RALEIGH, N.C. (August 1, 2014)-"What's New in Raleigh" is a quarterly release listing new venues, activities, exhibits and much more compiled by the Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau. More information on all of the listings found in "What's New" can be found at http://www.visitraleigh.com/.

Raleigh Rocks

World of Bluegrass
September 30 - October 4, 2014

The International Bluegrass Music Association and the city of Raleigh announced that they have extended their contract to host the annual World of Bluegrass convention in Raleigh for an additional three years along with North Carolina Pork Council's Whole Hog Barbecue Championship. Musicians who will perform as part of this year's Wide Open Bluegrass Festival include Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder with Bruce Hornsby, Del McCoury Band with special guests, Hot Rize, Gibson Brothers, Steep Canyon Rangers and many others. The free Street Festival will include 80+ bands, four music stages, a dance tent, vendors, an arts market, concessions, youth performances and activities, and this year, visitors will also be able to purchase tickets to a new event where barbecue lovers can sample some of the finest barbecue from around the state.

"All Expenses Played" Bluegrass Sweepstakes
The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau invites any and all music fans to enter the online sweepstakes for the chance to win a weekend getaway in Greater Raleigh to the PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass festival, Oct. 3-4, 2014. The winner will win a trip for two including a two night stay at a Raleigh area hotel, two general admission tickets to Wide Open Bluegrass shows presented by PNC, along with a myriad of other prizes to make your stay in Greater Raleigh one to remember. While there can only be one winner, there's room for everyone to enjoy the free Street Festival that will include 50+ bands, four music stages, vendors, an arts market, concessions and much more. More information about the online sweepstakes and International Bluegrass Music Association's Wide Open Bluegrass Festival can be found at www.visitRaleigh.com/bluegrass and http://www.wideopenbluegrass.com/.

Adrenaline-Filled Adventures

Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex
The Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex located in Holly Springs, is the largest family oriented, year round, skating and biking learning/training facility in the world. The facility contains a total of 37,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor riding space for adrenaline junkies and extreme sports enthusiasts everywhere. Opened by BMX park rider, Daniel Dhers, his facility aims to inspire young people to follow their dreams. So if you're not a BMX rider but you're looking to step out of your comfort zone, try your hand at the indoor park novice area, pump track, foam pit, or even the large viewing deck if you prefer to watch rather than ride.

Triangle Rock Club
Triangle Rock Club opened its new 13,500 square foot indoor rock climbing facility with a 30-foot, freestanding climbing pillar and more than 74 climbing lanes. Boulderers beware of the Grenade and the Beast, these two on-edge features pose a challenge for even the best with their severe overhangs. So instead of dreading another mundane workout at the gym, get your adrenaline-fueled fitness by climbing the highest climbing walls of any gym between Atlanta and Washington, D.C. That's 55 feet of adrenaline-filled fun!

Blockbuster Exhibitions

Rainforest Adventure
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
April 26 - September 1, 2014
Admission to Exhibition: $5-$7; Museum Admission: FREE

The NC Museum of Natural Sciences, the Southeast's largest natural science museum, opened Rainforest Adventure on April 26 and will continue to run throughout the summer. Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to swing like a spider monkey, ride the butterfly zip-line and discover a rodent that weighs more than 100 pounds and a beetle that can carry more than 850 times its own weight. This is a chance to explore one of the least-known habitats on Earth in a fully interactive maze, chock full of the sights and sounds of a tropical rainforest. Created by Minotaur Mazes, Rainforest Adventure offers visitors an interactive experience that empowers them to make a difference after they learn how essential rainforests are to human health and survival, and that in caring for the rainforest they are caring for the planet.

The World's Largest Dinosaurs
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
October 11, 2014 - April 12, 2015
Admission to Exhibition: $8-$14; Museum Admission: FREE

The World's Largest Dinosaurs exhibit, organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, will be traveling to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences this summer. This exhibit explores how scientists study fossils and living animals to understand what we can learn from these extinct animals and what it means to be big. With such long necks and tiny heads, the world's largest dinosaurs were extraordinary creatures, and you can discover it all at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences this summer.

Small Treasures: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Their Contemporaries
North Carolina Art Museum
October 12, 2014 - January 4, 2015
Museum Admission: FREE

The North Carolina Museum of Art will be hosting their first exhibition to focus exclusively on small-format 17-century Dutch and Flemish figure paintings. Visitors can see the works of some of the century's greatest masters including Anthony van Dyck, David Teniers, Rembrandt, and many others. Drawn primarily from public and private collections throughout the United States, the works in Small Treasures showcase the quality, skill, and diversity these artists brought to their small miracles in paint, encompassed in a not-so-small exhibit that you can't afford to miss!

North Carolina Bluegrass: Breakdowns and Revivals
North Carolina Museum of History
August 29, 2014 - May 17, 2015
Admission to Exhibition: FREE; Museum Admission: FREE

Changing every five weeks, this exhibit case will feature one instrument at a time that was owned and played by a North Carolina bluegrass musician from Doc Watson to "The Andy Griffith Show" Darling family member, Rodney Dillard and his famous guitar. The exhibit will focus on how bluegrass festivals and fiddlers' conventions - along with record labels and television shows - helped to popularize bluegrass music between the early 1950s and early 1980s. Don't miss the musical events that will accompany the exhibit from Bluegrass in the Garden to the PineCone Bluegrass Jam where you can bring your favorite instrument and jam with other music maniacs!

Limited Visibility
CAM Raleigh
October 3, 2014 - January 4, 2015
Museum Admission: $5

What you will see, or not see, in the images, paintings, and installations in the Limited Visibility exhibition is what is not there: each work absents presence and presents something absent. Seer, seen, and unseen come together here to evoke the haunted sensation of searching and looking. The artists in this exhibition seek to draw our attention to the omitted, giving it a kind of determination or persistence that is hard to ignore. If you're looking for an exhibition that will really put your creative cogs into full gear, Limited Visibility will provide you with just that.

Kid Grid
Marbles Kids Museum
Museum Admission: $5

If you're looking for a fun-filled activity with the kids that won't break the bank, Marbles Kids Museum is now home to a one-of-a-kind interactive exhibit that features playful activities in a pretend power grid. Partnering up with ABB, the global leader in power and automation technology, Marbles offers a way for kids to crank up the play, energize electricity smarts and take charge to power up a bright future.   

Destination News

The Umstead Hotel and Spa has created a new, enclosed playground for canines on the verdant grounds of its five-star property.  Named DogWoods, in a nod to the Dogwood trees indigenous to the area and to North Carolina's state flower, the Dogwood Blossom, the new playground offers plenty of space for running, jumping, fetching (complimentary tennis balls) and other favorite doggie pursuits.  The addition of DogWoods expands upon the established services offered indoors at The Umstead - including a plush bed, water bowl and treats.

New Terminal 1 Opens at RDU Airport
The new Terminal 1 has officially arrived at RDU Airport. This $68 million modernization project seeks to elevate the travel experience for visitors coming to and from the area. The new terminal features natural light, open spaces, a new exit path, new shops, covered curbsides, and easier navigation for travelers. Not to mention the new Starbucks in the baggage claim area. And if all that doesn't satisfy your traveling taste, you can now enjoy the new permanent art installations that transform the terminal into a wondrous work of art that is bound to catch your eye.

Hotwire.com Ranks Raleigh among Top 10 U.S. Value Destinations
Affordability has always been one of Greater Raleigh's greatest assets and Hotwire.com, a leading travel discount site, took notice and ranked Raleigh in a tie with Dallas-Fort Worth as fifth among the Top 10 U.S. Value Destinations for 2014 based on travel discounts and low prices. With the Greater Raleigh area always offering up some of the best entertainment options and attractions, this ranking marks the second time since 2010 that Raleigh has made the annual list. So if you're looking for an affordable family getaway, Greater Raleigh's got a lot to offer for a price that won't break your bank.

NC Museum of Natural Sciences Receives National Award from First Lady
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences recently received the National Medal, the nation's highest honor given to museums and libraries for their service to the community. The National Medal was presented to Museum Director Emlyn Koster by First Lady Michelle Obama at a special ceremony at the White House. The winners of the National Medal were selected from nationwide nominations of institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach.

Visit Raleigh Mobile Website Redesigned
Whether you're hanging around downtown Cary at a festival or walking around the busy streets of downtown Raleigh, the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau has upgraded the mobile website to make it even easier to find special offers, events, hotels and restaurants that are close to you. Easily accessible by navigating to visitRaleigh.com or typing visitRaleigh.mobi from your mobile device, you'll find the side navigation a breeze as you browse the latest and greatest restaurants and hotels for some of the best deals in the capital city.

Online Access
The Official Visitors Guide to Raleigh, Cary and Wake County is now online! Visitors will love this updated, online version, which allows users to flip the pages and view the guide in its entirety, along with having ready access to destination, attraction, event and business videos; it's easy to use and eco-friendly. To view the Official Visitors Guide online, visit http://www.raleighvisitorsguide.com/.

The Merrimon-Wynne House Opens Its Doors
The heart of historic Raleigh, the Merrimon-Wynne House has officially re-opened its doors. This classic Raleigh home recently underwent a six month renovation at its new location at 500 North Blount Street, offering a premier downtown venue space for weddings and other special events. With its new location on the same street as the Governor's Mansion, the location of the house allows for Merrimon-Wynne House to accommodate any unique special event niche by offering this exciting new venue in downtown Raleigh, while connecting visitors back to the city's roots. 

Noteworthy Neighborhoods

The North Person Street Business District
A 5-10 minute walk from the heart of downtown Raleigh, this up-and-coming neighborhood is surrounded by the Historic Oakwood Mordecai neighborhoods as well as William Peace University. This area was one home to boarded-up store fronts and some struggling businesses, but within the past year it has truly transformed into a vibrant area that appeals to both residents and visitors.

Raleigh's Warehouse District
Named by USA Today as one of the top 10 best city art districts around the United States, The Warehouse District is a trendy six-block area adorned with repurposed red brick warehouse spaces and other old buildings which are being used for a myriad of independently owned businesses. Prepare yourself for an artistic abundance with places like CAM Raleigh, the only non-collecting contemporary art museum in North Carolina. Surrounding this museum filled with contemporary works are art galleries and studios like Rebus Works, Designbox, and Flanders Art Gallery. Fashion is also well represented in the Warehouse District, including Raleigh Denim Workshop and Curatory, just steps away from the CAM, where custom jeans are hand sewn on vintage machines.

What's New on the Menu?

Raleigh Chef Wins Oscars of Food
As if the great food wasn't enough, Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen can now add the James Beard Award for Best Chef of the Southeast to her plate. The 37-year-old winner of the award is also the owner of Poole's Downtown Diner, Beasley's Chicken + Honey and several other downtown Raleigh restaurants. This was the first time that the James Beard Award has made its way to Raleigh, and with the ever expanding culinary scene, it sure won't be the last, especially with her new up-and-coming restaurants, Death and Taxes and Aux Kitchen, coming to the downtown Raleigh area soon.

Stanbury Restaurant and Bar
, a small neighborhood eatery that encompasses all the pleasures of a gourmet restaurant with a comfortable, playful atmosphere, is now open on North Blount Street in the heart of Downtown Raleigh. While their shareable dishes might sound familiar, each visit will prove an entirely different experience. With their "farm-to-table" cooking style, Stanbury chooses to take a nonconventional approach when it comes to food, dedicated to both integrating and highlighting our region's local agriculture producers as well as enhancing the lives of its visitors through deeper connections, shared experiences and great company.

Garland Restaurant and Cocktail Bar
Garland, a modern yet comfortable restaurant located in downtown Raleigh, features their creative take on traditional Indian and Asian cuisine with a chic and stylish atmosphere. Ingredients are sourced locally and the menu evolves with the seasons. Whether you're on a date or out with a group of friends, there is a myriad of carefully curated wines, beers and handcrafted cocktails to choose from to accompany the many spice-driven dishes that Garland has to offer. http://www.garlandrestaurant.com/

LucetteGrace, a contemporary patisserie in the heart of downtown Raleigh, specializes in sweet and savory breakfast pastries, desserts, and light lunches. Owned and operated by former Umstead pastry chef Daniel Benjamin, his new restaurant offers you a starting point for your day, an escape in the middle, and a reward at the end. With a seasonally changing selection of pastries, whether you're in the mood for a butterscotch apricot macaroon or miso mushroom quiche, LettuceGrace will be sure to satisfy your palette. www.lucettegrace.com


The Raleigh area continues to gain national recognition by appearing on the top of many ‘Best Of' lists compiled by national publications. In the past six months of 2014 Forbes.com has named Raleigh #1 on its Best City for Raising a Family and named #3 Fastest Growing City by CNN Money, along with many other accolades.

Raleigh Ranks Number One as Best City for Raising a Family
Raleigh was ranked first on Forbes' list for Best City for Raising a Family, beating out cities like Grand Rapids, Michigan and Omaha, Nebraska. Recognizing Raleigh's quality schools, low crime, and low cost of living relative to residents' rising level of income, Forbes declared that there really is no better place to raise a family.

The Umstead Hotel and Spa Ranks Tops on the List
The Umstead Hotel and Spa, which was recently awarded again the Forbes Travel Guide's Five-Star rating. Herons, The Umstead's signature restaurant, was also awarded Five Stars by the guide, and The Umstead Spa received a Four-Star designation. The list includes only 97 Five-Star hotels worldwide and 48 Five-Star restaurants.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport Ranks Among Highest in North America
Skytrax's World Airport Awards recognized Raleigh-Durham International Airport as one of the best regional airport in North America. As voted by travelers from over 160 different countries, Raleigh was ranked 7th among the top ten best regional airports.

Raleigh Makes Top Ten List for Beer Drinkers
Greater Raleigh area, home to 16 breweries, is recognized by Nerd Wallet as being the 10th least expensive city for beer drinkers. Along with Beer Month in April and the World Beer Festival, the magazine also recognized Raleigh as having the lowest price of a six-pack of the top ten cities.

Raleigh Races to the Top in Top 10 Fastest Growing Cities
With a population of 1.2 million, CNN Money recognizes Raleigh as the third fastest growing city in the United States. An area rich with tech companies and three major universities within the area, the magazine also acknowledges the city's affordable housing and increasing influx of jobs.