The pristinely landscaped Pullen Park also contains an old turn-of-the-century Gustave A. Dentzel carousel and other amusement park gems.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences lures visitors to its doors with its interactive exhibits and its knowledgeable staff. Its free admission doesn't hurt either.
Courtesy North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
This local festival is all about the beer — North Carolina craft beer, to be specific. Festivalgoers can try beers from local companies like Deep River Brewing, Foothills, Lonerider and more — and they can drink their brews in the street.
The permanent collection at the North Carolina Museum of Art spans the globe and the ages, from Ancient Greece and Rome to 20th century America. The traveling exhibits are impressive as well. For instance, pieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer have been featured in the past.
Courtesy North Carolina Museum of Art
One of Raleigh's more eclectic events is its annual Krispy Kreme Challenge. To complete this "challenge," competitors must consume 12 Krispy Kreme doughnuts and run 5 miles all in the space of an hour, with proceeds benefiting the North Carolina Children's Hospital.
North Carolina State University
Fall in Raleigh is festival central, and one of the most popular festivals is Wide Open Bluegrass when the sounds of the fiddle, banjo and mandolin fill the stages and streets of downtown Raleigh.
Courtesy Walters & Walters
The Marbles Kids Museum contains much more than just marbles — though it does feature more than 1 million of them. It also contains an IMAX theater and interactive exhibits like "Around Town," which allows children to pretend they're farmers, firefighters, veterinarians and more.
Courtesy Marbles Kids Museum
Crank Arm Brewing is just one of the many places you can go for a craft beer in Raleigh. You can even go on the "Greater Raleigh Beer Trail" tour of the breweries if you're so inclined.
Courtesy Crank Arm Brewing
This museum, which tells the story of the state's past, is an affiliate of Smithsonian and contains exhibits that range from the Civil War to sports to agriculture.
Courtesy North Carolina Museum of History
Joule Coffee is just one of the Raleigh establishments helmed by chef Ashley Christensen. One TripAdvisor user has this to say about it: "Hip yet welcoming vibe and a great spot to meet friends or grab lunch by yourself, especially if you sit in the front window section, which is a bit quieter and a great spot to watch the hustle and bustle of downtown."
Courtesy Angie Mosier
City Market is a fun place to meander if you have an hour or so to kill. You'll find shops, art galleries and restaurants lining the streets of the historic market, which dates back to 1914.
Courtesy Historic City Market
Downtown Raleigh is awash in entrepreneurial energy.
Umstead State Park is home to more than 5,000 acres of flora and fauna, and it's a popular place for locals to shake the city from their shoulders with a run, hike or bike ride.
Clyde Cooper's BBQ is one of the most popular places to eat barbecue sandwiches, collard greens and hush puppies in the city.
The Greek Revival architecture of the North Carolina State Capitol, which was completed in 1840, skirted the ravages of the Civil War. Visitors say a guided tour is the best way to get the Capitol's interesting backstory.
Courtesy American Spirit
Presidents Polk, Jackson and Johnson can be seen in front of the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh.
The Historic Yates Mill County Park is a scenic way to spend a few hours hiking a trail or two, or casting a fishing line.
The Neuse River Trail is one way to get the lay of land in Raleigh. The trail winds along the Neuse River (even crossing over it a time or two) and also passes through wetlands and rolling pastures.