Local News:

Three charged in fatal shooting of Raleigh teen
04/18/2019 05:18 PM
Kenyon Rashan Tuck and Alexis Nikol McCulloughKenyon Rashan Tuck and Alexis Nikol McCullough have been charged in the death of a Raleigh teenager, police said Thursday.

Family of intern killed in Caswell County lion attack wants her death to 'make a difference'
04/18/2019 03:56 PM
Alexandra BlackThe aunt of an intern killed by a lion at a Caswell County animal preserve last December sad family members believe the facility wasn't prepared to handle an attack.

Cooper vetoes 'born alive' abortion bill
04/18/2019 03:43 PM
Gov. Roy CooperGov. Roy Cooper on Thursday vetoed a bill that requires doctors to provide the same care to an infant that survives an abortion as they give any other newborn.

Maze: Friday's storm threat comes in two waves
04/18/2019 03:26 PM
Thursday will be calm before a strong storm system moves in Friday, bringing damaging winds and large hail.

Phishing texts, Facebook scam targeting WRAL-TV viewers
04/18/2019 03:13 PM
Scam textRaleigh police have been notified about a scam in which criminals who are posing as WRAL News reporter Amanda Lamb are requesting personal information from recipients or asking them to purchase gift cards. Weather

Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Pic of the Week
04/16/2019 01:54 PM
If you haven’t noticed, Wiley Elementary on St. Mary’s Street is undergoing an extensive renovation and expansion. The $24 million project adds 20,000 sq. feet of classroom and administration space as well as renovations to the 1923 building. Improvements to the grounds are being made to address erosion issues and a more efficient parking/driveway is […]

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Pic of the Week
04/12/2019 03:00 AM
Slowly but surely, the townhomes at The Saint are starting to look finished. These beauties, shown above, along St. Mary’s look pretty much finished except for the remaining sidewalk work. Similar Posts: Checking in on The Saint townhomes | August 27, 2017 The Saint Townhomes Take Shape and Elevate | August 5, 2018 Clearing The […]

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What I Learned From Riding a Cycle Track in Downtown Raleigh
04/09/2019 10:11 AM
This past weekend, Oaks and Spokes, Raleigh’s loudest and most organized voice for bicycling in Raleigh, set up a cycle track demo for a section of Harrington Street. As a huge supporter, I hung out, volunteered, and just absorbed the street with this temporary cycle track in place. Having only seen cycle tracks in other […]

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Pic of the Week
04/03/2019 04:16 AM
Expansion at Trophy Brewing on Morgan Street is well underway. The new space next door adds more restaurant and brewery space. A few parking spaces in front will be replaced with the new building as well as possible outdoor seating. Similar Posts: Trophy Brewing Expansion on Morgan Street | June 18, 2018 Trophy and Crank […]

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Pic of the Week
03/28/2019 03:00 AM
Work is underway to convert this building along West Street into office and restaurant space. Formerly the home of Auto Interiors & Tops, the building may have outdoor space and a bar facing the train tracks. Seems like a great renovation project here as Glenwood South continues to “dense up” on the food and beverage […]

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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.