Wild Ideas for Raleigh

Raleigh is an amazing city. Our city. We’re on every list in every publication. That said, I think we’re all a bit short on answers when our out-of-town visitors ask what there is to do here. We need activities, ideally close to the city core. Dix is coming, but we need new ideas. Throw down some ideas. Art, sports, whatever. Meow Wolf, Tokyo Go Karts…go wild. We are a creative city, let’s do it.


Remove the speed limit on Wade Avenue and advertise it as the world’s first trackless rollercoaster.


I already do that. Just ask my terrified passengers!

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I will verify this. (Extra characters)


We’re not that exciting, I would be nice to see an amusement and not go to far.

That’s the idea though. What could we do to change that?

There’s cities with far less charm, natural features, or worse weather than ours that figure out a way to bring people in (ahem, Vegas).

I’ll throw a few out there… Warning: these assume money is not an object.

  • A Durham to Raleigh maglev the speed of Shanghais - 6 minutes from DT to DT. The speed alone would make it a destination attraction.

  • A gorgeous beach resort and day club at a lake that has technology to clean the water of the lake.

  • A world class casino, resort and event space where PNC is located if we’re going to keep the arena there.

  • A giant city defining art structure (think Eifel Tower or St Louis Arc) that is symbolic of NC being the most military friendly state in the country.


I’d be for a casino at PNC. NC has good casino laws right?

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I would really love for the triangle to lead the way in new transportation solutions. Quick train/monorail (lol) to Durham as @Brandonq mentions would be neat (connecting Raleigh [tech] with Charlotte [money] in an efficient [less time than it takes to drive] manner would benefit the whole state), Dylan needs deserves a gondola from downtown to Dix, let’s get those autonomous shuttles from ncsu circulating on popular routes all around the city, 540 is already a test road for self driving vehicles, connect all those greenways to make a world class unpowered commute/transportation experience. Make being here and getting around a breeze.


How about buildings with fun elements mixed in. Could even retrofit existing buildings. I’m thinking things like:

  • Rock climbing wall right on the outside of the building with pulleys for ropes at the roof.

  • pick one of the empty lots and make a swimming pool for water slides to go into. Water slides start from carious buildings and go over roads, to other buildings and into the pool.

  • or leave the water out do it with regular slides for year round use.

  • roof top mini golf

  • Sky bridge and a bungy jump from it.


I think that it would be cool to blanket downtown with motion sensors that react at night to the amount of activity and create some sort of light movement. In effect, the people become part of a daily art installation that’s visible from space. Imagine flying into RDU and seeing this (literally) sparkling city below!


I recommend a Gucci store. The millionaires will flock to Raleigh and we will be great again / for the first time.


Yes he does! C’mon Raleigh!


I would love our own version of Atlanta’s Beltline. I want it go to through Smoky Hollow Park, and have those buildings on the west side turn into restaurants and bars that open onto the greenway. And then have it run all the way up to connect Bowstring and Lynnwood somehow so you can actually walk between them. Maybe even connect somewhere through to North Hills. To the South it would be a defined greenway all the way to Dix.

I’m envisioning an urban greenway like the Beltline, connected to a bunch of breweries and bars like in Asheville. Make Raleigh a destination for weekend trips and bachelor/bachelorette parties and such.


You know that’s right also add Zara to the list too.

I know this is wild, but bear with me…

  1. Implementation of the N Person street roundabouts

  2. A pedestrian-friendly bridge on Atlantic Ave connecting N Person/Wake Forest with Raleigh Iron Works (RIW)

  3. A pedestrian bridge over Atlantic connecting RIW with Dock 1053

  4. Sidewalks along Whitaker Mill from Dock 1053 to East End Market

  5. Multiple pedestrian bridges/tunnels reconnecting the neighborhoods severed by Capital Blvd. Specifically, one connecting Smokey Hollow Park with Seaboard Station

…see a trend?


How about you run for City Council?


Paint the entire greenway system and exceptionally maintain them. Like, over-the-top color across every inch of the pavement.

Open the nation’s first (guessing here, need to confirm) coffee/bar on the greenway, accessible ONLY by bike/scooter/walking/canoe(?). No parking nearby. (seriously it needs to be a bit secluded)


I think it would be cool to have a coffee bar on the greenway, but it would likely need to be subsidized/guaranteed by the city since business owners would be nervous about making it financially work!
Also, if we are going to have a coffee bar on the greenways, then we are going to need toilets too. Just saying. :poop:


That’s going to be an awfully slick greenway for cyclist, especially when wet.


I don’t know about being short on answers. Yeah it’s the same to us, but the same things are often listed in a lot of places. In saying that, some “wild ideas” include:

  • Creating a kayaking river from Lake Crabtree all the way down to the Neuse River. It’s a pretty wild idea. Not sure on feasability. With DTR about 3 miles to Atlantic/Crabtree Creek or 4 miles to New Bern, this could be something within Raleigh’s immediate area.
  • Commercialization of one of Raleigh’s Lakes. Although not in Raleigh, Lake Crabtree would probably be the best lake for something close-ish. I would like to see a boardwalk over the lakes including shops. It will definitely be touristy (think Myrle Beach Broadway at the Beach). I really like the way it was lit up during Christmas.
  • I would love a park to be created at 5201 and 5301 Homewood Banks Dr (Existing plans call for apartments). You could get some good views of NH from this location.
  • Restaurants at NCMA and other lakes. Not talking about a huge commercialization here, but a few restaurants/cafes or food trucks would be nice.
  • Downtown car-free only shopping center. It happens a lot in Europe, why can’t we get that here? Even North Hills has roads through it. I hate being there during lunch times with all the honking. (Link to my post about Groningen 2023; About the one in Germany in 2021).