Local News:

Raleigh police investigate homicide
09/30/2014 09:06 PM
Shooting Night A woman was shot and killed on the 3500 block of Limber Lane Tuesday night.

Pro-gun group to challenge state fair gun ban
09/30/2014 07:31 PM
2014 N.C. State FairDeep-fried anything may be allowed at the N.C. State Fair, but guns are not, and now a pro-gun group plans to sue the state to allow those with concealed-carry permits to bring their weapons onto the state fairgrounds.

Larceny call unveils family-run sex trafficking ring
09/30/2014 03:45 PM
Oyarmma and Ashley RobinsonA larceny call at a Raleigh hotel led detectives to a family-run, multi-state human sex trafficking operation that was allegedly run by someone in federal custody, according to search warrants returned Tuesday.

Raleigh boy simplifies smartwatch navigation
09/30/2014 03:41 PM
Comb720 Raleigh's Davis Barrow thinks his smartwatch design will improve upon the interfaces available from Apple and Android.

Johnston's targeted programs reduce teen traffic fatalities
09/30/2014 03:41 PM
Johnston County Teen Drivers programAfter 11 teens died in crashes in Johnston County in 2007, parents and school officials took action, creating various programs to better train teen drivers. Weather

Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Demolition Taking Place, Making Room For The Gramercy Apartments
09/30/2014 10:55 PM
A project that has been a long time in the planning stages, since 2011, may soon start construction. The site for The Gramercy apartments along North Street is being cleared for the future apartment building. This involves demolition of the church at the corner of Boylan and North as well as the office building at […]

2014 Downtown Plan Presentation Video
09/30/2014 10:55 PM
Here is some good video for the upcoming weekend. It’s the 2014 Downtown Plan Presentation on the latest available draft. You can get the presentation here (pdf) and follow along. Blog posts on some of the finer details to come. If the video doesn’t work for you, see it directly here. (I recommend this as […]

Pic of the Week
09/30/2014 10:55 PM
Construction of the The Ten has started at the corner of Person and Lenoir Streets. Similar Posts: The Ten Brings Modern Townhomes to Person Street (June 12, 2014, 37 Comments) Crash of the Resident Wave, Looking Down The Pipeline (10/10) (June 20, 2014, 19 Comments)

Color Codes Coming to Downtown Parking Decks
09/30/2014 10:55 PM
Downtown #Raleigh color-coded parking palette announced — City of Raleigh (@RaleighGov) September 11, 2014 Parking is one of those services where having no complaints are a good thing and no real praise happens. I’m not sure enough people rave about how great a parking experience at a place is. So in hopes of […]

Pic of the Week
09/30/2014 10:55 PM
The Lincoln apartments, planning to open in Summer 2015. Similar Posts: Construction Set to Start On The Lincoln (May 13, 2014, 19 Comments) The Lincoln Will Bring 224 Apartments To Emo Raleigh (May 13, 2014, 21 Comments) Crash of the Resident Wave, The Lincoln Getting Settled (9/10) (June 20, 2014, 2 Comments)

Welcome to RaleighFree!

Our goal is to provide you with information about the wide variety of free things to do in Raleigh, NC. With the many parks, museums, and other attractions, there's enough to keep most people busy and happy for quite a while. Browse our links, and check back soon, more content is coming online quickly.

History of Raleigh

Oak Tree Raleigh is also known as the "City of Oaks," mainly because of the numerous oak trees that adorn the entire city. Yet aside from these functions, the city is also North Carolina's capital and Wake County's seat. According to a count for July 2006, Raleigh's population is estimated to be around 353,604, thus making the capital one of America's rapidly expanding cities. In fact, Raleigh ranks fourth in the "List of Best Big Cities in 2006" by Money Magazine. Of course, anyone who is familiar with the city's history is not at all surprised by such a remarkable development. Since Raleigh is among the selected US cities intentionally developed to be a state capital, it can easily be said that the city is destined for expansion and progress.

Long before becoming a state capital, the city was called as the "Wake Crossroads," a name that gives a clear idea regarding the city's geographical function. At that time, Raleigh served as a place where travelers from either north or south could rest and maybe have a drink in one of its taverns. The place was eventually chosen to be North Carolina's capital in 1788. According to some accounts, "Wake Crossroads" was selected since it was within a 10-mile radius of Isaac Hunter's Tavern, a place popular among legislators at that time. But it was in 1792 when Raleigh was formally established as North Carolina's capital.

Sir Walter Raleigh That same year, the North Carolina General Assembly bought a lot from a local businessman and started making plans for Raleigh, which was by the way, modeled after Philadelphia, the US capital state at that time. The city got its name from Sir Walter Raleigh, who sponsored the Colony of Roanoke. The aforementioned assembly held its first meeting in the capital in December 1794. A month after that, the legislative body officially granted Raleigh a charter along with an "Intendant Police" (Mayor) and seven commissioners. John Haywood was Raleigh's first "Intendant Police."

Although Raleigh was lucky to be spared from destruction during the Civil War, the city remained little in size until streetcar lines were introduced in the 1920s. Since then, Raleigh began to grow, eventually transforming into one of the state's commercial hubs. A railroad was also constructed to link the city to neighboring communities. By the end of the Second World War, Raleigh had undergone many significant developments, particularly in its infrastructure. What used to be a rural community evolved into a bustling urban center. The development of the city's infrastructure is largely attributed to the founding of the North Carolina State University School of Design in 1948. But the construction and existence of the Research Triangle Park in the 1959 also brought big changes to the city. With a 7,000 acre land area, the RTP is the world's biggest research park, comprising Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. With its high-tech facilities, the RTP is also among the global leaders in scientific research and development.

As education is essential to any improvement of a city, Raleigh also has many universities and colleges. Aside from the North Carolina State University, other schools in the capital include Shaw University, St. Augustine's College, Meredith College, Wake Tech Community College, and Peace College. Both St. Augustine's and Shaw were founded towards the end of the 1860s, as schools for the freed slaves after the Civil War. Shaw was the premier university founded for that particular purpose in the country. In 1874, the Estey Hall was added to provide higher learning to women of African-American ethnicity.