Local News:

Police locate missing 13-year-old girl in Chapel Hill
01/22/2018 05:16 AM
Kayla OrrPolice in Chapel Hill located a missing girl Monday morning after an overnight search.

Highs will be in the 60s Monday, possibly 70s on Tuesday
01/22/2018 04:46 AM
7-Day ForecastMild temperatures greeted the Triangle over the weekend following a snow storm, and Monday and Tuesday will be even warmer.

East Wake High School senior among 3 teens killed in Raleigh crash
01/22/2018 02:35 AM
3 killed in overnight crash in RaleighA senior at East Wake High School was among three teenagers killed Sunday in a serious crash, according to the school.

Death penalty or life? Sentencing phase begins in Donovan Richardson trial
01/22/2018 02:00 AM
Donavan Richardson The sentencing phase for the trial of Donovan Richardson, a man accused in the fatal shootings of two Fuquay-Varina seniors in 2014, is set to take place Monday.

Man killed in Raleigh moped crash
01/21/2018 08:35 PM
Man killed in Raleigh moped crashAuthorities are investigating after a man died Sunday night in a Raleigh motorcycle crash. Weather

Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Photo Gallery of Raleigh Station in 2018
01/22/2018 03:00 AM
Outside waiting area of Raleigh Station. January 2018. With the opening of Raleigh Union Station only a few months away, I just had to capture the look and feel of Raleigh Station, our current train station on Cabarrus Street. This post is basically just a bunch of photos for posterity to show the station that […]

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Revisiting The Downtown Plan’s Glenwood Green Project Area
01/11/2018 03:00 AM
View looking north from the upper floors of the West at North Tower. Photo credit Robert Winchester. There has been a lot to follow around the Smokey Hollow area of Glenwood South. The reader-submitted photo above shows another view of all the demolition that has taken place. The “Glenwood Green” area has basically been wiped […]

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Pic of the Week
01/08/2018 03:00 AM
Moore Square, January 2018 The renovation of Moore Square is very much underway with a lot of small shrubs and short trees being removed. The holidays were a distraction but I noticed the difference recently and just had to grab a photo. In the winter, with the leaves off the old oak trees, you can […]

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Pic of the Week
01/03/2018 03:00 AM
Raleigh Amtrak Station, October 2017 Happy New Year all! Shown above is a photo of the Raleigh Amtrak Station in October 2017. I show this because the Triangle Business Journal had an article stating that once our new train station, Raleigh Union Station, opens this year the former station will be demolished. Perhaps the archivists, […]

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Weekend Inspiration with Gil Penalosa and Dix Park
12/23/2017 04:00 AM
Click here to see the video if you cannot see it above. I enjoyed this talk given by Gil Penalosa during his visit to our area. He shows us the transformative power of parks in a city and while the topic is geared for Dix Park, the concepts really can apply all over the city. […]

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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.