Last updated: 10:00 PM ET, Tue May 24 2022
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA downtown and George Washington Monument as viewed from the Capitol Building grounds.


Destinations Home | North America | United States | North Carolina


Raleigh, North Carolina, USA downtown skyline. (photo via SeanPavonePhoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Raleigh, North Carolina downtown skyline. (photo via SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Raleigh, North Carolina, is best known for its world-class museums, best of Broadway shows and live concerts, Capital area historic sites and professional and amateur sporting events. Greater Raleigh truly offers a wide variety of entertainment for visitors, all in one park-like, scenic setting; add to that its shopping mecca status, with nine major retail areas.

Between March and December, you can board a trolley for a narrated tour of historic Raleigh. The tour starts and ends at Mordecai Historic Park, but you can join the tour at any spot on the route including the State Capital Bicentennial Plaza, the Joel Lane House and City Market.

Mordecai Mansion is an antebellum plantation home. Tours here cover other historic structures which have been moved to Mordecai Park for preservation, including the birthplace of President Andrew Johnson. State Capital Bicentennial Plaza is a pedestrian area linking the historic Capitol Building to the south with the Legislative Building to the north, flanked by the museums of history and natural sciences. Joel Lane House, a plantation manor, was built in the early 1770s in what was a very rural part of North Carolina. Joel Lane is called “The Father of Raleigh” because he facilitated the location of North Carolina’s capital city on his land in 1792. The City Market area is a cluster of cobblestone streets that house specialty shops, art galleries, restaurants and a small farmers’ market. Another great place for a stroll is the Oakwood Historic District, a 19th-century 20-block area with many restored Victorian homes.

Raleigh, North Carolina, USA downtown and George Washington Monument as viewed from the Capitol Building grounds.
PHOTO: Raleigh, North Carolina downtown and George Washington Monument as viewed from the Capitol Building grounds. (photo via SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

With more than 150 parks, gardens, lakes and greenways in Raleigh, there are plenty of places to enjoy the scenery, and you can see why the area was dubbed No. 8 among America’s Great Garden Cities in an issue of Garden Design magazine.

When you talk about restaurants in Raleigh (there are 1,100-plus), you've got to start with some Carolina favorites: sweet tea, mouth-watering barbecue, home-style vegetables, all brought to you with warm Southern service. This said, the city is also becoming noted for its big-city eateries.

Visitors can experience pulsing entertainment districts, a staggering array of live music venues and visiting performers, and world-class facilities for the arts. The nightlife is centered in several areas including the Capital District, East Raleigh/South Park, Fayetteville Street, Five Points, Glenwood South, Historic Oakwood, Moore Square Art District, North Carolina State and Hillsborough Street and the Warehouse District.

More than half the U.S. population lives within a day’s drive or an hour’s flight from Raleigh. The location is convenient for trips to the beautiful beaches of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, to the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains to the west or to the “Home of American Golf” to the south in Pinehurst.

Temperatures range from a daily high of 90 degrees in July to a daily low of 30 degrees in December and January.

The official airport is the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, an East Coast hub, ranking as one of the nation's fastest-growing airports.