Local News:

Robeson County Sheriff's Office searching for missing 6-year-old
02/15/2019 08:39 PM
Robeson County Sheriff's Office searching for missing 6-year-oldThe Robeson County Sheriff's Office is searching for a 6-year-old boy who was inside of a vehicle that was stolen Friday night.

Police: Durham man shot twice during attempted robbery
02/15/2019 08:11 PM
Police: Durham man shot twice during attempted robbery Durham police are investigating after a man was shot during an attempted robbery Friday night.

Man seriously injured in hit-and-run crash in Fayetteville
02/15/2019 08:05 PM
Shooting, traffic accidentFayetteville police are investigating after a man was injured in a hit-and-run crash Friday night.

Triangle pharmacists say threats, attacks are part of a typical work day
02/15/2019 07:37 PM
Sarah WrightOne day after a customer opened fire inside a Garner Walgreens, wounding two people before he was shot by a Wake County deputy at a nearby restaurant, some pharmacists are saying threats are a daily occurrence on the job.

Raleigh police body cam video contradicts mother's claim that officers pointed guns at her son, 6
02/15/2019 07:37 PM
RPD Body Cam footage of Friar Tuck Road warrantVideo released by the City of Raleigh on Friday contradicts a woman's claim that police pointed their guns last year at her 6-year-old son and his elderly grandparents as they executed a search warrant at their home. Weather

Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Pic of the Week
02/14/2019 03:00 AM
The FNB Tower continues to rise along Fayetteville Street. The Wilmington Street side has a nice dramatic view from the southeast as seen above. The mixed-use tower will bring over 200 apartments to an area that’s more dominated by 9-to-5ers than anything else so it’s nice to see that mix. FNB Tower is also the […]

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Pic of the Week
02/07/2019 03:00 AM
The Raleigh Architecture Company has set up over on Saunders Street and their renovation is basically wrapped up. It’s looking really good too. See the before pic below. Saunders Street will be really important in the coming years as more townhomes are built nearby and connections between downtown and Dix Park come together. Enjoy the […]

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Administrative Alternate Shows Rendering of Nash Square Hotel
02/04/2019 03:00 AM
The hotel planned for the southeast corner of Martin and Dawson is working its way through the approval process. Posted to the city’s website is an Administrative Alternative Request, see AAD-4-19, which shows a nice rendering of the hotel. The request shows off the setbacks planned above the third floor and suggests some outdoor terrace, […]

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Next Reader Meetup is on Feb 19
02/01/2019 03:00 AM
It’s time again to put a face to the readers and members of this online community with the first meetup of 2019. Come on over for some happy hour apps and drinks as we discuss downtown, transit, hobbies, and life. (IE anything) I’m once again playing host with those behind the Oak City CRE Newsletter […]

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RalCon Serves a 12-Pack of Blogging Years
01/31/2019 03:00 AM
Today marks 12 years of downtown Raleigh geeking, blogging, conversations, and meetups. *Pats self on back* The 12th year has seen a bit of a different format for the blog as we now have the newly launched Community sitting right beside us. I always tell people that the reason I started this blog and all […]

The blog has over 10 years of content and is still going strong. Support this blog and thank you for reading.

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.