The capital of North Carolina and the largest city of the Research Triangle, Raleigh is the primary political and economic driver of the metro area. Indeed, business and politics are the main draws to Raleigh, which lacks the more trendy feel or active arts scene of Durham or Chapel Hill to the west. However, a concerted effort to expand the residential base and move events downtown has led to significantly expanded retail and restaurant options in the downtown core. Also, visitors will find many of the state's cultural institutions here, namely a major performing arts center downtown and three state museums, and a college town atmosphere in the neighborhood around the campus of North Carolina State University, the state's largest university.
The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau operates the Raleigh Visitor Information Center. The Visitor Information Center (VIC) is located at 500 Fayetteville Street between the Raleigh Marriott City Center and The Raleigh Convention Center. Phone: +1 919-834-5900 / +1-800-849-8499. The VIC is open Monday thru Saturday, 9AM to 5PM and offers brochures, event calendars, coupons, maps, and other visitor information. Stop by and pick up a brochure or visit the website to view a visitor guide online or order one to be mailed before your trip.
Within the I-440 Beltline are mostly fashionable older neighborhoods and the NC State University area. The North Raleigh neighborhoods are aligned along the "spokes of the wheel"—major thoroughfares emanating from the I-440 Loop and passing through the northern edge of the much larger I-540 loop. Read more