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Publication: Weekend GetAways
North Carolina's Research Triangle

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       WEEKEND GETAWAYS - Friday, April 11, 2008
    Make The Most Of Your Vacation - From Coast to Coast!

Greetings Getaway Lover,

Raleigh is the largest of the cities that compose the 
North Carolina's Research Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, 
Chapel Hill). It's an area that's been characterized 
as full of "trees, tees, and Ph.D's." 

Raleigh is Old South and New South, down-home and up-
scale, all in one. The city has agrarian roots in both 
farming and mining, but today Raleigh thrives on high-
tech industries, government (it's the state capital), 
education, service industries, research, and medicine. 
In addition to North Carolina State, there are six 
other universities and colleges in town. 

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Thanks to the Triangle area's appearance on a slew of 
"best of" lists, Raleigh's growth has been rapid, 
especially in the suburban area known as North Raleigh. 
In recent years, downtown revitalization has taken off, 
with new housing, museums, shops, restaurants, and night 
spots infusing energy and new life into once abandoned 
buildings. With all the newcomers hailing from colder 
climates, it seemed only a matter of time before the 
National Hockey League realized that greater Raleigh 
would support an expansion team. Hence, the Carolina 
Hurricanes were born. 

All this growth has its price, though. During rush hour, 
certain corridors (I-40 through Research Triangle Park, 
for example) should be avoided at all costs. On Friday 
and Saturday nights, especially during the regular school 
year, the wait to be seated in some restaurants can 
stretch to an hour or more. 

This city of 212,000 is home to three art centers and 
hosts 18 cultural festivals a year, and the Durham Bulls, 
a AAA baseball team immortalized in the hit movie Bull 
Durham, set national attendance records at their stadium 

The two most popular pastimes in Chapel Hill are music 
and basketball. The bars and restaurants on Franklin 
Street, the city's main drag, come alive at night with 
live music and dancing, and festivals celebrating almost 
every kind of music imaginable take place year round. On 
the other side of campus lies the "Dean Dome," the 
behemoth sports complex named after coach Dean Smith, the 
mastermind behind Tarheel dominance in NCAA basketball. 
Not surprisingly, Chapel Hill's most famous alumnus, Mr. 
Michael "Air" Jordan, is king in these parts, and any 
establishment worth its weight has at least one framed 
portrait of the master gracing its walls. 

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Ava Gardner Museum 
Museum/Gallery, Smithfield 
In the hometown of the legendary movie star is this museum 
with an extensive collection of memorabilia tracing her 
life from childhood on the farm to Hollywood glory days. 
It's about 30 mi southeast of Raleigh in downtown 
Smithfield. www.avagardner.org. COST: $5. OPEN: Mon.-Sat. 
9-5, Sun. 2-5. 

Address: 325 E. Market St., Smithfield, NC, USA
Phone: 919/934-5830

Brightleaf Square 
Square, Store/Mall, Durham 
Named for the kind of tobacco once manufactured in the 
old warehouses here, Brightleaf Square, with its flower-
ing courtyard, striking turn-of-the-20th-century archi-
tecture, upscale shops, and restaurants, is the shining 
star of a downtown revitalization effort. The square 
anchors a larger arts-and-entertainment district, which 
includes the Carolina Theatre and the Durham Bulls 
Athletic Park. 

Address: 905 W. Main St., Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
Phone: 919/682-9229

Morehead Planetarium 
Observatory/Planetarium, Chapel Hill 
Morehead Planetarium, where the original Apollo astronauts 
and many since have trained, is one of the largest in the 
country. You can learn about the constellations and take 
in laser-light shows. www.moreheadplanetarium.org. COST: 
$4.75. OPEN: Mon.-Wed. 12:30-5, Thurs.-Sat. 10-5 and 
6:30-9:30, Sun. 12:30-5; call ahead for show times. 

Address: 250 E. Franklin St., University, Chapel Hill, 
Phone: 919/962-1236; 919/549-6863 for show information   

Other Places of Interest:

House/Mansion, Museum/Gallery, Raleigh 
This 84,000-square-foot architectural showplace (the 
marble wall is a dazzler) is a learning center that 
stands apart from most other children's museums. It 
emphasizes a global perspective, as opposed to 
specific health and natural science topics. Exhibits 
explore language, culture, geography, trade, and 
communications. There's also an IMAX theater. 
www.exploris.org. COST: Exhibits $9.95, exhibits and 
IMAX theater $13.95. OPEN: Tues.-Sat. 9-5, Sun. 

Address: 201 E. Hargett St., Downtown, Raleigh, NC, USA
Phone: 919/834-4040

North Carolina Botanical Garden 
Garden/Arboretum, Chapel Hill 
The North Carolina Botanical Garden, south of downtown 
via U.S. 15/501 Bypass, has the largest collection of 
native plants in the Southeast. Nature trails wind 
through a 300-acre piedmont forest. The herb garden and 
carnivorous-plant collection are impressive. There are 
frequent plant sales. www.ncbg.unc.edu. COST: Free. 
OPEN: Weekdays 8-5, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 1-6. 

Address: Old Mason Farm Rd., South Metro, Chapel Hill,
Phone: 919/962-0522
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Arrowhead Inn 
$110 to $220, Durham 
Brick chimneys and tall Doric columns distinguish this 
B&B in an 18th-century white-clapboard farmhouse. 
Antiques, heritage plants, fireplaces, and a log cabin 
in the garden create a cozy environment. 
www.arrowheadinn.com. 9 rooms, 2 suites. In-hotel: 
public Internet. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Full breakfast. 

Address: 106 Mason Rd., North Metro, Durham, NC 27712, 
Phone: 919/477-8430 or 800/528-2207
Fax: 919/471-9538

Blooming Garden Inn 
$110 to $160, Durham 
With its yellow exterior, this B&B is literally and 
figuratively a bright spot in the Holloway Historic 
District. Inside, the inn explodes with color and 
warmth, thanks to exuberant hosts Dolly and Frank 
Pokrass. Breakfast might be walnut crêpes with ricotta 
cheese and warm raspberry sauce. A sister B&B, the 
Victorian Holly House, across the street, accommodates 
extended stays. www.bloominggardeninn.com. 4 rooms, 2 
suites. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Full breakfast. 

Address: 513 Holloway St., Downtown, Durham, NC 27701, 
Phone: 919/687-0801 or 888/687-0801
Fax: 919/688-1401

Fearrington House 
$160 to Over $220, Pittsboro 
A member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux group, this 
country inn is on a 200-year-old farm that has been remade 
into a residential community, complete with small shops, 
resembling a country village. The village mascots, the 
"Oreo cows" (black on the ends, snow white in the middle), 
roam the pasture at the entrance. Antiques, English pine, 
and oversize tubs furnish the inn's modern guest rooms, 
which overlook a courtyard, gardens, and a pasture. The 
prix-fixe restaurant ($$$$) serves dressed-up regional 
food, such as collard-pecan-pesto-stuffed chicken breast 
with Hoop cheddar grits, for dinner. 
www.fearringtonhouse.com. 29 rooms, 2 suites. In-hotel: 
2 restaurants, tennis courts, pool. AE, MC, V. Full 

Address: 2000 Fearrington Village Center, 8 mi south of 
Chapel Hill on U.S. 15/501, Pittsboro, NC, USA
Phone: 919/542-2121
Fax: 919/542-4202

Angus Barn 
Steak, Over $22, Raleigh 
A huge rustic barn houses this famous Raleigh institution. 
The dimly lighted, always-busy restaurant is known for its 
steaks, baby-back ribs, prime rib, and fresh seafood, as 
well as its clubby Wild Turkey Lounge. The astonishing 
wine-and-beer list is 35 pages long. The oversize desserts 
are freshly made; on your way out, you can purchase pies 
at a small store near the front door. Reservations aren't 
accepted for Saturday dinner. AE, D, DC, MC, V. No lunch. 

Address: U.S. 70W (Glenwood Ave.) near Aviation Pkwy., 
Northwest/Airport, Raleigh, NC, USA
Phone: 919/781-2444

Café Parizäde 
Contemporary, $11 to Over $22, Durham 
Soft lighting, white tablecloths, and an enclosed court-
yard are among the inviting aspects of this Erwin Square 
bistro. One particularly fine appetizer is fried calamari 
with jalapeño-tomato salsa; popular entrées include 
fettuccine with fresh salmon and black-pepper dill cream, 
sesame pasta with scallops, and roast duck with fresh 
vegetables. AE, D, DC, MC, V. No lunch weekends. 

Address: 2200 W. Main St., Downtown, Durham, NC, USA
Phone: 919/286-9712

Big Ed's City Market Restaurant 
Southern, Under $7 to $11, Raleigh 
A must for breakfast or lunch, Big Ed's is filled with 
antique farm implements and the owner's political 
memorabilia, including pictures of presidential candi-
dates who have stopped at this landmark. Every Saturday 
morning a Dixieland band plays. Come here for down-home 
cooking, and make sure you indulge in the biscuits. 
Reservations not accepted. No credit cards. Closed Sun. 
No dinner. 

Address: 220 Wolfe St., City Market, Downtown, Raleigh, 
Phone: 919/836-9909


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