First off, why is it named the “Research Triangle”?
Yes, exactly what you’re thinking: research. Raleigh-Durham is an intersection of high-tech companies and innovators. Included are the numerous research facilities and universities of North Carolina State University, Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and more. The major cities of Raleigh and Durham and two towns of Cary and Chapel Hill anchor down this Triangle.
Being named the Research Triangle of America is not so bad if you’re considering a job in the most promising career choice of the year. In fact, the city’s economy reflects it: considerable increases in employment, earnings, personal income, and retail sales are predicted over the next 15 years. Like previously mentioned, Raleigh-Durham is a high-technology community, with a plethora of big names securing the area, such as IBM, SAS Institute, Cisco Systems, Quintiles, NetApp, Red Hat, EMC Corporation, Epic Games, and more.
Did you want proof?
- Raleigh is named as one of the top cities creating most tech jobs in the country.
- Forbes named Raleigh the second fastest growing city in America.
- Glassdoor, a jobs and career community, released its 25 Best Cities for Jobs report and named Raleigh is the number one city for jobs in the United States.
- Personal finance social network WalletHub has named the Greater Raleigh metro area as one of the best in the United States in which to start a business. WalletHub determined the ranking by examining 11 key metrics of the small business environment in the top 100 metro areas.
- The Brookings Institution’s survey of the world’s metropolitan regions found four American cities among the world’s 50 leading economic growth areas, and Raleigh is one of them.
- US News tapped Raleigh as one of the best places to live.
Universities in the area.
Fueling these companies are brains coming from the institutions of higher education in the region (are you ready?) including: Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, Wake Forest University, Campbell University, Central Carolina Community College, Meredith College, Piedmont Community College, Shaw University, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, St. Augustine’s College, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, William Peace University, and more.
Speaking of universities, welcome to the sports rivalry of Tobacco Road. This tobacco-producing area of North Carolina is home to some of the greatest and most intense NCAA basketball enmity in the country. All members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the North Carolina Tar Heels from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC State Wolfpack from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Duke Blue Devils from Duke University in Durham, and Wake Forest Demon Deacons from Wake Forest University all produce high-caliber teams each year – and detest each other for it. All four of the Triangle-based universities have won at least two NCAA basketball national championships.
If you’re an NHL fan, you will be happy to know that Raleigh is homeland of the Carolina Hurricanes, champions of the Stanley Cup in 2006. Minor league baseball also has quite the zealous house here in the Triangle. The Durham Bulls are AAA Minor League, affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, along with the Carolina Mudcats, affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. While we are at it, check out the Carolina RailHawks, part of the second-level North American Soccer League. Does your kid have a future in soccer? The RailHawks put on summer camps every year, taught by the pros themselves. If you are a real sports buff, check out the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
Here in Raleigh-Durham, we are proud to share our love of racquet sports. Home to one of the largest badminton communities in the southeastern US, the American Badminton Academy is located here and annually hosts an international play development program.
- Raleigh Racquet Club
- Millbrook Exchange Tennis Center
- Reedy Creek Golf Course
- Sports and Recreation Itinerary
You like to be outside? Us too. Raleigh is called “The City of Oaks” for a reason – the area boasts of more than 4,300 acres of local parks and trails. So pack up those hiking shoes, tents, fishing gear, mountain bikes, and more. Check out Triangle Rock Club for climbing walls and Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex for BMX, mountain bikes, and skateboard zones. The kids won’t sit still? Try Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park and DefyGravity for some energy release.
- Holly Springs’ Bass Lake Park
- Lake Johnson Park
- William B. Umstead State Park
- Falls Lake State Recreation Area
- Sarah P. Duke Gardens
- Historic Yates Mill County Park
- Starting Point Stables
- Bicycle Trails
- Harris Lake County Park
Raleigh-Durham is family friendly. Dedicated to preserving awe and fascination of North Carolina’s history, Bennett Place State Historic Site in Durham is action-packed, with tales of Native Americans, live Civil War battles, gold mines, and trains. Visit one of the oldest houses in Raleigh, on its original foundation – and let us know if there are any ghosts – at the Mordecai Mansion. The Museum of Life and Science has been voted Carolina Parent Family Favorite in 2015. Home to astronaut training for several years, check out Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill. The North Carolina Museum of History is also home to North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. And for all your entomology needs, the North Carolina State University Insect Museum will bring satisfaction, as well as the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, host of the annual BugFest in Raleigh.
- Kidzu Children’s Museum
- Marbles Kids Museum
- Museum of Durham History
- History and Science Itinerary
- Ideas for the kids
Need a break? Try a night out to eat at the famous Angus Barn, with enough savory steaks to overload the salivation glands, served by Food Network’s Iron Chef winner Walter Royal. Clyde Cooper’s Barbecue serves pork rinds complete with hush puppies and secret sauce. Poole’s Diner makes the world’s best mac and cheese dish, which makes sense, considering they’ve had much time to practice, having been at the business since the end of World War II. Local meats, cheeses, and produce can be found at the State Farmers Market. Seafood? Shuckers Oyster Bar & Grill. Hipster vegetarian? Fiction Kitchen. On a Lebanese kick? Sitti. And for that stomach pride, a slice of Humble Pie. Craving dessert? There’s Videri Chocolate Factory, The Cupcake Shoppe, Escazu Artisan Chocolates and more. Catch up with some old friends at the Raleigh Brewing Company or the award-winning hand-crafted beers of Carolina Brewery & Grill.
- Dining Itinerary
- Raleigh Food Corridor
- Bull Craft Bottle Shop
- Oak City Coffee Roasters
- Farmers markets
- Fearrington Village featuring gourmet restaurants, boutiques, gardens, and a day spa
- University Place with boutiques and shops
- Crabtree Valley Mall for a day spent shopping
And while you’re at it, some good music. Good news. Loaded with music venues, Raleigh is the hub for live music. The Hopscotch Music Festival, features “premiere experimental and underground music”, just right for indie hippies of all kind. Love rock and roll? ProgDay in Chapel Hill is the world’s longest running progressive rock festival. Just to name few live music venues, check out The Pour House Music Hall, Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, PNC Arena, Lorraine’s Coffee House & Music, TJ’s Night Life, Lincoln Theatre, Sola Coffee Café, Red Hat Amphitheater, Deep South The Bar, Kings, Slim’s Downtown, Southland Ballroom, Neptunes Parlour, The Maywood, Pullen Park, The Ritz and more.
You belong if you’re a film junkie, here in Raleigh-Durham. The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival champions the documentary form of film work and is part of Duke University’s non-profit Center for Documentary Studies. Feeling nerdy? Love classic comic book movies? Comiquest Film Festival is the space for you. Remember those childhood movie heroes, Jack Burton, Buck Rogers, and Indiana Jones? Escapism Film Festival will bring back those awesome memories. Featuring fantasy, classics, comedy, musicals, and romance from 1930s-1995, Retro Film Series is perfect for an evening together. And Nevermore Film Festival is perfect if you’re into horror and bed-wetting.
This city is bursting with creative energy and colorful ideas. The Carolina Ballet remains one of the top ballet companies in America, traveling internationally to share their talent. Committed to engaging the community in the visual arts process, Artspace is a “dynamic studio environment of established and emerging artists and a center for hands-on arts education and nationally acclaimed exhibitions”. Whoa. Secretly a Shakespeare fanatic? No shame here in Raleigh. Wherefore: Shakespeare in Raleigh came about as a handful of performing arts companies learned that they were synched up – each organization planned to feature a work by Williams Shakespeare at the same time. So, they decided to band together and keep it up!
Ready for this one? The North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh features local bands and outdoor movies on the screen, while you lounge on the green. 164 acres of paved trails and art installation, it’s the largest museum art park in the country.
- Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh
- Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
- Durham Performing Arts Center
- Ackland Art Museum
- Carolina Theatre
- American Dance Festival
- Need more? Check out Arts in the Triangle for an overview of all events in the area.
Reading all this is exhausting. We are right with you.
You can begin to see why Raleigh-Durham is one of our top choices.
Welcome to the Research Triangle.