Raleigh, North Carolina, is a well-planned capital city that’s connected in many ways to nearby Durham and Chapel Hill. Known for great basketball and music, the city is home to nearly 450,000 people. More than 1,200,000 reside in the metropolitan area. Nicknamed City of Oaks due to its tree-lined downtown streets, Raleigh has a relaxed, Southern vibe.
With its high concentration of universities, including North Carolina State University (N.C.’s largest), Duke University (in Durham) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Raleigh area has its fair share of highly educated residents. Raleigh is home to one of the most prominent high-tech development centers in America, the 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park. Over companies employing nearly 60,000 people are concentrated in the research park, including IBM, Ericsson and Cisco Systems. Other top employers in Raleigh include government agencies, universities and hospitals such as WakeMed Health and Hospitals and Rex Healthcare.
Downtown’s Five Points is a popular local hub for families. Also downtown, Fayetteville Street tends to draw the lively and cosmopolitan set. Hipsters flock to trendy Glenwood South and the artsy Warehouse District. Historic Boylan Heights is known for its many peaceful front porches, while Cameron Village is a fun, affordable community popular with young professionals. In Lassiter Mill, trees and waterfalls draw families and retirees. While students and downtown residents may not need a car, most locals find four wheels beneficial, since Raleigh’s offerings are far-reaching. Many Raleigh commuters use the citywide bus service, GoRaleigh.
At the annual Hopscotch Music Festival , show-goers can venue-hop to the many bars and nightclubs that sit in close proximity to one another in downtown Raleigh. The North Carolina Symphony, Carolina Ballet and Walnut Creek Amphitheatre provide more upscale entertainment options. Daytime explorers will enjoy the North Carolina Museum of Art, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the North Carolina Museum of History and Pullen Park .