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Top Rated Attractions in Raleigh

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The Lincoln Theatre

The Lincoln Theatre is a modest, mid-sized concert venue in downtown Raleigh known for its lineup of live music ranging from national touring bands, local talent, and cover bands. The venue exudes an old school-vibe, and puts a premium on acoustics, sound and stage equipment, and beer over luxuries. Visitors can watch music standing up in front of the stage, or from balcony seating.

The Pour House Music Hall

The Pour House Music Hall is a mid-size music venue located in downtown Raleigh across the street from Moore Square. The venue has a relaxed, rock-meets-grunge atmosphere, and is known as much for its calendar of national acts as it is for local talent showcases. The music hall’s upstairs bar serves a selection of more than two dozen draft beers, and offers concert views, two pool tables, and the hall’s only seating. The Pour House Music Hall is a great place to see live music in an unpretentious setting and enjoy a decent beer.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Founded in 1934, The Sarah P. Duke Gardens offers 55 acres (22 hectares) of world-class gardens in the center of Duke University. More than five miles (eight kilometers) of pathways lead visitors on walks through four sections of beautifully landscaped terraces, gardens, and arboretums. The Duke Gardens host gardening, photography, and natural history classes, and a summer concert series. A cafe and a visitor center are on the grounds. Walking and trolley tours are given four days a week; reservations are recommended.

Museum of Life and Science

The North Carolina Museum of Life & Science offers a number of interactive educational exhibits suitable for children and adults. Visitors can walk through a tornado, turn their movements into sound sculptures, and make contact with one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the American East Coast. The museum also features bear, red wolf, and lemur sanctuaries, and a forested tree house learning environment, which gives views of a landscaped forest from 20 feet (six meters) off the ground.

Duke University Chapel

This chapel built in the center of Duke University in the Collegiate Gothic style was completed in 1932. Its tower soars 210 feet (65 meters) into the sky, and its founder, James B. Duke, felt that its inspirational presence would influence campus music, faith, and learning. Fine ornamentation, stained glass, and four beautifully crafted organs, including a Flentrop, or "Bach's Organ," draw thousands of admirers to the chapel every year. Free, guided tours of the chapel are offered every Sunday after an 11a worship service.

North Carolina Museum of Art

One of the leading art museums of the American South, the North Carolina Museum of Art opened in 1956 as the first in the nation established with public state funds. More than 40 galleries here are home to a permanent collection of paintings, artifacts, and sculptures spanning the history of art from antiquity to the present day. Visitors can see paintings of the European Renaissance, Egyptian funerary artifacts, and contemporary international works of art, among others. An amphitheater hosts outdoor performances, and a museum park features more than a dozen major site-specific works surrounded by forests and fields.

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