Maybe real estate agents, like parents, shouldn’t have favorites, but I do find that sometimes certain areas stand out above the others.  

Raleigh is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Tucked away in this historic capital city of North Carolina are five neighborhoods that offer charm, character, and surprising rural touches, yet are close to amenities that city folk appreciate. Here's my personal glimpse into what makes each of these areas special.

Cameron Park 

Cameron Park was established over 100 years ago as a more upscale neighborhood and has as rich a history as the state capital. It’s situated just slightly over a mile west of Raleigh and was one of Raleigh’s first suburbs. Commuters rode the trolley down Hillsborough Street to work and to shop. Cameron Park offers great shopping, great schools, and great parks of its own these days, though Raleigh is so near.

This neighborhood offers a variety of architectural styles. Whether you’re looking for a bungalow, Tudor, Queen Anne, or something else altogether, you’ll likely find it in Cameron Park.

Why I love it: Cameron Park is just so charming. This is a lovely older neighborhood with parks featuring beautiful mature hardwood trees. Explore the historic service alleyways behind the large homes that are signature to this location.

Cameron Park House

Boylan Heights

Like a lot of the downtown Raleigh area, Boylan Heights has been designated a historic district. But if you think historic means boring, think again! It may seem like your typical quiet suburb, but Boylan Heights hosts a close-knit community that loves to party. From the Big Boylan Bash to Progressive Dinners, the neighbors love to get together to celebrate.

But if there’s nothing happening right in Boylan Heights, there are plenty of fun-filled choices just a short walk away. Enjoy a show at the Red Hat Amphitheater or try your luck at games you find at the Boxcar Bar + Arcade.

Why I love it: Boylan Heights has a huge art walk in the fall. Hundreds of vendors are welcome to set up on the front lawns of all the homes. It’s a great opportunity to get unique Christmas gifts and it’s just tons of fun.

boylan heights home


Here's another classic historic neighborhood in Raleigh, right next to downtown. You’ll find top notch shopping, eating, and entertainment within walking distance. Summertime boasts beautiful flowers and shady tree-lined streets. Come October, you just might want to brave the Halloween House and take a peek at the frightfully fun decorations. Whatever time of year you visit, be sure to take along a free walking tour brochure.

Why I love it: Oakwood has an incredibly popular home tour every year. It’s your chance to step inside some of the oldest homes in the Triangle. A must-do if you love the Victorian style!

oakwood home

Five Points

Technically, Five Points is several neighborhoods. These neighborhoods vary in home styles and sizes, but their five streets meet in the middle to create a unique community. 

Five Points offers trendy restaurants, craft breweries, taprooms, and casual Sunday brunches. And don’t forget to check out The Rialto Theatre. It’s the oldest theater in Raleigh and has been in continuous operation since 1942.

Why I love it: Five Points is just a touch removed from downtown—just barely! You’ll love the great local restaurants and Raleigh’s oldest independent movie theater.

five points house

University Park

This area has a rich and vibrant history that includes the subdivision of Oberlin, built by former slaves and free black Americans at the end of the Civil War. Two of the original homes from that era still remain and are being restored to become headquarters for Preservation North Carolina.

The University Park neighborhood association is one of the oldest in Raleigh and the community enjoys celebrating together. Events centered around Easter, Independence Day, and Halloween bring neighbors together.

Tourists and residents alike take advantage of the Raleigh Rose Garden and Raleigh Little Theatre. There’s plenty to do between shopping nearby Cameron Village, attending events at the State Fairgrounds, and taking in concerts and sporting events at PNC Arena.

Why I love it: I used to live here! This is an affordable up-and-coming neighborhood near downtown and North Carolina State University. You’re right next to Cameron Village shopping. I love that there are lots of hills and beautiful trees. You don’t want to miss the rose garden and a show at the amphitheater.

university park home

While these are my top 5 downtown neighborhoods, there are many other Raleigh neighborhoods that may be a better fit for you. Use our advanced search or map search to find your dream home, or contact us for a consultation.