Hit the road this summer and check out three cities with a whole lot of summer fun to offer: Indianapolis (Indiana), Bristow (Virginia), and Raleigh (North Carolina). The perfect day trips for music fans, each of these locations offer a world-class live music experience to rock al fresco all summer long.
What to See in Raleigh
Start your day at Pullen Park, home to one of the world's oldest amusement parks. Take a spin on the historic carousel, originally built in 1911. Ride the miniature train to see the full park in all its southern glory, and spend some time exploring Lake Howell aboard the local-favorite pedal boats.
With little ones in tow, check out the Marbles Kids Museum to inspire big ideas in STEM and beyond. For plant lovers, the thriving flora in Juniper Level Botanic Garden is sure to delight. Double-up the greenery tour with a visit to the Raleigh Rose Garden, home to over 60 varieties of blooming roses.
View storied works of art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, which offers ancient Egyptian artifacts, renowned European paintings, and exciting contemporary works. Finish your museum tour of Raleigh at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the
When night falls, head to the Red Hat Amphitheater. Since opening in 2010, this music venue has served as a hot spot for live music entertainment with 6,000 seats under the stars. Parking a concern? Take your pick of four nearby parking garages for easy coming and going. Events run from April through October, and Ruoff is proud to partner as a sponsor for the Ruoff Mortgage Concert Series.
Take a Trip to Bristow
Nicknamed DC's Countryside, Bristow is home to rolling hills and historic sites fit for the whole family. Take a hike and learn about two important Civil War Battles at Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park. The Battle of Kettle Run was fought on August 27, 1862, and the Battle of Bristoe Station took place on October 14, 1863. With over 133 acres to explore, let nature be your guide or take advantage of guided tours on the second and fourth weekends of the month, May through October.
Golfers take note: Bristow Manor Golf Club has been ranked as one of Golf Digest's 100 Top Places to Play. Tucked alongside the grounds of a breathtaking 19th Manor House, this must-play golf course also offers a traditional pub and a full links-style championship golf course designed by Ken Killian.
Rock all night long at Jiffy Lube Live, a top-ranked live music venue that celebrated its opening night in 1995 with a performance by The Village People. One of the largest music venues in the Washington Metropolitan area, Jiffy Lube Live offers 10,000 reserved seats and 15,000 seats on the Ruoff Mortgage Lawn. Click here to see this season's live music lineup.
Start the day with a little shopping along Massachusetts Avenue, a lovely arts and shopping district tucked in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. Spot the famous "Ann Dancing" animated artwork at the corner of Vermont and Alabama streets. When you're done shopping, take a spin on the Monon Trail, one of the area's most well-traveled hiking and biking paths that winds throughout the metropolitan area and across Central Indiana.
Feeling hungry? Check out Indy's local-favorite food hall, The Garage. Located in a newly refurbished industrial bottling facility, this tasty spot offers food from all over the world with its 21 unique food vendors. Also located in the Bottleworks District, you'll find the breathtakingly beautiful Bottleworks Hotel, Pins Mechanical Co. bocce ball, duckpin bowling and more, and Living Room Theaters.
Quintessential to any trip to Indy are the Children's Museum of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Zoo, where you can experience swimming with dolphins in the heart of the midwest. No visit to Indy is complete without a trip around the storied Soldiers and Sailors Monument in the very heart of the city. Take an elevator ride (or an ambitious stair walk) up to the top for a birdseye look at the city, and check out the best-kept-secret museum at the monument's base.
Party all night long at the Ruoff Music Center, the region's premier outdoor music venue welcoming acts from all across the globe. With over 6,000 reserved seats and 18,000 general admission lawn seats, there's no such thing as a bad view in this venue. Stay party-ready with top-notch bars and food stalls, and splurge for the ultimate VIP experience with air-conditioned suites and private (also air conditioned) bars.