Raleigh, North Carolina
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Raleigh NC - Overview
Welcome to city living,
Carolina style. Raleigh combines the best of the city with all of the beauty and
tranquility of the country. It is a destination where visitors will find trendy
restaurants on tree-lined streets, cutting-edge culture with Southern charm,
bustling nightspots, not to mention some unique North Carolina historic sites.
It’s hip without the hassle, and it's waiting just for you.
Named after Sir Walter
Raleigh, this conveniently located North Carolina City is also the capital of
the state. The present Capitol building, which replaced the burned Statehouse in
1840, stands on Union Square, the center of five squares at the heart of the
Raleigh offers visitors
four temperate seasons and a multitude of things to do and see, indoors and out.
Downtown Raleigh is where you'll find most of the city's museums, historic
sights, state government buildings and several colleges. Many of Raleigh's best
offerings are located inside the Interstate-440 beltline. Near the center of
town are some notable entertainment and historical districts, including Historic
Oakwood, the Warehouse District, Glenwood South and Hillsborough Street (the
main artery between downtown and North Carolina State University, offering a
wide variety of college-type bars, restaurants and coffee shops). To the north,
halfway between downtown and the beltline, is Cameron Village, a popular
shopping area with boutiques and restaurants.
Many attractions in the
North Carolina state capital are tied to government institutions. The
Legislative Building, an imposing structure of white marble that extends an
entire city block, was the first state building in the nation constructed
exclusively for the legislative branch of government. The 40-room Executive
Mansion, a Queen Anne cottage completed in 1891, is one of the finest examples
of Victorian architecture in the U.S.
As part of the “Triangle”,
Raleigh is a thriving city: just what you'd expect from a state capital and a
research center located in an area defined by three major universities.
Research Triangle Park (RTP), located between Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill,
is among the largest research parks in the U.S. Some 140 companies and
organizations call RTP home. Ranked by several major business magazines as one
of the nation's top places to live and work, the area has attracted many new
restaurants, shopping venues and cultural activities.
Raleigh’s culinary style
encompasses the best of traditional southern food, from barbecue, Brunswick stew
and banana pudding to fried green tomatoes, updated with the stylish "nouvelle
southern" staples such as shrimp and grits and pecan-crusted chicken in Jack
Daniels sauce. Research and technology jobs in the Research Triangle Park have
attracted hundreds of northerners, and with them have come Chicago-style pizza
and bistro dining. A growing international community has added spicy variety
to the dining scene.
One area phenomenon is the
long-popular beach music and its companion dance, the shag, a bop-style dance
that originated in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in the 1950s. Raleigh is home
to The Embers, a well-known beach band, and the shag is nearly second nature to
locals who grew up there in the Sixties and Seventies. Beach music festivals are
still popular, and free shag lessons are offered on Monday nights.
Raleigh's theater continues
to impress. Performances by the main companies are held at the BTI Center for
the Performing Arts. It has four attached components: the Memorial Auditorium,
the Fletcher Opera Theater, the Meymandi Concert Hall and the Kennedy Theater
Although Raleigh is home to
a pro hockey team: the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes, the big draw is college
sports, especially men's basketball. There is great rivalry among the area's
major universities. Raleigh is also in the heart of NASCAR country, so auto
racing at the Wake County Speedway is quite popular.
Annual events range from
“Watermelon Day” and the annual State Fair, to Holiday Parades, with much
available for children and adults alike.
A unique attraction to the
area is the Oakwood Cemetery, the resting place of 2,800 Confederate soldiers,
five Civil War generals, seven governors, and numerous U.S. Senators.
No visit to Raleigh would
be complete without a visit to Mordecai Historic Park, President Andrew
Johnson’s birthplace. It features an antebellum plantation house museum that
was home to five generations of the same family, plus other historic structures
grouped together along a "village street," providing a glimpse into 19th-century
The State Farmers Market is
more than fresh vegetables: it’s a family adventure. Considered one of the best
and most modern markets in the U.S., the market contains 75 acres of indoor and
outdoor stalls and restaurants. The lower level is exclusively for North
Carolina-grown produce. The upper level contains food and gift products produced
in other southeastern states. The market is open year-round and showcases a
flavoring of the state's seasonal offerings.
With its history, ambiance
and true southern charm, this North Carolina Capital city offers hospitality to
every visitor all year long.