Local News:

Two 17-year-old seriously injured in Johnston County wreck
07/21/2017 08:53 PM
Two 17-year-old seriously injured in Johnston County wreckTwo 17-year-olds were seriously injured in a single-vehicle wreck near the intersection of Bay Valley and Bunn Road in Johnston County around 7:10 p.m. Friday.

Scotty McCreery cited for having gun, ammo at RDU
07/21/2017 07:43 PM
20 Scotty McCreeryGarner native and country music singer Scotty McCreery was cited last week after he was found in possession of a gun and ammunition at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Cornerstone set in Raleigh cathedral
07/21/2017 07:11 PM
Raleigh cathedral almost ready for dedicationFive days before the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh dedicates the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral in a special Mass, two workers on Friday set the cornerstone near the entrance to the 2,000-seat church.

One dead in fiery tractor trailer wreck on I-85
07/21/2017 05:28 PM
One dead in fiery tractor trailer wreck on I-85One person has died following a fiery wreck involving two tractor trailers on Interstate 85 in Warren County, officials said.

Psychologist: Accused killer had been diagnosed with PTSD
07/21/2017 04:28 PM
Eric Campbell testifiesThe Texas man accused of robbing and killing a Granville County couple almost three years ago had been diagnosed as a child as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of repeated physical and emotional abuse by his father, a psychologist testified Friday. Weather

Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

2017 Summer Vacation
07/21/2017 03:00 AM
I just wanted to post a quick heads up to readers that I’ll be behind-the-scenes for the next two weeks. There won’t be any posts as I wanted to try a bunch of things on the website as well as a side project. This may or may not produce changes, we’ll see how it goes. […]

Palm Trees In Raleigh
07/20/2017 03:00 AM
If you don’t follow me on Instagram, I’ve been having fun with a little photo project over there. I’ve been cataloging the location of palm trees in and around downtown Raleigh. More palmetto than real palms, spotting the fronds around town gets me thinking that they could have been fashionable at one point in time. […]

MLS Stadium Rendering for Downtown Raleigh
07/19/2017 08:41 AM
It’s not official but in preparation for touring MLS reps to Raleigh today, this rendering came out. Read/watch more here and I’m sure more details to come soon.

Pic of the Week
07/17/2017 03:00 AM
Dirt is moving at the site of Boylan Flats, the five-story, 48-unit residential building along Boylan Avenue. (615 N Boylan) From what I’ve seen out there, this development is quieter than most with no released real estate info at this point in time. (and no approval drama either) It’ll be interesting to see the layout […]

Oaks and Spokes Trying to Bring Community Funded Cycle Track to West Street
07/13/2017 03:00 AM
I stumbled on this Oaks and Spokes project recently and just had to share it. They want to lay down a temporary cycle track along West Street as part of a “6 month pilot to showcase a new type of bikeway and get feedback.” The project is taking donations from the public and there is […]

Welcome to RaleighFree!

Our goal is to provide you with information about the wide variety of free things to do in Raleigh, NC. With the many parks, museums, and other attractions, there's enough to keep most people busy and happy for quite a while. Browse our links, and check back soon, more content is coming online quickly.

History of Raleigh

Oak Tree Raleigh is also known as the "City of Oaks," mainly because of the numerous oak trees that adorn the entire city. Yet aside from these functions, the city is also North Carolina's capital and Wake County's seat. According to a count for July 2006, Raleigh's population is estimated to be around 353,604, thus making the capital one of America's rapidly expanding cities. In fact, Raleigh ranks fourth in the "List of Best Big Cities in 2006" by Money Magazine. Of course, anyone who is familiar with the city's history is not at all surprised by such a remarkable development. Since Raleigh is among the selected US cities intentionally developed to be a state capital, it can easily be said that the city is destined for expansion and progress.

Long before becoming a state capital, the city was called as the "Wake Crossroads," a name that gives a clear idea regarding the city's geographical function. At that time, Raleigh served as a place where travelers from either north or south could rest and maybe have a drink in one of its taverns. The place was eventually chosen to be North Carolina's capital in 1788. According to some accounts, "Wake Crossroads" was selected since it was within a 10-mile radius of Isaac Hunter's Tavern, a place popular among legislators at that time. But it was in 1792 when Raleigh was formally established as North Carolina's capital.

Sir Walter Raleigh That same year, the North Carolina General Assembly bought a lot from a local businessman and started making plans for Raleigh, which was by the way, modeled after Philadelphia, the US capital state at that time. The city got its name from Sir Walter Raleigh, who sponsored the Colony of Roanoke. The aforementioned assembly held its first meeting in the capital in December 1794. A month after that, the legislative body officially granted Raleigh a charter along with an "Intendant Police" (Mayor) and seven commissioners. John Haywood was Raleigh's first "Intendant Police."

Although Raleigh was lucky to be spared from destruction during the Civil War, the city remained little in size until streetcar lines were introduced in the 1920s. Since then, Raleigh began to grow, eventually transforming into one of the state's commercial hubs. A railroad was also constructed to link the city to neighboring communities. By the end of the Second World War, Raleigh had undergone many significant developments, particularly in its infrastructure. What used to be a rural community evolved into a bustling urban center. The development of the city's infrastructure is largely attributed to the founding of the North Carolina State University School of Design in 1948. But the construction and existence of the Research Triangle Park in the 1959 also brought big changes to the city. With a 7,000 acre land area, the RTP is the world's biggest research park, comprising Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. With its high-tech facilities, the RTP is also among the global leaders in scientific research and development.

As education is essential to any improvement of a city, Raleigh also has many universities and colleges. Aside from the North Carolina State University, other schools in the capital include Shaw University, St. Augustine's College, Meredith College, Wake Tech Community College, and Peace College. Both St. Augustine's and Shaw were founded towards the end of the 1860s, as schools for the freed slaves after the Civil War. Shaw was the premier university founded for that particular purpose in the country. In 1874, the Estey Hall was added to provide higher learning to women of African-American ethnicity.