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Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options-house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, the convenience of location-it all can be quite overwhelming. That’s why we’ve researched the best neighborhoods in Raleigh for you, so you don’t have to (and by the way of introduction, we’re Bellhop—your friendly Raleigh movers). We’ve examined what it’s like living in each of these highlighted neighborhoods. And we’ve created in-depth guides with insider scoops on close-by, popular destinations. Soon you’ll be living like a local.
A Little About Raleigh and its Neighborhoods
Known as one corner of the research triangle, the city of Raleigh is more than a college rival and technology hub with the neighboring Durham and Chapel Hill. Raleigh’s high quality of life, strong job growth, and lower cost of living are luring new residents to the area every day. And the city’s many amazing restaurants, renowned breweries, and local cafes don’t discourage newcomers either.
Close to Duke and UNC, Raleigh brings in a high population of younger residents. And these yuppies have made the city grow in the entertainment sector: sports, monthly art walks, block parties, hip cafes, and rooftop bars. The city boasts of over 1300 restaurants. It has become a brewery destination, features museums and green spaces, and is developing a growing art and music scene.
Raleigh’s walkable downtown offers plenty of amenities. But outside the city, residents find several destinations that aren’t too far off. Durham is just a 30-minute drive away from Raleigh. And on either side of the city, you’ll find mountains and beaches that make for incredible weekend getaways.
Within city limits, Raleigh splits between several regions (ex: Northeast Raleigh and Southwest Raleigh). And these regions are divided by the major highways in the city (40, 440, 540, 70, and 401). Within these city sub-sections, Raleigh has well over a hundred neighborhoods and suburbs, each with its own vibe, culture, and offerings. Below, we’ve narrowed down five neighborhoods that we think show off this city’s best. Keep reading for the top five places to live in Oak City.
Located north of Raleigh’s downtown, Five Points is packed with restaurants, bars, and boutique shops. Many residents of this popular neighborhood can enjoy views of the city’s skyscrapers from their windows. This neighborhood is the clustered center where several smaller neighborhoods converge. And at this intersection, you’ll find a pocket of funky bars, quirky restaurants, local shops, and an indie movie theater.
Most of Five Points’ streets are quiet and tree-lined. But they give direct access to busier downtown areas closeby. Amidst its residential sections, Five Points’ streets feature 90-year-old homes, bungalows, cottages, and ranch-style houses, some of these with large porches and picturesque landscaping.
The neighborhoods surrounding this intersection at Glenwood Avenue are charming and historic, developed around 1915. And as you move further from the center of Five
Points, this area of the city feels more and more suburban. For a feel of local life in Five Points, check out some of the popular hubs like Hayes Barton Cafe, The Point Restaurant and Bar, and Ambassador Entertainment.
Sitting east of downtown, this historic district has features dating back to the 1800s. Oakwood is a popular spot among young professionals and families. Its pedestrian-friendly streets lead straight into downtown, and residents can walk to work or to restaurants, bars, and shops in the evenings and on weekends.
Due to its excellent location and historic character, Oakwood’s housing is a bit more expensive than some other bargain areas a little farther off. Despite its proximity to the city, this neighborhood has an envied aesthetic that gave it its name. Old oak trees speckle the area and remind locals and visitors of the long-standing history of the town.
A blend of housing options is available to newcomers, from old Victorian homes to 1920s bungalows to new constructions. Many young couples have moved to the outskirts of this neighborhood where they can afford a fixer-upper close-by. Check out some of Oakwood’s popular eateries: PieBird and Sidestreet Restaurant. Or stroll through the beautiful and tree-shaded Historic Oakwood Cemetery.
This fast-growing neighborhood sits right outside of Raleigh’s beltline and about six miles north of downtown. Many of the area’s ranch-style homes have been given face-lifts, and apartment complexes have gone up in the area. This suburb isn’t just residential. It’s extremely walkable and offers plenty of shopping opportunities to its locals.
Considered Raleigh’s shopping haven, this area is home to over 130 businesses that include breweries, handcrafted goods, and clothing stores. The suburb also offers several parks, great schools, and numerous local restaurants.
The median household income in North Hills is about twice that of Raleigh’s. And the area has become popular among well-off families and young professionals. Locally-favorite spots in the area include the Crabtree Valley Mall, the Carolina Country Club, and the Greenway. Residents also love to gather for live music, local events, and farmers’ markets that commence on the regular.
Nestled in the center of the Triangle, Brier Creek sits right between Raleigh and Durham. This great location has made Brier Creek a very popular neighborhood for commuters. Residents get even more options for dining and entertainment spots in the evenings and on weekends. And families are flocking to this area, drawn by the excellent schools in Wake County.
This area is growing fast and has developed from a sleepy, golfers town to a hot residential hub. Today, the area features thousands of housing options from cozy single-family homes to luxury condos. Golfers are still welcome, though. And the Brier Creek Country Club is a plus for many of the established residents in the area.
Located in North Raleigh, this beautiful community is quiet and family-friendly with fun summer amenities like tennis and racquetball courts, swimming pools, and community cook-outs. This suburb offers plenty of townhouses and single-family homes. And the houses in the area feature larger lots and were all built within the last 40 years.
Stonehenge is a popular spot for many retirees since it offers numerous senior amenities and communities. But the area also appeals to a number of families. It’s known for its great local schools and easy transportation routes around the Research Triangle for commuters. Residents gather for supper clubs, bridge clubs, and book clubs. And they participate in regular family-friendly events like their Halloween parade and Christmas light contest.
Other Raleigh Guides
Looking for more information on the greater Raleigh area? Read our other guides to live in the City of Oaks.
- Up and Coming Neighborhoods in Raleigh
- Best Schools in Raleigh
- Guide to Moving to Raleigh
- Moving from New York to North Carolina
- Best Raleigh Neighborhoods for Families
Ready to make the move to Raleigh?
We hope this has helped you decide where to land in Raleigh. If you’re ready to make the move, give us a call. We have local movers in Raleigh, and offer long-distance moving services to Raleigh as well. We can even take care of last-minute moves in Raleigh if you’re pressed for time.
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