You can have a lot of fun if you’re going to spend one day in Raleigh.
Raleigh is a large city with a lot of things to do, and even though you can spend a lot of time in the city without getting bored, it’s also fun to explore the city if you only have a day. In 24 hours, you can see the highlights, visit great museums, have delicious food, and do much more!
If you’re going to visit Raleigh for a day, but you’re not sure what to do, I got you covered with this itinerary! With this itinerary, you’ll have a very fun time with landmarks, art, food, and more.
How To Get Around Raleigh
Getting around Raleigh is easy to do by car or by taxi, and you can get everywhere in a quick way.
When you are in downtown Raleigh, you can also walk to many places. I made sure to put places that are near each other in the city, next to each other in this itinerary as well.
Another way to get around the city is by bus. There are several bus lines in the city, some of which are free. For example, the R-Line is a free bus in downtown Raleigh that connects many sights, restaurants, and other interesting places.
Itinerary for One Day in Raleigh
Have Breakfast at The Morning Times
Let’s start this day by getting breakfast! There are many great breakfast spots in Raleigh where you can get delicious food at the start of your day.
One of these is The Morning Times. This is also a great place because of its location, which is near the next spot of this itinerary.
The Morning Times is a cafe with a cozy atmosphere that was founded in 2006. It has an all-day breakfast menu that includes lots of different dishes.
For example, you can get the breakfast croissant. This is a croissant sandwich that comes with cheddar cheese and scrambled eggs.
The breakfast burrito is another dish that is great to have in the morning. This is a burrito with black beans, scrambled eggs, house-made salsa, sour cream, and other ingredients.
You can also get Counter Culture Coffee at this cafe.
Address: 10 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601
Visit the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the North Carolina Museum of History
After getting breakfast, I recommend going to two of the best museums in Raleigh.
One of these is the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, which is the oldest museum in the state and a must-visit if you’re a day in Raleigh.
At this museum, you can see interesting interactive exhibits through which you can learn about science and the nature of the state.
For example, you can learn about North Carolina during prehistoric times through an exhibit with fossils. Going to this museum is also one of the most fun things to do with kids in Raleigh.
Close to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, you can find the North Carolina Museum of History. Visiting the North Carolina Museum of History is one of the best things to do in Raleigh. This is a place where you can learn about the history and culture of North Carolina.
The exhibits that you can find at this museum all relate to a specific part of the history of the state. For example, there’s one exhibit where you can learn about a 1920s drugstore.
The North Carolina Museum of History is also a great museum to learn about the history of sports in the state, as you can find the NC Sports Hall of Fame at the museum. At this museum, there are more than 200 items related to sports.
By seeing both the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the North Carolina Museum of History, you can learn a lot about the state in one morning.
Address: 11 W Jones St, Raleigh, NC 27601 and 5 E Edenton St, Raleigh, NC 27601
See the North Carolina State Capitol
Next to the North Carolina Museum of History, you can also find the North Carolina State Capitol.
This is the state’s capitol building, which has been in use since the year 1840.
In the past, the building housed all branches of the government of North Carolina, but over the years, some parts of the government moved to other buildings.
The capitol building is a historic building with a Greek Revival style that is a National Historic Landmark.
Currently, the building is being renovated, which means that tours of the building are not possible. For now, you can only see the beautiful, historic exterior of the building. However, in the future, there will be tours possible again.
Address: 1 E Edenton St, Raleigh, NC 27601
Have Lunch at the Transfer Co. Food Hall
The Transfer Co. Food Hall is a food hall in Raleigh’s downtown where you can have a delicious lunch.
The food hall is housed in the historic Carolina Coach Garage and Shops, which is a large renovated warehouse. Nowadays, you can find many vendors inside this space that serve delicious food.
Each vendor has different food, which means that the food hall has something for everyone’s liking. From bagels to empanadas to burgers, there’s a large variety of food available at the Transfer Co. Food Hall.
One of the vendors that you can find here, which sells delicious food, is “Dank Burrito”. You can get great tacos, burritos, and bowls here.
Another vendor offering great food for lunch is “Benchwarmers Bagels”. You can get all kinds of delicious wood-fired bagel sandwiches and coffee drinks from this vendor.
Address: 500 E Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601
Go on a Shopping Spree at the Shops at Village District
After lunch, you can go to Shops at Village District to shop. This is an open-air shopping center in Raleigh where you can find lots of different stores.
Many of the stores that you can find here are locally and family-owned stores, and there are also many well-known national retailers at this shopping center. Because of the large number of stores, there are stores for everyone’s liking.
In addition to that, the shopping center is home to lots of restaurants. Some of the best restaurants that you can find here are The Flying Biscuit Cafe, Cafe Carolina and Bakery, and CAVA.
See the Memorial Belltower
To the south of the Shops at Village District, you can find the Memorial Belltower, which is one of the most famous landmarks in the city and a must-see if you’re one day in Raleigh.
The Memorial Belltower is a tower that is located on Henry Square, which is part of the campus of North Carolina State University.
The bell tower has a height of 115 feet and is made from granite from Mount Airy.
The history of the Memorial Belltower dates back to the year 1937, and it was made as a memorial to honor the alumni of North Carolina State University who were killed in World War I. The bell tower now serves as a memorial to all students and alumni of the university who gave their lives for the country.
Besides that, the Memorial Belltower is central to many events of the university.
Address: 2011 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607
Visit the Gregg Museum of Art & Design
The Gregg Museum of Art & Design is an art museum of North Carolina State University that is also located on the campus of the university. So after seeing the Memorial Belltower, it is easy to go here
The Gregg Museum of Art & Design has a large and diverse collection of more than 50,000 objects from all across the world and from many periods in time. From paintings to sculptures to photos, there’s much to see at the museum.
The Gregg Museum of Art & Design also has 6 new exhibitions each year, which include traveling exhibitions from other museums.
Visiting the museum is one of the best free things to do in Raleigh, as the museum has no admission fee.
There might also be an event that you can attend when you are visiting, as lots of different events take place at the museum, such as lectures and film screenings.
Address: 1903 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607
Have Dinner in Downtown Raleigh
There are many restaurants in Raleigh where you can have delicious food for dinner. Many of these are located in downtown Raleigh, so I recommend going there.
From Italian restaurants to Mexican restaurants to burger joints, there are lots of great restaurants.
One restaurant that is great if you want to have Italian food is Vic’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria. This is a local, family-owned restaurant where you can get authentic Italian cuisine and New York-style pizza.
A great place for Mexican food in Raleigh is the El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant, which is a restaurant on South Blount Street where you can get authentic Mexican dishes.
Big Ed’s Restaurant is a great restaurant to visit too. This is one of the best places to get a burger in Raleigh and there are three types of burgers to choose from. In addition to that, there are lots of other food items.
Attend a Performance at the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts
The Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts is a performing arts complex in Raleigh that houses four different venues. It’s perfect if you’re looking for things to do at night in Raleigh. Lots of performances take place at these four venues, so when you want to see a show at the end of your one day in Raleigh, this is a great place to go.
The main venue of the complex, and one of the best performing arts theaters in Raleigh, is the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. This is the largest venue of the four and has more than 2,300 seats.
The Raleigh Memorial Auditorium dates back to the year 1932, and in the past lots of famous artists performed here. You can attend dance performances musicals, and other types of shows here.
Another venue is the Meymandi Concert Hall. This concert hall is the home of the North Carolina Symphony and it is a great place for classical music.
The A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater is another venue that you can find here. At this place, there are concerts, dance shows, and opera performances.
The smallest of the four venues is the Kennedy Theatre. You can often enjoy local theater productions and other types of shows at this venue.
Address: 2 E South St, Raleigh, NC 27601
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24 Hours in Raleigh Tips
With this itinerary, you can have a great time if you’re going to visit Raleigh for a day. However, I recommend adjusting the itinerary when there’s an event in the city, such as a festival, so you can attend that event as well.
I also recommend choosing where to have dinner in advance, so you can reserve a table for your busy day in the city. In this article, I mentioned a few great places to have dinner in downtown Raleigh. If you want to make sure you can have dinner at one of those places during your 24 hours, I recommend making an advanced reservation, as some of them are very popular.
One Day in Raleigh Map
Thanks for reading my itinerary for one day in Raleigh. Have fun exploring the city!