It's been more than a half-century since the first Char-Grill opened its doors on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, but not much has changed at this beloved local chain. Whether in the original cinderblock building or one of the 10 locations that have been added since, people still approach the counter to jot down orders, pass them through the window, and then look on as cooks grill half- and quarter-pound steak patties over charcoal flames.
In addition to the signature smoky-flavored burgers, Char-Grill also fires up grilled chicken, chili dogs, and pulled-pork sandwiches. Milkshakes and fries add to the eatery's classic feel, helping land it on USA Today's list of 51 Great Burgers and reminding guests of simpler times when hamburgers were used as currency.
Within Tag Ur It’s family-owned indoor play center, youngsters glide down slides, rock atop spring horses, and leap about in bounce houses. After emerging from the inflatable obstacle course, kids scamper off to the arcade to battle fictional opponents or challenge their less-pixilated playmates to rounds on the mini-golf course, bouts in the laser-tag arena, and bean-bag flinging at the corn-hole station. Along with open-play sessions, Tag Ur It accommodates guests with a trio of birthday-party packages where up 20 children can enjoy a two-hour party block.
Real McCoy Paintball sets friend against friend, neighbor against neighbor, and brother against someone's friend and neighbor in a full onslaught in the great outdoors. The play is split into three fields: Hyperball, air ball, and the woods. During games, paintball markers release ammo in rapid fire, leaving opponents a bright, splotchy mess as refs makes sure play is on the level.
With an experienced, personable staff and diverse selection of jewelry, Main Street Jewelers takes its bling seriously. Disgruntled forty-niners can browse a selection of stunning sterling-silver charms, chains, rings, bracelets, necklaces, jodhpurs, and earrings, as well as Beadle beads ($20–$32) that fit on most brand-name bracelets. The shop also stocks a full line of Concept earrings ($10–$45), designed for those with allergies and sensitive ears, and a display case full of sterling-silver Beadle bracelets ($59) eager to dress up bare wrists. A range of new and estate gold and silver items ($60+) bring dreams of owning Blackbeard’s dog’s golden bicuspid that much closer to reality. The old-fashioned jewelry boutique boasts an on-staff bench jeweler, a goldsmith, and a watchmaker to repair broken treasures, recreate favorite pieces, and clean up tarnished trimmings.
At Dylan's Unique Gifts & Weddings, shoppers prepare their homes and wardrobes for birthdays, weddings, holidays, and baby showers with a wealth of decorations and accessories. Guests don feathery ball masks, jewelry, scarves, and ties for formal occasions, or enlist the assistance of a professional event planner to arrange memorable get-togethers, banquets, and receptions.
Wit’s End showcases a splendid selection of spectacular surprises for all manner of occasion. Wine lovers will find a bevy of bodacious wine bottles priced from $5 to $20, and art fiends will feel like art thieves when they pick up a piece from a local painter or alternative artisan. A supply of locally crafted jewelry decks out necks in style, and those born sans silver spoons can fill deserving face holes with an entire decorative measuring spoon set for only $20. Prepare for an upcoming day at the beach with a fun, fashionable Wit’s End tote bag ($15–$20), which can be branded with a free three-initial monogram to distinguish it from the tote-bag herds that populate the prairies. Stuff-happy gift seekers can also find holiday decorations, picture frames, and much more within Wit’s End’s charming confines.