Fayetteville Street

After being converted in the 1970s to a pedestrian mall closed to automobile traffic, downtown Raleigh, N.C.’s central thoroughfare, Fayetteville St., was restored in 2006 to a drivable main street; the city’s central business corridor has exploded with energy and activity ever since. This district distinguishes Raleigh as a sophisticated Southern city, with an abundance of restaurants, bars and galleries mingling with contemporary high-rises and restored historic buildings.

On weekdays, visitors will be immersed in the environment of business and commerce that characterizes downtown Raleigh. Lawyers, bankers, political staffers, technology executives and young entrepreneurs can be seen enjoying lunch outside at Pizza La Stella, while Campbell Law School students and digital designers grab a smoothies at Happy + Hale and Raleigh Raw.

Every Wed. from late April thru Sept., visitors can shop the Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market in City Plaza. At night, the street makes a complete transformation, with hundreds of young professionals flocking to the district’s unique bars, clubs and restaurants, including Foundation, The Haymaker, The Big Easy and ORO Restaurant & Lounge.

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The Fayetteville Street area is also home to multiple restaurants by James Beard Award-winning chef and Raleigh passionate mind Ashley Christensen. These stylish, smart and inviting spaces, including Beasley’s Honey + Chicken, Death & Taxes and Fox Liquor Bar, have been recognized in publications such as Bon Appétit, Gourmet, The New York Times, Southern Living and Garden & Gun.

The arts are alive and well, and this area is home to Carolina Ballet and the North Carolina Symphony at the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts (and the state-of-the-art Meymandi Concert Hall), as well as Red Hat Amphitheater, which attracts major artists and national touring talent.

Fayetteville Street is regularly closed off during music and arts festivals and a variety of annual celebrations. Brewgaloo, Hopscotch Music Festival, IBMA Bluegrass Live! powered by PNC and Raleigh’s acclaimed St. Patrick’s Day Parade are just a few of the crowd-drawing events that take place on Fayetteville Street throughout the year.

Beasley's chicken and waffles

Ashley Christensen

AC Restaurants

Rockstar Chef. James Beard Award-winner. Empire Builder. Chef of the Year. Chef and proprietor of AC Restaurants, Ashley Christensen is leading a culinary movement in Raleigh, N.C., with a host of dining, drinking and event spaces.

“I find a great deal of joy and inspiration working right here in Raleigh, N.C. There is something about being in a certain place at a certain time.”

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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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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One of the fastest-growing cities in the South, 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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