Located in Central North Carolina, Raleigh is the state capital. Nicknamed “The City of Oaks” for the oak trees that line the streets in the heart of the city, Raleigh is filled with art and music while still maintaining a small town feel.
Climate & Geography
Raleigh is one-third of the tri-city region known as The Triangle, along with Durham and Chapel Hill. The region is located on the Atlantic Seaboard fall line, and as a result, much of the city features gently rolling hills that lead to the flat coastal plains.
Raleigh experiences four distinct seasonal changes with short, cool winters and hot, humid summers. The city receives above average rainfall.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
There are over 200 parks in Raleigh, and the Capital Area Greenway system has over 100 miles of trails to explore. The Neuse River Trail is a 28-mile path that travels along the Neuse River, across wetlands, and through the woods. The William B. Umstead State Park has 22 miles of hiking through the forest and offers picnicking, fishing, and camping. The Smoky Mountains are a six hour drive from Raleigh.
There are many concert venues around the city where various genres of music are performed. These venues include the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, Red Hat Amphitheater, KINGS, and The Pour House Music Hall.
Along with being named the City of Oaks, Raleigh has also been called the “Smithsonian of the South” because of its vast amount of visual art galleries and performing arts centers, including the Carolina Ballet. The North Carolina Museum of Art and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science both offer free admission. The Museum of Natural Science is the largest natural museum in the southeast.
The Raleigh Farmers Market fills 75 acres with seasonal produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, and more. The Farmers Market also hosts special events throughout the year including Watermelon Day in July and Sweet Potato Day in September.
Cost of Living & Taxes
Raleigh’s cost of living index is higher than the state and national rate due to housing costs.
Social Security benefits are tax-exempt, the sales tax in Raleigh is 7.25 percent.
The top ranked hospitals in The Triangle region are Duke University Hospital, University of North Carolina Hospitals, UNC Rex Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, and WakeMed Health and Hospitals-Raleigh Campus. Combined, the hospitals are nationally ranked in 15 adult specialties and 16 children’s specialities, and they are considered high performing in four adult specialties and 33 procedures and conditions.
Duke University Hospital is ranked No. 1 in the Raleigh-Durham area. The hospital is nationally ranked in 10 adult specialities and nine children’s specialities, and it’s high performing in one adult specialty and nine procedures and conditions.