I enjoy this regular feature in the New York Times where editors put together highlights of specific destinations that can be enjoyed in a day-and-a-half. In this weekend’s Travel Section, now online, my adopted home gets the treatment.
I’ve always wondered how locals in each area covered might view the choices. For us, I’d say that J.J. Goode’s opening paragraph captures this scientific training and career destination pretty well:
TELL North Carolinians you’re heading to the Research Triangle, and they’ll probably ask “Which school are you visiting?” Yet the close-knit cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill are marked by more than college bars and hoops fans. Visitors not bound for Duke, the University of North Carolina or North Carolina State come to see buzz-worthy bands, dine on food from farm-worshiping chefs and explore outdoor art. From its biscuits to its boutiques, the Triangle occupies a happy place between slow-paced Southern charm and urban cool.
My only arguments there are that 1) the Triangle is home to at least another 5 colleges or universities as well as a few more two-year colleges and 2) the three cities of the Triangle are anything but close-knit. With each situated in a separate county (Wake, Durham, and Orange, respectively), region-wide initiatives (such as mass transit) are hampered even before discussions begin.
But I digress.
Of the 11 categories of things to do and places to go, I strongly agree with three: the best place to see bands (the legendary Cat’s Cradle), the Durham taqueria scene (ably covered by the Carpe Durham blog), and the natural history gem that is the Eno River State Park.
The lamest suggestion, however, was for the choice of elegant restaurant – a decent place, mind you, but in the state capital of Raleigh. For my money, the dining scenes of Chapel Hill and Durham are far superior.
While I’ve been a homer and posting a lot of local info lately, the Research Triangle is actually a major center for education, research, and technology development. In fact, many outstanding science bloggers have passed through this area at one point or another, including Derek Lowe and Zuska. Science bloggers and medical communications folks also converge here often, especially for the annual ScienceOnline unconference. So, I thought a good number of readers might be interested in this little article and accompanying slideshow by NYT photographer, Jenny Warburg.
So to all of you here or who have been here, what’s your take on the 36 hours in the Research Triangle? What would you do?