Fun Things to Do in Raleigh
Raleigh, the "City of Oaks,” is known for its welcoming Southern charm. Becoming increasingly sophisticated, it now boasts a diverse collection of art galleries, food and music venues too. Raleigh has so much to offer visitors. Be sure to build some extra time into your schedule to experience all that it has to offer.
Ample stylish backdrops await in the Fayetteville Street District
, and the nearby North Carolina State Capitol Building
delivers Greek Revival in a big way. Head over to Hillsborough to find “A Sight to Behold
,” the stickwork gem. Your social followers will be amazed by the décor of the ever-evolving Free Expression Tunnel
at NC State. Marbles Museum Color Pop Corner
is a perfectly colorful selfie spot. At three stories high the iconic globe at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
impresses all. Keep things elegant among more than 50 varieties of roses at the Raleigh Rose Garden
, or completely obvious in front of a colorful wall that actually says, “Raleigh,” at the HQ Raleigh Wall
. And if you're known as a big nut, a selfie with the Acorn in Moore Square
is a must have.
Shopping – If you're born to shop, Raleigh is the right place to be. Deco Raleigh carries works of more than 60 local artisans. Stich by Holly Aiken offers uncomplicated, indestructible bags built with distinctive NC flare. House of Swank boasts the raddest NC-themed shirts and swag on the planet, while Raleigh Denim Workshop is where to find the perfect fitting pair of jeans. Edge of Urge boutique specializes in handmade clothing, jewelry and one-of-a-kind treasures, and The Devilish Egg showcases gifts to ignite curiosity and warm the soul.
Breweries – If you favor a bit of dim sum with your IPA head to Brewer Bhavana. For painstakingly produced (and never disappointing) brews in a bicycling-themed environment, Crank Arm Brewing is the place to be. Durty Bull Brewing Company focuses on barrel-aged ales produced with old-timey techniques. If the notion of a Trophy Wife (IPA) floats your boat, get yourself to Trophy Brewing & Taproom. One of their most popular beers at Ponysaurus is their “Don’t Be Mean to People.” For a “Hell's Belle Belgian Blond” to keep you warm head over to Big Boss Brewing Company. And for unique microbrews, nom-worthy eats and a good time check out Lynnwood Grill & Brewing Concern.
Cocktails - Raleigh’s bar game is strong. For a classic 1920s era speakeasy vibe, and great cocktails head to Watts & Ward. If delicious punchbowl sized cocktails appeal to you, Haymaker awaits. The Gin & Tonic with Clove (plus all the classics) and people watching are notable at Fox Liquor Bar. The "High in Fiber" is a staple at The Green Light Bar (aka The Architect). Delicious gimlets are being served in a low lit, chill scene at C. Grace. Craving mezcal? Get a taste in a hip atmosphere at Gallo Pelon. And there's no place like The Crunkleton for fantastic, classic cocktails in a genuinely cozy room.
Casual Eats – For down home comfort food made with only local ingredients visit Poole’s Downtown Diner. If you’re going to do beer and pizza, Trophy Brewing & Pizza Company offers imaginative flavor combinations. For large plates ranging from fresh fish to house-made pasta visit The Stanbury. There’s something for everyone and little has changed since Players’ Retreat opened in 1951 (as it should be). Humble Pie is the destination for tapas (small plates) and a tiki bar. Hipsters gather for Indian and Asian cuisine at Garland, while authentic Mexican food (and some of the best margaritas around) are served up at Centro. For the quintessential American dish served with culinary passion visit Bad Daddies Burger Bar. To try “burgushi” (an unconventional and traditional sushi menu) dine at Cowfish. Fried chicken and waffles is an absolute must try at Beasley's Chicken and Honey, and Sushi O offers Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine.
Upscale Gastronomics - For the best steaks in the Triangle, head to Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. Everything at Death & Taxes comes off the grill with a delicious smoky flavor. Second Empire (located in the beautifully restored Dodd-Hinsdale House) serves unique cuisine in a spectacular setting. For fine dining with a French Quarter flare check out Rey's. The Angus Barn, a highly-recommended steakhouse and seafood venue, is also known for its extensive wine cellar and large cigar bar. Caffe Luna is the go to spot for Italian downtown. Look no further than Fiction Kitchen for thoughtfully prepared vegan and vegetarian cuisine from a 100% vegetarian kitchen. And prepare your taste buds for true North Carolinian barbecue served in a classy setting at The Pit.
Keep Moving – The Citrix Cycle Bikeshare Program is a great way to exercise while checking out what makes Raleigh so awesome. Conquer your fears at new heights on the 55-foot climbing wall at Triangle Rock Club. Nine miles of hiking and cycling trails, tons of activities and a 520-acre lake with year-round rental boats can be found at Lake Crabtree County Park. Walkers, joggers, runners, cyclists and skaters will experience nirvana on the trails (28 of them!) at Capital Area Greenway System. Feel like hanging about? Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course features zip lines and tarzan swings (at heights of 40-50 feet) in the trees. Culture and beauty abound at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, North Carolina Museum of Art and JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University. Or get your exercise on while hunting for earthly treasures from 600+ vendors at the Raleigh Flea Market.