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Founded in 1934, The Sarah P. Duke Gardens offers 55 acres (22 hectares) of world-class gardens in the center of Duke University. More than five miles (eight kilometers) of pathways lead visitors on walks through four sections of beautifully landscaped terraces, gardens, and arboretums. The Duke Gardens host gardening, photography, and natural history classes, and a summer concert series. A cafe and a visitor center are on the grounds. Walking and trolley tours are given four days a week; reservations are recommended.
Noir is an upscale lounge bar and dance club near downtown Raleigh boasting sultry lighting, crystal chandeliers, exposed brick and plush velvet seating. The club has a vintage, ornate feel, and bills itself as an old-school European venue. The bar itself is a large room with a dance floor between lounge-seating and a beautiful black counter. In between cocktails and dancing at Noir, you can enjoy the club's front patio, which is a great vantage point for people watching.
Solas is a luxurious dance club and lounge bar on three levels. Visitors can enjoy classic cocktails and small plates on a first-floor open-air patio or the rooftop deck, which has a motorized awning and offers fine views of Glenwood South downtown district. The lounges and bar rooms are secondary to the second floor’s glass-bottom dance floor, however, which is usually crowded with revelers on weekends. Solas has private rooms and first-rate VIP service, and caters to corporate events, weddings and private parties.
Contrary to it’s name, Still Life is one of the liveliest nightlife joints in town. The resident and guest DJs spin some popular tricks that are sure to get your feet dancing. Though the place looks tiny initially, the young crowd, strong concoctions and the loud music will make you forget all your complaints. The VIP private booths and bottle service also makes this a great place to treat your partner in style. The venue also doubles up as an event space for private parties and celebrations. If you are wondering where to kick off the weekend, then Still Life is where you should be headed for a fun-filled night.
Legends is a LGBT dance club and bar featuring multiple dance floors, pool tables, dart boards, arcade games and an outdoor patio. The club is organized into several rooms with different themes, including a college dorm room and sleek ultra-lounge. Drag shows and talent contests are held at the performance theater called “Spotlight”. The club’s calendar is full of themed nights, parties and dances. Although the bar caters to the local LGBT community, it opens its halls and doors to anyone regardless of their orientation.
If you're looking to enjoy the great outdoors while in Raleigh, definitely pay a visit to Lake Wheeler. You'll see people bringing their boats or renting boats for some leisurely fishing and cruising. Bring a picnic to enjoy on a boat or on land. Take a lovely stroll or jog on the winding trails in the park. The lakefront location has benches too, so you can steal a quiet moment in the park. Other facilities include rowing, kayaking, canoeing and sailing.