14+ things to do in Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh skyline in autumn.
What to do in Raleigh around Thanksgiving | Photo by Curtis Adams via Pexels

The holidays are almost here and if you’re hosting out of town guests in Raleigh, but aren’t sure where to take them or what sights to see, we’ve got plenty of recommendations for you to build the perfect itinerary for your visitors. 

A room at the Origin hotel with a bed and a chair.
Guests can stay at Origin Hotel Raleigh (and stay out of your hair) | Photo via Origin Hotel Raleigh

🏨 Stay

AC Hotel Raleigh Downtown, 9 Glenwood Ave. | $200+ per night

This new Downtown addition has parking, a fitness center, and the perfect place for drinks with the family at rooftop lounge The Willard

The Longleaf Hotel, 300 N. Dawson St. | $100+ per night

This vintage-inspired hotel was once a travelodge in the 1960s. Visitors can enjoy cocktails + snacks at The Longleaf Lounge — plus, AARP members get a discount on rooms. 

Origin Hotel Raleigh, 603 W. Morgan St. | $170+ per night

Rooms in this hotel have a chic and colorful style, plus a pup package can be ordered providing dog beds + bowls for visitors who can’t bear to part with their pet. 

A waffle with blueberries from Union Special.
Who wouldn’t be delighted with Union Special bites like these? | Photo via @unionspecialbread

👓 Sightseeing

Take your visitors to Pullen Park for the perfect family photo — the fall leaves in the fifth oldest amusement park in the US will make for a great backdrop. If you’ve got any art lovers in the group, we always recommend a stop by the NCMA.

🍜 Food + Bev 

Need plans after sunset? Look through the most unique cocktails around Raleigh — speakeasy style bars like The Merchant and The Atlantic Lounge abound. 

As for food — we think the sandwiches at The Morning Times are always crowd-pleasers, and out-of-towners would be dazzled by the made-from-scratch goodies at Union Special. Brunch in Raleigh is an absolute must when we bring staples like biscuits and grits to the table. 

Here’s a quick list of other classic Raleigh eats: Beasley’s Chicken and Honey, Death and Taxes, Brewery Bhavana, and Lucettegrace.