Raleigh-Durham is the centerpiece of the Research Triangle, an area characterized by the three major research universities in North Carolina: Duke University, North Carolina State, and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. This region is home to a number of major tech corporations such as Cisco, Sony, and Lenovo. The Research Triangle Park has historically attracted many corporations of various industries including but not limited to semiconductor, staffing, cyber security, and information technology.
Downtown Raleigh at night
A region with such an incredible reputation for technology and research is bound to have amazing (and numerous) opportunities for learning. With the inventor of the barcode residing in Raleigh and the creator of LED lighting living in Durham, this area has oodles of intellect to share. It’s even known as the Smithsonian of the South due to its abundance of free public museums. Creep through the Dinosaur Trail exhibited in the Durham’s Museum of Life and Science to experience the Late Cretaceous Period, or learn about North Carolina’s role in the Apollo 11 moon landing in the North Carolina Museum of History’s Space Race exhibit.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh
The Research Triangle may be an excellent destination for families of curious, knowledge-hungry kids, but for those who are just plain old hungry for delicious food or are looking to simply wind down, the various downtown taverns and breweries also offer a variety of culinary and distillery options. From traditional southern comforts like the classic N.C. pork barbeque to more modern delights such as macaroni au gratin (one of the most requested dishes from James Beard award-winning local chef, Ashley Christensen), these dishes will satisfy your most indulgent cravings. Beat the heat with a craft beer from a local brewery, or choose any one of the many family-friendly restaurants positioned in the heart of the city.
A beer from Raleigh Brewing Company
However, if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the downtown area, there are plenty of opportunities to appreciate North Carolina’s famous forests. With 9,000 acres of parkland and around 1,300 acres of water, Raleigh has rightfully earned its name as the “City of Oaks”. This abundance of wildlife and greenery makes this region the perfect getaway for those who want to enjoy nature, but it also has much more to offer. Its ideal location not only allows for easy access to beautiful parks, but it also is relatively close to gorgeous beaches as well. If you’re itching to see some water and are willing to drive, the Wrightsville Beach is a must on your itinerary.
Yates Grist Mill
Getting there: Through early August, Southwest Airlines has a weekly nonstop flight from SJC to Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) and United, Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines offer quick and easy one-stop connections year-round. For a quick overview of airline routes and connections from SJC, check out our Route Mapper: https://www.flysanjose.com/timetables.
From highly respected universities and engaging museums to good food and nature, Raleigh, Durham and their surroundings offer an incredibly diverse set of attractions. Make your next trip south full of learning, fun, and discovery.