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Fair parking and driving information

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Here is some information to help you get to and from this year's State Fair.

Parking Information

The best option for getting to the fair is to park in a Park & Ride lot and ride the bus. See the Bus & Train information for where these lots are located. Park & Ride buses drop off patrons at Gate 1, eliminating the hassle of finding a parking spot. Convenient Park & Ride lots are available in Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill and RTP.

Parking is free on state property

Free parking is available on State Fair, Carter-Finley Football Stadium and PNC Arena properties. Fairgoers are encouraged to take Wade Avenue to the Edwards Mill Extension to park in these lots. There may be exceptions if events are scheduled at Carter-Finley or the PNC Arena.

See a map of the Fairgrounds

Recreational vehicles are not allowed to remain in the parking spaces owned by the State Fair between the hours of midnight and 8 a.m.

Neighboring Private Lots: During the Fair, neighboring residents frequently convert parts of their property to small parking lots, and charge between $5 and $10 for space. This is not controlled by the State Fair.

Handicap parking lots

The parking lot at Gate 10 at the northeast corner of the fairgrounds, between Trinity Road and Blue Ridge Road is paved and designated for Handicap Parking only. There are more than 100 parking spaces designated for use by handicapped or disabled visitors in this lot, but a valid handicap permit is required. This lot should be accessed via Blue Ridge Rd. Visitors can access the Fair through gates 9 and 10. When handicap parking spaces at Gate 10 are filled, drivers with valid handicap permits will be directed to Carter Finley Stadium. Passenger vehicles may unload disabled passengers in the paved parking lot near Gate 10, but may only park there if the vehicle displays a valid handicap permit, and if space is available. The driver of the vehicle should inform a traffic patrol officer of the intention to simply drop-off disabled passengers.

Overflow parking for the Gate 10 lot will be at Carter-Finley Stadium Gate B. A handicap accessible bus will be available to transport fairgoers from this lot to Gates 8. 9 and 10.

Click here for more information about handicap accessibility.

Exhibitor parking lots

Concessionaires and exhibitors park in the lot west of RV Parking past Gate 9 along Trinity Road and at a new lot at Carter-Finley Stadium Gate C. A shuttle will be provided from Carter-Finley Stadium Gate C to State Fair Gates 9 and 12 for exhibitors/concessionaires/employees. Permits are required for these lots. 

Don't park on the street!

In years past, fairgoers have been accustomed to parking alongside Wade Avenue, but both Wade Avenue and Edwards Mill Road are now designated as tow-away zones. The North Carolina Highway Patrol has implemented these areas for the safety and protection of pedestrians. Youth Center Road is also a tow-away zone.

On especially busy days, the Highway Patrol may shut down exits from Wade to Blue Ridge Road and from the inner beltline to Hillsborough -- starting as early as traffic demands it -- to encourage flow to Edwards Mill Road.

Please be aware that the parking lot at the K-Mart on the corner of Blue Ridge Road and Western Boulevard is private property, and is now a tow away zone.

You parked the car where?

For weary fairgoers who exit the gates only to discover that they are on the opposite side of the fairgrounds from where they parked, a tram service is available. A 25-passenger exterior perimeter tram will circle the fairgrounds outside of the gates, making stops at gates 2, 8 and 10.

A parking lot tram will shuttle passengers from a tented bus stop on Peter Karmanos Drive (Gate A) Carter-Finley Stadium to State Fair Gates 8, 9 and 10, for free on days of heavy attendance.

A separate, inner perimeter tram operates inside the gates of the fairgrounds for a fee. This tram stops at Gate 1, the Folk Festival (near Gate 10), Dorton Arena and Gate 8. Ticket booths for purchasing tram tickets are located at each of these stops inside the fairgrounds. Tram tickets cannot be purchased in advance.

Unfortunately, neither the interior nor exterior tram services are wheelchair accessible.

Park and Ride

Public Transportation is one of the easiest, least expensive, and safest ways to get to and from the Fair, even for those who wish to enjoy the Fair late into the evening! Express lanes used exclusively for bus transport, and drop-off and pick-up directly at Gate 1 make Park and Ride an excellent option when planning your Fair trip!

New location! The North Raleigh CAT bus will leave from the old Westinghouse Building at 2728 Capital Boulevard. There will NOT be a bus leaving from Wake Forest Road.

Capital Area Transit (CAT) buses, daily:

  • All CAT buses operate daily, and drop off/pick up outside Gate 1. Regular fare is $4 round trip.
  • North Raleigh: CAT bus park-and-ride shuttle from the old Westinghouse Building at 2728 Capital Blvd.
  • Cary: CAT bus park-and-ride shuttle from the WakeMed Soccer Park
  • Downtown Raleigh: CAT bus stops along Wilmington, Morgan, Edenton and Hillsborough streets (look for the blue State Fair signs)

Click here for more info on the CAT State Fair Park and Ride Shuttles.

Durham Area Transit Authority (DATA) buses, daily:

  • All DATA buses operate daily and drop off/pick up outside Gate 1. Regular fare is $2 round trip.
  • Durham: DATA bus park-and-ride lot at the Durham Heritage Square Shopping Center, 401 East Lakewood Ave.
  • Downtown Durham: DATA bus park-and-ride lot from the Downtown Durham Station

Click here for more information and schedules for DATA Park and Ride.

Triangle Transit buses, weekends only:

  • Triangle Transit buses operate on Saturdays and Sundays only and drop off/pick up outside Gate 1. Regular fare is $5 round trip.
  • Chapel Hill: Triangle Transit park-and-ride lot at the Friday Center, 100 Friday Center Drive, Chapel Hill, NC (off of Hwy NC 54, first lot on the right)
  • RTP: Triangle Transit park-and-ride at the Regional Transit Center, 901 Slater Rd near the Sheraton Imperial Hotel

Click here for more TTA Park and Ride information.

McLaurin Parking Company buses, weekends only:

  • Garner buses operate on Saturdays and Sundays only and drop off/pick up outside Gate 1. Regular fare is $4 round trip.
  • Garner: McLaurin park-and-ride lot at 500 Chapanoake Road, located off of Hwy. 70 East/401 South, South Wilmington Street

Click here for more information about the Garner shuttle.


Getting to the State Fair on Train 80

  • Ride train 80 departing Charlotte at 7:00 a.m. with stops at Kannapolis, Salisbury, High Point, Greensboro, Burlington,
  • Durham, Cary, State Fairgrounds & Raleigh station.
  • Book tickets using Fare Code NSF.
  • For best fares, book early and print your own ticket before you get to the station.
  • Train 80 arrives across the street from the Fairgrounds at approximately 10:08 a.m.
  • State Fair tickets can be purchased at the entrance gate.

Getting Home from the State Fair on Train 79

  • Ride train 79 departing State Fairgrounds stop at 4:56 p.m. with stops at Cary, Durham, Burlington, Greensboro, High Point,
  • Salisbury, Kannapolis & Charlotte.
  • Book tickets using Fare Code NSF.
  • For best fares, book early. Tickets now on sale 4 easy ways (see below).
  • Train 79 arrives Charlotte station approximately 8:12 p.m..

*Note: Trains are considered on time if they arrive within 30 minutes of their scheduled arrival time. We recommend checking train status before you travel by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL.

One-way fares to the State Fair as low as:

From Charlotte - $28

From Greensboro - $12

From Kannapolis - $26

From Burlington - $9.50

From Salisbury- $23

From Durham - $6.50

From High Point - $15.50

From Cary - $5.50

Discounts available for seniors, children, college students with Student Advantage Card & active military.

*Note: Temporary State Fair stop is wheelchair accessible.

Book tickets 1 of 4 easy ways

At automated ticket kiosks at all stations.

Online at Amtrak.com. eTicketing available.

Walk-up window sales at Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Greensboro & Charlotte stations.

By calling 1-800-USA-RAIL or by picking up red reservation phones at Burlington, High Point, Salisbury or Kannapolis stations.

Commercial Carrier/School Bus/Church Bus Parking

All commercial carriers and motorcoaches will use the new bus transit lot at Gate 1 on Hillsborough St. for drop-off and pick-up of passengers. Commercial Carriers and motorcoaches will then be directed to WakeMed Soccer Park for parking. Drivers wishing to attend the N.C. State Fair will then take the CAT Park and Ride buses to and from the fair.

School Bus/Church Bus Parking

You can unload and load your bus at Gate 10 located at the corner of Blue Ridge and Trinity roads, then park the vehicle in that same parking lot on Trinity Road. Please access the Gate 10 drop-off zone via the entrance on Blue Ridge Road. Parking lot attendants or security personnel will direct you to the appropriate place to park. If the lot is full, you will be directed by parking attendants to an overflow parking lot in Carter-Finley Stadium.


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