Welcome to the South! Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill make up the “research triangle” and Ty and I had the opportunity to visit each of the three cities  during a trip “down south” for a wedding. A good friend of ours got married in both Raleigh and Durham (2 ceremonies is typical for a Muslim Indian wedding). Subsequently we had the chance to check out all 3 cities within a long weekend which means I have some recommendations for you!


Restaurant recommendations:

Sitti Restaurant– Authentic Lebanese food showcasing a fantastic menu along with great people watching opportunities if you sit near the windows.

Poole’s Diner– Named one of Eater.Com’s best restaurants. This funky, hip diner is known for its flare. The menu is posted on chalkboards around the restaurant, they don’t take reservations, and ordering the macaroni and cheese is a must!

Here are some pictures of their beautiful wedding.

Michelle Holm
Michelle Holm
Michelle Holm


Listed as one of the most beautiful college campuses in America, Duke University, is worth seeing if you’re in the area. The “Gothic Wonderland” feel of the campus is evident in most every building on the West campus. The campus also boasts the Duke gardens (55 acres), 30 miles of trails, a newly renovated chapel, and an impressive athletic area including the Cameron basketball stadium.

Since Duke’s admission rate is only around 10% and tuition runs $67,000/year visiting the campus on your own as a tourist is probably your best bet if you’re interested in experiencing Duke.

Michelle Holm at Duke UniversityDuke University

Ty and I in the Duke Gardens during the spring as the Cherry Blossoms were blooming.

Ty in front of the Duke Chapel which can seat 1,600 people and contains a 5,200 pipe organ.


Of the three cities Chapel Hill was probably my favorite to visit. The small city (population 60,000) was listed as one of the”Top 25 most unique American cities” and earns its name on the list. Chapel Hill is a “foodie” city with many of its restaurants nationally recognized on TV shows and in magazines. Its got a southern hospitality feel to it and a strong support of the Tar Heels can be seen throughout the city (including the blue firetrucks!).