The second largest city in North Carolina, Raleigh is also the state capital and a very important player in the southeast region of the United States. The area has been inhabited by Native Americans for the last 11,000 years and has also been the sight of some amazing archaeological discoveries. With the charm and history of a classic southern town, Raleigh offers the conveniences and recreation of a major city. Don't miss a visit to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, which holds over 3 million fossils. The museum continues to make discoveries and advancements in palaeontology, geology, and zoology and hosts several compelling exhibits.
There are great attractions just outside of Raleigh as well. To begin your outdoor adventure, follow US-70 for about 20 minutes north-west of the city to the peaceful hills of the William B. Umstead State Park. Here you will find a pristine environment complete with trickling brooks and streams, towering pine trees and diverse wildlife. Among the countless activities available are hiking, fishing and horseback riding. You may even take a guided tour of the area to learn about the ecosystem and history of the parkland.Also worth a visit is Cape Lookout National Seashore, on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean just over three hours from Raleigh. Running along the shores of a barrier island, this national park offers sandy dunes and warm water, as well as seaside cabins that the park service rents throughout the summer months. Thursday through Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm, visitors are given the chance to climb to the top of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse and into the keeper's quarters.
When you're ready to move on from Raleigh, head to the charming college towns of Chapel Hill or Durham to explore the beautiful campuses or take in a match (the University of North Carolina and Duke are located in these towns, respectively, and both have excellent athletic programs). You can also travel to Charlotte or Asheville to discover more of this beautiful state. Alternatively, travel to the well-known beach towns of Virginia Beach to the north, or Myrtle Beach to the south, both just three hours away. For a true American experience, travel to Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, located about 4.5 hours northeast of Raleigh.
Our car hire suppliers in Raleigh include Alamo, Budget, Hertz and Avis, Dollar.
Auto Europe has car depots conveniently located at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport as well as a number of locations around the city centre. Enter your details into the search form to find the best location and price for your next holiday in Raleigh.
Like most city centres, parking in Raleigh can be difficult at times. However, Raleigh offers meter parking areas that are identified with blue coloured signs. The time limits on these signs vary from 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour and 2 hour time limits. The average cost of metre parking in Raleigh is about US$1 per hour on weekdays between 8 am and 5 pm.
If you're travelling outside of the city, you are likely to encounter toll roads. Tolls in the US can vary greatly, from less than $1 to upwards of $10. If possible, research your route beforehand and carry cash. Change is usually available through tellers at toll booths. Occasionally, you will need coins in various denominations for unmanned booths.
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