Rich in history, Raleigh, North Carolina, is the state's capital, as well as one of its fastest-growing cities, with a population increase of over 100,000 in the past decade. The city is home to more than 376,000 residents. Raleigh was originally settled in the late 1700s, and today it continues to attract new residents with its low cost of living and business-friendly environment. Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Established as the state capital in 1792, Raleigh has long been a government and education center in the region, with more than six degree-granting colleges and universities within the city limits.
Other primary industries in Richmond include equipment and textile manufacturing, food processing and pharmaceuticals. Along with neighboring cities Durham and Chapel Hill, Raleigh helps make up the North Carolina Research Triangle, which is home to some of the country's leading research facilities in the biotech and high-tech industries.
Major employers are the State of North Carolina, General Parts, Inc., Investors Management Corporation, Carolina Power & Light Company, North Carolina Department of Transportation and Progress Energy, Inc.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
Raleigh accommodates a little fewer than 120,700 houses with an occupancy ratio of 93 percent. Out of these, a little more than 58,000 houses are owner-occupied and 54,500 are renter-occupied.
If you like to walk, Raleigh is an excellent place to do it, as most of the restaurants, coffee shops, bars, movie theaters and parks are situated within a short distance from the center of the city.
Some of Raleigh's popular residential neighborhoods include:
- The downtown neighborhoods of City Market, Boylan Heights, Oakwood, Glenwood South, Warehouse District, Capital District, Pilot Mill, and Brooklyn.
- Other neighborhoods near downtown including University Park, Cameron Park, Oberlin, Five Points, Longview, Caraleigh, Mordecai, Ridgewood.
- The nearby towns of Cary, Garner, Wake Forest, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Knightdale, Wendell and Rolesville are some of Raleigh's primary, nearby suburbs and satellite towns.
- Haywood Hall House and Gardens: Built in 1799 by the state's first treasurer, John Haywood, the Haywood Hall House and Gardens features Federal-style architecture and ranks as one of the city's oldest homes. In addition to containing original furnishings and a doll collection, the house is surrounded by the impressive Eliza Haywood Gardens.
- Historic Oak View County Park: Built in the early 1800s, the Historic Oak View County Park features a farmhouse, carriage house, pecan grove, family cemetery, barn and garden. An operational farm for more than 150 years, the property is also home to a cotton museum.
- J.C. Raulston Arboretum: With more than 5,000 varieties of flowers, shrubs, vines and trees, the J.C. Raulston Arboretum features several popular attractions, including a Japanese garden, perennial garden, winter garden and rose garden with more than 200 varieties.
- North Carolina Museum of Art: The state's most popular art museum, the North Carolina Museum of Art is best known for its European and American collections, with works by artists Peter Paul Rubens, Georgia O'Keeffe and Claude Monet, among many others. The museum also houses ceremonial art, sculpture installations and a large, outdoor art park.
- North Carolina Museum of History: Tracing the state's history from the 1600s to the present day, the North Carolina Museum of History houses more than 150,000 artifacts and exhibits illustrating the state's wealth of history, including period dress, vintage weapons and displays honoring regional sports legends.
- North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences: The oldest museum in the state, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences features more than 3,000 live animals, six prehistoric habitat exhibits, an interactive discovery room and a 20-foot waterfall. The museum also hosts the annual Bugfest, which includes bug-related activities, shows, exhibits and even bug tastings.
- North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame: Founded in 1963, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame features a wide variety of sports artifacts. Some of the most famous holdings include Meadowlark Lemon's Harlem Globetrotters basketball uniform and Richard Petty's race car.
- North Carolina State Capitol: With its Greek-Revival architecture, the North Carolina State Capitol building dates to the 1840s, and houses an impressive statue of George Washington. The building served as the home of North Carolina's state government until the late 1880s.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
- Artsplosure: A jazz and art festival, Artsplosure draws thousands to downtown Raleigh every May, with performance stages and a wide variety of food booths. The festival also includes interactive art displays, craft booths and educational exhibits.
- First Night Raleigh: An annual New Year's event, First Night Raleigh blends live music, dramatic performances, food booths and a New Year's countdown. The simultaneous Children's Celebration includes family-friendly activities throughout the event.
- International Festival of Raleigh: Held every September, the International Festival of Raleigh draws participants from more than 40 countries around the world, including Scandinavia, Sri Lanka, Russia, Japan, China, Greece, Korea, Finland, Brazil, Palestine and Turkey. The festival features dramatic, musical and dance performances, as well as competitions, exhibits and ethnic cuisine.
Local sports teams and athletic franchises include the United Soccer League's Carolina Railhawks, the AA minor league Carolina Mudcats, the AAA minor league Durham Bulls and the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, which won the Stanley Cup in 2006.
Undergraduate- and graduate-degree institutions in the greater Raleigh metropolitan area include North Carolina State University, Shaw University, Saint Augustine's College, Wake Technical Community College, Meredith College and Peace College. As a result, the city has an average full-time student population of more than 70,000. Other nearby colleges and universities within 40 miles of Raleigh include Duke University, Campbell University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Raleigh is served by a number of newspapers, notably the large daily The News & Observer, the weekly Independent Weekly, the monthly Carolina Journal, the African American weekly The Carolina Times and the African American twice-weekly The Carolinian. Raleigh is also home to Metro Magazine: From the Triangle to the Coast, serving the greater metropolitan area. As part of the Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville market, the city also receives more than 10 local broadcast television stations and more than 20 AM and FM broadcast radio stations.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Many consider Raleigh's State Capitol building, completed in 1840, to be one of the best-preserved examples of a civic building in Greek Revival-style architecture.
- Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees.
- A 1951 law states that no one may be a professional fortuneteller in North Carolina, unless practiced as an amateur in a school or church.
- According to a 1983 North Carolina law, bingo games cannot last longer than five hours unless they are held at a fair.
- The mere possession of a lottery ticket is illegal in North Carolina and may result in a $2,000 fine, according to an 1834 law, except when it's in connection with a lawful raffle.