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Raleigh, the ‘City of Oaks’, is the green city best known for universities, the arts, and great parklands. Pull on hiking boots and your best cultural thinking cap - we’re off to see Sir Walter and some great scenic landscapes!
Designed as the state capital of North Carolina, Raleigh was named after the famous explorer who established a short-lived English settlement here in the 1580s. Fortunately, the Raleigh authorities have always preserved the city’s green spaces. This wise governance has ensured the city remains a beautiful place to this day. The area proudly boasts over 9,000 acres of parkland. These parks and nature reserves provide enjoyable walking and hiking trails, where you can appreciate many varieties of flora and fauna. Raleigh’s extensive lakes are also popular throughout the year and are great locations for kayaking and other water sports. Pullen Park is highly recommended not only for its lovely surroundings but also for some fun attractions that are suitable for all the family. Everyone will enjoy time on one of the park's miniature train rides or a pedal boat cruise around Lake Howell. Another top attraction in Raleigh is the William B. Umstead State Park, a territory replete with winding pathways, three lakes, and an unexpected art installation. Visitors flock here for the fishing and to hire a canoe or rowing boat. IWhen you follow the Graylyn trail you will discover a fallen oak tree, beautifully carved with elaborate images of the region's wildlife. Raleigh is also home to three fantastic museums: North Carolina Museum of Art, North Carolina Museum of History, and North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The architecture of each building is impressive, the exhibits are innovative and admission to each venue is free to the public. Every trip to Raleigh should include an experience within its diverse art scene. The city’s cultural calendar is pleasingly packed with a variety of events and highlights include performances by the North Carolina Opera, North Carolina Symphony, or Carolina Ballet. Special theatre productions are often held outside in one of Raleigh’s parks and the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts is one of the main tourist attractions in the city.
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