North Raleigh News

WakeUP Wake County will host ‘livability’ walking tour

A high-rise apartment building, a restaurant that used to be a funeral home and public transit hubs are some of the features that make Raleigh a desirable and interesting place to live.

WakeUP Wake County wants to highlight those things and more during WakeUP and Explore, the group’s first Livability Tour on Saturday, April 18.

The walking tour will take participants to 22 stops between Glenwood Avenue and Wilmington Street and South Street and Peace Street. Participants can also use the R-line bus to complete the tour.

The idea is to show off buildings and programs that have made smart use of limited land and provide sustainable lifestyle options.

The event is a fundraiser for the advocacy group, which focuses on issues such as transportation and land use related to Wake County’s growth.

But the goal is also to encourage residents to create exciting, innovative and green places, said Julia Lee, chairwoman of WakeUP Wake County’s fundraising committee.

“It’s a way to see the city on a whole other level,” Lee said.

Participants will get an inside look into 15 downtown spots that show off healthy and sustainable growth in the city. Some of those spots, like the Death & Taxes restaurant, haven’t officially opened yet.

The restaurant, owned by chef Ashley Christensen, is in a building that at one time served as a funeral home.

In creating the tour, WakeUP Wake County took cues from the city’s Office of Sustainability, which created a self-guided downtown walking tour to highlight environmentally friendly efforts.

After that, WakeUP Wake County considered which buildings residents may not notice and which would be interesting for tour participants to learn about, Lee said.

It’s also a chance to remind residents that well-planned downtown areas are critical to fast-growing areas.

“We can’t continue to sustain that kind of growth unless we do grow some more dense, urban-type centers,” Lee said.

Hankerson: 919-829-4802;

Twitter: @mechelleh

Want to go?

The WakeUp and Explore: 2015 City Livability Tour will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 18, at the Contemporary Art Museum, 409 W. Martin St, Raleigh. The tour is expected to last until 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of the event. They can be purchased online at, via email at or by phone at 919-828-3833.