But having a vacation home in a State where the people are so anti-gay represents 'hate' to me. North Carolina's capital city has three gay bars, all of them within an easy walk of one another, in downtown's bustling Warehouse District, which is also home to many hip restaurants and lounges drawing a mixed gay-straight clientele. The marketplace-style spot, which carries everything from the rustic to the classic, is owned by David Newcombe and Rusty Griffith, who are both involved in community activism. Discover gifts and treasures from local boutiques. Raleigh Hotels. Durham Restaurants. The league welcomes both women and men of all orientations and skill levels.
A short drive east is the highly impressive North Carolina Museum of Life and Sciencewhich is a favorite with kids for its many outdoor and indoor interpretive exhibits.
My advice is to go with your conscience, and if you do decide to visit North Carolina while this ugly law is in place, go ahead and be visible, patronize the hundreds of highly gay-supportive businesses throughout the state, and help support your LGBT allies around the state. Near Fort Fisher you can also tour the impressive North Carolina Aquariuman enormous state-of-the-art facility whose most popular exhibit, "Cape Fear Shoals," offers an up-close look at local marine life. The Nickel Bar. In the sweet village of Southport, down near the mouth of the Cape Fear River, the elegant and very gay-welcoming Robert Ruark Inn occupies a meticulously restored Victorian house.
These include the Morehead Planetariumthe impressive Ackland Art Museumthe Wilson Library with its engrossing special collections on rare books, Southern Folklife, and North Carolina historyand the lush and stunningly laid-out North Carolina Botanical Garden.