Local News:

Not just snow on the roads: Driver runs over tree down across Wake County road
12/10/2018 08:50 PM
Driver runs over pine treeSlush and ice covered some Wake County roadways on Monday, and the darkness of David Nizen's early morning commute quickly turned dangerous.

Tractor-trailer ends up in ditch after Johnston County crash
12/10/2018 08:19 PM
Tractor-trailer ends up in ditch after Johnston County crashU.S. Highway 701 was closed Monday night in Johnston County after a tractor-trailer hit a car and ended up in a ditch, authorities said.

As temps fall into the 20s, black ice a concern on Triangle roads for morning commute
12/10/2018 08:14 PM
Snowy road in Orange CountySnow finally cleared out of central North Carolina on Monday afternoon, but that doesn't mean the region is finished with this bout of winter weather.

Authorities: DNA linked defendant to disappearance, death of Hania Aguilar
12/10/2018 06:23 PM
 Michel Ray McLellanIn a press conference Monday, Robeson County District Attorney Luther Johnson Britt said DNA evidence ultimately linked the man charged with murder Friday to the disappearance and death of Hania Aguilar.

Second round of snow leaves hundreds in western Triangle cold
12/10/2018 04:28 PM
Broken power poleHundreds of homes and businesses across the northern and western parts of the Triangle remained without power Monday evening after a winter storm blasted the region with snow for a second day. Weather

Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Checking in on Moore Square
12/04/2018 06:50 AM
The Moore Square kiosk under construction. December 2018. As the weather cools down and the leaves start to fall, Moore Square becomes a little clearer to see between the trees and the fencing. I thought it would be a good time to take a walk around the square as we wait for it to reopen […]

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510 South Person Street Hopes to add Restaurant Space and Height
11/28/2018 05:14 AM
510 South Person. November 2018. A smaller-scale project on the 500 block of South Person Street is currently going through the Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) review process. The developers behind 510 South Person want to demolish the current one-story building here and replace it with a three-story commercial building that could include a restaurant. When […]

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See the Downtown Transit Plan Maps Side-by-Side
11/15/2018 05:53 AM
Click for larger GoRaleigh is working on the downtown portion of the Wake Transit Plan and there are lots of factors to consider here as additional bus service is in place. The bus-rapid-transit lines have, more or less, been planned but how they connect and transfer in and around the downtown area is still a […]

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Pic of the Week
11/13/2018 03:00 AM
The Metropolitan apartments over in Glenwood South is nearing completion. Walking around the area, the new building has a nice mix of materials compared to similar developments. There are a few blank walls that aren’t that exciting but being near all the upcoming retail at Smokey Hollow, residents in this area will probably be thrilled […]

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Pic of the Week
11/06/2018 03:00 AM
The first Raleigh bikeshare system, Citrix Cycle, is rolling out with stations being installed in multiple locations. Above, the station for GoRaleigh Station across from Moore Square is in place, minus the bicycles of course. The last update I heard is that the system should be available for use before the end of the year. […]

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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.