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Visiting Raleigh-Durham

A golfer’s paradise, the Triangle Region of North Carolina boasts over 40 golf courses. The large population of students and young professionals has also ensured the area is full of things that top livability charts.

We’re talking green spaces, live music, passion-fueled sports, a thriving arts scene, a multitude of museums, fantastic restaurants, and a booming craft brewery scene.

Icelandair offers great deals on flights to Raleigh-Durham from the UK and Europe for golfing, hiking, and museum-hopping. Explore the nearby Crystal Coast, with 56 miles (90km) of protected beaches, and the Smoky Mountains, a hiker’s paradise.

Before you drive North Carolina's Blue Ridge Parkway, how about road-tripping around Iceland’s Golden Circle, or taking on its Ring Road? When you book flights to Raleigh-Durham with Icelandair you can add a Stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.

Things to see in Raleigh-Durham

Pretty, tree-lined Raleigh is North Carolina’s capital.

The state’s most visited museum – the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences – is free to visitors and well worth a visit. Here you’ll get up close and personal with science as you explore the dinosaur center, whale skeletons, live animals, and walk-through dioramas.

Animal lovers will enjoy one of the region’s best (and most unexpected) sights: the Duke Lemur Center in Durham. Home to the largest collection of lemurs outside their native Madagascar, this animal sanctuary is guaranteed to melt hearts.

Raleigh-Durham is also known as an intellectual capital in the USA. Travelers often visit the local college campuses, curious about the three powerhouse universities that comprise the ‘Research Triangle Region’: Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University.

Places to eat in Raleigh-Durham

Raleigh and Durham are among the most underrated foodie destinations on the East Coast. The area’s rich cultural heritage affords them access to a wide range of different cuisines.

Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Pepsi hail from North Carolina, but we suggest covering more of the food groups on your visit.

The state is best known for its chicken-fried steak, barbecue (preferably pork), Indian tacos, and fried-onion burgers. Southern flavors (fried chicken, biscuits and gravy) are a state-wide passion, and seasonal seafood from the coast is a winner.

Travelers can choose from a wide range of restaurants and other places to eat in Raleigh-Durham, with everything from farm-to-table to comfort food to fine dining available.

Things to do in Raleigh-Durham

North Carolina is a nature lover’s dream.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the USA’s most visited national park. Overflowing with forest, wildlife, and waterfalls, it takes its name from the ever-present morning fog. Visit year-round for hiking trails,in late spring for the wildflowers, or fall for stunning leaf displays.

Make pit stops at fun things to see and do along the 280 mile (450km) road trip from Raleigh to the national park. Stop at nearby Asheville, often listed as one of the coolest cities in the USA and nicknamed Beer City thanks to it boasting more breweries per capita than any other US city.

Golfers will have plenty of tee-off spots to choose from. With more than 40 private and public golf courses all within 20 miles (32km) of Raleigh, it’s easy to see why the area has a reputation as a golfer’s paradise.

Aviation fans best head to the NC coast, where they can visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk. Here, in 1903, the Wright brothers took to the air in the first successful powered flight.