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The capital of North Carolina and the largest city of the Research Triangle, Raleigh is the primary political and economic driver of the metro area. Indeed, business and politics are the main draws to Raleigh, which lacks the more trendy feel or active arts scene of Durham or Chapel Hill to the west. However, a concerted effort to expand the residential base and move events downtown has led to significantly expanded retail and restaurant options in the downtown core. Also, visitors will find many of the state's cultural institutions here, namely a major performing arts center downtown and three state museums, and a college town atmosphere in the neighborhood around the campus of North Carolina State University, the state's largest university.


North Carolina Legislature

As of 2020, the city had a population of about 468,000, with a metro area population of about 1.4 million.



Raleigh is one of the few U.S. state capitals that was specifically established and planned to serve as a capital. Its location was chosen partly for being near the center of the state and partly because it was close to Isaac Hunter's Tavern, where North Carolina legislators and other government officials liked to stay. The story goes that the commissioners couldn't decide on an exact plot of land until Isaac Hunter and his friend Joel Lane had the idea of throwing a big party with plenty of local jam and whiskey. The next morning, the hungover commissioners voted 5–1 for a plot owned by Joel Lane himself.

The new city was established as the state capital in 1792 and was named for Sir Walter Raleigh.

Visitor information


The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau operates the 1 Raleigh Visitor Information Center. The Visitor Information Center (VIC) is at 500 Fayetteville Street between the Raleigh Marriott City Center and The Raleigh Convention Center. +1 919-834-5900 or +1-800-849-8499. The VIC is open Monday through Saturday, 9AM to 5PM and offers brochures, event calendars, coupons, maps, and other visitor information. Stop by and pick up a brochure or visit the website to view a visitor guide online or order one to be mailed before your trip.

Get in


By plane

  • 1 Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU IATA). A former hub of American Airlines and Midway Airlines, the airport today is a fairly large focus city for Delta Airlines and well served by Southwest Airlines. The airport has bus service in the form of GoTriangle Route 100, which stops at the airport on the way from the Regional Transit Center to downtown Raleigh. Raleigh–Durham International Airport (Q1192962) on Wikidata Raleigh–Durham International Airport on Wikipedia

By car

  • Interstate 40 goes to points west including Durham, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Asheville. 2½ hours east on I-40 is Wilmington.
  • Interstates 85 and 95, though they do not directly enter Raleigh, provide easy access to the city from up and down the Eastern Seaboard; large access routes from these interstates provide easy access to the city.
  • US 1, the East Coast corridor route, cuts through Raleigh on its way from New York to the Florida Keys; within the city limits US 1 is known as Capital Blvd.

By train


Amtrak provides train services to Raleigh; the Piedmont runs three times per day from Charlotte, a trip of just over three hours. There are also two daily long-distance routes: the Carolinian and Silver Star lines, both of which head north through Richmond, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia to New York City. Southbound, the Carolinian follows the Piedmont south to Charlotte and the Silver Star heads south through Columbia and Savannah to Florida. The new 2 Raleigh Union Station, at 510 W Martin St, has completely replaced the old station.

By bus

  • 3 Greyhound, 2210 Capital Blvd, +1 919-834-8275.
  • Megabus stops in nearby Durham.
  • GoTriangle, +1 919-485-7433. The Triangle's inter-city bus service runs routes between Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and RDU, with a hub near the Research Triangle Park. Fares are $2.25 per trip, $3.00 for express routes, and $4.50 for a day pass.

Get around


Within the I-440 Beltline are mostly fashionable older neighborhoods and the NC State University area. The North Raleigh neighborhoods are aligned along the "spokes of the wheel"—major thoroughfares emanating from the I-440 loop and passing through the northern edge of the much larger I-540 loop.

Downtown Raleigh provides easy travel and access through its grid of one-way streets. If you're just passing through, the major thoroughfare is Capital Boulevard (US 401), which splits into Dawson Street heading south and McDowell Street heading north. From the west, it is Hillsborough Street, interrupted midway by the state Capitol building. To the east, it continues as New Bern Avenue (US 64).

The I-440 Beltline was once denoted with "Inner" and "Outer" labels, but they have been phased out in favor of "East" and "West." I-440 West used to be the Outer Beltline, and I-440 East used to be the Inner Beltline. I-440's concurrency with I-40 through the souther portion of Raleigh has also been removed; therefore, the Beltline no longer loops back on itself.

Raleigh is known for particularly aggressive parking enforcement and towing, so be sure to follow all parking signs and rules. Most parking meters have been converted to electronic pay stations that accept coins and MasterCard/Visa. Most metered areas are only enforced on Monday-Friday from 8AM-5PM. Some parking garages are free on evenings and weekends as well, but "special event" rates are common during major downtown events regardless of the time or day.

By bus


For information on routes, schedules and fares, check, for a helpful trip planner.

  • GoTriangle, +1 919-485-7433. Routes between Raleigh, Durham, Cary, and Chapel Hill as well as Research Triangle Park and the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
  • GoRaleigh, +1 919-919-7433. Routes within Raleigh city limits including a free downtown circulator bus, the R-Line.
  • Wolfline, +1 919-515-9653. Routes in and around NC State University; free and open to the public.

Regional Passes are available by GoTriangle and can be purchased at the Regional Transit Center (901 Slater Road, Durham), and one-day passes can be purchased on buses. (Tell the driver you want to purchase a day pass before inserting money into the farebox.) Regional Passes will work on GoTriangle, GoRaleigh, GoDurham, and GoCary buses.

GoRaleigh offers a lower cost alternative to the Regional Day Pass what will work only on GoRaleigh buses called the GoRaleigh Day Pass. GoRaleigh Day Pass can be purchases directly from the bus driver or at the GoRaleigh Station in Downtown Raleigh.

By taxi


There are 36 licensed taxi operators in Raleigh of varying quality. Spanish speakers will appreciate Amigo taxi +1 919-862-6162.


Museum of Natural Sciences
  • 1 City of Raleigh Museum, 220 Fayetteville St. Tu-F 10AM-4PM; Sa 1-4PM. Local history museum, an excellent place to start your visit to the City of Oaks. Free. Raleigh City Museum (Q7286899) on Wikidata City of Raleigh Museum on Wikipedia
  • 2 North Carolina State Capitol, 1 E. Edenton St. M–Sa 9AM–5PM. Built between 1833 and 1840 and to house the governor's office and cabinet offices. It's now a working capitol and a museum of North Carolina history, especially the period between the building's construction and the Civil War. Several rooms are restored with furniture and items from the era so you can see how they might have looked, including original legislative rooms, a collection of geological specimens, and a library. Full of plaques and informational signs. Gems include spittoons (for tobacco) in the legislative rooms, and a big statue of George Washington in the style of a Roman soldier. Guided tours are available Saturdays at 11AM and 2PM or by appointment for large groups, or take a self-guided tour whenever the building is open. Free. North Carolina State Capitol (Q3694520) on Wikidata North Carolina State Capitol on Wikipedia
  • 3 N.C. Museum of Art, 2110 Blue Ridge Rd, +1 919-839-6262. With rotating exhibits, summer outdoor film series, and groovy sculpture garden. Main gallery and sculpture garden: free; Special exhibition, films, music: Varies. North Carolina Museum of Art (Q1459878) on Wikidata North Carolina Museum of Art on Wikipedia
  • 4 N.C. Museum of History, 5 East Edenton St, +1 919-807-7900. M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. Extensive museum of North Carolina history, from ancient Native American cultures through colonization and independence up to the World Wars and the Civil Rights Movement. Everything is labeled with thorough and interesting interpretive signs, and some sections have little theater rooms showing videos with more details. Includes a genuine slave cabin rebuilt in the museum, a recreated 1920s drugstore, galleries of North Carolina military history, a children's discovery gallery, and the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, which exhibits personal items donated by approximately 360 inductees. Also has a gift shop. Free; suggested donation $5. North Carolina Museum of History (Q7054557) on Wikidata North Carolina Museum of History on Wikipedia
  • 5 N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, 1 W Jones St, +1 919-733-7450. Contains a huge wing full of interactive exhibits, the Nature Research Center, with 3-story multimedia globe structure and exhibits such as a 10,000 gallon (40,000 liter) aquarium. Free. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Q2483656) on Wikidata North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on Wikipedia
  • 6 Marbles Kids Museum, 201 E Hargett St, +1 919-834-4040. Closed M, open Tu-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. The former Exploris museum has merged with Playspace to form Marbles, an interactive kid's museum, still with an IMAX theater. $5 for adults and kids (1-99), prices for the IMAX theater vary.
  • 7 Joel Lane Museum House, 160 South Saint Mary's St (corner of St. Mary's & Hargett Streets), +1 919-833-3431. Hours vary. A Georgian-style manor plantation house built circa 1770 by Colonel Joel Lane, patriot, statesman, and planter, Col. Lane's home has been faithfully restored and is filled with period artifacts. The site houses three historic structures, including a very simple circa 1790 middle-class home interpreted as a kitchen and a circa 1840 Visitors Center. $5.
  • 8 JC Raulston Arboretum, 4301 Beryl Road, +1 919-515-3132. 8 acres (3.2 hectares) arboretum and botanical gardens operated by NC State University with over 5000 varieties of plants. Free.
  • 9 Governor's Mansion (North Carolina Executive Mansion), 210 N. Blount St. Official residence of the North Carolina governor and family, built in the late 1800s. Group tours are available mid-March to mid-June, but must be booked at least two weeks in advance. Free. North Carolina Executive Mansion (Q7054484) on Wikidata North Carolina Executive Mansion on Wikipedia
  • 10 Mordecai Historic Park (Mordecai House), 1 Mimosa St, +1 919-996 4364. Tours offered every hour on the hour from 10AM to 3PM, except when a school group is present. The tour lasts about 50 minutes. Built in 1785, this is the oldest house in Raleigh at its original location. The grounds include the birthplace of President Andrew Johnson. Tours are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and youth, free for children 6 and under. Mordecai House (Q6909611) on Wikidata Mordecai House on Wikipedia

Historic neighborhoods

  • 11 Boylan Heights. A national historic district from the early 20th century. Boylan Heights (Q4952509) on Wikidata Boylan Heights on Wikipedia
  • 12 Cameron Park. An early 20th-century historic neighborhood, which began as a high-end suburb. Cameron Park Historic District (Q5026332) on Wikidata Cameron Park Historic District on Wikipedia
  • 13 Five Points. A cluster of five suburban neighborhoods set up in the 1910s and 20s. Five Points Historic Neighborhoods (Q5456099) on Wikidata Five Points Historic Neighborhoods (Raleigh, North Carolina) on Wikipedia
  • 14 Glenwood/Brooklyn. "Raleigh's first master-planned neighborhood" was established in the early 20th century as a streetcar suburb for working- and middle-class white families. Glenwood-Brooklyn Historic District (Q5569452) on Wikidata Glenwood–Brooklyn Historic District on Wikipedia
  • 15 Oakwood. The oldest surviving neighborhood in Raleigh, full of historic homes, many carefully restored. Historic Oakwood (Q5773585) on Wikidata Historic Oakwood on Wikipedia
  • 16 Mordecai. An important historic neighborhood with interesting old houses. Mordecai Place Historic District (Q17022694) on Wikidata Mordecai Place Historic District on Wikipedia


North Carolina State Capital
  • 1 Adventure Landing.
  • 2 Sky Zone Raleigh.
  • 3 Carolina Hurricanes, 1400 Edwards Mill Rd, +1 919-861-2323, toll-free: +1 866-NHL-CANES (645-22637). Raleigh's NHL hockey team plays at the PNC Arena. A good atmosphere and family-friendly crowds make this an excellent place to spend an evening during fall and winter. The 'Canes won the 2006 Stanley Cup, and have become famous for their fun "Storm Surge" celebrations after home wins. The Hurricanes have also been one of the NHL's best teams since 2019, and as a result of this success, tickets have risen in price moderately with PNC Arena filling up close to capacity for most games. However, tickets to weeknight games can still be had for as low as $30 (before ticket fees), making a 'Canes game one of the cheaper tickets in the NHL.
  • 4 Pullen Park, 520 Ashe Ave, +1 919-831-6468. Outdoor plays, a 1911 carousel, pedal boats, a miniature train, and an excellent aquatic center.
  • 5 William B. Umstead Park, 8801 Glenwood Ave, +1 919-571-4170, . Referred to as Umstead park, this state park is accessible by car, bus, or bike, Umstead is a natural haven from the Triangle's urban zones, next to RDU Intl. Airport. Miles of trails, both paved and unpaved, provide access for hikers, campers, bikers and joggers to three lakes and over 5,380 acres (2,180 hectares). William B. Umstead State Park (Q14708280) on Wikidata William B. Umstead State Park on Wikipedia
  • North Carolina State Wolfpack. The sports teams representing North Carolina State University, competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference along with 14 other schools along the East Coast and Midwestern United States. Football and basketball games are popular in addition to other sports.
  • 6 Carolina Mudcats, 1501 NC Highway 39, Zebulon (East on US-64 to US-264 to NC-39). Minor-league baseball. About a 20-minute drive east of town. Tickets are affordable at $3-9; unlike the nearby Durham Bulls baseball stadium, Mudcats' parking is ample.
  • 7 North Carolina State Fair, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd., +1 919-821-7400. Raleigh. One of the largest fairs of its kind in America, this ten-day long event drew almost 940,000 in 2019 to the State Fairgrounds to sample North Carolina produce, attend concerts, ride fair rides and feast on deep-fried Twinkies. Mid to late October. Age 13-64 $10-13, age 6-12 $5-7, active military $8, <6 and 65+ free, discounts for advance sales.
  • 8 Lake Johnson Nature Park, 4601 Avent Ferry Rd, +1 919-996-3141. Open during daylight every day of the week. A pleasant nature trail winds about 3½ miles (5½ km) around the eastern half of the lake, and another dirt trail exists on the northwestern shore of the lake. Ideal for hiking and biking. Paddle boats can also be rented. Free.
  • 9 Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 East South St (Downtown between Salisbury and Wilmington streets, 5 blocks south of the State Capitol), +1 919-996-8700. The performing arts center includes 3 primary venues. Memorial Auditorium is the largest and hosts diverse events such as the Carolina Ballet and traveling theater productions of Broadway Series South. Meymandi Concert Hall is home to the North Carolina Symphony. Fletcher Opera Theater is a more intimate setting and hosts events such as Raleigh Chamber Music Guild concerts. Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts (Q7248544) on Wikidata Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts on Wikipedia
  • First Fridays (Downtown). 6-9PM. On the first Friday evening of every month, downtown art galleries, museums, and shops stay open late for a downtown-wide event with live music and specials at restaurants and bars.
  • World of Bluegrass (Various locations downtown). Late September/early October. The International Bluegrass Music Association will be hosting its annual conference and celebration in Raleigh until at least 2018. Awards gala, concerts, and a free street festival.
  • 10 Yates Mill County Park, 4620 Lake Wheeler Road. 8AM-sunset. A 174 acres (70 hectares) park only a few miles from downtown. Over 2 mi (3.2 km) of trails, a visitor center with family activities, and a large pond for fishing. The park also contains the last water-powered grist mill in Wake county. Restored to operating condition, the mill offers guided tours on weekends. Free ($3-5 for mill tour).
  • 11 Blue Water Spa, 10941 Raven Ridge Rd (near Falls of Neuse and Durant Rd), +1 919-870-6066. Voted best medical spa in America 3 consecutive years. The home spa boutique is a great place to indulge or to pick up a great hostess gift.


  • 1 Village District (Cameron Village), 2108 Clark Avenue (inside the Beltline on Oberlin Road between Hillsborough Street and Wade Ave), +1 919-821-1350. The first shopping center between Atlanta and DC, Village District is today a major destination point. Home to many of Raleigh's oldest boutique stores, the development also includes restaurants, a grocery store, and one of Wake County's public libraries. Hours vary depending on the store.
  • 2 Crabtree Valley Mall, on Glenwood Ave (just outside the Beltline). Su noon-6PM, M-Sa 10AM-9:30PM. Belk, Macy's and Sears anchor. Largest mall in the region, featuring the state's first H&M store. Crabtree Valley Mall (Q5180289) on Wikidata Crabtree Valley Mall on Wikipedia
  • 3 Triangle Town Center, on Capital Blvd (just south of I-540), +1 919-792-2222. Su noon-6PM, M-Sa 10AM-9PM. Includes Dillard's, Belk, Macy's, Sears and North Carolina's only Saks Fifth Avenue. Triangle Town Center (Q7840090) on Wikidata Triangle Town Center on Wikipedia
  • 4 North Hills Shopping Center, 4217 Six Forks Rd. North Hills has transformed itself from a drab 1960s mall to a mixed-use center. Along with Cameron Village, the complex houses a large number of trendy boutiques in Raleigh; the center also is home to a grocery store, movie theater, Target, JC Penney, and a variety of restaurants and retail. Hours vary according to the store.
  • 5 Seaboard Station (downtown near Peace University). Individual business hours vary. Designed to showcase the local, independent retailer, shopping at Seaboard Station is a bright, airy prospect. Along with many unique specialty shops, you'll also find a salon, fitness center and options for dining.
  • 6 City Market (Moore Square, downtown Raleigh). Home to art galleries, restaurants and specialty shops. Cobblestone streets lit by lamps give the area a 19th-century feel.
  • 7 Raleigh Flea Market, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd (NC State Fairgrounds). Sa Su 9AM-5PM. The Flea Market, featuring 600 vendors offering all sorts of antiques, collectibles, furniture and electronics. Parking and admission is free.
  • 8 State Farmers Market, 1201 Agriculture St, +1 919-733-7417. M–Sa 5AM–6PM, Su 8AM–6PM. Huge farmer's market open every day. Come in the morning for a bigger, fresher selection.



Due to the large influx of residents from around the USA and the world as well as the large student population, there is a fairly large variety of cuisine available at a wide range of prices. And, being a Southern city, there are still plenty of options for traditional Southern food and a few modern interpretations of those traditional foods. Of course, no visit to North Carolina would be complete without trying some NC-style barbecue pork. There are actually two major styles in the state: Lexington-style (named after Lexington, NC) which uses only the pork shoulder and is served with a tomato and vinegar sauce and Eastern-style which uses the "whole hog" and is served with a vinegar-based sauce. Both styles are available around Raleigh and some restaurants include both types of sauce on the table.

This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget <$10
Mid-range $10–30
Splurge $30+


  • 1 Big Ed's, 220 Wolfe St, +1 919-836-9909. Big Ed's signature breakfasts are the Southern standards: homemade biscuits, grits with red-eye gravy, etc. Come Saturday mornings for live Dixieland jazz. Second location on Falls of Neuse Road and Millbrook in Quail Ridge Shopping Center.
  • 2 Farmer's Market Restaurant, 1240 Farmer's Market Dr, +1 919-833-7973. M-Sa 6AM-3PM, Su 8AM-3PM. Solid, hearty food with fresh ingredients from the state farmer's market right next door. Serves breakfast and lunch.
  • Guasaca. Local chain for Venezuelan arepas. Two locations in Raleigh, vegetarian and vegan options available.
  • 5 Krispy Kreme, 549 North Person St, +1 919-833-3682. The popular Winston-Salem-based doughnut maker is a landmark that nearby residents use to give directions. Look for the "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign for a little round piece of glazed heaven. Quite popular with the students of nearby Broughton and Enloe High Schools, especially in the early morning hours, so plan accordingly.
  • 6 Neomonde, 3817 Beryl Rd, +1 919-828-1628. A delicious Mediterranean market and deli. Their fantastic hummus and baba ghanouj with pita bread alone make any meal great.
  • 7 Roast Grill, 7 South West St, +1 919-832-8292. If you're looking for a hot dog and a bottle of Coke, this is the place in downtown Raleigh. If you're looking for ketchup, though, you may just be asked to leave. Run by a family of Greek immigrants since 1940, in a tiny room added to the front of their house.
  • 8 Watkin's Grill, 1625 Wake Forest Rd, +1 919-834-0467. Greasy-spoon with Civil War memorabilia on the walls. Cash only.
  • 9 Clyde Cooper's BBQ, 327 S Wilmington St, +1 919-832-7614. Traditional NC-style barbecue. A Raleigh institution since 1938.
  • 10 Albaraka Market and Grill, 3815 Hillsborough St, +1 919-838-5155, . Albaraka Market and Grill in Raleigh is a Mediterranean restaurant with a grocery store. They offer halal food and baked goods.


Carolina style chopped pork barbecue
  • 11 The Fiction Kitchen, 428 S. Dawson St, +1 919-831-4177. Thoughtfully prepared vegan and vegetarian cuisine from a 100% vegetarian kitchen. Very popular among touring music artists playing at the nearby Red Hat Amphitheater.
  • 12 Casa Carbone Ristorante, 6019-A Glenwood Ave (Oak Park Shopping Center), +1 919-781-8750. Tu-Sa 5-10PM, Su 4-9PM. A family restaurant with an extensive menu that includes everything from classic spaghetti and lasagna, to more intricate entrees such as grouper puttanesca and beef braciole. Excellent wine choices as well. Affordable and delicious.
  • 13 Irregardless Cafe, 901 W. Morgan St, +1 919-833-8898. A Raleigh institution since the 1970s, the Irregardless offers an eclectic menu including creative vegetarian options. Jazz music every night and dancing on Saturday nights.
  • 14 Lilly's Pizza, 1813 Glenwood Ave, +1 919-833-0226. Part hippie, yuppie, bohemian, and retro, Lilly's is an experience all to its own. It's in the popular Five Points district so parking can be a problem, especially when a popular film is screening at the nearby Rialto theater. If you're adventurous, you can access Five Points by the number 2 CAT bus.
  • 15 Sushi Nine, 3812 Western Blvd, +1 919-900-8203. 11AM-11PM. A great selection of BOGO sushi rolls offered all day everyday. Also offers a mix of Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, and Chinese entrees. Full bar.
  • 16 The Village Draft House, 428 Daniels St, +1 919-833-1373. Don't forget the pickle chips! $3 wings on Sundays.
  • 17 The Pit, 328 W Davie St, +1 919-890-4500. Somewhat upscale whole-hog barbecue. Popular with out-of-staters, but of questionable authenticity.
  • 18 Poole's Downtown Diner, 426 S McDowell St, +1 919-832-4477. 5:30PM-midnight. Sourced almost entirely from local farmers and artisan producers, the menu can change on a daily basis. The executive chef, Ashley Christensen, won the 2014 James Beard award for Best Chef in the Southeast.
  • 19 Tonbo Ramen, 211 S. Wilmington St, +1 919-977-3625.



Food trucks


Thanks to relaxed regulations first in Durham and later in Raleigh, the Triangle area has a lively food truck scene with a wide variety of cuisines available in street food form from burgers and pizza to Chinese dumplings and Belgian waffles, and of course, barbecue. Many have since expanded to brick and mortar locations as well and a few popular restaurants have launched their own trucks. At lunchtime, trucks can usually be found near office parks with few restaurants nearby or on college campuses (there is almost always at least one truck serving weekday lunch on NC State's Centennial Campus). In the evening they often serve dinner at local breweries (see Drink below). Downtown Raleigh hosts occasional food truck "rodeos" featuring over 50 trucks from as far as Charlotte. See their website[dead link] for upcoming dates and links to truck websites. A partial list of trucks that occasionally serve Raleigh is given below.

  • American Meltdown. Gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and melts on locally baked bread. $6-9.
  • Baguettaboutit. Locally-produced sausage and freshly-made sauce served inside of a fresh-baked baguette. Vegetarian options available. $5-10.
  • Belgian Waffle Crafters. Liege (dough-based) and Brussels (batter-based) waffles. Both sweet and savory toppings available. Try the "Choco-waffle", a Liege waffle with chocolate pieces in the dough. $4-10.
  • Chirba Chirba. Chinese dumplings and dipping sauces. Always a crowd favorite at food truck rodeos. $5-10.
  • OnlyBurger. Made-to-order burgers and fresh-cut fries. $5-10.


Hillsborough Street

Southwest Raleigh, particularly the area along Hillsborough Street, resembles a college town, so there are plenty of places to find a drink. What is more, the city has a number of microbreweries. For cheaper places, try near the campus of North Carolina State University on Hillsborough Street. (A scene in "Bull Durham" was filmed in Mitch's Tavern.) The downtown area known as Glenwood South has a few more upscale bars and is located between Glenwood Ave and Harrington Street and between Peace Street and Hillsborough Street just northwest of downtown. The City Market area around Moore Square and the area around Fayetteville Street also offer a good mix. Those not from the American South should be sure to order "sweet tea". Sweet tea, along with Sundrop and Cheerwine, has long been considered a native beverage, and is served in most restaurants. The sweetness will vary in accordance with the locale, but is nevertheless much sweeter than any tea served elsewhere in the nation.

  • 1 Carolina Brewing Company, 140 Thomas Mill Rd. In Holly Springs - CBC conducts weekly tours on Saturday afternoons, and it's best to arrive anywhere from 15-30 minutes early to make sure you get a sample of their beer both prior to the tour. No fear if you arrive late, however, as the taps are typically open for an hour afterwards as well. CBC brews an India Pale Ale, a Nut Brown Ale, and the Carolina Pale Ale year round (available at the brewery, in local stores, and in many local bars and restaurants) and usually has one or two seasonal beers available only at the brewery or on tap at select local establishments.
  • 2 Big Boss Brewing company, 1249 Wicker Dr. Big Boss conducts monthly tours on Saturday afternoons, and it's usually best to check the website to find out exactly when. As with CBC, it's a good idea to get there a bit early, as there's usually a pretty good crowd there. Big Boss brews an assortment of seasonal beers that are distributed locally in addition to their year-round Bad Penny Brown Ale, Helles Belle Belgian Blond, and Angry Angel Kolsch Ale that are also sold in bottles at local stores. Big Boss also features an on-site pub called Horniblows Tavern. Though it's not in one of the trendy areas of town, Horniblows is a great place for knocking back a couple of brews and solving the world's problems with your mates.
  • 3 Lonerider Brewing Company, 8816 Gulf Court #100. Near the airport and Brier Creek. One of the area's nearest breweries, it has quickly penetrated the market. Often considered a brewers brewery, they offer a handful or more of well-crafted beers. Brewery tours fairly regularly at about once a month.
  • 4 The Raleigh Times Bar, 14 E. Hargett St. Snug in the offices of the former Raleigh Times newspaper, this broadsheet turned gastropub is the place for people watching over a pint (or a half pint) of craft-brewed beer.
  • 5 Crank Arm Brewing, 319 W. Davie St, . Brewpub in the warehouse district that opened in 2013.
  • 6 Fox Liquor Bar, 237 S Wilmington St (Downtown near Moore Square, entrance on Martin Street), +1 919-322-0128. 5PM-2AM. A trendy, upscale bar featuring traditional and creative cocktails along with a small, but interesting selection of craft beers.
  • 7 Raleigh Beer Garden, 614 Glenwood Ave, +1 919-324-3415, . Popular spot with a huge selection of beer on tap: North Carolina beers on the first floor and beers from around the world on the second floor. Interesting decor too, with a tree growing in the middle of the first floor.


View of Raleigh

Downtown, there are three major hotels: the Clarion, Marriott City Center, and the Sheraton.

Stay safe


Raleigh's crime rate is below average for an American city of its size (and one of the lowest in the Southern USA), but one still must be cautious and intelligent. In particular, stick to the busy and well-lit parts of downtown after dark, and avoid the neighborhoods immediately south or east of downtown after dark. The NC State University campus and vicinity are safe and heavily trafficked during the day and evening, but use the university's public safety escort service in the early hours of the morning. Throughout Raleigh, you should think before using an automated teller machine (ATM) after dark, unless it's in a mall or other heavily travelled, well-lit area.


  • 2 Panera Bread, 4421 Six Forks Rd Ste 119, +1 919-781-1112. Free wireless access.





Raleigh has only a few consulates. If the country you're looking for isn't listed here, try Charlotte, Atlanta, or Washington, D.C.

Go next


In the Triangle

  • Chapel Hill, about 25 mi (40 km) from Raleigh, is home to the University of North Carolina (UNC-CH). Chapel Hill has many good restaurants and bars on Franklin Street, adjacent to the UNC campus.
  • Durham about 25 mi (40 km) away, the home of Duke University. Durham has many trendy cafes, bars, theaters, art locations and four-star restaurants.
  • Pittsboro, home to a tiger sanctuary, and the tiny nearby town of Bynum on the Haw River
  • Wake Forest, about 18 mi (29 km) away, features access to the vast Falls Lake Park Recreation Area and boasts a small downtown carefully preserved in time.

Further afield

Routes through Raleigh
GreensboroCary  W  E  END
Washington, D.C.Rocky Mount  N  S  CarySavannah
DurhamCary  W  E  BensonWilmington
RichmondHenderson  N  S  CaryColumbia
LexingtonCary  W  E  Rocky MountNags Head
GreensboroDurham  W  E  SelmaMorehead City
END  W  E  ZebulonGreenville

This city travel guide to Raleigh is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.