City guides

Must-see attractions in Raleigh

Exploring Raleigh's hidden gems and popular spots, this article guides you through the city's top attractions.

December 13, 2023
 min read
Last updated:
Feb 6
A view of the Raleigh skyline.
Raleigh, a city brimming with charm and character, offers an eclectic mix of historical landmarks, lush parks, and vibrant cultural experiences. Whether you're a history buff, nature lover, or art enthusiast, Raleigh has something special for everyone. Let's dive into the city's must-visit attractions that showcase the best of what Raleigh has to offer.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Immerse yourself in the wonders of the natural world at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. As the largest natural history museum in the Southeast, it features an array of exhibits ranging from prehistoric dinosaurs to modern-day ecosystems. It's a place where curiosity meets discovery, engaging visitors of all ages. The museum offers a journey through our planet's history, showcasing a variety of exhibits such as a butterfly conservatory, a coastal North Carolina marine life exhibit, and interactive science labs. The museum not only educates but also inspires a sense of awe and wonder about the natural world.

William B. Umstead State Park

Escape to the tranquility of William B. Umstead State Park. Nestled in the heart of the city, this oasis offers miles of hiking and biking trails, serene lakes, and a canopy of lush greenery. It's the perfect spot to reconnect with nature and enjoy a peaceful retreat from the urban hustle. The park's diverse landscape includes dense forests, open fields, and flowing streams, providing a haven for wildlife and a playground for nature enthusiasts. Whether you're looking for a challenging hike, a leisurely stroll, or a quiet place to reflect, Umstead State Park offers a natural escape within the city's reach.

North Carolina Museum of Art

Step into a world of artistic marvels at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Home to an impressive collection that spans centuries, the museum showcases everything from classical masterpieces to contemporary works. Its outdoor sculpture garden is a visual feast, blending art with the natural beauty of its surroundings. The museum's rotating exhibitions and permanent collections offer insights into different cultures and artistic movements, making it a must-visit for anyone interested in the arts. In addition to its galleries, the museum hosts workshops, lectures, and special events, making art accessible and engaging for all.

Historic Yates Mill County Park

Travel back in time at Historic Yates Mill County Park. This charming park features a fully restored, operational gristmill from the 18th century, surrounded by picturesque walking trails. It's a unique opportunity to experience Raleigh's rich history firsthand and enjoy the scenic beauty of the mill pond. The park also offers educational programs and tours, providing a glimpse into the life and technology of the early settlers. The peaceful surroundings, including the wildlife that inhabits the area, make it a perfect spot for photography, bird watching, or simply enjoying a quiet afternoon.

Raleigh City Market

Discover the vibrant heart of the city at Raleigh City Market. This historic market, buzzing with energy, offers a diverse array of local shops, artisan boutiques, and mouthwatering eateries. It's a cultural hub where locals and visitors alike come together to shop, dine, and celebrate the spirit of Raleigh. The market's unique architecture, combined with the colorful array of goods and flavors, provides a sensory experience that's quintessentially Raleigh. From handcrafted jewelry to fresh produce and gourmet foods, the market is a treasure trove for those seeking to experience the local culture and craftsmanship.

Pullen Park

Pullen Park, one of the oldest amusement parks in the USA, promises fun and excitement for the whole family. With its charming carousel, pedal boats, and scenic picnic areas, the park provides a delightful blend of recreation and relaxation. It's a local favorite, where memories are made and cherished. The park also features an arts center, an aquatic center, and a miniature train ride, making it a versatile destination for visitors of all ages. Its lush green spaces and playgrounds offer an ideal setting for family outings, picnics, and leisurely walks.

Marbles Kids Museum

Unleash the imagination at Marbles Kids Museum. This interactive museum is a playground for the mind, offering hands-on exhibits that encourage play, learning, and creativity. It's a place where kids and adults alike can explore, discover, and let their imaginations soar. The museum features a variety of themed areas, including a mini town, a water play area, and a garden. Educational and fun, the exhibits are designed to spark curiosity and foster a love of learning in children, making it a perfect destination for families seeking an enriching and enjoyable experience.

Neuse River Trail

Embark on an adventure along the Neuse River Trail. This picturesque greenway stretches for miles, offering stunning views of the Neuse River, lush landscapes, and a peaceful escape for walkers, runners, and cyclists. It's a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and a testament to Raleigh's commitment to preserving natural beauty. The trail winds through diverse environments, from wooded areas to open fields, providing opportunities for wildlife observation and photography. Whether you're seeking a vigorous workout or a leisurely stroll, the Neuse River Trail offers a refreshing outdoor experience.

North Carolina Museum of History

Delve into the rich tapestry of the state's past at the North Carolina Museum of History. This museum offers a compelling journey through North Carolina's history, with exhibits that cover everything from Native American heritage to modern-day achievements. It's a place that enlightens and inspires, connecting the past with the present. The museum's exhibits include a replica of the Wright Brothers' airplane, a Civil War section, and an interactive sports hall of fame. Through a mix of artifacts, multimedia displays, and hands-on activities, the museum brings history to life in a way that is both educational and engaging.

City of Raleigh Museum

Explore the story of Raleigh itself at the City of Raleigh Museum. Located in a historic building, this museum delves into the city's evolution, culture, and community. It offers a unique perspective on what makes Raleigh truly special, bringing the city's story to life through engaging exhibits and artifacts. The museum's exhibits range from the city's founding to its growth into a modern metropolis. It also highlights the diverse communities that have shaped Raleigh's identity, offering a comprehensive and inclusive view of the city's history. Raleigh, with its rich blend of history, nature, and culture, offers an array of attractions that cater to all tastes and interests. These top spots in Raleigh not only highlight the city's diverse offerings but also create an unforgettable experience for visitors and locals alike. So, pack your sense of adventure and get ready to explore the best of Raleigh!
*Prices fluctuate based on season and day of the week.

In this article:

Share article

You may also like


Super is dedicated to helping people get more out of life by providing them with ways to build credit, save money, travel more, and earn cashback rewards.