn more about the people and their love of the Fayetteville, NC community. They have a great deal of pride and I enjoyed hearing the stories of the minority-owned, black-owned, gay-owned, female-owned businesses there. I encourage you to support & visit to experience it for yourself! Get some inspo from my ‘VisitFayNC’ Instastories highlight. No matter where you go, you will see the diversity of ‘America At Every Turn’ in Fayetteville. Check out www.visitfayettevillenc.com before you visit for many more ideas on where to Stay, Eat, and Play in #ColorfulFay!**Merci Beaucoup and Special Thanks to Jenny Bell for creating wonderful, informative memories for us. This tour has given insight to the many ways to spend a day (or 2). We enjoyed it so much, we are planning to return and take our daughter with us for the weekend!

Have you visited Fayetteville, NC before? If yes, where should I go next? If no, which one of the places would you like to visit from this blog post? Leave your comments below and thanks for reading!

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Family Travel Tips for Visiting the @NCZoo in @TheHeartofNC during COVID-19

Disclaimer: Thanks to all at NC Zoo who work so hard to keep the visitors and animals safe. Media tickets & lunch were provided in exchange for review of our visit.

Family Travel Tips for Visiting the NC Zoo during COVID-19 | SobeSavvy.com

During these uncertain times, finding fun safe things to do with a child has been challenging to say the least. Lucky for us the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, NC comes in very high on the fun and safe things to do list. Most folks know this is not only one of the nations greatest zoos but it is THE largest natural habitat zoo in the world. Being only 90 minutes from the Triangle makes this day trip easy for well over a million residents here. Since a couple of years have passed since our prior family visit to the zoo, (which you can revisit that blog post >> here), me and my #HeighPartyof3 were very excited to return!

What To Know Before You Go

Due to COVID 19 the zoo has made some major changes in how they do business to ensure everyone has a safe time. Guest must now buy their tickets in advance on a timed basis. This helps to spread out any crowds during their operating hours so there is no overcrowding at any point of the day. Although they can accomadate up to 15,000 people daily they now limit only 2,000 guests per day. All guests have the room to social distance.

Guests are also strongly encouraged to wear mask coverings during their visit. Walkway paths are now designated one way only and they have added dozens of sanatizing stations and signage throughout the zoo. The majority of indoor exhibits are closed and all guests must enter through the “North American” section only.

NC Zoo is committed to the #NCZooCares & #StayStrongNC initiative and is reminding everyone to don’t forget your Ws! Wear. Wait. Wash.

WEAR a face covering.

WAIT 6 feet apart from other people.

WASH your hands often.

Learn more at nc.gov/covid19

KIDZONE

The Kidzone play area just reopened and my daughter was excited to check out that space. After being indoors nowadays for virtual homeschool, she enjoys any chance to play outside. They have many ways the kids can creatively explore the world of play by using their senses. Upon arrival, we were greeted at the entrance of the Kidzone with items such as hand sanitizer, disposable masks if needed and encouraged to grab chalk to write a message on the wall. They only allow a certain number of kids in at a time as a safety precaution.

Playing in the KIDZONE at NC Zoo | SobeSavvy.com

Lunch at NC Zoo

Located in the North America Plaza, The Iron Hen (while currently closed to the public) is an on-site restaurant where we met PR Officer, Moriah Angott (who filled us in on upcoming events, plans for Asia, and Covid -related initiatives they are taking.) We also met a representative from their food partner, SSA, to learn more about their nutritious and delicious options for providing visitors with food from local and sustainable ingredients.

We were treated to lunch which consisted of chicken quesadillas with a side salad with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing made in-house, and grilled chicken drizzled with Chipotle mayo, rice and grilled seasonal veggies. Our daughter had the chicken tenders (which are hand breaded and made with chicken breast from local farm, Joyce Farms) plus fries! She said it was really good and that you can tell the chicken tenders were better than processed chicken nuggets. For dessert we had their pumpkin parfait and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, which we devoured! Everything was flavorful, sustainable and made with care. I would definitely return just to eat there! For more info on dining options and catering for events, read >>here

Tune in for more NC Zoo

On October 31, 2020 get ready for the premiere of “Secrets of the Zoo: North Carolina”, which will be shown on the Nat Geo Wild Channel. The eight-part series features stories of every kind β€” from emergency and routine animal procedures and animal husbandry to rescue, rehabilitation and release.

Viewers will get an inside look at North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, home to the largest zoo in the world. Spread out over an enormous 2,600 acres, this AZA accredited zoo has thousands of individual animals, more than 212 species and a diverse range of landscapes, including swamps, prairies, rivers, forests and even a desert. It’s more of a wildlife reserve than a traditional zoo, and many species share habitats as they would in the wild. At a time when the traditional concept of a zoo seems out of sync with animal welfare, the North Carolina Zoo leads the way and has achieved global recognition for setting zoo standards.

SobeSavvy Tip- Shoutout to the always helpful and resourceful Susan Dosier (@SDosier) at DK Communications Group for providing me with the following tips that I’ll kindly pass on to you:

β€’ Make sure everyone is in comfortable shoes and clothes. (the zoo is huge, and you guys will walk a lot.)

β€’ If it’s chilly or raining, the animals are actually more active. Be sure to put rain gear in your backpack in case of an unexpected shower!

β€’ Don’t miss the videos from the North Carolina Zoo. See their suite of options on Facebook like this video of the second baby rhino of 2020 learning to stand.

β€’ The North Carolina Zoo is also offering a Facebook Live EDVentures Online Series. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, children and adults will learn more about a species living at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro.

πŸ‘€Watch this recap video from our fun day at NC Zoo !

Overall, we were impressed with how well they are doing to ensure guests are safe, surprised by the crowds(and their willingness to follow rules and wear masks) and appreciated the technology of being able to scan out map via QR code which provided support for a better guest experience!We had an amazing time at the zoo and it was such a great way to spend a beautiful fall day! I would definitely recommend visiting for a safe family fun activity. Stay connected and follow @NCZoo and @TheHeartofNC on social! For driving directions and more information about the NC Zoo, visit www.nczoo.org

πŸ“North Carolina Zoo

4401 Zoo Parkway Asheboro, NC 27205
1.800.488.0444

http://www.nczoo.org

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas, Deals and Giveaways from Local NC Businesses

Hello May! There is no doubt that we are thankful for each month, each day but as Mother’s Day rapidly approaches on Sunday, May 10, I can only wonder how to celebrate. My Mom is in another state and with the Stay at Home order, we are staying safely away from each other while sending many virtual kisses and hugs and making the most of online chats. In the midst of it all, it is important for us Moms to celebrate our hardwork and dedication as we all try to balance work life, married life, homeschool life, and parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though this Mother’s Day 2020 will undoubtedly be different, we should take the time to recognize us Moms! I am happy to share these fun and budget-friendly ways to celebrate Moms while taking the opportunity to show appreciation to our local NC businesses throughout the Triangle and beyond! Check out these discounts, deals and giveaways to help you make it a special day (see details below and enter on IG @SobeSavvy) ! Mother’s Day Gift Ideas, Deals and Giveaways from Local NC Businesses

β€’ Serve her breakfast in bed and “Build Your Own Brunch Box ” from kΓ΅β€’Γ€n

β€’ Tired of cooking? Get Sunday Brunch to Go at STIR + use special discount code SOBESAVVY10 for 10% off your order

β€’ Take her on a Pizza Picnic with Coronato Pizza + enter Giveaway for Mom to win FREE pizza

β€’ Treat her to some selfcare with organic skincare products from Nailah Shea + use discount code SOBESHEA2020
for 15% of purchases of $30 or more

β€’ Schedule a Front Porch Portrait Session by Images by Amber Robinson and take advantage of the Mother’s Day Special ..available until May 10th!

❀ A family portrait would make the perfect gift for Mom. Buy Gift Cards for Images by Amber and Redeem Later:

https://www.honeybook.com/widget/imagesby_amber_robinson/cf_id/5ea8cee464d6201d9d22e9e6

β€’ Light up her life with a scented candle from Bright Black Candle + get free shipping & 10% off with code “happymoms” on all orders through Mother’s Day 5/10

β€’ Enter to win her a $100 National Pawn Gift Card

Mother’s Day is Sunday May 10th. I encourage you to support local businesses and celebrate your Mother, your Mom friends and the Mom in you too! Know of any local deals, discounts or giveaways happening and want to share? Please do in the comments below. ❀ Thanks for reading and sharing!

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Spring 2020 Family Fun Things To Do in Durham, NC @DurhamNC

I am so happy Spring is just around the corner here in the Triangle! With warmer temps on the horizon in our weekly forecast and daylight savings time happening this past Sunday, I was motivated to get out and have some family fun in Durham, NC. It just takes 30 mins/28 miles to get to Downtown Durham from my home in Raleigh, so I love going there often. But this time, I wanted to play tourist and make a list to share with you some Spring 2020 Family Fun Things To Do in Durham, NC! Planning things to do was easy when I got an email from Discover Durham announcing their new Spring Guide.

The guide included an original lo-fi album, a variety of spring festivals to check out, a listing of lady bosses in the community (just in time for Women’s History Month), and more! Here are the places we checked out in Durham, NC:

Nolia Family + Coffee

We headed to Durham for a full day of fun but before we got started, we went to get the fuel most parents need to get thru the morning: coffee! Nolia is a must when visiting Durham because as per their name, they are all about Family + Coffee. This business is a unique child centric coffee shop where owner/Justin said “kids here are not just tolerated, they are celebrated!” This was evident from the moment we walked in this cute minimalist space. They had a storyteller on one side with kids sitting on the floor and having a great time. Beautiful vibes were everywhere with a feeling of community and inclusion. They have small selections of coffee and tea and some good pastries to boot. You can also shop local and get a candle from Bright Black, a Black, family owned company that uses scent as a medium and candles as a platform to share positive narratives about Blackness. We ordered a delicious apple pastry, a pour over coffee and a kids hot cocoa to go. Everything was good and we will be back!

Name: Nolia: Family + Coffee
Website: www.noliacoffee.com
About Us: Nolia Coffee is Durham’s family-centric, specialty coffee shop.
Social Media: Facebook & Instagram – @noliacoffe

The Carolina Theatre of Durham

Earlier in February, I attended a media mission hosted by Discover Durham, where invited media were introduced to local businesses in Durham and informed about what is new in 2020. While I was there, I spoke with The Carolina Theatre of Durham and learned about their Family Saturday Series. Tickets are just $5 and includes free popcorn and a drink. to catch a show at the historic Carolina Theatre. This show featured Beverly Botsford, Dancing Drums, which showcased an array of percussion instruments and celebrated universal rhythm. Children and families enjoyed this very interactive show. The audience was encouraged to sing, clap along, make their own beat and join her on stage to play the instruments. My daughter got a kick out of seeing her father play the bongos! A good time was had by all.

SobeSavvy Tip: The theatre has a free exhibit on the top level called “Confronting Change” that speaks to it’s racial segregationist past and how it eventually allowed all people of all colors to finally be treated as equal. Make sure you check it out no matter what show you are there to see!

Name: Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc.

Website: www.CarolinaTheatre.org

About Us: Since 1926, the Carolina Theatre has been dedicated to presenting vibrant, thought-provoking film and live performances that contribute to the cultural and economic vitality of downtown Durham and the greater Triangle Region. Our nonprofit has operated the venue for more than 25 years, using both commercial and mission-driven programming to establish the venue as so much more than just a building to its community. From concerts to comedy to cinema and more, the Carolina Theatre remains an important cultural beacon of a growing region.

Social Media: Facebook & Instagram – @carolinatheatredurham; Twitter – @carolinadurham

EAT| Pizzeria Toro

We were ready for lunch after seeing the show at The Carolina Theatre. Since we were parked conveniently across the street in the free parking deck, we decided to walk around and find somewhere to eat. Downtown Durham has so many great places to dine but we decided to try a spot called Pizzeria Toro because it had wood fired pizz on the menu along with a great wine/beer list for us parents! They had a kids cheese pizza and hubby and I went with customizing our pizza by adding proscuitto. If you love thin crust, great quality cheese with a balance of fresh tomato sauce in a family friendly place with a trendy vibe, then go to Pizzeria Toro!

Name: Pizzeria Toro

Website: http://www.pizzeriatoro.com

Social Media: IG/Facebook/Twitter

@pizzeriatoro

Durham Arts Council/Durham Arts Walk

After lunch, we walked off all that delicious pizza by attending Durham Arts Walk/Spring Market, an annual spring festival that celebrates community and its artists. It’s a great event – everything is family friendly but they also had a special kids activity area on the second floor of the Durham Arts Council building. One of the favorite features is the Durham Art Walk Drawing, which features some wonderful prizes, including a family four pack for the Durham Bulls. Here is more about the event details on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/519407152025095/

Name: Durham Arts Council
Website: http://www.durhamarts.org
About Us: As Durham’s local nonprofit arts agency, the Durham Arts Council (DAC) serves artists, arts organizations and the general public. DAC serves the public through continuing education classes, artist programs, large events, and access to the DAC building 7 days a week, including rotating exhibits and special event venues. The arts community is served through grants of cash and space, teaching, performing and public art contracts, exhibit opportunities and technical assistance. As a private nonprofit service agency, the Durham Arts Council is uniquely positioned to partner extensively with other community agencies, including Durham Public Schools, Student U, Granville Education Foundation, Durham Parks and Recreation, Durham Area Designers, Duke University and North Carolina Central University. DAC recently launched a new veterans art program and is about to launch a new artist/arts organization public database. Additionally, DAC continues to lead the Durham SmART public art program in partnership with downtown stakeholders, the City of Durham and Downtown Durham Inc.
Social Media: Facebook & Twitter – @durhamarts; Instagram – @durham_arts

Discover Durham Visitors Center

While downtown, we stopped by the Discover Durham Visitor Center. This bright space has all Durham related info under one roof. They also have an interactive computer wall map, free cell phone charging station and clean bathrooms for visitors! While letting our cell phones recharge, my daughter used a sticky pad to participate in a wall where visitors are encouraged to leave their own personal messages celebrating Women’s History Month. This place is the ultimate resource for any visit to Durham. Sightseeing guides and maps are free for all. Knowledgeable staff are there with suggestions and ideas of how to curate a great day in the bull city. We picked up a free “mural guide” booklet that allowed us to explore many of the murals and enjoy plenty of photo ops.

SobeSavvy Tip: Find 5 murals and return with your cell phone photo proof to get a prize (a beer glass celebrating Durham being 150 years old)! How awesome is that?!

Name: Discover Durham

Address: 212 W Main St #101, Durham NC 27701

Website: https://www.discoverdurham.com/

Social Media: Facebook/Twitter/IG @DurhamNC

Jeddah’s Tea

When you leave the Discover Durham Visitor’s Center you must make your way to Jeddah’s Tea, a cozy black female-owned tea house that has quickly earned a special place in Durham. Cool, laid back vibes were present and they have a massive selections of local teas as well as teas from around the world. I ordered a Matcha Latte while hubby went for some hot chocolate. My daughter opted to have ice cream from The Parlour, which is just a couple of doors up from Jeddah’s Tea, so it was a win win for all. We were all just so happy to support local and I love their motto: Tea to the people, for the people

Name: Jeddah’s Tea

Website: https://jeddahstea.com

Social: Facebook/IG @jeddahstea

Durham Bulls Athletic Park

The Durham Bulls are one of the sport jewels of the triangle. Arguably the most iconic AAA baseball clubs in the nation located right here in the bull city. Saturday they held their annual Fan Fest at the stadium. We strolled the grounds, met the mascots, and sampled some ballpark gourmet food. Some attendees even were allowed on the field to take actual batting practice. The field looked great and will be ready for opening day on April 9th this year. I look forward to returning for a game or two this summer!

Name: Durham Bulls Baseball Club
Website: http://www.durhambulls.com
About Us: The Durham Bulls, Triple-A Affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, are excited to
showcase giveaways, merchandise, specialty jersey designs and more as we approach
the 2020 season. The Durham Bulls open the 2020 season at home on Thursday, April 9 against the Charlotte Knights.
Social Media: Facebook, Instagram & Twitter – @durhambulls

EAT|BORICUA SOUL

Located adjacent to the Durham Bulls stadium, Boricua Soul has their first brick and mortar incarnation of their popular food truck that folks here in the triangle have loved for years. This family owned casual eatery combines the essence of the South with the flavor of Puerto Rico. We ordered some empanadas, a side of mac n cheese and their sopa de pollo. Served in a little metal pot, the soup presentation alone won me over! My daughter and husband really commented on how great the empanada crust tasted as well as the fillings. This was the perfect place to go nearby to our final stop that day in Durham.

Name: Boricua Soul
Website: http://www.boricuasoulnc.com
About Us: Boricua Soul merges favorites from both Puerto Rico and the South to create new and exciting dishes. Our Durham-grown food truck is excited to expand to the American Tobacco Campus.
Social Media: Instagram & Twitter – @boricuasoulnc; Facebook – @boricuasoul

Museum of Life + Science

This past Sunday, we headed to the Museum of Life + Science for a special event to commemorate International Women’s Day. It was called “Girl Powered Science: Inspiring The Next Generation of Scientists“. This event had multiple science tables where girls {and boys too} could participate in actual science experiments {cloud making anyone ?} and equally important speak with actual working female scientists, lab assistants and researchers. My daughter learned about DNA, weather formations and even more than she already knew about the pioneering women of the NASA space program. Almost every table was it’s own interactive project. I loved that I was exposing her to all the career opportunities and choices that formerly were not open to women.

We also explored more of the museum, including the cafe and even took a train ride around the grounds which was loads of fun for everyone. My daughter is an animal lover so she especially loved The Farmyard and seeing the butterflies in the Magic Wing Conservatory. There is always something new to see and do here, so a repeat visit is in our future!

Name: Museum of Life and Science
Website: http://www.lifeandscience.org
About Us: Located just north of downtown Durham, the Museum of Life and Science is one of North Carolina’s top family destinations. Situated on 84-acres, our interactive science park includes a two-story science center, one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the East Coast and beautifully landscaped outdoor exhibits which are safe havens for rescued black bears, lemurs, and endangered red wolves. Other popular attractions include over 60 species of live animals, Hideaway Woods, Dinosaur Trail, Ellerbe Creek
Railway, and Into the Mist.
Social Media: Facebook & Twitter – @lifeandscience; Instagram – @museumoflifeandscience

Durham,NC aka Bull City is rich in culture, and has plenty of things to do for everyone. If you are planning a visit here soon, I hope these Spring 2020 recommendations are helpful. Have you been to Durham,NC before? Do you have any family fun recommendations for our next visit? Please leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading!

Getting a selfie with the Durham Bull statue aka Major the Bull..is a must when visiting Durham aka Bull City!

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Looking for some hot stuff? Check out SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical @dpac @DonnaSummerBway #DonnaSummertheMusical #Durham

Opening Night Review | SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical | Broadway’s Ultimate Disco Dance Party opens at DPAC on February 25th and runs through March 1st | SobeSavvy.com

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A must-see ELECTRIFYING TRIBUTE to a music diva who defined an era, broke barriers and inspired a generation! Leslie H., @SobeSavvy| SobeSavvy.com

The 1970’s gave the world a new music genre called Disco. This music gets a bad rap due to more than a few awful bands and singers. A few stand out. One singer came along in the late 70’s and instantly became ‘The Queen Of Disco”. Her name was LaDonna Adrian Gaines, better known as Donna Summer.

Production Photos courtesy of DPAC

See her story come to life in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, which opens at DPAC on February 25th through March 1, 2020. This production began a Broadway run in 2018. It received critical audience acclaim and the demand for Broadway’s Ultimate Disco Dance Party allowed for a North American Tour to begin on September 20, 2019.

The musical tells the story of the young girl from Boston with gospel roots who broke through all sorts of barriers to become the ultimate icon of disco and beyond! The score features over 20 of her classic hits to sing along to including “Hot Stuff”, “MacArthur Park” and “Bad Girls” to name a few. Her voice of a generation ended up being a voice for the ages and this musical does a great job in telling the story with 3 different Donna’s representing the stages in her life and musical career. Here’s a fun fact: Alex Hairston, an NC native plays Disco Donna! Each actress did a fantastic job in singing, dancing and portraying Donna in their own unique way!

Disco Donna (Alex Hairston), Diva Donna (Dan’yelle Williamson), Duckling Donna (Elease Hardy) | Production Photos courtesy of DPAC

Go and experience a disco party and musical tribute like no other in SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical. I made it a working date night and had so much fun!

For general event details, including the content advisory and age requirements, read here: https://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/summer-the-donna-summer-musical
DPAC| Durham Performing Arts Center | 123 Vivian Street, Durham, North Carolina 27701|DPACnc.com

SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical opens at DPAC on February 25th and runs through March 1st

Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day from National Pawn Shops @NationalPawnNC #ValentinesDayGifts

Have you finished Valentine’s Day shopping yet? Save money and find the perfect valentines day gift for Him, Her and YOU at National Pawn & Jewelry.

National Pawn and Jewelry has been the premiere pawn destination in the Triangle since 1987. They have provided small cash loans in exchange for all sorts of property. Jewelry, electronics and everything in between can be found in one of their locations. I was invited to visit their flagship πŸ“6740 Fleetwood Dr., Raleigh, NC 27612, located off of Glenwood/70 to see what they had to offer. Being a few weeks from Valentine’s Day, I was seeking to find items that could be Valentine related (..think red, pink, heart shaped jewelry), but open to anything!

I was warmly greeted upon entering their bright and airy showroom. The stereotype of a dirty and dark pawnshop could not be the furthest thing from the truth. This store felt like a department store with friendly associates at every turn. They have a large jewelry department and customers are allowed to try on a few pieces. DID YOU KNOW… National Pawn and Jewelry are also the largest buyers of gold in the entire state?!

I continued to enjoy just browsing to see all the wonderful items in stock and actually decided to gift myself some love by getting a gold heart shaped ring and a red, Michael Kors tote bag! There were so many nice items, the decision was hard but shopping was fun. Here are some of my favorite finds for Valentine’s❣ :

Handbags

Depending on the day, you may find anything from vintage Louis Vuitton, to Coach, Michael Kors and more were available. All shapes, colors and sizes. What I liked most is that the handbag I selected was in mint condition.

Rings

I tried in a variety of rings. Some with diamonds, or stones, in gold and silver. I had fun finding and trying on all the heart-shaped rings in the store!

Necklaces

There were plenty of necklaces with and without pendants to buy. You could also find just the pendant to purchase. I saw quite a few heart shaped as well as a necklace that said ” LOVE”.

Bracelets

Who doesn’t like a little arm candy?! I think bracelets are the perfect gift if you are not sure of the size of ring or kind of jewelry your Valentine likes. There was a gold bracelet that had elephants and hearts and I thought to myself…”I know some Deltas who would love this one”. ❀

Earrings

Here are some of the pierced heart earrings found in the store on this day. Aren’t they darling? Remember, inventory changes, so if you see something you like, get there as soon as possible!

Pandora Charms

Did you know..National Pawn & Jewelry has Pandora Bracelet Charms in store for a fraction of the cost that you would pay at a Pandora retail store. I was surprised by the selection and thrilled to learn this!

Musical Instruments

Here’s a gift idea for HIM: Ladies, maybe your guy has been dreaming of playing the guitar or has been talking about learning a new hobby. Or maybe you want to serenade him on Valentine’s Day with an original song, dressed in heels to match this shiny red guitar! I also saw keyboards and other instruments just in case you and your Valentine want to start a band. They also had electronics, such as cameras, tablets, laptops and more.

Unique Finds

Look at this heart-shaped pocket watch! Isn’t it cool? The manager I spoke with said he has seen everything under the sun brought into the store by all sorts of customers like rare coins, precious gems and stones, and expensive watches.

Great Service

This location is huge, clean, has great inventory and provides excellent service. Any questions that I had or any concerns were answered by an associate. On this day, LaKayla was there as well as the store manager to offer us any assistance needed. If you are looking for jewelry especially, they have affordable ‘outlet’ bargain prices and you are allowed to negotiate.

SobeSavvy Tip: If you see something you really want but just don’t have the funds for it that day, it’s ok..ask National Pawn about their layaway program!

For more information, follow National Pawn & Jewelry at:

Website: https://www.nationalpawnshops.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nationalpawnraleigh/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nationalpawnshops/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NationalPawnNC

HAVE YOU SHOPPED AT A PAWN SHOP BEFORE? WHICH ITEM WOULD YOU GET FOR YOU OR YOUR VALENTINE?

Thank you for reading and I hope you are inspired to shop at any of the 19 locations of National Pawn & Jewelry for your next gift find! ❀

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My Top 4 Raleigh Restaurants for @TriRestWeek | @41Hundred @Sushimon_nc @Seasons52 and STIR

Triangle Restaurant Week Roundup January 2020

If you’ve been following me over on Instagram @SobeSavvy, then you may have noticed that I have been getting my eat on for Triangle Restaurant Week! You still have this weekend to make plans to try some delicious dishes prepared for you in 3 courses at a fixed price. Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas are participating but here is a recap of my Top 4 Raleigh Restaurants to enjoy during Triangle Restaurant Week!

41 Hundred

Located in North Hills, inside the Renaissance Raleigh Hotel, 41 Hundred is not your ordinary hotel restaurant. Chef Kevin Smith and his team gave us memorable dishes that left lasting impressions. Here is where I kicked off Triangle Restaurant Week and ICYMI, you can check out my full review on the blog>>here. The dinner menu was 3 courses for $30 and I chose the Seafood Gumbo, Sea Bass, and Blueberry Cobbler Cheesescake. Everything was great from the service to the taste/quality of the food. From start to finish, I enjoyed it all but my favorite bite of the night was the Sea Bass as seen here ‡️

STIR Raleigh

STIR Raleigh is also located in North Hills and is one of my go to place for fresh oysters. I was interested in seeing what dishes they came up with for Triangle Restaurant Week. Because I associate STIR with fresh seafood, I was hoping to see more seafood items but was still pleased with the choices. From their $30 p/p dinner menu, I chose Crab Ravioli, Braised Pork Shoulder, and Banana Cheesecake. I really enjoyed the dessert which tasted like a mashup of banana pudding and cheesecake! Take a look at my photos here and feast your eyes on STIR Raleigh ‡️

Sushi Mon

I highly anticipated going here to Sushi Mon after hearing so many great things about their restaurant, its menu and of course sushi. So when I saw them on the Triangle Restaurant Week list of participating restaurants, I was so excited! Located near NC State, Sushi Mon offers “elevated takes on sushi and Japanese fare“. Their 4 course dinner menu for $35 took my tastebuds on a culinary journey. They had ingredients imported from Bangkok,Thailand and Spain but even featured local food too. My favorite bite of the night: EVERYTHING. Seriously, you can’t go wrong no matter what you choose. Here is my video which recaps my dining experience at Sushi Mon ‡️

Seasons 52

When I found out my friend would be in town for a business meeting, we quickly made plans to meet for lunch. I told her it’s Triangle Restaurant Week here and we can go somewhere that would have vegan options for her. Seasons 52, located in Crabtree Valley Mall, is known for their healthy cuisine, fresh grill and wines. For $15 p/p, their 3 course Lunch menu is quite a deal! I got the Romaine and Kale Ceasar, Wood-Grilled Boneless Rainbow Trout and Mini Indulgence Dessert. Those desserts are so good, it is hard to choose just one. Take a look at my delicious lunch at Seasons 52 here‡️

🍴⭐🍴⭐🍴⭐🍴⭐🍴⭐🍴⭐🍴⭐🍴

I hope that after reading this you are inspired to visit these restaurants NOW for Triangle Restaurant Week or LATER when the mood for good food hits you! What’s the best thing you had to eat during Triangle Restaurant Week January 2020? Have you been to any of the above restaurants before? Let me know in the comments below!

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Kid-Friendly Ideas For Festive Family Fun In Raleigh NC

Hello December! We’ve officially kicked off our holiday season in our home and ready to spread some cheer. The Christmas tree is up, we’ve already started drinking eggnog and Motown Christmas songs are on repeat on Spotify. My #HeighPartyof3 (which consists of my spouse, our daughter and me) are in the Heigh-liday spirit {get itπŸ˜‰} and have began some of the holiday traditions that we enjoy.Β So today I am sharing my list of Kid-Friendly Ideas for Festive Family Fun In Raleigh,NC ~


πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES


πŸŽ„ RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL


𝙍π™ͺ𝙙𝙀𝙑π™₯𝙝 π™©π™π™š π™π™šπ™™-π™‰π™€π™¨π™šπ™™ π™π™šπ™žπ™£π™™π™šπ™šπ™§: π™π™π™š π™ˆπ™ͺπ™¨π™žπ™˜π™–π™‘, is now playing at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts until DEC 24th in downtown Raleigh. My family has enjoyed this live performance for the last few years now and it just keeps getting better! They’ve even added something new this holiday season to the beloved TV classic.
See all of your fave characters: Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon CorneliusΒ and, of course, Rudolph, as they sing and dance their way to your heartsΒ while teaching kids of all ages to celebrate what makes you different because its your special superpower!πŸ’ͺ🏽❀ πŸŽ‰

SobeSavvy Tip: The fun continues in the lobby with great photo ops next to larger than life inflatables and cool photo props. Get your kids face painted before the show or shop for some holiday gifts during intermission!


πŸŽ„ CINDERELLA


Continuing my list of Kid-Friendly Ideas for Festive Famiy Fun in Raleigh, it wouldn’t be the holiday season without Raleigh Little Theatre’s Cinderella! Celebrating its 36th year, Cinderella runs December 6 – 22.
This amazing production has
* a sparkle of magic ✨
*Β  a delightful blend of comedy and romance πŸ’‘
* elegant scenery and costumes πŸ‘—
* outstanding singing & dancing πŸ•ΊπŸΌπŸ’ƒ
….and great actors to bring this timeless story to life! We loved all the modern updates and twists that were added to this classic tale, plus there is some audience interaction that everyone enjoyed!Β  Make plans to see #RLTCinderella for the holidays and
Get your tickets today!

SobeSavvy Tip: Stay after the show and get a chance to meet The Fairy Godmothet or snap a pic with King Darling! There’s also merchandise available to buy for your little prince or princess in the lobby. Plus, RLT is collaborating with WRAL and accepting donations for Coats For The Children.


***SAVE THE DATE & GET TIX NOW for these upcoming shows at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts:

β€’ DEC 13th and 14th Holidays with the North Carolina Symphony |HOLIDAY POPS features the holiday songs everyone knows and loves at Meymandi Concert Hall. With falling snow, hot chocolate, carolers, and an audience sing-along, this festive concert is the perfect holiday tradition. Audiences are invited to come early to meet Santa!

Β 

β€’ DEC 18th – 29th ‘The Nutcracker’ Carolina Ballet | From the moment the curtain rises, the magic of this Holiday classic is mesmerizing. Take a journey to a land of whimsical characters featuring magical illusions, magnificent sets, and beautiful costumes. Listen as a live symphony orchestra plays Tchaikovsky’s famed score.Β The NutcrackerΒ is the perfect story ballet for the young and young at heart.


πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

HOLIDAY EATS & SWEETS

πŸŽ„ SANTA BRUNCH at STIR

If you saw my Instagram story/post this past weekend, then perhaps you caught me and my Heigh Party of 3 hanging with ole Saint Nick aka Santa at STIR, located in North Hills. BRUNCH WITH SANTA at STIR is a recurring event happening every Sunday in December and is on my list of Kid-Friendly Ideas For Festive Family Fun In Raleigh because of the good food and intimate moments with Santa. Saint Nick works the room like a pro and is so kind to take photos with everyone. Enjoy $1 Mimosas πŸ₯‚ + a buffet bar filled with goodness is included with your entree! My daughter loves their avocado toast customized to her liking and I am all about the fresh seafood selections like Oysters and Shrimp & Grits! Santa was quite jolly and dapper in his suit, so get ready for your close-up with ole Saint Nick! Just take a look at these photos to see some tasty highlights at STIR! πŸŽ…πŸ½

SobeSavvy Tip: While at the brunch, take advantage of the Gift Card Sale! Give $50 or more and get 20% at STIR for yourself! 🎁


πŸŽ„ DUNKIN Holiday Treats


Do you like to ride around and see neighborhood Christmas lights while listening to holiday tunes? We do and we like to enjoy it while sipping on a warm beverage and eating snacks. So we stopped in our local Dunkin for some holiday treats. My daughter and I both had hot chocolate and their newΒ Holiday Brownie Crumble Donut, which features a vanilla frosted yeast ring donut dipped in brownie crumbles and drizzled with dark green icing. My husband enjoyed the eggnog latte with a yummy glazed donut. I think we may break tradition of leaving Santa cookies this year and give him a plate full of donuts with coffee on the side from Dunkin!

SobeSavvy Tip: Download the Dunkin app, earn DD perks and skip the line if order on the app before you go! Not sure what to get someone this holiday season, check out some of the cool merch offered by Dunkin inside the store and online or a DD gift card is always a great idea!


πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

Holiday Movies


πŸŽ„ ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE RALEIGH


Going to the movies is always a good idea for a family date. Make plans to see a feature film or catch one of the holiday themed films now showing at ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE RALEIGH. This is our go to theater for movies because of the Alamo Family program. The perks for parents with kids are great and you have the ability to watch a movie and eat/drink at the most comfy seats.

SobeSavvy Tip: Gift cards make perfect stocking stuffers. Give the the gift of Alamo, which is good for tickets, food, drinks and merchandise!


πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

There are so many fun things to do with kids in Raleigh and throughout the Triangle this holiday season. This is just a bit of what we like to do but take a look at Visit Raleigh, Facebook, Eventbrite, and Carolina Parent for more Kid-Friendly Ideas for Festive Family Fun In Raleigh, NC!

What festive family fun do you plan to have this holiday? πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ½πŸŽ
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5 Reasons To See ‘HAVING OUR SAY, THE DELANY SISTERS’ FIRST 100 YEARS @nctheatre #NCTHavingOurSay

Do you know the story of Sadie and Bessie Delany? I did not but I have since learned that their remarkable story has gone from a New York Times bestselling book to the Broadway stage. Now NC Theatre is bringing this Tony award-nominated adaptation of the real-life sisters’ memoirs to the stage in Raleigh, NC at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater from November 8-17, 2019 and I can not wait to see it! Why am I excited? Let me share with you Five Reasons To See HAVING OUR SAY, THE DELANY SISTERS’ FIRST 100 YEARS!

1. IT IS A TRUE STORY

If you enjoy non-fiction like me, then get ready to hear the two sisters give an account of their trials and tribulations in their lifetime. Born to a father who was a former slave, they lived in Raleigh,NC and was raised on the campus of St.Augustine. Now that I live here in Raleigh, I am interested in learning about what their childhood was like back then.

2. BOTH WOMEN LIVED TO BE OVER 100 YEARS OLD

Sarah Louise “Sadie” Delany (born 1889), the eldest of the 2 sisters lived to the age of 109. Her sister, Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” Delany (born 1891) died at the age of 104. After the popularity of their book Having Our Say, which this play is based on, the two sisters became internationally known after the Guinness Book of World Records recognized them as the world’s oldest authors with the publication of their second joint book The Delany Sisters’ Book Of Everyday Wisdom. The sisters were 105 and 103 at the time of publication.

3. LEARN AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY & WOMEN’S HISTORY

Trailblazers, activists, sisters, and best friends Sadie and Bessie Delany- both over 100 years old- take audiences on a journey as they recount the triumphant stories of their lives. They overcame both racism and sexism and forged careers in education and dentistry respectively while living in New York. NC Theatre provides a Study Guide to learn about the history of the Delany family, the HAVING OUR SAY director (who is also an African American woman), and more!

4. GET INSPIRED

The more I learn about these sisters and what they must have endured, I find it remarkable that despite it all they lived a longer, fuller life than most. They never married and say because they did not have husbands to worry them to death was the secret to living a long, happy life! I just know I am going to leave feeling wiser than before and inspired by these two women after seeing this play.

5. BE ENTERTAINED AND SUPPORT THE ARTS

Per NC Theatre, the story of the Delany sisters will make you laugh, cry, and reflect on our journey as Americans. The funny and heartfelt family drama, starring Gayle Turner as Sadie Delany and Lakeisha Coffey as Bessie Delany, is one you won’t want to miss! Reviews that have already been shared say that you will be entertained by the heartfelt performances.

Click here to purchase tickets to see NC Theatre Presents Having our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years Tickets at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts! Tickets start at just $30 so claim your seats today!

SobeSavvy Tip: There will be an *Encore Series: Post-Show Panel Discussion Saturday, Nov. 16 immediately following the 2PM performance in A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater. Panelists which consists of influential members of the community and individuals closely tied to the production, will analyze the themes and history of HAVING OUR SAY. This series is FREE and open to the public!

*I am looking forward to going to the matinee performance on Saturday at 2pm on 11/16. You can also join the conversation and follow @nctheatre #NCTHavingOurSay!

**UPDATE: Just saw @nctheatre ‘s production of Having Our Say | The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years and appreciate how much detail was put into bringing their real story to life. From the intimate portraits, to the smells of real food cooking in the kitchen, the actors made the audience feel like we were right there in the living room having a conversation with those amazing trailblazing sisters who were proud Americans and Survivors! Enjoyed seeing art and history come together with #ncthavingoursay

Leslie, @SobeSavvy
Founder SobeSavvy.com

Have you seen the movie, play or read the book HAVING OUR SAY, THE DELANY SISTERS’ FIRST 100 YEARS. Please share your thoughts in the comments below and thanks for reading!

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Top 3 Restaurants To Try This Fall In NC @koan_cary @Il_Palio @DriftwoodRDU

Top 3 Restaurants To Try This Fall In NC | Cary * Chapel Hill * Raleigh

Hello November! ‘Tis the season to indulge in some good eats and treat yourself to memorable dining out experiences. I recently got to try 3 different restaurants and each one while different in cuisine share the same passion of bringing you an array of flavors on their new Fall menus. Take a look and discover where to eat in the Triangle at these TOP 3 RESTAURANTS TO TRY THIS FALL!

kō‒Àn | Cary, NC

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

πŸ†•οΈ Restaurant Alert! The most exciting place for food right now is kō‒Àn in Cary,NC, which opened November 1, 2019 with great anticipation! I got a chance to experience the restaurant and its menu at a media preview dinner and enjoyed everything from its innovative cocktails to their delicious small/large plates meant for sharing!

The new restaurant, located at 2800 Renaissance Park Pl, Cary, NC 27513, brings Executive Chef Drew Smith’s [ formerly of Raleigh’s buβ€’ku and soβ€’ca, and winner of 2019’s Cooking for a Classic dining competition] vision of Southeast Asian cuisine in a zen-like atmosphere. Check out my Facebook post>>here for a look at some of the tasty menu.

For more info on kō‒Àn, follow #koancary @koan_cary on Instagram and Twitter or visit www.koancary.com

Il Palio|Chapel Hill

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

Transport your mind, body and tastebuds to Italy when you experience world-class dining at Il Palio, located in The Siena Hotel at 1505 East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, NC. Chef Adam Rose and his team uses the best local and Italian ingredients to prepare fresh, homemade pastas like this signature Butternut Squash Ravioli! *[see here for recipe]

If you enjoy Italian cuisine along with a lovely wine selection, and amazing culinary artisanship, then you will savor the fantastic dishes served in a warm and inviting Tuscan villa atmosphere at Il Palio!

For more information, follow @thesienahotel #TheSienaHotel on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Follow @il_palio #IlPalio on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Driftwood Kitchen & Bar | Raleigh, NC

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

All my lovers of chicken and waffles [….and really good comfort food] make your way to DRIFTWOOD KITCHEN AND BAR (formerly known as Driftwood Southern Kitchen), located in Lafayette Village at 8460 Honeycutt Road, Suite 112, Raleigh, NC 27615 for a taste of the πŸ†•οΈ delicious menu revamped by Chef Nunzio which also includes tacos, meatloaf with tasso ham gravy, pulled short ribs, and chicken & biscuits (made from scratch), plus great craft cocktails, like the “Black -Eyed Rye made with Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4Xpkhdn6x8/?igshid=1da5v9qpvvhc

Invited Raleigh influencers got to experience the new flavors and take a tour of the refreshed restaurant space including a brand new, communal style private dining room for events and parties. The restaurant’s unique open kitchen concept and scratch made menu showcases the best ingredients from as many regional and local farmers and producers when possible. Feast your eyes on some of the highlights from our media tasting experience on my Facebook page>>here.

For more info, follow Driftwood Kitchen & Bar #DriftwoodRaleigh, @driftwoodraleigh on Instagram and Facebook

Thanks for reading! I hope this post has made you hungry and ready to make reservations. Any of these restaurants would make a great dining out date option or a place to meet friends for small bites and cocktails! Cheers!

Have you dined at any of these restaurants? If not, which one are you checking out first?

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