Things To Do in Downtown Raleigh

RaleighMag has some cool ideas to help you organize some activities in town.

I like the Hillsborough Street tour, Glenwood South, and Fayetteville Street tours.


It’s interesting how The Warehouse District gets no real billing in the categories, though some of its venues are featured.


Because theirs nothing to do in Raleigh this city is almost designed to raise family it needs to be more than that. There needs to be more to do, where people can have fun, Raleigh is just so boring. Especially for young people, there needs to be more for them, I don’t find talking to my neighbor or reading a book entertaining.

What specific things do young people like to do that we are lacking?


When I think back on Atlanta (I’d think @Yimbyforlife would consider that a fun city, right?), really the only thing I miss is the sports scene. We have just about everything else. I miss the Beltline of course but we still have the concentrated entertainment of Glenwood South, we have the large park, we have plenty of breweries etc. Some more shopping downtown would be nice, but is that something young people even care about?

If I could add one particular development from Atlanta to downtown Raleigh it’d be a mix of the Interlock, Ponce and Atlantic Station.

Mix of boutique and big box stores, lots of lofts, condos, shopping, dining, movies, put shack.


Shop at a Gucci store….

Speaking just for myself when I was young, I loved shopping for designer leather goods, handbags, and clothing…and then eating at a chain steakhouse with a dress code.


To build on the last sentence, it’s that youthful, buzzy neighborhood to just hang out in. Glenwood is more of a strip than a neighborhood and the Warehouse District is kind of halfway there. Both of them are growing into it, though!

Basically, it’s the shopping and stuff to do and places to just be a group in public, interlaced with the eating and drinking, without the drive-in mall vibe of North Hills where you feel like a mallcop would teleport in if you were the least bit silly.

Honestly, here’s where the lack of a waterway does come into play, because parks, piers and promenades along water are a quick cheat code to creating that vibe. We have to work harder.

That’s my answer though, not YFL’s.


5 years from now, I think the Iron Works District could start to morph into a good feeling neighborhood as well.


What seems to be happening is that retailers have confidence in auto-oriented developments, but not in emerging walkable neighborhoods in downtown. At some point, the foot traffic is going to get to a tipping point, and the good news is that more housing and foot traffic is on its way along downtown’s west side corridor from South St. to Peace St.


Probably the most foot traffic I’ve seen in the Warehouse District last night with all the people in town for Dreamville. I think we’re getting close to that point. RUS Bus is going to be huge. I really like the direction that area of Downtown is headed.


They should move Adventure Landing downtown.

As someone not young (late 30s), what I actually want is a strip of interesting localish retail (which is currently scattered throughout the entire downtown) mixed with some regular stores and a few bars and restaurants, all concentrated in this strip. Some string lights, plants, murals, kiosks, a couple of local artists or musicians most days. Possibly closed to cars. Basically somewhere to “go” downtown as a destination before branching off to other areas, and somewhat similar to the downtown festivals but on a permanent, semi-brick and mortar basis. Kind of like a mix of Cameron Village with Fayetteville St on First Friday with Larimer Square in Denver.

How do we get this, and where does it go? No idea. Maybe a ton of government grants and subsidies and engineering could turn Fayetteville St into this. If it was easy, it would’ve been done already.


I think that if NC passes the sports betting, it would be nice to have a couple large sports books downtown with large screens to watch the games. Similar to the new sports restaurant coming to Fenton in Cary.


Well, speaking for the young people here, there could be yes lots of high-end stores, yes high end restaurants, there could be a strip of bars in downtown. There could be a permanent Ferris wheel I know Dreamville is doing it, something like that could be permanent for Dix park along with other amusement attractions. The city should forge a contract with an theme park developer to do that and I mean it wouldn’t take over all of Dix Park I’ll be a older version of Dix Park.

Sounds like Church St in Burlington VT.


What do you find entertaining?

I think a permanent ferris wheel could be good. Once Dorothea Dix gets finished/worked, I think we can definitely put it there. I think Dorothea Dix has good promise.

Downtown does need a shopping area. It could include high end stores, but it really needs a downtown shopping district. The bar scene/nightlife is decent but not every young person drinks.


I think CAM, ArtSpace and VAE and the few art galleries add some variety to the things to do downtown. Always fun to check out some art.


I’m all about amusement parks, big or small, for this area. Ferris wheel at Dix would be great! Shopping and stuff for people who don’t drink is also cool. But why does everything need to be high end in your opinion? Young people don’t have tons of money, and the demographic in this area doesn’t fit well with supporting ultra high end stores like Gucci or whatever. This isn’t Charlotte or Atlanta or NYC, which is fine. Putting in stores with no customer base doesn’t help anyone. I feel like you think of this as a status symbol, but the people here who could spend the money on an Armani suit probably wear pink polo shirts. It just doesn’t seem like the right fit. I completely agree with you that downtown needs more retail and cool places. But I think they need to fit the people that actually live here to be successful.


We can keep adding new museums and expand old ones. CAM is small, with a wealthy donor maybe expand it into a pretty big museum.

Personal I would like to see more interesting, niche museums. I would like to start a Miniture Model Museum. Super nerdy but really cool to learn history with scaled down models of ships, planes, tanks, etc. I was at a naval museum that had thousands of model ships and it was cool.

A car museum too.