Good neighborhoods in Raleigh/Durham
July 8, 2004 10:51 AM   Subscribe

What are some good neighborhoods around or in the Raleigh/Durham NC area ? (MI)

Couple with two young children seeking area that does not reek of cookie-cutterville. Old, established neighborhoods, looking to buy a house..near decent coffee houses, bookstores, playgrounds...hope y'all get the idea. Thanks in advance.
posted by repoman to Travel & Transportation around Durham, NC (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In Durham, the area between Ninth Street, Main Street, I-85 and the downtown loop is nice, and the presence of Duke's east campus fosters coffee houses/bookstores etc. Don't know much about Raleigh, but Carrboro (the cheaper neighbor of Chapel Hill) might also be worth checking out.

Everything in between the three points of the Triangle is a nightmare of subdivisions called things like "Parson's Croft" and "Meadowlark Dale."
posted by mookieproof at 11:15 AM on July 8, 2004

In my experience, Carborro reeks heavily of cookie-cutterville and was built relatively recently as a bedroom community for the Triangle and offers no old or established neighborhoods.

I have nothing constructive to add, however.
posted by jennyb at 1:05 PM on July 8, 2004

OH MY GOD, I take it all back. I'm getting Carrborro, which is great, confused with some other suburb, which is the bedroom community I was talking about and for the life of me think of the name of. (Where is that thread on aphasia??)

Shit, sorry. Carrborro does have old established neighborhoods and coffee shops and my favorite bar (Orange County Social Club) and the best place to see music around, The Cat's Cradle.

Gah. Think first. Then post.
posted by jennyb at 1:10 PM on July 8, 2004

Carey! That's what I was thinking of. Carey is a bedroom community to Raleigh and I have visited friends there a few times and found it unspeakably annoying.

Carrborro is great. Here: OCSC, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro.

And I finally spelled the name of the town right.

Okay this is my last post here. I'm leaving the thread and this state forever, in shame.
posted by jennyb at 1:14 PM on July 8, 2004

Also, for what it's worth: driving between the three towns is becoming ever less pleasant, and public transportation options are extremely limited. If y'all plan to be working in one corner, I would look in that place first.
posted by mookieproof at 1:36 PM on July 8, 2004

Close, jennyb.....the bedroom community is called Cary.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 1:39 PM on July 8, 2004

I might look in Mebane, a smaller city two stops west of Durham on 40/85. It's maybe ten minutes from Durham. Lots of older houses that will *far* more reasonably priced than anything you'd get in Chapel Hill / Carrboro, and it's small enough that there's a substantial amount of walkability. It's still, in part, a little southern mill town, so you'll have to drive to a decent coffee shop or bookstore (unless they put one in recently).

The ninth street area of Durham is nice, and not ridiculously expensive (unless it's gotten so recently). I left the area in 2000, but then it was still a mix, to stereotype grotesquely, of rednecks and lesbians. The area on and around Club near Northgate Mall is also pretty okay.

If you want a more rural atmosphere, you can't beat northern Chatham County between Pittsboro proper and Chapel Hill. The Mann's Chapel Road area of it is more built up and has convenient shopping, but you might still have your closest neighbor ~50 yards away. And you can live on Chicken Bridge Road. How can you not want to have your address be 123 Chicken Bridge Road?

Carrboro goes both ways. There's the nutty-crunchy granola area near Harris Teeter, but there's also cookie-cutter hell a little farther north off Greensboro St where they make everyone have the same mailbox and regulate the colors you can paint your front rooms.

All I can tell you about Raleigh is to avoid the shit out of north Raleigh. Cookie cutter hell, with the most miserably godawful traffic to boot. Bleah bleah bleah.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:22 PM on July 8, 2004

Xenophobe, sounds like you're pretty familiar with my old stomping grounds. I grew up in southern Alamance County, and had good friends out towards Pittsboro. My parents now live just south of Yanceyville.

(Nothing too useful to add to the thread that hasn't been said already, as I never lived in any of the trendy boho areas of the Triangle. Carrboro is very nice, though. Stay away from nearby Hillsboro. It's cookie-cutter-ville plus plus.)
posted by jammer at 3:27 PM on July 8, 2004

Carrboro is awesome, but the commute can be pretty far.

I live around the Creedmoor / Ray / Strickland area of North Raleigh; avoid at all costs. Cary and North Raleigh have been so recently and heavily developed, it's all very cookie-cutter.

Raleigh is okay if it's an older neighborhood inside the I-440 beltline.
posted by Jeanne at 7:28 AM on July 9, 2004

I grew up in Raleigh and nearby Wake Forest, and yes, North Raleigh can be a pain. Carrboro is great, and I've heard good things about Mebane, but given traffic/highway/commute issues, you'd want your job to be close by.

The Glenwood South area of Raleigh, which is inside the beltline, is probably the closest thing to what you describe. It's become rapidly gentrified lately, but it's actually interesting, with lots of nifty restaurants, coffeehouses, et cetera.

Most of west Raleigh (inside the Beltline) and some parts of South Raleigh would suit you as well, I think -- especially near N.C. State around Western Blvd. and Hillsborough St. Not quite as fun/interesting as Glenwood South, it still has a college-town vibe, may well be cheaper, and it's easy to get to lots of places from there.
posted by Vidiot at 7:43 AM on July 15, 2004

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