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.
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.
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.
Hidden away from the crowded cacophony of the city life, William B. Umstead State Park stretches gloriously across 5579-acres (2257-hectare) crossing the border of Raleigh and spilling onto Cary and Durham. Endowed with tranquil lakes, picturesque pathways and dense drapes of forests, William B. Umstead State Park is a real boon for city-dwellers. An absolute delight for outdoor enthusiasts, numerous trails cut their way through the park's pristine span, offering off-road bicycling opportunities along with hiking and additional trails are also reserved for equestrians. There are numerous picnic spots scattered across the park and there are plenty of and campsites and cabins for those who wish to lodge overnight. A visitor center organizes a series of interactive exhibits, and park rangers regularly scheduled educational programs.
Pull up a bench and revel in nature's beauty in this eight-acre (three-hectare) garden wonderland. This outdoor laboratory for the Department of Horticulture at North Carolina State University is a delight for visitors and locals alike. Sit in the shade of trees from over 50 different countries, wander down the 450-foot (137-meter) long mosaic of the Perennial Garden, or bring a good book and relax in the Reading Garden. The Victorian gazebo in the Klein-Pringle White Garden is a popular choice for local brides and the Japanese and Paradise gardens are must-sees.
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.
Frankie’s is an amusement park designed for children and game-minded adults. Just about every amusement park activity is available here: flight simulators, bumper boats, ropes courses, rides, laser tag, go-karts, arcades, batting cages, and more. If that doesn’t sound fun enough, rumor has it that Frankie’s has the best mini golf in Raleigh. Please note that Frankie’s does not charge general admission. Rather, guests pay for each activity.
Lake Lynn Park is an impressively-equipped city park that offers visitors 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) of trails around a greenway great for walking, cycling, or running. On the grounds there are also batting cages, a playground, four tennis courts, two bocce courts, and a baseball field. The Lake Lynn Community Center on the north side of the park has basketball courts, meeting rooms, a dance studio, and an art room. Lake Lynn Park is a great place to enjoy a stroll, or to take advantage of first-rate outdoor amenities in a serene setting.
Formerly known as the RBC Center, PNC Arena is an indoor, multi-surface, 20,000-seat arena used primarily to host basketball and hockey matches, and concerts. Opened in 1999, the arena is home to the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes and the North Carolina State University men's basketball team. Amenities include 75 luxury suites, 2,000 club seats, and restaurants. The arena also hosts ice shows, circuses, corporate meetings, and trade shows.
Durham Bulls Athletic Park, or DPAB, is a 10,000-seat baseball stadium in downtown Raleigh. Opened in 1995, the park is home to the Durham Bulls, a minor league affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays, and the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Central Eagles college baseball teams. The park’s fully brick exterior, giant “Blue Monster” wall, and mechanical snorting bull in left field make the stadium a local point of pride, and a place where watching baseball is a pleasure. The stadium is in part a reinvention of the original Athletic Park, which was made famous in the film, Bull Durham.