Raleigh travel information
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill are the cities that compose the North Carolina's Research Triangle.
Raleigh located in the east, is the largest of the three and the state capital, well known for its beautiful setting and high standard education. In the past the main occupation in the area was farming and mining, but now other activities took over the old ones like: high-tech industries, government, education, service industries, research, and medicine. The old south roots are still present as the city is a combination of the old and new.
The city’s development has been fast due to its position in the Triangle area. The most developed is the downtown area that boasts with new buildings (houses, museums, shops, restaurants) that took place of the old abandoned ones. Many of the state's largest and best museums are here, as are North Carolina State University and six other universities and colleges.
People from colder climates came to settle here thus the possibility of a greater hockey team arose and now the city prides itself with a new team: the Carolina Hurricanes. But there are some drawbacks of this development, the most obvious of which being of course the traffic jam that occurs at rush hours besides other drawbacks like crowded restaurants.
Durham located in the north (23 miles northwest of Raleigh), with a population of 212,000 and once known as the city of tobacco has now changed its image and warehouses and mills in the city have been turned into elegant shops, offices, and condos. Its image has changed into a healthier one and its new nickname is the City of Medicine mostly because of medical and research centers of Duke University, the most appreciated schools in the country and the one that has the most employees, the center hiring more people than any other institution in the state, one of the reasons also being that most of the Research Triangle Park is in Durham County.
The city is also a cultural place with three art centers and 18 cultural festivals a year and three of North Carolina's 22 National Historic Landmarks. The city also has an important baseball team: the Durham Bulls.
Chapel Hill, located 12 miles southwest of Durham and 28 miles northwest of Raleigh is the smallest city of the three. The city’s past together and the air of a small-town from 1950s is well preserved under strict historic preservation laws. The downtown area is the new part of the city filled with shops and restaurants. The ones on Franklin Street are especially sought as they are the liveliest in town. Many festivals are held here throughout the year.
Home to the University of North Carolina the city bustles with students. On the campus there is the "Dean Dome", the famous sports complex named after coach Dean Smith, the mastermind behind Tarheel dominance in NCAA basketball. Many great basketball players played here but its most well known students is Mr. Michael "Air" Jordan, considered a king of the city, his framed portrait laying on most establishments. Thus no wonder that one of the most popular pastimes in Chapel Hill is basketball. Music is a popular pastime, too and the area's diverse population supports jazz, rock, blues, folk, and most other genres that come along.
The Research Triangle Park with 6,800 acres of lake-dotted pineland sits in the centre of the three cities. It is a public complex with public and private research facilities that draws scientists, academics, and businesspeople from all over the world.
The park is also a big attraction for tourists and no matter where you choose to stay from the three cities you are within easy reach of the park. But all the three cities are worth visiting as each has something special to offer. Visit three destinations on one journey and you will not regret you did.