Hello Fellow Travelers:
Welcome to our world of business information, museums, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, good eating and fine wines. This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill.
Please share it with your friends, customers and associates. You can also access more than 100 cities on our blog plus lots of other helpful travel tips at: thewelgereport.com
Recognition: We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides. In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos.
Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill
Birding Opps: Info for our birding friends. In and near Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill you can see these species: Swainson’s Warbler, Black Rail, Bachman’s Sparrow, Northern Saw, Saw-whet Owl, Cardinal and Olive-sided Flycatcher.
Birding Pal (http://birdingpal.org/nc.htm) has people to help you find the hot spots.
The Carolina Bird Club (https://www.carolinabirdclub.org/) covers a large area but with patience you can dig out local birding insight.
You can check with the Fat Birder (http://fatbirder.com/links_geo/america_united_states/north_carolina.html) for interesting comments and stories.
Wine Bars – Here are some local wine bars for your enjoyment, socializing and sipping.
Mosaic – M,Tu: from 8, W-Sa: from 6, 517 W Jones St, Raleigh, 919-829-5886. Moroccan décor, DJ, dancing and affordable wine menu.
Tru Deli & Wine – Nightly from 6, 114 Henderson St, Chapel Hill, 919-240-7755. Cheese, nuts, olives, beer, drinks and wine.
West End Wine Bar – Nighlty from 5, 601 W Main St, Durham, 919-381-4228. Check out the upper level. International wine offerings.
PublicTransportation: This is your site for public transportation (http://www.gotriangle.org/transit/maps-and-schedules/)
Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) – Your connection to more than 500 stations in 46 states. For online information and train schedules visit www.amtrak.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245)
Business Information: Here is help in regard to your business: (http://www.businessnc.com/)
Day One: Your first stop is the North Carolina Museum of Art – Tu-Su: 10-5, F: till 9, 2110 Blue Ridge Rd, 919-839-6262
The collection includes major holdings in European painting from the Renaissance to the 19th century. Other strengths include African, ancient American, pre-Columbian, and Oceanic art.
A promised gift of mid- to late-20th-century art from the collection of Jim and Mary Patton includes works by Jackie Ferrara, Adolph Gottlieb, Ellsworth Kelly, Per Kirkeby, David Park, and Sean Scully.
Other new works include pieces by artists El Anatsui, Roxy Paine, Jaume Plensa, and Ursula von Rydingsvard.
The collection also includes a comprehensive survey of North Carolina artists and the campus is the nation’s largest museum art park.
Next stop is the North Carolina Museum of History – M-Sa: 9-5, Su: 12-5, 5 E Edenton St, 919-807-7850
Explore North Carolina’s past and learn about its people. See exhibits highlighting the state’s military history, decorative arts, sports heroes and more.
Special programs include craft demonstrations, music concerts and family events.
The Glenwood Grill – L: M-F, D: M-Sa, 2603-151Glenwood Ave, 919-782-3102 is a favored spot in Raleigh.
Don’t miss the She Crab soup. Follow that with the lemon thyme chicken salad with toasted almonds or the shrimp and andouille with pepper jack grits, lobster butter and scallions.
Wash it down with the Michel Schlumberger Pinot Blanc. Dessert is their blueberry, peach and strawberry cobbler
Take a look around the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences – M-Sa: 9-5, Su: 12-5, 11 W. Jones St, 919-733-7450
“Terror of the South” is the aptly named showcase at the newly renovated North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
This exhibit features the only extant skeleton of the carnivorous theropod Acrocanthosaurus, which is posed stalking a fleshed-out sauropod while a flock of curious pterosaurs hovers overhead.
From here, it’s a short way to “Prehistoric North Carolina,” which features an Albertosaurus attacking a mother Edmontosaurus and her brood.
Time for a walk about the JC Raulston Arboretum – Daily: April-Oct: 8-8, Nov-Mar: 8-5, 919-515-3132
This 10-acre arboretum and botanical garden is administered by North Carolina State University. It claims to have the most diverse collection of cold hardy temperate zone plants in the southeastern United States.
They have over 5,000 total taxa (unique taxonomic groups) of annuals, perennials, bulbs, vines, ground covers, shrubs, and trees from over 50 different countries, which are displayed in a beautiful garden setting.
Their tree collection includes maple, buckeye, boxwood, redbud, holly, spicebush, magnolia, oak and conifers.
Dinner at 18 Seaboard – L;M-F, D: Nightly, 18 Seaboard Ave #100, Raleigh, 919-861-4318 can be celebratory.
A good starter is Anson Mills Sea Island Red Pea hummus or the fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese and bacon jam.
Your main is the cornmeal crusted catfish with grilled onion grit cakes, spinach and apple compote or the crackling pork shank with blue cheese grits, spinach and green tomato relish.
Your wine is the ’12 Allegrini Valpolicella and dessert is their flan with raspberries.
Day Two: Breakfast in Durham is at Guglhupf – B & L: Tu-Su, D: Tu-Sa, 2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, 919-401-2600
Eggs, omelettes, frittatas, cheese plates, pancakes, French toast, muesli, coffee and tea prepared for thee.
Your first stop today is the Museum of Life & Sciences – Tu-Sa: 10-5, Su: 12-5, 433 W Murray Ave, Durham, 919-220-5429
You can pilot a spacecraft and touch a tornado in this family-friendly hands-on science and technology museum, and take a train ride through the Nature Park to see Carolina wildlife.
Their Magic Wings Butterfly House is the largest east of the Mississippi. There are lots of other exhibits including a dinosaur trail and aerospace display.
Next on your list is The Nasher Museum of Art – Tu-Sa: 10-5, Su: 12-5, Duke University, 2001 Campus Dr, Durham, 919- 684-5135
The Nasher Museum holds one of the best collections of medieval art among North American university museums. It is also one of the few institutions to focus on works by contemporary artists of African descent.
Rotating installations from their permanent collection feature selections of contemporary art,outsider art, classical antiquities, European medieval art, European and American paintings, African art and ancient American Pre-Columbian art.
Mateo Bar de Tapas – L: Tu-F, D: Tu-Su, 109 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, 919-530-8700 is your lunch spot today.
Lots of wonderful small plates. Cousin Trenna likes the cheese croqueta, the bocquerones (pickled white anchovies), the gambas (shrimp with garlic, chili, lemon and parsley), Sam’s ham, the tuna salad, and the pollo frito (fried chicken with a hot smoked paprika dip)
They have a large selection of dry sherries so try a tasting flight.
Although now it has a tainted reputation, tobacco played a vital role in early America. You’ll find out about it at the Duke Homestead and Tobacco Factory – Tu-Sa: 9-5, 2828 Duke Homestead Road, 919-477-5498
Tour guides will lead you to four historic structures: a tobacco curing barn, tobacco pack house, Washington Duke’s Third Tobacco Factory (1869) and his 1852 Homestead.
The Tobacco Museum at the Duke Homestead contains 5,500 square feet of exhibits on the history of tobacco farming, manufacturing and advertising.
Temporary exhibits address topics such as the decrease in family farms, unique pipes and spittoons, and other interesting topics.
You will continue to learn about this family at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens – Su-F: 9-6, Sa: till 5, Su: 12-5, 420 Anderson St, 919- 684-3698
The gardens are set on a 55-acre site and have 200 + plant varieties. There are 5 miles of walks and paths throughout the gardens that are divided into four areas.
The four areas are the Historic Core and Terraces, the H.L. Blomquist Garden of native plants, the William Louis Culberson Asiatic Arboretum and the Doris Duke Gardens that include the Page-Rollins White Garden.
Dinner is at Nana’s – D: M-Sa, 2514 University Dr #104, Durham, 919-493-8545
Start with the duck confit radicchio salad and toasted walnuts or the salmon crudo with zucchini, bell pepper and red onion.
For your main the grilled rib eye is served over creamy stone ground grits with Brussels sprouts and the grilled venison loin comes with collard greens and a sweet potato/plum gratin.
Your wine is the Domain Serene Rockblock Syrah. Dessert is their gooey pumpkin cake.
Day Three: Rise breakfast and donuts – B & L: Daily, 8200 Renaissance Pkwy, Durham, 919-248-2992 is where you begin today.
At Rise you have your everyday doughnuts and biscuits and then you have the specials. The doughnuts come in three categories: old school, new school and our school.
The biscuits didn’t get a fancy name and they had to settle for today’s. The label on the coffee says “bean trader’s”. They also have eggs, bacon, sausage and fried chicken.
The Stagville State Historic Site – Tu-Sa: 10-4, 5828 Old Oxford Rd, Durham, 919-620-0120 offers a view on a much discussed era of American history.
You’ll see the remains of North Carolina’s largest pre-Civil War plantation. It once belonged to the Bennehan-Cameron family, whose combined holdings totaled approximately 900 slaves and almost 30,000 acres by 1860.
Today, Stagville consists of 71 acres, on three tracts. It has the late 18th-century Bennehan House, four slave houses, a pre-Revolutionary War farmer’s house, a huge timber framed barn built by skilled slave craftsmen, and the Bennehan Family cemetery.
The slave residences are the only two-story slave quarters remaining in North Carolina. Archaeological finds around the quarters have given historians a glimpse into the lives of the enslaved people who lived and worked in Stagville.
The Duke Lemur Center – Daily: 9:30-4, 3705 Erwin Rd, Durham, 919- 489-3364 (tours by appointment only) is an 85-acre sanctuary for rare and endangered prosimian primates.
It is the largest sanctuary for prosimian primates in the world.
The Lemur Center has the most diverse colony of lemurs outside of Madagascar, with 246 individuals representing 20 species.
The species include 16 types of lemurs, three loris species and bush babies. Ring-tailed lemurs, sifakas and ruffed lemurs are most often used in research.
The University invested $10 million to build two new buildings and update existing infrastructure, improving the quality of life of the animals and guaranteeing their protection from the elements.
The opportunity for both faculty and students to have access to this wonderful research center is unparalleled. There is no other place like it in the world.
Allen and Son BBQ – L & Early D: Daily, 6203 Millhouse Road, Chapel Hill, 919-942-7576 is your place for a North Carolina Q fix.
The lineup: Bar-B-Que plate, Extra Large Bar-B-Que plate, Stew bowl with hushpuppies, combination stew and BBQ, slaw, Potato salad, fried okra and onion rings.
Oh yeah – iced tea, lemonade and apple cider.
You’re headed to see The Ackland Art Museum – W-Sa: 10-5, Su: 1-5, 101 S Columbia St, 919-966-5736
The Ackland is an academic unit of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and serves local, state, and national constituencies.
The Museum’s permanent collection consists of more than 17,000 works of art including collections of European masterworks, twentieth-century and contemporary art, African art and North Carolina pottery.
The North Carolina Botanical Garden – M-F: 8-5, Sa: 9-5, Su: 1-5, 100 Old Mason Farm Rd, 919- 962-0522 is a great place for an educational walk.
The garden is operated by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Their goal is to research, catalog and promote the native plant species of North Carolina.
The garden has 14 collections and display areas that have 5,900 accessions representing about 2,500 species.
Dinner is at One Restaurant – D: Tu-Sa, 100 Meadowmont Village Cir, Chapel Hill, 919-537-8207
Start with the veal sweetbreads served with sassafras and peppadews or the beef and pickles with smoked potato.
Have a glass of the ’10 Grochau Cellars Pinot Noir with this course.
Favorites for your main are the grouper with porcini barley grits and the blackened red drum with avocado, broccoli and rice.
The ’12 VML Chardonnay is a good choice. Dessert is “fermented chocolate”.
Our lagniappe for this travel guide is not close but it is in North Carolina and well worth the 3 ½ hour drive to get there. The Biltmore Estate – Daily: 9-4:30, 1 Lodge St, Asheville, 800-411-3812 is one of America’s treasures.
The luxurious family home of George and Edith Vanderbilt is as magnificent today as it was more than a century ago.
Displays of vintage clothing, accessories, art and furniture that tell stories and illustrate the lives of the Vanderbilt family, their guests and employees are featured.
You’ll see original art by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and John Singer Sargent, 16th century tapestries, a library with 10,000 volumes, a banquet hall with a 70-foot ceiling, 65 fireplaces, an indoor pool and a bowling alley.
The formal and informal gardens were designed by America’s foremost landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted.
From the beauty of the Italian Garden to the breathtaking trees in America’s first managed forest, Biltmore’s lush landscape is a living tribute to Olmsted’s genius.
Horticultural experts continually work to preserve the original vision for the gardens and grounds, including the Rose Garden that features more than 250 varieties.
Until next time, best wishes and happy travels,
Dick & Dee Welge
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