Local News:

Winston-Salem police searching for 20-year-old woman
05/20/2019 01:35 AM
Jaylin Drew HackerA Silver Alert was issued Monday for a 20-year-old woman missing from Winston-Salem.

Medical call at north Raleigh apartment ends with officer shooting armed man
05/19/2019 08:13 PM
Person seriously injured in north Raleigh shootingA Raleigh police officer shot an armed man in Raleigh on Sunday morning, according to the department. A Raleigh police officer shot an armed man at an apartment complex on Sunday morning, according to the police department.

Police: One killed in Durham as men exchange gunfire
05/19/2019 07:46 PM
Durham police carA man was shot and killed in Durham on Sunday night as he exchanged gunfire with another man, police said.

Democrats turned to Cooper's political arm in replacing state elections director
05/19/2019 07:13 PM
In North Carolina, Investigators Find Ballot ‘Scheme’ in House RaceThe governor denies a hand in the decision, but his operative liaised with State Board of Elections members.

Woman taken to hospital after car goes down embankment in Durham
05/19/2019 07:09 PM
Person taken to hospital after car falls down embankment in DurhamA 20-year-old woman was taken to a hospital Sunday morning after a car went down an embankment in Durham. Weather

Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Pic of the Week
05/15/2019 03:00 AM
FNB Tower has now topped out and the glass siding is about 3/4 the way up the new Fayetteville Street tower. As the street presence gets cleaned up, I can’t help but look forward to seeing the construction fencing come down and the return of the plaza space between One City Plaza and FNB Tower. […]

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Pic of the Week
05/08/2019 03:00 AM
The space next door to Poole’s is being worked on. This is the spot for another one of Ashley Christensen’s restaurants, Poolside Pie. The timing of this post was on purpose as Christensen just won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in the country this year. She’s the only chef in the state to […]

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Smokey Hollow Phase 3 Wants to Bring Signature Tower to Peace Street
05/01/2019 03:00 AM
The Smokey Hollow project along Peace Street is moving right along in waves with plans for phase 3 already coming to council soon. The developers, Kane Realty, are requesting a rezoning for the site called phase 3 and the request is to increase the height limit from 12-stories or 150 feet to 40-stories or 500 […]

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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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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.