15 Best Things to Do in Cary NC

Cary, North Carolina is a great place to visit, live, or move to.

It’s literally been named the safest town in America by the FBI’s crime data report in 2013.

It’s in a prime location, which means both the beach and the mountains are just a couple of hours away.

And commuting to Raleigh, Chapel Hill, or Durham is easy because they’re so close.

It’s a great place for coffee lovers because there are so many coffee shops, like the Creama Coffee & Bakery, It’s a Grind Coffee House, Java Jive, Gather, and Coffee & Crepes.

And for a unique culinary experience, check out some Turkish-Mediterranean food at Bosphorus.

Plus, with all of the parks, greenways and outdoor amenities, residents of Cary typically get their exercise outside.

And it’s a great place for bicycling because not only are the greenways ideal for biking, the city is expanding the road lanes, creating striped bike lanes, and making official bike routes and trails.

Here are things to do in Cary, NC.

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North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival

North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival Source: Wikipedia.org/Sergey Galyonkin | CC BY-SA 2.0 GenericPin

If you’re looking for something to do in North Carolina during the winter months, then check out the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival.

It’s from mid November to mid January.

Chinese artists from Tianyu Arts & Culture (in Chicago) assemble each of the lanterns by hand.

Some of them are even made in Zigong in the Sichuan Province, which is the lantern capital of China.

The artists also put on shows, such as Chinese acrobatics.

The lanterns have a history that goes back thousands of years, and represent both prosperity and good fortune.

You can walk around a half mile loop, taking in all of the beauty of the lanterns and sipping on some hot chocolate.

It’s important to note that the Koka Booth Amphitheater, which hosts the event, is cashless and for security reasons if you’re carrying a bag it has to be clear.

Cary Arts Center

Cary Arts CenterSource: Wikipedia.org/James Willamor | CC BY-SA 3.0 UnportedPin

The Cary Arts Center has been around since the 1870’s and is a 48,000 square foot facility.

It’s home to classrooms, studios, space for rehearsals and performances, as well as office space.

You can even rent out parts of it. It’s home to both the Marvelous Music Series, and Applause!

Some of the art styles range from artisan, visual and performing arts.

Go here to find out which events are going on.

Address: 101 Dry Ave, Cary, NC 27511, United States

Cary Action Sports Skate Park

Cary Action Sports Skate ParkSource: Wikipedia.org/Jon Akhtar | CC BY 3.0 UnportedPin

Sri V The action sports park is great fun for anyone that’s into action sports, and it’s fun for all ages.

You can use inline and quad skates, skateboards, non-folding scooters, and bicycles (as long as they don’t have training wheels) in the park.

They even have special events where the ramps are used for Parkour and RC cars.

And if you need to get some new gear, they have a pro shop. The ramps are constructed from wood, and Skatelite Pro surface, and they’re set up to indicate different skill levels.

There’s more than 12,000 square feet of outdoor street course, which has rails, ledges, banks, fly boxes, quarter pipes, and half pipes that range from 3-9 feet tall.

Go get your Tony Hawk on!

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Address: 2040 NW Maynard Rd, Cary, NC 27513, United States

Phillips Farms

Phillips Farms is a family-owned farm that has been in Cary for more than 100 years.

In 1996 it became a strawberry picking farm that was visited by thousands of people annually.

And they stopped growing and selling tobacco products in 1998.

Some of the things farmed there today are straw, hay, corn and strawberries.

You’re probably thinking “But Sarah, why would I go to a farm??”, and don’t worry I was thinking the same thing at first.

But it’s actually set up for visitors.

Roller Racers are like huge cylinders or hamster wheels for racing.

There’s also a pedal cart track, Human Foosball, a gigantic slide, huge bounce pillows, a sunflower field for photo ops and sunflower lovers, a corn maze, and a Tiny Tots Corn Maze for little kids.

Additionally, there’s Toddler Town, mini golf, see-saws, swings, corn hole, wall ball, tetherball, a corn box (similar to a ball pit, but with corn), wagon rides, a cow train, and even a petting zoo with baby farm animals to enjoy!

So, the answer to your question is: there’s a ton of stuff to do at this farm because it’s no ordinary farm!

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Address: 6720 Good Hope Church Rd, Cary, NC 27519, United States

Venkateswara Temple of North Carolina

Venkateswara Temple of North CarolinaSource: Wikipedia.org/Cherie99 | CC BY-SA 4.0 InternationalPin

The Sri Venkateswara Temple is a Hindu temple that was built in Cary, North Carolina.

Around 14 years ago, Cary’s Hindu community got together and collected $3.4 million to build an 87-foot-tall Rajagopuram, which is a type of beautiful and elaborate tower entrance to the temple.

You wouldn’t think it of North Carolina, but there are actually more than 20,000 citizens of Indian descent living in both Cary and Morrisville, and Hindi is the most-popular spoken language in the town.

This temple draws in locals, as well as visitors from all over the country.

Before you rush off to the temple, you should know that there are rules that you’ll have to follow.

First, you have to take off your shoes and leave them at the entrance, shorts are forbidden, and you may not be permitted to take photos.

Address: 121 Balaji Pl, Cary, NC 27513, United States

Northwoods Greenway, Cary NC

Northwoods Greenway, Cary, NCSource: Wikipedia.org/James Willamor | CC BY-SA 3.0 UnportedPin

The Northwoods Greenway is a great place to stroll with your pooch because it connects Godbold Park to NC 54 on Boundary street, and on the Godbold Park end, you can access the Dog Park.

It’s a scenic 0.9 mile paved path, and it can be quite a pretty stroll dipping down a hill, going across a creek, and then following the creek.

It’s ideal for walking (or walking your leashed dog), running, skating, roller blading or bicycling and because it’s paved, it’s accessible for both wheelchairs and strollers.

Check the trial’s map.

Address: Cary, NC 27513, USA

Lake Crabtree County Park

Lake Crabtree County Park
 Cary NCSource: Flickr.com/bobistraveling | CC BY 2.0 GenericPin

The Lake Crabtree Park is 215 acres of land beside the 520 acre Lake Crabtree.

Of course, the giant lake is a great place to fish, either from piers and platforms, or from a boat.

The only type of fishing allowed is catch and release.

The park has 2 different playgrounds, three volley ball courts, picnic sites.

You can also check out the Water Wise Garden, which is a place where drought-tolerant and native plants are grown, and a bird feeder station.

There are several multi-use trails to walk, run or bicycle on, as well as the short loop Old Beech Nature Trail.

You can check out their updates, programs and events here.

Address: 1400 Aviation Pkwy, Morrisville, NC 27560, United States

Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve Cary NC

Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve Cary NCSource: Flickr.com/bobistraveling | CC BY 2.0 GenericPin

There aren’t many nature preserves in North Carolina, so Hemlock Bluffs is unique.

It features lots of plants from the mountain regions, such as the Eastern Hemlock trees where it gets its name.

It’s also a nature reserve for various species of amphibians, reptiles, insects, arachnids and mammals.

It’s right smack in the middle of Cary, which is quickly becoming more and more populated, so it’s become the home to lots of different migrant birds, too. It’s not just a pretty nature preserve and wooded area.

There are several trails, boardwalks, and an education center for guests.

The staff is trained to conduct nature walks, guided outdoor exploration, active learning activities and craft-making sessions, which means that the whole family can learn and have fun here!

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Address: 2616 Kildaire Farm Rd, Cary, NC 27518, United States

Fred G. Bond Metro Park

Fred G. Bond Metro ParkSource: Flickr.com/bobistraveling | CC BY 2.0 GenericPin

The Fred G. Bond Metro Park is one of the biggest parks in Wake County.

It’s hard to miss because it’s in the middle of town, and it helps to preserve the natural environment while offering visitors loads of recreation.

Bond Lake is situated in the park, as well, providing breathtaking views, as well as the opportunity to fish and boat.

The boathouse sells bait and concessions.

There are also athletic fields, picnic areas, an amphitheater, trails, and a playground. One of its more unique features is the Challenge Course.

Many people refer to it as a “ropes course”, but there’s no guarantee it’ll include ropes when you go.

It’s an outdoor facility and learning experience focused on improving communication and team building.

Check out the High Adventure Course if you’re not as focused on team building!

Fill out the reservation request here.

Address: 801 High House Rd, Cary, NC 27513, United States

White Oak Greenway

White Oak GreenwaySource: Flickr.com/bobistraveling | CC BY 2.0 GenericPin

The White Oak Greenway is one of the two most important greenways in the region.

It’s 7.38 miles long, 10 feet wide, and paved.

There are several access points, but if you want a convenient out-and-back walk, then you can start at the Wimberly Rd access to the American Tobacco Trail, then end at Bond Park.

This way you can enjoy a couple of miles of wooded bridges, some swamp scenery, some shade along the greenway, and even a pond.

Because the greenway is so long, make sure you’re paying attention to signs so that you don’t get lost!

Check more about here.

The Cary Theater

The Cary TheaterSource: Flickr.com/Michael A. Richardson | CC BY 2.0 GenericPin

The Cary Theater, or The Carry, was originally built back in 1946 and it hosted both films and live performances.

It was renovated and reopened in 2014, and it’s now a multi-purpose cultural facility that focuses on digital art, like film, as well as both music and amateur and youth theater.

Thanks to the renovations, The Cary Theater now has 176 seats, a balcony, projection capabilities, and concessions.

Some of the interesting things you can watch at the theater include art house independent films, classics, live theater and music performances, stand-up comedy, and more.

You can learn about upcoming films and performances here.

Address: 122 E Chatham St, Cary, NC 27511, United States

Apex Community Park (Lake Trail Entrance)

The Apex Community Park has a 50 acre lake which you can use canoes, kayaks and sailboats on, and a fishing dock.

Channel catfish are regularly stocked there. They’ve added 3 miles of nature and fitness trails, 2 miles of it are paved and one mile is natural.

There are 3 ball fields with 2 batting cages, a soccer field, 3 volleyball courts, 6 tennis courts, 4 basketball courts, a playground area with swings, restrooms and picnic areas.

But one of its most intriguing features is the Elevate Fitness Course, which is an obstacle fitness course designed by partnering with BCI Burke Playground Equipment and Barrs Recreation, so it has excellent equipment, and it’s one of the first obstacle fitness courses of its kind in the nation.

Address: 1808 Lake Pine Dr, Apex, NC 27511, United States

Ritmo Latino Festival in Cary

Ritmo Latino Festival in CarySource: Flickr.com/James Willamor | CC BY-SA 2.0 GenericPin

The Ritmo Latino Festival is held in Downtown Cary to celebrate Latino/Hispanic cultures such as Mexico, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Brazil, West Indies, Venezuela, Peru, and more. It’s a free festival full of vendors, artists, live music, raffles and games, and activities for the kids.

In fact, there’s an entire section of the festival designated for kids, called the KidZone where they can get cotton candy, play games, and have a blast on inflatables.

There’s a lot of Latin food to enjoy, which is always a treat. You can even take part in Zumba and adult dance lessons!

Check this website for upcoming festival details.

Page-Walker Arts & History Centre

Page-Walker Arts & History CentreSource: Wikimedia.org/Yassie | CC BY 2.5 GenericPin

The Page-Walker Hotel was built in 1868 and was converted into the Page-Walker Arts & History Center in 1994.

You can check out the Cary Heritage Museum (which features a timeline exhibit that tells the history of Cary), art galleries, the Anne B. Kratzer Educational Gardens (which provides history and lore of the plants grown in it), the Page Smokehouse, and lots of historic architecture and furnishings to admire.

It’s also home to numerous events throughout the year, like Herbfest, Victorian Christmas, and the Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival, so make sure you check out the events calendar so you don’t miss anything!

Address: 119 Ambassador Loop, Cary, NC 27513, United States

Koka Booth Amphitheatre

The Koka Booth Amphitheatre, located in Regency Park, is named after Cary’s former Mayor, Koka Booth, and was constructed in 2000.

It sits on the bank of Symphony Lake in the park, and surrounded by 14 acres of wooded areas.

So, needless to say, the natural beauty creates a hauntingly beautiful backdrop!

It has a 7,000 person capacity, and you can choose to either sit on the Crescent Deck or on the lawn.

Since 2005, the Cary 5k/10k has been hosted at the Amphitheatre, and there are a number of live performances and concerts held there, like the North Carolina Symphony, as well as lots of festivals, like the Chinese Lantern Festival.

Check out their website for upcoming events!

Address: 8003 Regency Pkwy, Cary, NC 27518, United States


That was Things to do in Cary, North Carolina!

We hope you enjoyed learning about all of these fun and interesting places, and we hope you visit a few of them yourself and tell us all about them!

  • Sarah ThackerPin

    Senior Travel Writer, Travelsc

    Sarah is a writer from Ohio, currently living in West Virginia. As an avid baking enthusiast, she always scopes out the best food in an area and can make gre...

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