Aptly nicknamed "City of Oaks" for the many oak trees that line the city streets, North Carolina's industrious state capital is brimming with rich history, technological innovation, live music, handcrafted brews and much, much more.
Photo By: Sean Pavone
North Carolina State Capitol Building
Completed in 1840, this Greek Revival-style building stands in the heart of Capitol Square in downtown Raleigh. On a guided tour of this National Historic Landmark, you can explore the state's oldest library, see a modern restoration of the State Geologist's Office (circa 1858) and view multiple busts, plaques and statues commemorating key people and events in North Carolina's rich history. Interestingly, the present structure is a rebuild of the original State House that famously burned in 1831 during an attempt to fireproof its wooden roof.
This 35,000-square-foot, Queen Anne-style dwelling has been home to 29 state governors and their families since 1891. In addition to its function as a private residence, the mansion serves as a repository for a large collection of fine 18th and 19th century North Carolina furnishings and paintings that you can see on a guided tour of the first floor.
Photo By: Dennis Macdonald
What sets Raleigh apart from many other large cities is its profusion of green space. Just a few miles from busy downtown streets, you'll find two state parks — William B. Umstead State Park (above) and Falls Lake State Recreation Area — and a long list of city parks that offer hiking, camping, fishing, boating, horseback riding and much more.
Photo By: Licec
Historic Yates Mill County Park
Built in 1756, Yates Mill is the sole survivor of the more than 70 gristmills that once dotted Wake County. Visitors to this 174-acre wildlife refuge and environmental research center can take a guided tour of the original gristmill, enjoy costumed corn grinding demonstrations, fish off the Yates Mill Pond boardwalk and more.
Photo By: Ajay Chopra
Birthplace of Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States, was born in a small cottage on Fayetteville Street in 1808. The gambrel-roofed structure (assumed to have been built in the late 18th century) doubled as a kitchen for Casso's Inn where Johnson's father worked as a livery man. Today, the relocated building can be found in Raleigh's Mordecai Historic Park where it has been meticulously restored to resemble its appearance during the time of Johnson's occupancy.
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Historic City Market
After City Market opened its doors on October 1, 1914, it quickly became Raleigh's go-to destination for fresh, locally-sourced produce, baked goods, textiles and more. Today, this historic concourse and the Moore Square district that surrounds it are at the epicenter of the city's thriving art scene, with an eclectic variety of art galleries, live music venues and local restaurants lining the cobble stone streets.
Photo By: Richard Cummins
North Carolinians take their barbecue seriously. So much in fact, that a longstanding feud exists over which type of barbecue — saucy Lexington Style or vinegar-based Eastern Style — should be named the official state 'cue. No matter your preference, however, you can find delicious, legendary eats in one of over 35 barbecue joints open for business in The Greater Raleigh Area.
Photo By: The Washington Post
In Raleigh, beer is more than just a libation, it’s a passion. Over 20 craft breweries lie within the 40 miles from Wake Forest to Fuquay Varina, churning out a host of artful, delicious brews and spawning a rich subculture of enthusiastic beer connoisseurs. Raleigh even hosts the World Beer Festival each year where patrons can sample a variety of brews from around the globe in addition to a spread of local favorites.
Photo By: Natasha Sioss
Out on the Town
From the high-energy clubs of Glenwood South to the relaxed taverns and restaurants of Fayetteville Street, a diverse lineup of nightlife and family-friendly activity can be found in Raleigh's five distinct entertainment districts.
Photo By: MCT
The Most Music in North Carolina
The City of Oaks boasts a thriving music scene and prides itself on offering more live music than any other city in the state. Whether in a mainstream music arena or a small, intimate venue like Lincoln Theater (above), a show can be found somewhere in Raleigh any day of the year.
Photo By: Grant Halverson
North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University at Raleigh, more commonly known as NC State, is the largest university in the Carolinas with over 34,000 enrolled students. Located in downtown Raleigh, NC State makes up one corner of North Carolina's distinguished Research Triangle — along with Duke University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — and is famous for its high-energy Wolfpack athletic teams.
Photo By: Replay Photos
Carter-Finley Stadium and Wolfpack Football
On many Saturdays in the fall, the roar of Carter-Finley stadium can be heard throughout downtown Raleigh as over 55,000 enthusiastic fans cheer on their beloved NC State Wolfpack football team.
Photo By: Lance King
Across the street from Carter-Finley Stadium you'll find the 700,000-square-foot PNC Arena, home to the Carolina Hurricanes professional hockey team and NC State Wolfpack men's basketball team. In addition to being a sports facility, PNC Arena is also a popular concert and show venue, hosting over 150 events each year.
Research Triangle Park — the 7,000-acre area between NC State, Duke University and The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill — was established in 1959 in an effort to harness the intellectual potential of university graduates and to generate jobs in poverty-stricken North Carolina. Today, "The Triangle" is one of the largest research and development parks in the world, employs over 60,000 workers and is home to over 190 companies, including IBM, Cisco, BASF and more.
Photo By: Bloomberg
North Carolina State Fair
Head to The North Carolina State Fair in mid-October to enjoy a fun assortment of carnival rides, agricultural competitions, concerts, firework shows and food vendors on the nation's largest state fair midway. Celebrated in Raleigh since 1928, the fair attracts over a million people during its 11-day run each year.
Photo By: red_moon_rise
Raleigh Farmers Market
Held every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in City Plaza, the Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market showcases homegrown, sustainably-sourced produce and artisan foods from some of North Carolina's best farmers, bakers, cheese makers and more.