Top 6 Attractions in Raleigh, North Carolina
Located just 30 miles from our dealership here in Durham, NC sits the state capital of Raleigh, the second-largest city in the state behind the bustling metropolis of Charlotte. With its many oak trees lining the heart of the city, Raleigh is known as the “City of Oaks” and offers the best of the best from its charming downtown to its vibrant culture. This culture, along with the various attractions in the city, inspired our team at CBS Quality Cars to put together this list of the six best places to visit in Raleigh, NC. Let’s jump right in!
#1 North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, located at 11 West Jones Street, is the most visited museum in the state of North Carolina and is the largest natural history museum in the southeast. As you walk through the museum, you’ll find everything from live animals and dioramas to dinosaurs, whale skeletons, hands-on activities, and more! These exhibits are committed to answering the museum’s four core questions about the natural sciences: What do we know? How do we know? What’s happening now? How can you participate?
The museum is highly awarded and is affiliated with the prestigious Smithsonian Institution. General admission is free, and visitors can enhance their museum experience by downloading the free NC NatSci mobile app to guide them through each exhibit. Visitors can also explore the museum’s sister branches at Prairie Ridge in west Raleigh and Whiteville in Columbus County.
#2 North Carolina Museum of History
History is a vital aspect of Raleigh culture, and that shines at the North Carolina Museum of History, where visitors can explore over 14,000 years of North Carolina’s rich history. Located across from the State Capitol in the heart of downtown, the museum hosts nearly 500,000 visitors each year and over 83,000 school groups who enjoy dozens of rotating exhibits. These exhibits range from North Carolina’s most popular leaders to its military history, sports heroes, popular toys, law and justice, and beyond.
The Museum of History, found at 5 East Edenton Street, offers free general admission, with some exhibits charging a nominal fee. The museum is known for its array of artifacts, multimedia presentations, and interactive format that makes learning about the state’s history fun and engaging for visitors of all ages. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of children’s programs, family events, and demonstrations in addition to browsing through the Museum Shop for unique crafts made in North Carolina.
#3 Historic Yates Mill County Park
If you’re looking for an attraction that will get you outside, look no further than the Historic Yates Mill County Park located at 4620 Lake Wheeler Road. This 174-acre wildlife refuge and environmental research center is breathtaking and offers visitors an “escape from the daily grind.” So, what makes the mill so special?
The Yates Mill is the last operating, water-powered gristmill in the capital county of North Carolina. Built in the 18th century, the mill was restored through a partnership between North Carolina State University, Yates Mill Associates, and the County of Wake. The restoration transformed the mill into a wildlife refuge and park complete with an exhibit space that’s open 361 days per year. Guided tours are priced between $3 and $5 every weekend from March to November. Organized groups can also arrange for weekday tours by calling ahead.
#4 Pullen Park
Did you know that Raleigh is home to the first public park in the state? Pullen Park, found at 520 Ashe Ave, was founded in March 1887 by Richard Stanhope Pullen, who donated his farmland as a gift to the city of Raleigh. His only request was that the former cow pasture be used for the pleasure of Raleigh natives and visitors. This vision was brought to life as Pullen Park became the first public park in the state.
Pullen’s vision for his former cow pasture is now one of the brightest jewels in the crown of Raleigh. The park is home to the fifth oldest operating amusement park in the United States and the 16th oldest amusement park in the world. For those looking for something to do beyond the amusement park, there are plenty of options from riding the carousel and renting a pedal boat to swimming in the aquatic center, venturing over to the playgrounds, or taking a class at the arts center. The activities at Pullen Park are endless.
#5 Marbles Kids Museum
For the younger visitors and citizens of Raleigh, the Marbles Kids Museum at 201 East Hargett Street is a great option for hours of entertainment. The museum makes learning fun by providing opportunities for educational play to foster creativity and confidence in children of all ages. This interactive approach to learning extends from the museum’s many exhibits and award-winning programs to its stunning lineup of IMAX movies. These opportunities reflect the museum’s “play-losophy” that “play contributes to intellectual growth, social and emotional well-being, and physical development.”
Promoting the idea that play unites communities and strengthens families, the museum is a favorite among Raleigh families. It’s also affordable and easily accessible in the heart of downtown. The museum is open almost every single day of the week for some fun exploration. General admission is relatively cheap with a special “Play Late for Less” offer that gives guests 50% off admission in some of the later hours of operation. Affordable, fun, and educational; what could be better?
#6 North Carolina State University and the JC Raulston Arboretum
The last stop on our list brings us to North Carolina State University and the renowned JC Raulston Arboretum, which is found at 4415 Beryl Road. The campus is located in the heart of Raleigh and is home to over 36,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The college is known as a leading public research university with one of the best colleges of veterinary medicine in the world. It’s also praised for its commitment to making a positive impact on the world, which is directly reflected in the JC Raulston Arboretum.
The arboretum is a nationally acclaimed garden with one of the most diverse collections of plants in the southeast. It welcomes thousands of visitors each year and offers free admission, although donations are encouraged. This is a beautiful place to visit, as is a simple walk through the university campus. For a simple stroll and relaxation, NCSU and the JC Raulston Arboretum make for a great visit.
Discover the Beauty of Raleigh with CBS Quality Cars
Here at CBS Quality Cars, we love what we do and the opportunity we have to provide outstanding service to our customers. We take great pride in our reputation in the industry, but we also realize that our business is about more than cars. It’s about connecting with our clients—the same clients who have rich lives beyond what we see at the dealership. That’s why we’re committed to serving you not only at our dealership but also by providing insight into the rich community right outside your front door. So next time you stop by our dealership, make sure to swing by some of the places on this list. Or ask for more suggestions; we have plenty!