Restaurants and Entertainment
Agriculture has long been a valued part of the North Carolina economy, so it should come as no surprise that the Triangle has a vibrant independent restaurant scene with many options for "farm to table" dining. On that note, both residents and restauranteurs enjoy the plethora of farmers markets throughout Wake County, including the 30,000 sq. ft. State Farmers Market, which is open daily, all year round. Complementing the area's 2,000 restaurants area a wide range of entertainment options. Live music lovers will enjoy more than 60 venues including five outdoor amphitheaters. Festival goers can attend events of all sizes like Lazy Daze, Artsplosure, Fireman's Day and the North Carolina State Fair. For the night owls, be sure to check out Glenwood South and other neighborhoods in downtown Raleigh.
Wake County has more than 100 shopping centers with a variety of shops featuring local designers, national brands, high-end boutiques and unique gifts. Triangle Town Center, Crabtree Valley Mall, and Cary Towne Center are the largest shopping centers in Wake County. In addition to these, several newer shopping centers include Brier Creek Commons, White Oak Crossing and Crossroads Plaza. And for those that want to live near work and shopping, be sure to checkout the pedestrian friendly, mixed-use developments at Cameron Village and North Hills.
There is an undeniable renaissance occurring in downtown Raleigh. What once was a sleepy center of government has transformed into a vibrant destination teeming with activity day and night. Well over $1 billion has been invested in the city center in the last decade including both public and private projects. These investments, which include major residential developments, offices, a convention center and hotel plus countless historic preservation projects, have built momentum and excitement that is driving further residential and commercial activity.
Arts and Culture
As the "Smithsonian of the South," the Triangle boasts more than 35 free attractions. It doesn't matter if you're in the mood for Monet, Mozart or Maroon 5, we've got you covered. The North Carolina Museums of Art, History and Natural Sciences house some of the finest collections in the nation and frequently are enriched through world-class traveling exhibits; and Marbles Kids Museum is among the country's most popular hands-on children's museums. And dozens of performing arts venues in Raleigh and Durham play host to numerous local performances, Broadway shows, and the always popular North Carolina Symphony.
Wake County is blessed with an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities. Residents and visitors can enjoy more than 250 parks and 100-plus miles of paved greenway trails. In addition, there are countless miles of gravel and single-track trails available for hikers, bikers and horseback riders. Boating and fishing enthusiasts will enjoy Falls Lake, Harris Lake, Lake Wheeler and nearby Jordan Lake, which when combined account for more than 27,000 acres of water. Golfers have an incredible range of local choices with 30 public and 18 private golf courses, and the world famous Pinehurst Resort is just an hour down the road. The region's moderate climate means you can enjoy the great outdoors all year round. And don't forget about the Blue Ridge Mountains just three hours west and North Carolina's Crystal Coast only two hours east.
Sports Travel magazine has rated Raleigh as one of the "hottest sports cities" in the country. There are four professional sports teams; most notably the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes which play at a state-of-the-art arena seating more than 20,000 screaming fans. Baseball lovers have two choices – the Carolina Mudcats and the Durham Bulls. And for soccer enthusiasts, there's the North Carolina FC. However, when you get to the heart of the matter, the region is best known for its collegiate sports teams including the ACC legends NC State Wolfpack, UNC Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils.