The Best, Often Overlooked, Outdoor Places In Raleigh

The Best, Often Overlooked, Outdoor Places In Raleigh

The next time it's sunny and 75, check out one of these nature spots!

Raleigh: it's a perfect place to live. Within the city, there's tons of art, entertainment, food, and shopping. However, there's also a ton of outdoor areas to enjoy the sunshine on a warm day. Within the combination of city features along with small town farms and lakes, Raleigh offers something for everyone here. Now that it's finally spring and the weather is great, here are some often overlooked places in Raleigh to go outside and enjoy the warmth.

1. Pullen Park

Nestled right behind NC State, Pullen Park is the perfect haven for children and adults alike. It offers a concessions area, pedal boating, a carousel, playground areas, shelters, and so much more. The park even offers WiFi for those who want to get their work done outside! In the spring, flowers across the park are in full bloom, and you're guaranteed to have a great time every time.

2. Lake Wheeler

Lake Wheeler park is an 800 acre expanse that boasts beautiful nature and enjoyment for all that visit. A concession stand offers visitors snacks along a cute boardwalk, and boats are available to rent. It's the perfect place to take a hike with your pets, go fishing on a warm day, or read a book in the sun. There's also a small beach area if you want to lay out and work on your tan! Just watch out for the geese.

3. William B. Umstead State Park

Hidden right between Cary, Raleigh, and Durham, this beautiful park offers those in the city a getaway of nature and peace. Take a hike on the expansive trails, ride your bike, or have a picnic in the pines. There are multiple lakes within these grounds, so you have the option to boat, fish, or even paddle board! It's the ideal place to escape the pressures of daily life and experience tranquility within the city.

4. Neuse River Trail

This greenway trail offers scenic views of the Neuse river, agricultural fields, historical sights, and boardwalk areas near the wetlands. It's a long-distance mountains-to-sea trail that goes directly through Raleigh. It connects to many other trails and also offers many fishing, hunting, hiking, and picnicking opportunities.

So there you have it. The next time you have a few hours and the sun is out, check out one of these outdoor spots for a healthy dose of nature and vitamin D. Raleigh may be a city, but there's enough nature to give it a tranquil, small-town vibe that makes it feel like home.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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14 Things Not To Forget On Your Next Vacay

Every time I go on a trip I always forget at least 1 things.


There are all sorts of things that we forget to pack when we go on vacation. How can you remember all the little details when a fun-filled trip awaits you? Not to worry! Here is a short list of items that can be easily forgotten. Pull this list up when packing for your next trip and be relieved when you haven't forgotten a thing.

1. A Phone Charger

2. Toothpaste/Toothbrush

3. Your Favorite Pillow

4. Socks/Underwear

5. Glasses/Contacts

6. Sunscreen

7. A Bathing Suit

8. Lip Balm

9. An Umbrella

10. Sunglasses

11. Money

12. Snacks

13. A Jacket

14. Extra Shampoo/Conditioner

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