Paritosh Gaiwak

The location of Raleigh, coupled with its student-friendly economy, makes it a perfect living destination for young adults and equally a great launching point for adventures to satisfy one’s wanderlust.

One of the major factors for this is that, aside from the city itself, all the places surrounding the city are conducive for tourism.

Raleigh, also known as the City of Oaks, could well have been called a city of lakes; several lakes of different sizes cut through the terrain of the city. For any student of NC state who wishes to explore the lakes or check out some beautiful spots, the most convenient point to begin would be Lake Raleigh, situated on Centennial Campus by Hunt Library.

Students can easily get there either from Hunt Library or from Avent Ferry Road following a simple trail. I have been there several times and I must admit, the serenity of the place is infectious and transports you to a different dimension.

I have also been to Lake Johnson which is one of the largest and most beautiful lakes. It is at the second most convenient location, just a mile beyond Gorman Crossing on Avent Ferry Road.  

There are various other lakes such as Lake Lynn and Lake Cramer, which provide young adventurers and boating enthusiasts ample opportunities to satiate their appetite.

These lakes offer recreational opportunities in the form of fishing, boating and picnic areas, which are good stress busters for students.

Raleigh and its surrounding areas also have a rich history, and nature is a dominating presence throughout the city, which is aptly depicted in its natural history and cultural museums. Some of them are the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the North Carolina Museum of History and Wake Forest Historical Museum. All of these museums provide visitors with glimpses into how the state has evolved to be what it is today.

One such museum stands out because of its proximity to the University: The Gregg Museum on Hillsborough Street. It is an arts and design museum and can be a good starting point for students who wish to explore the arts.

The nightlife of Raleigh has something to offer to partygoers. Downtown Raleigh has great pubs and clubs like Alchemy and C. Grace which offer ample opportunities to dance, drink and celebrate. It is also a great place to meet new people and enjoy weekends.

North Carolina has a rich and diverse geography with mountain ranges on one side and coasts on the other. One of the closest mountain ranges to NC State’s campus is the Smoky Mountains which is at a distance of 273 miles from the University and which students can easily access using the bus service to reach the mountain range in 5 to 6 hours.

Other ranges are the Appalachian and Black Mountains, which provide a retreat to those looking for some peace and meditation.

The coasts are also a good option for those who love the vastness and depth of the sea or the colorful hue of the horizon at sunrise and sunset. Myrtle Beach, while in South Carolina, is very beautiful, albeit a little crowded. A more viable option in terms of proximity to the University and travel time is Carolina Beach, which can be visited in one day.

Students can either go to the aforementioned places by themselves or they can join some international student organizations such as SIT and Bridges, which take students to these places.

North Carolina, and Raleigh in particular, is a beautiful place and has something to offer to everyone. As long as we are willing to venture out, we must explore this beautiful city and state to the fullest and enjoy the beautiful gifts which have been generously given to us by Mother Nature.