This is the kind of city where, if you got around on foot, someone would pull over and ask if your car broke down. While that speaks to this city’s southern hospitality, it’s more important to note that you will need a car to get by around here. With that in mind, you can shorten your commute by living near work, or settling into an apartment near the Belt Line (I-440) or the newly constructed parts of I-540. Traffic never gets too congested, and parking is plentiful, even downtown.
Mosquitoes, ‘skeeters, call them what you will, these pesky little blood suckers like to hang out in pines and ponds all summer long. So, if you’re one of those people with particularly delicious blood that always gets eaten up, beware of beautiful pond views in woodsy apartments.
I dare you to try and find an apartment that doesn’t allow pets. Many places will charge a pet rent, but it should only be an extra 20 – 30 dollars a month.
There is an unbelievable amount of parks, greenways, and lakes located in this city, even in the more urban areas. North Carolina has near perfect weather, and you will want to be outside most of the year, so make sure you’ll have an easy, go-to neighborhood spot.
First Fridays, Second Fridays, and Final Fridays are celebrated all around Raleigh and neighboring suburban towns with artists markets, outdoor concerts, and general artistic awesomeness. Be sure to check out what’s going on in your neighborhood on a Friday night.
Raleigh is split into two main areas: inside the Belt Line and outside the Belt Line. Inside the Belt Line, you will find artsy urban hubs, sky scrapers, and, of course, the capital. There are also quaint suburban-style areas with small duplexes and house rentals. The area outside the belt line goes from suburban to rural, with many tight-knit, individual communities chock-full of Carolina character.
Inside the Belt Line
Capital. This district is where business gets done, where history evolves, and where the people of North Carolina rub shoulders with state lawmakers. There are great apartments for both swanky young hipsters and old timer urbanites. Unassuming buildings hold surprisingly spacious rooms of modern design and awesome skyline views.
Fayetteville Street. Also known within North Carolina as Main Street, this area has undergone a renaissance resulting in quite the enjoyable downtown ecosystem. In 2006, the pedestrian mall was replaced by a traditional street lined with wide sidewalks, public art, & outdoor cafes. Residents can enjoy the Fayetteville Street Farmers Market for their homegrown, straight-from-the-farm fix.
Glenwood South. Live here if you enjoy dancing, live music, shopping, and an all around eclectic atmosphere. Shopaholics can delight in the Designer’s Downtown Market, and those seeking a sleek, modern home will be able to choose from luxury lofts and apartments, as well as newly built condos located above restaurants, shopping, and even dance clubs. There are also a couple of luxury apartment projects currently under construction, which will include central open-air courtyards that provide the beauty of a protected urban park.
Moore Square. Cobblestone streets, old lampposts, art galleries, an urban park, and a giant copper acorn make this district downright adorable during the day. At night, local pubs teeming with live music and good old beer-swilling soul create a distinct nightlife character that you should be so lucky to enjoy. The perks of living here would be the obvious: it’s scenic, fun, walkable, & in a convenient location. But, on top of that, this district hosts a First Friday, as well as the Artsplosure Festival, and the World Beer Festival. Naturally, a young and energetic crowd has invaded this popular entertainment district, so be prepared to battle for these highly sought-after rentals.
Warehouse District. Old warehouses and historic buildings, dance clubs, BBQ at the Pit, and the Cuegrass Festival are the main attractions here. If you like pure urban living, then these rows of massive warehouses and brick buildings will make a hipster feel at home.
Other popular neighborhoods inside the Belt Line include Boylan Heights, Cameron Park, Mordecai, Glenwood-Brooklyn, Coley Forest, Five Points, and Historic Oakwood.
Outside the Belt Line
Midtown. Located just north of the Belt Line, this is a sprawling area of parks and greenways, shopping, and convenient suburban living.
Uptown. This is an enclave of rural country land a bit farther north. The popular New Hope and Wilder’s Grove neighborhoods are located here.
West. Home to North Carolina State University and Meredith College, this area attracts a large student and intellectual population. It also features many scenic parks and old churches.
North. Far north, you will find an expansive suburban area full of both historic homes and newer architecture. There are plenty of large shopping areas for work or pleasure, as well as many scenic neighborhoods, such as Bier Creek, Wakefield, and Stonehenge.
South. South of the Belt Line, you will find the least populated area of Raleigh. This area is easy on the eyes, with those wide-open spaces that many people so often crave. Apartments here are simply adorable, with single-story ranch house settings, cottage communities, and townhomes that match the charm of these southern neighborhoods. The eastern section features many historical communities that date back to the civil war. It is bordered to the west by the popular suburban city of Cary, worth checking out for their monthly art crawl.
Take a deep breath, there’s something in the air that keeps people coming this way. Take a ride around the country-side under Carolina blue skies and then head on to downtown entertainment. It’s time to celebrate your new home in the City of Oaks.