Triangle NC Staycation Ideas

Dorothea Dix Sunflower Fields

Dorothea Dix Sunflower Fields

Summer is coming to a close but people are still heading out of town on vacation. We know this can mean long hours in the car stuck in traffic, flight delays, long lines, and a lot of money spent on hotels and transportation costs. One way to avoid these hassles and to save money is by planning a staycation. There are so many things to do in the triangle that will show you a good time, close to home.

Explore Nature

Consider a staycation focused on Nature. We have so many beautiful parks in the area where you can explore, hike, camp or have a picnic. The American Tobacco Trail, Duke Forest, Eno River State Park, Hemlock Bluffs and Umstead Park are just some of the amazing places to check out. If you want to see animals, consider the NC Zoo in Asheboro, the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, Carolina Tiger Rescue in Pittsboro, or the Aloha Safari Zoo in Cameron.

Aryn enjoying Eno River

Aryn enjoying Eno River

Visit the Museums

With so many museums in the area, you’re sure to find one that everyone enjoys! For the kids, check out the Museum of Life and Science in Durham or Marbles in Raleigh. Also in Raleigh is the North Carolina Museum of Art (my favorite!), the Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Museum of History. If you like art, there is also the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, and the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill. If history is more your thing, visit the Mordecai Historic Park, the Joel Lane Museum House, or the Raleigh City Museum. What a great way to learn while having fun!

Atti and Alvin enjoying the Life & Science Museum

Atti and Alvin enjoying the Life & Science Museum

Check out the Farmers Market

The Raleigh Farmers Market is a great place to get fresh, seasonal produce, cheeses, meats, baked goodies, crafts, candies, soaps, lotions, and N.C. wines. There are about 75 acres to explore here as well as several restaurants. Also be sure to check out some of the smaller town markets for some great items from local artisans and farmers. Pick up a few things and make dinner (and memories) together!

Sasha and Alvin at the Farmers Market

Sasha and Alvin at the Farmers Market

Go Play

Grab the family and go play together at one of the many fun area playgrounds! At Pullen Park in Raleigh, you can have fun on the play equipment or ride the carousel, train, and pedal boats. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy under one of the shelters. There are also tons of other smaller but fun parks all around Raleigh, Durham, Apex, Cary, etc. Just a few are Kids Together in Cary, Crowder Park in Apex, Sassafras in Raleigh, Burch Ave Park in Durham and so many more! You can also attempt to beat the heat at one of the local splash pads such as Jack Smith Park in Raleigh, Fuquay-Varina Splash Pad, and the Wake Forest Sprayground.

Atti enjoying the tunnel at Brier Creek Playgroun

Atti enjoying the tunnel at Brier Creek Playgroun

What are your favorite places to visit and things to do during a staycation in the Triangle? Let us know in the comments!

Our Local Holiday Shopping Guide

Photo by  kelsey nelson

Photo by kelsey nelson

     Well everyone, it’s now holiday shopping season!  With the official Shop Small Saturday just around the corner, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite local makers and locally owned stores to help you with your shopping this season! Let's show our local business owners some love! 


Local Makers We Love


Raleigh Calligraphy: While she specializes in calligraphy and invitation suites, she also has some beautiful prints that would make such sweet, meaningful gifts.

Good JuJu Herbal: You can shop online or if you’re local, you can find these gifts in a lot of nearby shops. These soaps are so good for your skin and make wonderful stocking stuffers. Have a dog lover in your life? They have amazing dog soap as well!

Shelby Dillon Studio: This amazing artist has turned her pieces of work into art for your couch, your bar cart, your ears, and more. Her online shop has fabulous gifts such as pillows and bags to stocking stuffers such as earrings and coasters.

Lo & Behold: I cannot say enough good things about these bath salts! But that’s not all they have. Lo & Behold has an entire line of natural small batch skin care. 

Wordsky Designs: Kyle's hand cut wood pieces are so cool and such a great way to show your love of local on the walls! While he got started with the Raleigh skyline, he's grown to make tons of custom designs. 



Local Stores We Adore

Port of Raleigh: This store is what modern dreams are made of. Lots of wonderful pieces for the home ranging from recyclable dining products to furnishings.

DECO: This is honestly one of my favorite spots for grabbing gifts real quickly. They have a little bit of everything! Lots of local love in there!

The Zen Succulent: If you aren’t traveling too far, this is a great spot to pick up succulents and other live plants for gifts. But that’s not all they have. They also carry beautiful books, locally made soaps, and trendy planters. 

The Flourish Market: They are stocked with some pretty cute home goods items but they are known for their ethically sourced clothing. It's a twofer! Locally owned and doing good in the world! 


We hope that this season, you consider shopping local. It means more to us entrepreneurs than you'll ever know! Happy Holidays everyone! 

What's Up Wednesdays: Watts & Ward

     Welcome to my newest blogging series, "What's Up Wednesdays!" This will largely be bi-weekly musings either about local RDU happenings or design trends. It should be no secret by now that I love both my city and home decor! 


     I'm kicking off this series with a new speakeasy in downtown Raleigh. Alvin and I spent much of our first year's dates in an underground speakeasy so I'm sure you can understand our excitement when a new one opened up! This entire space has a warm den feel to it. It's laid back while maintaining excellent service and delicious drinks served directly to your table. 



     Of course, I loved the furnishings and decor! There are tufted couches, leather club chairs, and a library room. Oh! And tin tiles on the walls and ceilings! It was beautiful. Unfortunately it was dark when we went, so you'll largely just need to trust me on this one. Check out their website here to see for yourself.



     I enjoyed the Carolina Lily, a bubbly based cocktail. It was superb! Alvin had a whiskey based drink that I can't remember the name of. I don't normally like whiskey but his drink was quite tasty as well. I won't be hungry when we leave the house, but it never fails that by the time we sit down for drinks I'll be ravenous. Luckily, Watts & Ward has small plates to enjoy. I'm vegetarian so I had the caprese skewers, which were SO good. Alvin wasn't hungry, so he didn't order any of the other options but I'm sure they would have been equally as good. 

     Don't worry, we'll be back soon to test this out for you ; ). Seriously though, this speakeasy quickly landed a spot on our "regularly visit" list! Y'all should check it out! 


Shop Small Saturday: Luna Y Mar Creative

It's time for our bi-weekly Shop Small Saturday feature! I have been pretty excited about this one because it speaks to my inner modern boho! I'm always drawn to this carefree style I found Flo, the creator behind Luna y Mar, on Instagram. Her work instantly stood out and her style is perfection! 



Flo started weaving a few years ago. However, she just started macrame and wall hangings recently, after moving from LA to Raleigh. Wanting something to do that she loved, she started Luna y Mar Creative. I admire that she turned to a craft when she wanted something new to do! Boy am I glad she did, too! Look at these! 


Photo From Luna y mar etsy shop

Photo From Luna y mar etsy shop

Flo says that what makes her stand apart is also what connects all creatives, passion. This is so true! Her choice in craft is a representation of the things she loves, home decor and boho modern! It's great when your craft and passion can reflect your style so perfectly. See what I mean about the perfection that is her modern boho style?

I think another thing that sets her apart is she's so kind and considerate! See that plant in there? She brought it along when we met up to be sure I would have a plant for it :) How sweet is that! I'm so glad she thought to do that since I completely ran out of time to plant the herbs I'd planned on! Shoutout to the kind people of the world! 

Photo from luna y mar etsy shop

Photo from luna y mar etsy shop

These wall hangings are the perfect combination of unique and trendy! I love that they are bright and feel so organic. They would be a perfect addition to a gallery wall or stand alone as a statement piece. I personally adore the plant hangers! I so wish I had more wall space in my kitchen. I can just imagine hanging three or four and growing my favorite spices right there on the wall! 

If you would like some of these great pieces of your own, you can check out her Etsy page here. If you want to follow her along and see what she's creating, you can check out her Instagram page here. If you are local, be on the look out because she's planning on being a part of some of the pop-up shops soon! 


If you would like your small home goods shop featured, please email me at . I love learning about new businesses!

First Friday At Gather Goods

Around here, we love First Friday. I'm pretty sure towns all around have similar concepts. A certain night of the month dedicated to celebrating local art and small businesses. Such a great concept! Alvin and I try to make it out to First Friday as often as possible. We had an especially good First Friday this October.

A quaint local shop, Gather Goods Co., had a DIY cotton wreath class to celebrate. It was such a fun, unique date night! I highly recommend following the shop and trying out some of their other classes. They make good date nights as well as girls nights :) Basically who doesn't love some cute crafts? 

Oh, did I mention that they had pastries from the absolutely amazing bakery across the street?? I would be in big trouble if Yellow Dog Bakery was right across the street from me. So. Yummy.

So there we are, making mini cotton wreaths and chowing down on some delicious pastries. Poor Alvin was the only man. I guess not every guy is up for making wreaths on date night. He took it like a champ though! 

It was a pretty quick class, easily done before or after a dinner date. They have many other class options that are longer for bigger DIY arts. They are also offering another quick First Friday craft for November. I highly recommend checking it out! We have our mini wreaths hanging on our gallery wall of love ;) 

Anyone else's gallery wall perpetually crooked??

Anyone else's gallery wall perpetually crooked??

Fun date night! 

Fun date night!