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The capital of North Carolina is filled with diversions for everyone. For instance, art lovers will appreciate the North Carolina Museum of Art while those with an interest in science might enjoy the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. History buffs should take a tour of the North Carolina State Capitol and a jaunt through the North Carolina Museum of History. And for those who love the outdoors, Raleigh contains a number of parks, including Umstead and Pullen.
As home to 10 traditional universities and colleges and numerous satellite campuses and for-profit institutions of higher education, the Raleigh area is unusually rich in educational opportunities.
Among the traditional colleges are North Carolina State University, a major research center; a private women's college; a law school; two seminaries; and two historically black universities.
As one of the three "corners" of the Research Triangle Region, Raleigh's academic research network is enhanced by the presence of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and by Duke University and North Carolina Central University in Durham.
All of these N.C. universities are within a 45-minute commute of each other and from The Research Triangle Park, one of the nation's largest and most prestigious R&D business parks (located in Durham and Wake counties).
Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park area consistently rank among the nation's best economies year after year. Unemployment remains low and per capita income remains high. Wake County's biggest industries—government, education, and healthcare—are virtually recession proof. Although the region has felt some of the pinch of the nation's economic slowdown, many factors point to Raleigh's continued fiscal health.
Numerous high-technology and medical corporations have been attracted to the Raleigh-Durham area because of the outstanding educational and research facilities at area universities, such as North Carolina State University, which is home to the nation's tenth largest school of engineering, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Nearby Research Triangle Park is one of the leading centers for high-technology research and development in the country. Roughly 140 corporate, academic, and government agencies in the Park employ more than 38,500 (plus 5,000 additional contract employees) workers and provide an annual payroll in excess of $2 billion.
With excellent road, rail, and air transportation systems, and easier access to the deepwater port at Wilmington as a result of the completion of I-40, Raleigh is a growing distribution center.