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A Guide to Raleigh’s Most Notable Areas

When moving to any new area, learning the various neighborhoods and areas can be a bit overwhelming. This is especially challenging in a city like Raleigh that is growing very rapidly and the neighborhoods are constantly changing. However, there are some staple areas that once a new resident learns what they are and where they are located, they can master navigating the area. Let’s take a look at the major neighborhoods inside the Raleigh city limits. 

Boylan Heights

Boylan Heights is a national historic district that emcompasses 252 contributing buildings that were constructed between 1907 and 1932. Just west of downtown Raleigh, homes in this neighborhood vary in architectural styles, including bungalows, Queen Anne, Colonial Revivals and Dutch Colonial. This community is mostly reserved for residential use, but Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing is located here and offers amazing views of downtown Raleigh. The hilly terrain and mature trees lining the streets create a beautiful, peaceful environment just minutes from dining and entertainment venues in downtown Raleigh. 

Historic Oakwood

Historic Oakwood is a neighborhood in downtown Raleigh that was home of the most influential members of Raleigh society in the 19th century. It is on the National Registry of Historic Places, and features the Historic Oakwood Cemetery and many Victorian-style homes. Many of the residents are also avid gardeners, which means that the landscaping in the neighborhood is impeccable. There are candlelight and garden tours offered various times throughout the year. 

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Village District (formerly known as Cameron Village)

Widely known as a boutique shopping center, The Village District is just north of downtown Raleigh in a premier spot for shopping and dining, surrounded by housing with a variety of architectural styles, from historic to ultra-modern. This area was the first planned community to be developed in Raleigh, which started construction in 1947. The Village District is a staple for Sunday brunchers, and has a wide variety of housing options, from apartments to single-family homes. 


Named for the historic park that is the cornerstone of the community, Mordecai is home to the oldest home in Raleigh, the Mordecai House, which dates back to 1785. In addition to this stunning home, Mordecai Historic Park also includes the birthplace of Andrew Johnson, 17th president of the United States. The Mordecai family was one of the first Jewish families to reside in the United States. This community is located just outside of downtown Raleigh, with a quaint, nostalgic feel throughout. 


Downtown Raleigh is emerging as a center of culinary excellence, entertainment, and nightlife, in addition to being the site of many state-run agencies and private businesses, such as Red Hat and Citrix. First Fridays are a great way to experience the art and museums downtown for free and try out the downtown restaurants, along with enjoying some live music and festivities. The dining scene offers everything from the casual Morgan Street Food Hall, to the upscale Death and Taxes. The Moore Square Market and  Raleigh Night Market also offer opportunities to support local farmers and artisans, while enjoying craft beer and live music. 

“Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina”, licensed by CC BY-SA 3.0

Historic South Park 

South Park is an up and coming neighborhood right now, and located just minutes from downtown Raleigh. Home to Shaw University, this neighborhood has some great options for affordable housing in an extremely attractive and easily accessible location. This historic neighborhood has a variety of architectural styles, ranging in dates from the 1930’s through modern new construction homes. Dining options are also expanding in the area, as evidenced by the tenancy of Transfer Co. Food Hall. 

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North Hills 

North Hills is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Raleigh, due in large part to the one billion dollar Innovation District that is being constructed in the immediate area. North Hills is the perfect location for anyone interested in living in an urban environment with a lot of amenities that also can boast great schools.Located north of downtown Raleigh, North Hills is very convenient to most areas of the Triangle. On top of the numerous boutique retailers, restaurants, grocery stores and fitness facilities, there is also a substantial amphitheatre that hosts live music and events. The housing options vary widely, with everything from high-rise apartment buildings to luxury single family homes. 

Brier Creek

Located in the Northwest corner of Raleigh, bordering Durham County, Brier Creek is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the Triangle. Named for the Brier Creek Commons shopping area, this neighborhood is consistently adding new residential communities, from apartment communities to luxury single family homes. There is a wide variety of stores, restaurants, salons, fitness facilities and more.  This neighborhood is two miles from William B. Umstead State Park and five miles from Raleigh Durham International Airport. This community is a popular choice for people who work at the Research Triangle Park or downtown Raleigh.

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Five Points

Five Points is actually a culmination of several smaller neighborhoods, including Hayes Barton, that were constructed between 1910 and 1950. This area was originally chosen as a prime location due to its easy access to the streetcar line. The community, just north of downtown, radiates out from the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Whitaker Mill and Fairview Roads. It is an up and coming area, with several restaurants, craft breweries and other boutique small businesses that have opened in the past few years. Each neighborhood within Five Points has a unique feel, as they were each constructed during different periods of time. The entire neighborhood is very pedestrian friendly and residents are able to walk to the many restaurants and breweries in the neighborhood. 

Six Forks

Located in North Raleigh, Six Forks is a long established luxury neighborhood, with some of the highest median home prices in the area, which according to is currently $630,184. Homes in this neighborhood are generally spacious three to five bedroom homes with a substantial size homesite. Homes in this neighborhood are very well maintained and tend to appreciate very well over time. Six Forks is in the heart of North Raleigh, with easy access to major retailers, grocery stores, fitness centers, salons, restaurants, parks, golf courses, and so much more. The schools in this neighborhood are also highly sought after, both public and private. 

North Raleigh 

North Raleigh emcompasses the entire area north of Midtown and includes Six Forks and North Hills. There is no shortage of things to do for the entire family and the amount of residential communities available is growing exponentially and rapidly. This area is home to hundreds of restaurants, large retail stores, entertainment complexes, top-rated schools, parks and recreation centers. As the region continues to grow, the area considered North Raleigh continues to expand. I 540 has previously acted as a marker between suburban North Raleigh and more rural areas, but new construction is pushing that designation further North than in previous years. Northwest Raleigh, close to Brier Creek, is also becoming distinguished from North Raleigh as that area also continues to develop, fueled in large part by people moving to the area for work in the Research Triangle Park. 


West Raleigh

Home to the PNC Arena, North Carolina Museum of Art, CarterFinley Stadium, The State Fairgrounds, Pullen Park, and the main campus of North Carolina State University, West Raleigh is a highly convenient area with easy access to both downtown Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park. Much of the housing in this area accommodates NC State students, but there are also some amazing single family and townhome communities. Hillsborough Street and downtown Raleigh are very closeby, as well as entrances to William B. Umstead State Park. 

“PNC Arena is Raleigh, NC” licensed by CC BY-SA 3.0

East Raleigh

Diversity and affordable housing are major selling points for people moving to East Raleigh. The area has a very diverse population, and is growing along with the rest of the Triangle. East Raleigh is very conveniently located to downtown and North Raleigh. Due to the affordability of East Raleigh and the surrounding towns like Knightdale and Clayton, these communities are starting to attract families looking for more space and also new restaurants, retailers and amenities. Neighborhoods like Hedingham and Southall offer a great sense of community and the neighbors are very friendly. 

Moving to any new city can be a challenge, one of the biggest obstacles is learning the various neighborhoods and finding the right location for your needs and wants. The best way to navigate a new area is to work closely with a real estate agent who is highly knowledgeable in the various areas and can guide you through the relocation process, while finding the perfect section of town for your family. 

Thinking about buying a home in the Raleigh-Durham metro area? Check out this list of local professionals with the Jim Allen Group

The Jim Allen Group is a nationally recognized and award-winning real estate team in Raleigh, North Carolina – ranked the #1 Coldwell Banker HPW Sales Team in the nation.

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