Directions & Parking
First Night Raleigh venues are located in the center of downtown. Performance sites on the north end of the festival include the North Carolina Museums of History and Natural Sciences and various churches off of Salisbury and Wilmington Streets. Activities will also take place along the five blocks of Fayetteville Street, heading southward from the State Capitol, on City Plaza, and at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts on South Street.
Parking decks and surface lots surround the downtown area. City-owned lots and decks will be open all day and night for a small fee. State government visitor lots are available at an hourly rate during the day, and other state-owned surface lots are available for free parking after 6:00 PM. Please see the downtown and event maps for the location of parking lots and decks. For more information about parking in and around downtown Raleigh, visit the Downtown Raleigh Alliance’s website. The free R-Line Downtown Circulator (until 2:00am) and the First Night Raleigh Tram (operating 7:00 – 11:00 with a First Night button) can help you get from point to point.
Additionally, CAT buses will be operating a park-and-ride system into downtown for the first year ever! CAT will operate from North Raleigh at 2728 Capital Boulevard (Old Westinghouse building) and from Southeastern Raleigh at 4011 Carya Drive (Wake County Government Office Park), offering service frequencies of 30 minutes or less. The downtown pick-up and drop-off locations will be at Morgan Street and Fayetteville Street, in the heart of First Night Raleigh festivities. Security will be provided at both park-and-ride locations with off-duty Raleigh police officers for the duration of the event. Full information for this special service can be found here.
Taxi cab lines will start running at 8:00 pm and end at 1:00 am in the following areas:
Salisbury Street: East side of Salisbury Street from Morgan Street to Cabarrus Street
Wilmington Street: West side of Wilmington Street from Morgan Street to Davie Street.
From West of Raleigh
From I-40 East, take Exit 298-B (South Saunders Street) towards Downtown. Go approximately 1 mile, then follow the right fork to “Downtown.” Continue on South Saunders as it curves as you approach downtown and becomes McDowell Street. Parking is available in decks located along McDowell Street between South and Lenoir, Cabarrus and Davie, and Hargett and Morgan Streets. Or, as you enter downtown, turn right at the first stoplight onto South Street. Go 2 blocks and turn left onto Wilmington Street. Parking decks are available over the next 4 blocks of Wilmington Street.
From East of Raleigh
If you are approaching the city on I-40 West, keep to your left at the I-440 split. Take Exit 299 (Person Street) from I-40 and make a left off the exit. Go approximately 1 mile and turn left onto Davie Street. Go 2 blocks and turn right onto Wilmington Street. Parking decks are available over the next 3 blocks of Wilmington.
Take US-64 (Business) West, which becomes New Bern Avenue. New Bern Avenue becomes Edenton Street as you near downtown. Follow Edenton Street for parking near the state Museums and churches near the Capitol building.
From North of Raleigh
Take Capital Boulevard (US 1) south, which becomes Dawson Street as you enter downtown. At the second stoplight, turn left onto Jones Street and proceed 4 blocks for parking near the Museums. Or continue south on Dawson Street, making a left onto Davie, Cabarrus, Lenoir or South Streets for parking near the Progress Energy Center, the Main Stage, and Fayetteville Street venues.