North Carolina: scenic beauty, a moderate climate, and a culture rich in history and the arts. Some may say it is the California of the south. Our creative director, Melissa, takes a yearly trip to this landscape filled southeastern state and she's got some pretty amazing recommendations up her sleeve. Read more for her tips on family-friendly (toddler to be specific) restaurants, sights, and activities.
makes the best donuts, and the Chicken & Pickle Biscuit is absolutely insane. Crooks Corner
in Chapel Hill is some of the best southern food around, and the space is very kid-friendly. Don't miss the Hoppin' John and the Shrimp & Grits! For a night out without kids, go to Saint James seafood
. The cocktails are fabulous and the oyster platters are not to be missed.
Patrick Dougherty's incredible stick sculptures at Duke Gardens are a Dr. Seussean playground for the littles. Run in and out of these impressive structures, and then wander through the gardens or have a picnic on the lawn. Visit the Belties at Fearrington Village
- black and white stripped cows and goats who are extremely playful and friendly!
Pullen Park in Raleigh has everything you need to entertain the littles - a duck pond, a train, a carousel, and several play structures for all age levels. For a more intensive experience, it's easy to spend all day (or even two) at the Museum of Life and Science
in Durham. A mix between a zoo, science center, and play space, the massive indoor/outdoor space has farm animals, a butterfly dome, dinosaurs, and best of all a giant
treehouse. Outdoor play and exploration is emphasized so make sure you go when the weather is nice.
keeps all my essentials safe and hands-free with its zip-top and crossbody strap (and my daughter likes to carry it too!). For dinners out I love my Chelsea
and my San Remo Pouch