Welcome to Raleigh, Creative at Heart Friends!
Next week kicks off The Creative at Heart Conference round 7, and I’m so excited that it’s going to be right here in Raleigh! I have lived here my entire life (excluding time at college and my one year in Portland), so it is a place that is very near and dear to my heart! As a C@H Alumni, I know how difficult it can be to know what to expect when you’re heading to a conference that’s in another state. Since so many of you are traveling in from out of town, I wanted to let you know a few helpful tips that will hopefully make your stay here an even better experience!
Transportation to Downtown
RDU is a little ways from downtown. If you’re not renting a car, you will need to take a taxi or you can call an Uber. A few of the hotels located in downtown Raleigh also have complimentary shuttle services, so call your hotel and check to see if they provide that service for you!
During the conference, I would recommend walking or taking an Uber or taxi to the Merrimon-Wynne from your hotel. There is only 2-hour street parking at the house during the week, so you will have to keep leaving the conference in order to move your car and prevent getting ticketed. That’s only if you’re able to find any parking at all! Parking in that area is pretty difficult, so trust me when I say that it will be so much easier to leave your car at your hotel and shuttle over. That way, you won’t have to stress over moving your car and you won’t miss any part of the conference!
Places To Eat Downtown
If you’re heading in from out of town, you’re probably wondering where are the best places to eat around here. There are so many really great places to eat in downtown that’s within walking distance of all of the hotels that you will have tons of options! Our two main streets (where most of the hotels are located) are Glenwood Avenue and Fayetteville Street, which are both lined with tons of places to eat dinner. I’m going to tell you about a few of my favorite places on each street.
If you’re staying at the Hampton Inn & Suites off of Glenwood Avenue, you’ll be in close walking distance to a few of my favorite places to eat downtown! Some of my favorite Glenwood restaurants include:
Raleigh Beer Garden
The Raleigh Beer Garden holds the Guinness World Record for the most beer taps! There are two separate bars: upstairs has 222 taps of beer from other states and countries, and downstairs has 144 taps of beer brewed in NC! Their beer-battered pretzels are also amazing. You have to check this place out! If you’re staying at the Hampton Inn & Suites, then you are right next door!
Carolina Ale House
If you’re craving wings, burgers, and wraps, this is the place for you! If you’re lucky enough to get a seat outside on their balcony, you’ll get a great view of Glenwood Avenue!
For delicious Greek food, visit Taverna Agora! They are located all the way at the end of Glenwood Avenue (right next to the Holiday Inn), but their food is really good and their new venue is really a nice place to sit down and enjoy a meal!
If you’re wanting really delicious pizza and salad, then Mellow Mushroom is the place you want to visit for dinner! It’s right on the corner of Peace Street and Glenwood Avenue.
Tobacco Road Sports Cafe
Tobacco Road Sports Cafe is hidden right off of Glenwood Avenue on Jones Street. They have sandwiches, burgers, soups, and salads.
42nd Street Oyster Bar
42nd Street Oyster Bar is mostly seafood, so if you don’t like seafood then I don’t recommend this one! But if you do, they have a great seafood selection, and it’s always delicious!
There’s also a lot of Sushi restaurants, bakeries, and many other places to eat in the area. If you try them, let me know how you like them! We are always on the lookout for a new restaurant!
If you’re staying in one of the hotels closer to Fayetteville street (which include the Sheraton, Marriott, and the Holiday Inn), you also have a huge variety of great places to eat within walking distance! Some of my favorite places to eat around this area include:
Seriously, if you choose only one place to eat out for dinner in Raleigh, it’s Brewery Bhavana! This place has really great Chinese food and their beer is really good, too! I know it sounds like the weirdest combination, but it…is…amazing! Check this place out!
The Raleigh Times
The Raleigh Times has a lot of really diverse entrees on their menu, from burgers to burritos, they have a great variety of food that would be a great selection for a big group! If you can, sit on the patio on the roof and you’ll get an awesome view of Raleigh!
Zach and I recently tried this place, and it’s actually really cool! They do gourmet hotdogs, so they don’t put your typical toppings on them. Even though it sounds gross, they’re still really good. If you’re looking for something tasty and quick, this is the place to try!
A few other places we love, but aren’t within walking distance of these hotels are:
Trophy Brewing & Pizza
There are a few of these, and they’re all different, so make sure you go to the one located at 827 W. Morgan Street. Trophy has really great pizza and beer! If you have a car or want to Uber, you may want to consider driving to this one to give it a try!
Visit The Pit if you are wanting some good North Carolina Barbecue! They also won a rib challenge on the Food Network’s “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” and has been featured on other shows like “The Morning Show” and “Good Morning, America.”
Other Places to See
As a Creative at Heart Alumni, I realize you won’t have much free time to wander and explore the city during the conference. Mostly, you’ll have free time for dinner where you will want to sit and enjoy connecting with your fellow creatives! Trust me — you need to do this! It is such a great way to build relationships and network, so make sure you spend that time and make new friends! If you, however, find that you’re wanting to explore the city a little more, I definitely encourage you to check out our Capital Building, which you can see at the very end of Fayetteville street. You don’t even have to take a tour! Just walk around the outside just to say you saw it! It’s one of my favorite buildings in Raleigh 🙂
We also have Science, History, and Art Museums in the downtown area if you have time to go to those! Again, I do encourage you to spend social time making connections with your fellow creatives, so don’t stress about going to see these things! If you’re waiting around to catch a plane on your last day in town, then you may want to check them out!
I hope all of you Creative At Heart attendees have an incredible time during your stay in Raleigh! This conference is going to not only change your business, but your life! I can’t believe it’s already been 2.5 years since I attended Round 2 in Roanoke, Virginia! I hope you will all walk away with new friends, valuable experiences, and loving this city as much as I do! Have a wonderful week, friends!
Emily – Portland, as in Oregon? Because that’s where I’m coming from! I’m so excited! This is my 2nd conference w/C@H! Excited to see ya! Thanks for all the great tips! <3
Yes — Portland, Oregon! I lived there for a little over a year after college and worked as a retoucher at a company called Splash Worldwide! After my husband and I got engaged, I moved home to Raleigh with the hope of starting my own business. It wasn’t even two weeks later that I was attended Creative at Heart and started working with Justin & Mary Marantz! That conference did some wonderful things for my business and seriously changed my life <3 I hope you have an amazing time next week!
I just moved from Chapel Hill to NYC! I totally agree with all the fun places you picked out to visit! Have a wonderful conference! Looks like it is going to be a blast!
This really makes me want to visit Raleigh! It looks like a really cool city.
Raleigh is on my bucket list to visit (as is attending creative at heart!) Wish I could’ve made it this time because it would’ve been perfect! Have the best time!!!
What a great post. I have the Creative at Heart Conference on my bucket list. I know the conference will be great.
Raleigh looks like such an interesting place! I love the pictures that you shared. Enjoy the Creative at Heart Conference!
This is an awesome list for those going to the conference; good idea!
Well I’m prepared for if I ever go to a trip to Raleigh! Such thought through and helpful tips for people! Thanks for sharing!
What a useful guide for Raleigh! One of my best friends just moved down there, so I’m looking forward to visiting. We’ve got Mellow Mushroom here, too!
Oh I love North Carolina! So beautiful and so much charm. My husband would probably never let us leave Colorado, haha but if I could I would love to return to the Charm of the Carolinas <3
Mmmm we have a mellow mushroom in Denver and I LOVE it!!! This post makes me really want to visit Raleigh!! Such great information!
My husband and I are coming for a wedding later this year and can’t wait to check out all these places! Such great tips! And I love the pics!
What a fun post about Raleigh! I will have to reference it if I visit again!
THANK YOU! I am always looking for local places to eat at that people really love–so good to know a Raleigh expert can help!
So cute! This totally wants me want to visit Raleigh 😀
What a great post for those attending the conference! So thoughtful and helpful!
Great list! As a traveler, I really appreciate an insider’s scoop with details like this. Tagging for my next visit to Raleigh!
What a sweet town! I’ve never been to Raleigh, but will be in North Carolina in the fall! (Outter Banks area.) Now I’m totally wanting to check out the Creative at Heart Conference!!
Raleigh is so stunning and has lots of character! This makes me want to visit!
Ive never been to Raleigh before, but now having read all of this I really want to visit!
I’ve always wanted to visit Raleigh. Great blog post
What a great way to prepare guests coming in for a conference! This is such a helpful resource for anyone planning a trip to Raleigh!
Looks like a great place to visit. I love your pictures
I love the Raleigh area! Thank you for sharing all this great information!