, 2023-04-07 15:18:31,
Been to Wake Forest lately? No? It’s time for a quick road trip.
In just over 20 years, Wake Forest has transformed from a sleepy village of 12,000 residents to a town of about 54,000, attracting people from New York, California, and everywhere in between. While residents are obviously aware of all that Wake Forest has to offer, North Carolinians are only beginning to realize the treasures this town holds.
What’s the draw? Come along, and discover a place where quaint meets cool.
It’s that small town feel
“One of the things that we hear from our citizens a lot is, ‘keep that small town feel,’” says Mayor Vivian Jones. “We are, by making sure that we honor our past while embracing our future.”
Wake Forest’s quaint historic downtown does indeed honor the past. At moments you’ll feel transported in time as you can shop for gifts at the North Carolina General Store, peruse comic books, records and books at independently owned shops and even walk around the town founder’s home at the Wake Forest Historical Museum. Yet, this small but vibrant town center also features modern-feeling cool boutiques, eateries, breweries and entertainment.
For lunch, try a hot dog at Shorty’s, a family-run business since 1916 and the oldest restaurant in the area.
Or grab a beer and some eats at White Street or Norse Breweries. Dine casually at restaurants and cafes offering pizza, tapas, and more. Sip a pick-me-up at a coffee house, wind down at a bar, or tame that sweet tooth at a bakery or the ice cream store.
You won’t find a brand name or big box store downtown — just unique shops, including an old-fashioned hardware store with owners who can help you find precisely what you need.
In each of those spaces you’ll also find a friendly face and welcoming smile, because in the end, it’s the people who make the place.
“You get a feeling that people care about each other,” says Ruben Wall, director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources. “They want to have a place where they can raise their family, and where they can work and play. Wake Forest is quite unique because it’s a place where all those things are possible, and more.”
Fun events for everyone
If you enjoy the buzz of a crowd, there are plenty of options.
The Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday, year round. From fresh foods and meats to locally procured honey and flowers, everything at the Farmer’s Market is produced within 75 miles of Wake Forest. Also, local musicians are often…
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