Raleigh, often known as the City of Oaks, is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. Considering the temperate climate, abundant cultural opportunities, and strong job market, it’s no surprise Raleigh attracts new residents while holding on to those born in the area. As Raleigh has grown in the past two decades, it has also become more and more friendly for pedestrians and cyclists.

So if you want to live in Raleigh and don’t want to rely on your car every day, where should you live? Luckily for you, we’ve found the five most walkable neighborhoods in Raleigh so you don’t have to!

About me – I lived in Raleigh for two years (downtown) and while I had a car, I rarely had to use it. Between downtown grocery stores and Raleigh’s bike lane network, there are a lot of options to live car-free, even if it’s not the easiest thing to do.

What Is the General Walkability of Raleigh?

If you’ve been to Raleigh, you’ve probably noticed most people need a car to get around, run errands, and commute. However, there are a few neighborhoods where you can take care of grocery shopping, get to work, and have a night out without ever getting in your car.

The general walkability of Raleigh, however, can vary dramatically from one area to another. According to Walk Score, Raleigh’s overall walkability rating is 31. For reference, the national average walk score of a city is 49. However, the neighborhoods we’ve found for you score much higher.

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How Bike-Friendly Is Raleigh?

The cycling scene in Raleigh has grown along with its population and skyline. The extensive (more than 100 miles!) Greenway network features paved trails ideal for cyclists looking for a leisurely jaunt or a hilly training ride. It’s also a great option for weekend excursions. In fact, you can hop on the Greenway after coffee and bagels at the popular Transfer Co food hall, and ride all the way across town to the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Raleigh also has Cardinal Bikeshare, a bike-sharing program offering bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters, which make cycling more accessible to residents and visitors.

To learn more about biking in Raleigh, check out Oaks and Spokes, a local bicycling advocacy organization. And if you’re looking to get a beer with fellow cyclists, check out Crank Arm Brewing.

So What Are Raleigh’s Most Walkable Neighborhoods?

Raleigh has several unique neighborhoods, each with its own charm and selling points, but when it comes to walkability and bike-friendliness, some are clearly better than others.

Take a walk with us through Raleigh’s most walkable neighborhoods:

Downtown – Fayetteville St.

With a remarkable Walk Score of 95 and a Bike Score of 82, the heart of Downtown Raleigh is where you want to be if you’re looking to spend as little time as possible in a car. The Fayetteville Street area is close to the center of North Carolina’s state government, with the old capital building providing a picturesque cap to its north end. At the south end of the street, the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts hosts the N.C. Symphony, Ballet, and other performances and cultural events. Between the two is a modern and dynamic mix of offices, condos, retail spots, and restaurants, making it a perfect blend of work and play.

To name a few culinary options, Oro, Death & Taxes, Capital Club 16, Morning Times coffee shop, Foundation cocktail bar, and Poole’s Diner are longstanding local favorites. Music lovers could see shows at Red Hat Amphitheater, Slim’s, King’s, the Pour House, and the Lincoln Theatre and never walk more than two blocks from Fayetteville St. Art aficianados have Flanders Gallery, Artspace, 311 Gallery and others similarly close. History buffs and science geeks will be right at home on Fayetteville Street, too, since it’s just a block from the North Carolina Museum of History and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. And for those times when they might want to get out of town for a bit, Raleigh’s Amtrak station is just a 10 minute walk away.

Clearly, the Fayetteville Street neighborhood is a walker’s dream. 


Adjacent to Fayetteville Street’s northeast border is the historic Oakwood neighborhood, with a Walk Score of 68 – and if you live on the western edge of the neighborhood, the score is even better. We’d be remiss not to mention that Oakwood’s bike score is 84, and the Oak City Cycling Project is the anchor of the neighborhood’s cycling community.

In contrast to the Fayetteville Street neighborhood, Oakwood feels like a step back in time, with charming, historic Victorian homes and a stately cemetary where some of North Carolina’s most famous residents are buried. But just because Oakwood is charming doesn’t mean it’s sleepy. Chef Scott Crawford has not one, but two restaurants in the Person Street corridor, and Gringo A Go Go and Longleaf Swine will cure your taco or barbecue cravings. 

At Halloween, the neighborhood goes all out, with people from all over the city coming to see the extravagant spooky decorations and trick-or-treat on the walkable and safe streets. As an added bonus, Oakwood residents get to call the governor their neighbor, since the North Carolina Executive Mansion sits on the west side of the neighborhood. 

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Five Points

With an old church, a pharmacy, a 50s-themed diner, and a small post office, the heart of the Five Points neighborhood could easily be mistaken for a small town movie set. Crafty Beer Shop, Hayes Barton Cafe, NoFo, Lily’s Pizza, and Bloomsbury Bistro provide a neighborhood bar, sandwich shop, brunch spot, pizza joint, and fine-dining establishment all within a few steps of one another. The Third Place Coffee shop will keep you caffeinated from your morning workout at Raleigh Pilates all the way through shopping at local jewelry and flower shops, to an evening movie at the Rialto Theater and a nightcap at Lola’s Beach Bar. 

As the name implies, Five Points sits at the intersection of some of the most important roads in Raleigh, for when you do need to get in the car and get to work, the airport, the art museum or anywhere else in this dynamic city. Plus, it’s a short walk to another one of Raleigh’s most walkable neighborhoods – Glenwood South. 

With a Walk Score of 83 and a Bike Score of 76, Raleigh’s Five Points neighborhood is proof that you don’t have to give up the convenience of a city if you want the charm and friendliness of a small town. 

Glenwood South

Glenwood South is one of Raleigh’s most vibrant neighborhoods, thanks to the cluster of apartment and condo buildings, restaurants, and bars in the area. Home to the city’s trendiest nightlife options, Glenwood South residents can walk to coffee shops, hair salons, sports bars, steakhouses, sushi spots, and nightclubs (and then stumble home).

To get a sense of the flavor of the area, the Guiness Book of World Records recognizes Raleigh Beer Garden as having the world’s largest draft beer list, with over 386 on tap. Vidrio serves up international cuisine and nearly two dozen wines by the glass in a trendy setting adorned by colorful glass sculptures on the wall. Carolina Ale House has almost as many flavors of chicken wings as they do televisions. Cornerstone Tavern attracts the college crowd with busy bartenders and extensive outdoor patio space. For those seeking a true nightclub experience, Alchemy keeps the beats bumping all night long. 

But Glenwood South isn’t just nightlife. There’s a boxing gym, cardio spots, and yoga studios for the health-conscious, an elementary school, art galleries, and clothing boutiques. The Wine Feed is one of the best wine shops in Raleigh, and offers wines by the glass at their bar in addition to their well-curated selection of both affordable and high-end wines for you to take home. The Record Krate is any audiophile’s best friend with their extensive vinyl selection, and Revolver Consignment Boutique is guaranteed to keep you outfitted in fresh threads at discount prices. Glenwood South’s Walk Score is 93, so residents of this neighborhood have all this a few steps away from their homes. 

Clearly, if you want to go from an early morning stroll for coffee to dancing in the wee hours of the morning without ever hopping in a car, Glenwood South is the Raleigh neighborhood for you. 

North Hills

North Hills, in Raleigh’s rapidly-developing Midtown area, feels more like a mini city than a neighborhood. Originally known more as a shopping area, North Hills has transformed into a model of mixed-use develpement and smart growth principles. Office towers, apartment buildings, grocery stores, clothing boutiques, restaurants, and even a movie theater are packed around small green spaces to give residents the convenience of a city with the feel of a village. 

North Hills has retained many of the clothing, jewelry, and interior design stores that originally made it a destination. For the ultimate shopping spree, drop into Fink’s for high-end jewelrey, Fleur for trendy women’s fashion, Lile’s for the dapper gent, and La Maison to put the finishing touches on your North Hills home. National retailers like Anthropologie, Peter Millar, and Ethan Allen have taken notice and dropped stores here, too.

But what would all this shopping be worth if you couldn’t take care of daily chores, too? Harris Teeter has you covered for groceries, Lens Crafters will have you seeing straight, Arrow Haircuts will keep your do fresh, and GNC is there for all your nutritional needs. 

For nightlife, you can basically throw a dart to decide which great restaurant you want to visit, then catch a movie at the AMC Regal, and finish off the evening with bowling, arcade games, and pool at Kings Diningh and Entertainment. North Hills is also a frequent host of free concerts, farmers’ markets, and other programming that gives locals entertainment options that won’t break the bank. 

The Walk Score of North Hills is 78, but for those who live in the mixed-use core of the neighborhood, it certainly feels much higher. 

Ready for a Move? Let Bellhop Handle It

So there you have it! Five distinct Raleigh neighborhoods where each offers more than just a high Walk Score or Bike Score. The combination of dining, working, and playing just steps away from myriad residential options makes each neighborhood the perfect new home for anyone looking to live as car-free as possible in Raleigh, NC.

So if you’re gearing up to make your move into one of Raleigh’s walkable and bike-friendly neighborhoods, Bellhop is here to help! Our local Raleigh Movers and Raleigh long-distance moving services ensure your move is done quick and done right.

And if you need to move soon but are short on time, we offer last-minute moving service in Raleigh so you can get settled as soon as possible.

Reach out to us today so we can help you get going on your next big adventure!

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Tyler Brown