By Guest Blogger Rob Ainbinder, author of the blog Digital Dad

Living in or near Greensboro you’ve probably considered many day trip ideas from our area to one of our nearest cities. The choices are many. For more than a few years, we’ve wanted to travel by train to Raleigh. Whether you have small kids or, teens it can be a great time.

Amtrack Greensboro (aka GRO) to Raleigh (aka RAL)

The train from Greensboro to Raleigh leaves pretty early. Check the Amtrack schedule it should take around 1.5 hours to make the trip from Greensboro with stops along the way.

The Depot in Greensboro

The Depot in Greensboro is pretty amazing. Fully restored with a ton of period detail left intact, I was impressed that things like the Southern Railway Map persisted.

The Depot has a snack shop, vending machines, and restrooms. You’ll need to get the code to the restroom door from the ticket agent.

Parking at the Depot in Greensboro

Things were a little murky for us about parking at the Depot but, we checked with a security guard and he gave us the lowdown. Basically, if you park in the long-term lot to the right of the Depot, get a pass to place on your dashboard when you check-in. The pass allows you to park for the length of your trip. According to the Amtrack website is there are “22 Short-term Parking Spaces and 80 Long-term Parking Spaces”.  But, no other information available.

Departing Greensboro

My ladies and I leaving Greensboro for Raleigh. This was our daughter’s first train trip, she didn’t seem to mind the experience.

Arriving in Raleigh

We arrived at the Raleigh station without too much of a plan for what we would do. While on the train we had a look at the map and what was within walking distance of the train station. In a word, quite a lot. Generally, we pre-plan down to the last detail but, this time we didn’t. With fully charged phones, power chargers, and spare batteries for our phones we left the station and headed towards downtown and our first stop.

Contemporary Art Museum

The Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh is in good walking distance of the train station so, we decided to make it our first stop. We made our way inside and found they were setting up for an event.

Undeterred, we continued through the exhibit space to another area. This hall faces out onto West St. Construction across the street.

We headed downstairs to the lower exhibit spaces where the art was on display. In the background are the most delicate ink and paper carvings with the finest details. It was mind-blowing.

As it was nearing lunch hour we asked at the information desk about some good local options for lunch. They were very helpful. There is a ton of great food nearby. With maps and lists in hand we headed out to debate our option.

Ultimately, we decided on The Pit Barbeque.

The Pit Barbeque

My ladies settle in for some lunch at The Pit. Just before the lunch crowd. Biscuits and hush puppies.

I got the ribs with potato salad and beans. The ribs had good tooth. The sauce was good, too. But, I missed any smoke imparted.

My wife, a Texas native, opted to try the brisket, fried okra, and beans. The brisket was tender and had good smoke flavor. My wife liked it too.

After a very filling lunch we decided to do some exploring on the capitol area and what it has to offer.

The Raleigh Capitol Building

The Raleigh capitol building was like the capitol building in Austin in some ways.

The old state Senate chambers. Both the House and Senate chambers were on the second floor of the building.

Taking a rest to enjoy the beautiful weather.

Other worthwhile stops on our trip included:

~ Videri Chocolate Factory, 327 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601 – Chocolate and some very good coffee drinks.

~ Boxcar Bar + Arcade, 330 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601 – Drinks and arcade games anyone?

Do you have a favorite Raleigh family tip? Share it in the comments below.

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