25 Fun Things to Do in Cary, NC

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A large water fountain in a square with a red brick building and trees behind it
Cary features numerous attractions, like the Cary Arts Center

Located just outside of North Carolina's capital of Raleigh, Cary is a unique destination to explore. Fun things to do in Cary, NC, range from sipping craft beer at local breweries to seeing a game at the USA Baseball National Training Complex or visiting museums such as the Page-Walker Arts and History Center.

Visitors can also easily reach Raleigh to enjoy attractions in the famous city. Planning a weekend trip to Charlotte is also possible. If you want to learn more about all the things to do in and around Cary, read on for 25 exciting activity ideas!

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25 Fun Things to Do in Cary, North Carolina

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Places to Visit in Cary, North Carolina

A lake surrounded by green trees that are reflected on the surface
Apex Community Park features a lake for kayaking, plus many other attractions

Enjoy outdoor activities at Apex Community Park

Apex Community Park is an excellent attraction in Cary to check out. Covering 160 acres, the park has a lake that's ideal for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. Small boats are also permitted.

Other things to do here include playing sports, with basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts available. There are also trails, playgrounds, and picnic areas complete with barbeques. No matter which outdoor activities you enjoy, you'll have fun at Apex Community Park!

Watch a show at Koka Booth Amphitheatre

Opened in 2000, Koka Booth Amphitheatre hosts a variety of performing arts shows and events. At the outdoor venue, you can see concerts, including jazz and rock acts, and it's home to the NC Symphony Summerfest Series.

Other events hosted at the venue include Oktoberfest, 4th of July celebrations, and a Diwali festival. If you've been wondering what to do in Cary, NC, be sure to add a trip to Koka Booth Amphitheatre to your to-do list!

Explore Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve and Stevens Nature Center

If you enjoy outdoor activities, going to Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve is a must. The area is known for its namesake hemlock trees, plus many other plants. Visitors can follow trails here that go past creeks and ravines and through dense woodland. You'll also find areas to stop for bird watching.

You can additionally visit Stevens Nature Center when at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve. The center has exhibits on nature and wildlife, with a focus on the flora and fauna found in the area.

Experience a game at the USA Baseball National Training Complex

The USA Baseball National Training Complex is a notable United States sports facility that helps train local and national athletes. The fields here resemble those found at Major League Baseball stadiums and include state-of-the-art scoreboards and screens.

While the facility is often used for training, you can watch some games here, including many college baseball games; just check the venue's website for schedules.

An illuminated lantern display with pandas, a red mushroom, and a rainbow
You can admire amazing lantern and light displays at the Chinese Lantern Festival

Attend the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival

If you're in the city between November and January, attending the NC Chinese Lantern Festival is one of the Cary, North Carolina, things to do that you can't miss. The festival is hosted at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre and features stunning Chinese sculptures and light displays.

Past sculptures have included beautiful Chinese-style dragons, peacocks, pandas, and trees filled with butterflies. As you view the displays, be sure to snap some fantastic photos!

Treat yourself at La Farm Bakery

La Farm Bakery is a French bakery with a few locations in Cary. The business is run by master baker Lionel Vatinet, and you can try a range of baked goods when visiting. Items to order include loaves of freshly baked bread, delicious tarts, and decadent cakes. Breakfast pastries and other sweets, from croissants to cinnamon buns and scones, are available too.

At La Farm Bakery's cafe, you can also sit down for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. Dishes on the menu range from Croque monsieur and quiche to salads and sweets like creme brulee French toast.

Wander around Fred G. Bond Metro Park

Called "an oasis in the middle of Cary," Fred G. Bond Metro Park is the ideal place to go for a scenic walk and enjoy the fresh air. As one of the largest municipal parks in Wake County, you'll find many places to explore.

You can follow trails through woodlands and around the pretty Bond Lake, looking out for wildlife as you walk. There are also some other attractions in the park, like athletic fields and a children's playground.

Relax with a coffee at Chanticleer Cafe & Bakery

Chanticleer Cafe & Bakery is a great spot to get a coffee and hang out with friends or family. The cafe serves a variety of hot and cold coffee drinks, plus hot chocolate, tea, and chai latte. You can accompany your beverage with sweet treats, like croissants, brownies, or cheesecake. Breakfast sandwiches, paninis, and salads are also on offer.

🏨 Accommodations close to the Chanticleer Cafe & Bakery

Play a round of golf at Lochmere Golf Club

If you enjoy playing golf, Lochmere Golf Club is one of the places to visit in Cary, NC, that you can't miss. The 18-hole course is perfect for all ability levels and features a range of sand and water hazards. Lessons are also available, whether you're new to golf or want to improve your skills.

One of many fun things to do in Cary, NC, is going to the Cary Arts Center
Visiting the Cary Arts Center is one of many fun things to do in Cary, NC

Catch a performance at the Cary Arts Center

Another of the best things to do in Cary, NC, for those interested in performing arts is seeing a show at the Cary Arts Center. You can see a variety of shows here, from plays to musicals, with many put on by the Cary Players. Classes are also hosted at the Cary Arts Center, including dance, pottery, and acting classes.

Watch North Carolina FC at Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park

One of the best Cary, NC, things to do for sports fans is seeing a North Carolina FC game at Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. The team plays in USL League One between April and October. At the stadium, you can cheer on the team with local fans. Even if you don't watch much soccer, experiencing the game and atmosphere is sure to be a fun experience!

🏨 Places to stay close to Sahlens Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park

Sip local wine at Chatham Hill Winery

Established in 1999, Chatham Hill Winery is an excellent local winery that does tastings and hosts fun events. Wines on offer include various whites and reds and unique fruit-infused wines, like peach, pomegranate, or blackberry.

After a tasting, you can relax at the winery with a glass or bottle of your favorite, and charcuterie boards are on offer to accompany your drinks. On the weekends, live music nights are hosted, as are special tasting events and wine and charcuterie specials.

Have dinner at Taipei 101

Taipei 101 is an excellent spot to have dinner in Cary. A range of delicious Taiwanese dishes are on the menu, including tofu with basil, eggplant with garlic sauce, and kung pao chicken. Fried rice and noodle dishes are also available to accompany your meal. If you want to eat at home, you can order to go too.

Check out Fortnight Brewing Company

Fortnight Brewing Company is known as Cary's oldest brewery and has a range of great beers on tap. You can choose from 24 brews at the taproom, with ciders and prosecco also available.

In addition, the brewery serves unique wine slushies and non-alcoholic drinks like kombucha. You can choose indoor or outdoor seating, and your dog is welcome to join you on the patio.

KAD Photo/Shutterstock.com
A brick house with small white columns next to grass and trees
The Page-Walker Arts and History Center is housed in a 19th-century hotel

Go to the Page-Walker Arts and History Center

The Page-Walker Arts and History Center is located within a former hotel building constructed in the 1860s. The center houses the Cary Heritage Museum, which is free to enter and has exhibits on Cary's history from the city's founding to the present. In addition, you can see some art exhibitions, and there's a charming garden to explore.

Dine at Tazza Kitchen

Cary has numerous restaurants to choose from when looking for somewhere to go for dinner. But if you can't decide where to eat, Tazza Kitchen is one of the best places to go in Cary, NC. This contemporary American eatery serves brick oven pizzas, plus a variety of other dishes.

Some of the unique menu options include chorizo nachos, crunchy potato and arugula pizza, and harissa shrimp tacos. You can accompany your meal with wine or fun cocktails. Tazza Kitchen is also open for lunch and has a kids' menu.

Grab a beer at Bond Brothers Beer Company

Bond Brother Beer Company is a popular brewery with two locations in Downtown Cary, a brewery and taproom and a live music venue and taproom. No matter which you go to, you'll be able to taste some delicious beers and ciders. Wine is also available as are bar snacks and food trucks are frequently on-site at the brewery location.

Things to Do Near Cary, NC

A small sailboat with brightly colored sails on a lake next to trees and grass
You can enjoy a range of water sports at Lake Crabtree County Park

Bike, boat, and more at Lake Crabtree County Park

Located in Morrisville, approximately 15 minutes from Cary, Lake Crabtree County Park is another fantastic place to spend the day outdoors. The 520-acre park sits on Lake Crabtree and offers activities for everyone.

On the lake, you can go boating, and rentals are available. Alternatively, simply hang out on the shore, enjoying the views. You can also follow biking or hiking trails, play volleyball, and explore gardens within the park. There are playgrounds for children as well.

The Raleigh city skyline with a road and trees in front of it under a blue sky
Raleigh has many attractions to visit and is located under an hour from Cary

Check out Raleigh

Raleigh is a popular city that's also the state capital of North Carolina. Best of all, it's close to Cary at just a ten to 30-minute drive away, depending on your starting point.

Attractions in Raleigh to check out include CAM Raleigh, Morgan Street Food Hall, and the Raleigh Beer Garden. Additionally, the city is very family-friendly, so taking your children along with you is a must! Things to do with kids in Raleigh range from visiting Marbles Kids Museum to treating them at The Cupcake Shoppe and jumping around at Sky Zone trampoline park.

🏨 Places to stay close to Raleigh

Skate at the Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex

The Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex is a great attraction to visit if you enjoy BMX or skateboarding. It's located in Holly Springs, approximately 20 minutes from central Cary.

The all-weather venue has an indoor and outdoor park with rails, ramps, jumps, and more. There's also a foam pit inside, allowing visitors to try new tricks safely before testing them out in the park.

A stone building with columns next to a square and trees under a blue sky
Seeing the North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh is a must for classical music fans

See the North Carolina Symphony perform

The North Carolina Symphony is a renowned orchestra based in Raleigh. Driving 15 minutes from Cary to Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh to watch them perform is recommended, especially if you're a fan of classical music. You can see a variety of performances, including many seasonal shows, like a Polar Express concert.

KAD Photo/Shutterstock.com
A stone building with a rotunda and glass windows next to a street with green trees
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has many interesting science exhibits

Learn new things at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

If you're happy to drive 20 to 30 minutes from Cary, planning a trip to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is a must. The museum has many fascinating exhibits that will interest visitors of all ages.

Things to learn about include paleontology, wildlife habitats, and geology. There's also a 3D theater with films on various topics, including astronomy, volcanoes, and dinosaurs.

Let your children enjoy the Marbles Kids Museum

For those wanting to plan a day of family fun, add a trip to the Marbles Kids Museum to your to-do list. The museum in Downtown Raleigh is about 20 to 30 minutes from Cary and has a range of interactive exhibits for kids.

Things to do include exploring an outdoor flower garden and enjoying water activities on a three-story pirate ship! There's also a pretend town with a hospital, grocery store, farm, and more.

A modern building with glass windows next to a pond on an overcast day
The North Carolina Museum of Art has a vast collection of works by iconic artists

View artworks at the North Carolina Museum of Art

One of many fun things to do in Raleigh is visiting the North Carolina Museum of Art. Conveniently, it's located just ten to 20 minutes from Cary, depending on traffic.

At the art gallery, you can see a vast collection of works, including paintings, sculptures, and pottery. Artists from across the world are represented, and the permanent collection includes many Ancient Roman, Greek, and Egyptian artifacts and artworks. Temporary exhibits, often focusing on contemporary art, are also on display.

🏨 Stay in close proximity to the North Carolina Museum of Art

A park with autumn trees next to modern city buildings under a blue sky
Charlotte is another great destination to visit that's around three hours away

Plan a weekend trip to Charlotte

Charlotte is one of the more well-known North Carolina cities, and it's located only two and a half to three hours away from Cary, depending on traffic. Planning a weekend trip to Charlotte is a fun idea if you're looking for some things to do outside of Cary.

Activities in Charlotte include visiting North Carolina landmarks, strolling around the McGill Rose Garden, and checking out the city's fantastic food trucks.

🏨 Stay in close proximity to Charlotte

In Conclusion

After reading this article, you should have a better idea of all the fun attractions in Cary, North Carolina, to visit. From exploring unique museums to watching local sports teams and getting a beer at excellent breweries, there's something for everyone to enjoy in and around Cary!

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell FORMER WRITER Currently based in Canada, Alli has also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and traveled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She loves finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever she goes.

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