Things to Do in Downtown Cary, N.C.
Fri, Aug. 18 2017, 3PM by Kristen Baughman
One of the fastest-growing towns in the South, Cary, N.C.—located less than 15 minutes west of Raleigh—is home to renowned restaurants, great shopping, top-tier arts and entertainment and unique outdoor experiences. The downtown area has seen an influx of fun, new local businesses in recent years—a brewery, bottle shop, boutique hotel, bakeries, revitalized arts experiences and more now line downtown's thriving Chatham St. Here are 12 spots not to miss!
FRESH. Local Ice Cream recently opened in the heart of downtown Cary. This new shop is dedicated to serving high-quality ice cream crafted from locally-sourced milk. Enjoy a cone or cup of flavors like banana pudding, birthday cake and Midnight Chocolate Crunch.
Built in 1946 and once home to Cary's first indoor theater, The Cary Theater is now a multi-use cultural facility with a focus on digital arts, including film, and youth and amateur theater and music. Catch interesting independent films, enjoy a comedy show or listen to some local music in this historic building.
Recently voted the "Best New Brewery" in the country in USA TODAY's 10Best, Bond Brothers is one of Cary's favorite hangout spots. Sip on one of their excellent sour beers or enjoy classics like an IPA or brown ale. Hungry? You'll want to hop right next door to Pizzeria Faulisi, a newly-opened Neapolitan pizza spot from a husband and wife duo, both of whom sport big-time chef credentials.
Often offering tastings of special wines and featured food trucks, Chatham Street Wine Market is a go-to for all of your vino needs. This shop serves wine by the glass that you can enjoy inside or outside on their shaded patio. Take a few bottles home with you to save for later!
Looking for a spot to cozy up with a cup of coffee? BREW at The Cary Theater, located on E. Chatham St., is just the place. BREW takes coffee seriously. Enjoy craft coffee options like pour overs and cortados or simply stick to the classic drip coffee options. All of the beans at BREW are from Southern roasters, many located in the Raleigh area.
Showcasing the Tonic Remedies Spa and Verandah restaurant, The Mayton Inn is a top place in Cary to enjoy a relaxing vacation (or staycation)! The Verandah offers a delicious Sun. brunch, or you can unwind at the Mayton Inn's High Ball bar with your choice of nightcap from a variety of top shelf options. Join in for special events that change with the seasons and public Wine Wednesdays as well.
Looking for high fashion on a budget? Shop until you drop at Annie's Attic. This downtown Cary fine consignment shop is for women and has been a destination for shoppers since 1998. Find unique clothing and accessories at this quaint shop.
Hungry for a snack? Think back to the simpler times at Ashworth Drugs! The hot dogs, soda fountain and milkshakes are not to miss. Since 1957, Ashworth Drugs has been a happening spot for locals to pick up prescriptions, and while waiting, sipping on an orangeade.
Cary Arts Center is a vibrant and robust center for the town's arts activity. Catch performances by the Cary Players, plus visual art in the gallery. And take advantage of great photo opps: Three artists worked with the center's architect to integrate public art into the building's design.
Plan for a picnic in this park, anchoring the corner of S. Academy St. and Kildaire Farm Rd., across from the Cary Arts Center. The centerpiece of the park is a stunning, lighted fountain, perfect for memorable photos with family and friends.
Learn the town's history by visiting the Page-Walker Arts and History Center and the Cary Heritage Museum, housed in an 1868 railroad hotel listed on the National Register for Historic Places. Also, check out regional art in the two galleries!
"Curing what ails you," Pharmacy, next to The Cary Theater, is a prime spot for trying new beers and catching up with friends. Catch a breeze on a nice day when they open up their storefront windows or hang out on the back patio, and don't forget to pick out some bottled brews to take home!
Header photo: Brian Magee Photography
Author: Kristen Baughman
Kristen Baughman is the founder of Tabletop Media Group, a boutique media agency based in Raleigh and serving clients in the food, beverage and agriculture industries. Her company offers consulting services in the fields of social media, graphic design, illustration, special events, website design and videography. In her free time, you can find her relaxing outside with her dog Cheerwine, writing about food and drink, or at one of the many breweries in the region sipping on a N.C. beer.
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