Hi, friends! I first wrote this post back in February after a friend has visited from out of state. We did a lot of stuff during the weekend all over the Triangle (are you impressed I left Durham?!), and I thought it would be fun to share the “weekend itinerary.” The original plan was to publish it in March, but then COVID-19 pandemic escalated and we were under a lockdown so it didn’t make sense to publish it then.
While some things look very different from February (a couple of the businesses mentioned here have closed), with NC being in phase 3, a lot of the places mentioned in the blog are operating at some capacity, whether it’d be offering takeout or reducing occupancy. I encourage you to stay home, but perhaps this blog post can give you ideas for new things/food to try or be a resource when you have a friend or family visiting post-COVID. I further updated the blog post to add details relevant to COVID-19 (in brackets).
Friday – my Durham favorites and a fun concert
I picked up Meghan from RDU late in the morning, but we still had a few hours of work to do, so we spent the afternoon at Cocoa Cinnamon [they are offering takeout only; you can also purchase their beans]. Dinner was had at M Kokko [dine-in and limited takeout menu available]. We tried to go there last year when she was in town, but the wait was too long. This year, we were in line before they opened for dinner, and we were still the fourth group in line. We had jjiajiangmen, curry udon (vegetarian option), and spicy ramen! After dinner, we went to Sugar Koi for some taiyaki/fish-shaped ice cream (pro tips: they validate parking, and you get 10% off with your ShopDurham card).
Highlight of the Friday evening was the Sofar Sounds concert, which Meghan told us about. These are “secret” concerts where you can apply for tickets, and if you do get the tickets, you find out about the location and the artists 48 hours before the event. The one we went to was at The Vault in Durham, and Dane Page, Reliably Bad, and Love & Valor performed that night. Sofar Sounds is 364 cities all over the world, so check out their website for an upcoming gig near you! [In-person shows are temporarily on pause due to COVID-19.]
Saturday – goat yoga and chapel thrills
Goat yoga has been on my bucket list for a while, and it happened during Meghan’s visit! At Hux Family Farm‘s goat yoga, there was little to no yoga but plenty of goat cuddles! The goats were so stinking sweet, and there were practically newborn baby goats there too. SO CUTE. Meghan was like a goat magnet, and all of the goats were camping around her, and I was high-key jealous and seriously thirsty for some goat attention. This is such a fun experience, and I think you should do it at least once (unless you have an alternative access to baby goat cuddles)! [Hux Family Farm has implemented social distancing practices for COVID-19, which you can view on their Eventbrite page.]
For the afternoon, we headed over to Chapel Hill/Carrburo. We had a late lunch at Carrburritos–they have huge burritos and delicious flour chips [takeout only and online ordering available]! Afterwards, we walked around campus and on Franklin Street and checked out some cool places like Rumors, Blue Dogwood Public Market, and Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews (if anyone wants to meet in Chapel Hill, let’s meet at Epilogue because I am obsessed). We also had a few drinks at Linda’s and Top of the Hill too because why not?!
After a full day of adventures, we drank some more at The Northern Spy (a bottle shop/taproom near Duke West campus; now closed permanently) and had the best Chinese food at Shanghai Durham. I had never had beef chow fun before that night, and I’m so upset that no one had told me about it before! Shout out to my sister Jiyoung for forcing me to order and eat them! [Shanghai Durham has become a favorite of mine over 2020, and I’ve gotten their beef chow fun a couple more times since then. They’re doing takeout/delivery only at this time.]
Sunday – Raleigh adventures and axe throwing
We wanted to spend some time in Raleigh too, so we started the day with a brunch at A Place at the Table [temporarily closed at this time], which is the only pay-for-what-you-can/pay-forward restaurant in the Triangle area. A Place at the Table is open for breakfast and lunch, and you can do good by simply brunching! Our adventures in Raleigh included a visit to NC Museum of Art [free, timed tickets required for admission for social distancing], the Flea Market, and State Farmer’s Market (all have free admission and parking)!
Before returning to Durham for the rest of the day, we stopped by Wilson’s Eatery. I went there for the first time a couple of months ago with my sister, and we liked everything we got (nachos, flatbread, compostable containers)! This time, I tried the southern fried chicken with pimento cheese, and it did not disappoint. [Wilson’s Eatery has contactless payment and great outdoor seating.]
Back in Durham, we did some physical activities! I’ve been an enthusiastic member of the YMCA for a couple of years now, and I love their group fitness classes. Naturally, I made Meghan go to a PiYo class with me…A very intense workout was followed by a more social workout–axe throwing at Urban Axes [they’re open again. Read about their COVID-19 safety procedures here]! This was another thing we didn’t get to last year, so I made reservations ahead of time. We went for the Open Throwing option ($22 for an hour), and had a blast! We concluded the weekend with bites and drinks at Parts & Labor [takeout and patio dining] & Fullsteam [indoor and outdoor seating available].
Where do you always take your friends from out of town?