40 Free Things to Do in Raleigh, N.C.

Raleigh is indeed the "Home of the Free," with an abundance of free attractions contributing to the lively and unexpected nature of the area. Below is just a sample of all of the "priceless" things you can see and do. Don't miss out on the free museums in Raleigh, which have led the city to be dubbed the "Smithsonian of the South." Parks, lakes and gardens offer tranquil settings to walk, run, stroll, bike and play throughout the area.

The African American Cultural Center promotes awareness of and appreciation for the Black experience through activities and... View More

The Wake County portion of the American Tobacco Trail is a recreational rail-trail open to walkers, runners, dog walkers,... View More

The 164-acre Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park and its trail system welcome visitors through natural areas and to more than a... View More

A visual art center inspiring innovation through opportunities to experience the creative process and engage with artists.... View More

Bass Lake Park is open year-round from 8am-sunset and offers a visitor’s and environmental education center, conference room,... View More

Established in 2001, Buckhorn at Harris Lake Park, is considered the most challenging course in the area. With tight fairways,... View More

The Carl Alwin Schenck Memorial Forest is a 245 acre forest located in western Wake County about 10 minutes from the NC State... View More

Housed in a restored 1868 railroad hotel, the Page-Walker Arts & History Center offers visitors insights into the local history... View More

Experience historic City Market, home to art galleries, restaurants and specialty shops. The original cobblestone streets are lit... View More

Featuring exhibits that change periodically and focus on the history of the city, the museum is housed in the 1874 Briggs... View More

The Garner Veterans Memorial features pillars with the names of 67 Garner-area veterans who have died serving their country as... View More

John Haywood, the state’s first elected treasurer, built this Federal-style frame house in 1799. It is the oldest house on its... View More

An historic neighborhood of lovingly-restored Victorian and early 20th-century homes in a great variety of styles and sizes, many... View More

The 174-acre wildlife park features hiking trails, Historic Yates Mill, Wake County’s last remaining gristmill, and the mill’s... View More

Internationally recognized as one of the premier collections of trees and shrubs, this stunning garden displays more than 6,000... View More

Knightdale Environmental Education Park is located behind Knightdale Town Hall on Steeple Square Ct. The park offers a 1/3 mile... View More

Lake Benson Park is located at 921 Buffaloe Rd. This 64-acre park includes large open space areas, 1.8 miles of paved and unpaved... View More

Lake Johnson Park comprises more than 300 acres of land surrounding the 150-acre lake. The lake offers boat rentals (jonboats,... View More

150 acres of parkland and a 650-acre lake offers fishing, sailing, canoeing, rowing and kayaking. Waterfront Program Center... View More

Laurel Hills Park hosts a community center offering a variety of programs for all ages as well as a large gymnasium with two... View More

The only Harley-Davidson drag racing museum in the world, located on the second floor of one of the largest Harley dealerships in... View More

Located in downtown Raleigh, this site is home to some of N.C.'s most extraordinary treasures, including the Mordecai House and... View More

This fine, Victorian-style mansion, built from native materials and home to N.C. governors since 1891, was described by F.D.R. as... View More

The North Carolina Museum of Art has more than a dozen galleries holding works from around the world and a variety of art types.... 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

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

Located 30 minutes from Raleigh, visitors can enjoy a one-hour ride behind a real locomotive. Learn about railroad history at the... View More

Located in the N.C. Museum of History, the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame exhibit spans more than 3,000 square feet and showcases... View More

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

Constructed by the College of Engineering, the NCSU Solar House serves as a resource for industry, citizens and students by... View More

Prairie Ridge Ecostation was established by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for research and educational purposes.... View More

Established in 1887 and designated as the first public park in N.C., Pullen Park in Raleigh is the fifth oldest amusement park in... View More

The Raleigh Market at the Historic N.C. State Fairgrounds has been a triangle tradition since 1971. Our fun, family-friendly... View More

An historic garden featuring 1,200 roses of 60 different varieties blooming from late May until autumn. Seasonal flowers include... View More

More than fresh vegetables, it’s a family adventure. Considered one of the nation’s best and most modern markets, visitors enjoy... View More

Explore the history of this quaint Wake County town, which has its origins in the mineral Fuquay Springs. The museum complex... View More

Exhibits showcase early history of Wake Forest University including sports, medicine, law, women, literary and local history.... View More

See what all the fuss is about by experiencing legendary barbecue at The Pit, or be part of the see-and-be-seen crowd at one of... View More

Stroll nature trails or walk along 22 miles of hiking trails meandering through forest. Also offered are camping, picnicking,... View More

Zebulon Community Park is a 47-acre park that includes two picnic shelters, a tot lot playground, walking trails, two... View More