Capital District

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.
 


Completed in 1840, this National Historic Landmark is one of the best-preserved examples of a civic building in Greek... View More

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

The North Carolina Museum of History, located in downtown Raleigh, showcases more than 14,000 years and 150,000 artifacts of N.C.... View More

Designed to showcase the local, independent retailers, Shops at Seaboard Station is a bright, airy prospect. Along with many... View More



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.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences - Nature Research Center

Emlyn Koster

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Emlyn Koster, Ph.D.'s journey is rooted in geology, and his path eventually led him to Raleigh. Impressed by the city’s museum culture and natural beauty, he accepted the job of museum director and has been integral in creating an accessible, enriching visitor experience.

“There might be a perception that all natural science museums are for children—but we are all children at one point. We all should be extra curious.”

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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