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Where to Stay in Raleigh
Raleigh's hotel selection is about as varied as the city itself. The downtown historic and commercial districts offer comfortable, upscale accommodations for business travelers and pleasure seekers alike. A number of cozy bed and breakfasts are clustered around Cameron Village. This downtown district is home to more than 100 shops and restaurants. Those traveling with children might want to consider a stay near Pullen Park. This 72-acre urban park offers a number of kid-friendly activities, including an antique carousel, pedal boats and a miniature train ride. If you want to be near some of Raleigh's best nightlife, look for hotel deals near City Market. This historic downtown district offers tourists a good selection of cheap, low-key bars as well as higher-end lounges. If you don't mind staying outside the downtown district, there is a cluster of affordable hotel options just north of the city in the North Hills area.
Raleigh Hotel Tips
The best seasons to visit Raleigh are the spring and the fall. This is when temperatures are near perfect. Look for hotels between March and May as well as September to November. However, if you're visiting in May around college commencement season, plan your trip well in advance. With several major universities in the area, including Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, hotels can fill up fast.
Summertime in Raleigh can get pretty steamy for those unaccustomed to the heat. Temperatures can reach the 90s from late June through August. However, with many of the college students gone for the summer, you won't have to face the usual crowds, though tourist season can pick up. Also, summer is the perfect time to visit the Pullen Aquatic Center at Pullen Park, which features an Olympic-size swimming pool.
If you want find the best Raleigh flight deals and hotel rates, schedule a trip during the winter.
Raleigh Hotel Recommendations
Business travelers will love the convenience of the Marriott City Center in downtown Raleigh. The 17-story luxury hotel is connected to the city's convention center and only steps away from Raleigh's main commercial and financial district. Rooms are spacious and feature soothing earth-tone decor, 37-inch plasma televisions and plush beds. Guests can take a dive in the Marriott's indoor pool or grab a cocktail at Bar Posta, the hotel's Italian small plates restaurant and bar. If you're looking for some more substantial eats, try the Posta Tuscan Grille, an Italian restaurant that focuses on using fresh, seasonal ingredients.
If you're looking for an environmentally friendly stay, check out the charming Cameron Park Inn. Located near the North Carolina State University campus, this bed and breakfast bills itself as Raleigh's only "green" B&B. The estate features five distinct rooms, each decorated in a unique Victorian style. For a romantic getaway, book the Rose Room, which features a two-person shower and a private Jacuzzi. Breakfast is served every morning and includes such dishes as eggs Florentine, strawberry-stuffed French toast and baked maple pancakes. Another quaint and affordable B&B option is the Oakwood Inn. Featuring six elegantly furnished guest rooms, each equipped with a private bath, the Oakwood Inn provides guests a quiet getaway on the north side of the city.
Budget travelers can find some of Raleigh's best deals at the national discount chains, locating downtown and on the city's far north side. Choose from one of a number of popular options, including Holiday Inn, Days Inn and Hampton Inn.
Raleigh is home to a 38-route bus system that can transport visitors throughout the city. If you want to visit nearby Durham, Cary or Chapel Hill, hop on the Triangle Transit. This fixed-route bus service provides transport between Raleigh's neighboring cities. The Triangle Transit system also offers bus transport to and from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU). Renting a car is one of the best ways to get around Raleigh. Although downtown can be somewhat confusing due to its number of one-way streets, navigating the city is relatively easy.