Known as the ‘City of Oaks’ because of the majestic oak trees that can be found in the area, Raleigh is the capital of the state of North Carolina in the United States. It houses many well-known universities and technological institutions. Together with the city of Durham and the town of Chapel Hill, they form the 'Research Triangle Park’ which is the largest research park in the nation. You might be thinking that there may not be much to do in this research-driven city, but here is where we prove you wrong. Raleigh does indeed have its own charms that might interest you. Scroll down to see a list of the best things to do when you are alone in Raleigh, North Carolina.
1. Explore unique and historic art at the North Carolina Museum of Art
For those of you who are budding artists or in need of some artistic inspiration, take a detour and visit the North Carolina Museum of Art. You will find a wide range of collection here, as well as a grand amphitheater for outdoor performances and a variety of exhibitions in its halls. Admission to the museum is free, but there may be some small charges for special exhibitions and programs.
North Carolina Museum of Art
Address: 2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607
Website: North Carolina Museum of Art
Opening hours: Tue - Thu: 10am - 5pm; Fri: 10am - 9pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed on Mon)
2. Enjoy the outdoors at Capital Area Greenway
Had enough of the city life? Then put on your outdoor gear and head over to the green trails at Capital Area Greenway. This hiking path spans over 112 miles (161 km), so perhaps you might need a couple of days or even more to explore it fully. Go for an adventurous hike or a relaxing cycling trip. In the midst of our work life, it is sometimes good to breathe in the fresh air. It helps relax your body and mind.
Capital Area Greenway
Address: 222 W. Hargett St. , Raleigh, NC 27601
Website: Capital Area Greenway
3. Relax with an ice cold beer at Raleigh Beer Garden
It’s Friday night and you are looking for a relaxing casual place to have some comfort food and an ice cold beverage to wash it down. Leave your thinking cap on the clothing rack and grab a seat at the bar counter at Raleigh Beer Garden. If you are a beer aficionado, be prepared to go crazy when you learn that there are over 300 selections of beer to choose from. The bar food is decent, but the beers are obviously the main highlight.
Raleigh Beer Garden
Address: 614 Glenwood Ave Raleigh, NC 27603
Website: Raleigh Beer Garden
Opening hours: 11am - 2am (daily)
4. Go hiking/camping through William B. Umstead State Park
Sometimes, the things we do may seem like a ‘walk in a park’, but attempting to cover all of William B. Umstead State Park isn’t as easy as it looks. If you are in need of some quiet time but want to be in the outdoors, we suggest taking a hike through this large and majestic state park that covers about 5599 acres (2265 hectares). Let the tranquil scenery speak for themselves as you traverse along its winding paths and perhaps take some nice photographs for the memories. You can also carry your camping gear and enjoy a tryst with nature.
William B. Umstead State Park
Address: 8801 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27617
Website: William B. Umstead State Park
Opening hours: 7am - 6pm (daily)
5. Catch a performance at Kings
Whether you love watching standup comedy, live band performances or game show nights, Kings has got you covered. This funky bar and club has been hosting events since 1999 and continues to be a focal point for aspiring talents. If you like to support local musicians, then you are definitely in the right place. The drinks are relatively inexpensive, so don’t worry about having to burn a hole in your wallet.
Address: 14 W. Martin St., Raleigh, NC 27601
Opening hours: 8pm - 12am (daily)
6. Hop on the carousel ride at Pullen Park
The oldest public park in all of North Carolina is a popular recreational spot among the young and old in Raleigh. Pullen Park has designated picnic areas, kid-friendly boat rides on the small lake, some tennis and softball fields, and even an innovative performing arts venue called Theatre in the Park. Come and relive your childhood memories at the iconic carousel ride that has been in operation since 1911. Admission is free but please note that a small fee applies for the amusement rides.
Address: 520 Ashe Ave., Raleigh, NC 27606
Website: Pullen Park
Opening hours: 10am - 9pm (daily)
7. Go mountain biking on the Reedy Creek Multiuse Trail
Want to indulge in a good cardio workout session while admiring the scenery around you? Then get a mountain bike ready and head on down to the Reed Creek Multiuse Trail located in William B. Umstead State Park. This is a very long and wide gravel trail that traverses through the state park. You can start from either the western or southeastern entrance, and both routes offer very different scenic views.
Reed Creek Multiuse Trail
Address: 8801 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27617, USA
Website: Reed Creek Multiuse Trail
8. Tour the beautiful gardens in the JC Raulston Arboretum
If you like taking long walks in the garden or simply love gardening, then be sure to visit the JC Raulston Arboterum. Administered and maintained by the North Carolina State University, it houses an extensive collection of landscape plants. Horticultural-related programs and workshops are organized all year round, so be sure to check out their event calendar page on their website before visiting.
JC Raulston Arboretum
Address: 4415 Beryl Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA
Website: JC Raulston Arboretum
Opening hours: 8am - 8pm (daily)
9. Treat yourself to theatrical performances at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
The great thing about going to the theatre alone is that you are able to immerse yourself in your own thoughts and critique like no one else is watching! Come and satisfy your inner critic at the various performances held at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, such as theatric performances, orchestral symphonies, and dance ballets. You will definitely find something worth your while.
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Address: 2 E South St, Raleigh, NC 27601, USA
Why tour the city of Raleigh on four wheels when you can see everything from above the clouds? Stay clear of the traffic and climb aboard a private airplane tour for impressive views of the city. You will pass by Falls Lake, Youngsville, Wake Forest, and Louisburg while listening to a guide’s commentary via a headset. Who knows, you might be able to catch a beautiful sunset on the horizon!
Raleigh Airplane Adventure
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Other than the list of things that we have mentioned above, we are pretty sure that there are other hidden gems in Raleigh that are waiting to be discovered. Happy exploring!
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