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:
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!
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 is hidden right off of Glenwood Avenue on Jones Street. They have sandwiches, burgers, soups, and salads.
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 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:
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!