Downtown Cary Park, a seven-acre expanse located at 327 S Academy St, embodies the spirit of community, leisure, and cultural vibrancy. From its enchanting night-lit fountain to its diverse range of activities, this park stands as a testament to the fusion of urban sophistication and natural beauty.

Step into the landscaped gardens adorned with vibrant flora, offering a serene escape from the bustle of everyday life. Meander through pathways lined with benches, inviting visitors to pause, reflect, and soak in the tranquil ambiance.

At first glance, the centerpiece night-lit fountain steals the show, casting a mesmerizing glow upon the park. Its ethereal charm draws wanderers in, inviting them to explore the various wonders the park has to offer.


Project Background

The genesis of Downtown Cary Park traces back to the approval of the 2012 Community Bonds, igniting the vision for a transformative urban oasis. An initial master plan laid the groundwork, envisioning Downtown Cary Park as a hallmark, a seven-acre haven adorned by South Academy Street, East Park Street, and Walker Street along its eastern border.

The completion of the first phase in March 2017 marked a significant milestone. This phase unveiled a landscape defined by a grand fountain, an outdoor performance space, an outdoor games room, and vast open lawn areas. The Town Square, spanning approximately one acre, emerged as the focal point, leaving an expansive six-acre canvas for the subsequent Phase 2 of the park’s evolution. Learn more.


Engaging Activities for All

Beyond its serene aesthetics, Downtown Cary Park pulsates with an array of engaging activities, ensuring a multifaceted experience for all visitors.


    • Tiered Water Feature: At the heart of the park, the tiered water feature stands as a captivating centerpiece. More than just an ornamental spectacle, it’s an interactive oasis inviting visitors to unwind, play, and immerse themselves in its refreshing ambiance. Whether seeking moments of tranquility or family bonding, this feature caters to diverse interests, creating a space for relaxation and joyful gatherings.


    • Pavilion and Performance Spaces: Stepping beyond the tranquil waters, the park comes alive with its pavilion and performance areas. These versatile spaces serve as dynamic stages for a cornucopia of events. From immersive art exhibitions that celebrate local talent to vibrant live performances that resonate with cultural richness, there’s always an eclectic assortment of entertainment awaiting discovery. Visitors are treated to a tapestry of experiences, ensuring that every visit to Downtown Cary Park is brimming with captivating moments and cultural immersion.

This fusion of interactive elements and vibrant programming transforms Downtown Cary Park into more than just a scenic spot—it’s a vibrant tapestry of experiences, inviting individuals and families to create cherished memories and bask in the richness of community engagement and artistic expression.


Highlighted Zones of the Park


    • Expansive Event Grounds: The Great Lawn Pavilion

    • Tail-Wagging Haven: The Bark Bar & Barkyard (dedicated dog park)

    • Community Hub: The Gathering House & Gathering Garden

    • Charming Meeting Point: Academy Street Plaza

    • Playful Haven for Kids: The Nest Play Area

    • Epicenter of Activities: Town Square

    • Sports Enthusiast’s Retreat: Park Street Courts

    • Aerial Pathway: Skywalk


Epicurean Oasis at Market 317

Explore two distinct culinary havens within the park, each offering a unique flavor to enhance your park experience.


    • Bark Bar: An oasis for refreshment seekers, the Bark Bar stands as a serene spot within the park, offering a curated selection of beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages, and delectable light snacks. From chilled brews to soothing beverages, this spot caters to both discerning tastes and relaxation seekers.


    • Market 317: A haven for food enthusiasts, Market 317 promises a culinary adventure with its grab-and-go style café. Indulge in mouthwatering wraps, sandwiches, and artisanal charcuterie boards designed to tantalize your taste buds and complement your park visit. Whether savoring savory bites or delightful treats, this café ensures a satisfying culinary journey for all.

Additionally, occasional appearances by food trucks add another layer of culinary diversity to the vibrant tapestry of flavors within Downtown Cary Park.


Community Engagement and Sustainability

Beyond its culinary offerings, Downtown Cary Park thrives as a vibrant community hub, emphasizing convenience, sustainability, and local engagement.


    • Hydration and Eco-consciousness: Discover convenience and sustainability with four strategically placed bottle filling stations throughout the park. These stations signify a commitment to sustainability, providing hydration options while minimizing plastic waste.


    • Local Flavors, Community Spirit: Cary Park Ventures leads the park’s food and beverage offerings, prioritizing local sourcing and seasonal menus. Helmed by the seasoned duo, John and Mike Cline, long-standing Cary residents with extensive experience from successful ventures like The Veggie Wagon (Carolina Beach and Masonboro) and Carolina Crust (Raleigh-Durham), this establishment promises an immersive journey into local flavors and community essence.

Their dedication ensures that visitors to Downtown Cary Park experience more than just a meal; it’s an immersion in the vibrant essence of Cary’s local food scene.

As the park evolves, these initiatives underscore a commitment to sustainability, community engagement, and the celebration of local culture, rendering Downtown Cary Park an inviting and enriching destination for all.


Plan Your Visit

Officially opening its doors to the public, Downtown Cary Park has quickly become a hub of cultural exchange and recreational fervor. It’s not just a park; it’s a vibrant tapestry woven with events, fitness classes, and opportunities for connection.

For those seeking a delightful escape or a chance to immerse themselves in the cultural essence of Cary, Downtown Cary Park stands as an inviting haven. With its enchanting features and a calendar brimming with engaging activities, it promises an experience that captivates hearts and creates lasting memories. A great place to also visit in Cary.