Raleigh NC Visitors Guide

Raleigh Visitors Guide Map With PinRaleigh, 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, ax throwing, and Forest EscAPE experience. Tickets cost from $49.95 for adults and $44.95 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, also known as NC’s greatest treasure hunt. You can find everything from vintage to handcrafted goods for sale. Open Saturday and 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’s East and West Building Galleries are open Wednesday-Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. The Museum Park is open daily, including holidays, 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 to the arboretum is free, but donations are welcome. Garden visitation is open Monday-Thursday from 9 am to 4:30 pm, Friday from 9 am to 8 pm, and Saturday-Sunday from 8 am to 8 pm between Memorial Day and September. 

The gardens are open Monday-Friday 9 am to 4:30 pm and Saturday-Sunday 10 am to 5 pm September until the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. 

CAM Raleigh

(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-Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. Admission to CAM is completely free. 


Lake Johnson Park

4601 Avent Ferry Road

Lake Johnson Park is 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

Yates Mill County Park is open to the public from 8 am to sunset. Activities include fishing, hiking, gardens, picnic areas, and educational exhibits.

Pullen Park

520 Ashe Avenue

Pullen Park is open to the public from dawn to dusk. Activities include amusement rides, pedal boat rentals, playgrounds, tennis courts, Theatre in the Park, and covered shelters.

Neuse River Trail

Multiple Parking Locations

Open from dawn to dusk daily. Activities include a boardwalk, greenway trail, and historical sights.

Dorthea Dix Park

2105 Umstead Drive

Dorothea Dix Park is open daily from dawn to dusk, with occasional exceptions for special events and maintenance. Activities include a dog park, wide-open lawns, tree groves, and picnicking.

Lake Crabtree County Park

1400 Aviation Parkway

Lake Crabtree County Park is open to the public from 8 am to sunset. Activities include hiking, playgrounds, fishing, sailing, boat rentals, bike trails, and covered shelters.

Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve

2616 Kildaire Farm Road

The Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve is open to the public from 9 am to sunset. Activities include nature trails, educational exhibits, and trails.

Shelley Lake Park

1400 W Millbrook Road

Shelley Lake Park is open to the public. Hours vary seasonally, so be sure to check their website before you plan a trip. Activities include trails, basketball courts, and playgrounds.

Here are even more fun outdoor activities in Raleigh, NC to enjoy!

Friends shopping in Downtown RaleighShopping

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, Empire Eats, Blue Q, and Aviate Press are just a few of the vendors that offer goods for sale at DECO. 

Raleigh Denim Workshop + Curatory | 319 W Martin Street #100 

Raleigh Denim Workshop + Curatory is a unique denim workshop that crafts editioned jeans using old-smith machines that they repaired themselves. 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 Great Outdoor Provisions Co., The Impeccable Pig, Tin Roof Teas, 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 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

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 and Son, House of Swank, Katie Callahan & Co., and Raleigh Vintage.

More Shopping

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. Hours are Monday 5 pm-10 pm, Tuesday-Thursday 11:30 am to 3 pm and 5 pm to 10 pm, Friday-Saturday 11:30 am to 3 pm and 5 pm to 11 pm. 

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 house made beers on tap. Hours are Tuesday-Thursday 11:30 am to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday from 11:30 am to 11 pm, and Sunday from 11:30 am to 9 pm. 

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 Monday-Thursday 11 am to 9 pm, Friday 11 am to 10 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 10 pm, and Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm. Brunch hours are Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 3 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-Saturday from 5 pm to 10 pm and Sunday from 4 pm to 9 pm. Get there before your reservation to grab a drink from the Voodoo Lounge, open daily from 4 pm to 9 pm. 

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 4:30 pm to 9 pm. Reservations are strongly encouraged for dine-in. 

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 Monday-Saturday 6 am to 3 pm and Sunday from 8 am to 3 pm.

42nd Street Oyster Bar | (919) 831-2811

This 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 Monday-Thursday from 5 pm to 9 pm, Friday from 5 pm to 10 pm, Saturday from 4 pm to 10 pm, and Sunday from 4 pm to 9 pm.

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 savoring every morsel of your entree. Dining hours are Monday-Thursday from 11 am to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm, and Sunday from 11 am to 10 pm. Brunch is served from 11 am to 3 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, and pair your drink with a meal from a local food truck. Open Monday-Thursday 3 pm to 10 pm, Friday from 3 pm to 11 pm, Saturday from noon to 11 pm, and Sunday from noon to 8 pm. 

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. Open Tuesday from noon to 9 pm, Wednesday-Thursday from noon to 10 pm, Friday from noon to 11 pm, Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm, and Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm. 

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. Open daily, Monday-Thursday 2 pm to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday from noon to 12 am, and Sunday from noon to 8 pm. 

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. Open Tuesday-Thursday 4 pm to 11 pm, Friday 4 pm to 2 am, Saturday noon to 2 am, and Sunday from noon to 9 pm.  

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.