If you aren’t originally from the south, don’t be alarmed if a Raleigh native strikes up a conversation with you in the middle of the supermarket or waves to you while walking through your neighborhood. Raleigh natives are extremely friendly and welcoming and truly epitomize southern charm. Ideal for families with young kids, Raleigh offers delicious food, educational museums, beautiful parks, peaceful walking trails, affordable homes for sale and so much more.
Here are a few expert tips from a local Realtor when exploring the Triangle area:
Where should I bring the kids?
The Marbles Kids Museum offers interactive exhibits, educational programs, and an IMAX movie theater to provide hands-on learning experiences for preschool and elementary children.
The largest museum of its kind in the southeast, NCMNS offers wildlife dioramas, aquatic exhibits, dinosaur displays, a butterfly conservatory, and more.
Perfect for an afternoon picnic, this beautiful park includes art installations, gardens, biking trails, and a terraced pond.
Located in Holly Springs and founded by pro BMX rider Daniel Dhers, this is the largest action sports center of its kind and is ideal for the skating or cycling enthusiast.
Pullen Park offers sports fields, an indoor aquatic center, tranquil walking trails, playgrounds, a carousel, and paddle boats. It is a great place to relax and unwind while walking the dog or a fun place to bring the kids.
If you’re a foodie, Raleigh is perfect for you:
With more than 1,200 restaurants to choose from, Raleigh offers a wide variety of cuisines and atmospheres.
Barbecue: Eastern vs. Western:
Barbecue is a popular specialty in North Carolina, and many newcomers are surprised to find that barbecue is chopped instead of pulled. There are two distinct barbecue styles: Eastern and Western. Western barbecue, also called Lexington style, is only made with pork shoulder and is typically sweeter and includes a tomato or ketchup component. Eastern barbecue has a tangy, vinegar-based sauce and utilizes the whole hog as opposed to just the shoulder.
If you order iced tea and prefer for it to be unsweetened, be sure to specify that to your restaurant server. Otherwise, they will assume you’re referencing sweet tea, a sugary delicacy that is a staple of the south.
Located at City Plaza, the Raleigh Downtown Farmers’ Market brings together the highest-quality farmers and artisans in the area and runs from April to October. The State Farmers’ Market is even more popular and offers more than 30,000 sq. ft. of locally-sourced specialty items.
What does it mean when someone says, “The Triangle”?
If you draw a line on a map around Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, the area is shaped somewhat like a triangle. This ‘triangle’ has now grown to include other surrounding towns including Cary, Holly Springs, Apex, Wake Forest, Clayton, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, and Knightdale.
What is the Triad or Down East?
The Triad is the Greensboro/Winston-Salem area and Down East refers to the towns east of Interstate 95.
Held every October, the North Carolina State Fair is an important tradition in Raleigh. It is not uncommon for schools to let students out early and for many people to take off of work for this great event.
The Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is one of the easiest airports to navigate:
Although RDU doesn’t have many direct flights, you can get almost anywhere with a connection in ATL or CLT. Affordable parking is available (a shuttle bus isn’t needed) and the security lines are typically very manageable.
New to the area? Tell us in the comments below some of your favorite places to visit in the Raleigh area. We’d love to hear from you!
Ryan Fitzgerald is a local Raleigh Realtor who enjoys helping people with real estate and sharing content online to help answer questions. You can find Ryan’s work on Forbes, U.S. News, Realtor.org and more. Feel free to connect with Ryan on www.RaleighRealtyHomes.com, www.uphomes.com, Facebook, and Instagram online if you’re looking for help with real estate or a relocation!