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Driving Distance: Raleigh, North Carolina

Despite its close proximity to Duke, few students venture down I-40 to the capital city of North Carolina. It turns out that Raleigh offers fantastic eats and alcohol as well as ample museums that could keep you busy for several weekends straight.

1. Raleigh Times (www.raleightimesbar.com) Located smack in the middle of downton, the Raleigh Times is buzzing with people day and night. The bar has received no shortage of accolades for its atmosphere—it was built inside the former home of the Raleigh Times newspaper, which closed in the 1980s. They offer a wide variety of food, ranging from salads, fried pickles (a crowd favorite) and a diverse selection of microbrews from across the state.

2. Big Boss Brewery (www.bigbossbrewing.com) Even though Big Boss is well off the beaten path and tucked away inside an industrial warehouse district, it’s well worth a visit. Founded in 2006, the brewery now offers over eight types of beer. Their brewery tour is a popular attraction and occurs every second Saturday of each month.

  1. After downing your bar food and frosty beverages, walk over to the North Carolina Museum of Art (www.ncartmuseum.org/). Where else can you wander through a 160-acre park and see medieval paintings, sculptures, tribal masks and Egyptian mummies in the same day? Also, don’t forget to check out the upside-down Mona Lisa made out of sewing-string spools.

4. Still hungry? If you’re in need of an afternoon snack then look no further then The Pit (www.thepit-raleigh.com). The Pit is not your typical North Carolina BBQ dive; instead, the owners have developed a classy establishment that, unlike many of its nouveau South peers, won’t break the bank. They have the best ribs I’ve ever had, hands down, and the meat falls off the bone owing to their overnight whole-hog cooking style. Be sure to make reservations, though, as this place fills up fast.

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