North Carolina is called “Variety Vacationland.” The coastline, 310 miles long and a two- to three-hour drive away, enjoys mild temperatures from March to October. The mountains, with more than 200 miles of the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail, nine ski resorts, and 15 whitewater rivers, are within a three-to-four hour drive.
The North Carolina Zooogical Park at Asheboro, one hour from the Raleigh-Durham area, is the world’s first planned, completely natural habitat zoo. For golfing, Pinehurst, one hour away, has more than two-dozen golf courses within a 20-mile radius. For 10 days each October, the North Carolina State Fair is held in Raleigh.
The Triangle is blessed with an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities. Residents and visitors can enjoy more than 250 parks and 100-plus miles of paved greenway trails. In addition, there are countless miles of gravel and single-track trails available for hikers, bikers and horseback riders. Boating and fishing enthusiasts will enjoy Falls Lake, Harris Lake, Lake Wheeler and Jordan Lake, which when combined account for more than 27,000 acres of water. Golfers have an incredible range of local choices with 30 public and 18 private golf courses, and the world famous Pinehurst Resort is just an hour down the road. The region’s moderate climate means you can enjoy the great outdoors all year round. And don’t forget about the Blue Ridge Mountains just three hours west and the Atlantic Ocean only two hours east.
Sports Travel Magazine has rated Raleigh as one of the "hottest sports cities" in the country. There are four professional sports teams; most notably the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes which play at a state-of-the-art arena seating more than 20,000 screaming fans. Baseball lovers have two choices—the Carolina Mudcats and the Durham Bulls. And soccer fans love cheering on the Carolina Railhawks. However, when you get to the heart of the matter, the region is best known for its collegiate sports teams including ACC legends NC State Wolfpack, UNC Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils.
Many area communities have active recreation programs sponsored by city parks departments, YMCAs, and independent groups. The Triangle area also has many other public and private swimming pools, golf courses, tennis clubs and country clubs.
We love our sports teams – whether it’s collegiate or professional, basketball, baseball, football, hockey or soccer! Explore our home teams below.
Atlantic Coast Conference
Inter-collegiate sports competition is intense in the Raleigh-Durham area, with three nationally high-ranking teams competing year round:
Carolina MudcatsThis Class AA professional baseball affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds plays 70 games at Five County Stadium in Zebulon. The Mudcats are one of the top-drawing teams in attendance in the Southern League.
Durham Bulls Made famous by the movie “Bull Durham,” this AAA farm club for the Tampa Bay Rays enjoys widespread Triangle support.
Carolina Hurricanes The NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes play at the PNC Arena. It hasn’t taken long for hockey to gain a loyal following in this southern city. In 2006, the Canes won the Stanley Cup.
Resources: Outdoor Recreation
American Tobacco Trail
Chapel Hill Orange County Sports and Recreation
Durham recreation & activities
Durham nature parks and greenways
Executive Women's Golf Association
Greater Raleigh Outdoor Recreation
Triangle Greenway Council
Raleigh Parks and Recreation
William B. Umstead State Park
Wake County Parks