Raleigh-The State Capitol
Founded in 1792, the capitol of North Carolina was dubbed the "City of Oaks" by its founding fathers who dedicated themselves to maintaining the area's wooded tracts and grassy parks. Their heritage is still evident through the downtown area, giving it a park-life charm not often expierenced in ubran areas. The nearly 20 million annual visitors to Raleigh experience the best of southern hospitatlity along with the vibrancy of a big city. Alongside its major historic sites, the city is alive with growth, including in recent years the addition of the Raleigh Convention Center, the pedestrian friendly City Plaza with its outdoor concerts and special events, and the newly re-named Red Hat Amphitheater which showcases live entertainment under the stars April-October. The city excels at hosting big national events like the 2011 NHL All-Star Game and popular local festivals like First Night Raleigh, BikeFest, the annual NC State Fair, World of Bluegrass and Winterfest. Among it's top accolades are #2 Among 10 Fastest Growing U.S. Cities (CNN Money), #2 Among Best Places for Buisness and Careers (with Cary -- Forbes), and Top 10 Tastiest Towns in the South (Southern Living).
It is home to three major state museums -- art, history and natural sciences -- all with free admission. Hard to miss and not-to-be-missed on West Jones Street is the three story globe of the SECU Daily Planet, part of the new 80,000 square foot, state-of-the-art addition to the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, the Nature Research Center. The Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts provides topnotch and diverse live performances from the North Carolina Symphony, the Carolina Ballet, the North Carolina Opera and the North Carolina Theatre based there, as well as visiting national artists. Pre-show dining at an impressive selection of renowned fine dining, casual and international-flavored restaurants can be followed by an active late night scence at area nighclubs and lounges.
Did we mention higher education? As home to NC State University, Meredith College, Peace University, Shaw University-all located in downtown Raleigh-Living, working, visiting or playing in the state capitol of North Carolina brings cultural, educational and fun and lively experiences for everyone!