Like Washington, D.C., Raleigh has a highway that loops around the city. The terms "Inner Beltline" and "Outer Beltline" refer to your direction: the Inner Beltline runs clockwise; the Outer Beltline runs counterclockwise. Don't confuse the Outer Beltline with the Outer Loop, which refers to Interstate 540.

If you come by train or bus, you'll step off in Raleigh's Warehouse District, a developing area of cool clubs and restaurants a few blocks west of Downtown. RDU International is a 15-minute cab ride, depending on rush-hour traffic, from Downtown. Buses and taxis serve all parts of the city, including the suburbs. This is the easiest city in the Triangle to get around without a car. Not having your own transportation will make exploration outside the city a pain, however.

Historic Raleigh Trolley Tours. You can board a trolley run by Historic Raleigh Trolley Tours for a narrated hour-long tour of historic Raleigh. Between March and December, the trolley runs Saturday at 11 am, noon, and 1 and 2 pm. Although the tour starts and ends at Mordecai Historic Park, you can hop aboard at any stop along the route, including the State Capital Bicentennial Plaza, the Joel Lane House, and City Market. The cost is $10 per person. 919/857–4364.

Hoofing It

It's easy to get around downtown Raleigh, as the streets are laid out in an orderly grid around the state Capitol. A good place for a stroll is the Oakwood Historic District, a 19th-century neighborhood with dozens of restored homes.