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The nightlife scene in Raleigh has become much livelier in recent years, a far cry from its reputation as a somewhat sleepy hideaway in the town. Its diverse historic districts and neighbourhoods cater to many different tastes.

The area surrounding the Capital is the centre of government, business, and history. Despite its daytime bustle, it remains a lovely spot for a stroll amongst grand museums and a leafy square. Nearby Oakwood is full of exquisitely restored 19th-century homes and gardens.

With its old-fashioned lampposts and cobbled streets, Moore Square is another city oasis. By day, visitors can lounge in the park and must rub for good luck the giant copper acorn sculpture, in honour of Raleigh's nickname, the 'City of Oaks'.

By night, Moore Square comes alive with upscale bars and restaurants, as do pedestrian Fayettesville Street and the chic Warehouse district, popular with Raleigh's hip crowd. Shoppers should head for the posh shops of North Hills or the boutiques of Cameron Village.

Those in search of a more colourful atmosphere will find it on Hillsborough Street and in the NC State University district, where a jumble of undergrads, professors, and tourists mingle in coffeehouses, restaurants, and casual pubs. NC State is North Carolina's largest university. It's a leader in intercollegiate sports, often overshadowing its strong reputation for research.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has recreated a series of natural environments, complete with living animals and a 20-foot-high (6m) waterfall, through which visitors can walk and discover North Carolina's diverse geography, geology, flora, and fauna. The museum is also home to Willo,...  see full details



Artspace

Artspace

Artspace is a pioneering visual arts centre that allows the public to become part of the creative process. As the heart of Raleigh's arts community, Artspace stages countless challenging and award-winning exhibitions, workshops, outreach programs, and public events each year. Its unique open studio environment...  see full details



North Carolina Museum of Art

North Carolina Museum of Art

The collection at the North Carolina Museum of Art spans about 5,000 years, from ancient Egypt up to the present day. Ancient pieces include Greek and Roman sculptures and vases, and an internationally celebrated European collection. This includes significant works from the Renaissance through...  see full details