RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA, U.S.A. Being named America’s number one city to live in, Raleigh is a great place to visit and, of course, live. By visiting the capital of North Carolina, you will be able to experience art, museums, and shopping.

Raleigh Triangle Park, also known as Greater Raleigh, has a lot of art and has been referred to as the “Smithsonian of the South.” There are about 77 different places in Raleigh to enjoy both performing and visual arts.

Amplified Art is located in downtown Raleigh and is a great place to go to see art and music combined. It is also a great place to shop for art as well as hand printed apparel. You can find more about the company here, such as the location and their business hours. If you would like to see some of the artwork and photos from previous events, click here.

Another great place for art is Artspace, which has exhibitions, classes, and events. Some of the events include free lectures and demonstrations where a guest speaker goes and discusses their art and other projects they are working on. Another popular event is First Friday where on the first Friday of every month studios and galleries stay open late and provide live music and refreshments. These events are free and are open to the public. Visit the website here for more information.

Check out the other art centers in Raleigh by visiting this link.

In addition to a great art scene, the best selection of museums in North Carolina are in Raleigh. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, and the Contemporary Arts Museum  are great choices that all offer something different.

The Museum of Natural Sciences has a 3D theater, four floors of exhibits, live animals, nature scenes, and many programs and events. All of this makes it the “largest museum of its kind in the Southeast.” They also have a museum store where you can purchase clothing, art, books, and other assorted items. Check here for more information about the museum and events.

If you are a sports fan then you should visit the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. The museum is 3,000 square feet and is located on the third floor of the N.C Museum of History. In addition to the exhibits dedicated to excellence in sports, they have a memorabilia auction of autographed items. Admission is free! The hours are Monday-Saturday 9AM-5PM and Sunday noon to 5PM. You can visit the official website here .
If you didn’t get your art fix yet, head on over to the CAM (Contemporary Arts Museum). They have exhibitions and always have events going on, which you can see here. Their hours are Mon, Wed-Fri 11AM-6:30 PM; and Sat-Sun 12PM-5AM.

Another great feature of Raleigh is the shopping! Crabtree Valley Mall is a two story mall with over 220 stores, making it the largest mall in the Triangle. The mall also has many dining choices, from a food court to restaurants such as P.F Chang’s China Bistro, which is a great trendy choice, and the Cheesecake Factory, which has over 200 items to suit everyone’s tastes. Of course, this place is famous for its endless varieties of cheesecake: Reese’s, caramel, Snickers, peppermint, pumpkin, key lime, blueberry, white chocolate, and many more. As far as shopping goes in the mall, there is more than 1,000,000 square feet filled with stores for your perusal. Belks, Sears, and Macy’s are the three big anchor stores. Forever 21, H&M, and Wet Seal are popular stores for shopping as well as The Body Shop, which has body and hair products for beautiful skin and hair, Teavana, which is a great store for tea lovers, and Earthbound Trading Co., which is  a store that has really neat handmade art, jewelry, clothing, and more. For more information and for hours of operation, you can visit the website for Crabtree Mall here.