While you're walking up and down Fayetteville street checking things off, you may notice the beautiful granite chess tables in-between the Sir Walter Apartments and the Sheraton Hotel. A 2009 addition to downtown, they attempted to channel Greenwich Village circa 1960, when it was almost impossible to walk the street without running into outdoor chess. Since 1960, it seems that chess has died down a bit even in The Village, but it's our hope to bring a bit of culture to Raleigh with this recommendation. Bring your own set, say a prayer to Bobby Fisher, and enjoy the sights and sounds of downtown Raleigh while playing one of the oldest games known to humanity.
Situated in the heart of downtown, City Plaza is a wide-open pedestrian and event space that is considered one of the crown jewels of the Oak City. Featuring four glass retail pavilions, motion-sensing fountains, and 50-foot programmable light towers adorned with acorns and oak leaves, the Plaza acts as a beacon that sheds light on the surrounding skyscrapers and pulls crowds downtown almost every weekend of the year. Dubbed Raleigh's "public living room," the $15 million project opened officially in 2009. There is always something bustling in the Plaza, from farmers markets and outdoor concerts/movies in the summer to outdoor ice-skating and carriage rides in the winter.