The museum is home to more than 150,000 artifacts that represent six centuries of North Carolina's history. Current exhibits include Behind the Veneer: Thomas Day, Master Cabinetmaker, featuring what is said to be the nation's largest collection of furniture made by Thomas Day, a man of color who owned and operated one of North Carolina's largest cabinet shops prior to the Civil war, a recreation of Day's parlor and workshop, and talking portraits. The Photography of Lewis Hine showcases a selection of photographs documenting the plight of child workers in the state’s textile mills a century ago. Either membership includes invitations to events such as Museum Day, held March 22 at High Point Country Club, or Frolic at the Museum on April 16, celebrating the newest exhibit, The Story of North Carolina, an artifact-packed chronology covering 20,000 square feet.
After passing through Harvest Farm Nightmares' stone archway, brave adventurers discover too late the horrifying creatures stalking the haunted woods behind Ken's corn maze. Misunderstood chainsaw-wielding maniacs prowl the forested pathways of the Harvest Farm, offering frighteningly good haircuts and startling unwary passersby. Deceptively dormant scarecrows dangle from trees, and bloodied monstrosities scarily ask for a handkerchief after raising adventurer's hairs. Harvest Farm Nightmares' forested fright fest coaxes screams and cries from sunset to 11 p.m.
The mobile historians at Triangle Glides lead tours through the most exciting locations in Raleigh's past and present. They spin tales as groups glide past modern and historic landmarks on the Downtown Discovery tour or learn of riots, duels, and public hangings during a more macabre tour, aptly named Raleigh's Darkest Secrets. In other tours, groups travel into the 19th-century neighborhood of Oakwood and enjoy the lush grounds of Oakwood Cemetery, the final resting place of nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers.
This sort of exploration is the foundation of Triangle Glides, but its Segways are restricted to land. To explore the area's waters, the company also sells and rents standup paddleboards. Resident instructors can help newbies master these watercraft during seasonal lessons on nearby Lake Wheeler, where paddlers find calm waters surrounded by leafy forests.
Now in its eighth year, the Downtown Raleigh Living Tour sends casual browsers and serious shoppers alike on a self-guided exploration of downtown dwellings. Contemporary condos, beautifully restored homes, and burgeoning neighborhoods join forces to present a mixture of housing styles and locations, enabling tour-takers to survey the city's full spectrum of living options. Information hotspots along the route dole out budget-saving tips, and for additional suggestions, most homeowners will be available at featured abodes to answer questions and make sure excitable garages stay on their leashes. In order to gain further perspective on urban existence, participants are encouraged to offset pad prospecting with stops at some of Raleigh's standout amenities. Restaurants, unique retail shops, and arts and cultural venues intersect searches with relaxing respites, which let groups kick back and drink in the city's ambiance without having to taste-test the water in each of its penny fountains.
With 18 acres of blooming gardens and natural North Carolina wetlands, the Sylvan Heights Bird Park provides a home for more than 2,000 ducks, geese, and exotic egg layers. As they stroll along the trails and waterfront, guests can observe birds hailing from almost every continent, such as peacocks, flamingos, and toucans. In addition to the walk-through aviaries, the park aims to educate and entertain visitors with interactive children’s programs, tours, and activities such as scavenger hunts. Among its many attractions are the Bird’s Nest Treehouse and Beaver Pond Blind, both of which highlight the importance of wetland conservation, as well as the Landing Zone, where visitors can feed the birds with a seed stick.
Shrouded in groves of leafless trees, Darkside Haunted Estates looms ominously. Dilapidated black shutters hang from the two-story house's white, weather-beaten siding, and behind its black door, nightmares have stirred to life for more than two decades. Throughout its eerie grounds, the staff has installed dynamic special effects on a collection of attractions that has ballooned to more than a dozen, including a quarter-mile haunted trail and a backwoods hayride. Unsettling sites tell the estate's sordid story through the Darkside Mortuary, Rottenkorr Cemetery, and The Manor. They’ve also installed a "Fame of Shame" board, which keeps track of visitors who bail early and of monsters who faint at the sight of their own fake blood.
Owner and vintner Dr. Lane Gregory and his staff of merry winemakers harvest their wine grapes from the fertile muscadine vines that flourish on Gregory Vineyards' 120 acres of lush farmland. The winery's Old-World tasting room and wood furniture lend a rustic atmosphere to samplings of cleverly named wines such as Sly Fox, Ruth Walton, or the dry white known as Bald Eagle. Like North Carolina's banana trees, the regional muscadine grape thrives from late August until early October, giving Dr. Gregory and company only a matter of weeks to harvest the tough-skinned fruit.
In addition to tastings, the handsome property plays host to weddings and other special events. And, on an average day, visitors may be spotted taking wine tours with Dr. Gregory, exploring the vineyards, or enjoying a sandwich at the on-site Grape Vine Deli.