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5 Must-Dos as a CALS, NC State Student Vol. 2

NC State's Packapalooza

After the hustle and bustle of moving into the dorms slows down, it’s time to get acquainted (or reacquainted) with campus. In fall 2021, CALS brought you our top five must-dos as a CALS student and we’re delighted to bring you a whole new top five for 2022. If you missed the first edition, you can check those off your to-dos after tackling Vol. 2.

1. Check Out Local Faves

The sign hanging from Mitch's Tavern on Hillsborough Street

Whether you’re looking for a great cup of coffee, a sweet treat or wanting to eat at some of our alumni’s favorite restaurants, Hillsborough Street has it all. Two must-try eateries are Mitch’s Tavern and Player’s Retreat. Ok, Player’s Retreat is technically on Oberlin Road, but it’s a must if you’re in the mood for a burger. And after closing down during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mitch’s Tavern is officially BACK! 

If you need a caffeine boost, hit up CupAJoe or Jubala. Jubala also has some great breakfast/brunch menu items. But if your sweet tooth starts to hit after a long night of studying at D.H. Hill Jr. Library, we suggest hitting up Insomnia Cookies

2. Explore Pullen Park

Pullen Park sign in Raleigh North Carolina
Photo courtesy of the City of Raleigh.

From pedal boats to walking trails, Pullen Park is a nice escape. Closer than some of the other Raleigh parks, Pullen also has a carousel and plenty of covered and uncovered places to enjoy a picnic. Did you know Pullen Park was the first public park in North Carolina? Now you do. The park also has an aquatic center with an indoor pool if you need to go for a dip. It also offers water therapy and other water exercise programs.

3. Roam the Farmers Market

vegetable on a table

How could we not put the North Carolina State Farmers Market on this year’s list? We are the College of AGRICULTURE and Life Sciences, afterall. Looking for fresh veggies or fruit? Why not support local farmers? There is 30,000 square feet of seasonal produce, plants and other specialty items produced by local farmers. And if you get hungry, grab breakfast or lunch at the State Farmers Market Restaurant. In the mood for seafood? Yup, they’ve got that too.

4. Relax at Lake Raleigh

people paddle boarding and in a canoe

Located on the southern side of Centennial Campus, Lake Raleigh Recreation Area offers beautiful views and a relaxing retreat to the NC State and Raleigh community. Known as Centennial’s “hidden gem,” the lake and its trails are open from dawn until dusk. So, whether you want to take a nice stroll with your dog on a fall afternoon or you’re interested in boating, fishing or playing a round of disc golf, Lake Raleigh is a great place to unwind and relax or stay active. 

5. Enjoy Packapalooza

night time concert at NC State's Packapalooza

Making it through the first week of classes can be tough and for some, a new adjustment. Why not celebrate that weekend at Packapalooza! It’s the biggest event on Hillsborough Street, or at least it is for those of us at NC State. Take part in an interactive mural, take a tour of the Memorial Belltower and sing the night away with this year’s featured band—American Aquarium.