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Relief is coming: Heavy rain, cooler temperatures on tap for Tuesday
07/22/2019 06:45 AM
Relief is on the wayTemperatures will be in the mid 90s on Monday, but cooler air is on the way.

Events this week: Bark in the Park, GalaxyCon, Durham Night Market
07/22/2019 05:26 AM
BARK PARK 34Check out our best picks for the work week!

Woman thrown from motorcycle in fatal Fayetteville crash
07/22/2019 05:15 AM
Fayetteville crash motorcyclist killedPolice have identified the woman who died in a motorcycle crash in Fayetteville on Sunday afternoon.

Three arrested, charged in death of Henderson teen
07/22/2019 04:06 AM
Tyshon StokesThree people, including a 15-year-old, have been charged in the July 11 death of a Henderson teen, authorities said.

Women carjacked at gunpoint in Durham
07/22/2019 03:50 AM
Carjacking investigation underway in DurhamA carjacking investigation is underway in Durham.

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Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Pic of the Week
07/15/2019 03:00 AM
The buildings are starting to come down to make way for The Willard hotel. Located at the corner of Glenwood Avenue and Willard Place, the brick buildings formerly used as office space and the surface parking lot will have a new hotel in the future. At one point, the planners suggested condos on the upper […]

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Moore Square’s Grand Opening is on August 3
07/10/2019 03:00 AM
Moore Square is getting close to wrapping up its makeover as the city has announced a string of events to celebrate the reopening of the downtown square. The grand opening party is on August 3rd but there will be events the night before as part of First Friday. Moore Square Grand Opening Celebration Date/Time: Sat., […]

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Pic of the Week
07/03/2019 03:00 AM
First to be used in the country (yes, that’s right) the new Molok trash containers are being installed at the corner of Wilmington and Hargett Streets. Each partially-underground container holds the equivalent of 20 trash bins of waste. This reduces the need to make as frequent pickups, currently at twice a day, and could potentially […]

Soccer Stadium Plans Show Off Mixed-Use District named Downtown South
07/01/2019 05:58 AM
A little outside our typical watch area, last week, Steve Malik, the owner of the North Carolina Football Club, and John Kane, a Raleigh developer, announced a $2 billion vision for the area near South Saunders and I-40. Downtown South would be a mix of office, residential, and hotels around a 20,000 seat soccer stadium. […]

Pic of the Week
06/11/2019 04:56 PM
Phase 2 of the Smokey Hollow project in Glenwood South is all clear for construction. The site has been flattened out and all that surface parking and single-story buildings have been removed. To review, this May 2019 post has a nice aerial to show each lot for each phase. To start at the beginning of […]

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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.