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Things to do in Raleigh

Things to do in  Raleigh

Welcome to Raleigh

The “City of Oaks” and the “Smithsonian of the South,” Raleigh isn’t wanting for accolades. Part of North Carolina’s famed Research Triangle, visitors will have to choose between checking off impressive museums, scoping out music venues, or wandering food halls and beer gardens (Raleigh Beer Garden claims the largest draft selection in the world). For outdoorsy things to do in Raleigh, the list is no shorter—kayak between bald cypress trees, bike along outdoor sculpture parks, or hit up the hiking trails for bird’s-eye views of this capital city.

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All about Raleigh

When to visit

A charming Southern town with a big-city feel, Raleigh is best experienced in spring or fall (unless you’re a basketball fan looking for a winter getaway to see a Tar Heels game). Autumn is an especially nice time, as you get the joys of the North Carolina outdoors in pleasant weather—aka some of the country’s best leaf-peeping—combined with a world-class museum, art, and food scene.

Getting around

Raleigh is considered a driving city—in fact, more than half of Americans live within a day’s drive of the city—but it does have a thorough bus system. As it’s part of the world-renowned Research Triangle, the GoTriangle bus service operates among Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill; the Raleigh R-LINE can get you around downtown to many of the city’s most popular attractions, restaurants, and hotels.

Traveler tips

Raleigh has a robust outdoor patio scene thanks to its mild weather and short winters. Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing has scene-stealing views of the downtown skyline (and brews to match), and Taverna Agora Greek Kitchen & Bar puts you atop a treetop balcony, ideally sipping a glass of Grecian retsina. Get there on one of the city’s many rickshaws to make an only-in-Raleigh day of it.

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People Also Ask

What is Raleigh famous for?

The capital of North Carolina, Raleigh is one of the three cities in the region known as the Triangle. Among Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham, barbecue and college sports rivalries thrive. Raleigh’s plethora of free art and history museums have also earned it the title of Smithsonian of the South.

How do I spend a weekend in Raleigh?

It depends on your interests. You can fill a weekend exploring the city’s many museums. Sports fans can catch an NHL Hurricanes game at PNC arena or watch college basketball, while nature lovers can hike the Lake Johnson Park trails. No visit is complete without heaps of North Carolina barbecue.

Does Raleigh have a walkable downtown?

Yes, there’s plenty to see and do in downtown Raleigh that’s accessible on foot. Using the State Capitol as a starting point, you can quickly walk to popular tourist sites such as the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Moore Square, Raleigh Convention Center, and the Pit Authentic Barbecue.

What is the nicest part of Raleigh?

Mordecai is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Raleigh. The oldest in the city, this compact neighborhood dates back to the 18th century and is located near downtown. Historic architecture, a quiet residential feel, a serene park, and multiple mom-and-pop eateries make it an alluring destination for locals and visitors.

What part of Raleigh has the best nightlife?

The Glenwood South District is one of the best neighborhoods in Raleigh for nightlife. Just west of the downtown core, Glenwood South draws crowds for its mix of restaurants and bars, including the sprawling Raleigh Beer Garden and Tin Roof with live music, bar, and pub grub.

What beach is closest to Raleigh?

Raleigh’s closest beach is Wrightsville Beach, which is approximately 140 miles away via Interstate 40. It’s one of the most popular beaches in the state and can be reached in around two hours by car. Two other popular beaches, Carolina Beach and Kure Beach, are only a few miles beyond.


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