How to Invest 24 hr in Raleigh, North Carolina (Upgraded 2024)

The skyline of Raleigh, North Carolina
In this visitor post, Craig Makepeace (co-founder and publisher of shares how to invest 24 hr in Raleigh, North Carolina.

I have actually called Raleigh, North Carolina, home for over ten years. As one of the South’s the majority of dynamic and diverse burgs, this state capital may be among the fastest-growing midsize cities in the United States. It routinely tops the “finest locations to live and operate in the United States,” however it still uses small-town appeal and Southern hospitality. My partner and I chose to raise our kids here since of this mix.

Nicknamed “the City of Oaks” for the large variety of stunning oak trees that line the streets, besides using adequate green areas and routes, Raleigh is home to exceptional museums, a growing dining establishment scene, limitless craft breweries, enjoyable celebrations and occasions, and college-town vibes!

Numerous visitors drop in Raleigh as part of a trip or for work and therefore do not constantly have a great deal of time to totally explore it. Nevertheless, even if you simply have one day, you can still see a lot.

Below is my individual guide to the very best things to do in one day.


Breakfast: Big Ed’s City Market

The interior of Big Ed's restaurant, with lots of diners sitting at tables and antiques hanging from the ceiling in Raleigh, North Carolina
There’s no much better Southern breakfast and intro to Raleigh than at Huge Ed’s in historical City Market, serving generous parts of Southern home cooking considering that 1958.

Here you’ll take pleasure in an easygoing ambiance under a collection of cool antiques hanging from the ceiling, together with warm Southern hospitality and food like Grandmother utilized to make. Specifically popular are their huge pancakes, regional nation ham, fried chicken, aged rib-eye steak and eggs, sliced pork loin, fried catfish, fluffy biscuits, and double-brewed sweet tea. This is the regional experience you’re searching for.

Alternate breakfast alternatives consist of The Capital, Raleigh’s earliest dining establishment, established by Greek immigrants in 1930; and the State Farmers’ Market Dining Establishment, another popular location for residents to get a nation breakfast and Southern dining experience!

Early morning activity: Museums

A mom and daughter stand in front of a dinosaur skeleton at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, North Carolina
After filling on a hearty meal, take in a museum. Raleigh has some exceptional ones, and since of the quality and variety of totally free museums it has, the city has actually typically been described as “the Smithsonian of the South.”

The great Museum of Natural Sciences is North Carolina’s the majority of gone to museum. There are over 4 floorings of exhibitions to check out, consisting of live animals, walk-through dioramas, microorganisms, meteorites, and 3D motion pictures, plus a great irreversible collection of dinosaur and whale skeletons.

If history is your thing, throughout the street is the North Carolina Museum of History Established in 1902, it invites more than 400,000 visitors a year to see its 150,000 artifacts from over 14,000 years of history.

Art fans need to head to the totally free North Carolina Museum of Art, home to more than a lots stunning gallery areas showcasing art from worldwide. You can check out by yourself, take an appealing trip, or see some carrying out arts. Do not miss out on taking a walk through the 164-acre Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park, whose path system through natural locations includes more than a lots commissioned masterpieces.

Lunch: The Pit Genuine Barbeque

An overhead view of two heaping plates of BBQ with Southern style sides in Raleigh, North Carolina
North Carolina is a huge barbecue state, and delighting in a plate is something they take extremely seriously in the state capital. It is among those “welcome to the South” minutes all meat eaters need to experience.

In Raleigh, they primarily do Eastern-style barbecue, in which the entire hog is slow-cooked over cinders; the meat is then pulled, provided a little slice, and dressed with a vinegar-based sauce. Normally, it’s worked as a sandwich or a plated meal, with all the conventional Southern sides you can deal with.

The Pit Genuine Barbeque is among the most popular such areas in Raleigh. As the name recommends, it happily serves genuine whole-hog, pit-cooked, Eastern-style barbecue. Found in the Storage Facility District, it’s popular for infant back ribs and whole-hog sliced barbecue. And for sides, have a look at the Brunswick stew, treasure cabbage collards, and fried green tomatoes.

Famous in NC, Sam Jones Barbeque in downtown is another exceptional alternative. It smokes entire hogs on-site every day and is popular for its sliced barbecue, fried chicken, ribs, and baked flat cornbread. It likewise serves among my preferred sandwiches in Raleigh, the smoked turkey!

If pork barbecue is not your thing however you still desire a Southern dining experience, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey is a popular lunch dining establishment by well known chef Ashley Christensen that focuses on fried chicken and sandwiches.

Afternoon activity: Umstead State Park

A man walks down a leafy trail in Umstead State Park in Raleigh, North Carolina
Time to stroll off lunch! Simply a 15-minute drive from downtown is among the most popular locations in Raleigh, and among North Carolina’s the majority of gone to state parks: William B. Umstead State Park, which is quickly available from Interstate 40 and US-70. Its more than 5,000 acres of forest surround 3 manufactured lakes and include over 22 miles of routes, varying from simple to moderate. If you enjoy nature routes, cycling, running, picnicking, canoeing, or perhaps horseback riding, put Umstead on your travel plan.

A terrific initial path is the 2.8-mile Sal’s Branch Path loop, which is mainly shaded and flat, with high trees and a lake view. If you’re up for a forest walk, the Sycamore Path is a 7.2-mile loop and the longest path. Another popular path is the six-mile Business Mill Path loop.

Additionally, Lake Johnson, simply a 10-minute drive from downtown, is my favorite of the lakes in Raleigh. The three-mile paved greenway loop around the western side is popular with NC State trainees and residents. There’s a 700-foot-long boardwalk throughout the center of the lake, a boathouse, a little beach location, and picnic shelters.

Pre-dinner beverages: Wye Hill Cooking Area & & Developing

A group of people sit at a table at Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing with the skyline of Raleigh, North Carolina in the background
The very best view of the Raleigh horizon can be had from Wye Hill and its exceptional outside patio area. Take it all in while delighting in rejuvenating craft beers and distinct mixed drinks. There’s an exceptional small-plate menu too!

Bourbon lovers can head to the stunning open area and hip place Bourbon Cooking Area, including a repurposed commercial ambiance in which to take pleasure in any of over 300 whiskies, plus craft mixed drinks, beer, and white wine. Mentioning white wine, Vita Vite Art Gallery + White Wine Bar functions as an art gallery and uses a terrific choice of white wine in an elegant and unwinded environment.

Supper: Stanbury

The exterior of Stanbury restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina
Stanbury is most likely the most distinct dining experience in Raleigh and one I can’t stop speaking about. It has exceptional food, a fantastic atmosphere in a wacky, rustic place, and remarkable service! The menu, which alters daily, functions contemporary food (consisting of the very best steak I have actually had in Raleigh), plus craft mixed drinks.

Bida Manda is hands-down the very best of the Asian dining establishments in Raleigh Its potentially my preferred Southeast Asian dining establishment in North Carolina, if not the United States. It is renowned for its genuine Laotian food, consisting of adequate vegetarian and gluten-free alternatives.

Trying to find Mexican food in Raleigh? Gringo A Go Go is a previous filling station and now among the more popular downtown dining establishments, provided its vibrant outside patio location and genuine Mexican food. The menu is a homage to the household’s Central Mexican heritage, with dishes given from the Guadalajara highlands.

After-dinner beverages: Watts & & Ward

A couple having drinks underneath a
Watts & Ward is my preferred( underground) bar in Raleigh, a craft mixed drink location instilled with the spirit of the 1920s. Believe leather seating, relaxing nooks, rustic tables, dim lighting, and bookshelves loaded with history. It uses an innovative mixed drink menu and subtle jazz occasions.

However if you have supper at Stanbury, neighboring is my other preferred mixed drink bar, William and Business, or Willco to the residents. This relaxing community mixed drink bar on the edge of historical Oakwood dishes out fresh and distinct craft mixed drinks developed by first-class bartenders.

If you take pleasure in the idea of a dessert bar– a location where you can get bourbon with your pie or champagne with your cake– then think about Bittersweet, where I enjoy to choose an espresso martini and Irish coffee.


If you just have 24 hr in Raleigh, this one-day travel plan is what I recommend for novice visitors who wish to get a genuine feel for the City of Oaks– its culture, history, food and beverage scene, and sense of Southern neighborhood. (Naturally, I recommend you remain longer, as there are lots of cool things to do in Raleigh, consisting of amazing celebrations and sporting occasions.)

Craig Makepeace is the co-founder and publisher of, a site committed to sharing all the very best things to do in Raleigh. Initially from Australia, he initially transferred to Raleigh in 2004 and fell for the city of oaks. He’s a travel addict, sports fanatic, beach enthusiast, and enthusiastic craft beer drinker. You can follow him on Instagram at @ThisIsRaleigh

Schedule Your Journey to the U.S.A.: Logistical Advice

Schedule Your Flight
Usage Skyscanner to discover an inexpensive flight. They are my preferred online search engine since they browse sites and airline companies around the world so you constantly understand no stone is left unturned!

Schedule Your Lodging
You can reserve your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the most significant stock and finest offers. If you wish to remain someplace besides a hostel, usage as they regularly return the most inexpensive rates for guesthouses and inexpensive hotels.

Do Not Forget Travel Insurance Coverage
Travel insurance coverage will safeguard you versus disease, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s thorough security in case anything fails. I never ever go on a journey without it as I have actually needed to utilize it lot of times in the past. My preferred business that provide the very best service and worth are:

Searching For the very best Business to Conserve Cash With?
Have A Look At my resource page for the very best business to utilize when you take a trip. I note all the ones I utilize to conserve cash when I’m on the roadway. They will conserve you cash when you take a trip too.

Desired More Details on the United States?
Make certain to visit our robust location guide on the United States for a lot more preparation suggestions!

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