About RaleighFounded in 1792 and named for Sir Walter Raleigh, Raleigh was planned from the beginning as the “unalterable seat of government” for North Carolina; the town site was established on land purchased specifically by the state to be used for the state capital.
Today the city forms the southern portion of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill region known as the Research Triangle. Carved out in the mid-1980s, I-440 serves as the “Beltline,” while Raleigh’s core is found inside the Beltline. I-540 forms an incomplete outer loop linking Apex, Cary, Morrisville, Wake Forest and other suburbs.
In addition to its status as a state capital, Raleigh is known for its universities (North Carolina State University, Shaw University and Meredith College, to name a few) as well as its banking and tech firms, Wolfpack sports and booming restaurant and beer scenes. Opportunities to connect with nature range from downtown’s Moore Square Park—where you’ll see reasons for Raleigh’s nickname “City of Oaks”—to the Capital Area Greenway System, which includes more than 100 miles of greenways and trails.
Cheer on the NC State University Wolfpack football team at Carter-Finley Stadium, 4600 Trinity Rd., or the Wolfpack basketball team at PNC Arena; phone (919) 865-1510 for tickets. The National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes play at the PNC Arena, 1400 Edwards Mill Rd.; phone (866) 645-2263 for ticket information. Five County Stadium in nearby Zebulon is the place to be for minor league baseball; it’s home to the Carolina Mudcats, a Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers; phone (919) 269-2287 for ticket information. The Lonnie Poole Golf Course (1509 Main Campus Dr.) at NC State University is open to the public and claims to be the only collegiate course designed by Arnold Palmer; phone (919) 833-3338.
The city hosts World of Bluegrass Week in early fall at the Raleigh Convention Center; the celebration includes a trade show, the International Bluegrass Music Awards Show and a fan festival. Animal shows, a petting zoo, traditional midway rides and games, live music, fireworks and a variety of food vendors with deep-fried desserts draw crowds to the North Carolina State Fairgrounds for two weeks in mid-October for the North Carolina State Fair; phone (919) 821-7400.
Pullen Park, next to the North Carolina State University campus via Western Boulevard, has fun things to do with children, including a 1911 Dentzel carousel and a miniature train; phone (919) 996-6468. The North Carolina Executive Mansion (200 N. Blount St.) offers free tours of the governor’s home. Tours must be booked at least two weeks in advance; phone (919) 715-3962.
Visitor Centers Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau Visitor Information Center 500 Fayetteville St. Raleigh, NC 27601. Phone:(919)834-5900 or (800)849-8499
Self-guiding tours:Maps for self-guiding tours that include the Capitol, the legislative building and the historic Oakwood neighborhood—a district that includes many well-preserved homes from the early 20th century as well as a large cemetery dating back to 1869—are available at the Visitor Information Center, 500 Fayetteville St. The center is open Mon.-Fri. 9-5; closed major holidays. Phone (919) 834-5900 or (800) 849-8499.
A free circulator bus system—the R-Line—makes it easy to get around downtown Raleigh. The hybrid electric buses run every 15 minutes. Dockless scooters and bike share stations also are available. If you need help finding your way around downtown, look for the roving Ambassadors in bright blue shirts; phone (919) 368-7962.
Shopping in RaleighNear downtown is Cameron Village (2108 Clark Ave.), an outdoor shopping center that’s been a favorite with locals since 1949. Boutiques, independent shops and eateries fill a 6-block area.
Crabtree Valley Mall, north of downtown at 4325 Glenwood Ave. (US 70), has more than 175 shops and food places, including H&M, J. Crew, Johnston & Murphy, Madewell and Williams-Sonoma. North Hills, in the newly created “midtown” district, has shops, restaurants, hotels and a movie theater centered around Six Forks Road and Lassiter Mill Road.
Brier Creek Commons, at US 70 and I-540 near Raleigh-Durham International Airport, is an expansive area of strip malls and discount shops.
The State Farmers Market, 1201 Agriculture St., covers 75 acres and is open daily year-round; phone (919) 733-7417. The smaller Moore Square Market, which still has plenty of things to see, sets up at Moore Square (226 E. Martin St.) on Wednesdays, May-Oct.; phone (919) 821-6982.
Things to Do City of Raleigh (COR) Museum
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1000 Navaho Dr. Raleigh, NC 27609