The Umstead Blog

Categories & Contributors


Share Your Experience

Share Your Experience

Post an Entry

Summer is upon us as we head into May, enjoying the last bit of springtime weather before the heat sets in.  The flowers are in bloom and the pollen has subsided, making for the perfect place to visit.  Here are just a few ways of how we plan to spend our month:

Carolina Hurricanes and the NHL Playoffs: For the first time in a decade, Raleigh’s only professional sports team, the Carolina Hurricanes, has made the Stanley Cup playoffs! Our fans have come out of the shadows and taken to PNC Arena to cheer the team on, and boy is they cheering.  Get tickets fast for upcoming games, they are selling out quick.  If you can’t attend, head downtown to Glenwood South any game night for fellow fan camaraderie as the Carolina Ale House hosts watch parties in the street. 

En Plein Air: It’s time to paint the town, the town of Cary that is, at the 6th annual En Plein Air event.  Saturday, May 4th, artists will be painting downtown Cary’s history, culture, and scenic views live, followed by an art auction and gala in the evening.  Music from the Mint Julep Quintet and refreshments will be available. En Plein Air is free to the public with more information available here.

Thrive, NC: Held in downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 9th and 10th, Thrive NC is a phenomenal food festival that aims to improve access to healthy and nutritious food for all in the Triangle. Bringing together more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants, this festival features food and drive samples, demos from our amazing chefs, and live entertainment and music.  This year’s chefs include James Beard 2019 winner Ashley Christensen, Vansana Nolintha of Brewery Bhavana, and our own James Beard 2019 Semifinalist Chef Steven Greene.  Tickets are $30 with proceeds benefitting non-profits in our area, tickets can be purchased here.

Mother's Day and Graduation Weekend: The weekend of May 12th marks a momentous occasion as we celebrate our area’s graduates.  We also look to applaud all the mother’s in our lives with Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 13th and show our gratitude for all they do and have done.  For last-minute gifts, visit our Gift Shop for an array of options, including Belgium chocolates from Neuhaus, jewelry from renowned designers such as Alexis Bittar, artwork and more.  Umstead Gift Cards are also available at the Concierge Desk.

Artsplosure: The Raleigh Arts Festival is back for the 40th annual Artplosure event! The Art Market serves as the festival’s centerpiece and hosts nearly 180 visual artists not only from North Carolina but from across the nation as well.  Original artwork of ceramics, fiber art, glass, jewelry, metal, painting, photography, wood and more will be available for purchase throughout the event in addition to the interactive artist events, live music, and large scale performances including a large scale sculptural work from Australian environmental artist Amanda Parer entitled What’s That?  Food trucks will also be available.  For a full list of Artsplosure artists and details, visit their website here.

Looking for more? Speak with a member of our Concierge team at 919-447-4030 for suggestions on how to enjoy your visit to Raleigh. 

April showers bring May flowers, but after all the rain we had last season, the flowers are already in bloom! Enjoy the outdoors this month at some of our favorite festivals and events, listed below:

Beer and Bacon Festival: All month-long North Carolina is celebrating Beer Month and what better way to enjoy it than at the Beer and Bacon Festival on April 6th? This annual festival features loads of local restaurants and food trucks with delicious bacon dishes and more than 75 craft beers, wines, spirits, and ciders to taste. More details and ticket options available here.

NCToycon: Not a beer enthusiast? Take a trip to Marbles Kids Museum on April 6th for North Carolina TOYCON. This toy and action figure focused convention brings the best toy dealers in the state along with some of the top experts in the hobby leading information panels. Perfect for both the young and the young at heart, guests can enjoy not only the convention but also the museum itself in addition to the premiere of DC’s newest superhero movie, Shazam! Tickets and information can be found here.

Monet Impressions: Prefer to enjoy the outdoors inside? Then enjoy Monet’s beautiful gardens in an interpretive piece performed by the Carolina Ballet. This beautiful homage to the great French painter begins with a story of his life in the first act, followed by a sweeping impressionistic second act based on his gorgeous outdoor landscapes. Performances take place April 11th through 14th, with seating charts and tickets available here.

Live & Local- Spring Fest: Celebrate the art, music, food, and beer of North Carolina April 13th at Live & Local. Presented by Artsplosure, this food truck rodeo of a festival features an afternoon of performances, art markets, and crafts perfect for the whole family. Parking information and event details are available here.

Art in the Garden: Experience the annual arts festival of visual artists, food trucks, and live entertainment on April 27th in the historic Raleigh Rose Garden. Benefitting Raleigh Little Theatre, the beautiful rose garden will be in bloom, serving as the perfect backdrop to this lovely event. Event line up and details available here.

Looking for more? Visit our friends at VisitRaleigh or speak with our Concierge Team at 919-447-4030.

Spring is starting to roll in, but we aren’t out of the cold yet. Here are some of our favorite late winter events to enjoy this March.

BrickUniverse LEGO Fan Expo: Kick off the month with a visit to our version of LEGO-LAND at the ultimate LEGO lover’s paradise March 9th and 10th. Tour the incredible LEGO creations of life-size sculptures, replicated artwork, cities, palaces and more. Then head to the building zone to put your creative energy to use with hands-on activities designed to inspire and entertain. Details and tickets to BrickUniverse can be found here.

Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour: Sir Elton John joins us for his final tour on March 12th at the PNC Arena. After spending more than 50 years performing, his music redefined the cultural landscape and made him a global icon. This musical and highly visual journey includes hits spanning the entirety of his career. Tickets to the Farewell Tour can be purchased here.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival: Celebrate the great St. Patrick and Irish and Celtic traditions and culture on Saturday, March 16th with the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and Wearin’ ‘O the Green festival. The parade begins at 10:00 am and will go down Wilmington Street before turning onto Salisbury to finish at the city center, followed by the festival until 7:00 pm. There will be live music, dancing, vendor and craft booths, and plenty of food for all. For information and map details, visit their website here.

25th Annual Reptile and Amphibian Day: After enjoying the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, or if you want to avoid the crowd, visit N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences for their annual reptile and amphibian day. Learn more about these hopping, slithering, and crawling critters with live animals, crafts, and activities. The event opens at 9:00 am with more details available here.

Art in Bloom: One of our absolute favorite events, the annual Art in Bloom flower festival will be held March 22nd to 25th at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Featuring more than 50 floral designs inspired by the surrounding artwork, there are also workshops, presentations, and lectures to enjoy. Be sure to check out our wonderful florist, Steve Taras of Watered Garden, who designs our weekly displays in the Umstead Lobby. Art in Bloom tickets and a full schedule is available here.

BMX Protown: We’re heading to Wendell on March 30 for the 2nd annual ProTown BMX show. This free event features these professional bikers showing off their spins, flips, and whips as seen at the X-Games. With two performances at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm and food trucks nearby, this will be an exciting and fun way to close out the month for the whole family. More information on the BMX tour can be found here.

Looking for more? Speak with our Concierge or visit our friends at VisitRaleigh.

The Umstead Hotel and Spa

Hotel Amenities

Committed to Creating Memorable Experiences

Explore the Many Reasons to Stay at The Umstead Hotel & Spa
The Umstead Hotel and Spa