Top Five Destinations of Raleigh, NC

I think I?m going to buy a bike before the end of summer. I mention this because there are certain names like Schwinn and Raleigh that make me think about bikes, even though the Raleigh in this question is in North Carolina and the main metropolis of an area that includes college basketball powerhouses Duke University and the University of North Carolina. Still, though the topic of basketball has its appeal, for right now, I?d rather talk about bikes.

You see, right now, I hate bikes. As a pedestrian, doofuses are often riding down the middle of the sidewalk, taking out old ladies with walkers, innocent Chihuahuas and me. As a rider of public transportation, bike riders either take forever sticking their infernal machines on the racks in front of the bus, or block all the aisles in the subway as they refuse to use their mode of transportation for its given design. As a driver, I have to watch for the idiots riding down sidewalks into crosswalks at an unexpected speed and for the street riding dorks that think stop signs and red lights are just suggestions and just like the bad car drivers, I have to look both ways at a green light to be sure Lance Armstrong and Mr. Magoo aren?t about to run into the side of my car.

I feel so much better after venting. However, when I start to ride my newly purchased bike, expect to hear grousing about cars running me off the road, car doors opening up and knocking me off my bike, idiot drivers that honk at you, stupid pedestrians that run out in the street and crazy, biting dogs not on leashes. At that point, I?ll hide my bike back inside my apartment and head off to Raleigh, North Carolina for a vacation to get away from it all. I?ll probably go check out these five things.

Hike, fish and bird watch at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area

The first step in relaxing will be to get a campsite at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. Once I get my tent set up, maybe I?ll put in a line and see about catching some fish. After about a half-hour of that (since I don?t think I want to fly-fish for bass and crappie on a lake and spinning reels bore me a little), I?ll head over to the New Hope Overlook 5.4 mile loop trail and hike my worries away.

Visit North Carolina Museum of Art

If I feel like I still need more walking, I?ll head over to the North Carolina Museum of Art and stroll around the 160-acre sculpture park. Then, I have to head inside and see the museum?s collection of Rodin sculptures.

See a Carolina Rollergirls Match

Sports are a great way to get out frustration and sometimes watching sports can serve as a proxy (as long as you don?t have a fantasy team.) Watching a Carolina Rollergirls match and seeing roller derby athletes knock the crap out of each other should serve my needs just fine.

Tour Bentonville Battlefield

The Bentonville Battlefield marks the site of the largest Civil War battle in North Carolina, and one of the last major battles of the Civil War. There?s a short trail that lets you walk through the trenches.

Eat at The Pit

Lastly, nothing makes me feel better than a big plate of barbecue. The Pit should be able to serve up that without a problem. There?s pulled pork, fried pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes, baby back ribs, black-eyed peas and fried okra. I am so hungry as I write that wonderful list.

Any suggestions for things that I missed? Any additional recommendations for the area? Just let me know in the comments.

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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."