You came all the way to North Carolina to see your loved ones get hitched. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and do your own thing. Preempt those wedding-cake calories with a hike at one of the Triangle’s nature preserves or state parks. Or gather some fodder for reception small talk at a local museum, like the N.C. Museum of History. Here are our recommendations for the out-of-town wedding guest’s itinerary.
309 West Morgan Street, Durham
Built in 1926, the Carolina Theatre includes two cinemas and a Beaux Arts auditorium restored to its historic glory. Take in a comedy show, a concert, or a movie, or just enjoy being in a building that has been graced by the presence of Katharine Hepburn.
Duke Lemur Center
3705 Erwin Road, Durham
If you’re not from hereor maybe if you are and just haven’t noticedthis is a place where a bunch of lemurs live and you get to watch them. Walk around and see them in their natural habitat, or book one of the specialty tours: paint with lemurs, shadow the center’s photographer, or spend the day as a lemur keeper.
409 Blackwell Street, Durham
Three words: Tater. Tot. Waffles. Oh, and you can spend a beautiful day outside drinking beer and watching baseball for like $20.
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh
Perfect for a picnic, a long walk, or just a quiet moment alone. After you see the rooftop terrace and butterfly garden, don’t forget to contemplate the meaning of life in the Japanese garden.
N.C. Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh
Grab a bite to eat at the museum’s restaurant, or, if you feel like getting meta about the whole wedding thing, check out the You + Me photography exhibit, which showcases the “complexities of relationships, particularly those between two people.”
Raleigh Farmers Market
1201 Agriculture Street, Raleigh
This is worth a trip even if you don’t have grocery shopping to do. Admire the endless varieties of fresh herbs, snag some North Carolina barbecue sauce, or have lunch at the Farmers Market restaurant.
Wilson Library Rare Book Collection
208 Raleigh Street, Chapel Hill
This rare book collection at the University of North Carolina began in 1929 with a trove of pre-fifteen-hundreds European works. Now it includes everything from Russian literature to comic books and something called the Carl W. Gottschalk Collection on the Human Kidney. Megan Howard
This article appeared in print with the headline “Painting The Town.”