The best parks in Raleigh are just minutes away from the StateView Hotel. Whether you’re visiting the area with friends, family, or your significant other, Raleigh has public parks with wide-open spaces, historic landmarks, and gorgeous nature views. Follow our complete guide to the best parks in Raleigh:
Distance from StateView Hotel: 2.4 miles
Location: 520 Ashe Avenue, Raleigh
- Amusement rides for kids
- Aquatic center
- Outdoor playgrounds
Pullen Park is North Carolina’s first public park and the 5th oldest operating amusement park in the United States! Just a 7-minute drive from the StateView Hotel, families with young children will appreciate all this park has to offer, including a nationally renowned carousel, train rides, and several playgrounds suitable for children of most ages.
The park also has an aquatic center that offers recreational swimming, several athletic fields and tennis courts, and a cafe that uses local ingredients to prepare mouth-watering bites. Admission to the park is free. Tickets are required for amusement rides and can be purchased at the park.
Dorothea Dix Park
Distance from StateView Hotel: 2.5 miles
Location: 1030 Richardson Drive, Raleigh
- Sunflower garden
- Wide-open spaces
- Free weekly events and programs
You’ll have no problem finding space to play and relax at Dorothea Dix Park. The Big Field is a 35-acre open meadow that is typically used for large festivals but is also popular for picnics, playing games, and flying kites. The Grove is home to shaded hillsides and terrific views of downtown Raleigh. And in July, the sunflowers at the Sunflower Field are in full bloom.
The park also hosts several free weekly and daily events throughout the year, including yoga, tai chi, and children’s programs. For more downtown Raleigh attractions, see our things to do in downtown Raleigh guide.
Raleigh Rose Garden
Distance from StateView Hotel: 3.4 miles
Location: 301 Pogue Street, Raleigh
- Vibrant flower garden free to the public
- Open year-round
Open from dawn till dusk, 365 days a year, the Raleigh Rose Garden may be one of the most colorful parks in Raleigh. The garden is home to sixty rose beds and a variety of vibrant antique roses, hybrid teas, and miniatures, just to name a few. The roses are typically in bloom between Mother’s Day and mid-November. Anyone can visit and enjoy the gardens free of charge.
Fred Fletcher Park
Distance from StateView Hotel: 3.7 miles
Location: 820 Clay Street, Raleigh
- Water garden and wetland
- Walking paths
- Manicured lawns
Fred Fletcher Park has its own water garden and wetland area for plant and wildlife viewing. Here, you’ll find an ecosystem of evergreen and perennial plants, butterflies, frogs, dragonflies, and many other plant and animal species. The park is adorned with walking trails and manicured lawns for strolling and relaxing. You’ll also find athletic courts and fields, and a playground for ages 2 to 12. The park is free to anyone that wants to visit.
JC Raulston Arboretum
Distance from StateView Hotel: 3.8 miles
Location: 4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh
- World-famous plant collection
- Free weekly and daily events
Located just off NC State University’s main campus, the JC Raulston Arboretum is a large arboretum and botanical garden. The gardens are home to a large and diverse collection of landscape plants adapted for landscape use in the Southeast. Visitors can stroll through eighteen different gardens, including a butterfly garden, a Japanese garden, and a winter garden. Admission is free to enjoy.
Mordecai Historical Park
Distance from StateView Hotel: 4.6 miles
Location: 1 Mimosa Street, Raleigh
- Historic homes, structures, and gardens in downtown Raleigh
- The oldest house in Raleigh in its original location
- Public tours offered
Visitors will feel like they stepped back in time at Mordecai Historical Park. The park’s major landmarks are the Mordecai House ca. 1785, the oldest house in Raleigh in its original location, and the Birthplace of Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States. Other structures include St. Mark’s Chapel ca. 1847, Ellen Mordecai Garden ca. 1842, and the Plantation Office ca. 1840. Guided tours are offered for a small fee. For more Raleigh attractions that will satisfy any history buff, see our guide to museums in Raleigh, NC.
William B. Umstead State Park
Distance from StateView Hotel: 20.3 miles
Location: 8801 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh
- Eight hiking trails
- Canoe rentals
- Wildlife viewing
Outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring William B. Umstead State Park. This state park is home to over 20 miles of hiking trails, dozens of picnic tables, and three manmade lakes where you can fish or rent a canoe from the visitor center. During your time at William B. Umstead State Park, be on the lookout for deer, beavers, and a colorful assortment of birds native to North Carolina. The park has eight trails ranging in difficulty from easy to moderate, perfect for families traveling with young children. Enjoy the great outdoors with our complete guide to Raleigh outdoor activities.