You can’t go wrong with a day full of fun in Greater Raleigh. But what’s even better? A day full of free fun in Greater Raleigh.  There are so many free, quality attractions in the area that you’ll be in shock at the end of the day when your wallet is just as full as it was when you woke up.

Wake up and smell the roses at the beautiful Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden. Here, you can take a morning stroll through more than 1,600 roses while there is still dew on their petals. Once you’re wide awake, head over to North Blount Street for a tour of the Victorian-style home that serves as the North Carolina Executive Mansion (scheduled in advance). This is no ordinary mansion, as President Roosevelt once described it as having “the most beautiful governor’s residence interior in America.”

Bring a picnic lunch and sprawl out on one of Greater Raleigh’s scenic and well-maintained parks, such as the William B. Umstead State Park or the North Cary Park. Choose from a wide variety of outdoor recreation to take part in while you’re there, including fishing, biking and hiking.

Now, you can learn why Raleigh has been referred to as the “Smithsonian of the South” by visiting any number of the area’s free museums, which are among the region’s finest. For example, you could revisit the past at the North Carolina Museum of History, get in touch with nature at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, or learn about the city itself at the Raleigh City Museum.  An absolute must-see, however, is the recently renovated North Carolina Museum of Art.  One of the premier visual arts museums in the Southeast, the NCMA features a dramatic new gallery building with a world-class collection, including more than 30 Rodin sculptures and a 164-acre Museum Park. 

Enjoy a leisurely afternoon taking a free tour of local brewing companies like Aviator and Big Boss.  Evenings in Raleigh are well-spent perusing the many art galleries that you can find sprinkled throughout the area.  As you wind down after a fun, free day like this, you can indulge in a wonderful dinner and reflect on one of the best days you’ve had, free of charge.