• What's This?
    Mixed media artist and clothing designer Marie Cordella is just one of the 40 artists whose work can be viewed at ArtSpace, a visual art center that features 23 open studios, three exhibition galleries, lectures, classes and many other stimulating art events.
  • What's This?
    North Carolina State Capitol
    The North Carolina State Capitol, completed in 1840, is one of the finest and best-preserved examples of a major civic building in the Greek Revival style of architecture. It is a National Historic Landmark.
  • What's This?
    Blount Street was once home to rich industrialists and prominent civic leaders, as evidenced by these beautiful, historic homes. Nearby Blount Street Commons, currently under construction, will soon add even more residences, retail shops and parks.
  • What's This?
    Father and Son Antiques
    Father and Son Antiques is home to a bounty of collectables and oddities, from mid-century designs and vintage threads to '50s kitch, tiki, mod, and much more.
  • What's This?
    Wachovia IMAX Theater
    This architectural sculpture marks the entrance of the Wachovia IMAX Theater at Marbles Kids Museum, which provides a larger-than-life movie experience for kids of all ages.
  • What's This?
    Raleigh Times Bar
    The Raleigh Times Bar is located in the beautifully restored 100-year-old former home of the city's evening newspaper. Featuring creative takes on classic bar fare, and an amazing beer selection.


DRA's Discover Downtown Tours

Explore. Connect. Discover.

Hear the stories, see the spaces and learn about Downtown Raleigh in an immersive, engaging way through the Downtown Raleigh Alliance’s Discover Downtown program! Discover Downtown Tours highlight a variety of downtown locations from sneak peeks of new developments to behind-the-scenes experiences.

Meet others interested in Downtown Raleigh’s history, development and unique culture during and after the tours. Tours are followed by a gathering at a nearby venue for refreshments and conversation. Tours are free and open to the public but fill up quickly. Sign up for the DRA weekly e-newsletter online here for Discover Downtown information.

Upcoming Tours

Behind the Scenes Tours at the North Carolina Museum of History

Thursday, August 23, 2018
TOUR 1: 3 pm - 4 pm (Register Here)

TOUR 2: 4 pm - 5 pm SOLD OUT

Want a peak behind the scenes at the NC Museum of History? You’re in luck—the museum is opening its vaults to 40 fortunate folks for exclusive guided tours through the Collections area. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear Collections and Curation staff speak about the museum’s artifacts and share stories about their most popular exhibits.

Come early or stay late and enjoy the museum’s exhibits (including the groundbreaking new The North Carolina Roots of Artist Ernie Barnes). Curators will be on hand in the galleries to answer questions and provide additional insights.

There will be a gathering afterwards at Paddy O’Beers (121 Fayetteville St)

*Groups are limited to 10 people per tour. Two tours will start at 3 pm, followed by an additional two tours at 4 pm. No photos will be allowed in the Collections area, but photos are encouraged in the museum!


Mark your calendars for these upcoming tours:

Raleigh's New Union Station
Wednesday, September 19, 4 pm - 5 pm
Thursday, September 20, 4 pm - 5 pm

Registration opens Tuesday, August 28

Backstage at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts
Tuesday, October 16, 4 pm - 5 pm

Registration opens Tuesday, September 25

One Glenwood
Thursday, November 15, 4 pm - 5 pm

Registration opens Tuesday, October 23


Downtown Retail Along Hargett Street
Wednesday, December 5, 3:45 pm - 5 pm

Registration opens Tuesday, November 13

Previous Tours

The Dillon
June 2018

Over 70 tour-goers go an exclusive tour of The Dillon, the first mixed-use development of its kind in downtown Raleigh's Warehouse District. The 18-story project includes 220,000 square feet of Class A office space, two seven-story apartment buildings with an adjoining parking deck, and dynamic street- and sky-level retail space. With a nod to its 100-year-old history, parts of the original Dillon Supply warehouse building have been preserved and reused in its new life. Tour attendees saw the outdoor sky terrace with dramatic downtown views, conference room, fitness center, 18th floor office space, Stewart's new office space designed by Gensler, an apartment home model, and a peek into the future Urban Outfitters with August Construction Solutions. 


Poyner YMCA
May 2018

DRA members got a sneak peek at the new Poyner YMCA in downtown Raleigh before it opens to the public this summer. They toured the 26,000 square foot Wellness Center which will include state-of-the-art fitness equipment, group exercise studios, locker rooms, saunas, a dedicated cycle studio and a community gathering space. Lynch Mykins spoke to the challenges and opportunities in the unique space. The street-level mezzanine, a new structural feature, was framed into the existing structure and provides a new community meeting room within the YMCA. Two new sets of stairs were designed to connect the three levels and to improve flow of the space. The tour wrapped up at Trophy Tap + Table. 


National Small Business Week: Raleigh Denim Workshop + Curatory
May 2018

DRA members toured the Raleigh Denim Workshop + Curatory to celebrate National Small Business Week, and enjoyed a reception at Parkside afterwards. Founded on the simple idea of making the “ideal pair of jeans,” Raleigh Denim jeans can be found in high-end Fifth Avenue stores including Barney’s and Saks as well as in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District at the Curatory – where the jeans are still made today!

See photos from the event online here.





Maximizing Innovation and Connection: The Strategy, Design and Curation of Transfer Co. Food Hall 
February 2018

DRA members toured Transfer Co., a new 42,000 SF food hall and market with almost 20 food vendors opening in downtown Raleigh later this year! With the goal to encourage innovation by bringing together different people, Jason Queen, founder of Monarch Property and Realty Co, has strategically designed the space as an innovative hub using food as the vehicle for knowledge transfer. Jason and Fred Belledin of Clearscapes gave a behind-the-scenes look at the build-out of the warehouse, previously a bus maintenance facility and Ford Saunders dealership auto garage. Along with bringing an 8,000 SF grocery store Saxapahaw General Store to downtown, Transfer Co. will create approximately 115 jobs in the community with 98% of them requiring no high school diploma. 

See photos from the event online here.





Honoring History Through Development: The Past, Present and Future of North West Street
November 2017

About 50 DRA members participated in DRA's first Discover Downtown Tour in November 2017. Attendees heard from Michael Iovino, President of August Construction Solutions, as he spoke about the past, present, and future of North West Street. DRA members toured the state-of-the-art offices of Spectraforce, Equity Resources, Carimus and August Construction Solutions in what were once run-down warehouse buildings and learned about the unique history, creative design and construction challenges of the spaces. After the tour, members connected at The Cardinal Bar with its Raleigh skyline views! Click here to see photos from the tour.