Raleigh, North Carolina
Established in 1792, the site of North Carolina’s capital was chosen because of its central location and because it was close to Isaac Hunter’s Tavern. Today, Raleigh is a beautiful Southern city with a growing reputation as an upscale, multicultural city. In Raleigh, you will find historic landmarks next to trend setting museums, modern 15 story sky scrapers on brick paved streets and oak tree lined parks adjacent to an ever-growing nightlife scene.
As you visit Raleigh, you will find many things to keep you busy-regardless of your age, interest or social standing. When you visit, you will find many choices for your accommodations. You can choose from the nationally known hotel chains, or stay at a B&B like the William Thomas House (www.williamthomashouse.com) or the Cameron Park Inn (1-888-257-2171). There are plenty of restaurants for even the most sophisticated pallets. Should you have a craving for beef, then don’t miss out on the upscale menu at Sullivan’s, or for the best burgers go to Snoopy’s and Chargrill on Hillsborough Street. For sensational seafood, be sure to stop by 518 or 42nd Street Oyster Bar.
visiting Raleigh, you can’t help but notice the magnificent
architecture. There are over 100 historic sites and buildings
that are both publicly or privately owned. Some of the must
see places are the 1840 Greek Revival State Capital, the
modern State Legislature Building, the Victorian Governor’s
Mansion and the Spanish Mission style City Market. For a
complete listing of Raleigh’s architectural wonders, go
to the Capital Area Visitors Center and pick up a map of
the Capital City Trail.
If you are a patron of the art world, then be sure to visit the North Carolina Museum of Art. The Museum is known for its collection of “old masters” paintings and special exhibits. Or, if you prefer the performing arts, then you may choose to spend an evening at the BTI Center for Performing Arts complex. The BTI is made up of the Memorial Auditorium, the Meymondi Concert Hall, the A.J. Fletcher Opera House and the Kennedy Center. The BTI host shows that range in style from Broadway or orchestra to original dance or vocal performances. For current shows and listings, as well as tickets, seating arrangement and locations, check out www.raleighcvb.org/visit/thingstodo/perfart.html. For some lighthearted fun, another popular night time activity is Charlie Goodnight’s Comedy Club on West Morgan Street. Here you can enjoy a local hotspot featuring nationally known acts.
Raleigh has many family-friendly activities as well. On Glenwood Avenue, you will find PlaySpace. At PlaySpace children will learn about the world around them through hands-on activities. There is also a child-sized grocery store, a café, a hospital and a music room. The favorite place at the museum is the Puppet Theatre which has a 50 minute puppet show that is performed each hour.
Raleigh also has many museums which will interest the whole family. One such place is the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on W. Jones Street. The Natural Science Museum has exhibits that feature live animals, as well as fossils. If your family enjoys learning about the past, then be sure to check out the North Carolina Museum of Natural History on East Edenton Street. Here you will find displays that chronologically teach NC’s history through artifacts from earliest settlements as well as its role in the Revolutionary and Civil War. Other Raleigh museums include the Raleigh City Museum on Fayetteville Street Mall and near Apex is the North Carolina Railroad Museum and New Hope Valley Railroad.
For the nature enthusiast, you will find Raleigh’s scenic gardens pure pleasure. At the Raleigh Rose Gardens on Pogue Street, you will find 60 varieties displayed in 1,200 specimens. Other gardens include the J.C. Ralston Arboretum on Beryl Rd and the Martin Luther King Memorial Gardens, which is the nation’s only park dedicated to Dr. King.
There is so much to keep you busy when you visit Raleigh, that you just might
find you need to extend your stay. So, pack your bags and
plan for fun—you won’t regret it!
Raleigh Street Picture by JS North