Raleigh, NC

10 Awesome Places You Can Visit in Raleigh

Asmita Karanje

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Raleigh, NCPhoto by Curtis Adams from Pexels

Raleigh ranked number 1 as the best place to live in North Carolina. It is one of the reasons why people are moving daily in that city in 2021. Known for its universities, including the North Carolina State University, this capital city is home to 10 universities and colleges, making it unusually rich in educational opportunities.

It was also ranked as the best city for quality of life in the US and second in the world. Here's a list of 10 awesome places you can visit when in Raleigh.

North Carolina Museum of Art

This art museum, opened in 1956, is the first major museum collection in the US formed by state legislation and funding. Today, it has a collection that spans more than 5,000 years of artistic work and features outdoor performances in an amphitheater and a variety of exhibitions and public programs.

One of the leading art museums in the South, it has 40 galleries and dozens of major artworks situated in the nation’s largest museum park with 164 acres.

Ranked by Insider as one of the top 25 museums in the country, it offers a stunning collection of outstanding artworks from ancient times to the present which includes American, African, Egyptian, Jewish, and European art.

There is also a wide range of Greek sculptures, Renaissance paintings, and contemporary photographs. You can enjoy the permanent collection with free admission.

James B. Hunt Library

Considered by some to be one of the most advanced libraries in the world, the library was built reflecting the status of North Carolina State University as a leading technological research university.

The library’s architectural design shows a dazzling technological marvel like curved digital display screens, touchscreen kiosks, and a subterranean robot that is programmed to fetch books from the 1.5 million that is housed in an underground storage facility.

This signature building captures the innovative and forward-looking zeal of the university.

Company Mill Loop Trail

This is a 9-kilometer loop trail that features a lake and a number of activity options such as bird watching. It is an amazing shaded trail that offers a variety of beautiful sceneries including the exciting iron bridge, historic dam ruins, and wildflowers along the way.

It is dog-friendly but must be kept on a leash. The hike usually takes about two hours and try it on a Monday noon to avoid the crowd.

This is surely a perfect place for nature lovers.

Marbles Kids Museum

This is one of the most exciting family outings in the city of Raleigh. Not only will the kids have a lot of fun but they will also get a lot of learning along the way.

This museum is a hands-on, interactive destination that allows children to be creative thinkers and active learners. There are five galleries and two outdoor escapes so there is no shortage of activities.

Children can experience “Around Town,” which offers kids a chance to simulate experiences like driving and going to school, “Sun Sprouts,” which teaches all about gardening, and “Tree Tunes,” which is an introduction to music.

Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours

Try going on a food tour to relish some of Raleigh’s culinary offerings. These tours will bring you to some of the finest culinary establishments not only in Raleigh but the whole of North Carolina.

For true foodies, Raleigh Downtown Tasting Tour offers food shops and food halls, the Raleigh Downtown Dinner & Drinks Tour, and Raleigh’s Downtown Speakeasies which is a Craft Cocktail Tour.

These walking food tours not only give you the chance to savor Raleigh’s best cuisine, but you will also learn about the city’s historical insights as well.

Joel Lane Museum House

Operated by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, the Joel Lane Museum House showcases the fascinating history of Raleigh. Plantation owner Joel Lane built his house here in the latter half of the 18th century which helped in ushering the new era of affluence in that area.

The museum contains collections of 18th-century artifacts and period furnishings. You can see through the tours of the museum how Raleigh started off the ground towards prosperity.

Visit the Pullen Park

Pullen Park is the first public park in North Carolina and the fifth oldest operating amusement park in the U.S.

There are playgrounds, tennis courts, sports fields, and an indoor aquatic center where families flock to experience its cheap entertainments especially the carousel ride or trip out on the paddle boats while enjoying the lush beauty.

Visitors are advised to come in the evenings and weekdays when it is less crowded.

Go to William B. Umstead State Park

This acres-wide wooded trail with scenic lakes is located in between the cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Cary. This is a place where you can walk, hike, run, bike, ride a horse, or even take a paddleboat or a canoe through its several lakes.

It is a true nature lover’s paradise as there are dozens of hiking trails, bird watching opportunities, and lakes for boating or canoeing, and fishing.

The largest part is the Big Lake where canoe and rowboat rentals are offered. Visitors may choose a short walk or an extensive hike into the woods while enjoying the beauty and diversity of the park’s natural resources. Bikes or horses are not allowed on the hiking trails, but you can enjoy traveling through the secluded parts of the park.

All equestrians must check-in at the Visitor Center and show proof that their horses are free from equine infectious anemia. Most recent visitors highly recommend that this park is a must-visit place.

Raleigh's City Market

Raleigh’s City Market is located just a few blocks from the North Carolina Museum of History. Opened more than a century ago, you will find a group of bars and restaurants like the Vic’s Ristorante Italiano, shops, and boutiques such as the Dogwood Collective which sells local clothing brands.

There is also a seasonal farmers market from spring to fall. You will find that their products are excellent, and the salespeople are friendly.

First Friday

Every first Friday of each month is a special day in Raleigh. Experience live music, great people, and a lot of fun activities along the streets of Raleigh.

You can roam around its local art galleries, museums, studios, and many more for free. Also, many restaurants, bars, and retailers support First Friday with specials for participants of this affair.

Travel safe. Follow the travel guidelines of the county before you plan your visit.

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