Stately buildings and classic architecture line the streets of this historic Capital District. This is where decisions are made and history is honored, all within a downtown perimeter that is home to some of N.C.’s most iconic public landmarks. The North Carolina State Capitol building is one of the best-preserved examples of a civic building in Greek Revival-style architecture. The North Carolina Executive Mansion, a Victorian-style mansion built from native materials, has been the official residence of the state’s governors since 1891 and offers tours throughout the year. At the N.C. General Assembly, you can observe state lawmakers in their element. Admission is free, and provisions have been made throughout the building for public access and observation of the legislative process.
The Capital District is also home to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the Southeast's largest natural history museum, with four floors of exhibits, live animals, 3D movies, three gift stores and two cafés. Don’t miss dining under the three-story-tall globe at The Daily Planet Cafe. Just steps away is the North Carolina Museum of History, exploring information and discoveries dating back more than 14,000 years. The Story of North Carolina—an award-winning exhibition—features fascinating artifacts, multimedia presentations and an interactive format for all ages.
Nearby, Shops at Seaboard Station offers eclectic restaurants, retail, events and activities. Grab a seat at the bar and chow down on a burger and fries at Bad Daddy's Burger Bar, or enjoy Korean-inspired comfort food made with sustainable ingredients at Kimbap. Leave room for a fresh, hot, glazed doughnut from N.C.’s own Krispy Kreme, located just a few blocks away.
For an elegant, upscale dining experience, make reservations for dinner at Second Empire Restaurant & Tavern, a four-time recipient of the AAA Four-Diamond Award. Located in the impeccably restored Dodd-Hinsdale House, Second Empire combines history, atmosphere and gourmet cuisine for an unforgettable evening.