There are many areas of interest in North Carolina. One region that you might not be too familiar with is the North Carolina Research Triangle. This region, often just called “The Triangle” is in the Piedmont of the state of North Carolina and is anchored by three of the state’s universities: North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Duke University in Durham, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The region became known as The Triangle originally only referring to the universities but the term later expanded to include the geographic region. The North Carolina Research Triangle name became even more widespread in the 1950s after the construction of the Research Triangle Park, which is home to many high-tech companies.
1. North Carolina State University
Founded in 1887, North Carolina State University, or NC State, is located in Raleigh. With an enrollment of over 34,000 students, it is the one of the largest universities in the Carolinas. The Wolfpack competes in the FBS conference of the NCAA in 24 varsity sports.
2. Duke University
Located in Durham, Duke University is a private research university founded in 1838. There are two schools for undergraduates at Duke: Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and Pratt School of Engineering. The Duke Blue Devils compete in the ACC with 26 varsity teams.
3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Also known as UNC Chapel Hill, or simply Chapel Hill, this university is one of a few schools considered a Public Ivy school, providing Ivy League level education at a public school price. Students here study in a huge variety of disciplines and Chapel Hill is definitely a college town. UNC Chapel Hill is a member of the ACC in 27 varsity sports and Tar Heels sporting events are big draws.
4. Great Sports
In addition to the college sports of NC State, Duke, and UNC at Chapel Hill, the North Carolina Research Triangle is home to several professional sports teams. The Carolina Hurricanes are an NHL team based in Raleigh. The Hurricanes have even won a Stanley Cup! The Durham Bulls are a minor league AAA baseball team affiliated with the Tampa Bay Rays and the Carolina Mudcats are the Advanced-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.
5. Fantastic Shopping
If shopping is your thing, than the North Carolina Research triangle has you covered. There are several major shopping centers and large shopping malls featuring a huge selection of fine retailers. These huge shopping meccas include: The Streets at Southpoint and Northgate Mall in Durham, Crabtree Valley Mall and Triangle Town Center in Raleigh, and Cary Town Center in Cary.
6. Festivals and Entertainment
The North Carolina Research Triangle is home to great performing arts and festivals throughout the year. Several film festivals showcase the talents of filmmakers in North Carolina and beyond. The American Dance Festival takes place each summer in Durham and the Hopscotch Music Festival is held in Raleigh in September.
7. History and Museums
Like much of the state, the North Carolina Research Triangle is an area rich in history and has museums celebrating that history as well as celebrating art and science. Sports fans will enjoy the Carolina Basketball Museum in Chapel Hill and wildlife enthusiasts will delight in touring the Carolina Tiger Rescue.
8. Outdoor Activities
Along with museums, shopping, sports, and other entertainment options, the North Carolina Research Triangle is the perfect place to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Several trails throughout the region give hikers a great escape. Points of interest include Al Beuhler Cross Country Trail, the American Tobacco Trail, the Arboretum at Johnston Community College, and Battle Park among others.
9. Research Triangle Park
Research Triangle Park is one of the largest research parks in the world. Home to over 190 companies, the park is not a tourist destination, but is a vital part of the region and important to its many residents. The Research Triangle Park employes over 50,000 people.
When you plan your visit to the North Carolina Research Triangle, be sure you book a stay at a Select Registry Inn. The Arrowhead Inn Bed & Breakfast is located on 6 acres of lush land in the heart of the North Carolina Research Triangle, so you’ll be close to all the action! For other travelers, be sure to take a look at our other North Carolina inns.
Photo courtesy Seth Ilys via Wikimedia Commons.