Raleigh, North Carolina is a beautiful city, embracing arts and culture, food, history and the outdoors. It’s also an easy drive from several other cities. That makes it a great area to make your home base or a great area to visit for a day or two while you’re staying in a nearby community. Here’s a guide on what to do and where to park your RV in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Where To Stay
It’s basic, but the North Carolina State Fairgrounds is your best bet for camping in an RV if your focus is a visit to Raleigh. It’s a convenient location for visiting downtown, the Art Museum, the State Park, and more. There isn’t much besides water, sewer, and electric, but there are showers on-site and a fishing pond. There’s also free Wi-Fi and 24-hour security. There are also several campgrounds in neighboring cities or towns, including Holly Point Campground in a nearby state park.
What To Do
You’ll want to spend at least a day or two exploring downtown Raleigh. If you enjoy museums, I recommend at least two days for your visit, and you can easily spend more time there as well. There are great restaurants – many with live music – and concert venues hosting local and national acts.
What To See
What’s great about Raleigh is how there are so many free things to check out! Consider a visit to Pullen Park, the first public park in North Carolina. It’s also the fifth oldest amusement park, offers shows and classes, and it’s free to visit, although the activities generally have a small fee attached. Uber and Lyft are reliable if you don’t have a smaller vehicle to navigate the downtown area.
The North Carolina Museum of History is free, minus occasional special exhibits, with free parking on the weekends. Its offerings are evolving and extensive, so you could spend a day there if you had the time.
The most popular place to visit in Raleigh is the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. This large two-story building requires at least a few hours, and it’s easy to spend your entire day here. It’s the “largest museum of its kind in the Southeast” and offers an incredible assortment of programs and exhibits, including a butterfly enclosure. Pro Tip: If you’re up for a long day, this museum is across the street from the Museum of History, so you can park once and visit both. Also, the cafe here is nice and surprisingly inexpensive, although you should try to avoid peak lunch hour to avoid the crowds.
Where To Eat
There are lots of wonderful places to eat in Raleigh! If you’re looking for a great spot downtown, I highly recommend Bida Manda. It’s an absolutely delicious Laotion Restaurant, which was a new cuisine for me. Enjoy delicious soups, curries, stir-fries and more, with lots of options for gluten-free and vegan diners and some tasty desserts too. Or if you prefer, save room for dessert and walk over to Treat, an adorable ice cream shop across the road with delicious local ice cream and some creative sundaes on the menu.
As you can see, this is just the tip of the iceberg in a city that feels warm, welcoming, and full of life. If you’re ready to book a trip and need an RV, head here. If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy this guide to planning an RV road trip.
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