How to Spend 36 Hours in Raleigh, N.C.'s Person Street Neighborhood
Tuesday, March 19, 2019, 11am by visitRaleigh
A fast-growing slice of downtown Raleigh, the City of Oaks' Person Street neighborhood is bursting with entrepreneurial spirit and creative grit. Make the most of a visit to this growing corner of downtown by exploring its exciting collection of shops, restaurants, bars and unique architecture.
Get an early start with an almond croissant, sticky bun or maple bacon scone from Yellow Dog Bread Company (where plenty of parking and bike racks are available). Specializing in delicious hearth breads and Southern-inspired pastries, Yellow Dog is carb lover’s dream. With its welcoming atmosphere, bright interior and enticing display cases (plus plenty of coffee and tea options to kick-start your exploring), the bakery makes for a most pleasant way to start your morning.
From there, head next door for a bit of shopping at Edge of Urge. Part brand, part creativity incubator, this retail shop emphasizes relationships with independent and small designers from all over the state and the country. Shop everything from handmade clothes and trendy jewelry to kitschy, one-of-a-kind gifts like bags and notebooks, quirky cards, and inspirational textiles and paper.
Creativity is also on display across the street at The Centerpiece, an art gallery/workspace exhibiting fine art from emerging and nationally-recognized artists. With an atmosphere both friendly and inviting, The Centerpiece makes art buying and appreciation fun. Visitors can sign up for art workshops, as well as take advantage of superior custom framing and art consulting services
At the north end of Person St., you’ll find Mordecai Historic Park. Once known as the largest plantation in Wake County, the park is home many interesting pieces of N.C. history. Visit the Mordecai Historic House, the oldest residence in Raleigh still on its original foundation, as well as the birthplace of Andrew Johnson, our 17th President.
Deep dives into history usually work up quite a thirst, so stop off at Person Street Bar to whet your whistle. This former warehouse, redesigned as an open space with black paneled walls, a stained wood bar and back patio, whips up seasonal cocktails affectionately known by their numbers instead of names. Locals gather at the low-key watering hole to enjoy great music, awesome drinks and a well-established sense of community.
Today, entertain an adventure on two wheels at Oak City Cycling Project, a local and independent cycling shop focused on increasing bicycle ridership through sales, service, outreach and community. Cyclists will find a nice selection of brands, bikes and gear to shop as well as some solid bike repair services. Oak City also rents bicycles by the day and the week, and they'll be happy to provide tips and tricks for getting around town on two wheels. Pro tip: A Citrix Cycle station, Raleigh's bikeshare program that launched in March 2019, is located one block away. Visit the website or download the app to find a bike for short-term rentals up to 45 minutes.
Bikes make touring the unique architecture of Person Street and the adjacent Historic Oakwood and Mordecai communities a breeze. Wind your way through the quiet streets to see restored Victorian homes dating back to the early 20th century as well as quaint bungalows, American craftsman and traditional-style homes. Cap off your tour with a serene ride through Historic Oakwood Cemetery, which has served as a noble resting place for Raleigh residents for more than a century.
After pedaling up an appetite, cruise back to Person Street proper to Oakwood Pizza Box. With its simple menu of pizzas, cozy booths and checkered-tile floor, Oakwood gives off a serious classic, New York pizzeria vibe. Order a slice or a whole pie and wash it all down with delicious beverages ranging from Mexican Coke to red wine.
Speaking of wine, the racks at Wine Authorities are also worth a browse. Owner Craig Heffley only works with independent, family-owned wineries and has carefully curated a great selection. To aide your shopping, you’ll discover detailed descriptions, pictures of vintners and large painted murals of countries and continents of origins. Just a block away is Pelagic Beer & Wine, voted to have the "Best Retail Beer Selection Wake County" in the local Indy Week's 2018 Best of the Triangle competition.
Later, when thoughts turn to dinner and drinks, return to the neighborhood for a good time at The Station, a corner bar, restaurant and refuge by local passionate mind Niall Hanley. Dig into creative, insightful takes on classic bar food while exploring their sizable list of craft beers. Open late throughout the week—and boasting one of the city's best outdoor dining and drinking patios—The Station is your pit stop for a perfect night.
Take a page from a local bibliophile’s book and shop your next great read at So & So Books. This small, independent shop carries a carefully curated selection of titles that you probably won’t find easily in mainstream stores. Spend an hour or two browsing the shelves and check out their calendar of book club and reading events.
When it’s time for lunch, you’re just one door down from fast, fresh and locally-sourced food. The Pharmacy Cafe began as a locally-owned, community pharmacy in 1910. In 2015, the place underwent a renovation to add a larger restaurant and café. Not only can you stock up on vitamins and supplements, but you can also chow down on delicious deli sandwiches and salads, sip classic fizzes like egg creams and enjoy classic ice cream desserts. Win-win!
With a full belly, stroll a block up and over to take a tour of Raleigh City Farm, an urban outfit committed to growing sustainable food and reconnecting the city dwellers of Raleigh to agriculture. The farm occupies one acre and includes an apiary, two greenhouses, a compost site and various gardens. For those looking to get their hands dirty, the farm invites volunteers to literally “dig in” through workshops and community workdays.
For a delectable dining experience you won’t soon forget, reserve a table for dinner at Crawford and Son. Owner and local passionate mind James Scott Crawford is shaking up the dining scene on Person St. with honest, Southern-inspired dishes ranging from the familiar to the unexpected. Crawford and Son sports a laid back ambiance with enough class to maintain an aura of prestige. The menu, dictated by seasonal and local produce, changes regularly which keeps things interesting and delicious.
Close out the day with your favorite night cap (or something new) at William & Company (or WILCO, as the locals call it). By carving out a niche as a seriously chill version of a classic cocktail bar, this hip spot draws visitors in with its easy-going atmosphere, attentive service and funky décor. For drinks, think fresh and locally-sourced cocktails, carefully crafted and awe-inspiring. With large windows looking out onto Person St., people watching is a definite must.