Raleigh North Carolina known as the “City of Oaks” is famous
for its huge natural parks, art culture, and historic architecture. If you are
looking for something fun to do in the area, check out one of these ideas!
1. North Carolina Museum of Art
This is one of my favorite destinations when I have some
down time between showings. Entry into the museum is completely free. It
features over 5,000 years of history and includes primarily European and
American art. One of my favorite sections is the massive collection of Renaissance
paintings from the 19th century. You can also find Classical Greek
and Roman sculptures, African Art and Ancient American pieces.
If it is nice outside, there is a 160-acre park with art,
sculptures and beautiful landscaping with wooded trails. Whether you need
something to do for an entire day or just have an hour to kill, The North Carolina Museum of Art is my top
2. Pullen Park Pedal Boats
Park is one of the top five oldest amusement parks in the country. The
rides are great for younger kids or and adults. The 60 acre park also has
playgrounds, an indoor swimming pool, community center, sports field and Theater in the Park!
Theater in the Park probably deserves its own spot on this
list but we will call it a bonus. There are productions year-round as well as
All the locals know about Frankie’s
of Raleigh. This all-in-one arcade and theme park is great for kids and
adults alike. From bowling and mini golf to go-carts and cutting-edge immersive
games, Frankie’s is a place you want to check out.
I must issue a warning regarding the VR games. Be sure to
bring an extra pair of underwear if you intend on fighting off the hordes of
4. Marbles Kids Museum
the ideal place to take kids. It is an educational museum that blends play and
exploration to create an environment engaging for children.
There are TONS of events throughout the year that sound
awesome to me even as an adult. The NASA space telescope viewings are a must
There is even an IMAX that shows everything from educational
documentaries to the latest superhero movies.
5. JC Raulston Arboretum
This is another one of my favorite spots to stop when I have
some down time and the weather is cooperative. The entire garden is about 10
acres with thousands of different native and exotic plants. I really like the JC Raulston Arboretum because it changes with
the seasons. It’s a new experience every time you go. The Japanese gardens are
6. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
This place is huge and awesome. Check out massive dinosaur fossils and models
or venture to the farthest reaches of the known Universe. There is a miniature
zoo with bugs, fish, invertebrates and reptiles. There is even a living conservatory
that mimics a tropical rainforest.
I try to get most of my fresh produce and meat from the Farmers Market.
There are tons of booths with locally produced fruits and vegetables along with
high-quality meats that you can’t get at the grocery store like bison.
There is an indoor space that sells everything from soaps to
fine wines. There are also several restaurants and cafes that serve fresh food
Some how I always end up buying a cool plant like a fancy
Japanese Maple or carnivorous Venus Fly Trap.
8. Morgan Food Hall
Are you and your significant other arguing about where to
eat? Morgan Food Hall is a fun
atmosphere with over 20 different vendors. Crepes, waffles, tacos, wood-fired
pizzas, lobster dishes, you name it, Morgan Food Hall has it.
I often find myself gravitating towards Cousins Maine
Lobster for a lobster roll and then Boba Brew for some bubble tea.
9. Historic Oakwood
Historic homes are my passion. I have rehabbed a few of
these myself and currently live in a 1914 Colonial Revival. So, it’s only
natural that Historic Oakwood is
one of my favorite places to visit. It is one of the best examples of 19th
century architecture in all of North Carolina.
There are hundreds of homes with a wide variety of different
styles dating back nearly 200 years ago. There is also a Candlelight Tour every
December where you can go inside and see the interior of some of these
There is also a historic cemetery worth exploring. It is the
final resting place for many high-profile people such as Confederate Army generals,
basketball players, governors, senator and congressmen.
If you decide you are interested in buying a house here, I’d
be more than happy to send you a list of current listings.
10. Heck – Andrews House
I may be a little biased on this one as having been a huge
undertaking by the NC Association of Realtors. If you take a walk along
Raleigh’s historic Blount Street, you will notice multiple examples of
architecture depicting the different eras that have spanned the city’s life.
Among those is one of the city’s clearest and well-defined examples of the
Second Empire style: the Heck-Andrews House. Across the street from the
lieutenant governor’s office and just steps away from the governor’s mansion,
the Heck-Andrews House
was completed in 1872 and occupied until the late 1980s. Since then, the house
has stood vacant, preserved in time, all but for the exterior renovation
completed by its last owner, the state of North Carolina, in 2014.
The renovations have recently been completed and it is such
an incredible site! If you stop in, make sure you tell them Zach Lilly sent