Downtown Raleigh

Downtown Raleigh, N.C., is where historic neighborhoods, world-class museums, Southern diners, outdoor green spaces, performing arts venues, breweries and underground cocktail spots all work together to create one incredible cultural hotspot.

It’s where you can tour a chocolate factory, play classic arcade games, park your bike outside a bicycle-themed brewery, indulge in a plate of whole-hog, pit-cooked barbecue, pick up a pair of locally hand-crafted denim jeans and visit a contemporary art museum—all within in a 100-step radius.

Some of the state’s most visited attractions (North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Marbles Kids Museum and North Carolina Museum of History), plus a host of critically-acclaimed restaurants on a national level (Poole’s Diner, Bida Manda, Garland, Raleigh Beer Garden and more) call the center of the city home.
 


Delivering purposeful play in a big way, Marbles allows children to imagine, discover and learn in dozens of interactive... View More

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is the Southeast’s largest natural history museum, complete with its Nature... View More

Raleigh Beer Garden is making a run for the "operational beer tap" world record. This beer bar offers 366 separate varieties... View More

Spice driven seasonal cuisine with a focus on Indian and Asian flavors and the evolution of those culinary traditions. Quality... View More



Downtown Raleigh has seen a surge of growth in recent years thanks to a slew of artists, entrepreneurs, creative class innovators, restaurateurs, business leaders and other passionate minds that had a vision for downtown that would make it a special place to visit—a place where people from all walks of life, backgrounds and futures would come together to share enriching experiences. That’s why you’ll find murals on the sides of buildings and posters at business entrances that read, “Are All Welcome Raleigh, N.C.” and “Welcome to Raleigh, Y’all.”

It’s all easily accessible, too—downtown streets are easy to navigate by walking, cycling (a bikeshare program is headed to Raleigh in early 2018), catching a short taxi ride, using the free R-LINE circulator bus or even hopping on the back of a pedal-powered rickshaw.

Cheetie Kumar

Cheetie Kumar

Garland, KINGS and Neptunes Parlour

For Garland restaurant owner Cheetie Kumar, music, food and creating a good time go hand in hand. The rocker-turned-restaurateur has her hands full as head chef at Garland while still taking center stage as guitarist in her band, Birds of Avalon.

“You can hang out in Raleigh and walk around and hit a bunch of different spots that are very well-thought-out and beautifully executed.”

Downtown Districts Five Distinct Hot Spots


Raleigh, N.C.

Get to know more of Raleigh and its 11 surrounding towns! Click an area on the map or the links below to explore.

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Downtown Raleigh

Historic neighborhoods, museums, Southern diners and global eats, green spaces, performance venues, breweries and nightlife spots work together to create one incredible, cultural hotspot.

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East Raleigh

Steeped in history, East Raleigh continues to grow with historic neighborhoods, two distilleries, family-fun facilities and restaurants serving up delicious, down-home Southern food.

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Midtown Raleigh

Includes four, different shopping, entertainment and dining areas all within a short drive—North Hills, Crabtree Valley, Cameron Village and the Five Points neighborhood.

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North Raleigh

Home to hundreds of restaurants, large retail stores, entertainment complexes, parks and recreation areas. Family entertainment is easy to find as well as fun, outdoor things to do

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RDU/Brier Creek

Aptly named for its proximity to RDU International Airport, the area is home to hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail, restaurants, breweries and an array of family fun.

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South Raleigh

Located just south of downtown, this area is one of the city’s most rapidly growing. With multiple parks, eateries and entertainment options, it's a great place to spend a day or stay.

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West Raleigh

Boasts two-dozen live performance venues and visual art galleries, including the North Carolina Museum of Art! This hip, college-town drag also includes the N.C. State Fairgrounds and PNC Arena.

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Apex

Celebrating its turn-of-the-century railroad heritage, the charming town of Apex features more than 60 commercial and residential structures dating from 1870 to 1940.

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Cary

One of the fastest-growing cities in the South, the Town of Cary is home to renowned restaurants, world-class shopping, top-tier entertainment, culture and arts and a range of outdoor experiences.

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Fuquay-Varina

Originally, visitors traveled to the quaint town seeking the healing powers of its mineral spring. Today the town remains a rewarding place for day-trip adventures or weekend getaways.

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Garner

Venture just 10 minutes from downtown Raleigh and check out Garner, an All-America City with unique amenities and a genuine, hometown authenticity.

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Holly Springs

At its beginnings, travelers stopped by the area's springs to quench their thirst, and while that bit of history doesn’t continue today, visitors do stop to indulge in breweries and dining spots.

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Knightdale

Perfect for those seeking a welcoming, youthful culture, Knightdale boasts lots of parks and trails for the active-minded, a distillery plus a local-hangout, nano brewery.

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Morrisville/RTP

A growing enclave known for its diversity, educated populace and cultural vibrancy. Includes excellent global dining, plus the local-favorite, indoor climbing spot Triangle Rock Club.

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Rolesville

As the second-oldest town in the Raleigh area, Rolesville’s roots run deep. Established in 1837, the town has held fast to its engaging, Southern charm.

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Wake Forest

A beautiful small town with enough history, culture and activities to keep travelers entertained for days on end. Stroll through the charming, historic downtown district!

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Wendell

Along Main St. and throughout historic downtown Wendell—on the National Register of Historic Places—vintage shops, dining spots and buildings display the architecture of our American heritage.

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Zebulon

Just 25 minutes from downtown Raleigh, Zebulon is a vibrant, welcoming community with activities ranging from sporting events (Carolina Mudcats baseball!) to down-home Southern dining.

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