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Raleigh, North Carolina

Local Details

Learn more about Raleigh, North Carolina using the City Guide below. Plan a trip, find local shopping centers, or just discover what makes Raleigh, North Carolina so great!

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City Guide

Raleigh was named for Sir Walter Raleigh, the famed English soldier, adventurer, and poet. It is the capital of North Carolina and home to North Carolina State University, North Carolina's largest, as well as two historically black universities, Shaw and Saint Augustine, and two women's colleges, Peace and Meredith.

With a plethora of things to see and do, Raleigh is a wonderful place to live, work, or visit.

In comparison to its immediate neighbors -- with which it forms the so-called Triangle -- Raleigh combines the best of both Durham and Chapel Hill.

Get in

  • Raleigh-Durham International Airport (IATA: RDU), (ICAO: KRDU).
  • Interstate 40 goes to points west including Durham, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Asheville. Two hours east on I-40 is Wilmington.
  • Amtrak, 320 West Cabarrus Street, Carolina/Piedmont and Silver Service/Palmetto lines.

Get around

Within the I-440 Beltline are mostly fashionable older neighborhoods and the NC State University area. This clash between "Town" and "Gown" has been of growing concern during the late 1990s early 2000's. The North Raleigh neighborhoods are aligned along what Raleigh residents refer to as the "Spokes of the Wheel," major thoroughfares emanating from the I-440 Loop and terminating along the northern edge of the still under construction I-540 loop.

Downtown Raleigh provides easy travel and access through its grid of one-way streets. If you're just passing through, the major thoroughfare is Capital Boulevard (US 401), which splits into Dawson Street heading south and McDowell Street heading north. From the west, it is Hillsborough Street, interrupted midway by the state Capitol building. To the east, it continues as New Bern Avenue (US 64).

The I-440 Beltline can also be confusing: remember that the Inner Beltline runs clockwise; the Outer Beltline counter-clockwise. It's important to know that you must exit I-440 in order to stay on I-440 in some situations. Interesting fact: North Carolina's Department of Transportation is based in Raleigh.

By bus

For information on routes, schedules and fares, check, for a helpful trip planner.

  • Greyhound, 314 Jones St., +1 919 834-8275.
  • Triangle Transit Authority, +1 919 549-9999. Routes between Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill as well as Research Triangle Park and the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
  • Capital Area Transit, +1 919 828-7228. Routes within Raleigh city limits.

By taxi

There are 36 licensed taxi operators in Raleigh of varying quality. Spanish speakers will appreciate Velo Taxi, +1 919 271-5719.

By light rail

The Triangle Transit Authority had hoped to build a 35-mile light-rail line from Durham to Raleigh, but is canceled due to federal funding problems. The diesel-electric rail system would have had 16 stations, including Research Triangle Park, Morrisville and Cary.


  • City of Raleigh


  • Boylan Heights
  • Cameron Park
  • Five Points
  • Glenwood/Brooklyn
  • Oakwood


  • Carolina Hurricanes (NHL Ice Hockey), 1400 Edwards Mill Road, +1 919 861-2323 or +1 866-NHL-CANES. Raleigh's NHL hockey team plays at the RBC Center. Winners of the 2006 Stanley Cup Trophy.
  • N.C. Museum of Art, 2110 Blue Ridge Road, +1 919 839-6262, With rotating exhibits that are occasionally interesting and a great summer movie series on the lawn.
  • N.C. Museum of History, 5 East Edenton Street, +1 919 807-7900, Free.
  • N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, 1 W Jones St, +1 919 733-7450, Free.
  • Exploris, 201 E Hargett St, +1 919 834-4040, Interactive children's museum with an IMAX theater. $7.95 for adults and $5.50 for kids (4-11). Closed M T, W Th F 9AM-3PM , Sa 11AM-5PM, Su noon-5pm.
  • Pullen Park, 520 Ashe Ave., +1 919 831-6468. Outdoor plays, a 1911 carousel and, of course, an excellent aquatic center.
  • William B. Umstead State Park, 8801 Glenwood Ave., Picnic, hike, go fishing, or just rent a canoe and relax. A nice quiet place near Raleigh-Durham airport.
  • NC State University, Football and basketball games are popular in addition to other sports.
  • Carolina Mudcats minor-league baseball, about a 20-minute drive east of town. Tickets are affordable at $3-$9; unlike the nearby Durham Bulls baseball stadium, Mudcats' parking is ample.


  • Cameron Village, located inside the Beltline on Oberlin Road between Hillsborough Street and Wade Avenue, +1 919 821-1350. Hours vary depending on the store.
  • Crabtree Valley Mall, on Glenwood Avenue (just outside the Beltline). Su noon-6PM, M-Sa 10AM-9:30PM. Belk, Macy's and Sears anchor.
  • Triangle Town Center, on Capital Boulevard (just south of I-540), +1 919 792-2222. Su noon-6PM, M-Sa 10AM-9PM. Includes Dillard's, Belk, Macy's, Sears and North Carolina's only Saks Fifth Avenue
  • North Hills Shopping Center 4217 Six Forks Rd. Hours depend on store. Food, shopping and a movie theater. JC Penney and Target anchor.


  • Armadillo Grill, 439 Glenwood Ave, +1 919 546-0555,"A taste as big as Texas!" Awesome tacos, etc., although not very traditional Mexican food. Great atmosphere and cheap (plus free refills on drinks and chips)!
  • BBQ, There are several excellent choices for eastern-style barbecue in the Raleigh area. One of the local favorites. New place is Falls River Smokehouse on Litchford rd.
  • Big Ed's, 220 Wolfe St, +1 919 836-9909. Closed Su. A must-visit for presidential candidates and reg'lar folks alike, Big Ed's signature breakfasts are the Southern standards: homemade biscuits, grits with red-eye gravy, etc. Come Saturday mornings for live Dixieland jazz. No credit cards.
  • Farmer's Market Restaurant, 1240 Farmer's Market Dr, +1 919 833-7973. Closed Su. Solid, hearty food with fresh ingredients from the state Farmer's Market right next door. Serves breakfast and lunch.
  • The Irregardless Cafe, 901 W. Morgan St, +1 919 833-8898, A Raleigh institution since the 1970s, the Irregardless offers an eclectic menu including creative vegetarian options. Jazz music every night and dancing on Saturday nights.
  • Krispy Kreme, 543 North Person St, +1 919 833-3682. For now, the only one of the popular Winston-Salem-based doughnut maker in the Triangle is a landmark that nearby residents use to give directions. Look for the "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign for a little round piece of glazed heaven.
  • Lilly's Pizza, 1813 Glenwood Ave, +1 919 833-0226.
  • Mellow Mushroom, 601 W Peace St, +1 919 832-3499.
  • Mojoe's Burger Joint, 620 Glenwood Ave, +1 919 832-6799.
  • Mura's, 4121 Main (at North Hills St), Suite #110, +1 919 781-7887. Japanese Fine Dining - Kobe Beef, Fusion Cuisine, and Sushi. Serves world renowned Kobe beef, a variety of steaks, seafood, fusion cuisine and the finest grade sushi with many one of a kind rolls and visually pleasing artistic presentations.
  • Roast Grill, 7 South West St, +1 919 832-8292. If you're looking for a hot dog and a bottle of Coke, this is the place in downtown Raleigh. If you're looking for ketchup, though, you may just be asked to leave. Run by a family of Greek immigrants in a tiny room added to the front of their house since 1940.
  • Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern, 300 Hillsborough St, +1 919 829-3663, Enjoy gourmet fare in the restored Dodd-Hinsdale House, built in 1879 in the Second Empire Victorian style.
  • Third Place, 1811 Glenwood Ave, +1 919 834-6566.
  • The Village Deli, 500 Daniels S, +1 919 828-1428. Soups and sandwiches. Really awesome chili!
  • The Village Draft House, 428 Daniels St, +1 919 833-1373. $3 wings on Sundays. They're the best ever.


Raleigh is considered a college town, so there are plenty of places to find a drink. For cheaper places, try near the campus of North Carolina State University on Hillsborough Street. (A scene in "Bull Durham" was filmed in Mitch's Tavern.) The downtown area known as Glenwood South has a few more upscale bars and is located roughly between Glewood Ave and Harrington Street between Hillsborough and Peace Street, northeast of downtown. The City Market area around Moore Square also offers a good mix of both.

One of the best places for a good beer selection is the Flying Saucer located on 328 West Morgan Street. They have a great variety of beer on tap and in bottles.


Downtown, there are three major hotels: the Clarion, the Days Inn and the Sheraton.

  • AmeriSuites Raleigh/RDU Airport-RTP, 200 Airgate Drive. +1 919 405-2400, Adjacent to Raleigh Durham International Airport and the Research Triangle Park.
  • Clarion Hotel, 320 Hillsborough St., +1 919 832-0501. The 20-story hotel is undergoing its first major renovation since the 1960s. Try to get a room on the lower floors, which are being fixed up first.
  • Days Inn, 300 North Dawson St., +1 919 828-9081. Closest to Glenwood South, where many bars and restaurants are located.
  • Sheraton Hotel, 421 South Salisbury St., +1 919 834-9900. Another 20-story hotel, a touch fancier, but located on the mostly uninteresting Fayetteville Street Mall.
  • Fuquay Mineral Spring Inn and Garden, Fuquay Mineral Spring Inn and Garden Bed and Breakfast is conveniently located near Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Fayetteville and Chapel Hill.
  • Microtel Inn & Suites Raleigh, 1209 Plainview Dr. (New Bern Ave.). +1 919 231-0002, A great room at a great price.


  • Helios Coffee Co., 413 Glenwood Ave., +1 919 838-5177. Open W-Sa until midnight. A coffee shop in Glenwood South with many hipsters. Beer and wine also available. Free wireless access.
  • Panera Bread, 4421 Six Forks Rd Ste 119, +1 919 781-1112. Free wireless access.

Stay Safe

Raleigh doesn't have as much crime as its neighboring cities, particularly Durham, but one still must be cautious and intelligent. In particular, stay to the busy and well lighted parts of downtown after dark, and avoid the neighborhoods immediately south or east of downtown any time of day. The NC State University campus and vicinity are safe and heavily trafficked during the day and evening dinner hours, but use the university’s public safety escort service late at night or in the early hours of the morning. Throughout Raleigh, you should avoid using an automated teller machine (ATM) after dark, unless it's located in a mall or other heavily traveled, well-lit area.

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