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Local Places to Visit this Summer By Demaree Persson

If you’re planning on staying in town this summer you may be wondering what you should do. The Triangle and surrounding areas are packed with a variety of fun events and activities. Keep reading to figure out how to make your summer interesting!

Dorothea Dix Park near Downtown Raleigh is a popular place for many picture-takers. The sunflowers fields were a social media hit last year with thousands of visitors, so the City of Raleigh is bringing the attraction back this year. For anybody looking for the perfect picture op, the sunflowers fields are expected to peak on June 14, though they typically last through August. A family-friendly festival is being held on Saturday, June 1 from 3-9p.m. The flowers had previously been planted on the Neuse River Greenway Trail, however Dix Park is now home to these yellow flowers.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Science features a variety of exhibitions, including a living conservatory, an gallery about Marie Curie, and live animals. Even if you're not interested in science, you may be pleasantly surprised by all that the museum holds. The museum holds all sorts of events and frequently changes what is offered, so you can never experience the same thing twice. General admission is free.
Summer is the perfect time to get outside and exercise! The Apex Community Park has a variety of activities; a greenway, sand volleyball, tennis, baseball, and basketball courts, batting cages, picnic areas, a playground, and a fishing dock. The Apex Community Park isn't the only place to get some sun though! Apex has many other great parks - Apex Nature Park, Kelly Road Park, Hunter Street Park, Apex Jaycee Park, Salem Pond Park, White Oak Creek Greenway, and Seagroves Farm. If you're looking for more of an adventure, you could try hiking Hemlock Bluffs, the American Tobacco Trail, Umstead State Park, Neuse River Trail, and Lake Johnson.
The State Farmers Market is a bustling place in the summer! Between shopping for fruits and vegetables, finding the cutest succulent, and searching through the indoor collection of food, cold drinks, and collectibles, there is plenty to do! The outdoor section of the farmers market, the Farmers Building, (pictured above) is where North Carolina farmers can sell their fresh produce, plants, and locally produced food. The Market Shoppes, an enclosed building, is where vendors sell meat, cheese, baked goods, and other craft foods such as candies, soaps, and gifts. The State Farmers Market Restaurant is the perfect destination for foodies searching for Southern food options. They serve delicious food for breakfast and lunch.
Jordan Lake has become a well-liked destination for many Triangle residents. Even if you don't have access to a boat, the lake offers all types of activities. The lake has beaches, designated areas to swim, campsites, picnic areas, and rental options. There are four public swim beaches - Ebenezer, Parkers Creek, Seaforth, and White Oak. Campers can also swim at campground beaches. Hiking is another popular activity with almost fourteen miles of trails circling the lake. The entrance fee is $6 per car, but it may be worth it for some daytime fun!
The North Carolina Museum of Art is a beautiful, scenic place to visit. Even if you wouldn't consider yourself an artistic person, you may still be able to appreciate the art at the museum. Although visiting the museum is free, the "You are Here: Light, Color, and Sound Experiences" exhibit charges $9 for youth ages 7 to 18. "You Are Here" features a variety of contemporary experiential art installations and takes over an entire floor of the NCMA's building. Whether you're looking to take pictures, visit the beautiful outdoor gardens, enjoy the artwork, or take a stroll on the nearby greenways, there are many things to see! You can snap some artsy Instagram pictures or come ready to hike through the greenway behind the museum.
The gardens at JC Raulston Arboretum at N.C. State. also offers some picture-worthy spots. Between the butterfly garden, Asian valley, rooftop terrace, and lath house, you can experience a variety of landscapes. Free guided tours are offered on Sundays at 2 p.m. from March-October. The volunteer tour guides will teach you all about the arboretum in a one-hour guided walk through the collections and gardens. The arboretum is free and open every day of the year; April to October from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and November to March from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The JC Raulston Arboretum also offers several way to purchase plants to use in your room, garden, or yard!

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