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Things to Do in Raleigh this Weekend

As North Carolina opens back up following Covid-19, so are many of the places and events in and around the Raleigh area.

Raleigh, the capital city of North Carolina, hosts thousands of fun events year-round. Whether you want exhilarating or educational, athletic or artsy, culinary or cultural, you’ll find plenty of options when you’re looking for fun things to do in Raleigh this weekend.

Let’s start with festival favorites. These are the Raleigh NC events you’d plan your weekend calendar around:

  • Hopscotch Music Festival — a premier “underground” music festival in downtown Raleigh featuring 100+ musical acts
  • Brewgaloo — Largest craft beer festival in the state drawing people to center city to sample beers from 100 local breweries
  • Wide Open Bluegrass — An annual urban bluegrass music festival filling eight venues in Raleigh with fans of Bluegrass from around the world
  • African American Festival of Raleigh and Wake County — Annual celebration of African American culture, art, music, food, and community
  • Krispy Kreme Challenge — What started as a fun run for NC State students now draws runners from around the country who want to run five miles, eat a dozen doughnuts at the halfway point, and finish their race in under an hour
  • Festival of Raleigh — a three-day celebration of the city’s more than 70 ethnic groups held at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds
  • Art in Bloom — The North Carolina Museum of Art hosts floral artists interpreting the art showcased in the museum’s galleries
  • Out! Raleigh Pride — The city’s family-friendly street festival celebrating and supporting the LBGTQ community
  • Food Truck Rodeo — About 11 blocks of the city are overtaken with food truck offerings

Yet this sampling represents events only one weekend of the year (fortunately not overlapping ones). What about if you’re looking for something to do in Raleigh, NC, on a weekend without a citywide event? Here are some other favorites to consider.

Raleigh Weekend Things to Do

The city has been dubbed “The Smithsonian of the South” for its arts experiences. We already mentioned the North Carolina Museum of Art, but you might also enjoy exploring the many local galleries in town. You’ll find work by painters, photographers, sculptors, and illustrators in the locally-owned and campus galleries. CAM Raleigh is the hub for contemporary modern art. Every First Friday you can also enjoy food trucks and entertainment at CAM.

To see a live performance, check out the Carolina Ballet or the city’s regional professional North Carolina Theatre. The Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts also hosts touring Broadway shows, musicians, stand-up comics, and more.

Music lovers will want to check what North Carolina Opera or North Carolina Symphony are up to. Or, if you’re more of a contemporary music fan, what’s happening at venues such as the Red Hat Amphitheater or The Pour House Music Hall.

Sports fans can also often find something fun to do in Raleigh, NC. The city is home to:

  • Carolina Hurricanes, NHL hockey
  • North Carolina FC and North Carolina Courage, two pro soccer teams
  • Carolina Mudcats, pro hockey
  • NC State University Wolfpack athletics too

If you just want to get out and be active on your own, you’ll be happy to know Raleigh was labeled Men’s Health’s third sportiest city in America. That’s because you can skate, bike or ride, swim, swing, boat, run, hike, walk, kayak, and so much more in the many recreational areas in Raleigh.

You may get hungry while you’re out and about on your weekend in Raleigh, NC. Some top spots to check out include:

  • 42nd St. Oyster Bar — a historic seafood restaurant that started out as a grocery store
  • Angus Barn — a popular steakhouse in Raleigh since 1960
  • Big Ed’s — for Carolina favorites like fried catfish and butter beans
  • Garland — a Southern take on Indian & Asian cuisine that has landed its chef four James Beard Foundation nominations for Best Chef in the Southeast
  • Brewery Bhavana — offering a contemporary Asian dim sum-inspired menu
  • Crawford & Son — the brainchild of Scott Crawford, a five-time James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Best Chef in the Southeast
  • Jose & Sons — to taste Mexican fare with a Southern flair
  • Poole’s Diner — a nostalgic dining room serving up contemporary Southern fare under the auspices of Ashley Christensen, 2019 James Beard Award winner for Outstanding Chef

Immerse Yourself in Raleigh’s History

Another fun way to spend the weekend in Raleigh? Visit and tour some of the historic sites.

The North Carolina Museum of History is an obvious choice to relive the state’s history. The museum hosts a permanent exhibit, The Story of North Carolina, but also welcomes rotating exhibits exploring a variety of eras over more than 14,000 years. You can also explore more than 3,000 square feet showcasing NC Sports History.

Or you could visit the City of Raleigh Museum or the Raleigh Fire Museum. For outdoor historical fun, you might take a self-guided walking tour that includes the first public park in the United States solely devoted to Dr. King and the civil rights movement. You might also stroll by the North Carolina State Capitol building (build in 1840) and the Governor’s Queen Anne-style home, the North Carolina Executive Mansion.

Mordecai Historic Park is home to Raleigh’s oldest home still on its original foundation (Mordecai House) and President Andrew Johnson’s boyhood home. Simply walking through the Historic Oakwood neighborhood will give you a sense of 19th-century Raleigh. The candlelight tour in December is an annual tradition.

For more modern homes in Raleigh, NC, look at what Saussy Burbank has on offer. We’ve been building premier homes in the Carolinas since 1989. Our new homes and townhomes have earned regional and national awards, including seven Best in American Living® awards.

Our Raleigh homes are found Inside the Beltline and in North Raleigh.





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