A visit to the historic capital city of Raleigh, North Carolina is more than a trip to a blossoming Southern metropolis—you'll feel enriched and energized the instant you're warmly welcomed by its smart, savvy locals.
From the circa 1833 North Carolina State Capital, one of the best preserved examples of Greek Revival-style architecture (free tours and events scheduled throughout the year) to the North Carolina Executive Mansion, housing governors since 1891—there's no shortage of architectural masterpieces throughout Raleigh.
To get a true sense behind the history of North Carolina's capital, take a narrated tour on the Historic Raleigh Trolley. After that, check out the North Carolina Museum of History. We all know the Wright brothers made history as "First in Flight" in 1903, but did you know that in 1799 Cabarrus County was home to the first gold rush in the United States?
3. THE COCKTAILS
For handcrafted cocktails in an exquisite setting, look no further than Second Empire. Located within one of Raleigh's historic districts in the circa 1879 Dodd-Hinsdale house, Second Empire combines historic ambiance and cutting-edge cuisine for you to enjoy a world class 4-diamond dining and "cocktail sipping" experience.
William B. Umstead State Park invites you to explore over 22 miles of hiking and walking trails, plus trails for horseback riding and biking. Trailheads are surrounded by 3 lakes—the largest, Big Lake, offers canoe and rowboat rentals. Try your luck at fishing the lakes and connecting tributaries.
More than 5,000 works of art spanning from antiquity to the present day make up the bulk of masterpieces you’ll find at the North Carolina Museum of Art. In addition, you can explore 164 acres of woodlands complimented by monumental works of art. For constantly changing exhibits reflecting what's current and coming in the art and design world, check out CAM Raleigh in the Warehouse District.