The Raleigh, N.C., area includes 11 towns in all, each with its own story and quaint, historic downtown areas. Walk down the tree-lined main streets with your someone special, do some shopping and dine at delicious local restaurants—romantic afternoons or evenings spent in these charming areas make for awesome dates! We think you'll love a date on the main streets of Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Wake Forest or Apex.


Cary: Academy St. and Chatham St.

Start your date with a visit to Bond Brothers Beer Company. Pick a few beers to sample together out of the 14 on tap. After deciding on a favorite, take a growler of beer to go!

Up for dessert? FRESH. Local Ice Cream dishes out high-quality ice cream created from locally-sourced milk. Order a cup to share, and choose from flavors like birthday cake, coconut almond crunch, butter pecan and mango sorbet.

End the night with a show at the historic Cary Theater, which was once home to the town’s first indoor movie theater, built in 1946. This downtown art house theater features independent, classic and documentary films, live comedy and music. See what shows are coming up here.


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For more inspiration for your downtown Cary date, check out these things to do.


Fuquay-Varina: Main St. and Broad St.

With two downtown areas, Fuquay-Varina offers two different main streets to explore, just down the road from each other.

For a few sweet treats on Main St., Stick Boy Bread is a go-to. Order a cup of Larry's Coffee (Raleigh-made!), a cinnamon bun and one of their large chocolate chip cookies. Ask for these treats to be packaged to-go for your next stop!

Enjoy some relaxation and outdoors with your date. Head to the Fuquay Mineral Spring Park. A beautiful place to picnic, walk and reflect, Fuquay Mineral Spring Park offers a brick walking path and restored spring house.


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Next up, grab dinner at The Mason Jar Tavern. This restaurant serves up lagers from its own Mason Jar Lager Company brewery, just a few miles down the road on Broad St. We're big fans of the fried mac-n-cheese bites and pimento cheese dip as starters, followed by the pulled pork tacos and Hangover Burger or TMJT Burger for entrees.

To top off your date, catch a quick ride to Broad St. and grab a beer at Aviator Brewing Tap House (pictured in header). In the warmer months, the patio is a hot spot to hang out. And if you get hungry again, you can order food from the Aviator SmokeHouse across the street. Having a weekend date night? Dance the night away with local live music Fri. and Sat. nights!


Wake Forest: White St.

Stroll down the quaint downtown streets of Wake Forest and admire the gorgeous architecture that includes buildings dating back to the 1800s (great photo opps!).

For those who love treasure hunts, there's a variety of hidden gems waiting to be discovered at one of Wake Forest’s best antique stores, For Old Times Sake Antiques. This locally-owned antique shop has nearly 4,000 square feet of inventory to be pursued through.

Expect to enjoy a top-notch seafood experience for dinner at Backfins Crabhouse, with some of the best cream of crab soup and crab cakes around!

For a night cap, sip on a beer at White Street Brewing Company. Spring for a flight of the Main Street Series brews, which includes the Scottish Ale—a Gold Medal Winner at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival.


Apex: Salem St.

Start off your date by browsing for fun finds at The Rusty Bucket. The old country store offers up delicious food products, candles, American country, farmhouse, rustic and primitive home décor, antiques and more.

Head to The Peak City Grill & Bar. A fun pick for a date night, Peak City serves upscale comfort food and debuts a new menu frequently, providing fresh ingredients and seasonal dishes. Expect to find menu offerings like bourbon peach cobbler, stuffed pork loin, shrimp and grits and more.

After-dinner drinks are a must. Sip and shop at The Beer Dispensary of Apex, a craft beer store and bar where you'll find a big selection of local brews both on the shelves and on tap.


Header photo: Chris Richman