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Written by:  Compiled by Lauren Townsend
Date: June 1, 2012

When it comes to family-friendly places to eat, shop and visit in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary and other Triangle towns, parents know best. We asked you about your favorite places and sorted through all of the responses. In some cases, the top vote-getters were extremely close, so we awarded two. Businesses or places that also had an overwhelming number of votes are recognized as Honorable Mentions.

Without further delay, here are the top 2012 recommendations for families in the Triangle:

Best Family Place to Get Moving and Be Active

Place to Walk
Umstead State Park has 20 miles of trails for a short leisurely walk or more intense hike. 8801 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh; ncparks.gov/visit/parks/wium/main.php.

Eno River State Park trails cover 24 miles. Some follow the river while others wind up Cox Mountain. 6101 Cole Mill Rd., Durham; ncparks.gov/visit/parks/enri/main.php.

Lake Lynn Park offers a 2.8-mile greenway trail frequented by ducks, geese and turtles. Paved and boardwalk trails make this a great spot for family walks. 7921 Ray Rd., Raleigh; raleighfree.com/lake_lynn_park.html.

Place to Ride Bikes

The American Tobacco Trail covers more than 22 miles through Durham, Chatham and Wake counties for biking, walking or riding horses. The section between N.C. 54 to the Chatham County line is closed for construction in June for 13 months. triangletrails.org.

Park/Playground
Pullen Park is located on more than 63 acres bordering N.C. State University. There is also an aquatic center, community center, arts center, amusement center and cafe. 520 Ashe Ave, Raleigh; raleighnc.gov/arts/content/PRecRecreation/Articles/PullenPark.html.

Honorable mentions:
Kids Together playground at Marla Dorrel Park is handicapped-accessible and also features a fenced-in playground for preschoolers, water sources, a picnic shelter and a climbable dragon sculpture. 111 Thurston Dr., Cary; kidstogethercary.org.
Fred G. Bond Metro Park is one of Wake County's largest with picnic shelters, 4.2 miles of trails, athletics fields and a playground. Rent a kayak, canoe or paddleboat at Bond Lake. 150 Metro Park Dr., Cary; townofcary.org.

Family Fitness

YMCA of the Triangle offers after-school programs, fitness programs for children and adults, sports programs, swimming lessons, pickup basketball and group fitness classes. Locations throughout the Triangle; ymcatriangle.org.



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