Cary – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (2024)

Cary is a town in the Research Triangle of North Carolina. It is primarily a fast-growing suburb of Raleigh, the state capital, but has developed some economic gravity of its own. Cary is known throughout the area for having a very high population of non-native residents. The name of the city is jokingly referred to as standing for Containment/Concentration Area for Relocated Yankees.

Get in


By plane


Cary is approximately 9 miles (13 km) from Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDUIATA). RDU is served by all major U.S. airlines including Southwest, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines. These and other airlines provide direct connections to most major hubs, including Atlanta, Washington-Dulles, Baltimore-Washington, Chicago (Midway and O'Hare), New York City (LaGuardia), Las Vegas, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix, and a limited number of international hubs, like London, Paris, and Toronto. Most other major cities in the U.S. are reachable after a single connecting flight.

By car


  • Interstate 40 runs just north of Cary and goes to points west including Durham, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Asheville. Two and a half hours east on I-40 is Wilmington and the North Carolina Beaches.
  • Interstate 440 serves as the inner loop surrounding Raleigh.
  • NC 540 is a toll road which passes through Western Cary, eventually becoming Interstate 540, Raleigh's outer beltway.
  • US 1 runs through Cary on its way along the Eastern Seaboard.
  • US 64 serves the south of Cary connecting Raleigh with Asheboro.

By train


Amtrak has 2 lines serving Cary. The Carolinian/Piedmont service starts in Charlotte with the Piedmont terminating in Raleigh and the Carolinian continuing towards New York City. The Silver Service stops in Cary on its way to Florida from New York. The 1 train station Cary – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (1) is at 211 North Academy Street.

By bus


GoTriangle offers bus service from Raleigh and from the Regional Transit Center, with connections to Durham, Chapel Hill, and other towns in the Triangle.

Get around


Cary – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (2)

Map of Cary

The immediate downtown area can be walked but Cary is fairly spread out and is best traveled by car. If you are visiting the area there are several car rental locations nearby at RDU International Airport.

By bus


Cary's bus service is GoCary, and it is also served by the affiliated Research Triangle regional bus system GoTriangle. GoCary lines 1 and 2 are loop routes, while lines 3-6 terminate at the train station.



  • 1 Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave, +1 919-469-4069. The downtown hub of arts activity: performances, gallery, classes, events. (updated Mar 2021)



  • North Carolina FC, 201 Soccer Park Drive. North Carolina FC, renamed from Carolina Railhawks after the 2016 season, are a second division (NASL) professional soccer team that plays in WakeMed Soccer Park, a 10,000-seat stadium that is part of a larger 150-acre multi-use complex. The team plays from April through October and tickets start at $10.
  • North Carolina Courage, 201 Soccer Park Drive. The Courage were the 2018 champions of the National Women's Soccer League, the top level of the U.S. women's sport. They used to play as the Western New York Flash in Rochester. After the 2016 season, the owner of NCFC bought the Flash and moved them to the Triangle, renaming the team in honor of a former women's pro soccer team in the area. The Courage share WakeMed Soccer Park with NCFC. The season and ticket prices are similar to those for NCFC. Cary – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (4) Cary – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (5)
  • Fred G. Bond Metro Park, 801 High House Rd. A 310-acre park that includes 4.2 miles of walking trails, a lake and boathouse, amphitheater, athletic fields, playground, and picnic areas.
  • 1 Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, 2616 Kildaire Farm Rd. Stevens Nature Center at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve has three miles of trails on 150 acres along Swift Creek. The preserve has several plants and trees that are not common to the piedmont region of North Carolina along with bird and wildlife viewing opportunities and various nature programs throughout the year.
  • 2 Koka Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Pkwy, +1 919-462-2025. Performance venue in Cary hosting a multitude of cultural events including Diwali and the Dragon Boat Festival. Cary – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (6) Cary – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (7) (updated Feb 2018)
  • 3 Lake Crabtree County Park, 1400 Aviation Parkway (Morrisville). Even though the park entrance is from the nearby town of Morrisville, significant portions of the park are in Cary. This wooded park has many small criss-crossing hiking and mountain-biking trails, and one 6-mile-long trail that goes all around Lake Crabtree. Cary – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (8) Cary – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (9) (updated Apr 2018)
  • 4 William B. Umstead Park (bus 3, 5, or 7), +1 919-571-4170, Though the main entrance to Umstead Park is in Raleigh, some trails start from Cary. Cary – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (10) Cary – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (11)



If golf is your thing, then check out the many public and private golf courses within Cary.



  • 1 Crossroads Plaza (from Raleigh, head west on I-40; take exit 293A and follow signs for Crossroads Blvd). Shopping center just off US-1 and I-40 that has a wide variety of stores including clothing, electronics and food. Can be difficult to navigate though, so pay attention to traffic signs. Cary – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (12) Cary – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (13) (updated Feb 2020)
  • 2 Ashworth Drugs, 105 West Chatham Street, +1 919-467-1877. M-F 9AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-3PM. Old-time drug store, founded 1957. Come for a hot dog, orange ade, an old-fashioned soda fountain, friendly service, and a dose of nostalgia. (updated Aug 2020)



  • 1 Hot Breads Cafe, 1901 NW Cary Pkwy, Morrisville, +1 919 677-1331.
  • 2 Sushi Thai, 106 Kilmayne Drive, +1 919-467-5747. Japanese and Thai cuisine. Most entrees between $10-20.
  • 3 Himalayan Nepali Cuisine, 746-A East Chatham St, +1 919-466-0550. 11AM–3PM, 5PM–9PM; closed Tuesday. (updated Aug 2020)
  • 4 Guasaca, 9918 Chapel Hill Rd. Suite 103, +1 919-377-8223, Local chain for Venezuelan arepas. Vegetarian and vegan options available. (updated Aug 2020)
  • 5 Crosstown Pub & Grill, 140 E Chatham St, +1 919-650-2853. Noon-11PM. (updated Mar 2021)
  • 6 So Hot, 1937 High House Rd, +1 919-694-5510. M–Th 11:30AM–9:30PM, F Sa 11:30AM–10PM, Su 11:45AM–9:30PM. Hot pot. (updated May 2021)



Cary doesn't have many traditional bars, but there are a few taverns and pubs scattered around the residential areas.

  • 1 Bond Brothers Beer Company, 202 E Cedar St, +1 919-459-2670. 2-10PM. Local craft brewery in the heart of downtown Cary. (updated Mar 2021)
  • 2 Fortnight Brewing Company, 1006 SW Maynard Rd, +1 919-342-6604. 3–10PM. Craft brewery with food trucks. (updated Mar 2021)



  • La Farm Bakery Two locations, one downtown, one along Cary Parkway. Bakery with an espresso bar as well as a French-American cafe menu.



Go next


Routes through Cary

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RichmondRaleighNCary – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (17)SApexColumbia
LexingtonApexWCary – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (18)ERaleighNags Head
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Cary – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (2024)
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