Top tourist attractions in Raleigh, NC
Raleigh, North Carolina, is a popular destination for those interested in history, art, and culture. The city has a rich historical and cultural heritage that attracts visitors from all over the world.
There are plenty of tourist attractions to explore in Raleigh, ranging from historical and cultural structures to museums, theaters, and water parks. In addition, Raleigh offers an exceptional culinary experience, with a variety of restaurants serving great food.
One of the most popular attractions in Raleigh is the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the largest natural science museum in the southeast United States. The museum has a vast collection of exhibits, including the Living Conservatory and the Nature Research Center, and features several permanent and traveling exhibits.
Another must-visit attraction in Raleigh is the Mordecai Historic Park in the city’s downtown area. This 3.2-acre park is steeped in North Carolina history and features several exciting and essential pieces of the state’s past. The park is also home to the birthplace of Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States.
For those who enjoy historic homes, the Mordecai House is a must-see attraction. It is the oldest residence in Raleigh on its original foundation and is a designated historical landmark. In addition, the house is frequently rented for special occasions.
The North Carolina Capitol building is another iconic Raleigh structure steeped in history. It was once the home of the General Assembly and the Supreme Court and is considered one of the country’s most beautiful examples of Greek Revival architecture.
The building’s centerpiece is a replica of the George Washington statue displayed in the State House from 1820 to 1831.
Regarding entertainment, Raleigh has plenty of options to keep visitors entertained. There are several theaters, including the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, where visitors can enjoy live performances.
And for families with kids, there are several water parks, including the famous Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary.
In addition to all of these attractions, Raleigh has an excellent food scene. Visitors can sample a wide range of cuisine, from Southern comfort food to international dishes. The city is particularly famous for its barbecue, and there are several restaurants where visitors can try this southern specialty.
Raleigh, NC, is an excellent destination for tourists exploring history, art, and culture. With its many attractions and amazing culinary scene, Raleigh is a city that visitors will want to come back to again and again.
Top 15 things to do in Raleigh, North Carolina
- North Carolina Museum of Art
- North Carolina State Farmers Public Market
- Pullen Park
- Frankie’s of Raleigh
- Marbles Kids Museum
- Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
- Lake Johnson Park
- Koka Booth Amphitheatre
- Fred G. Bond Metro Park
- Knightdale Station Park
- Adventure Landing
- Lake Crabtree County Park
- JC Raulston Arboretum
- North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
- Shelley Lake Park
North Carolina Museum of Art
Founded in 1956, the North Carolina Museum of Art is a premier art museum in Raleigh, NC. This state-of-the-art facility is the country’s first significant art collection to be established with state funding.
This collection includes a broad range of works of art, including pre-Colombian art, Oceanic art, and a wide range of modern and contemporary paintings. The permanent collection spans over 5,000 years of art history.
The collection includes several works by Auguste Rodin, the Southeast’s most extensive sculpture collection. In addition, the permanent collection features work by Joseph Cornell, Andrew Wyeth, and Richard Diebenkorn. In addition, the East Building houses a rotating exhibition schedule and educational programs.
The West Building houses the museum’s permanent collection. It also features a gallery space that provides a new view of the collection. The gallery space features filtered natural light and striking roof lines.
North Carolina State Farmers Public Market
Located in Raleigh, NC, the North Carolina State Farmers Public Market has operated since 1955. It serves as the main distribution center for fresh produce in eastern North Carolina.
It features a variety of plants, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Its facilities also provide space for growers and wholesalers. It’s a 30,000-square-foot facility that’s open seven days a week.
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services runs this Farmer’s Market. It’s one of four regional Farmers’ Markets owned by the state. It’s free to visit.
The market includes many foods, specialty vendors, and stalls selling vegetables, plants, flowers, cheeses, and meats. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 5 am to 7 pm and Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm. It’s also available on holidays.
Pullen Park is a popular destination for families in Raleigh, North Carolina, as it is filled with numerous recreational opportunities. The park offers various playgrounds, picnic shelters, an aquatic center, and an amusement park.
The park is also home to Theatre in the Park, an internationally renowned, award-winning company. Productions range from classic plays to contemporary works. This park has been producing performances since 1947.
Aside from its mainstage shows, Pullen Park hosts special events and classes. In addition to the park, there is also an arts center that is open to the public.
The Pullen Park Amusement Center is located on Ashe Avenue, adjacent to the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University.
The park features an Olympic-size swimming pool and a warm water therapy pool. The center is also home to the American Red Cross and has regular exercise programs and lifeguard training.
Frankie’s of Raleigh
In Raleigh, North Carolina, Frankie’s of Raleigh is an indoor karting and entertainment complex. The park is excellent for the family for fun and games.
There are three go-kart tracks, two arcades, an outdoor ropes course, a restaurant, a cafe, and an indoor playground. It’s also home to the largest arcade in the state.
Guests can play a variety of games, including the coveted game cards. The park is open year-round. There is no admission fee and plenty of parking spaces in the surrounding area.
The best part of the park is that it is a family-friendly affair. Guests can expect to find all the traditional attractions, such as miniature golf and bumper boats, and newer rides, such as laser tag. There is even a mini-golf course on the grounds, which is a novelty in its own right.
Marbles Kids Museum
Located in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, Marbles Kids Museum is a hands-on museum that encourages kids to explore and play. It focuses on science, culture, and outer space.
The building is a nonprofit children’s museum with a 300-seat IMAX theater, exhibits, workshops, a costume area, and a restaurant. The venue also offers various special events, summer camps, and targeted outreach programs.
The museum has various exhibits focusing on STEM subjects, culture, and art. There are also exhibits geared towards younger kids, including the Around Town exhibit, which features a kid-sized version of the grown-up world. In addition, the Moneypalooza exhibit features a colorful playground and teaches children about healthy money habits.
The main building contains over a dozen exhibits. The exhibits are arranged in a series of themed play areas. Each exhibition features activities aligned with five core initiatives: Explore, Experiment, Connect, Learn, and Play.
Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek is an excellent venue for seeing a large concert. It can potentially host some of the biggest concert superstars in the world.
It has a capacity of over 20,000 people, so you can expect to see some of the best concerts of the year in Raleigh, NC.
In addition, this is an excellent venue for large summer festivals and events. So whether you’re looking for the latest pop music or a classic rock show, you’ll find it here.
It’s not a secret that the city of Raleigh is home to some of the best live entertainment in North Carolina. With various live music venues, you can catch the show of your choice without leaving the comfort of your home.
Lake Johnson Park
Lake Johnson Park is a great place to get out and enjoy nature in Raleigh, North Carolina. With a 150-acre lake and 300-acre forest, there are plenty of things to do.
You can fish, canoe, kayak, swim, and more. There are even classes and special events held at the park.
The trail around the lake is 5 miles long. You can walk the entire loop in about an hour. The trail is primarily wooded, with several overlooks of the lake. Benches are along the route; you can even stop for a picnic.
The east side of the lake is more heavily trafficked, with a paved trail that follows the lake. You’ll find mile markers, helpful signs, and various lake overlooks. You can also find picnic shelters and a small beach.
Koka Booth Amphitheatre
Located in Cary, North Carolina, the Koka Booth Amphitheatre is one of the Triangle’s best concert venues. It has a capacity of 7,000 people and is surrounded by 14 acres of stately hardwoods and pines. The venue is known for its excellent sound system, which blends in with its natural setting.
Initially built as The Amphitheatre at Regency Park, it was renamed after former Cary mayor Koka Booth. The venue hosts many concerts and events and is home to the NC Symphony. It also hosts smaller events like food festivals and beer and wine festivals.
It is owned by the Town of Cary and managed by SMG, formerly Spectacor Management Group. It has hosted Bob Dylan, Miranda Lambert, Willie Nelson, and Robert Plant concerts.
Fred G. Bond Metro Park
Fred G. Bond Metro Park in Cary, NC, is a 310-acre park with many amenities. This includes a baseball/softball field, the Sertoma Amphitheatre, and a small lake.
There are also a variety of greenways and trails to explore. This is a great place to spend a summer afternoon or a few days.
Several other facilities are at the park, including the Lazy Days Playground, Tree ID trail, community garden, and compost education center. Several shelters are also available for use. The site is pet friendly.
The best part about this park is that it is located right off High House Road, making it easily accessible to visitors from anywhere in town. This makes it an ideal place for a family picnic or a day with friends.
Knightdale Station Park
Knightdale Station Park is a 76-acre community park located just off Knightdale Blvd. This park features two miles of paved trails, a large playground, athletic fields, a dog park, and more.
The area is set to become the focal point of the eastern portion of Wake County. The new park will feature events such as 5K races, movie nights, and regular town celebrations.
The park will also include a YMCA with an Aquatic Center. Shortly, the community will also have a K-5 elementary school.
The town was named after local landowner Henry Haywood Knight, who donated the land for the railroad depot. During the Civil War, Union and Confederate armies were in the area.
Adventure Landing is a fun family destination located in Raleigh, North Carolina. The amusement park features a handful of requisite thrill rides and interactive arcades. It is a perfect destination for parents who want to keep their kids entertained for a few hours.
For the more discerning choosier, the amusement park offers membership. The perks include a free shuttle to and from the Raleigh airport and a discounted rate on tickets to the amusement park.
The park is open seven days a week, but visitors must arrive early to take full advantage of the amusements. The amusement park has many fun games, from thrill rides to batting cages and arcades. The park also boasts a full-service restaurant.
Lake Crabtree County Park
Located on the northeastern shore of Lake Crabtree, Lake Crabtree County Park is a 215-acre park that offers various outdoor recreation. The park is open to the public daily from 8 am to dusk.
The park has a range of activities, including nature study, fishing, canoeing, rowing, and biking. There are also special events and programs at the park.
For example, the Triangle Tango Regatta takes place in the fall, with many organized events for families and kids. During the summer, Community Sailing is a popular activity.
The lake is also a great place to see a variety of fish species. In addition, the park has a year-round public boat launch.
The park is closed on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Day. During the summer, visitors can enjoy free fishing on July 4th. A fishing license is required for anyone aged 16 or older.
JC Raulston Arboretum
JC Raulston Arboretum is a world-class research facility on NC State University’s campus in Raleigh. It features many plants and is home to more than 8,000 types of plants.
The Arboretum also includes one of Southeast’s largest landscape plant collections. The Arboretum is open seven days a week, and visitors are welcome for free.
The JC Raulston Arboretum features numerous attractions, including a contemplative Zen Japanese Garden, an Asian Valley, a Butterfly Garden, and many more. The Arboretum is also home to a White Garden and Rose Garden. These gardens are a must-see.
The JC Raulston Arboretum has been a popular attraction in Raleigh for many years and continues to make improvements each year.
Now, the Arboretum is home to many events and activities. Several are free, while others are low-cost. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the facilities are well-maintained.
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is one of the largest natural science museums in the Southeastern United States.
In 2013, the museum received 1.2 million visitors. It is the state’s most visited museum and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.
In addition to its many exhibits, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences offers educational activities for children and adults alike.
Some of the museum’s exhibits are specially designed for the state of North Carolina. They include information on local habitats and diversity.
The Nature Research Center features interactive exhibits and state-of-the-art laboratories. In addition, it has three investigating labs that are open to the public.
Each investigates a different area of research. It is home to living collections of plants, insects, amphibians, fish, and reptiles. It also has a submersible ride that takes visitors deep into the Atlantic Ocean, showing schools of squid and curious crabs.
Shelley Lake Park
Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, Shelley Lake Park is great for running, hiking, or enjoying the outdoors. The trail around the 53-acre lake is two miles long.
The park also features a variety of amenities, including a water fountain and a rest area.
The two-mile paved trail around the lake offers views of the water and some open fields. There are also some exercise stations along the way. The park offers free admission.
The Sertoma Art Center is a creative hub for all ages, offering special exhibits and pop-up musical performances. The park also provides a boathouse worth a picture in season.
The two-mile paved trail around the lake is also an excellent place to see the local flora and fauna. The park also features a playground and two basketball courts.