Also known as the ‘City of Oaks’ due to the vast numbers of oak trees, Raleigh is the state capital of North Carolina. The city is wide and nearly half a million people live here, and since it’s an important metropolis already, people all around the US and also from foreign lands arrive here. This city has lots of parks and a grand nightlife, thus nobody will stay bored for too long here. Anyway, if an outsider has just no idea about Raleigh, he can follow the exploration program that we’re sharing below. This might not be new information for a local, but trust us, this will cover almost all the thrilling and fun activities the city has to offer. Keep reading this article to know the things you can do at night in Raleigh, North Carolina.
1. Drink a cup of coffee at The Raleigh Times
This century-old building was the home of a former newspaper publication that printed its last edition in 1989. After its acquisition and some renovation, this newspaper-themed place has become the most notable café bar in Raleigh. The Morning Times is the café and breakfast area, and The Raleigh Times restaurant is the main division. They serve the best coffee in the city and make over 10 types, besides that, tea and breakfast are also on the menu. This place opens early and closes after midnight (cafe section closes early). Have a coffee in the morning and enjoy the craft beer and pub food here late at night.
The Raleigh Times
Address: 14 E Hargett Street Raleigh, NC 27601, USA
Website: The Raleigh Times
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 6:30 AM - 10:00 PM, Saturday to Sunday 7:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Price: 2 USD
2. Plan a picnic at Lake Johnson
Lake Johnson is situated in southwest Raleigh, and it’s a getaway for locals from their bustling work life. Gladly the lake and its surrounding greenery are extensive enough to hold hundreds of picnickers together at a time. Yep, this area is a popular picnic place, and one can even go boating and fishing in this lake. The parking space is ample, and the restrooms are also clean. You will have two hiking treks, one is quite short but the larger one encircles almost 8 km (5 miles) around the lake. This area is considered safe but if you’re overly concerned, you can walk your dogs around, just be sure that they are leashed.
Address: 4601 Avent Ferry Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA
Website: Lake Johnson
Opening hours: Daily 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
3. Watch your favourite movie at The Rialto Theatre
Rialto is not your regular cinema theater, it’s an independent movie hall that shows indie-cinema, classics favorites, and all those gems which never got fame in the mainstream. The call for such films are heard in award nominations, but they often get overshadowed by the Hollywood. Anyway, if you happen to be a movie lover, you will fall in love with the ambiance of this place instantly. This theater gives the best hospitality, the seats are reclined here, and the screen and sound quality are topnotch. A great place for a movie-date in our opinion.
The Rialto Theatre
Address: 1620 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27608, USA
Website: The Rialto Theatre
Opening hours: Daily, first show starts at 1:30 PM
Price: 8 USD
4. Take a tour of the Videri Chocolate Factory
Everyone loves chocolate, and all those who say they don’t like it would have surely loved chocolates in their childhood and perhaps also wanted to visit a chocolate factory someday. Now it’s your time to visit one if you’re in Raleigh. Videri is a small-sized dark chocolate manufacturer in this town, and they offer people at large to live their childhood dream. The factory runs between 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, five days a week, and through the many windows, you can take a peek at the manufacturing process. It’s a self-guided tour, and you will be guided by informative signs. The overall tour wouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. They also have a small café, and you can have free samples.
Videri Chocolate Factory
Address: 327 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601, USA
Website: Videri Chocolate Factory
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Price: Free, reservation required
5. Enjoy a dining experience at Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
If you’re hungry and would like to make the dining experience special, we can present you with an upscale restaurant. Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern is the name, and they are established in an old Victorian mansion. It’s an affluent, classy eatery located in the middle of Raleigh city, and actually, they are two restaurants in the same place. Upstairs has the more classy elegant dining area, and the downstairs is known as the Tavern, which is not as elegant but still graceful. The fare at Tavern is relatively simpler than the Second Empire, so plan accordingly.
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Address: 330 Hillsborough St Raleigh, NC 27603, USA
Website: Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM, Closed Sunday to Monday
Price: 31-60 USD
6. Play arcade games at Boxcar Bar + Arcade
This place has 70+ arcades, 15+ pinballs machines, air hockey, foosball, and many such game-tables, and along with them, cartridge-based consoles with numerous titles. Exactly the same way as during the 80s and early 90s, plenty of gaming tournaments are held here every now and then, and they have a firm event list for the month. Plus, 24 types of craft beers are also served. Boxcar Arcade has revived the classic gaming era once again, that is why it’s a perfect paradise. Visit this place with your kids to make them aware of the arcade era, and challenge them on your dominated titles. By the way, playing the original Nintendo system is free of charge.
Boxcar Bar + Arcade
Address: 330 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601, USA
Website: Boxcar Bar + Arcade
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 4:00 PM - 2:00 AM, Saturday to Sunday 12:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Price: Inexpensive tokens for arcades, gaming consoles are free to play
7. Unwind at the Duke Gardens
Not in Raleigh technically as this garden is situated in Durham, but that’s also not very far from the Raleigh city. Duke Gardens is a massive garden that extends to over 55 acres (22 hectares) and has about 8 km (5 miles) of pedestrian path. Duke has numerous points for having a picnic, plus there is a pond and an amphitheater. There is also a very large-sized scripture in the middle of the park by the name ‘The Big Easy’, which is made just with the help of sticks. The Big Easy is a very exciting thing to see in real life. The views of this garden are so tempting, that perhaps you would like to visit this little town more often.
Address: 420 Anderson St, Durham, NC 27708, USA
Website: Duke Gardens
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Sunday 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
8. Catch live music shows at Lincoln Theatre
Lincoln is an indoor venue in this city that holds live shows, the place is not too small but also, it cannot be said its big either. The main hall and its balconies can accommodate at the most 100 guests. But there is a benefit with such small halls, everyone can get to be part of the show. Sure, the big groups wouldn’t perform here, but Lincoln holds plenty of shows per month. The entry rates are fairly priced, also their bar serves beer on a reasonable tag. The parking is also free here.
Address: 126 E Cabarrus St, Raleigh, NC 27601, USA
Website: Lincoln Theatre
Opening hours: 7:30 PM onwards for event
Price: 8-30 USD, varies with events
9. Go for a rock climbing experience at Triangle Rock Club - Raleigh
If gyms are boring, and you’re seeking an exciting workout experience, then rock climbing might be a thing for you, and there is a club in Raleigh. You should visit this place, as the local says that this is the best rock climbing club in the whole state. If you have just joined this fever, and your wrists aren’t supporting you, then the guides will help you climb your first wall. For the experienced climbers, they have walls with assorted difficulty levels. As safety measures, the auto-belay-system and harnesses are available, so people won’t get hurt. This facility offers daily and monthly passes. By the way, this climbing club also has a full gym.
Triangle Rock Club
Address: 6022 Duraleigh Rd, Raleigh, NC 27612, USA
Website: Triangle Rock Club
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 5:30 AM - 11:00 PM, Friday 5:30 AM - 10:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM - 10:00 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Price: 19 USD for a day pass
10. Enjoy a stroll in the Lassiter Mill Park
This park is centrally located in the city and people visit the Lassiter Mill Park for relaxation. The park itself is small sized, the only notable thing is a small waterfall spilling over a little dam. The creek down this dam is shallow, to this place is safe for kids as well. Fishing is allowed on a few spots, and there are rules written for that. This creek has bass, catfishes, and carps. The tree canopy is dense, and upon strolling deeper into this park, you might feel like you’re in some forest. This park is safe, and small picnic trips are possible as well.
Lassiter Mill Park
Address: 3362 Lassiter Falls Cir, Raleigh, NC 27609, USA
Website: Lassiter Mill Park
Opening hours: 24/7
Do not stop, explore more
Raleigh is not at all a small city, and certainly, there are a lot more places to visit, and numerous things you can do. The list we have shared will indeed help you explore the prime attractions of this city. But don’t just stop with our list, stay curious, explore more, and share your best findings with us.
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