24 Hours in Raleigh: A Guide for Even the Busiest Business Travelers
Raleigh is the small capital city of North Carolina that is rapidly expanding as new companies and startups are opening their doors all around the triangle area. The small downtown district of Raleigh is definitely walkable and easy to get around. Even with a busy schedule, Raleigh offers plenty of activities for every type of visitor, including business travelers, with a blossoming food scene, countless breweries and a love for arts that flows into the streets.
Get Downtown from the RDU Airport
The Raleigh Durham International Airport is a half an hour drive from Downtown Raleigh. And business travelers rejoice – you can catch a ride from Uber or Lyft for under $25. If you have time to spare or you’re traveling light, you can also take the bus from terminal 2 (zone 14) towards Raleigh and it will drop you off at the GoRaleigh Station Downtown. The bus is cheaper, but can take close to an hour to reach downtown with the many local stops.
Check In to Your Hotel
We love staying at the Residence Inn by Marriott Raleigh Downtown, conveniently located next to the convention center and close to the main attractions in Raleigh. The hotel offers free high-speed internet, a delicious breakfast, and is pet-friendly. Hotels in Raleigh are not as expensive as in other major cities across the country but it is always a good plan to book your stay ahead of time.
Sip on Cocktails with a View
At the end of the day, head to the top of the Holiday Inn tower in downtown Raleigh for a drink with a view. The bar in the top floor of the hotel is open to the public and offers sweeping panoramic view of the city. It is the best place to watch the sun set over the city.
Take Advantage of the Free Museums
One great part about Raleigh is that they have so many museums that have free admissions to keep you entertained and learning something new. Our favorite museums are the Science Museum and the History Museum. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has a wide range of collections spanning geology, flora, fauna, and even some live animals.
The North Carolina Museum of History looks further into the history of the greater North Carolina region. This museum is also home to the The N.C. Sports Hall of Fame for any sports buffs out there.
Tour the Historic Capitol Building
Serving as the state capital since 1792, Raleigh is full of political history. Make your way to the North Carolina State Capitol for a self guided tour of this architectural marvel, which actually now only serves as offices for the Governor.
This means many of the rooms including the House and Senate Chambers remain untouched along with the former State Library Room and State Geologist’s Office displayed as they would have looked in the 1850s.
Go Mural Chasing
Many do not know, but Raleigh is overflowing with murals painted onto the side of buildings, used as advertising, and even on several of the city sidewalks. The best part about chasing murals in Raleigh is that you can set aside time in your day to find the best works of art, or just spot a few while making your way through the city on business.