10 Best Things To Do In Raleigh (With Pictures)

posted by Carletta Blake -

So you're off work today (it's President's Day) or maybe you're trying to plan your weekend.  I'm always looking for suggestions to on things to do, especially activities, and especially when they're free! There are several things on this list I've done...some pictures of my personal adventures below. Do you have other suggestions other than just what's on this list?  Let me know!  

According to US News, here are the top 10 things to do in Raleigh.

1) Neuse River Trail (free)

Got a bike?  The Neuse River Trail (also known as the Raleigh Greenway) is perfect for biking.  If you don't have one, there's lots of places you can rent one from too, including Oak City Cycling.  You can also go hiking, take your babies (fur 4-legged and strollers are both great!) or just go for a run.  There are several entry points just east of Raleigh...find out where to park and where to enter the trail HERE.

2) North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (free)

I've spent several afternoons in the science museum.  I feel like every time I go there, I see something different I didn't catch before.  And did you know the cafe inside serves really good food?  They catered for us during the St. Jude Radiothon, and it was so good! You can stroll through the Coastal North Carolina exhibit, check out the dinosaurs (a personal fave), or the living conservatory (there's a sloth!!) Check out the current exhibits and times HERE.

3) Pullen Park (mostly free)

This is one place that I've been told about but haven't made it to yet.  It's the state's first public park, and the 5th oldest amusement park in the country! You can take a $1 ride on the paddle boats or the carousel, or just enjoy the different parts of the park and it's beautiful scenery.  Check out all the things to do and see some pictures HERE

4) North Carolina Museum of Art (free)

Lots of visitors praise the rotating galleries, the onsite restaurant, Iris, and the sculpture gardens.  The museum also hosts lots of events and gives great guided tours.  Find out current exhibits and times HERE.

5) Williams B Umstead State Park (free)

With over 5,500 acres of trails and lakes, this is the perfect place to bike, hike, or just take a stroll.  In the warmer weather, you can canoe or paddle boat for a small fee.  You can also park for free...HERE's the info. 

6) North Carolina Museum of History (free)


I've only been once, and although we were there for 2 hours, I didn't see nearly all of it.  I did, however, see an amazing walk thru WWII exhibit and a very cool display of dresses through the ages.  The exhibits rotate on the regular - check out what is currently on display and the times you can go HERE.

7) Marbles Kids Museum (entry fee)


If you have kids, especially kids between 4-10, this is a must do.  There's an "Art Loft" where they can do crafts, a "Power 2 Play" where they can wear themselves out on kid-sized athletic equipment, and games as big as they are.  There's also an IMAX and a cafe.  See what's playing HERE.

8) City Market (shops and restaurants)

Opened more than 100 years ago, City Market is a collection of shops, restaurants, bars, and boutiques.  I've only been here once, to eat at Vic's by recommendation, and I will say the food was great.  It's a great, quaint feel in the middle of downtown.  Get more info HERE.

9) North Carolina State Capitol (free)

Completed in 1840, it's the hub of all things government in Raleigh.  It's Greek style architecture gives it a unique look, and there are free guided tours, which many people on Trip Advisor recommend.  Find out when the guided tours happen HERE.

10) Historic Yates Mill County Park (free)


This is one of my favorite places to go in Raleigh.  I love the water, and the trails are fun but not overly challenging, (I can wear my baby when I walk them) and you get several great views of the mill from different angles.  There's lots of festivities and events at the park at different times of the year, plus you can fish if you want from 8am to sunset.  Check it out HERE.



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