Raleigh is more than a trip to a blossoming Southern metropolis--you'll feel enriched and energized the instant you're warmly welcomed by its smart, savvy locals. Raleigh's bright minds head top-tier technology, education and life science institutions; its artists create a bevy of cultural and culinary touchstones; and its storytellers proudly carry on the collective heritage of a rich, historic capital city. Invigorate your senses by sampling the many flavors of cutting-edge Southern cuisine enhanced by artisan craft brews and spirits. Get your toes tapping to the sounds of emerging music and bands, as well as rollicking bluegrass festivals and more. Discover gifts and treasures from local boutiques, including many handmade and custom designs for truly eclectic finds. And, join in broadening your horizons through an enticing array of visual and performing arts exhibitions. Raleigh may be quiet about the fact that it's leading in most recent quality-of-life rankings, but the fact is, you'll enjoy visiting as much as people enjoy living here. Come see what the city will inspire in you. Its authenticity is homegrown by passionate locals, rooted in Raleigh.? In North Carolina, boating is one of the state's most popular activities year-round. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission provides more than 200 free Boating Access Areas (BAA) to 80 different bodies of water.