Roll call! Who's up for beer festivals, outdoor concerts, food truck rodeos, special arts exhibits and more? We've got big plans this spring—join us for good weather and good times in Raleigh, N.C.! 

 

Edge-of-your-seats, winner-take-all action

The NHL's Carolina Hurricanes, having made the playoffs in five straight seasons, are once again a top contender for the Stanley Cup this year (and the team just made big moves at the league's trade deadline). At the time of writing, the Canes have six remaining home games in the regular season, and will roll into post-season play in late April. The biggest—and loudest—crowds of the year will be at PNC Arena early and often with big tailgating parties in the coming weeks (so don't miss out!). 

Over in Cary, last year's sold-out phenomenon The Soccer Tournament—a 7 on 7, winner-take-all tournament that gave $1 million to the winning squad—is back, bigger and better this June 5-10. The 118-match event will include a women's tournament this year, too, meaning a total of $2 million prizes will be up for grabs, and some of the sports' biggest stars from teams around the world are expected to compete.

Tickets for The Soccer Tournament at WakeMed Soccer Park are expected to go on sale very soon (and it's suggested you sign up for the waitlist to get first dibs). 

Bonus event: The North Carolina Cup—a professional pickleball event—will take place at Cary Tennis Park, April 1-7.

The Soccer Tournament at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.

 

So. Much. Music.

Concert season is back in full swing come spring, and in Raleigh that means Dreamville Fest—rapper J. Cole's two-day, two-stage music event held at Dorothea Dix Park—is back on the calendar. This year's event, April 6-7, is expected to draw as many as 100,000 fans to see Cole, Nicki Minaj, SZA, Jeezy, Schoolboy Q and other superstar acts (limited tickets are still available!).

Looking for a free or low-cost concert series to attend? Downtown Raleigh's Live After 5 returns on the last Wednesday of each month (April-July); Midtown Beach Music Series is back for a 15th season (Thursdays, April 11-June 27); and at Cary's Bond Park, Bands, Bites & Boats returns with family-friendly fun on the first Friday of each month (April-October).

And while there's more than 100 other great music events on the upcoming schedule, we've highlighted 15 standouts at more than a dozen different venues below!

Large crowd at outside amphitheater concert with Raleigh skyline in background

 

A special display of American Indian art

What's new at the North Carolina Museum of Art? A special ticketed exhibition, To Take Shape and Meaning: Form and Design in Contemporary American Indian Art, features works by 75 Indigenous artists from more than 50 tribes throughout the U.S. (including eight artists from North Carolina).

The breathtaking display showcases more than 90 works of art that reflect both traditional American Indian craftsmanship and contemporary culture. Pieces include jewelry, cars, ceramics, beadwork, weaving, fashion ensembles and more works that span three centuries of American art history. 

The exhibit is open Wednesday through Sunday until July 28. Tickets for adults are $20, but there are also four free-admission community days on the calendar: Sat., April 20; Sun., May 19; Sun., June 16; and Sun., July 21.

To Take Shape and Meaning

Rose B. Simpson (Santa Clara Pueblo), Maria, 2014, 1985 Chevy El Camino, H. 54 × W. 72 × D. 202 in., Courtesy of the artist; Photo: Kate Russell

 

A great hike in The Great Outdoors

Long known as a “city in a park,” Raleigh often "wows" visitors with an abundance of outdoor recreation offerings—more than 10,000 acres of parkland serve up kayaking gems, biking routes, running trails and wide open spaces to explore. 

Up for an adventure? The Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST)—known as "North Carolina's hiking trail"—stretches more than 1,000 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks, cutting through North Raleigh near Falls Lake and the Neuse River Greenway Trail along the way.

Two recommended ways to get a short taste of the trail—where the terrain is easy to tackle and provides plenty of unique plant and wildlife—are to start at either Blue Jay Point County Park or Wilkerson Nature Preserve, where you'll connect to the MST by spotting and following the white dots on tree trunks. Headed east from Wilkerson Nature Preserve to the Falls Lake Dam Visitor's Center is three miles, making the out-and-back route (six miles total) one of the area's best hikes.

Mountains to Sea Trail MTS Hike

 

Festivals for foodies (and beer drinkers, too)

Foodies, assemble! Attending a taco festival, a food truck rodeo or even a "barbecue...but make it fancy" event is practically a rite of passage each year for newcomers and visitors to the City of Oaks. 

Perhaps the grandest gathering of them all, Brewgaloo—the Tar Heel State's largest craft beer festival—takes over downtown Raleigh each April, serving up samples from more than 100 North Carolina-based breweries, food trucks and vendors (plus provides two stages for local bands to rock out on). Brewgaloo takes place over two days, April 26 and 27 this year, so mark your calendars (plus save the date for these other upcoming festivals!):

Need a few new places to eat and drink while in town? Try Tamasha Modern Indian Kitchen, Figulina, Gussie's, The Depot on First and Neat & Sweet.

Brewgaloo

 

 

More upcoming events in Raleigh, N.C.

 

Header photo by Bryan Regan; Brewgaloo and music photos by Garrett Poulos; The Soccer Tournament photo by Alyson Boyer Rode

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