Holiday itinerary for Raleigh, NC

A holiday guide to must-see attractions, restaurants, and shows for out-of-town guests.


The North Carolina State Capitol decorated for the holidays.

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The holidays are here and if you’re hosting out-of-town guests, it’s time to step into the role of “official Raleigh tour guide.” We’ve got plenty of recommendations for you to build the perfect itinerary for your visitors and show your folks around like a total pro.


Is it even a trip to the Smithsonian of the South without seeing the People’s Collection at the NCMA? Let the kids — or grandkidsrun around and explore the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, and don’t miss The Power of Women in Country Music exhibit at the NC Museum of History. And if there are any history buffs in the group, head to the Executive Mansion or State Capitol.

Eat and drink

Get ready to get your grub on because we’ve got plenty of articles to help you navigate the local food scene. You can’t miss these Raleigh brunch restaurants that are a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Our personal picks include brunch at Relish and dinner at Mandolin. Don’t forget to satisfy your holiday sweet tooth at The Cupcake Shoppe.

Fans and a player celebrating at a Carolina Hurricanes hockey game.

Caniacs are known as the “loudest fans in hockey.”

Photo by Scott Cunningham


Temps this time of year can get pretty low, so spend a day exploring one of these Raleigh indoor activities to stay warm. Catch a performance of The Nutcracker at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and be sure to snap the perfect family photo in front of the decorated holiday tree out front. And if you’ve got any sports fans in the group, here is the Carolina Hurricanes’ winter home game schedule.


If your visitors aren’t planning to crash with you, here are a few places to stay:

Roger’s Cottage, Historic Prince Hall District | Price
This entire bungalow resides in the heart of downtown, features 2 beds and 1 bath, and has charming historic features.

The Longleaf Hotel, 300 N. Dawson St. | Price
This hotel is a modern gem that boasts a not-so-typical lounge with Southern hospitality, luxury bedding, a stocked fridge, and complimentary coffee from Counter Culture.

Guest House Raleigh, 420 S. Bloodworth St. | Price
Be their guest at this intimate eight-room boutique inn downtown that includes a historic suite, a skyline suite with a view, an in-room breakfast, and contactless self check-in.

The fun doesn’t stop there… Be sure to send your visitors the link to our events page in advance to get a feel for what they’ll want to see and do while in town.

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