Time to indulge in the great outdoors — while kicking back and sitting down. Ten spots to make it happen:
The country-store style chair swings outside gives this spot an instant happy-go-lucky feel.
Here, you must: Sip on a smoothie. Consider the Mean Green smoothie with pineapple, banana, apple juice, spirulina and kyogreen ($4.95)
1257 East Blvd.
This is a not-easily-noticed, tucked-away spot that is lovely at sunset.
Here, you must: Make the epic choice among Panang Curry, Red Curry and Green Curry (prices vary). Ask for chopsticks, too.
613 Providence Road
Settle back into the wooden-gazebo aura and unwind.
Here, you must: Not miss the live summer music series, which runs Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 p.m. and features half-off bottles of wine. You can also satisfy your curiosity about the Goat’s Breast Milk cocktail, mixed with ouzo, amaretto, honey, fresh lemon and mint ($8).
1608 East Blvd.
If you can snag one of the four tables outside on the sidewalk, you win. You can gaze down the full length of Elizabeth Avenue toward uptown AND watch the trolley go by.
Here, you must: Buy a bottle of Ginger Perry (a crisp, dry cider) and the grain bowl with a scoop of butternut-squash guacamole ($9.49).
1609 Elizabeth Ave.
This spot feels like a small-scale secret garden tucked to the side of the building.
Here, you must: Start with the Sweet Potato Ravioli with toasted walnuts, Gorgonzola cream sauce (and sliced bread to mop it up) ($12).
300 East Blvd.
Little patio, big-city vibe along the Blue Line.
Here, you must: Save room for the Amami soft-serve flavor of the day, like strawberry, basil or green tea ($5).
222 E. Bland St.
Two words: Twinkling lights.
Here, you must: Order a bottle of wine, duh. If you order a bottle that is over $30, there is no corkage fee. Don’t worry, there are 3,500 different wines, including 40 available for tasting.
1235 East Blvd., #1
There’s an open-air-market vibe to this place, with high wooden walls and decorative streamers. Also, you’ve got to love the faux moose head in the corner.
705 S. Sharon Amity Road
This space offers the Southern rocking-chair porch vibe blended with an elegant garden ambiance. Come for the coffee by day, the cocktails by night.
Here, you must: Get a Mocha Latte at the Mayobird ($4.25). You can spike it for an additional $5.95. By night, try a cocktail at the Summit Room like the Mount Everest with Firefly, Grey Goose L’Orange, lemon sour, cranberry and muddled mint ($12). You should probably say “yes” to the Skillet Cookie Pie, too ($9).
1531 East Blvd.
One huge expanse of porch and patio, please. Come for the hanging plants, the picnic tables, the chair swings and the mural by Matt Moore and Matt Hooker.
Here, you must: Grab a bottle of wine off the shelf by the bar and pop the cork. Prices vary. (There’s hummus and crackers in the cooler, too.)
3221 Yadkin Ave.
Off you go. Get outside. Summer has arrived.
Photos: Katie Toussaint