Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill collectively form what is known as the Triangle in North Carolina. The area is home to Raleigh, the state capital, several major universities and their widely popular NCAA sports teams, Research Triangle Park, multiple state parks, and hundreds of attractions and entertainment options; all within 30-45 minutes of one another. RDU International Airport is also one of the two major airports in the Carolinas and is conveniently located in-between all three cities, roughly 10 miles west of Raleigh and 10 miles east of Chapel Hill and Durham.
Located 30 minutes northwest of Raleigh off of I-40, Durham is a city of over 218,000 residents that boasts a large number of attractions, city, county and state parks and several festivals that occur annually. With Duke University and the local minor-league baseball team, the Durham Bulls, in the city, there is a large focus on sports and recreation. Catch a football or basketball game at Duke, baseball game at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, or enjoy a museum or two within the culturally rich city.
With Falls Lake State Park to the north, the American Tobacco Trail running through town, Lake Jordan State Recreation Area to the southeast, and many other city and county parks facilities within the area, Durham offers a good amount of outdoor recreation opportunities.
The college town of Chapel Hill and its immediate neighbor, Carrboro comprise the quaint area housing the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and its Tar Heels sports teams. The immaculately well kept area is one of the more beautiful and charming small towns within North Carolina. With its history as the oldest public university in the country, active student body, and intensely passionate residents, the Chapel Hill area lives and breaths UNC-Chapel Hill. Have a lazy stroll through the campus, enjoy the North Carolina Botanical Gardens, visit the Morehead Planetarium, attend a Tar Heel sporting event, or catch a show at The Cat's Cradle. Either way you look at it, Chapel Hill exudes small town charm and acts as a nearby escape from the city-life of Raleigh or Durham.
Chapel Hill is located just to the south of I-40, only 8 miles south of Durham and 20 miles west of Raleigh.
Being the capital of North Carolina, Raleigh naturally is the tourist hub of the Triangle. As a city of nearly 400,000 there's not much that is absent from Raleigh. All major statewide museums call Raleigh home such as the North Carolina Museums of Art, History, and Natural Sciences. As home to five universities and an ever-growing downtown business district, Raleigh is a great place to find entertainment and a bustling nightlife. If bar-hopping downtown isn't what you're into, there are numerous outdoor recreational opportunities existing within the many city, county, and state parks nearby. Visit Umstead State Park or Lake Jordan State Recreational Area for amazing hiking, boating, fishing, and mountain biking opportunities or city parks for disc golf or a lazy day of picnicking in lush green grass.
Raleigh is located on I-40, roughly two and a half hours northeast of Charlotte and two hours northwest of Wilmington.