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9 Best Neighborhoods in Raleigh, NC

By: Susan Finch
June 29, 2021

Raleigh frequently makes the list of best places to live in North Carolina for its quality of life, affordable housing, culture, and entertainment. In fact, Raleigh is one of the Best Cities for Remote Workers. However, despite its reputation as a big city with a thriving job market, it still retains a small-town feel. Beyond the job market in the Research Triangle, the city is also home to fantastic dining with over 1,200 restaurants to choose from.

Ready to move to the City of Oaks? Discover some of the best neighborhoods in Raleigh, NC.

1. Chapel Hill

Although Chapel Hill isn't technically a Raleigh neighborhood, it is a popular area to live for University of North Carolina students and staff. It's also one of America's premier small foodietowns. The student population helped fuel the nightlife scene with pubs, cafes, and trendy dining.

Beyond the University, culture lovers check out the Ackland Art Museum, Carolina Basketball Museum, and Chapel Hill Museum. From upscale dining to iconic favorites like Dame's Chicken & Waffles, you’ll find something to satisfy your tastebuds in Chapel Hill.

Chapel Hill is alsoone of the most LGBTQ+ friendly and diverse areas of North Carolina. Year-round events, parades, and festivals are the norm around the community.

2. Cameron Village

The cozy neighborhood of Cameron Village started as a master-planned community. Today, it's a trendy shopping district with national brands and independently owned boutiques. It's also commonly called the Village District.

Just minutes from Downtown Raleigh and the city's museum district, you can bike and walk your way around this foodie neighborhood, including places like Tazza Kitchen. Spend the day shopping and grabbing a bite at local restaurants and cafes.

Cameron Village is also among the most desirable neighborhoods in Raleigh. It's appealing for Downtown commuters, foodies, and young professionals to call the Village District home.

3. Downtown Raleigh

Downtown Raleigh combines urban amenities and culture in a walkable neighborhood known as the City of Oaks. You're never far from a concert or Friday art walks, making it easy to see why Downtown Raleigh is growing and attracting millennials and tech workers. The area is also a hotspot for startups making their home in Research Triangle Park.

Downtown Raleigh is a desirable place to work, live, and play for its attractions, proximity to the R-Line public transportation, and convenience to trendy restaurants. Renters are also a stone's throw to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and Duke Energy Center. Take in a classic concert, opera, and ballet.

4. University Park

University Park is a neighborhood full of renters ranging from students, families, and young professionals alike. There are many well-regarded public schools in University Park. You'll find lots of coffee shops and casual burger and sandwich eateries in this low-key neighborhood.

The Raleigh Rose Garden is among the most popular attractions in the area, with a beautiful 6.5-acre garden. Visitors stroll among the 1,200 roses from 60 different flower varieties. Plus, The Rose Garden is also an idyllic spot for a family picnic or a romantic date.

Stop by the Garden's Raleigh Little Theatre on weekends for a live performance, as it's among the oldest continuously operating community theatres in the country.

5. North Hills

The upscale Raleigh neighborhood of North Hills sits adjacent to a shopping center with high-end chains and independent boutiques. This pedestrian-friendly destination is part of the Midtown district in Raleigh with 100-acres of mixed-use development. Upscale apartment buildings and condos dot the landscape along with endless retail options, craft beer bars, and cafes.

The local nightlife centers around around The Ritz nightclub with rock and country music acts. On weekends, locals gather at Midtown Park for live concerts and outdoor fitness classes. The park also offers year-round events, green space, a stage, and the local favorite Chuy's Restaurant. Best of all, you're never far from the rest of what Raleigh has to offer.

6. Hayes Barton

Hayes Barton is tucked away inside Raleigh's historic Five Points area northwest of Downtown Raleigh. It’s easy to see why this quaint Raleigh neighborhood is on the National Register of Historic Places. It boasts Georgian, Colonial, Tudor, Craftsman, Bungalow, and contemporary architecture single-family homes. The tight-knit community is known for its impressive stone manors and cottages among the lush landscape, where you’ll also find plenty of incredible restaurants, shopping, and vintage shops.

The family-friendly neighborhood is also famous for its green space and laid-back vibe. Young professionals also make themselves at home with a quick commute to Downtown Raleigh.

7. Brier Creek

The planned community of Brier Creek lies next to the Raleigh Durham Airport in the heart of the Research Triangle Park region. Well-heeled locals play a round at the 18-hole Brier Country Club designed by Arnold Palmer. There's also an on-site swim and tennis center, and a 40,000 square-foot community clubhouse that hosts events.

Families cool off at the splash pad or grab ice cream from the shopping and restaurant area. You're also just minutes from the Brier Creek Commons and Crabtree Valley Mall.

8. Boylan Heights

The historic neighborhood of Boylan Heights earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places. It's also among the eight local Historic Overlay Districts in Raleigh. In addition, the neighborhood ArtWalk has been running for nearly 30 years and features local and regional artists. The suburban vibe of Boylan Heights is appealing to empty nesters, families, and young professionals looking for a historical backdrop with a quiet reprieve.

9. Cameron Park

Cameron Park is a historic neighborhood situated west of Downtown Raleigh and was among three suburbs dating back to the early 20th century. Among the community, you’ll find Queen Anne and Colonial Revivals, oversized bungalows, and Mission Revivals. A streetcar also runs along Hillsborough to travel through the area, commute, and take in the sights.

The family-friendly neighborhood is also a cozy spot for young professionals looking for quick access to Downtown. Renters are close to the action in Downtown without sacrificing space and suburban amenities.

Which Raleigh Neighborhood is Right for You?

Moving to Raleigh and ready to start looking for your new home? Browse Apartment List to find that dream Raleigh apartment.

Learn more about:

If Raleigh isn't for you, consider Charlotte:

You can also consider Greensboro or Durham.

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AUTHOR
Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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