Raleigh, North Carolina, is gaining notoriety and popularity at an increasing rate. The city has the atmosphere of a large city while yet retaining a lot of its Southern allure. Visitors are able to take advantage of contemporary conveniences while still maintaining a connection to the natural environment.
The city of Raleigh, which serves as the state capital, is home to a number of North Carolina’s most notable museums and galleries. The city of Raleigh offers a wide variety of things to do, including cultural activities, local markets, and sporting events, all of which can be found inside the central business district.
On the other hand, Raleigh does not expand into neighboring natural areas, which means there are plenty of trails, parks, and other opportunities for outdoor activities.
The Best Places to Visit in Raleigh, NC
Explore the finest that Raleigh has to offer with the assistance of this guide to the city’s most popular points of interest and activities.
1. The Museum of Natural Sciences of the State of North Carolina
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is one of the largest natural science museums in the southeastern United States, and it is located in a location that is both convenient and central to the city.
It is comprised of two buildings: one of which is devoted to educational exhibitions, and the other to the scientific processes that lie behind those exhibits.
Permanent installations at the Nature Exploration Center include the Arthropod Zoo, the Living Conservatory, and displays that examine the beaches, mountains, and local natural history of North Carolina. These permanent installations are in addition to the touring exhibits that are also shown at the center.
2. Museum of Art in the State of North Carolina
The North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) was the first state-funded collection to open its doors in 1956 when its galleries initially welcomed visitors. They display works of art from the Renaissance, as well as ancient Greek and Roman sculpture and antiquities, Egyptian tomb artwork, pre-Columbian works, and early American art.
The North Carolina Museum of Art is also quite proud of the fact that it is only one of two museums in the United States that has permanent exhibits devoted to Jewish art.
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In addition to providing guided tours of its galleries and special exhibits, the museum also provides seminars, talks, film screenings, and performances of many forms of the performing arts. It is well worth one’s time to stroll about the museum grounds and take in the sculptures, gardens, and tranquil reflecting pool.
3. The Pullen Park
Pullen Park was the first public park to open in the state of North Carolina when it debuted in 1887. The park’s 66 acres offer significantly more than what one would expect from a standard city park. Carousel rides on the Gustave A.
Dentzel and miniature train trips on the C.P. Huntington are available for guests to enjoy. A voyage around Lake Howell can be taken in one of the pedal boats that can be rented, and there is also a kiddie boat ride available for the younger seafarers.
Kids will also love the huge playground, which includes water play for those hot summer days, and there are often shows in the children’s amphitheater. Fans of The Andy Griffith Show will want to pose for pictures with the “Andy and Opie” statue.
4. Children’s Museum of Marbles
The hands-on Marbles Kids Museum should be high on the list of places to visit for families with young children. It is filled with interactive exhibits, including an exploration of music at Tree Tunes; the world of horticulture at Sun Sprouts kid’s garden; an energetic time at Kid Grid; and the BB&T Toddler’s Hollow, where kids three and under can play and explore safely in a place just for them.
Laminated Picture Maps are available to borrow, so that the kids can plan their day, and parents will be happy to have the choice of eating at their on-site café or bringing their own lunch for a picnic.
The Wells Fargo IMAX Theatre at Marbles shows both Hollywood hits and educational films on its 50-by-70-foot screen, keeping everyone in the family entertained.
5. Museum of History of the State of North Carolina
The North Carolina Museum of History has permanent and traveling exhibits that encompass the state’s past. You will find Native American tools, housewares of early European settlers, costumes from the Revolutionary War era, and weapons and military gear from the Civil War.
African American history is featured as well, from the first days of slavery through the arduous fight for freedom and equality. This is also home to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, where visitors can learn about native sports heroes and see plenty of memorabilia.
6. Exploring the Historic District of Oakwood
The historic Oakwood neighborhood is located close to the heart of Raleigh, North Carolina, and is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places as the state’s biggest 19th-century residential district that has been preserved in its original form.
Many of the hundreds of homes that were built in the 19th century have been brought back to their original splendor.
Be sure to take a stroll by the beautiful Tucker House, which is designed in the Neoclassical Revival style. Many of the residences have stunning gardens surrounding them in addition to the buildings themselves.
7. The Raleigh Area’s Performing Arts Scene
The city of Raleigh is home to a diverse range of organizations and venues that are dedicated to the performing arts. People who enjoy going to the theater will have a great time at the Theatre in the Park at Pullen Park, which puts on a number of performances throughout the year but is most well-known for staging A Christmas Carol every December.
The Burning Coal Theatre can be found in the heart of the downtown area, and the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts, which is close by, is where stage plays and musicals put on by the North Carolina Theatre as well as the productions of the North Carolina Opera may be seen.
8. Yates Mill, a Historic Mill
Yates Mill, located around five miles south of the center, is the area’s only extant water-powered gristmill. It is a relic from an era when Wake County was home to seventy gristmills, each of which turned corn and wheat into meal and flour for local citizens. The mill is still operating with the same machinery that was installed when it first opened in the mid-1950s.
When you pay a visit to the mill, which is accessible from March to November, you may observe millers in period costumes grinding maize and discover how the millstones were driven by a water wheel.
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The mill is located in a park that also features a wildlife refuge and an environmental research center. Programs, events, and exhibitions help preserve the agricultural heritage of the region.
9. The JC Raulston Arboretum and Gardens
The JC Raulston Arboretum is a popular destination for tourists and a source of ideas for gardeners all over the region due to the fact that it has one of the largest and most diversified collections of plants suitable for use in landscaping in the Southeast.
Plants are collected and assessed to determine which are most suited to the circumstances of the Piedmont region of North Carolina and southern landscapes. However, for the casual visitor, the gardens are simply a wonderful location to visit at any time of year.
10. Historic Mordecai Park and Preserve
The house in which Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States, was born is now preserved as part of Mordecai Historic Park. The Mordecai House, which was constructed in 1785, is the oldest building in the city that is still standing on its original foundation.
The estate and grounds, in addition to numerous other 19th-century structures such as St. Mark’s Chapel, Badger Iredell Law Office, and the Allen Kitchen, which was re-created from details provided in Ellen Mordecai’s correspondence, are included on the hourly guided tours that are offered.
The city of Raleigh, located in North Carolina, was designed to become the capital of the state from the very beginning. It was named after Sir Walter Raleigh, who in the 1580s created a colony that did not last very long in this location. However, much like Washington, D.C., Raleigh was planned from the beginning to be the capital city.