Posted on 7/20/2017 by Stephanie Hedrick
As a newer Raleigh resident who takes full advantage of her exceptionally convenient and walkable downtown locale, I wasn't sure what to expect out of its neighboring city, Cary. Yet, even the most loyal downtown Raleigh devotee can't deny her curiosity when learning about Cary's divine abundance of shops and inspired array of restaurants.
I finally decided to experience its allure for myself. I wanted to start with the city's nature preserve that a friend had spoken so highly of. I'll admit, I began my stroll into Hemlock Bluffs with a trace of skepticism. As I ambled into the canopy of trees and came upon my first overlook, however, my doubt vanished. I felt small, like one of the chirruping birds, as I peered down the steep bank from the treetops. Here, the bustle of the city went mute and I relaxed under the murmur of the trees.
As I was getting hungry, I took the shortest trail that followed the creek, recognizing how wonderfully Cary maintained the preserve. Signs were incrementally posted along the trail to provide insight into the Preserve's ecosystem. As I rounded the last overlook, I realized that path would provide the perfect outdoor lunch break for anyone working nearby.
Renewed from the fresh air but still hungry, I set my sights on Waverly Place (just a few minutes away!), an outdoor collection of shops for any taste. I decided to cool off (i.e., find an excuse to eat dessert before dinner) with a cup of Donatella gelato from Fresca Cafe.
I sat by the fountain, watching the stream of people flow in and out of Whole Foods, and realized I needed to pick up a bottle of wine for a friend's soiree that evening. David at the Triangle Wine Company, was not just helpful, but committed, and I left with the perfect one.
I crossed the promenade to Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe, passing boutiques lined with soft blouses, spa-like salons, a kitchen shop filled with fragrant herbs, and an innovative Montessori. With my friend's get-together fast approaching, I reluctantly decided to call an early night after devouring my favorite meal (their salmon seriously melts on the tongue).
As I drove past Koka Booth Amphitheater, which hosts the mesmerizing Chinese Lantern Festival each year, I envied the line of neighbors wandering over there. I thought about how lovely it would be to join them on this balmy evening, to walk from our neighborhood, Renaissance at Regency, just a few blocks away and enjoy the delicate, flirty notes of the symphony. "Next Friday," I promised myself, "I'll be here."
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