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The 16 Best Neighborhoods in Raleigh, NC

The best neighborhoods in Raleigh, NC downtown

Raleigh, North Carolina is a great place to call home. It’s full of vibrant neighborhoods with plenty of amenities to enjoy and explore. From the best restaurants and shopping centers to beautiful parks and recreational activities, there are countless possibilities for exploration in Raleigh. Whether you’re looking for a quaint community or an area that offers lots of activity, Raleigh has something for everyone. 

The best neighborhoods in Raleigh offer something unique that makes them stand out from the rest. From historic homes near downtown to modern communities near major universities, these areas provide residents with all the comforts they need while also providing easy access to transportation hubs and other attractions in the city.

The Top Neighborhoods in Raleigh, NC

In this article, we’ve created an overview of 16 of the best neighborhoods in Raleigh: Boylan Heights, Brier Creek, Bryson Village, The Village District (formerly Cameron Village), Five Points, Glenwood South, Hayes Barton, Mordecai, North Carolina State University, Oakwood, South Park, Southgate, North Hills, Wakefield and Warehouse District.

Each neighborhood provides its own distinct features that make it special – from peaceful residential streets lined with trees to bustling nightlife spots buzzing with energy. With so many great areas in Raleigh to choose from, you’re sure to find one you love. Let’s take a look at the best neighborhoods in Raleigh, North Carolina!

Boylan Heights

Boylan Heights, established in 1907, is one of Raleigh’s historic neighborhoods. It is also conveniently located within walking distance of downtown Raleigh. The neighborhood offers a unique selection of architectural homes including Queen Anne/Colonial Revivals, Dutch Colonials and foursquare with Colonial Revival or Craftsman detailing – all within close proximity to renowned landmarks such as the Dorthea Dix Central Regional Hospital. Homeowners appreciate the value these properties bring both monetarily and sentimentally.

This historic Raleigh neighborhood takes you back in time with its historic charm, but it also embraces all the modern conveniences nearby. You’ll be just minutes away from Raleigh’s best downtown restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues like the Red Hat Amphitheater. 


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If you’re looking for a great place to eat or drink in the area, Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing is a popular spot. You should also take a weekend stroll to Boulted Bread for the best homemade breads and pastries!

Brier Creek

Brier Creek, located in Northern Raleigh, is an ideal neighborhood for homeowners who appreciate the best of both worlds – serene and residential, yet conveniently close to all the best amenities. In this family-friendly area, you’ll find a variety of townhomes and single-family homes in traditional and modern styles. Homeowners enjoy the best of modern living in this neighborhood, from nearby retail shops and entertainment venues to great schooling options.

The area also offers plenty of recreational activities for the whole family – from walking trails and golf courses at Brier Creek Country Club to parks like Robert J. Bickley Park and Lake Lynn Community Center. Residents can also enjoy the best of shopping and dining at nearby Raleigh’s Crossroads Shopping Center. 

If you’re looking for a great place to eat or hang out, check out Village Draft House – an ideal spot for craft beers and pub food. You can also find convenient coffee shops, like Starbucks and Caribou Coffee, as well as local favorites like The Remedy Diner. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder Brier Creek is one of the best neighborhoods in Raleigh! 

Bryson Village

Bryson Village is a popular neighborhood located in the North Raleigh area. This well-established community is known for its larger homes that showcase traditional styles such as Colonial, Cape Cod, and Tudor. Residents can enjoy a peaceful atmosphere within the neighborhood’s tree-lined streets and beautiful landscaping. 

Within Bryson Village, you’ll find plenty of amenities to suit your lifestyle. There’s easy access to nearby schools, parks, and shopping centers like the Triangle Town Center Mall. 

Residents can also take advantage of local restaurants such as La Farm Bakery, which is known for its delicious French pastries and artisan breads; or Cici’s Italian Restaurant – a great spot for pizza and Italian favorites. There are also plenty of convenient stores, like Harris Teeter, to pick up groceries or other necessities. With so much to offer, Bryson Village is a great place to live within Raleigh.

The Village District (Formerly Cameron Village)

The Village District, formerly known as Cameron Village, is a popular residential neighborhood located in Raleigh. This well-established community features mid-century modern homes – from ranch-style to two-story properties – with beautiful classic architectural styles like split-level and contemporary architecture. Homeowners also appreciate the convenience of being close to downtown Raleigh and easy access to plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment venues. 

The area also provides plenty of recreational activities for the whole family, with a number of walking trails and parks scattered around the Village District. The area is also home to popular restaurants like Five Star Chinese Restaurant – a great spot for traditional Chinese dishes – or Ajisai – known for its excellent sushi and other Japanese specialties. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder the Village District is such a popular neighborhood to live in Raleigh.

street image of cute houses in a friendly looking neighborhood

Five Points

Five Points, located just two miles north of downtown Raleigh, is a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood that blooms where five historic districts intersect: Hayes Barton, Bloomsbury, Georgetown Vanguard Park and Roanoke Park. 

This charming area has something to offer everyone – from Colonial Revival style homes with tree-lined streets to patios houses and townhomes. Enjoy the pleasant ambiance on pedestrian friendly paths or explore one of its many parks for an afternoon in nature. 

There are two great coffee shops nearby in Hayes Barton Cafe & Dessertery and The Third Place Coffee Shop. For a night out or even just a drink with friends, check out Big Boss Brewing Company or Nickelpoint Brewing Co. If you don’t feel like cooking one night, stop by Lily’s Pizza and bring home your favorite pie.

With convenient access to all downtown attractions plus lots of old charm mixed in with modern living amenities – it’s no wonder locals are drawn here year round!

Glenwood South

Glenwood South is a vibrant neighborhood nestled in downtown Raleigh. Located near many entertainment options, restaurants and bars, this neighborhood offers an array of amenities perfect for city dwellers seeking a lively lifestyle. 

The area is best known for its classic architecture ranging from contemporary townhomes to traditional Craftsman-style homes. The unique buildings that line the streets make it a picturesque area to live, work and play in. 


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Residents of Glenwood South can enjoy the best of what downtown Raleigh has to offer: world-class shopping at City Market, great restaurants such as Humble Pie, or an evening out at one of its chic bars like Fox Liquor Bar or The Mason Jar Tavern. 

Whether you’re looking for a place to call home or just visiting, come experience why Glenwood South is one of the best neighborhoods in Raleigh.

Hayes Barton

Hayes Barton is one of the most sought-after places to live in Raleigh, offering potential home buyers and residents plenty of attractive features. With its close proximity to downtown amenities such as restaurants, businesses and parks – not to mention some particularly stunning homes with mature trees situated on larger lots – this historic neighborhood offers a fantastic quality of life for those looking for an all-inclusive ‘live, work & play’ experience. 

Despite the elevated home values ranging from around $500,000 to $5 million, they provide exceptional value when you consider their picturesque location; perfect if you want big city vibes coupled with peace and tranquility.

exterior view of the historical Mordecai house in Raleigh NC


Mordecai is a charming neighborhood located in the heart of Raleigh. It’s best known for its historical homes, many of which date back to the 1800s and feature classic Georgian and Greek Revival architectural styles. Here you will find sprawling estates with ample space for outdoor living areas, gardens, and pools. 

For amenities, Mordecai is home to five churches, a YMCA, several parks and playgrounds – including one at the historic Mordecai House. Shopping is close by with the North Hills Mall and the Village District just minutes away. For dining out or nightlife, head over to King’s Barcade for its rock music scene or Sitti for delicious Lebanese-style food.

North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University is a neighborhood in Raleigh that offers residents comfortable suburban living near the university. Homes in this area range from cozy bungalows and ranches to luxurious two-story properties with generous outdoor areas. With its close proximity to amenities such as shopping, dining, and entertainment, the university area is an ideal place for students and families alike. 

student walking across a university campus

The university campus is a major draw here, offering students easy access to the best that NC State has to offer – from sports and entertainment events at Carter-Finley Stadium and PNC Arena to educational programs, research labs, and libraries. Residents can also stay active by enjoying recreational activities such as tennis at Millbrook Exchange Park or golf at NC State’s Lonnie Poole Golf Course. 

North Hills

North Hills is a popular neighborhood in Raleigh, best known for its upscale homes and convenient location. The majority of the homes in the area are single-family residences, but there are also townhomes and condos available as well. Many of these homes have been recently updated with modern amenities, including stainless steel appliances, hardwood flooring, and luxurious bathrooms.

This area is home to some of the best shopping and dining in Raleigh. The North Hills Shopping Center offers an array of stores and restaurants, while The Forum Shops offer upscale boutiques. Other nearby attractions include Six Forks Cinema and the North Carolina Museum of Art. 

When it comes to outdoor recreation, North Hills is home to some of Raleigh’s best parks and trails. You can take a leisurely stroll or bike ride through Umstead State Park or explore the many hiking trails in the area. The Six Forks Greenway Trail is also nearby for a peaceful walk in nature. 


Oakwood is another historic neighborhood in Raleigh and dates all the way back to right after the Civil War. You’ll love all of the magnificent oak trees lining the streets here. The styles of homes in the area tell a story of how much this neighborhood has evolved over time. There are restored historic homes from the 1800s, century-old bungalows with plenty of charm, and new construction homes. If you want to build a custom home on your own lot, this is a great neighborhood to consider. Because it’s such a popular place to live and located only one mile northeast of downtown Raleigh, new listings don’t last long so you’ll have to be quick!

Busy professionals and young families alike are drawn to Oakwood for its historical significance and close sense of community. It is one of the more affluent areas to live in for good reason – this community has 200 years of stories to tell and so many nearby amenities to enjoy!

Plan your coffee dates and quick breakfasts from Yellow Dog Bread Co. In the summertime, Two Roosters is a must for their delicious homemade ice cream. If you’re looking for a go-to place for good eats and drinks, check out Standard Beer + Food. It’s a favorite amongst locals for their beer garden and casual food fare.

If you want to learn even more about Oakwood, take a candlelight home tour or check out the historic Oakwood Cemetery. 

South Park

South Park is a historic neighborhood that is also located in the downtown core and is best known for its charming homes and tree-lined streets. The majority of the homes in South Park are single-family residences, but there are also some townhomes and condos available as well. This community boasts plenty of amenities to keep everyone happy, including top-rated schools, boutique shopping, and plenty of restaurants.

If you need to get groceries there are several options nearby, including Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. When it comes to finding a bite to eat or just grabbing something sweet, the South Park area has some great spots like The Cupcake Shoppe.

Outdoor recreation is also plentiful in South Park. It’s home to several parks with paths for walking, running or biking around the neighborhood. The best way to explore this area is definitely by bike – you might even stumble across some hidden gems like Alfred Williams Nature Preserve and William B. Umstead State Park. 


Southgate is an established and sought-after neighborhood in Raleigh, best known for its single-family homes. Most of these homes have been around for many years and feature a traditional style of architecture. Many homes here have been recently renovated, featuring modern finishes and amenities like new kitchens, bathrooms and flooring. Southgate is also home to a few townhomes and condos.

This neighborhood is close to plenty of shopping, dining, and recreational activities. There are several grocery stores nearby, such as Lowes Foods and Harris Teeter. Southgate Plaza Mall is the best spot for boutique stores, restaurants, cafes and more. The area also offers great outdoor recreation with the Walnut Creek Greenway, Eliza Pool Park, and Lake Johnson nearby. Whether you’re looking for a place to walk your dog or go biking with friends, Southgate has something for everyone.

lake johnson in the Southgate neighborhood in Raleigh


Stonegate is a charming residential community located in Raleigh, and Copper Builders is excited to be launching a new 18-home community here in May 2023!

Residents enjoy the convenience of nearby shopping centers and restaurants, as well as easy access to major highways. The neighborhood also has an active community with plenty of events and activities for all ages.

The community is situated in a prime location, just minutes away from local attractions such as the North Carolina Museum of Art and PNC Arena. Pleasant Union Elementary School is in the area, and check out Cupcakes d’ Amour for a delicious treat. And less than ten minutes away is the TreeRunner Adventure Park!

Stonegate provides an amazing blend of suburban and urban living, making it an ideal choice for anyone who wants the best of both worlds.


Wakefield is one of Raleigh’s most popular suburban neighborhoods. It is best known for its traditional homes and for its quaint and cozy atmosphere. The majority of homes in Wakefield are single-family residences, but there are also some townhomes and condos in the area. Many of the houses here have undergone extensive renovations to update them with modern finishes and amenities. Whether you’re looking for a starter home or something larger, Wakefield has something to offer.

Some of Raleigh’s best shopping and dining options can be found right here in Wakefield. The Crossroads Plaza Shopping Center is the spot to go for groceries, fashion finds, and restaurants.  And when it comes to outdoor recreation, you’ll have close access to the best parks and trails. Wakefield’s close proximity to Umstead State Park makes it a great place for hikers and nature lovers. The Wakefield Neighborhood Park has a playground, tennis courts and soccer fields for the whole family to enjoy. 

Warehouse District

This trendy neighborhood in downtown Raleigh has seen a major transformation in recent years. The industrial red-brick buildings in Raleigh’s railroad and warehouse hub have turned into a beautiful mix of local restaurants, cafes, bars, office space and apartment buildings.

The Warehouse District is located only a half a mile west from Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh, so it’s a perfect place to live if you work in the area and like the buzzing city life where there’s always something fun to do.

Contemporary Art Museum entrance sign in the Warehouse District

This neighborhood attracts a lot of young professionals for its walkability and how close it is to so many of their favorite places to eat, drink, shop, and explore. Take a trip to the Contemporary Art Museum, then stop to try some new foods at the Morgan Street Food Hall. The Flourish Market is a locally-owned boutique store worth checking out as well. If you want to enjoy a fancy drink or two with friends after work, Whiskey Kitchen or Crank Arm Brewing are two great spots. The Pit is a must-try if you love authentic Carolina BBQ.

What Is The Best Raleigh Neighborhood?

When it comes to deciding which neighborhood is best for you, there is no clear-cut answer. The best Raleigh neighborhood for you will largely depend on your lifestyle and what amenities are most important to you. Do your research and find a place that best suits your needs. Whether it’s the downtown core of South Park or the upscale homes in North Hills, Raleigh has something for everyone. Take the time to explore each neighborhood and find out which one best fits your lifestyle.

Where To Live in Raleigh

Raleigh is a great place to live, with plenty of options for all kinds of lifestyles. South Park or Warehouse District are great for those who want to be close to downtown and enjoy the convenience of shops and restaurants nearby. The North Hills area is best suited for those looking for an upscale lifestyle with luxurious homes and plenty of high-end shopping. Southgate is the best option for those looking for a more established neighborhood with single-family homes and plenty of outdoor recreation. 

No matter what kind of lifestyle you’re looking for, Raleigh has the perfect neighborhood for you. And if you want a Raleigh custom builder to help build your dream home on an existing lot, Raleigh is a great city for it. Take the time to explore each neighborhood and find out which one best suits your needs! 

aerial image of raleigh nc

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the more common questions when it comes to the city of Raleigh.

What is The Best Area in Raleigh NC to Live?

It really depends on what kind of lifestyle you’re looking for. If you want to be close to downtown, then South Park or Warehouse District are great options. For an upscale neighborhood with luxury homes and upscale shopping, consider North Hills. Southgate is best for those looking for an established single-family home neighborhood with plenty of outdoor recreation nearby. 

What is The Safest Area in Raleigh NC?

The best and safest areas in Raleigh NC generally depend on what type of neighborhood you’re looking for. Generally, North Raleigh is the safest area, with neighborhoods like North Hills, Wakefield, and Crossroads being particularly safe. South Park, Warehouse District, and Southgate are also relatively safe areas to live in. 

Where is The Rich Part of Raleigh?

North Hills is generally considered the best and most affluent part of Raleigh. This area is best known for its upscale homes and convenient location, with plenty of high-end shopping and dining nearby.  Other areas like Hayes Barton, Wakefield and Crossroads are also known for their affluent populations and high-end amenities. 

What Are Some Nice Areas in Raleigh NC?

There are plenty of great neighborhoods in Raleigh NC that offer something for everyone. South Park, Warehouse District, and Southgate are great for those looking for a convenient downtown lifestyle with plenty of shopping and dining nearby. North Hills is best for those who want an upscale feel with luxurious homes and amenities. North Raleigh offers plenty of family-friendly neighborhoods with plenty of outdoor recreation to enjoy.  Each neighborhood in Raleigh has something unique to offer, so take the time to explore and find out which one best fits your needs!

Is Raleigh Safer Than Charlotte?

Yes, Raleigh is generally considered to be a safer city than Charlotte. The violent crime rate in Raleigh is significantly lower than the national average and much lower than Charlotte’s rate. While there are still areas of crime in Raleigh, overall the city is very safe.  With plenty of family-friendly activities, great shopping and dining options, and plenty of outdoor recreation, Raleigh is a great place to live.  So if safety is important to you, then Raleigh should be at the top of your list! 

Which City is Better, Raleigh Or Charlotte?

That really depends on what kind of lifestyle you’re looking for. Both cities offer plenty of great amenities, but they also have their own unique characteristics that make them stand out from each other. For example, Charlotte is best known for its exciting nightlife and vibrant culture, while Raleigh is best known for its family-friendly atmosphere, outdoor recreation, and convenient location. So it really depends on what you’re looking for in a city – both Raleigh and Charlotte are great cities with a lot to offer!

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