Hi, we’re Caroline and Craig Makepeace, Australian born global travelers, local Raleigh residents, and lovers of this amazing city we now get to call home.

We're the founders of ytravelblog.com, one of the world's largest travel blogs.

It has won multiple awards, has been recognized as top of its field by The White House, and has been featured by notable publications like Lonely Planet, Fox Business News, The Today Show, Forbes, Travel & Lesiure, Skyscanner, Expedia, Afar, CNN online, Business Insider, Pinterest and Social Media Examiner.

This is Raleigh is our new and exciting passion project. We want to showcase the magic of this place we chose to live in.

We've spent 22 years traveling through over 50 countries, and have lived in 5 - Raleigh always came out on top so we found a way to live here permanently.

You can read more about us down below. But firstly...

Let Us Tell You About This Site

This Is Raleigh is dedicated to sharing all the amazing things to do in Raleigh and the pursuit of a vibrant life in this “City of Oaks”.

When we first moved to Raleigh in 2004 we instantly fell in love with the vibe, the people, and the possibilities.

On this site, you can expect to find our personal tips and reviews of:

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Whether you plan to stay for a day, or a lifetime like us, we are building this site for you!

With savvy students, professionals and entrepreneurs making up a big part of the Raleigh community, we know that learning more about the local businesses that help create this forward thinking city is important to you - we intend to feature some of those incredible stories as well.

We’ll be helping people plan a trip to Raleigh, as well as helping local residents embrace the vibe and laid-back attitude of the city.

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While we know Raleigh is so enticing you may never want to leave the boundaries of Wake County, we highly encourage you to do so.

To help, we’ll share loads of inspiration and tips for destinations that are located in our drive market.

What does that mean?

Usually destinations that are less than 4-hours drive from Raleigh that you can embrace for day trips or longer getaways!

Since Raleigh is ideally located 2 hours from the coast and 4 hours from the mountains, and halfway between Orlando and New York City, that opens up a lot of options for unique and fun trips.

We’ll show you where and how!

We may even stretch those boundaries a little for those longer summer break travels. Anything further afield, you can find on our other site, yTravelBlog.com

We’ll keep that inspiration moving at a more rapid pace on our Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Our YouTube channel will show you Raleigh in moving focus and our podcast will share the stories of this city and beyond the Beltline.

Joining our email community , it's the best way to ensure you don’t miss a single update. And you'll get our free Uniquely Raleigh checklist.

Uniquely Raleigh

The Places, Food, & Experiences that make Raleigh stand out.


About Caroline and Craig

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We are also the founders of yTravelBlog.com, one of the biggest travel blogs in the world.

For 10 years we have grown that blog to be a premier resource for global travel, with an expertise focus on Australia, USA, family travel and road trips.

Since 2013, we have traveled full time with our 2 daughters, Kalyra (12) and Savannah (8).

Our travel blog has given us many incredible travel experiences and opportunities around the world.

In 2014, we were invited to The White House as a top digital travel influencer and in 2018, we were granted Green Cards for our extraordinary ability in the art of travel blogging (the legit title)!

The dream to live permanently in Raleigh was realized.

Why Raleigh? How did we end up here?

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We first moved to Raleigh in 2004. I (Caroline) was an elementary school teacher, and Craig worked in construction (previous to that he played professional Rugby League back in Sydney, Australia).

I joined a company based in Chapel Hill that recruited teachers from around the world and we were randomly placed in a school here for 4 years.

We both instantly fell in love with the lifestyle and knew it was a place we wanted to stay.

That dream took us on a 14 year journey of many struggles, failures, challenges and wins to finally get that Green Card.

Fun Fact: When I was little, I remember distinctly telling my Mum (after her 50th listen to Carolina in My Mind),

 Mum, I should live in Carolina.

Destiny created.

While we will always continue to travel, we got very tired of the full-time nomadic lifestyle and wanted to lay down our roots.

We're Australian, and given we work online, we had multiple choices of places to live. But we chose Raleigh, where all are welcome!

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The love we feel for this place is REAL!

It’s the only place that has ever felt like our soul home and we can’t wait to share it with you.

While we’re still operating our other travel blog and taking frequent domestic and international trips, we’re excited about this new, refreshing, passion project.

Bringing you the best of this City of Oaks we love so much.

The quality of life here is legit amazing. Take it from us: we’ve lived in 5 countries and traveled through over 50.

You couldn’t find a place that checks off so many boxes at once.

Currently we live in Cary and are dreaming of soon purchasing a house either on a wooded lot somewhere near one of Raleigh’s many lakes, or close to downtown.

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We love being outdoors and doing fun activities that get a little sweat up like hiking, biking, kayaking, paddle boarding and zip lining.

If there is a music concert, festival, or market on, we’re bound to be there. Or at one of the many breweries or coffee shops around the city!

We love delicious food from around the world, are coffee addicts, craft brew seekers and wine lovers.

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we love living the full expression of life and Raleigh encourages only that.

Being fun loving and social and generally not interested in being too serious, we’re perfectly suited to share with you our tips, stories, and insights on all the things to see and do.

Life is too much fun for that!

It’s all about memories and moments. Nothing more, Nothing less.

You can read more about us and our travel story (22 years of nomadic travel) and travel blogging success over here. And check out our Raleigh faves down below.

About Savannah and Kalyra

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Strangely, people took great delight in telling Craig and I that our travels were over once we fell pregnant with Kalyra.

Nothing like showing people they don’t know what they are talking about.

Kalyra had her first international trip at 6 months to Fiji, and Savannah when she was 8 weeks old to New Zealand. They've been traveling since then.

Our kids currently attend an online private school to maintain our flexibility and decision to put family and values first.

Both girls are great travelers, and while we all have our hair-pulling moments, having them as life-long travel partners has been an absolute delight.

Now with our roots planted in Raleigh, they are enjoying pursuing their own hobbies and talents like hip-hop dancing, acting classes and tennis.

Like us, they enjoy exploring the outdoors in the most adventurous of ways possible.

They like theme parks perhaps a little too much for a Mom who abhors long lines and intense crowds.

Both girls plan on contributing to this site via blog, video and social content with their own personal insights on Raleigh too!

We know they'll definitely be chief donut and cake tasters.

Our Raleigh Faves

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  • Fave coffee: Heirloom (makes the coffee an Aussie can rave about)
  • Fave place to eat: Bida Manda
  • Fave Bar: Brewery Bhavana
  • Fave brewery: Bond Brothers for best beer, and Cotton House Cary for best ambiance and setting.
  • Fave neighborhood: Cary for its cute downtown and dining and brewery options.
  • Fave Lake: Lake Johnson without a doubt.
  • Fave College: UNC. When you have no allegiances you are free to choose the best!
  • Fave getaway from Raleigh: Wrightsville Beach and Lake Lure.


  • Fave coffee: Jubala. Good coffee, good food, and I enjoy soaking up the college life on Hillsborough street.
  • Fave place to eat: Bida Manda (we lived in Asia for a year and this place is as good as it gets) and Fiction Kitchen.
  • Fave Bar: Watts & Ward and London Bridge for international sports.
  • Fave brewery: Brewery Bhvana (stylish, great beer), and Bond Brothers (their hazy IPA for the win)
  • Fave neighborhood: Warehouse District (food, bars, coffee, cool industrial feel)
  • Fave Lake: Lake Johnson. We lived on this lake when first moved here.
  • Fave College: UNC. Yep, another big Tar Heels fan, sorry Wolf Packers. But I'm a sports fan regardless!
  • Fave getaway from Raleigh: Wrightsville Beach (like being back home on the beaches of Oz).

You can read more favorites in our He Said. She Said post. 


We shot a fun intro to our This is Raleigh YouTube channel in some of our favorite locations.