Visiting Downtown Raleigh for the first time? First things first – WELCOME! You will definitely notice that the people of Downtown Raleigh are incredibly friendly and helpful.

If you have a question or feel lost, do not be afraid to ask a local for assistance. We hope you will find this post helpful in navigating through your first day in Downtown Raleigh.

Here are 5 tips from our experts:

Getting Around

Some people find driving around Downtown Raleigh challenging. If you plan on spending the whole day downtown, we highly recommend parking in one of the decks. It costs $7-$12 depending on the deck, which is relatively cheap compared to other cities. Downtown Raleigh is walkable, but if you get tired, you can always take the R-Line! The R-Line is a FREE circular bus service with convenient stops all around the city. It runs throughout the day and most evenings. Download a copy of the route here to better plan your day.

Get Your Shopping Done Early

Downtown Raleigh is home to many awesome shops including Stitch (purses and accessories by Holly Aiken), Deco (local products) and Artspace. Many of these places close early in the evenings, around 6pm or 7pm. If you want to fully experience Downtown Raleigh retail, be sure to make plans to get to these awesome shops during the day!

Schedule a Guided Tour

Discover Raleigh with a guide that really knows Raleigh’s history! Tobacco Road Tours offers sightseeing tours, historical tours, ghost tours and food tours. For a unique twist on a city tour, check out Triangle Glides Tikke Tours. Take in the sights of Downtown Raleigh on a three-wheeled light electric vehicle!

Try some real NC BBQ

When you think of great BBQ spots, many people probably think of those small, homey restaurants out in the country. While those places most certainly serve up authentic NC BBQ, you can also get it in Downtown Raleigh at Clyde Cooper’s BBQ. Clyde Cooper’s has been around for over 75 years and is a local favorite.Grab a chopped BBQ tray with slaw and hushpuppies for lunch or an early dinner.

Take a Breather in Downtown Raleigh’s Green Spaces

Sure, you are spending the day in the city, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some greenery! Take a breather in Nash Square, which is home to some of Raleigh’s most beautiful trees and the Fallen Firefighters Memorial. Other green spaces in Downtown Raleigh include Deco’s Parklet and Moore Square.

Follow these tips, and you will have a fantastic first day in Downtown Raleigh! We hope you love it as much as we do. Also, we are always interested in first impressions of our beloved city and would love any and all feedback. Please be sure to hit us up on Twitter @919BlogNC or visit our Facebook page at and let us know! We would love to hear from ya.

This post was created in collaboration with the Downtown Raleigh Blog editorial team and 919 Blog contributor Amy Howard for exclusive digital publication via TBN