Around Raleigh: Midtown

The areas of Raleigh do not have strict limits. There usually isn’t a clear line where one area ends and another area begins. All of the areas we have talked about so far have been approximate (not exact; not precise). Midtown is also an approximate area. However, in general, when people talk about midtown Raleigh, they are talking about the area from I-440 up to Millbrook Road, from Glenwood Avenue to Six Forks Road (more or less).

I’d like to tell you about a few things to do and see in midtown Raleigh.

First, let’s look at the major roads in this area:

image by Google maps and instructor ecparent

image by Google maps and instructor ecparent

  • Glenwood Avenue is the yellow road on the left. It is also highway 70. It goes from downtown Raleigh, through Five Points, all the way up to I-540 and into Durham.
  • The orange road across the bottom of the map is I-440. People in Raleigh also call it “the beltline” because it goes around Raleigh like a belt.
  • Six Forks Road is the purple line on the right of the map. It also continues north to I-540.
  • The green line at the top of the map is Millbrook Road. If you continue east on this road past Capital Blvd., the name of the road changes to New Hope Road. If you continue west on this road past Glenwood Ave., the name of the road changes to Duraleigh Road.

Now I’ll tell you about a couple of things you can do in this area.

  1. Crabtree Valley Mall – Most of you have visited this mall already. If you haven’t been there yet, it is a large mall with lots of stores and restaurants. It has plenty of parking, but if you don’t have a car, you can take a #6 CAT bus.
  2. North Hills – North Hills isn’t a mall like Crabtree. It has lots of stores and restaurants, but they aren’t all together in a large building. Instead, you walk outside from one store to another. North Hills also has a Target, a movie theater, and apartments. If you enjoy eating or walking outside, you might like North Hills. It also has free outdoor concerts in the summer.
  3. Shelley Lake – Shelley Lake has a 2-mile path where you can walk, run, or ride your bicycle. It also has two playgrounds (1 for older children, 1 for younger children) and a basketball court. And if you’re interested in art, Sertoma Arts Center is located at Shelley Lake. At Sertoma, you can take classes in pottery, painting, drawing, photography, and performance arts (like dance and drama). They have classes for all ages, from preschool to adults.

Your Turn

Tell us about your favorite thing to do in midtown Raleigh! Do you have a favorite restaurant, store, or activity in this area? Leave a comment so that other students can enjoy it too!

Around Raleigh: Downtown

This week, we will continue our tour around Raleigh by going downtown. The downtown area of Raleigh is east of the NCSU area. If you go east on Hillsborough Street or Western Boulevard, you will go downtown. Downtown Raleigh has a lot of wonderful stores, restaurants, art galleries, museums, and historical sites. There is A LOT of information here, but it is only a small amount of what’s available in downtown Raleigh.

image by Google maps and instructor ecparent

image by Google maps and instructor ecparent

Major roads:

  • The two major roads that go north and south through downtown Raleigh are McDowell Street (north) and Dawson Street (south). If you continue north on McDowell Street out of downtown, the two roads join together and become Capital Blvd. If you continue south on Dawson Street out of downtown, the two roads join together and become South Saunders Street.
  • Wilmington Street – Wilmington Street is another major road through downtown Raleigh. Traffic runs one way – north only. If you walk or drive up Wilmington St., you will pass the Capitol Building, the science museum, the history museum, and many restaurants. There are entrances to at least three parking decks on Wilmington Street, so when you go downtown, look for a place to park on Wilmington Street.
  • Fayetteville Street – Fayetteville Street is very short, but it’s important. Lots of special events take place there. There are special music events like Wide Open Bluegrass and Hopscotch. There are arts festivals like SPARKcon. There’s the Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo. And in the warm months, the first Friday of every month brings artists and performers out to play. Plus, Fayetteville Street has lots of great restaurants and a weekly farmer’s market.
  • Hargett Street – You can drive east and west through downtown on several roads, but Hargett Street is my favorite. It has a lot of restaurants, stores, coffee shops, and other things like the Marbles Kids Museum and Moore Square Park.

Here are some other important things to see on the map:

  1. The Capitol Building – The NC State Capitol is the main house of government in North Carolina. The governor’s offices are located there, and the General Assembly and Legislature used to meet there, but they now have a separate building a few blocks away. The design of the building is in a Greek architecture style. You can go in and take a tour if you want!
  2. The Governor’s Mansion – Governor Pat McCrory is the 29th governor of NC to live in the mansion since it was completed in 1891. Tours are available on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  3. NC Museum of Natural Sciences and NC Museum of History – Both museums have exhibits that are free and excellent. If you or your children are interested in science or history, you must visit these museums.
  4. Glenwood South – The southern end of Glenwood Avenue is full of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and stores.
  5. The Warehouse District – If you aren’t familiar with the warehouse district, it might seem a little scary, but if you know where to look, there are lots of great restaurants, art galleries, and bars. Boylan Bridge Brewpub has outdoor tables and one of the best views of downtown Raleigh, and Videri Chocolate Factory is delicious.
  6. Moore Square – Moore Square often has special events like music and arts festivals, but there are also interesting things to see and do nearby when there’s nothing special happening. Just north of Moore Square is the Marbles Kids Museum and the IMAX movie theater. Just south of Moore Square is Raleigh’s historic City Market, which now has restaurants, stores, bars, and The Handmade Market, an arts and crafts shopping event that takes place in the spring and fall of every year.
  7. City Plaza Area – At and near the end of Fayetteville Street, there are many fun and important places. City Plaza is where most outdoor events happen, but the Raleigh Convention Center is also there for indoor events. Just south of Fayetteville Street is the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. And just east of Fayetteville St., you can see bands perform live at the Lincoln Theater.

Again, these are just a few of the things you can find in downtown Raleigh. If you visit one of these places, please leave a comment and tell us about your experience. If you have a favorite place to go downtown, leave a comment and tell us about it!

Around Raleigh: NCSU Area

If you’re looking for a place to live or something fun to do on the weekend, it’s good to know the names of the different areas of Raleigh and Cary. Over the next few months, we will look at several different areas and all the things you can do there. We will start with the NC State University area. Here’s a map of the area. The Brooks Avenue Church of Christ is marked with “A,” and if you click on the map, you will go to an interactive version where you can see more:

image by Google maps and instructor ecparent

image by Google maps and instructor ecparent

Here are some important things to see on the map.

Major roads:

  • Hillsborough Street – There are many stores and restaurants on Hillsborough St. You have to pay to park there, though, so be careful not to get a parking ticket.
  • Western Boulevard – The part of Western Blvd. that you can see on this map is mostly just for driving. However, if you go west on Western, there are a lot of fast food restaurants. There is also a Food Lion supermarket.
  • Gorman Street – Most of Gorman St. is residential. That means that there are houses and apartments.
  • Oberlin Road – Oberlin Rd. has both businesses and homes. If you go north on Oberlin, you can get to Wade Avenue and Glenwood Avenue.

photo by ecparent1. Raleigh Little Theater – RLT is a local theater company. You can go there to see a show, attend an event, take a class, volunteer, or visit the rose garden, which is beautiful in the summer.

2. Cameron Village – Cameron Village has a lot of great stores and restaurants. There is also a post office (on Oberlin Rd.) and a really great public library (on Clark Ave.).

3. Pullen Park – Pullen Park was the first public park in NC. It has a swimming pool, tennis courts, picnic shelters, a playground, a carousel, and lots of other fun things for your family.

Your Turn

What are your favorite things to do in this area? Leave a comment with the names of your favorite stores and restaurants near NCSU.

Fortify NC

fortify (v) – to make stronger with extra support

If you drive on I-40 through Raleigh, you know that the highway is old and bumpy. The NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is working to rebuild 11.5 miles of I-40. This project is called Fortify, and it will take almost 3 years to complete. It could make traffic very slow and frustrating, but it is necessary for the safety of the 100,000 drivers who pass through that section of I-40 every day. This video explains the project more:

For more information, maps, live traffic reports, public transit options, and even music to listen to while driving, visit the Fortify website.

Did you know this about our city, Raleigh?

Raleigh, NC is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. (photo permission by flickr via sunlightfoundation)

Did you know that Raleigh is one of the top ten best run cities in America?  According to 24/7 Wall Street, Raleigh placed seventh on the list!  The ranking was based on unemployment, violent crime per 1,000 people and the city’s credit rating.

They reported that The Research Triangle brings high-skilled labor to the Raleigh area. More than 45 percent of the city residents over the age of 25 have a college degree.  Total employment in Raleigh and its surrounding area grew by 35.9 percent between 2000 and 2010.  This trend continued in 2011.

 Last December, Nancy McFarlane, the Raleigh Mayor,  was a guest on BBC’s ‘Newshour” after Raleigh was identified as one of the “cities of the future’.  The program announced that Raleigh is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.  Mayor McFarlane said this was a result of  sustainable job growth through a strong tech sector.

Remembering September 11th

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the United States experienced one of the most horrific terrorist attacks in American history.  On the anniversary of this event, many Americans will pause for a moment of silence to remember the people whose lives were lost on that tragic day.

Used with permission from NYCMarines via 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Used with permission from NYCMarines via 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

It began as a very typical late summer day for the people in New York City, New York, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  Early that morning, several men boarded two large Boeing 767 jets at Logan International Airport in Boston, MA.  One airplane was American Airlines Flight 11 and the other airplane was Untied Airlines Flight 175.  Both jets were departing to Los Angeles.  Other men, at Newark International Airport boarded United Airlines Flight 93 departing to San Francisco, and at Washington Dulles Airport other men boarded American Airlines Flight 77 departing to Los Angeles.

“All of the jets were scheduled for transcontinental flights and carried an average of 20,000 gallons of aviation fuel. This was probably one of the major reasons they were selected, as the amount of fuel, plus impact into a building, added up to a lethal bomb.” (

The hijackers used knives and box cutters to take over the planes.  The two planes that left the Logan airport flew into the World Trade Center Towers in New York City.  The plane that left the Washington Dulles airport flew into the west side of the Pentagon in Washington, DC and the forth plane that left the Newark International Airport did not make it to the hijackers’ intended target, but as a result of courageous passengers fighting against the hijackers, this airplane crashed into a field in the farming town of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

A little over 3,000 people were killed that day.  In New York City, 2830 people were killed.  This includes all the passengers and crew members on both planes, people working in the World Trade Center towers, police officers, fire fighters and Port Authority police officers.  In Washington, DC, at the Pentagon, 125 people were killed, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, all 44 passengers and crew members were killed when their plane crashed in a field.  The 19 men who hijacked the four jets on September 11th were believed to be members of al-Qaeda, Arabic for “The Base.”

For more information about the September 11th terrorist attack, you can click on the link below.

Pullen Park

Used with permission from Suzie T via (CC BY 2.0)

Used with permission from Suzie T via (CC BY 2.0)

Soon the weather will be cooler and it will be a great time to be outside!  A fabulous place to go is Pullen Park!

Pullen Park was the first public park in North Carolina.  It is a wonderful place for people of all ages. Located between Western Blvd., Hillsborough St., Ashe Av. and North Carolina State University, Pullen Park has many things to do during your free time.

Pullen Park was founded on March 22, 18817 by Richard Stanhope Pullen. He donated the farmland as a gift to the City of Raleigh to be used as parkland. He wanted the land to be used for the recreation use and pleasure of the inhabitants and the visitors to the City of Raleigh.

Here are some places to enjoy at Pullen Park:

Pullen Aquatics Center – With a indoor Olympic sized pool, the aquatic center is perfect for swim classes, recreation, and competitive events.

Pullen Community Center – Located beside the aquatic center, the community center has a fitness room, warming kitchen and five multipurpose meeting rooms.

Pullen Arts Center – Offering workshops, a gallery, studio areas and pottery kilns, this arts center has it all.

Pullen Amusements – The Amusements Center has undergone extensive renovation and is now open for you and your family to enjoy!

Pullen Place Cafe – Located in the Amusement area near the Welcome Center, Pullen Place Cafe offers fresh, local, seasonal foods.

Pullen Park Playground – The playground is made up of four distinct areas, distinguished by the age group they serve or the activities they focus on.

Pullen Athletic Fields – The park offers three softball fields and six tennis courts.

Click on the links above to find more information.  Have fun!