Area Accolades

There's no doubt that, when looking at a "Best of" list, you'll see Raleigh, N.C., right near the top. To toot our own horn, a few of our accolades include being named "America's Best City" by Businessweek.com, "Most Educated City in America" by Men's Health and "Healthiest City for Women" by Women's Health... not to mention GQ named us one of "America's Coolest Towns" and Southern Living named us one of the "Top 10 Tastiest Towns in the South." Discover for yourself why N.C.'s capital city area is praised in the press as one of the best places in the nation to live, work and play.

Special thanks to the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce for its partnership in collecting these Raleigh/Wake rankings.
 

2024

  • #1 Among Best Hotels in North Carolina (The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary) - February 2024, U.S. News
  • The Chicest Hotel in North Carolina (The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary) - January 2024, Veranda

2023

  • #5 Among Best Places To Go For Thanksgiving (Raleigh) - November 2023, WalletHub
  • Among The Best Hotels in North America (Heights House Hotel) - October 2023, Fodor's Travel
  • Among The South's Top 50 Barbecue Joints of 2023 (Prime Barbecue, Knightdale) - September 2023, Southern Living
  • #1 Among Top Wine Festivals in N.C. (North Carolina Wine Festival, Cary) - August 2023, Drink Stack
  • #3 Among Best Business Climates (Large) in the U.S. (Raleigh-Cary MSA) - August 2023, Business Facilities
  • #1 Among Top 50 Fastest-Growing Airports in the U.S. (RDU International Airport) - According to information provided by the airlines, July 2023
  • Among Seven Cities To Visit To Celebrate Juneteenth Weekend (Raleigh) - ESSENCE, June 2023
  • First Place in the U.S., Best Micro Distillery Whiskey (Olde Raleigh Distillery, Zebulon) - International Whisky Competition, June 2023
  • Second Place, Best North Carolina Whiskey (Old Raleigh Distillery's Olde Raleigh Whiskey Society Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in a Honey Barrel) - International Whisky Competition, June 2023
  • Third Place, Best North Carolina Whiskey (Old Raleigh Distillery's Olde Raleigh Whiskey Society Blended Bourbon) - International Whisky Competition, June 2023
  • Third Place in the U.S., Best Barrel Finish/Special Cask Whiskey (Olde Raleigh Distillery's Olde Raleigh Whiskey Society Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in a Honey Barrel) - International Whisky Competition, June 2023
  • Top 25 and 27 whiskies in the world (Olde Raleigh Distillery's Olde Stogie Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Armagnac and Tawny Port Casks and Olde Raleigh Whiskey Society Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in a Honey Barrel) - International Whisky Competition, June 2023
  • Among College Towns With Class (Raleigh) - Marietta Daily Journal, June 2023
  • Among restaurants in The Ultimate BBQ Bucket List (The Pit) - Enthusiastic About Life, June 2023
  • Among 10 Restaurant Openings You Can’t Miss This Summer (Ajja) - The Local Palate, May 2023
  • Among 21 Enchanting N.C. Botanical Gardens to Put On Your Must-Visit List (JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University) - Cardinal & Pine, May 2023
  • Among 16 N.C. Trails That Take You To Something Awesome (Raleigh Beer Trail) - Cardinal & Pine, May 2023
  • Among Amazing Exhibits by Black Artists to Check Out This Spring and Summer (Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh) - EBONY, April 2023)
  • Among Eight Under-the-Radar Music Destinations You Need to Know (Raleigh) - AARP, April 2023
  • #10 Among 12 Cheapest Places to Travel in 2023 (Raleigh) - Ramsey Solutions, March 2023
  • #12 Among The South's Best Cities 2023 (Raleigh) - Southern Living, March 2023
  • #8 Among Best-value Cities to Visit in the U.S. (Raleigh) - The Times, March 2023
  • Where To Get the Absolute Best Bread in the U.S. (La Farm Bakery, Cary) - Mashable, January 2023
  • #2 Among Best Hotels in North Carolina (The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary) - U.S. News, January 2023
  • #9 Among Best U.S. Cities for Foreign Businesses (Raleigh) - Financial Times, January 2023

2022

  • #3 Among America's Happiest Cities (Raleigh) - Men's Health, November 2022
  • #3 Among STEM Job Growth Index (Raleigh) - RCLCO, November 2022
  • #1 Among Best New Breweries in the U.S. (Funguys Brewing) - USA TODAY 10Best, November 2022
  • #4 Among Best Beer Festivals (Brewgaloo) - USA TODAY 10Best, November 2022
  • #9 Among Safest Cities in America (Raleigh) - WalletHub, October 2022
  • #6 Among 60 Best Meeting Blogs and Websites (visitRaleigh meetings insider blog) - Feedspot, October 2022
  • #4 Among 50 Best Places to Live in the U.S. (Raleigh) - Money, October 2022
  • #48 Among Top 50 Speakeasy Bars in the U.S. (Watts & Ward) - Yelp, September 2022
  • #2 Among The South's Best Cities on the Rise 2022 - Southern Living, September 2022
  • #2 Most Popular Airbnb Destination in the U.S. for Labor Day Weekend - Airbnb, August 2022
  • #5 Among Best Music Cities in the U.S. (Raleigh) - Clever Real Estate, August 2022
  • #3 Among Best Eastern U.S. Vacation Spots for Families (Raleigh) - SheBuysTravel, June 2022
  • Among Best Fanbases in Hockey (Carolina Hurricanes) - USA TODAY, May 2022
  • Among Nine Best Place to Visit in North Carolina (Raleigh) - Lonely Planet, May 2022 
  • Among the Absolute Best Pastries in the U.S. (Boulted Bread’s Jam Pinwheel) - Mashed, May 2022
  • Five-Star Award Winner, Hotels (The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary) - Forbes Travel Guide, April 2022
  • Five-Star Award Winner, Spas (The Umstead Spa, Cary) - Forbes Travel Guide, April 2022
  • Five-Star Award Winner, Restaurants (Herons at The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary) - Forbes Travel Guide, April 2022
  • Among Editors' Picks of the Best New Hotels in the World (Heights House Hotel) - Travel + Leisure, April 2022
  • Among the South’s Best New Hotels (Heights House Hotel) - Atlanta Magazine, March 2022
  • #2 Among the South's Best Cities on the Rise 2022 (Raleigh) - Southern Living, March 2022
  • #1 Among Best Cities for Working Women - Apartment List, March 2022
  • Among Best U.S. Cities for Creatives (That You Can Actually Afford to Live In) (Raleigh) - Thrillist, January 2022

2021

  • Among Top 50 Boomtowns Nationwide (Cary) - SmartAsset, November 2021
  • #3 Among Large Airports For Customer Satisfaction (Raleigh-Durham International Airport) - J.D. Power List, September 2021
  • Among 2021's Best Cities for Gamers (Raleigh) - WalletHub, July 2021
  • #3 Among Safest Large Cities (Raleigh) - AdvisorSmith, July 2021
  • #1 Among Safest Midsize Cities (Cary) - AdvisorSmith, July 2021
  • Among 2021's Best Cities for Hockey Fans (Raleigh) - WalletHub, June 2021
  • Among America's Best Cities (Raleigh) - Best Cities, June 2021
  • Among Top 20 Best Summer Travel Destinations (Greater Raleigh) - WalletHub, May 2021
  • Five-Star Award Winner, Hotels (The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary) - Forbes Travel Guide, February 2022
  • Five-Star Award Winner, Spas (The Umstead Spa, Cary) - Forbes Travel Guide, February 2022
  • Five-Star Award Winner, Restaurants (Herons at The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary) - Forbes Travel Guide, February 2022
  • Among New Destinations You Should Visit This Year (Raleigh and The Longleaf Hotel) - Tablet Hotels, January 2021
  • #1 Among America’s Best Places to Live in 2021 (Raleigh) - Bankrate, January 2021

2020

  • #3 Among Happiest Cities in America (Raleigh) - Men's Health, December 2020
  • Among Safest Cities in America (Raleigh) - Money Geek, December 2020
  • Among The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2021 (Raleigh area) - Travel + Leisure, December 2020
  • #9 Among 2020’s Safest Cities in America (Raleigh) - WalletHub, November 2020
  • 2021 North American Center of Excellence (Raleigh Convention Center) - Exhibitor Magazine, October 2020
  • Readers' Choice Award (Raleigh Marriott City Center) - ConventionSouth, October 2020
  • 2021 New or Renovated Meeting Site Award (Embassy Suites Raleigh-Durham Research Triangle, Cary) - ConventionSouth, October 2020
  • 2021 New or Renovated Meeting Site Award (The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary) - ConventionSouth, October 2020
  • Cities Where Women Are Most Successful (Cary) - SmartAsset, June 2020
  • Five-Star Award Winner, Hotels (The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary) - Forbes Travel Guide, February 2020
  • Five-Star Award Winner, Spas (The Umstead Spa, Cary) - Forbes Travel Guide, February 2020
  • Five-Star Award Winner, Restaurants (Herons at The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary) - Forbes Travel Guide, February 2020
  • #1 Among Best Hotels in North Carolina (The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary) - U.S. News & World Report, February 2020
  • Among Best Music Scenes Right Now (Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill) - Rolling Stone, February 2020
  • #2 in 2020 Quality of Life Ranking (Raleigh) - Numbeo, January 2020