Spend a Day in Fuquay-Varina, N.C.
Thursday, April 21, 2016, 4pm by Sally Van Denover
Located just a hop, skip and a jump south of downtown Raleigh (just 23 minutes), Fuquay-Varina offers loads of charm, rich history and plenty to experience for those looking for an adventure or a one-day getaway.
Fun and Shopping
One of the first things you’ll notice about Fuquay-Varina is that this unique little town doesn’t have just one charming downtown, which people often come to expect of small towns—it has two! This distinctive feature came into existence when the two neighboring communities of Fuquay Springs and Varina merged into one town in 1963. Favorite shops in the areas include The Shoppes on Main, where you can find a bevy of hand-crafted décor, gourmet food and unique local novelty items, and Cousin Couture, a boutique clothing store (and great place to go shopping for prom wear).
Fuquay-Varina also holds a variety of special events and festivals throughout the year, including Celebrate Fuquay-Varina (Oct. 8), Follow Me 2 Fuquay-Varina Concert Series (May 19 and June 16) and the BBQ, Blues & Brews Festival (Sept. 24 at the historic Varina retail district). A "can't-miss" event in 2016 is the WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest (Memorial Day weekend, May 27-30)—you'll be talking about the hot air balloon "glow," happening just after sunset, for years to come.
Check out the works of local artists during Art After Dark, a monthly art walk taking place on the second Fri. from April to Sept., and the local gallery, Artistic Expressions.
Fuquay-Varina boasts 20 parks featuring amenities like running trails, picnic tables, tennis courts and even the town’s 6,000-square-foot Splash Pad. Stop at Fuquay Mineral Spring Park, a beautiful place to picnic and rejuvenate your spirit.
Food and Drinks
Start your day off right at Stick Boy Bread, an artisan, old-world bakery, and follow it up with a midday meal of specialty smoked chicken wings and authentic Eastern N.C. barbecue at Aviator Smokehouse. You can't go wrong ending the day with a brew at Aviator Brewing Tap House (across the street from the Smokehouse), Aviator Brewing Company (the brewery's production facility, with an awesome taproom and deck), Draft Line Brewing Co., Fainting Goat Brewing Company or Lincoln Brewing Co. Aviator's Tap House, Draft Line Brewing Co., Fainting Goat Brewing Company and Lincoln Brewing Co. host live music, so you can take in great N.C. bands while you taste.