Explore Raleigh with Expedia’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!
Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina, a busy and bustling city that serves as the governmental centre for the state. It’s also an arts centre in the area, and boasts free museums, some great natural attractions, and plenty of history to explore. The city was founded specifically to be the state’s capital, and quite a few of the original 18th century buildings are still around.
Booking a hire car in Raleigh is your best option for getting around this big, sprawling city, as public transport can be erratic. It also gives you the freedom to head out into the surrounding area, which includes the Uwharrie National Forest, as well as fun cities like Greensboro, Jacksonville and Wilmington, all of which are within two hours’ drive.
Most visitors to Raleigh will fly into Raleigh-Durham International Airport, which sits directly between the two cities, about 30 minutes’ drive away from the Raleigh city centre.
Book a hire car in Raleigh and you can choose from a range of trusted and reliable providers. Look out for brands like Dollar, Budget, Avis and Hertz, all of which have a presence at the nearby airport.
Visitors to Raleigh should make the most of the many free museums. Highlights include the North Carolina Museum of History, where you can explore the area’s past over 14,000 years, and the North Carolina Museum of Art, which features works from local and international artists, as well as pieces from the distant past, including Egyptian and Italian Renaissance works.
Just southwest of the city is Yates Mill Historic County Park. It’s your best bet if you’re interested in learning about the area’s history, thanks to its authentic recreation of rural North Carolina life the 19th century. It sits in a beautiful 200-acre nature reserve, which perfect for spending an afternoon wandering around.
If you have any time left over, make the trip to the Biltmore, about four hours west on the US-64. America’s largest private house was built in 1889 by George Vanderbilt, the art collector and millionaire heir to Vanderbilt fortune. It’s a grand and fabulous place that seems to have wandered straight from the pages of a fairytale. As well as that spectacular house, there’s also an 8,000-acre estate to explore.
If you’ve driven in the US before, Raleigh won’t throw up anything unexpected. Remember to allow priority to traffic joining from the right, and keep your licence, ID and insurance documents in the car with you at all times. If you’re pulled over for any reason, you may be asked to provide them.
Itching to see Raleigh or the rest of the US for yourself? Start with this Raleigh city guide, and use the Expedia search tool to track down the best deals on flights and hotels, and to discover the best attractions and activities.
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