Only 20 minutes drive awayDowntown Raleighbrings you to beautiful and historic downtown Apex, NC.
We love the town of Apex in Wake County. In fact, we liked it so much that we recently featured it on our other travel blog13 Small Towns in AmericaWe love it and recommend you to visit.
Founded in the 1860's, Apex, North Carolina is located on charming Salem Street. It is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.
One of the best-preserved turn-of-the-century railroad towns, Apex is named for a location on the highest point of the old Chatham Railroad and the reason for the slogan"the pinnacle of the good life".
If youVisit Raleighand the area of the triangle or level crossingsLebe in RaleighTake a moment to explore downtown Apex.
We may be biased because we live nearby and visit Apex often, but we also travel extensively across the US and in our opinion, this is definitely one of the best small towns in America and we're lucky to have it here in The Triangle has a region.
Again Salem Street
Park your car and walk downtown to explore the Apex stores along Salem Street. Stroll along the promenade and discover beautifully restored colorful buildings, specialty and antique shops, and great local restaurants, cafes and bars.
It's hectic on weekends, so just walking and shopping in Apex is a timeless experience.
Be sure to stop bythe rusty bucket(furniture and decoration),Second Lola(elegant jewelry and jewelry),Buy Sophie and Mollies(The owners hand select each item sold in the store) andApex suppliers(the local outdoor clothing and gear store).
Union Apex depositBuilt in 1914, the historic train station on Salem St. is worth a look and now serves as a meeting space as well as a venue for concerts, festivals and other events.
Where to eat and drink in Apex, North Carolina
If you like going to the local pub like we do then go to thisSalem Street-Café(SSP). As soon as you step inside you can see and feel why this family run pub is a popular haunt for locals.
Popular for their tasty burgers, gravy fries, wings, rotating taps of local beers and their special moonlight cocktails!
We love the emblem and the warm and cozy atmosphere. It brought back fond memories of what we loved about pubs when we lived in the UK and Ireland.
If you are new to North Carolina I recommend thisCarolina Burger– Southern style topped with chilli, American cheese, onions, mustard and coleslaw.
And the gravy fries were definitely our favorite. Having grown up in Australia, gravy is a big deal, but it's not as common here in the US.
Other popular dishes include the melted burger with onion rings, bacon mac 'n cheese burger, buffalo fries, and buffalo cauliflower.
The attentive and friendly staff will bring the whole family to some of the best pub grub in the Raleigh Durham area.
Kitchen and taproom scratch
Two families of restaurants have come together to create one of downtown Apex's most popular restaurants (and drinking establishments) for locals.
If you're looking for Apex NC's hidden gem, you should definitely do itKitchen and taproom scratchPart of your premium food and drink experience!
The indoor dining area and bar has character and a warm atmosphere, but the real star is the food. I didn't take great pictures at the time and I won't do it justice, but the menu is impressive!
They also have a lovely outdoor grassy dining area.
Dishes are prepared from scratch, hence the name, with an emphasis on providing a place to enjoy a great meal with family and friends, accompanied by old-fashioned southern hospitality.
The menu features creative Asian-inspired dishes like Smoked Chili Cheese Wontons, Round Spicy Tuna Sushi, and Buddha Bowl, as well as classics like Lobster Mac & Cheese, Southern Fried Chicken Salad, burgers, steaks, sandwiches, and hand-cut fries.
And their desserts are also of the highest standard: our children loved the Coco Seduction.
They also serve great cocktails, have an extensive wine list and a good selection of craft beers.
local tips: Book in advance, it's popular. If you go upstairs and the wait is long, head to the bar, which offers full service drinks and food.
Pico da Videira
Wine lovers won't feel left out in Apex, NC, and if you prefer grapes to hops, you're in good hands with usPico da Videira.
Offering a cozy indoor atmosphere, this wine bar and lounge is a unique hybrid of wine lounge and wine shop where you can taste wines and tastings from around the world, as well as participate in quizzes, themed nights and live music sessions with open mic and stand-up comedy
They also have a nice outdoor deck and lawn if you like some fresh air and sunlight. Often there is also a food truck.
Conveniently located in the heart of the historic Apex, it's a nice place to meet friends over a wine. They also serve a small selection of quality beers, so don't leave your beer loving friend at home!
Brought to you by the founders of Apex Outfitters,mission marketwas creatively inspired by a love of community, small business and social justice.
Part coffee shop, part gift shop selling everything from home decor, clothing, health and beauty to baby items and jewellery. This is a fun shop to grab a coffee and a bite to eat while browsing the range.
On the coffee side you can choose from a good selection of paninis, avocado toast, acai bowls, smoothies, as well as coffee and tea - local Counter Culture Durham coffee beans are used!
For those who like pizza and all things Italian, think about itAnnas Pizzeriaas a family friendly place to eat in Apex.
Anna's full-service menu serves authentic New York-style pizza and Italian classics like brick oven pizza and classic Italian dishes like chicken parmigiana.
Opened in 1986 in this charming corner building, the restaurant felt like stepping back in time.
Owner Yury Rojas' aunt, Anna, was originally from Italy and helped Yury's family move to America. Yury named his restaurant Anna's Pizzeria in her honor, a place where her legacy lives on with great food and warm hospitality.
Our daughter enjoyed her large slice of cheese pizza. In our opinion, it's not the best pizza in the Raleigh area and could have used more cheese, but the kids aren't very picky!
In our experience the service is not up to par at other restaurants in Apex but it was good enough and I liked the old fashioned decor and relaxed atmosphere and my veal marsala was satisfying.
They have a wide range of wines and beers, including a selection of seasonal drinks.
Lovers of Italian baked goods and cakes can rejoice. Just a 2 minute drive from Downtown Apex you will find yourself at the fixed location of the food truckBakery Utica, an authentic artisan bakery specializing in artisanal Italian/European pastries and cakes.
I stopped by here recently and am so glad I did. I brought home a box of candy for the kids and they happily destroyed it.
We enjoyed it very muchCannolis,Cream pump,crescentelobster tail. And you have the option of creamy fillings.
And I like her story. In its heyday, Utica, New York was a bustling city of Italian immigrants looking to start a new life here in America. With them they brought a wave of renewal to the city. One of the most recognizable features washis love for authentic Italian pastriesand cooking, which they produced on time every day.
One of our favorite experiences during our trip to New York was eating cannolis from an Italian bakery with our coffee.
Thanks to this food truck, you can taste it here at Apex!
Common Grounds coffee and desserts
Another family run business in the heart of historic downtown ApexCommon Grounds coffee and dessertsCoffee, sweets, juices, ice cream and various desserts are served.
A stroll down Salem Street is not complete without a stop at Common Grounds. The service is friendly and homey but as Australians who care a lot about the quality of our coffee we tried some lattes. It wasn't the best coffee we've had in the Raleigh area and we were a little disappointed. Note that we only tried the latte!
But I love the vibe and cozy feel of this historical place as a place to meet friends or work online for an hour or two.
And their cakes look delicious - they're known for their famous Death by Chocolate Cheesecake.
FRESH. local ice cream
If you like ourGuide to downtown CarYou know our kids love to go to FRESH place from there, but Apex locals don't have to go that far because you have a shophere on Salem Street.
With a great varietyMore than 15 unique flavorsYou can choose to put your favorite flavor in a mug, homemade waffle cone or cake cone.
There is also ice cream, milkshakes and FRESH party cakes baked every week. Plus, there are monthly special flavors to keep you coming back!
All flavors are freshly prepared in house using ingredients sourced from local dairy farms and there is also a vegan selection.
The owners have lived in the NC Triangle community for 25 years, which these days is as local as it gets!
When we asked our local friend Curt, who grew up in Raleigh, where we could get the best pizza in Apex, he directed us thereJ&S Pizzeria.
You are not in the center of Apex, howeveronly 5 minutes by carand this casual Apex restaurant specializes in New York-style pizza, pasta, calzones, sandwiches, and traditional boneless chicken wings.
Family business since 1995and with locations in Apex, Cary, and Fuquay-Varina, owners Silvio and Josephine Cammarata, residents of Sicily, Italy, bought their first pizzeria in Brooklyn, New York in 1980 before moving to Apex, North Carolina.
We like having local friends like Curt, he was right, this is very good New York style pizza, good portions, attentive service and a real ma and pa place.
And for those who are gluten intolerant, there are gluten-free cauliflower crust pizza bases!
To all NY style pizza and Italian food lovers, check out this place. I'm curious about your opinion as an expert?
Other restaurants in downtown Apex
We haven't eaten or drunk anywhere in downtown Apex yet, but other recommended places that make our list of things to do in Apex include:
- Mexican restaurant La Rancherita
- The Provincial(Farm-to-table meals and craft beer on tap)
- The Summit in Salem
- A taste of Brooklyn(Recognizable by the yellow and white striped awning)
- Bonafide Bakery & Cafe(Mixture of Northern classics and good old Southern comforts, freshly made)
Our list includes places to eat and drink near Apex:
- Doherty's Irish Pub and Restaurant
- Skipper's Seafood and Smokehouse
- Pico Sul Brauerei(only 1 mile from historic downtown Apex)
- brew(Apex's first craft brewery).
Things to do in downtown Apex (and vicinity)
Apex Farmers Market
Located in central Apex every Saturday from 9am to 12pmApex Farmers MarketIt is a market for local producers who grow or produce their products within a 240 km radius of our market.
Stop by and sample fresh, organic and conventional locally grown fruits and vegetables, grass-fed and sustainably farmed chicken, beef and pork, farm fresh eggs, baked goods, honey, cheese, jams and preserves, sauces, salsas and more artisanal ones Groceries .
Every year is the annualApex Peak-Festivaldying of "Pico do Bem Viver" fourth.
Salem Street in historic downtown Apex comes alive during this craft festival with street performers, live music, festival food and more than 200 craft vendors.
It's Apex's largest public event and it's free to attend!
Lake Apex (Lake Pine Loop-Pad)
If you're looking for the best natural spot near Downtown Apex, we always love to hike the two-mile Lake Pine Loop around Lake Apex. It's one of our favorite lakes in the Raleigh area.
This fully paved trail is family-friendly and popular with hikers and joggers. It is mostly flat with some slight inclines. However, I would rate this trail as easy and good for all skill levels. And in autumn it is beautiful.
The route is accessible all year round. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash. It can get very busy at times so it's best to get there early, but we found the path is wide enough for others to pass easily.
There are also some side trails to explore for a little woodland walk!
There are many birds and ducks to watch. There is also a small fishing pier (fishing license required).
Apex Lake is part of the larger 160-acre expanseApex Community ParkThese include athletic fields, tennis, volleyball and basketball courts, picnic areas, playgrounds, exercise and nature trails, and a 120-acre lake.
Apex Lake's main parking lot is directly accessible from Lake Pine Drive.
Knights play golf center
If you play golf, the par is 3Knight's Play Golfplatzhas 27 well-designed holes (3 sets of 9 holes) with three tees for each hole for advanced, intermediate and novice players.
There is also a 60 station driving range and is recognized by the Golf Range Association of America as one of the top 100 practice facilities in the country.
And the beauty of it is that it is a lighted par 3 golf course, open from 8am until LATE (midnight, no Corona times).
Natal in the Rua Salem
There will be carriage rides, tree lighting and a visit from Santa at this family-friendly event that will get the Apex community into the holiday spirit.
If your family likes the challenge of escape rooms,Complete brain escapeis an award-winning escape room created by locals with over 40 years of experience in the video game industry, including Epic Games, makers of Fortnight.
Suitable for 2 to 8 people, duration 60 minutes.
Challenge the trampoline park
Our kids love itchallengePark and fly on all kinds of trampolines at this modern entertainment, fitness and sports complex.
In addition to trampoline jumping, there is also a trapeze and a ninja obstacle course. Come here and see if you can defy gravity.
We'll continue to update this post as we have even more to offer in downtown Apex NC.
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