Hello, summer! We can hardly contain our excitement—there are so many fun ways to enjoy the longer days and extra sunshine we get during these warm-weather months. Throw in some gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, Independence Day celebrations plus a few extra vacation days and there's no better time than now to get outside, be active, take in a ballgame or a soccer match and enjoy time under the sun in Raleigh, N.C.
So how are we making the most of things in July? Let's start with a historic event—the Carolina RailHawks will host Premier League team West Ham United FC at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary (7/12), the first ever team from the Premier League team to take the pitch in the Raleigh area. Big, standing room-only crowds are expected, but tickets can still be scored—just hurry! The RailHawks also kick off the second half of the North American Soccer League (NASL) season with games against the Tampa Bay Rowdies (7/9) and Miami FC (7/22).
We'd be remiss if we didn't send you out to the ballpark this month—what screams summer more than America's pastime? The Carolina Mudcats have a full schedule of fun in July with five home series on the calendar at Five County Stadium in Zebulon. The Mudcats kick off the month with four straight days of post-game fireworks—they'll take on the Lynchburg Hellcats (7/1-3) plus the Salem Red Sox on Independence Day. Don't miss out! Check out the full schedule of upcoming games here. Also on the diamond this summer are the Holly Springs Salamanders—they'll play ten contests in July just southwest of Raleigh in Holly Springs. Read about the family-friendly atmosphere they've created here.
Photo: The News & Observer and Chris Baird
If you're looking to get on the move and take advantage of Raleigh's 170+ miles of trails and greenways, we've got what you're looking for. Read up on 11 local favorite spots to get in some outdoors exercise.
10+ Spots to Catch Fireworks for Independence Day
July means Independence Day is upon us, and that means fireworks! We've got a rundown of more than 10 events you'll want to know about across the Raleigh area, but a couple we'll tell you about here. Cary's Koka Booth Amphitheatre hosts Summerfest: Independence Day (7/4), presented by the North Carolina Symphony. Fun for the whole family (and free!), you'll want to pack blankets and coolers so you can enjoy patriotic favorites, high-spirited classics and fireworks once the sun goes down.
Over in downtown Raleigh you can experience The ‘Works! This Fourth of July celebration kicks off at noon with live music, hot dog eating contests, a BMX stunt show and more until the fireworks grand finale gets underway at 9:30pm. More than 15 performers are scheduled across three stages spanning more than a quarter-mile in the city center—you won't want to miss out!
A Music Fan's Dream
Warm weather means outdoor concerts in Raleigh (more than 100 of them!), and the July calendar lives up to the hype. Here's just a sampling of all concerts under Carolina skies this month: Barenaked Ladies (7/3), Ray LaMontagne (7/15), 311 and Matisyahu (7/24) and Phillip Phillips (7/31) play downtown Raleigh's Red Hat Amphitheater; Toby Keith (7/10), Florida Georgia Line (7/14), Dierks Bentley (7/22), Gwen Stefani (7/24) and Snoop Dogg with Wiz Khalifa (7/26) play Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek; Modest Mouse and Brand New (7/6) and Flight of the Conchords (7/18) take over Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary; and Chatham County Line will headline Destination Dix (7/23), a day-long celebration of Raleigh's future major park on the edge of downtown.
More July Picks
There's still time to catch a movie under the stars! The July lineup includes The Sandlot (7/1), The Martian (7/8), Zootopia (7/15), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (7/21), The Big Short (7/22), Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (7/29), Cinderella (7/31) and others.
Don't miss out! The N.C.'s Favorite Son: Billy Graham and His Remarkable Journey of Faith exhibit closes at North Carolina Museum of History on 7/10.
Artify: The Arts in Parks series commemorates the 100th anniversary of N.C.'s parks, offering artful events set in parks and also those with park-related themes.
And don't forget to relax and cool off with a refreshing summer beer at any of our 22+ area breweries, continuing your journey on the Raleigh Beer Trail.