Downtown Cary has grown so much over the recent years and now has a lot of offer in terms of art, fun activities, shopping, and of course plenty of food options. Recent additions such as the new downtown park and extensive renovations to the Cary Theater have quickly turned the formerly sleepy downtown area into a hub of activity for couples, families, and solitary explorers from all over The Triangle and beyond.

A day-trip to Downtown Cary is the perfect way to have a great afternoon or evening while supporting local businesses in Wake County. Check out our quick guide for some tips and ideas for the ideal visit to the newly re-developed and revitalized historic Downtown Cary:

Art & History

Start your day by visiting The Cary Arts Center. It features an art gallery, historical exhibits and even includes a 431-seat theater. Check its calendar of events for special performances. The Cary Arts Center also hosts classes and open art studio programs for clay, glass, metals & jewelry, sewing, and woodworking.

The Page-Walker Arts & History Center is only a short walk away from The Cary Arts Center! This historic hotel was restored in the 1990s and serves as a valuable resource for the citizens of Cary. It houses the Cary Heritage Museum, which chronicles the town’s history. It also features art and history exhibits in addition to a beautiful educational garden. The Page Walker Arts & History Center also serves as a meeting and event space.

Enjoy Lunch Al Fresco

Did all of that art and history make you hungry? Fortunately, there are many delicious options for lunch in Downtown Cary. If the weather is nice, you will definitely want to dine al fresco. The Academy Street Bistro is located in the heart of downtown Cary and features a fantastic street-side patio. Watch the world go by while enjoying a Chicken Pesto Panini!

Serendipity Gourmet Deli is also a classic spot for lunch downtown. They offer delicious sandwiches and a shady patio for those hot summer days.

Relax in Downtown Park

If the kids are getting restless, or you just need a breather, walk over to Downtown Park. This park features a gorgeous lighted fountain, a bocce ball court, table tennis, public art, and an open green space for the kids to run and play. There’s plenty of benches and tables for you to sit and relax as well,

Shop in Ashworth Village

Find unique gifts for your friends, family, or even yourself at the shops over in Ashworth Village! Vintage Vogue features unique vintage jewelry that you won’t find anywhere else.

If you are a clothes horse, you will love Annie’s Attic, a consignment boutique featuring beautiful, designer women’s clothes. Need a gift for the foodie in your life?

Be sure to check out Peak Olive Oil for unique, flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars. The company is a locally owned and operated small business with two locations in NC. Their passion is sharing great products, ideas and even recipes with customers. Whether you are a professional chef, casual cook or foodie, they are sure to have fabulously fresh olive oils and balsamic vinegars to enhance your favorite dishes.

If you’re not quite ready to head home yet, walk over to The Cary Theater to see what’s playing! Have some time to kill before the show? Enjoy hot coffee at BREW or a cold beer over at Pharmacy Bottle + Beverage. If you are planning your visit in advance, you may want to book a foodie focused tour with Triangle Food Tours to truly taste everything that downtown Cary has to offer!

So what are some of your favorite things to see and do in Downtown Cary? Please be sure to hit us up on Twitter @919BlogNC or visit our Facebook page at and let us know! We would love to hear from ya.

This post was created in collaboration with the Cary Blog editorial team and 919 Blog contributor Amy Howard for exclusive digital publication via TBN