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Raleigh ( is the capital city of the state of North Carolinamarker, the seat of Wake Countymarker and the second largest city in North Carolina behind Charlottemarker. Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak tree. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city's estimated population on July 1, 2008 was 392,552 (a 42% increase from the 2000 Census), making Raleigh the 8th fastest growing city and the 45th largest city in the United Statesmarker.

Raleigh, Durhammarker, and Chapel Hillmarker make up the three historically primary cities of the Research Triangle metropolitan region. The regional nickname of "The Triangle" originated after the 1959 creation of the Research Triangle Parkmarker, located between the cities of Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Durham. The Research Triangle region encompasses the U.S. Census Bureau's Combined Statistical Area of Raleigh-Durham-Carymarker in the central Piedmont region of North Carolina. As of July 1, 2008 the estimated population of the Raleigh-Durham-Cary CSA was 1,690,557, while the Raleigh-Cary Metropolitan Statistical Area was estimated at 1,088,765, making it the nation's fastest growing metropolitan area.

Most of Raleigh is located within Wake Countymarker, with a very small portion extending into Durham Countymarker. The towns of Carymarker, Garnermarker, Wake Forestmarker, Apexmarker, Holly Springsmarker, Fuquay-Varinamarker, Knightdalemarker, Wendellmarker, and Rolesvillemarker are some of Raleigh's primary nearby suburbs and satellite towns.


18th century

In December 1770, Joel Lanemarker successfully petitioned the North Carolina General Assembly to create a new county, resulting in the formation of Wake County. The county was formed from portions of Cumberlandmarker, Orangemarker, and Johnstonmarker counties. the county gets its name from Margaret Wake Tryon, the wife of Governor William Tryon. The first county seat was Bloomsbury.

Raleigh was chosen as the site of a new state capital in 1788. It was officially established in 1792 as both the new county seat and the new state capital. The city was named in 1792 for Sir Walter Raleigh, sponsor of the Colony of Roanoke. The "Lost Colony" is commemorated at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Sitemarker on Roanoke Islandmarker, North Carolina.

The city's location was chosen, in part, for being within 10 miles (16 km) of Isaac Hunter's Tavern, a popular tavern frequented by the state legislators. No known city or town existed previously on the chosen city site. Raleigh is one of the few cities in the United States that was planned and built specifically to serve as a state capital. Its original boundaries were formed by the downtown streets of North, East, West and South streets. It was planned to be laid out in an axial fashion, with four public squares and one central square.

The North Carolina General Assembly first met in Raleigh in December 1794, and quickly granted the city a charter, with a board of seven appointed commissioners (elected by the city after 1803) and an "Intendant of Police" (which would eventually become the office of Mayor) to govern it. In 1799, the N.C. Minerva and Raleigh Advertiser became the first newspaper published in Raleigh.
 John Haywood was the first Intendant of Police. Raleigh's Historic Oakwood contains many houses from the 1800s that are still in good condition.

19th century

Raleigh, North Carolina in 1872
In 1808 Andrew Johnson, the nation’s seventeenth President, was born at Casso’s Inn in Raleigh. The city's first water supply network was completed in 1818, although due to system failures the project was abandoned. 1819 saw the arrival of Raleigh's first volunteer fire company, followed in 1821 by a full-time fire company.

In 1831, a fire destroyed the State Capitolmarker. Reconstruction began two years later with quarried granite being delivered by the first railroad in the state. Raleigh celebrated the completions of the new Capitol and new Raleigh & Gaston Railroad Company in 1840.

In 1853, the first State Fairmarker was held near Raleigh.

The first institution of higher learning in Raleigh, Peace Collegemarker, was established in 1857.

After the War began, Governor Zebulon Baird Vance ordered the construction of breastworks around the city as protection from Union troops. During General Sherman's Carolinas Campaign, Raleigh was captured by Union cavalry under the command of General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick on April 13, 1865. After the Confederate cavalry retreated west , the Union soldiers followed, leading to the nearby Battle of Morrisville. The city was spared significant destruction during the War, but due to the economic problems of the post-war period and Reconstruction, it grew little over the next several decades.
After the Civil War ended in 1865, African Americans were able to be educated and men could become involved in politics. With the help of the Freedmen's Bureau, many freedmen migrated from rural areas to Raleigh. Shaw Universitymarker, the South's first African-American college, began classes in 1865 and was chartered in 1875. Shaw's Estey Hallmarker was the first building constructed for the higher education of black women, and Leonard Medical Center was the first four-year medical school in the country for African Americans.

In 1867, Episcopal clergy founded St. Augustine's Collegemarker for the education of freedmen. In 1869, the state legislature approved the nation’s first school for blind and deaf African Americans to be located in Raleigh. And in 1874, the city's Federal Buildingmarker was constructed in Raleigh, the first Federal Government project in the South following the Civil War.

In 1880, the newspapers News and Observer combined to form The News & Observer. It remains Raleigh's primary daily newspaper. The North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, now known as North Carolina State Universitymarker, was founded as a land-grant college in 1887. The city's Rex Hospital opened in 1889 and housed the state's first nursing school. The Baptist Women's College, now known as Meredith Collegemarker, opened in 1891, and in 1898, The Academy of Music private music conservatory was established.

In 1900, the state legislature passed a new constitution, with voter registration rules that disenfranchised most blacks and many poor whites. Added to earlier statutory restrictions, the state succeeded in reducing black voting to zero by 1908. It was not until 1965 that the majority of blacks in North Carolina would again be able to vote, sit on juries and serve in local offices.

20th century

Fayetteville Street during the 1910s.
The North Carolina State Capitol can be seen in the background
Construction of the Commercial National Bank building, c 1912
Martin Street business district, c 1915

In 1912, Bloomsbury Park opened, featuring a popular carousel ride. Relocated to Pullen Parkmarker, the carousel is still operating.

From 1914-1917, an influenza epidemic killed 288 Raleigh citizens. The state of North Carolina lost a total of 5,799 men in the World War I.

In 1922, WLAC signed on as the city's first radio station, but lasted only two years. WFBQ signed on in 1924 and became WPTF in 1927. It is now Raleigh's oldest continuous radio broadcaster.

On December 12, 1942, The Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh was officially established by the Vaticanmarker and the Sacred Heart Cathedral became the official seat of the diocese.

The city's first airport, Curtiss-Wright Flying Field opened in 1929. That same year, the stock market crash resulted in six Raleigh banks closing.

During the difficult 1930s of the Great Depression, government at all levels was integral to creating jobs. The city provided recreational and educational programs, and hired people for public works projects. In 1932, Raleigh Memorial Auditoriummarker was dedicated. The North Carolina Symphony, founded the same year, performed in its new home. From 1934-1937, the federal Civilian Conservation Corps constructed the area now know as William B.marker Umstead State Parkmarker. In 1939, the State General Assembly chartered the Raleigh-Durham Aeronautical Authority to build a larger airport between Raleigh and Durham, with the first flight occurring in 1943.

In 1947, Raleigh citizens adopted a council-manager form of government, the current form.

Raleigh experienced significant damage from Hurricane Hazel in 1954.

In 1956, WRAL-TVmarker became the first local television station.

With the opening of the Research Triangle Parkmarker in 1957, Raleigh began to experience a population increase, resulting in a total city population of 100,000 by 1960.

Following passage of the federal Voting Rights Act, one of the main achievements of the African-American Civil Rights Movement and the Lyndon B. Johnson presidency, political participation and voting by African Americans in Raleigh increased rapidly. In 1967, Clarence E. Lightner was elected to the City Council, and in 1973 became Raleigh's first African-American mayor.

In 1976, the Raleigh City and Wake County schools merged to become the Wake County Public School System, now the largest school system in the state and 19th largest in the country.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the I-440 beltline was constructed, easing traffic congestion and providing access to most major city roads.

The first Raleigh Convention Centermarker (replaced in 2008) and Fayetteville Street Mall were both opened in 1977. Fayetteville Street was turned into a pedestrian-only street in an effort to help the then-ailing downtown area, but the plan was flawed and business declined for years to come. Fayetteville Street was reopened in 2007 as the main thoroughfare of Raleigh's downtown.

The 1988 Raleigh tornado outbreak of November 28, 1988 was the most destructive of the seven tornadoes reported in Northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginiamarker between 1:00 AM and 5:45 AM. The Raleigh tornado produced over $77 million in damage, along with four fatalities (two in the city of Raleigh, and two in Nash Countymarker) and 154 injuries. The damage path from the storm was measured at long, and wide at times.

In 1991, two large skyscrapers in Raleigh were completed, First Union Capital Center and Two Hanover Plaza, along with the popular Walnut Creek Amphitheatremarker in Southeast Raleigh.

In 1996, the Olympic Flame passed through Raleigh while on its way to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgiamarker. Also in 1996, Hurricane Fran struck the area, causing massive flooding and extensive structural damage.

In 1999, the RBC Centermarker arena opened to provide a venue for the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes and NC State Wolfpack men's basketball teams.

21st century

In 2001, the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium complex was expanded with the addition of the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Meymandi Concert Hall, Fletcher Opera Theater, Kennedy Theatre, Betty Ray McCain Gallery and Lichtin Plaza.

Fayetteville Street reopened to vehicular traffic in 2006. A variety of downtown building projects began around this time including the 34-story RBC Bank Tower, multiple condominium projects and several new restaurants. Additional skyscrapers are in the proposal/planning phase.

With the opening of parts of I-540 from 2005-2007, a new loop around Wake County, traffic congestion eased somewhat in the North Raleigh area. Completion of the entire loop is expected to take another 15 years.

In 2008, the city's Fayetteville Street Historic District joined the National Register of Historic Places.

Also in 2008, Raleigh has featured prominently in a number of "Top 10 Lists," including those by Forbes, MSNBC and Money Magazine, due to its quality of life and business climate.

Law and government

Raleigh operates under a council-manager government. The city council consists of eight members; all seats, including the mayor's, are open for election every two years. Five of the council seats are district representatives and two seats are citywide representatives elected at-large. Historically, Raleigh voters have tended to elect conservative Democrats in local, state, and national elections, a holdover from their one-party system of the late 19th century.

City Council


In 2008, 34 murders or non-negligent cases of manslaughter were reported within Raleigh's city limits, per the Federal Bureau of Investigationmarker's Uniform Crime Reports.

Mayor Charles Meeker is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, a bi-partisan group with a stated goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets." The coalition is co-chaired by Bostonmarker Mayor Thomas Menino and New York Citymarker Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Raleigh averages a rate of 469.2 motor vehicle thefts per year per 100,000 residents, below the average rate of 528.4 motor vehicle thefts per year per 100,000 residents for all metropolitan areas in North Carolina.

According to the Uniform Crime Reports, crime in Raleigh has steadily decreased in recent years. In 2004, there were 580 reported incidents of violent crime and 3,768 reported incidents of property crime reported per 100,000 population. Nationally there were 466 violent crimes and 3,517 property crimes reported per 100,000 population, while U.S. cities with a population between 250,000 and 500,000 residents reported 978 violent crimes and 5,631 property crimes per 100,000 population,.


According to the United States Census Bureau, Raleigh occupies a total area of 115.6 square miles (299.3 km²), of which 114.6 square miles (296.8 km²) is dry land and 1.0 square miles (2.5 km²)(0.84%) is covered by water.

Raleigh is located in the northeast central region of North Carolina, where the North American Piedmont and Atlantic Coastal Plain regions meet. This area is known as the "fall line" because it marks the elevation inland at which waterfalls begin to appear in creeks and rivers. As a result, most of Raleigh features gently rolling hills that slope eastward toward the state's flat coastal plain. Its central Piedmont location situates Raleigh about three hours west of Atlantic Beachmarker, North Carolina, by car and four hours east of the Great Smoky Mountains of the Appalachian rangemarker. The city is south of Richmondmarker, Virginiamarker; south of Washington, D.C.marker; and northeast of Charlotte, North Carolina.


Snow in Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh enjoys a humid subtropical climate, with generally moderate temperatures during spring and autumn. Summers are typically warm to hot. Winters are cool to cold and wet with highs generally in the range of upper 40s to low 50s°F (8 to 11 °C) with lows in the mid 20s to low 30s°F (-4 to 0°C), although an occasional 60°F (15°C) or warmer winter day is not uncommon. The record low temperature recorded at the RDU Airport is -9°F (-22°C) set in 1985. Occasional single digit temperatures can be experienced in any given winter. Spring and Autumn days usually reach the low/mid 70s°F (low 20s°C), with lows at night in the lower 50s°F (10 to 14°C). Summer daytime highs often reach mid to upper 80s to low 90s°F (29 to 35°C) with cooler nights between 65°F to 70°F. The region's rainiest months are January and March with the driest months being April and November.

Raleigh receives an average of 7.0" of snow in winter. Freezing rain and sleet also occur most winters, and occasionally the area experiences a major damaging ice storm. On January 24-25, 2000, Raleigh received its greatest snowfall from a single storm - - during the Winter Storm of January 2000. Storms of this magnitude are generally the result of cold air damming that affects the city due to its proximity to the Appalachian Mountainsmarker.

The region also experiences occasional periods of drought, during which the city sometimes has restricted water use by residents.


Downtown Raleigh panorama, from 1909

Raleigh is divided into seven major geographic areas, each of which use a Raleigh address and a ZIP code that begins with the digits 276.

Downtown/Old Raleigh ("Inside the Beltline") is home to historic neighborhoods and buildings such as the Sir Walter Raleigh Hotelmarker built in the early 20th century, the restored City Market, the Fayetteville Street downtown business district, as well as the North Carolina Museum of History, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, North Carolina State Capitolmarker, Peace Collegemarker, the Raleigh City Museum, Raleigh Convention Centermarker, Shaw Universitymarker, and St. Augustine's College. The neighborhoods in Old Raleigh include Cameron Park, Boylan Heightsmarker, Country Club Hills, Coley Forest, Five Points, Glenwood-Brooklyn, Hayes Barton, Moore Square, Mordecai, Belvidere Park, Woodcrest, and Historic Oakwood. Old Raleigh is also home to the nation's smallest Roman Catholic cathedral, Sacred Heart Cathedral.

East Raleigh is situated roughly from Capital Boulevard near the I-440 beltline to New Hope Road. Most of East Raleigh's development is along primary corridors such as U.S. 1 (Capital Boulevard), New Bern Avenue, Poole Road, Buffaloe Road, and New Hope Road. Neighborhoods in East Raleigh include New Hope, and Wilder's Grove. The area is bordered to the east by the town of Knightdalemarker.

Downtown Raleigh

West Raleigh lies along Hillsborough Street and Western Boulevard. The area is bordered to the west by suburban Carymarker. It is home to North Carolina State Universitymarker, Meredith Collegemarker, Pullen Parkmarker, Pullen Memorial Baptist Churchmarker, Cameron Village, Lake Johnson, the North Carolina Museum of Artmarker and historic Saint Mary's Schoolmarker. Primary thoroughfares serving West Raleigh, in addition to Hillsborough Street, are Avent Ferry Road, Blue Ridge Road, and Western Boulevard.

North Raleigh is an expansive, diverse, and fast-growing suburban area of the city that is home to established neighborhoods to the south along with many newly built subdivisions and along its northern fringes. The area generally falls North of Millbrook Road. It is primarily suburban with large shopping areas. Primary neighborhoods and subdivisions in North Raleigh include Bedford, Bent Tree, Brentwood, Brookhaven, Crossgate, Crosswinds, Falls River, Lake Park, North Ridge, Stonebridge, Stone Creek, Stonehenge, Wakefield, Windsor Forest, and Wood Valley. The area is served by a number of primary transportation corridors including Glenwood Avenue (U.S. Route 70), Wake Forest Road, Millbrook Road, Lynn Road, Six Forks Road, Spring Forest Road, Creedmoor Road, Leesville Road, and Strickland Road, as well as the Interstate-540 Expressway.

Midtown Raleigh, which used to be considered a part of North Raleigh, is a residential and commercial area just North of the I-440 Beltline. It is roughly framed by Glenwood/Creedmoor Road to the West, Wake Forest Road to the East, and Millbrook Road to the North. It includes shopping centers such as North Hills and Crabtree Valley Mallmarker. It also includes North Hills Park and part of the Raleigh Greenway System.

South Raleigh is located along U.S. 401 South toward Fuquay-Varinamarker and along US 70 into suburban Garnermarker. This area is the least developed and least dense area of Raleigh (much of the area lies within the Swift Creek watershed district, where development regulations limit housing densities and construction). The area is bordered to the west by Carymarker, to the east by Garnermarker, and to the southwest by Holly Springsmarker. Neighborhoods in South Raleigh include Lake Wheeler, Swift Creek, Riverbrooke, and Enchanted Oaks.

Southeast Raleigh is bounded by downtown on the west, Garnermarker on the southwest, and rural Wake Countymarker to the southeast. The area includes areas along Rock Quarry Road, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and New Bern Avenue. This area is very diverse, with new suburban developments to poor inner-city neighborhoods. Many of the older neighborhoods are historically African American and date back to the end of the Civil War. Primary neighborhoods include Chavis Heights, Raleigh Country Club, Southgate, and Biltmore Hills. Time Warner Cable Music Pavilionmarker (formerly Alltel Pavilion and Walnut Creek Amphitheatre) is one of the region's major outdoor concert venues and is located on Rock Quarry Road. And Shaw Universitymarker the oldest HBCU in the South is Located just off of Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.


Raleigh's industrial base includes electrical, medical, electronic and telecommunications equipment; clothing and apparel; food processing; paper products; and pharmaceuticals. Raleigh is part of North Carolina's Research Triangle, one of the country's largest and most successful research parks and a major center in the United States for high-tech and biotech research, as well as advanced textile development. The city is a major retail shipping point for eastern North Carolina and a wholesale distributing point for the grocery industry.

In 2009 the Raleigh-Cary Metropolitan Statistical Area placed #5 on WomenCo.'s list of the Top 25 Cities for Your Career.


At the 2005-2007 American Community Survey Estimates, the city's population was 61.4% White (57.0% non-Hispanic White alone), 29.0% Black or African American, 0.7% American Indian and Alaska Native, 4.1% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 6.1% from some other race and 1.3% from two or more races. 9.5% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. [9162]46.5% of the population had a Bachelor's degree or higher. [9163]

As of the 2000 United States census, there were 276,093 persons (July 2008 estimate was 380,173) and 61,371 families residing in Raleigh. The population density was 2,409.2 people per square mile (930.2/km²). There were 120,699 housing units at an average density of 1,053.2/sq mi (406.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 63.31% White, 27.80% African American, 0.36% Native American, 3.38% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.24% of other races, and 1.88% of two or more races. Residents who described themselves as Hispanic or Latino of any race represented 7.01% of the population.

There were 112,608 households in the city in 2000, of which 26.5% included children below the age of 18, 39.5% were composed of married couples living together, 11.4% reported a female householder with no husband present, and 45.5% classified themselves as nonfamily. In addition, 33.1% of all households were composed of individuals living alone, of which 6.2% was someone 65 years of age or older. The average household size in Raleigh was 2.30 persons, and the average family size was 2.97 persons.

Raleigh's population in 2000 was evenly distributed with 20.9% below the age of 18, 15.9% aged 18 to 24, 36.6% from 25 to 44, and 18.4% from 45 to 64. An estimated 8.3% of the population was 65 years of age or older, and the median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.0 males; for every 100 females aged 18 or older, there were 96.6 males aged 18 or older.

The median household income in the city was $46,612 in 2000, and the median family income was $60,003. Males earned a median income of $39,248, versus $30,656 for females. The median per capita income for the city was $25,113, and an estimated 11.5% of the population and 7.1% of families were living below the poverty line. Of the total population, 13.8% of those below the age of 18, and 9.3% of those 65 and older, were living below the poverty line.


Higher education



Private, for profit

Primary and secondary education

Public schools

Public schools in Raleigh are operated by the Wake County Public School System. Observers have praised the Wake County Public School System for its innovative efforts to maintain a socially, economically and racial balanced system by using income as a prime factor in assigning students to schools.

Charter schools

The State of North Carolina provides for a legislated number of charter schools. These schools are administered independently of the Wake County Public School System. Raleigh is currently home to eleven such charter schools:

Private and religion-based schools



As of August 2008, Wake County had the highest estimated number of home-schoolers in the state, with 7,059 students.North Carolina law defines a home school as a non-public school in which the student receives academic instruction from his/her parent, legal guardian, or a member of the household in which the student resides. The home school academic instructional setting must always meet the home school legal definition of G.S. 115C-563(a) and is limited to students from no more than two households. These schools are administered independently of the Wake County Public School System and are registered with the State of North Carolina Department of Non-Public Education.

Cultural resources


Performing arts

The Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creekmarker hosts major international touring acts. The Progress Energy Center for the Performing Artsmarker complex houses the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, the Fletcher Opera Theater, the Kennedy Theatre, and the Meymandi Concert Hall. During the North Carolina State Fairmarker, Dorton Arenamarker hosts headline acts. In 2008, a new theatre space, the Meymandi Theatre at the Murphey School, was opened in the restored auditorium of the historic Murphey School[9164]. Theater performances are also offered at the Raleigh Little Theatremarker, Long View Center, Theatre in the Park, and Stewart Theater at North Carolina State University.

Raleigh is home to several professional arts organizations, including the North Carolina Symphony, the Opera Company of North Carolina, Burning Coal Theatre Company, the North Carolina Theatre, Broadway Series South and the Carolina Ballet. The numerous local colleges and universities significantly add to the options available for viewing live performances.

Visual arts

North Carolina Museum of Artmarker, occupying a large suburban campus on Blue Ridge Road near the North Carolina State Fairgroundsmarker, maintains one of the premier public art collections located between Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. In addition to its extensive collections of American Art, European Art and ancient art, the museum recently has hosted major exhibitions featuring Auguste Rodin (in 2000) and Claude Monet (in 2006-07), each attracting more than 200,000 visitors. Unlike most prominent public museums, the North Carolina Museum of Art acquired a large number of the works in its permanent collection through purchases with public funds. The museum's outdoor park is one of the largest such art parks in the country. The museum facility is currently undergoing a major expansion, scheduled for completion in 2010.

Sports and leisure


The National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes franchise moved to Raleigh in 1997 from Hartfordmarker, Connecticutmarker (where it was known as the Hartford Whalers). The team played its first two seasons in the nearby city of Greensboromarker, while its home arena, Raleigh's RBC Centermarker was under construction. The Hurricanes are the only major league (NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB) professional sports team in North Carolina to have won a championship, winning the Stanley Cup in 2006, over the Edmonton Oilers.

In addition to the Hurricanes, the Carolina RailHawks FC of the United Soccer Leagues play in suburban Cary to the west; the Carolina Mudcats, an AA minor-league baseball team, play in the city's eastern suburbs; and the Durham Bulls, the AAA minor-league baseball team made internationally famous by the movie Bull Durham, play in the neighboring city of Durham.

Several other professional sports leagues have had former franchises (now defunct) in Raleigh, including the Arena Football League; the World League of American Football; the Raleigh Cougars of the United States Basketball League; and most recently, the Carolina Courage of the Women's United Soccer Association (in suburban Cary), which won that league's championship Founders Cup in 2002.

The Research Triangle region has hosted the Professional Golfers' Association Nationwide Tour Rex Hospital Open since 1994, with the current location of play at Raleigh's Wakefield Plantation.


The North Carolina Tigers compete as an Australian Rules football club in the United States Australian Football League, in the Eastern Australian Football League.

Raleigh is also home to the Carolina Rollergirls, an all-women flat-track roller derby team that is a competing member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association. The Carolina Rollergirls compete at Dorton Arenamarker at the North Carolina State Fairgroundsmarker.


The Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department offers a wide variety of leisure opportunities at more than 150 sites throughout the city, which include: of park land, of greenway, 22 staffed community center, a BMX championship-caliber race track, 112 tennis courts among 25 locations, 5 public lakes, and 8 public aquatic facilities.

The J. C. Raulston Arboretum, an 8 acre (32,000 m²) arboretum and botanical garden in west Raleigh administered by North Carolina State Universitymarker, maintains a year-round collection that is open daily to the public without charge.



The RDU sign at the entrance of the airport.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport

Raleigh-Durham International Airport, the region's primary airport and the second-largest in North Carolina, located northwest of downtown Raleigh via Interstate-40 between Raleigh and Durhammarker, serves the city and greater Research Triangle metropolitan region, as well as much of eastern North Carolina. The airport is a hub for American Eagle Airlines. The airport offers service to more than 45 domestic and international destinations and serves approximately 10 million passengers a year. The airport also offers facilities for cargo and general aviation. The airport authority currently is tripling the size of its Terminal 2 (formerly Terminal C), and is planned for completion in winter of 2011.

Private airports

Several licensed private general-aviation airports operate in Raleigh's immediate suburban areas:

Freeways and primary designated routes

Interstate Highways:
  • I-40 traverses the southern part of the city, connecting Raleigh to Durham and Chapel Hill toward the west, and coastal Wilmington, North Carolinamarker to the southeast.
  • I-440 Beltline makes a loop around the central part of the city. The I-440 route labeling formerly encompassed the entire loop around the city, co-numbered though South Raleigh with I-40. In 2002, the NCDOT removed the I-440 designation from the co-numbered I-40 (southern and southwestern) sections of the loop, and the directional signage on the remaining I-440 portion was changed from Inner/Outer to East/West. As of 2008, many of the signs slated for updating have yet to be replaced, however. The route designation changes were made to avoid driver confusion over the Inner/Outer designations, especially with Raleigh's new "Outer Loop," as I-540 has become known.
  • I-540/NC 540 is currently under development. It is a partially completed outer beltway that will run around the outer edges of Wake County and into a small portion of southeast Durham county. The route is complete and currently open between the NC 55 interchange in suburban Apex and the US-64/US-264 interchange in suburban Knightdale.
United States Highways:
  • U.S. 1 enters the city from the north along Capital Boulevard, joins I-440 around the west side of Raleigh, and leaves the city to the southwest as the US 1/US 64 expressway in Cary.
  • U.S. Route 64 is the main east-west route through Raleigh; all segments share routes with another highway. East of the city, US-64/US-264 is known as the Knightdale Bypass. US 64 follows I-440 (as a wrong way concurrency) and I-40 along southern Raleigh, and US 1 to the southwest.
  • U.S. Route 70 runs roughly northwest-southeast through Raleigh. North of downtown, the route follows Glenwood Avenue into Durham. South of Raleigh, the route (along with US 401 and NC 50) follows South Saunders and South Wilmington Streets into Garner. Through downtown, US 70 uses small segments of several streets, including Wade Avenue, Capital Boulevard, Dawson, and McDowell Streets.
  • U.S. Route 264 cosigned with US 64 through East Raleigh.
  • U.S. Route 401 north of downtown Raleigh it follows Capital Boulevard and Louisburg Road. South of downtown it is cosigned with US 70 from Wade Avenue southward.
North Carolina Highways:
  • N.C. Route 54 follows Chapel Hill Road and Hillsborough Street in West Raleigh. The route ends at its interchange with I-440.
  • N.C. Route 50 is a north-south route through Raleigh. North of Raleigh it follows Creedmoor Road. NC 50 joins US 70 and later US 401 in downtown Raleigh. The three routes remain together through south Raleigh.
  • N.C. Route 98, known as Durham Road in North Raleigh, traverses the extreme northern parts of the city.

Intercity rail

Raleigh's train stationmarker is one of Amtrak's busiest stops in the Southern U.S. The station is served by three passenger trains, the Silver Star, Piedmont, and Carolinian. Daily service is offered between Raleigh and:

Public transit

Public transportation in and around Raleigh is provided by Capital Area Transit , which operates 38 bus fixed routes and a historic trolley line within the city, and also by Triangle Transit (known formerly as the Triangle Transit Authority, or TTA). Triangle Transit offers scheduled, fixed-route regional and commuter bus service between Raleigh and the region's other principal cities of Durham, Cary and Chapel Hill, as well as to and from the Raleigh-Durham International Airportmarker, Research Triangle Parkmarker and several of the region's larger suburban communities. TT also coordinates an extensive vanpool and rideshare program that serves the region's larger employers and commute destinations. North Carolina State Universitymarker also maintains its own transit system, the Wolfline, that provides zero-fare bus service to the general public along multiple routes serving the university's campuses in southwest Raleigh. Raleigh also offers a zero-fare downtown circulator bus service known as the R-Line.

Government agencies throughout the Raleigh-Durham metropolitan area have struggled with determining the best means of providing fixed-rail transit service for the region.

From 1995 the cornerstone of Triangle Transit's long-term plan was a 28-mile rail corridor from northeast Raleigh, through downtown Raleigh, Carymarker, and Research Triangle Parkmarker, to Durhammarker using DMU technology. There were proposals to extend this corridor 7 miles to Chapel Hillmarker with light rail technology. However, in 2006 Triangle Transit deferred implementation indefinitely when the Federal Transit Administration declined to fund the program due to low ridership projections.

The region's two metropolitan planning organizations appointed a group of local citizens in 2007 to reexamine options for future transit development in light of Triangle Transit's problems. The Special Transit Advisory Commission (STAC) retained many of the provisions of Triangle Transit's original plan, but recommended adding new bus services and raising additional revenues by adding a new local half-cent sales tax to fund the project.

Bicycle and pedestrian

The mountains-to-the-sea North Carolina Bicycle Route 2 travels through the city of Raleigh, as does the Mainemarker-to-Floridamarker U.S. Bicycle Route 1. North Carolina Bicycle Route 5, the Cape Fear run, connects nearby suburban Apexmarker to the coastal city of Wilmingtonmarker, North Carolina, and closely parallels the route of the Randonneurs USA 600 km brevet route..

Most public buses are equipped with bicycle racks, and some roads have dedicated bicycle-only lanes. Bicyclists and pedestrians also may use Raleigh's extensive greenway system, with paths and trails located throughout the city.



There are several printed newspapers and periodicals that serve the Raleigh market:

  • The News & Observer, a large daily newspaper owned by the The McClatchy Company
  • Independent Weekly, a free weekly newspaper (published in nearby Durham)
  • Carolina Journal, a free monthly newspaper
  • The Blotter, a free monthly literary journal
  • Q-Notes, a bi-weekly newspaper serving the LGBT community and published in Charlottemarker, is distributed to locations in Raleigh and via home delivery.
  • The Slammer, a weekly crime newspaper available at local convenience stores (published by CorMedia, LLC)

  • The Carolinian, North Carolina's oldest and largest African-American newspaper

  • The Carolina Times, African-American weekly newspaper

  • Triangle Tribune, African-American weekly, servicing Raleigh and the Triangle (offices are located in Durham)


  • New Raleigh, a daily hyperlocal news magazine chronicling downtown Raleigh politics, culture and business.
  • The Raleigh Telegram, a professionally run paper that is the first and only online newspaper to join the NC Press Association



Raleigh is part of the Raleigh-Durham-Fayettevillemarker Designated Market Area, the 28th largest broadcast television market in the United States. The following stations are licensed to Raleigh and/or have significant operations and viewers in the city:


Raleigh is home to the Research Triangle Region bureau of the regional cable news channel News 14 Carolina.

Broadcast radio

Public and listener-supported


Sister cities

Raleigh has several sister cities:

Notable Raleighites

See also


  1. Inogolo: How To Pronounce Raleigh
  2. Raleigh Durham Annexation Agreement Lines
  4. Historic Boylan Heights Neighborhood Main Page
  5. The Research Triangle Park
  6. As Test Scores Jump, Raleigh Credits Integration by Income, Alan Finder, 1:1 September 25, 2005, New York Times
  7. "Home-school enrollment up in Wake, state" The News & Observer newspaper
  8. North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education
  9. ARTSCAPE: Dr. Lawrence Wheeler, Director, North Carolina Museum of Art, 8-25-06
  10. Monet Exhibit Sets New Attendance Record at N.C. Museum of Art ::
  11. International destinations include London, Toronto and Cancun, Mexico (seasonal). Delta Airlines announced in November 2008 that service from RDU to Paris, France would begin in June 2009. Raleigh-Durham International Airport
  12. [1]
  13. "Raleigh starts downtown circulator" - Raleigh News and Observer. Retrieved 25 May 2009.
  14. [2]
  15. 600 Kilometers
  16. [3]
  17. [4]

External links

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