Planning a trip to Raleigh for business, a romantic getaway, or a family vacation? One of the places you will definitely want to check out while in town is the Downtown Raleigh area. It provides a cool city-like atmosphere while maintaining its historic roots and feel.
We’ve put together a list of our favorite things to do in Downtown Raleigh that are sure to leave you counting down the days until your trip to the City of Oaks.
Things To Do in Downtown Raleigh
Crank Arm Rickshaw Ride
If you’re looking to have a really unique downtown experience, take a ride on a rickshaw! Crank Arm Rickshaw offers city and historic tours throughout the streets of downtown Raleigh. While you ride in your open-air rickshaw your driver will show you around, give you the details on all the city has to offer and even point out the best places to eat and shop. Have a whole crew coming into town or planning a big event? Crank Arm also offers bar crawl, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and birthday tours! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, rates, and booking your tour.
Raleigh Beer Garden
The Raleigh Beer Garden not only has the world’s largest selection of draft beer (yes, they currently hold the world record), but they also have a live tree branching out from the center of their building. Mingle inside, outside on in their garden, or on their rooftop patio while you choose from a variety of IPAs, Pale Ales, Blondes, Ciders, and more. They also have a full dining menu with great options to choose from like pizza, sandwiches, and bar bites. Open daily from 11:00-2:00 am, reservations are available.
More of a coffee drinker? Here is the ultimate guide to the best coffee shops in Raleigh.
Historic City Market
For some of the best shopping and dining in downtown Raleigh, the Historic City Market is the spot to be. Located in the heart of downtown you can enjoy specialty shops and mouth-watering local restaurants all in one place. A few of our favorites include Royale, Bella Vita, and Market Hall. The Historic City Market is open year-round, be sure to check out what events they are hosting during your stay!
Free Things To Do in Raleigh
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
If you’re looking for a museum experience unlike any other, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences should be on your bucket list! The building alone is a sight to see with its domed globe popping out from the main entrance. Here you can explore prehistoric times, tropical creatures, dinosaur bones, space, and more. The best part, general admission into the museum is free! Open Monday-Saturday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sunday, from 12:00 to 5:00 pm.
North Carolina Museum of Art
North Carolina Museum of Art has a lot to offer its visitors, from modern, classic, and culture works of art to outdoor/park installations. This museum also hosts events and showcases special exhibitions throughout the year. Admission is free into this wonderful place and you can visit Tuesday-Sunday, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Videri Chocolate Factory
Who doesn’t love free chocolate? Take a free self-guided tour of the Videri Chocolate Factory and you can catch a glimpse of the chocolatiers pulling caramel, molding chocolate bars or roasting cocoa beans –and don’t forget your free sample, yum! The factory’s hours are as follows: Monday-Thursday, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Friday-Saturday, from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, and Sunday, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Most days their Black & White Coffee counter opens at 8:00 am.
Places to Stay in Raleigh, NC
The StateView Hotel
We may be a little bit biased but, one of the perfect places to stay in Raleigh is our beautiful StateView Hotel. We offer luxury comfort and amenities with a breath-taking view of Lake Raleigh. Take a dip in our pool, grab a bite to eat from Flask & Beaker our on-site restaurant, or just sleep-in. Whatever you choose you’re sure to feel pampered! Check out our available rooms while planning your next trip to Raleigh.
Looking for more things to do during your stay? We have the latest on all the area attractions in Raleigh.