Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Cary, NC

  • Published 2023/02/22

A big tourist attraction with a growing population, Cary is the second-largest municipality in North Carolina‘s Wake County.

It is considered one of the safest cities in America, with a very low crime rate, making it an ideal solo travel destination.

Cary is filled with natural and historically significant attractions, such as vast parks, stunning lakes, and fascinating museums.

It’s also a great place for athletes and sports fans, as the city boasts skateboarding, baseball, and golf facilities.

Are you interested in finding out what else this city has to offer?

These are the best things to do in Cary, North Carolina:

Go to the Boathouse at Fred G. Bond Metro Park

Fred G. Bond Metro Park is located by Bond Lake, where you’ll find a public boathouse with many different kinds of boats.

This vast park is spread over 310 acres.

It’s arguably the largest municipal park in Cary.

There is also a community center and a senior center located inside the park.

The park is a great place to visit for those interested in hiking, jogging, or fishing.

You can also try mountain biking on the Athletic Greens and various trails.

Visit Historic Yates Mill County Park

Daytime view of the Historic Yates Mill County Park

Paul Brady Photography /

This county park’s primary attraction is its centerpiece, Yates Mill.

Milling was a very important profession during the early 1800s.

The historic Yates Mill was restored to its former glory to honor this occupation.

The water flowing beside Yates Mill

Jay Yuan /

The on-site museum honors this traditional art and gives information about the history of this profession.

There is also a lake located along with hiking trails within the park.

It is also a wildlife refuge and is used to protect many bird and animal species.

Thus, this park serves both recreational and preservation purposes.

Stairs made of rock at Yates Mill County Park

Ruthjojo /

Get Close to Nature at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve

Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve is a tribute to Cary’s abundant natural vegetation.

The woodland is very thick and overflows with various trees and greenery.

It’s an excellent place for a quiet walk and to spend some time with yourself.

The scenic beauty provides visitors with a moment of much-needed calm in the middle of the busy city.

Also located on-site, the Stevens Nature Center is where you can get a lot of information about the area’s history and the wildlife preserved here.

Watch a Film at the Koka Booth Amphitheater

View of Koka Booth Amphitheater from across the lake

Wileydoc /

The Koka Booth Amphitheater is a haven for nature and movie lovers.

Movies, both old and new, are showcased here under the Movies by Moonlight program.

Pack some snacks and drinks and spend some quality time with your family while watching a movie under the pretty moonlight.

The main stage of Koka Booth Amphitheater

Wileydoc /

Rock concerts and various musical performances are also held at this amphitheater.

Some of the famous musical works played here include the soundtracks of Beethoven and John Williams.

Rockstars like Styx, Ringo Starr, and Willie Nelson have performed at this beautiful venue situated amid natural beauty and greenery.

The crescent deck of Koka Booth Amphitheater

Wileydoc /

Go Wine Tasting at Chatham Hill Winery

Find a variety of delectable wines at this famous winery, including Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Viognier.

One of the first wineries opened in the Research Triangle, Chatham Hill Winery doesn’t fail to amaze visitors with its range of wines.

The setup is very lavishly done and includes an outdoor area where you can play tabletop board games.

The tasting sessions are quite informative, and the experts will give you tiny bits of information about the wines as you try them.

All their wine is made with locally grown grapes.

The brewing methods they use are typically French to maintain the authentic taste.

Go Kayaking at Apex Community Park

Lush trees surrounding Apex Community Park

APRCR, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The lake inside Apex Community Park is excellent for kayaking and boating.

Inside the park, you’ll also find a small pier where you can go fishing.

There are also trails where you can go on a run or a leisurely stroll.

People walking along Apex Community Park trail

Wileydoc /

Pets are welcome here, too.

There are a variety of sports that you can play here, including baseball, soccer, and tennis.

The park is family-friendly, with swings, slides, and a sandpit in the kids’ play area.

This is the perfect spot to laze around and cool it off.

A picnic table overlooking Apex Community Park's lake

Wileydoc /

Pray at Sri Venkateswara Temple of North Carolina

Exterior of Sri Venkateswara Temple of North Carolina

Arahvinth, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Founded in 2009, this beautiful temple was constructed for the Research Triangle’s Hindu community.

Sri Venkateswara Temple of North Carolina is especially revered by the South Indian community.

Visit this place to gain some calm and peace.

You can head to the inner sanctum sanctorum to pay your respects to the deities, including Lord Balaji and Lord Shiva.

Nand Gopal Sachdeva was the chief architect for this temple, and he traveled to India to find the right design to construct this magnificent work of architecture.

After this stunning project was authorized, artisans were specially brought in from South India.

Learn about the Various Arts at the Cary Arts Center

Glass windows of Cary Art Center

Cary Arts Center glass wall” (CC BY 2.0) by moonlightbulb

From theater and painting to drama and jewelry-making, the Cary Arts Center helps visitors explore and learn about a variety of art forms.

The theater has a seating capacity of almost 400 and hosts various ballet performances, along with other theatrical performances.

Exterior of Cary Arts Center

gurezende /

There are several studios where textile, woodworking, and pottery workshops are conducted.

You can even attend one of these classes to gain insight into the art of your choice.

The entire center spreads over an area of 48,000 square feet.

A water fountain on the grounds of Cary Arts Center

KAD Photo /

Golf at Lochmere Golf Club

Lochmere Golf Club is a semi-private golf club in Cary.

There are five golf courses in the city, but the rest are privately owned.

Lochmere Gold Club has an 18-hole golf course spread over a beautifully curated lawn.

Set in the woodlands near Swift Creek, this topographical feature helps create many challenging situations along its entire course.

The in-house grill restaurant serves very delectable food and delicious delicacies.

There is also a pro shop where you can shop different golfing gears.

Watch a Film at The Cary Theater

Exterior of The Cary Theater

KAD Photo /

Built in 1946, The Cary Theater was Cary’s earliest indoor cinema.

It later fell into disuse and was passed on to various other businesses, like clothing and carpets.

Eventually, it was recently restored to its former glory.

It now shows various movies, including indie films and foreign films.

Sometimes, live music performances are also conducted at this beautiful venue.

Learn about the City’s Social History at the Page-Walker Arts and History Center

Exterior of Page Walker Arts and History Center

KAD Photo /

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this beautiful building was originally a hotel and was constructed in 1868.

It has antique Victorian structures, and the architecture is exquisite.

It was converted into an arts and history center during the 1900s.

Side view of Page-Walker Arts and History Center's exterior

KAD Photo /

The center showcases various artifacts, photos, and documents that recount Cary’s rich cultural history.

Many different art classes are conducted in the evenings.

Various performances hosted by local artists are also showcased at this center.

Witness a Baseball Match at the USA Baseball National Training Complex

Daytime view of USA Baseball National Training Complex

20160723-Z-EH515-016” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by North Carolina National Guard

This training complex helps train and nurture local baseball talents.

If you’re a big fan of America’s national game, make sure you visit this place to gain an insight into how the athletes are trained.

The women’s national team and National Collegiate roster are some of the famous athletes who are trained here.

You can also watch a live baseball game here.

A variety of different games take place here throughout the year, including National Baseball tournaments and selection tests.

The complex itself is very modern and consists of four MLB-scale fields.

There is also a large number of stadium seating and large scoreboards.

Go Skateboarding at Sk8-Cary

A person doing bicycle tricks at Sk8-Cary Skate Park

Jon Akhtar, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Skateboarding is a fun sport for pro players and amateurs alike.

Sk8-Cary skateboard park features various ramps suited to different levels of expertise, ranging from easy to moderate to difficult.

Bike tricks at Sk8-Cary

Jon Akhtar, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Make sure you carry your skateboarding equipment and safety gear if you want to skate at this park.

You’re also permitted to use non-folding scooters and quad skates here.

Spread over 12,000 square feet, this massive skateboard park has all the equipment and obstacles you would need to practice the sport.

Have Authentic Neapolitan Pizza at Pizzeria Faulisi

This small family-owned business produces some of the most delicious pizzas in Cary.

Their authentic Neapolitan pizzas are always made with fresh organic produce and are 100% wood-fired.

Pizzeria Faulis‘s menu also includes a long list of refreshing cocktails and different beers or wines to pair with your pizzas.

Their starters and desserts are worth trying as well.

Satisfy Your Sweet Cravings at Andia’s Ice Cream

Andia’s Ice Cream is arguably one of the most famous ice cream parlors in Cary, famed for its wide variety of flavors that translate into shakes, ice creams, and waffles.

There are a ton of options to choose from, making this a fantastic spot for large groups to visit after a good meal.

Some of the best flavors at Andia’s Ice Cream include ube (purple yam), cookie dough, and various levels of chocolate.

The shop’s milkshakes are something that’ll make you come back for more, so don’t miss out on that.

Andia’s Ice Cream is conveniently found along Ryan Road, near several other restaurant chains.

Do Recreational Activities at R.S. Dunham Park

If you’re looking for a more laid-back destination, R.S. Dunham Park is a great addition to your itinerary.

This is one of the best city parks in Cary, known for its abundance of sporting amenities.

You can play basketball, tennis, and go jogging at R.S. Dunham Park, making it a great all-rounder for any kind of traveler.

Located along Walnut Street, it’s just a stone’s throw away from various restaurants, including Andia’s Ice Cream.

This makes this park both fun and convenient—a no brainer for those looking for a relaxing time in Cary.

Have a Hearty Breakfast at Brigs at the Crossing

Brigs at the Crossing is an iconic restaurant chain among North Carolina locals, so you’d be hard-pressed to miss out on a classic during your stay in Cary.

It offers scrumptious breakfast and lunch menus that range from home-style waffles to more elegant dishes such as Eggs Benedict.

They have amazing service here as well, perfect for large groups of families or friends.

Brigs at the Crossing also has a great ambiance which adds to its appeal as the first part of your itinerary for breakfast.

You can find this iconic breakfast place along Northwest Maynard Road.

Read Some Books at Cary Regional Library

Exterior of Cary Regional Library

Ian Brundige /

Located in Downtown Cary, Cary Regional Library is a convenient indoor space to have some quiet time during your trip.

It’s one of the more sizable libraries in North Carolina, having two levels with various corners for you to check out.

The facilities are new and the ambiance is well-lit thanks to its modern architecture and interior design.

Close view of Cary Regional Library exterior

Ian Brundige /

If you need computer access or a nice working desk, this is easily the best place to visit.

Cary Regional Library also has a great exterior with a few walking paths; a great addition when exploring the downtown area.

Entrance to Cary Regional Library

PT Hamilton /

Take a Stroll at Sears Farm Road Park

Sears Farm Road Park is a small but serene park in Cary that deserves some recognition because of its beauty.

It has well-maintained greenery and well-planned walking trails that make it an excellent way to appreciate the simplicity of Cary.

Various trees are found along its trails, giving you access to some lush woodlands that have beautiful foliage during the autumn months.

There’s also a great playground for kids at Sears Farm Road Park, along with basketball courts for adults and teenagers.

A scenic place to experience the beautiful woodlands of Cary, this is a hidden gem that deserves a snapshot in your gallery.

Find it along Sears Farm Road.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Attend an Adapted Sports Competition at Lake Crabtree County Park

The waters of Lake Crabtree County Park

CeGe /

Lake Crabtree County Park is located in Morrisville, near Raleigh Durham International Airport.

It’s a 10-minute drive away from Cary.

The park hosts a three-day adapted sports competition for disabled veterans of the armed forces.

A person on a kayak at Lake Crabtree County Park

Wileydoc /

It was specially designed to be easily accessible for those with disabilities and features a wheelchair-friendly dock.

An annual fleet racing event called the Triangle Tango Intercollegiate Regatta is also held here.

Community sailing is a very popular activity at the lake.

The park also has biking and hiking trails near the lake, two different playgrounds, a boat dock and observation tower, and basic amenities like bathrooms.

A person paddle boating on the waters of Lake Crabtree County Park

Wileydoc /

Visit Greensboro

Night lights of Greensboro

Sean Pavone /

Greenboro is one of the most defining cities in the American Civil War movement.

This neighboring city is an hour’s drive away from Cary.

Silhouette of a patriot statue at Greensboro

Deb Vincent Studio /

Visit this beautiful and historically rich city that was the epitome of sacrifices and fights for civil rights.

It has various beautiful gardens and magnificent museums that honor the city’s rich cultural and historical heritage.

Skyscrapers of Greensboro

Jon Bilous /

Shop for Furniture at the High Point Market

An excellent place for a day trip, the city of High Point is an hour and a half away from Cary.

The city is famous for the High Point Market, which earned High Point its nickname, “Furniture Capital of the World.”

It houses various types and styles of furniture.

The High Point Market started in 1900 and is usually open only between April and October, with as many as 2,000 furniture displays.

It is spread over 180 different buildings.

The central attraction is the mammoth international home furnishings market.

If you’re on the hunt for fresh new furniture for your home, this is the place to visit.

Find a Good Read at Mr. Mike’s Used Books

Are you a bookworm?

Or do you like perusing bookshelves?

Mr. Mike’s Used Books in Cary, North Carolina, is one of the finest in the state.

You may spend hours perusing the spines of secondhand books of excellent quality.

The bookshop offers an extensive selection of fiction and nonfiction titles.

General fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, westerns, and African-American are among its fiction genres.

Cookbooks, computers, references, history, and science are numerous nonfiction genres.

It also offers an extensive collection of children’s literature, ranging from board books to adolescent novels.

It is really worth checking out since it has both rare old treasures and fresh releases.

Have a Fun Family Day at Phillips Farm

If you seek kid-friendly activities in Cary, Phillips Farm is a must-visit!

The farm used to cultivate tobacco, straw, and hay.

Twenty years later, Phillips Farms established a thriving strawberry farm that attracts tens of thousands of visitors annually.

In 1998, due to concerns about public health and commercial shifts, Phillips Farms halted the production of tobacco products.

Today, Phillips Farms still cultivates hay, straw, maize, and strawberries and sells Christmas trees each December.

Explore the farm’s key attractions, such as Haunted Farm and Corn Maze.

More than a million children and their families visit the farm each year for an enjoyable day with their loved ones.

Feel the Adrenaline Rush at Cary Action Sports Park

Depending on the weather, the action sports facility of the Town of Cary is open seven days a week.

The course welcomes golfers of all ages and ability levels.

Skateboards, inline skates, non-folding scooters, quad skates, and bicycles without training wheels are allowed during park operating hours.

There is no better place to exercise than a sports park!

In addition, we provide specific activities on the ramps, such as Parkour and RC Cars.

The Cary Action Sports park also features a pro shop that sells sports equipment.

Chill at Bond Brothers Beer Company

Bond Brothers Beer Company, located in a quaint and spacious industrial area, is undoubtedly one of Cary’s most significant attractions.

Bond Brothers Beer Company began as a group of brewers participating in regional and local homebrew contests.

Bond Brothers chose to settle in Cary’s historic downtown.

They picked downtown Cary in large part because of the regeneration activity that is occurring there.

Their freshly finished industrial-modern facility is rapidly becoming a community focal point in the downtown area.

With over 9000 square feet of the brewery, taproom, and beer garden to enjoy, they have created a venue that matches the excellence of their brews.

It is also a pet- and child-friendly spot, and they have fantastic food truck selections.

Final Thoughts

Cary offers everything, whether interested in the arts, sports, or nature.

Whether you are searching for a fantastic location to chill, catch a sports game, or simply take in the beautiful scenery, the town is guaranteed to suit all tastes.

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