2013 Best Family Place to Get Moving
Parents know best when it comes to family-friendly places to eat, shop, celebrate and visit in the Triangle, so we asked you to name your favorites. In some cases, top vote-getters were extremely close, so we awarded two. Businesses or places that received an overwhelming number of votes are recognized as Honorable Mentions.
Without further delay, here are your top recommendations for family places to get moving and stay active in the Triangle:
Place to Ride Bikes
American Tobacco Trail
The American Tobacco Trail runs along an abandoned railroad bed through parts Wake, Durham and Chatham counties, and was originally built in 1970s for use by the American Tobacco Company to transport tobacco across the state. Equestrians first recognized its value for recreation and lobbied for its development. It was purchased and developed by the NCDOT. Located in sections of Wake, Durham and Chatham counties; triangletrails.org.
Place to Walk
Umstead State Park
During segregation, Umstead Park was two separate parks: Crabtree Creek Park for Caucasians and Reedy Creek Park for African Americans. Highway 70 served as the entrance for the Caucasian visitors and Reedy Creek served as the entrance for African American visitors. The park was integrated in 1966 under the name William B. Umstead State Park. Still, no public road connects both entrances. Today, the Highway 70 entrance is used more by tourists and hikers, while the Reedy Creek entrance is used by N.C. State University students and runners who enjoy more private trails. Located at 8801 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh; ncparks.gov (search for Umstead State Park).
Park or Playground
Pullen Park was the first public park in North Carolina and is the 14th oldest amusement park in the world. Recently renovated, Pullen has a carousel, mini-train ride, boats for kids, pedal boats, playgrounds, as well as sports fields and courts and a community center with a pool. The mini-train is a one-third size, near exact replica of a train used in the construction of new rail track in San Francisco in the 1960s that also pulled the private train car of Leland Stanford, then Governor of California. A retired train car sits in the center of the park for children to climb in and explore. Located at 520 Ashe Ave., Raleigh; raleighnc.gov (search for Pullen Park).
Family Fitness Facility
YMCAs of the Triangle
YMCA of the Triangle's We Build People Campaign makes it possible for individuals and families in need to participate in Y programs such as tutoring, cancer rehabilitation, summer camps, after school programs and athletic teams. Located in Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Garner, Wake Forest and Sanford; ymcatriangle.org.