Exploring Raleigh: How to Feel Like a Tourist in Your Hometown

Exploring Raleigh: How to Feel Like a Tourist in Your Hometown

Raleigh, with its southern charm, thriving businesses, and growing tech industry, offers plenty to do for visitors and residents alike. With its mild climate, outdoor activities year-round, and delicious cuisine, it's no wonder that Raleigh consistently attracts new residents. Exploring Raleigh and playing tourist can be a refreshing and exciting experience whether you're new to the area or a long-time resident looking to experience the city in a new way.

North Carolina Museum of Art

Always worth a repetitive visit when looking for things to do in Raleigh, the North Carolina Museum of Art houses diverse collections and exhibitions that showcase contemporary art from around the world. For instance, the Spring 2023 Billboards: Brandon Sadler exhibition is currently on display until December. This exhibition features public murals inspired by Sadler's time spent in South Korea, where he gained inspiration from graphic novels and cultural awareness. The artwork focuses on human connection and identity, which can inspire visitors to think more deeply about these themes. The Michael Richards: Are You Down? exhibition ends in July. This exhibition includes sculptures and drawings that date back to 1990-2001. Richards explored themes such as flight, aviation, Blackness, spirituality, freedom, and escape. Another exhibit movie buffs and fashionistas will want to take advantage of is Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design, which showcases the creations of a renowned costume designer. Carter has designed clothing for some of the most iconic films of our time, such as "Do the Right Thing" and "Black Panther." See 60 of her marvelous pieces and her process of bringing each item to life. Take your chance to catch this unique exhibition before it ends on August 6th.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

If your kids have a growing interest in STEM, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is a great place to spend an afternoon. Currently on display is the Beyond Curie exhibit, which highlights the fantastic contributions of 40 female scientists throughout history. From Nobel Prize winners to groundbreaking research, these women have shaped the world we live in today. Next year, the museum will also be showcasing the Dueling Dinosaurs exhibit, where visitors can marvel at the most complete skeletons found to date of a T.Rex and Triceratops. Take the chance to explore the incredible world of science in your own backyard.

North Carolina Museum of Natural History

Another fantastic attraction for people living in Raleigh is the North Carolina Museum of Natural History, which hosts exhibitions showcasing the state's culture and history. Recently, the museum has opened a new exhibit entitled Signs of the Times, which sheds light on the purpose of protests and their effects on society. Additionally, the museum features interactive exhibits and images that explore the state's history through North Carolina A to Z. This exhibit is an excellent opportunity for new residents or those looking to brush up on their state history, with rarely displayed items from the museum's collection. Finally, see a well-preserved relic of Raleigh's past with the 1920s Drugstore exhibit, where you can see a replica of the J.C. Brantley Drugstore that was popular for many years downtown.

Tour the Joel Lane Museum House

If you want to learn about Raleigh's founding, tour the Joel Lane Museum House. Built in 1769, this house is a historical treasure with roots in the city's founding. Joel Lane, the man behind the home, is known as "The Father of Raleigh," owing to his sale of 1000 acres to the state in 1792, which became the city of Raleigh. This museum aims to bring regional North Carolina history to life, specifically focusing on the 18th century. Visitors can expect dynamic storytelling and hands-on experiences to immerse themselves in history truly. For an added touch of authenticity, the museum staff wears period costumes to aid in the immersive tour. Experience a rich understanding of the past and the people who shaped it at the Joel Lane Museum House. Tours of the house are available Wednesday through Saturday, but if your tour group is larger than six participants, pre-purchase tickets. Additionally, call ahead to ensure no field trips are scheduled during your tour if you plan to purchase tickets at the door.

Enjoy the Amusement Rides at Pullen Park

If you are looking for a great family outing, consider Pullen Park. Take a ride on the vintage carousel or hop on the kiddie boats for a fun-filled adventure. Are you feeling nostalgic? Visit the train station, where your littles can hop aboard and take a relaxing ride around the park. Refuel at the on-site cafe, then head to the swings and playground to let your kids run wild. For a more tranquil experience, rent a pedal boat and leisurely cruise around Lake Howell.

Hike Blue Jay Point County Park

Blue Jay Point County Park offers a fantastic hiking experience right in your backyard. This 236-acre park boasts five miles of trails, perfect for a day of exploration and relaxation. Moreover, you can even bring your furry friend, as pets are allowed on 6-foot leashes. Blue Jay Point County Park encourages geocaching and augmented reality games like Pokémon Go and Peridot if hiking isn't enough.

Explore the WRAL Azalea Gardens

When you're used to seeing a place day in and day out, it's easy to overlook the hidden gems that make it special. In Raleigh, one of those hidden gems is the WRAL Azalea Gardens. Check out the wide variety of plants, including the azaleas from which it takes its name, as well as camellias and hydrangeas, perennials, shrubs, succulents, trees, and vines. To truly experience the gardens, spring and fall are the best times to visit since the azaleas are in full bloom. Summer is also a great time to explore and appreciate other blooming areas.

Enjoy a Tour of the Videri Chocolate Factory

With the Videri Chocolate Factory, you can experience something sweet while exploring Raleigh shopping and dining. The factory offers self-guided and guided tours showcasing the cocoa bean to chocolate bar process in the historic Warehouse District. For tech-savvy individuals, the self-guided tour is free and allows you to use your phone to scan the QR codes provided to view the tour videos. However, a guided tour is available for those who want a more personalized experience. Regardless of your choice, the Videri Chocolate Factory is perfect for those with a sweet tooth looking to satisfy their taste buds and curious nature.

Attend a Carolina Hurricanes Hockey Game

If you're looking for a fun way to experience Raleigh, attending a Carolina Hurricanes hockey game is a great choice. While the schedule for fall has not yet been released, individual game tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster once the schedule is finalized. Also, season tickets are available now for catching every game. With the excitement of the game and the passionate atmosphere of the PNC Arena, it's sure to be a great time.

Raleigh is a great place to live and offers many activities for residents. From exploring the Joel Lane Museum House, enjoying the amusement rides at Pullen Park, or hiking Blue Jay Point County Park, there is something here for everyone. If you're interested in purchasing real estate in Raleigh, consider contacting Pamela Hale, who can help guide you through the process while showing off what this city offers! With her knowledge and expertise, she will ensure that your transition into living here goes smoothly. Reach out to experienced agent Pamela Hale today if you are interested in making Raleigh your new home!

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