Raleigh, North Carolina is a beautiful destination year-round with so many things to explore in this charming city. To make your planning a little easier, we’ve put together the Raleigh NC Visitors Guide with all the best Attractions, Parks, Shopping, Restaurants, Breweries, and Places to Stay!
City of Raleigh Museum
(919) 996-2220 | 220 Fayetteville Street
The City of Raleigh Museum is free to visit and showcases the history and artifacts of Raleigh, NC. Open Tuesday-Saturday, from 9 am to 4 pm, and Sunday, from 1-4 pm. This museum also participates in First Fridays and is open from 6-9 pm.
Go Ape Zipline & Adventure Park
(800) 971-8271 | 3200 Pleasant Union Church Road
An adventure is waiting for you and your family at Go Ape Zipline & Adventure Park. They offer ziplining, treetop obstacle courses, axe throwing, and free falling. Tickets range from $49.95 for adults and $39.95 for kids 10-15 years old.
The Raleigh Market
(919) 839-4560 | 1025 Blue Ridge Road
The Raleigh Market is an indoor and outdoor flea market open on weekends rain or shine. You can find everything from vintage to handcrafted goods for sale. Open Saturday-Sunday, from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission into the market is free for all.
North Carolina Museum of Art
(919) 839-6262 | 2110 Blue Ridge Road
One of the first major museums to have its own collection, the North Carolina Museum of Art features everything from Renaissance to contemporary art. Admission is free into the permanent collection and park. NCMA is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm and Museum Park is open daily from dusk to dawn.
JC Raulston Arboretum
(919) 515-3132 | 4415 Beryl Road
JC Raulston Arboretum is a beautiful exhibition on the NC State campus that is made of plants, gardens, and landscaping. Admission is free into the arboretum, but donations are welcomed. Open daily, April-October, from 8 am to 8 pm, and November-March, from 8 am to 5 pm.
North Carolina State Capitol
(919) 733-4994 | 1 E Edenton Street
The North Carolina State Capitol building is open Monday through Saturday, from 9 am to 5 pm, for the public. Self-guided tours can be taken at any time during operating hours. Guided tours are available Saturday at 11 am and 2 pm. Admission is free but they gratefully accept donations.
(919) 261-5920 | 409 W Martin Street
CAM Raleigh is an unconventional museum showcasing living artists’ work and boasting an experiential visit within. Open Thursday-Friday, from 12-6 pm, and Saturday-Sunday, from 12-5 pm. Admission into CAM Raleigh is completely free.
Lake Johnson Park
4601 Avent Ferry Road
Open to the public and allows leashed dogs. Activities include fishing, paved and natural trails, covered shelters, and seasonal boat rentals.
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Open to the public from 8 am to 8 pm. Activities include fishing, hiking, gardens, picnic areas, and educational exhibits.
520 Ashe Avenue
Open to the public from 10 am to 6 pm. Activities include amusement rides, pedalboat rentals, playgrounds, tennis courts, theatre in the park, and covered shelters.
Neuse River Trail
Open 24 hours a day to the public. Activities include a boardwalk, greenway trail, and historical sights.
Dorthea Dix Park
2105 Umstead Drive
Open 24 hours a day to the public. Activities include a dog park, wide-open lawns, tree groves, picnicking.
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Parkway
Open to the public from 8 am to 8:30 pm. Activities include hiking, playgrounds, fishing, sailing, boat rentals, bike trails, covered shelters.
Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve
2616 Kildaire Farm Road
Open to the public from 9 am to sunset. Activities include nature trails, educational exhibits, and trails.
Shelley Lake Park
1400 W Millbrook Road
Open to the public. Activities include trails, basketball courts, and playgrounds.
Here are even more fun Outdoor Activities in Raleigh, NC to enjoy!
Lafayette Village | 8450 Honeycutt Road
Lafayette Village is a chic little spot with some great boutique shops and restaurants. Check out The Olive Wagon’s gourmet olive oil and balsamic vinegar selection, Koket Boutique’s unique collection of women’s activewear and accessories, or the bike specialty shop, TLC for Bikes.
DECO Raleigh | 207 South Salisbury Street
If you are loving the local vibes of Raleigh, you’ll really love DECO Raleigh, a boutique with goods from local artisans, makers, and crafters for sale. Bella Tunno, Chilean Charm, Deck Of Oaks, Empire Eats, Ink + Colour, Killer Toffer, and My Invisible Ink are just a few of the vendors that offer goods for sale at DECO.
Raleigh Denim Workshop + Curatory | 319 W Martin Street #100
Denim, denim, denim –and REALL well fit denim is what you’ll get at Raleigh Denim Workshop + Curatory. Unique to other denim slinging stores, at Raleigh Denim you’ll get a personalized experience with a fitting, custom hemming, and personal styling as well.
Cameron Village | 2108 Clark Avenue
With its shops, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes, it’s easy to spend a whole day meandering Cameron Village in Raleigh. Some of our favorite shops to check out are Carolina Lighting & Design, Great Outdoor Provisions Co., The Impeccable Pig, The Local Squirrel, and Nadeau.
Midtown East | 2912 Wake Forest Road
You can find just about everything you need for a day of shopping and dining at Midtown East. Check out shops like PetPeople, a store with unique pet products, and The Gatorbug, a collection of luxe clothing for women.
The Rusty Bucket | 1040 N Salem Street #A
Don’t let it’s the name fool you, the Rusty Bucket has a collection of farm chic knick-knacks, country furnishings, and home accessories that will make your inner Joanna Gaines sing. They also offer beautiful custom farm tables, made to order.
Downtown Raleigh is the apex of shopping when it comes to boutiques and locally owned stores! Here’s a quick list of some of the best stores in the downtown area: The Bittery, DGX, Father & Son Antiques, House of Swank, Katie Callahan & Co., and Raleigh Vintage.
Can’t get enough of shopping in Raleigh? Here is our complete guide to the Best Shopping in and around Raleigh, NC.
Bida Manda Laotian Restaurant & Bar | (919) 829-9999
Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese flavors come together to bring you Bida Manda Laotian Restaurant & Bar. Come here for a cultural culinary experience and gorgeous mood lighting. Lunch hours are Monday-Friday, from 11:30 am to 2 pm, and Dinner hours are Monday-Thursday, from 5-10 pm and Friday-Saturday, from 5 pm to 12 am.
Brewery Bhavana | (919) 829-9998
Don’t let the name fool you, Brewery Bhavana is a little slice of heaven on earth. Dine or lounge and enjoy traditional Chinese dishes with a modern flair. While you’re there sample a few of their 10 housemade beers on tap. Dining hours are Tuesday, from 5-10 pm, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, from 11:30 am – 10:00 pm, and Friday-Saturday, from 11:30 am – 12:00 am.
Relish Craft Kitchen & Bourbon Bar | (919) 787-1855
All the best Southern comfort foods with nice Rye bourbon to wash it all down, that’s what you’ll get at Relish Craft Kitchen & Bourbon Bar. This laidback restaurant is open Sunday-Thursday, from 11 am to 8:30 pm and Friday-Saturday, from 11 am to 9:30 pm.
Rey’s Restaurant | (919) 380-0122
A little NOLA comes to Raleigh in the form of Rey’s Restaurant. Here you can nosh on juicy cuts of steak, grilled brie, and N’awlins crab cakes! Rey’s is open Monday-Thursday from 5-10 pm and Friday-Saturday, from 5-11 pm. Don’t forget to grab a pre-dinner cocktail in their Voodoo lounge.
The Fiction Kitchen | (919) 831-4177
The Fiction Kitchen is a quirky little downtown Raleigh restaurant that caters to vegans and vegetarians. Grab a bite Wednesday-Saturday, from 3:30-7:30 pm.
State Farmers Market Restaurant | (919) 755-1550
Enjoy fresh local bites from the State Farmers Market Restaurant. Dine inside or outside for breakfast or lunch with fresh local ingredients at the State Farmers Market Restaurant. Open daily from 6 am to 3 pm, and from 8 am – 3 pm on Sunday.
42nd Street Oyster Bar | (919) 831-2811
This little downtown Raleigh gem has been around since the ‘30s and offers up some of the freshest seafood around –their raw bar is amazing! 42nd Street Oyster Bar is open for dinner daily, from 4-8 pm, with live music Friday & Saturday.
Taverna Agora Greek Kitchen & Bar | (919) 881-8333
Not only is the Greek food to die for, but so is the rooftop patio at Taverna Agora Greek Kitchen & Bar. You’ll get all the romantic vibes while saving ever morsel of your entree. Dining hours are Monday-Thursday, from 11 am to 10 pm, Friday-Saturday, from 11 am to 11 pm, and Sunday, from 10:30 am to 10 pm.
Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar | (919) 747-9163
Bad never felt so good at Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, where burgers are stacked so high, the toppings fall as you devour each and every bite. This is an excellent stop for a burger and beer, open daily from 11 am to 10 pm.
Oak City Brewing Company | (919) 373-8487
Great local beer in a laid-back and dog-friendly atmosphere is what you’ll find at Oak City Brewing Company. Try a few of their 20 beers on tap including sours, IPAs, pale ales, and seasonal ales.
Clouds Brewing | (919) 307-8335
German-inspired brews and savory bites are what make Clouds Brewing one of our favorites. Order from their full-service menu while enjoying a flight of their house-made beer.
Cotton House Craft Brewers | (984) 333-0050
Cotton House Craft Brewers is a quaint little farmhouse turned taproom with all the southern charm. You’ll feel right at home sipping one of their craft beers on tap while rocking on the front patio.
Little City Brewing & Provisions Co. | (919) 502-7155
The craft beer and hand-crafted cocktails at Little City Brewing & Provisions Co. will give you all the relaxed and vintage vibes.
More of a coffee drinker? No worries! We have an extensive guide to the Best Coffee Shops in Raleigh.
Getaway Idea: Plan a brew-crew crawl with your friends in downtown Raleigh. Here are our favorite Raleigh breweries to add to your crawl!
Places To Stay
We know this may be a bit biased, but one of the best places to stay in Oak City is with StateView. We offer plush rooms, fantastic amenities, and worthwhile lakeside views.
Lounge by our heated saltwater pool or sit under one of our umbrellas on our pool deck and enjoy your breakfast. Grab a quick workout when it’s convenient at our onsite 24-hour fitness center. Need a nosh but don’t feel like going out, stay in and our restaurant Flask & Beaker will prepare room service as you wish.
Aside from our luxury rooms and suites, we also have event and meeting spaces available. Plan your dream wedding, next corporate retreat, or business event at StateView
Thinking about checking out an event during your visit? We’ve got a list of exciting events happening right here in Raleigh! There are also so many great little cities a short drive from Raleigh. While you’re visiting, consider taking a day trip from Raleigh.