Raleigh is a naturally beautiful town, with a friendly local atmosphere. There are all sorts of fun things to do that won’t cost you a dime, but these five are some of the best. Try them out and see why everyone recommends them so much.
American Tobacco Trail
This 22.6-mile trail (pictured above) is easily accessible from Wake County, and welcomes walkers, bikers, bicyclists, horses, and dogs. This recently paved trail was built off an old train railroad. The trail is easy to walk on and cuts through lush forests. There’s plenty to see along the trail, and there are educational activities run by different environmental and historical groups. The American Tobacco Trail also frequently cuts near or through public parks, so you have places to rest and hit the bathroom.
Right in the heart of Raleigh, this is the largest natural history museum in the entire southeastern United States. Here dinosaur fans can see the full skeleton of an Acrocanthosaurus, a carnivorous biped similar to a Tyrannosaurus Rex but with longer arms. There are also plenty of still-living animals in the conservatory and petting zoos. You’ll find all sorts of permanent exhibits and fun events throughout the year.
This beautiful park surrounds a 150-acre lake and is perfect for water sports like kayaking, paddleboating, canoeing, sailing, and more. The lake is great for fishing, but just be aware that water crafts with trailers or motors are not allowed. This helps maintains the park’s clean and serene environment, where you can sit and relax in near-silence. The park is very well-kept, and like the American Tobacco Trail, it’s often the host to special events for families and kids.
Enjoy saving money and taking home one-of-a-kind trinkets? If you’d love to get great deals on produce, crafts, and more, stop by the local flea market of Blue Ridge Road. Tens of thousands of shoppers come every Saturday and Sunday, to see the wares of over 600 vendors. Stop by on a free weekend, and you never know what you’ll find from antiques to rare books and intriguing oddities.
Visit this downtown exhibit to see not only the history of the greatest sports players in North Carolina history, but also the impact of athletics on the community. True fans of any sport will love learning more about the most memorable players and coaches, and the moments they shared with fans in that time period. Visiting this museum instills a strong sense of pride in Raleigh, and in North Carolina overall, since so many great names in sports history hail from the state.
Raleigh is rich with history, nature, and friendly local spirit. It’s a wonderful city, and many of the best things you can do and see won’t cost you anything but a little time. So the next time you and your family are bored at home, remember the amazing things that await in Raleigh.