There is much to do and see in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. Here is a quick guide to acquaint you with all the city has to offer and things to know.
If you are planning to travel to Raleigh, North Carolina, you will find it a delightful city. However, it is the capital of North Carolina and is a fairly large city. The metropolitan area stretches into Durham, North Carolina, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, forming what is known as a Triangle of the three cities. Raleigh is also nicknamed the “City of Oaks.” The founding fathers dedicated themselves to maintaining the area’s wooded tracts and grassy parks, and this trend continues today. For that effort, you will find Raleigh a beautiful place to visit. Here are some fast travel facts to help you plan your visit itinerary and then help you navigate the city once you arrive.
A Brief History of Raleigh, NC and Today’s Raleigh
Raleigh was founded in 1792 as North Carolina’s capital city. It was named for Sir Walter Raleigh, who once attempted to establish the first English colony on the shores of America in the 1580s. Wake County was named after the wife of one of the first leaders of the city. Annually, Raleigh has approximately 12 million visitors in the greater Raleigh area. There are 110.5 square miles in the city of Raleigh and almost 884 square miles in Wake County.
The Climate and Natural Resources of Raleigh, NC
Raleigh summers range from the mid-60s to the mid-80s, while fall temperatures range in the 70s. Winters in Raleigh hit the high 20s to the mid-50s. Raleigh rises 434 feet above sea level and is in the east-central portion of North Carolina, in the area where hilly Piedmont meets the flat North Carolina coastal plain. Raleigh has more than 4,300 acres of parkland and almost 1,400 acres of water. This allows the city to offer year-round recreational activities. A nationally acclaimed greenway system spans 41 miles. In this system, you will find 24 walking, jogging, and hiking trails. Many of these connect to the city’s 150 major parks.
The Arts and Culture of Raleigh, NC
The arts scene in Raleigh is very exceptional and diverse. Another nickname for Raleigh is “The Smithsonian of the South.” There are many museums in Raleigh. The city is one of only six cities in the nation that can call itself home to all four disciplines of the performing arts: theatre, opera, symphony, and ballet. Here, you can see a Broadway play, check out independent, original plays in the theatre, and watch the Carolina Ballet. In the park, you can enjoy the North Carolina Symphony or the Opera Company of North Carolina. The arts extend to your children as well, with top-notch Raleigh children’s museums, many with hands-on interactive exhibits. Many of Raleigh’s museums offer free admission for permanent collections.
Shopping in Raleigh, NC
What is a vacation without shopping for some treasures? Even the most seasoned shoppers will find a large, impressive array of retail stores, trendy boutiques, and locally-owned shops. There are also more than thirty antique stores scattered throughout the area. There are also two large flea markets. Just an hour away is High Point, North Carolina, which is the furniture capital of the world. High Point has over 125 furniture manufacturing plants where you can receive great discounts. If you do not have room in your car for a great deal on some new living room furniture, there are several shipping companies that can help you get that great deal delivered to your doorstep at home.
Raleigh itself has twelve major retail areas and numerous shopping centers. There are three major malls in the city area. They are Cary Towne Center, Crabtree Valley Mall, and Triangle Town Center. Together, these malls represent more than 450 stores. In addition, two Raleigh icons underwent multi-million dollar expansions and makeovers in Cameron Village and North Hills. North Hills is Raleigh’s new “Midtown.” While shopping, remember that Raleigh has many fine dining restaurants in the area that specialize in southern nouvelle cuisine.