Raleigh: Best Things to Do

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Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina. It’s known for its universities, historic landmarks, and museums. Raleigh is also known as the Research Triangle because of the number of technology and scholarly institutions.

Plenty of nature spots are pretty much seen here, like JC Raulston Arboretum and Lake Johnson Park.

Museums like North Carolina Museum of Art and North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences are not to be missed.

Make sure to have to most fun at Frankie’s Fun Park.

Special cuisine like Chocolate Chess Pie, Macaroni and Cheese, Fried Chicken and Waffles, and Crack Fries will be your favorite dishes here.

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SIGHTSEEING

Explore North Carolina Museum of Art to know more about the history of Raleigh and North Carolina. Since its opening in 1956, this museum has been known as the first major museum collection and still continues to showcase informative arts and history. The museum features over 40 galleries and major works of art in the nation’s largest museum park with 164 acres.

North Carolina Museum of Art

This museum has been known as the first major museum collection and still continue to showcase informative arts and history.

Opened in 1956, this museum features over 40 galleries.

A major works of art in the nation’s largest museum park with 164 acres.

There are authentic 3000 year old sarcophagi in here.

Beautiful paintings and sculptures are seen in this museum. Definitely worth a visit.

Address : 2110 Blue Ridge Rd, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA

DOWNTOWN

There are plenty of good entertainment spots in downtown Raleigh. Whether it’s bars, cafes, or museums. But you must visit a popular museum in this downtown area called North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Explore and join the exhibits on NC’s geology, flora & fauna, fossil collections, 3D films, and live-animal programs. It’s known as the oldest established museum in North Carolina and the largest museum of its kind in the Southeastern United States. The building alone is enough to be a reason to come to this museum. What a stunning museum!

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Great place for kids and nostalgic place for adults.

It's free to get in and donation are always welcomed.

They have so much cool, interactive stuff.

A real nice place to go, especially for little to no money.

Very interesting history of geology of the state too.

Address : 11 W Jones St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

SHOPPING

Make sure to go to Raleigh Convention Center. This center offers special events, museums, historical sites, arts, and culture experiences, outdoor activities, and nigh life. If you’re hungry and need a place to eat, you’ll only be steps away from food vendors. The building itself is beautiful and very well kept. Make Crabtree Valley Mall the place to visit while you’re in Raleigh. This huge mall is known as one of the most visited malls in the city. With nearly 200 stores and dozens of restaurants to choose from, this stunning mall is truly the right place for shoppers and diners. Popular shopping destinations include H&M, Forever 21, Apple Store, Disney Store, and so many more. Make sure to try the favorite restaurants with delicious dishes. To engage its visitors, this mall hosts various events throughout the year. If you’re looking for local goods, DECO Raleigh is the right place for that. This high-ceilinged boutique in downtown Raleigh is stocking a large selection of locally made gifts, housewares, books, and cards. A perfect spot to get what the locals have to offer.

Raleigh Convention Center

It is a convention center.

Great venue to host tradeshows and events.

Great customer Service.

All the staff that work their do a great job with the cleaning and upkeep.

The food and the staff at the convention center are top- notch.

Their amenities are great, the food they serve is good.

Address : 500 S Salisbury St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

Crabtree Valley Mall

This huge mall is known as one of the most visited malls in the city.

Has a lot of stores, so lots to choose from. Good size food court.

Its an easy mall to find your way around.

It has a parking garage.

It also has a Cheesecake Factory with many different flavors of cheesecake

Address : 4325 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27612, United States

DECO Raleigh

This is a great place to get gifts for just about anyone on you list.

The store has a lot of unique gifts and North Carolina specific gifts.

It's really an amazing spot for shopping for Anyone.

They have a good selection of books and a children’s section in the back with a kids tent set up for them to play in.

Super friendly staff.

Address : 207 S Salisbury St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

FOOD & DRINK

Raleigh has plenty of signature dishes. Chocolate Chess Pie, Macaroni and Cheese, Fried Chicken and Waffles, and Crack Fries are some of them. For the drink, Jungle Bird, Cheerwine, Indian Summer, The Botanist are Raleigh’s famous cocktails.

CULTURE

Raleigh is a center for cultural attractions in North Carolina. It has several state-of-the-art performance venues, museums, and art galleries featuring both local and professional artists and performers.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Spring is one of the best seasons for traveling. In Raleigh, Spring is the best season to explore what the city has to offer. It’s from March to May. Raleigh weather is pleasant in this period of time. Not only spring, Fall Season can be considered a good time to visit the city, the rates are cheap and the crowds are less.

HOTEL

Sheraton Raleigh Hotel would be an excellent choice for your stay in the city. Standing proudly with its sophisticated style, this hotel is an only 2-minute walk from the Raleigh Convention Center and a 5-minute walk from the Duke Energy Center. Italian restaurant is at their service to give you the best experience in your culinary exploration. Comfort rooms with its helpful equipment are ready to make you feel at home. You can also stay at the stylish hotel, Aloft Raleigh. The hotel has colorful accent to its rooms, giving modern vibes to it. Their restaurant/bar also comes with modern style, offering live music. A gym and an outdoor pool become your company every day to take care of your fitness. This hotel is a mile from the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh and 2 miles from the North Carolina State Capitol.

Sheraton Raleigh Hotel

The location is central and perfectly located with safe easy parking directly across the street.

The amnesties are great and a functional good gym on premise.

A wonderful warm comfortable experience.

Comfy beds, good water pressure and hot water, and clean rooms.

The views of the city are fantastic and beautiful.

Address : 421 S Salisbury St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

Aloft Raleigh

The hotel has colorful accent to its rooms, giving modern vibes to it.

Their restaurant/bar also comes with modern style, offering live music.

Lovely decor,it feels like European style.

The hotel itself is modern, hip, and rooms are clean.

The staff are very efficient and friendly.

Address : 2100 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607, United States

RESTAURANT

Feel the surroundings of good tastes, flowers, books, and stylish settings at Brewery Bhavana. This restaurant has been known as a good place for dining. Not only a restaurant, but it has also become a bookstore, a library, a flower shop, and a brewery, all in one. Making it a favorite place to stop by. To give you the feeling of comfort, the place is styled very beautifully. An elegant American restaurant called Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern is ready to offer you comfort food and healthy options in a casual vibe. The restaurant is set in a historic 1879 Second Empire house. Enjoy great food and service at a reasonable price while being in the historical surroundings.

Brewery Bhavana

If you're looking for one of the best asian food, especially dimsum, this acclaimed restaurant and brewery is a must-visit restaurant when you arrived at Raleigh.

Brewery Bhavana has an amazing atmosphere and service that really makes you feel welcomed.

The food and beer selection is amazing as well and tasty.

Address : 218 S Blount St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern

The restaurant is setting in a historic 1879 Second Empire house.

Great place to go on a date night.

Very romantic setting.

The food is superb, the ambiance is magical.

The staff delivers the highest level of service and courtesy.

perfect wine pairings and an amazing "reality show" from the highly skill kitchen team.

Address : 330 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603, United States

CAFE

Sola Coffee Cafe welcomes you with breakfast, lunch, and dinner all day. They provide a gathering space for the community to share conversation and build relationships over delicious food and quality drinks. Tasty pizza and pastries are ready to be ordered. Live entertainment will make your visit even memorable. No matter what is your schedule for the day, start it with the world’s friendliest baristas’ smile at Morning Times. Since 2006, this cafe has been serving quality roasted coffee and unique menu items in downtown Raleigh. Stop by and taste a house-made bagel. Enjoy it on their second floor with the company of its beautiful art gallery. The comfortable setting and outdoor seating will make you closer to your dishes.

Sola Coffee Cafe

Sola Coffee Cafe is probably one of favorite spots in Raleigh.

The place is usually pretty busy, probably because it's good.

There are lots of plants, big windows, and space with a good bar.

Great place for coffee, breakfast, lunch, juice, smoothie or smoothie bowls, reading or working.

Amazing and friendly staff.

Address : 7705 Lead Mine Rd, Raleigh, NC 27615, United States

Morning Times

Such a great coffee shop.

Nice space upstairs to get work done and enjoy a bite to eat.

The menu is simple and very unique with a variety for different tastes.

The atmosphere is really great and so is the food.

It is the perfect breakfast fix.

Address : 10 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

BAR AND NIGHTLIFE

Be sure to check out C.Grace bar. This classic cocktail bar has classic touches to it. Whether its decoration, the setting, or the performance of the live music that’s played five nights a week. While you’re sipping the classic handcrafted drinks, the presence of live jazz is sure to make your night special. You must go to Coglin’s Raleigh bar to have the best night in the city. The club takes inspiration from the ‘80s and ‘90s era. It features pop-culturing decor, special events, games, and karaoke nights. The atmosphere will keep calling your presence to party hard all night.

C.Grace

This place has got the charm, the decor, and the atmosphere in spades.

The drink options are both original and delicious.

Great Gatsby with chandeliers and red velvet curtains.

The bar selection is extensive and the bartenders are excellent.

Best jazz bar in Raleigh, with amazing ambience and some really good cocktails.

Address : 407 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27606, United States

Coglin’s Raleigh

Small, funky and fun bar in Raleigh.

There is about 3 designated areas where you can dance.

Great retro bar, wonderful vibe.

This club is unique.

It plays 80s and 90s music primarily.

Address : 226 Fayetteville St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

INTERESTING PLACE

If you want to have the most fun day/night, you must come to Frankie’s Fun Park. With its great service and staff, tons of fun activities are ready to be explored. Go-karts, laser tag, batting cages, bumper boats, flight simulators, mini-golf, arcade games, and so many more things to do here. You’re assured to have the best time ever. Historic Yates Mill County Park is another interesting place you need to visit while you’re in Raleigh. It’s a 1756 gristmill located 5 miles south of downtown Raleigh. The park features the restored mill; a visitor center with a museum that’s focused on milling. Explore this 20-acre lake with extensive hiking trails and prepare to see the beauty of the park.

Frankie’s Fun Park

With its great service and staff, tons of fun activities are ready to be explored.

Lots of fun.

The go carts are pretty fast.

The place is clean and well kept.

A good place to let the children have some fun.

Lots of fun featuring both indoor and outdoor activities.

Address : 11190 Fun Park Dr, Raleigh, NC 27617, United States

Historic Yates Mill County Park

This is a great place to learn about historic Raleigh and do a little hiking.

It’s a 1756 gristmill located 5 miles south of downtown Raleigh.

The park features the restored mill; a visitor center with a museum that’s focused on milling.

Explore this 20-acre lake with extensive hiking trails and prepare to see the beauty of the park.

They have some hiking trails, you can walk around the lake.

Address : 4620 Lake Wheeler Rd, Raleigh, NC 27603, United States

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOT

As one of the most beautiful spots in the city, Lake Johnson Park is a good spot to create stunning Instagram shots. It’s a recreation area with 5.4 miles of trails around the lake. Rent a boat and explore the stunning lake while capturing the beautiful scenery. Not only museums and historic places that’s popular in this city, nature spots are quite everywhere. JC Raulston Arboretum is another good spot for gorgeous pictures. It’s a 10-acre arboretum and botanical garden administrated by North Carolina University. It’s open daily for public without charge.

Lake Johnson Park

It’s a recreation area with 5.4 miles of trails around the lake.

Rent a boat and explore the stunning lake while capturing the beautiful scenery.

Perfect loop options around this perfect lake.

There is a small parking lot on the other side of the bridge.

Highly recommended.

Address : 4601 Avent Ferry Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606, United States

JC Raulston Arboretum

It’s a 10-acre arboretum and botanical garden administrated by North Carolina University.

It’s open daily for public without charge.

They have so many beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers in a relatively small botanical garden.

Excellent stop to walk and enjoy the beauty.

Definitely recommend this Arboretum.

Address : 4415 Beryl Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606, United States