Hi y’all – this post is literal months in the making, Darren and I took a roadtrip down South at the beginning of June and I thought it was long overdue that I share where we went, what we did, and why.
Darren and I have started the home buying process twice now – once about a year ago when we hoped we could quickly buy something before our apartment lease expired and once about six months ago when we realized that we weren’t getting much for our money in the Hudson Valley.
In the first experience we leaned that 60 days is not enough time to buy a house (at least not for us) and in the second we leaned the importance of a good realtor and that we might need to be a bit more flexible to get what we want. Both experiences inspired us to get online and start comparing prices in different states.
We quickly grew to like Raleigh and Charlotte based on what we read, but decided we’d need to experience it for ourselves before making any big decisions. That catches us up to early June, when we decided on an 11-day roadtrip to see Raleigh, Charleston, Savannah, and Charlotte – with Percy of course (if you know anything about us, it’s that Percy runs the show and he’ll likely be the one making this decision).
Raleigh was our first stop and while I can’t explain it, I felt drawn to it – whether it being the City of Oaks and my last name loosely translating to “the oak,” or the fact that I just knew my dad would like it, I smiled bigger breathing in the air here. While in Raleigh, we mostly walked about. We checked out the State Capitol, admired Oak and Magnolia trees, and walked around Chapel Hill – another place that felt like my dad, even though he’d never been. We enjoyed good food (details below) and tried to picture what it would be like to live here, even checking out a few open houses.
Crank Arm: Crank Arm was a favorite while we were in Raleigh – try the road rashberry and grab a seat outside with your dog!
Flying Saucer: We grabbed a pizza for lunch here and enjoyed the outdoor patio, Percy made lots of friends too!
Raleigh Biergarten: 10/10 recommend seeing this 3-story Biergarten, but skip the pretzel if you go!
Whiskey Kitchen: We’re still talking about the chicken sandwiches we had here – if you’re in Raleigh, this one’s a must!
Morning Times: Dog friendly counter and the best chai latte I’ve ever had – we went here every morning!
While Charleston isn’t somewhere we’re considering moving, it’s always been on my list, so we decided it’d be a good place to stop. We checked out Rainbow Row, Folley Beach, and other touristy sites like the Pineapple Fountain. We had a little bit of a harder time finding dog-friendly spots to eat, but really enjoyed the food and vibe at Edmund Oast and Co. and the outdoor seating at Taco Boy.
I think we would have loved Savannah two years ago, but we found that it wasn’t terribly dog friendly and that Percy wasn’t the biggest fan of a walking city in 90 degrees. That said, I think Savannah would make a dreamy weekend getaway for a girls trip (I’m thinking of my future sister-in-law’s bachelorette).
That said, we had a really nice morning at the Wormhole Historic Site, we went before it got too hot and before it was too crowded and got to admire all the trees and Spanish Moss.
While in Savannah, we also had a little bit of a hard time finding dog-friendly spots, but we enjoyed tacos for lunch and burgers at Moon River. We also found ourselves on River Street each morning, grabbing coffee from Black Rifle – they were SO nice to Percy.
We really really really liked Charlotte, so much so that we are considering moving there (more on that soon). Charlotte was SO dog friendly – while there, we went to a Bark and Brew Fest, where we treated Percy to a hot dog and where he made countless new friends. We also went to Freedom Park and did some window shopping for our future dream home. We also enjoyed the brewery scene (recommendations below) and our first Krispy Kreme and found ourselves wishing we had more time.
VBGB Food Hall: We enjoyed burgers and apps here!
Sugar Creek Brewing: We had pretzels and a few drinks here – it was such a cute spot!
While we’re not quite sure where we’ll end up, I know we’ll think back on this trip often – it was our first roadtrip, and Percy’s first vacation.