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Raleigh Area Attractions
- Artspace: Nonprofit visual arts center located in downtown Raleigh, dedicated to presenting quality exhibitions and educational programs within an open-studio environment. Over 30 artists working in studios; exhibitions; art talks; film nights; poetry readings; and arts education programs including lectures, tours, outreach and classes.
- Breweries: No matter if you consider yourself a Cicerone, a fancy name for beer connoisseur, or just appreciate a local brew, the Raleigh area has everything you need to delve into the popular world of microbreweries.
- Capital Area Visitor Center: The Center serves as an information/rest center for visitors to Raleigh’s state-owned cultural and historic attractions. The staff provides free brochures, maps and a slide presentation about Raleigh and can schedule tours of area attractions with advance notice.
- Contemporary Art Museum: CAM Raleigh seeks to curate the most contemporary works of art and design possible—those still emerging, growing, and living. We hope to spark new thinking by creating ever-changing experiences that explore what’s now and nearing.
- JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University: Features more than 5,000 trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals in an eight-acre, internationally recognized garden. Unique spaces and collections include a stunning 450-foot-long perennial border, magnolias, conifers and brilliantly colored annuals, with a formal garden crafted around the color white.
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Gardens: A colorful variety of trees and flowering plants encircle a life-sized bronze statue of dr. King. A 12-ton granite water monument honor other notable pioneers in the civil rights movement. The only public park in the United States devoted to the civil rights movement.
- NC State University Solar House/NC Solar Center: Constructed by the College of Engineering, the solar house serves as a demonstration and research facility and is the headquarters for the information and education activities the NC Solar Center.
- North Carolina Museum of Art: Paintings and sculpture representing more than 5,000 years of artistic heritage from ancient Egypt to the present. Several changing exhibits each year. Concerts, films, lectures, workshops and family festivals, outdoor performances and films in the landmark Museum Park.
- North Carolina Museum of History: Explore compelling exhibits that capture the spirit of North Carolina and its people. Long-term exhibits highlight the state’s Civil War days, healing systems, and NC Sports Hall of Fame. The museum also offers a multitude of short-term and travelling exhibits. Special programs include dramatic presentations, craft demonstrations, and family events.
- North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences: The Southeast’s largest natural history museum offers four floors of exhibits, live animals, a store and Acro Café. Highlights include Willo, the first dinosaur with a fossilized heart, a two-story waterfall and the Living Conservatory buzzing with hummingbirds and butterflies.
- North Carolina Transportation Museum: This family-friendly place is a 57 acre site filled with interesting exhibits and special events. The mission of the North Carolina Transportation Museum and Foundation at historic Spencer Shops is to preserve and interpret the history of transportation in North Carolina and to present this history in a manner that allows visitors to enjoy their experience as well as learn from it.
- North Carolina State Capitol: Built between 1833 and 1840, this National Historic Landmark is one of the best-preserved examples of a civic building in the Greek Revival style. From 1840-1888, it housed the three branches of state government. Currently, the governor maintains an office on the first floor. The restored legislative chambers, state library and geologist’s office are open to the public. The Capitol is open to visitors for self-guided tours Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Public tours take place on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. (call 919-733-4994 to confirm
- North Carolina State Fairgrounds: There is always something fun going on at the Fairgrounds! And in October, there is the State Fair itself. Approximately 700,000 people attend the NC State Fair each year, making it the largest annual event in North Carolina. The 10-day fair features livestock, agricultural, arts and cultural exhibits, an amusement midway and nightly nationally acclaimed musical performances. Every weekend other than fair time, the NC State Flea Market is held at the Fairgrounds.
- Marbles Kids Museum: Marbles Kids Museum is a hands-on, minds-on museum that inspires imagination, discovery and learning through extraordinary adventures in play and larger-than-life IMAX experiences. The five themed museum exhibits are designed for children 10 and under, and the Wells Fargo IMAX Theatre on campus caters to adults and children with a complete calendar of feature and documentary films.
- Raleigh City Museum: Featuring exhibits that change periodically and focus on the history of the city, the museum is housed in the historic Briggs Building, built in 1874 as a hardware store. The building retains many of its original features, including the tin ceiling in the museum gallery.
- Raleigh Metro Parks
- Raleigh Visitors’ Guide
- Research Triangle Park: The largest research park in the world, home to over 100 research and development organizations such as IBM, Cisco Systems, RTI International and GlaxoSmithKline and many others.
- Umstead State Park: Tucked between the growing cities of Raleigh, Cary, Durham and the corporate world of Research Triangle Park is an oasis of tranquility, a peaceful haven-William B. Umstead State Park.
Entertainment Venues/Performing Arts/Galleries
- Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
- Arts NC State: NC State University’s many cultural offerings include first-rate drama, musical and dance performances, as well as several art exhibits annually.
- Broadway Series South: Presenting the very best in touring Broadway shows, along with selected off-Broadway productions. Performances at the BTI Center for the Performing Arts.
- Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
- Burning Coal Theatre Company: Professional theater mixes the area’s best talent with tomorrow’s stars from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc. to produce gritty, explosive new versions of classics, modern classics and new plays.
- Carolina Ballet: The Triangle’s professional ballet company features collaborations with the NC Symphony and Raleigh Oratorio Society.
- Fletcher Opera Institute: Fully staged opera with orchestra.
- Koka Booth Amphitheatre: The Koka Booth Amphitheatre is a performing arts amphitheatre in Cary, North Carolina
- Municipal Building Art Exhibitions: The City of Raleigh Arts commission hosts an exhibition series featuring works produced or collected by artists living, working or exhibiting locally.
- North Carolina Symphony: Based in Raleigh, the Symphony performs approximately 185 concerts each year, frequently with international guest artists.
- North Carolina Theatre: The North Carolina Theatre, the state’s largest regional professional musical production company, is proud to present amazing Broadway shows.
- Opera Company of North Carolina: The OCNC has won accolades for it uncompromising professional standards, internationally renowned casts and sold-out performances.
- Pinecone: Presenting traditional music and dance programs year-round.
- Raleigh Little Theatre: Named “Best Theatre Organization in the Triangle” and “Best Children’s Theatre Program” by Spectator magazine. Features 11 comedy, musical and dramatic productions annually.
- Raleigh Symphony Orchestra: In its 34th year, RSO offers classical and family concerts performed at Meymandi Concert Hall. Community outreach includes pops concerts, ensemble performances and music education programs.
- PNC Arena
- Theatre in the Park: Internationally acclaimed for its annual original musical production of A Christmas Carol, TIP features renowned actor, director and playwright Ira David Wood III. In addition to five major annual productions, studio productions, youth workshops and adult classes are offered.
- Visual Art Exchange: Since 1980, Visual Art Exchange has provided visual artists of all levels opportunities to exhibit and sell their work. This gallery is located in City Market and hosts a variety of group exhibits annually. VAE also provides free educational programs to help educate its members and the public about the importance of art in the community.
Sports & Recreation
Attractions Elsewhere in NC