Raleigh, North Carolina, has been making a name for itself as a top destination for those seeking an affordable and high-quality lifestyle. From “ITB” (Inside the Beltline) historic homes to modern apartments, there’s something for everyone in the Raleigh housing market. As a local would say, the Triangle area has a lot of “y’all come” energy, and it’s not hard to see why. With a bustling downtown, three top-ranked universities, and a thriving food and arts scene, it’s no surprise that so many are flocking to Raleigh. So if you’re looking for new homes in Raleigh wanting to test drive a new neighborhood by renting an apartment, let’s take a closer look at what life in Raleigh, NC, is really like with these ten fun-filled things to do in Raleigh.

Downtown Raleigh at Twilight with a beuatiful colorful skyscape

1. Visit the North Carolina Museum of Art

The North Carolina Museum of Art  is a top attraction for locals in Raleigh. What sets this museum apart is its outdoor park that surrounds the museum, which features large-scale sculptures and installations, a museum store, walking and biking trails, and a beautiful amphitheater. It’s the perfect spot for an outdoor concert or a leisurely picnic. The museum itself is impressive, with an extensive collection of art spanning over 5,000 years, including works by renowned artists like Rembrandt, Monet, and Rodin. You can also explore the museum’s rotating exhibits and attend special events and workshops throughout the year.

2. Explore the JC Raulston Arboretum

The JC Raulston Arboretum is a hidden gem that only locals seem to know about. This 10-acre garden is a living laboratory for plants, with over 10,000 specimens representing more than 50 different plant families. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the gardens or attend one of the many workshops or events hosted throughout the year. The Arboretum is especially beautiful in the spring, when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, and in the fall when the leaves change color. It’s a peaceful and tranquil oasis in the heart of the city that’s perfect for nature lovers and garden enthusiasts.

3. Take a stroll through the Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden

The Raleigh Rose Garden is a beautiful spot that’s often overlooked by tourists. Located in Mordecai Historic Park, the garden is home to over 1,200 rose bushes, including many rare and exotic varieties. It’s a popular spot for weddings and special events, but it’s also a great place to take a leisurely stroll or have a picnic. The garden is at its best in the spring and summer when the roses are in full bloom. Residents see this paradise as a place to enjoy the fragrance and beauty of the roses and take in the serene atmosphere of the garden.

A floral park in Raleigh

4. Hike at Umstead State Park

Umstead State Park is a popular destination for locals who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the great outdoors. The park offers over 5,000 acres of wooded forests, streams, and tranquil lakes. There are over 20 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy to strenuous, that offer stunning views of the park’s natural beauty. The park also has a large campground, making it a great spot for a weekend camping trip. In the summer, visitors can rent kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards to explore the park’s lakes and waterways.

5. Shop at the State Farmers Market

The State Farmers Market is a local institution that’s been around for over 75 years. It’s the go-to spot for fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and baked goods from local farmers and artisans. The market covers over 30 acres and features four different buildings, each with its own unique offerings. Stroll through the market and sample fresh fruits and vegetables, browse the many local products, and enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants or food vendors. The market is a great place to experience the flavors and culture of North Carolina and support local businesses.

6. Visit the Videri Chocolate Factory

Videri Chocolate Factory is a local treasure that has been making artisanal chocolates since 2011. The factory is located in the trendy Warehouse District of downtown Raleigh and is open to the public for tours and tastings. Visitors can learn about the chocolate-making process and see how the factory sources high-quality cacao beans from around the world. The chocolates themselves are handcrafted in small batches and come in a variety of unique flavors, like honey lavender and chipotle cinnamon. Videri is a must-visit for any chocolate lover and a great spot to pick up a special treat or gift.

woman making chocolate in a factory

7. Catch a show at the North Carolina Theatre

North Carolina Theatre is a professional theatre company that produces Broadway-quality musicals and plays throughout the year. The theatre is located in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh and has been entertaining audiences for over 30 years. What makes the theatre truly special is its commitment to showcasing local talent. Many of the actors, musicians, and crew members are from the Raleigh area, and the theatre has a strong educational program that encourages young people to get involved in the performing arts. Visitors can enjoy a night out at the theatre and support the local arts community at the same time. The theatre’s productions are top-notch and always put on a great show, making it a popular spot among locals and visitors alike.

8. Go on a Raleigh food tour

Raleigh food tours are a unique way to experience the city’s thriving culinary scene. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who take guests to some of the best restaurants, food trucks, and breweries in the area. What makes the tours unique is the variety of food and drink that’s offered. Guests can try everything from classic North Carolina barbecue to modern fusion cuisine. The tours also provide a behind-the-scenes look at the city’s food culture and the stories behind the chefs and restaurant owners. Raleigh food tours are a great way to discover new restaurants and explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods.

9. Visit the Raleigh Beer Garden

Raleigh Beer Garden is a popular spot for locals who love beer. It’s the world’s most extensive beer garden, with over 350 beers on tap worldwide. The beer garden is located in downtown Raleigh and features multiple bars and outdoor seating areas. What sets the beer garden apart is the variety of beer that’s offered. Guests can try everything from local craft beers to rare and hard-to-find brews from Europe and beyond. The beer garden also has a lively atmosphere and often hosts live music and other events. It’s a great spot to hang out with friends and enjoy a cold beer on a sunny day.

Group of young joyful friends having fun while talking and drinking beer in the Raleigh Beer Garden

10. Take a sunset kayak tour on Falls Lake

Falls Lake is a beautiful spot just outside of Raleigh that’s great for outdoor recreation. The lake is surrounded by rolling hills and lush forests, making it a picturesque spot for hiking, biking, or kayaking. What’s special about Falls Lake is the sunset kayak tours that are offered in the evenings. Guests can paddle through the calm waters of the lake as the sun sets over the horizon, creating a breathtaking display of colors. The tours are led by experienced guides who point out local wildlife and provide a unique perspective on the natural beauty of the area. Falls Lake is a hidden gem that’s worth a visit for anyone who loves the outdoors.

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