A Realtor’s Guide to Experiencing the Best Midtown Raleigh Has to Offer

Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina and one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Named after Sir Walter Raleigh, who established the lost Colony of Roanoke, Raleigh is home to North Carolina State University and is one of the vertices of the Research Triangle, along with Durham and Chapel Hill. The “Triangle,” as it’s more commonly known, originated in 1959 after the founding of Research Triangle Park in an effort to create a science and technology hub anchored by the three cities and their respective universities: NC State, Duke University, and UNC. Due to the job opportunities, affordability of real estate, access to premier, higher education institutions, and recreational activities in the area, Raleigh has become one of the most desirable locations in the country for professionals and families. It regularly tops “best cities to live and work in the US” lists: In 2018, Money Magazine ranked it 2nd in their “10 Best Cities to Live in Right Now” list; in 2019, it ranked 2nd in “Top 100 Places to Live” (livability.com); in 2020, SafeWise listed it as the 9th safest city in the US; and in 2021, Men’s Health listed it as the 3rd Happiest City in America. 

Midtown Raleigh is a shopper’s paradise with four distinct districts: Village District, Crabtree Valley, Five Points Neighborhood, and North Hills. These easily walkable districts each offer a plethora of shopping, dining, and entertainment options for patrons to enjoy. This makes Midtown Raleigh a highly desirable area to live, given its close proximity to the aforementioned districts as well as downtown Raleigh. Erica Anderson, a top REALTOR® and owner of Team Anderson Realty, has been serving the real estate needs of the community since 2014.

Village District

The History: 

Village District has been a favorite shopping and dining destination for Triangle residents since 1949 and was the first shopping center between Washington, DC and Atlanta. It also has quite a rich history: In 1946, J.W. “Willie” York was riding a train to Chicago when he came across a newspaper article about a new concept called a “shopping center.” York was captivated with this revolutionary new idea and had the perfect place in mind: 160-acres just north of downtown Raleigh. And just like that a local tradition was born. Throughout the years, Village District has evolved from its humble beginnings where it originally started with just 3 stores and a restaurant to the shopping hub it is today. Sears opened their doors in 1951, and the store contained one of the first escalators in the state, which was quite an attraction in and of itself for the time! By the mid 1950’s, the district had experienced exponential growth and now boasted 65 stores, 112 offices, 566 apartment units, and 100 homes. In the 1970’s, inspired by underground clubs popping up in cities across the country, The Subway at Village District opened when York Properties finished renovating 20,000 square feet of unleased space underneath the stores. Many famous acts have passed through The Subway over the years, including Jimmy Buffet, R.E.M, The Ramones, Muddy Waters, the B-52s, Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, and Dizzy Gillespie just to name a few. Unfortunately, The Subway closed in 1984, but the memories still live on in those lucky enough to have taken part in the underground nightlife of this hidden Raleigh gem. 

Village Shops, Eats, and More:

Today the Village District boasts an impressive array of high-end shops, specialty boutiques, restaurants, fitness studios, salons, and more. Just some of the charming boutiques you can find here include Ivy & Leo, Kannon’s Clothing, Lori & Lulu, Madison, Nadeau, Bailey’s Fine Jewelry, Nest Interiors, Steven Shell Living, Uniquities, Opulence of Southern Pines and DUXIANA, The Local Squirrel, The Impeccable Pig, Fab’Rik, Francesca’s, Charlotte’s, Aillea, and much more. 

There is no shortage of restaurants in the Village either. There are plenty of options to choose from, including Chopt, Cantina 18, Ajisai Japanese Fusion, Café Carolina and Bakery, Cape Fear Seafood Company, Benelux Coffee, So-Ca, Tazza Kitchen, Piccola Italia, Village Deli and Grill, Kale Me Crazy, Village Draft House, The Flying Biscuit Café, and more. Additionally, the Village District offers a variety of salons, including Lorena Luca Spa, Arrow- Quality Cuts and Classic Shaves, Hand & Stone Massage, Parlor Blow Dry Bar, and Haircolorxperts. Some of the other offerings include Charlotte Russell Contemporary Art, Lamantia Fine Art Gallery, CharleyMadelyn, CorePower Yoga, Cheshire Cat Antique Gallery, Tin Roof Teas, and Wolf Gang Bakery.

Village Regional Library is a favorite in Wake county. It’s a modern 2-story library with a large computer area for researching and studying. They also offer amazing programs for children, and the staff is always incredibly helpful. Nearby you can find Fred Fletcher Park, which is a great place to spend an afternoon. They have walking paths, a water garden and wetland area, picnic shelters, basketball and tennis courts, athletic fields, and a playground. Additionally, Borden Building and Fred Fletcher Amphitheater are both located within the park and offer a beautiful location for weddings, parties, small conferences, bridal portraits, and other special events.

Real Estate in the Village:

Real Estate in the Village District of Midtown Raleigh is a competitive, highly sought-after market because of the nearby conveniences afforded to residents. If you are looking for a detached single-family home in the Village District, both Cameron Village and Cameron Park offer homes from the $400s to $1.5M price range and are only steps away from all the shops and restaurants at Village District. However, most of the properties convenient to Village District will be condo living. There are many options from condos dating back to the beginning of the district to modern, luxury condos. One of the most desirable locations is 904 The Oberlin, which offers luxury, sun-lit condos featuring private elevators, roof-top terraces, 2-3 car garages, gourmet kitchens, and designer touches throughout. Just steps from the Village District, these condos range from the high $900s to $1.2M. The Clark Townhomes is another luxury condo community with sleek stylings and sophisticated interiors which feature over-sized windows that allow loads of natural light to pour in. They offer 3 separate alfresco entertaining areas, including an expansive roof-top terrace, as well as private elevators and covered parking for 3 cars, priced around $1M. The Stephenson will offer boutique, luxury condos that focus on fun, fresh aesthetics that incorporate a functional design. Offering 1-3 bedrooms, these condos contain high-end finishes and a community roof-top terrace with gas grills, firepit, and lounge seating. Construction is underway with these condos ranging from the $400s-$600s. The Woodburn is a new collection of classically-inspired condos situated in charming 4-unit buildings. These 1-bedroom condos are perfect for those who want luxury living in a petite package with units starting in the $340s. Cameron Village Condos is one of the original communities dating back to 1949; they offer 1-3 bedroom condos just one block from the Village District and range from the $170s- high $200’s. The Village Gardens offer 1-2 bedroom condos also dating back to 1949 in the $200s. Both of these older condo communities are an affordable option to the newer, more expensive, luxury condos, with many offering updated units that are mere steps from the Village District.

Five Points Neighborhood

The History: 

The area of Five Points has deep roots in Raleigh dating back to the turn of the 20th century. It is named for the intersection where Glenwood Avenue, Fairview Road and Whitaker Mill Road meet, forming “Five Points.” Located just two miles north of downtown Raleigh, the Five Points Neighborhood was established in the 1920’s when houses in the Hayes Barton, Bloomsbury Park, and Roanoke districts were constructed, then grew again at the end of the Great Depression with the building of the Vanguard Park district, continued its growth after WWII with the construction of Georgetown, and the area still continues to see growth today. It is known for its vast array of distinctive architectural homes styles, including the popular 1920’s Craftsman Bungalows, Colonial Revivals, Spanish Colonials, Tudor Revivals, Period Cottages, French Eclectic/Norman Revivals, Georgian Revivals, American Colonials, and Modernists. The diversity of these eclectic architectural styles blends together beautifully to create one of the most unique and stunning neighborhoods in the Raleigh area.

In 1918, Carolina Power and Light, whose trolleys provided public transportation for the area at the time, built an amusement park called Bloomsbury Park. Located a couple miles north of downtown Raleigh on Glenwood Avenue was the final stop of the streetcar line; it was Raleigh’s version of “Coney Island.” The park boasted an impressive display of 8,000 glowing lightbulbs, under which you could find a penny arcade, roller coaster, dance hall, and a carousel. That carousel, in fact, is the only artifact from Bloomsbury Park to have survived over the years and is still in operation today at nearby Pullen Park; it’s considered a right-of-passage for local children to take a whirl on this beloved Raleigh treasure. Unfortunately, Bloomsbury Park closed in 1920, but that opened up an opportunity for people to take part in a new suburban development away from the hectic city. Today, the Five Points Neighborhood remains a preferred district in Raleigh. With its pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, gorgeous homes, mature landscaping, shopping, dining, and entertainment options, it makes Five Points a perfect place to settle down. 

Five Points Shops, Eats, and More:

Hayes Barton Café and Dessertery is one of the highlights of Five Points. A favorite among locals, they are renowned for having the best cakes in the area. Customers rave about their delicious comfort food, particularly the meatloaf and chicken pot pie, as well as the delectable desserts. NOFO @ the Pig has a great backstory: housed in a renovated old Piggly Wiggly building, they worked carefully to retain elements of the original space, like the full-service bar created entirely from Piggly Wiggly food cans and dairy case displays. Don’t forget to look up at the hand-blown glass chandelier encircled with pigs…a unique NOFO creation! In addition to a gift shop with an eclectic mix of just about everything from funky furniture to clothes to homewares, NOFO also has a café that serves lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, as well as a Food Market with specialty groceries and treats. Bloomsbury Bistro has been a Five Points tradition since 1995, serving an innovative dinner menu and offering a popular Sunday brunch. If you feel like you need a getaway without being able to get away, stop by Lola’s, a beach-inspired bar with casual come-as-you-are surfer vibes. They offer an outdoor bar and patio that is dog-friendly, as well as an indoor seating area with a full island inspired food menu. Lilly’s Pizza is a popular spot offering a great menu with a variety of specialty pizzas, build-your-own options, and gluten-free options. Lonerider is one of the best breweries in the area and at their Five Points spot, The Hideout, you can enjoy your favorite craft brew as well as grab a bite to eat.

The Shops at 1700 is a great place for vintage finds; they have an ever-changing mix of furniture, home décor, accessories and more ranging from fun and funky to classic and unique. Form and Function is an interior design studio, and located in the same building below, is For Your Convenience, a trendy spot where you can find unique items like clothing, jewelry, accessories, home décor, gifts, and more. 

Rialto Theater has been a staple of Five Points since they first opened in 1942. Throughout the years it has been carefully renovated, retaining its vintage art-deco-glam charm. With only one large theater equipped with Dolby 5.1 sound systems, they have typically featured foreign and independent films, as well as midnight screenings of Rocky Horror Picture Show. Hayes Barton Pharmacy is perhaps the last remaining establishment original to the development of Five Points. Built in 1929, the pharmacy is named for the ancestral home of Sir Walter Raleigh, and continues to provide knowledgeable and personalized care to the residents of the area today. 

Real Estate in the Five Points:

Real Estate in Five Points is in high demand, much like the rest of Raleigh. Older homes make up the majority of the landscape, but there are newer homes to be had as well. However, if you are looking for a home with history and character, then you can’t beat the Five Points Neighborhood for its selection of beautiful, period-style homes. Bloomsbury, Hayes Barton, Vanguard Park, Roanoke Park, White Oak Forest, Georgetown, Hi Mount, Oxford Park, Villa Park, The Oaks at Fallon Park, and The Groves at Fallon Park comprise the majority of neighborhoods in the area. These neighborhoods are all gorgeous and unique, with beautiful mature landscapes and a mixture of architectural home styles, each unique with its own individual charm. This is an ideal neighborhood for those who don’t want to live in a typical cookie-cutter subdivision. The homes quietly nestled in this historic area are unique and provide a fabulous opportunity for people with a love of history and architecture to live in one of these period homes. Prices in Five Points range from the $400s to well over $2M.  

North Hills

The History: 

North Hills is a defining presence in Midtown Raleigh. It truly is a place where you can live, work, and play. Originally built in 1960, the North Hills Mall began as a strip mall. In 1967, it underwent renovation and was enclosed, making it the first indoor shopping mall in North Carolina. In 2003, the mall was demolished, which paved the way for the expansive, upscale North Hills shopping area that we know today. There are currently 3 areas of North Hills: The Main District, the Lassiter District, and the Park District. The growth of North Hills has been unprecedented in the last two decades and is truly a destination for fun; they offer over 130 shops, restaurants, bars, spas, and hotels, as well as Midtown Park, which hosts concerts, theatrical performances, and community events. The growth in this area shows no signs of slowing down, with North Hills Innovation District soon to be the newest addition to the area. 

North Hills Shops, Eats, and More:

There is so much to choose from in North Hills that it might be hard to know where to begin. As for shopping, there are quite a few specialty boutiques to choose from, including Copper Penny, which specializes in top-shelf clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories; Fleur Boutique is a sleek, modern space known for a feminine mix of emerging and established designers; Kendra Scott offers accessories inspired by the founder’s travels and experiences; Voda Boutique strives to create a laid-back, stylish shopping experiences inspired by the name Voda, which represents calm and clarity; Bonobos, which aims to dress men in better-fitting clothing; La Maison is a home boutique with elegant furnishings, accessories, and gifts, and they offer interior design services; Marta’s specializes in luxury women’s clothing with a focus on exceptional customer service; Brighton Collectibles is a national ladies’ accessories chain that feature their own brand of handbags, jewelry, shoes, scarves, and more; Madison is a women’s specialty retailer offering unique and feminine pieces inspired by classic design; Lamb’s Ear Children’s Clothing & Shoes is the go-to spot for a perfect baby gift; and Bluemercury is a luxury beauty retailer. There are many other shops to choose from, like Target, Quail Ridge Books, Lululemon, Anthropologie, and more, but this gives you an idea of what’s available.

When you’ve shopped up an appetite, there are plenty of delicious offerings to satisfy your tastebuds. Vivace, which has been voted one of the Triangle’s “Top 20 Restaurants,” is a cozy, rustic-chic restaurant which serves exquisite Italian fare with an impressive selection of fine Italian wines. Midtown Grille is an upscale neighborhood restaurant offering contemporary American cuisine with an emphasis on sophisticated dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients. The 41Hundred is located in the elegant Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel and offers a casual ambiance with weekly evening entertainment; they focus on fresh, local ingredients and offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a full bar experience. STIR Raleigh is the place to go for premium oysters and imaginative craft cocktails; their menu focuses on inventive and artisanal dishes and drinks using the freshest ingredients of the seasons. The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar is an innovative restaurant that pairs Asian fusion sushi with hamburgers, blending them in an original, yet delicious new concept, known as “Burgushi.” They offer a wide variety of sushi rolls, burger rolls, and combinations thereof, and their fun décor makes for a delightful dining experience. Bartaco offers a menu inspired by Brazil, Uruguay, and Southern California, serving upscale street food with a coastal, relaxed vibe. Co is the Vietnamese word for feast, and Co offers contemporary Asian cuisine, including banh mi, ramen, pho, dumplings, and signature cocktails.  There are too many restaurants to name them all but some of the other popular spots are The Capital Grille, Bonefish Grill, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, Yard House, Pieology Pizzeria, Rosewater, Happy & Hale, Coquette Brasserie, and many more. 

North Hills also offers plenty in the way of entertainment. Level7 is a trendy roof-top bar and lounge located at the AC Hotel Raleigh North Hills, which invites patrons to take in the sweeping views of Raleigh while enjoying tapas and drinks in their modern, artful lounge. They also showcase weekly live entertainment. Vita Vite stems from the Italian words for “life” and “vine” and serves as the inspiration for their philosophy of life, which they say revolves around good food and wine. Their mission is to cultivate a cozy atmosphere for people to gather and appreciate the things that enrich our lives. The owner is an art enthusiast and has curated a collection of southern art and goods from local artists that are displayed throughout the space and are available for purchase. They have a truly posh space offering plush, comfy chairs at the bar, small rustic tables, and cozy armchairs by the fireplace, making this a great place for a girls’ night out or a fun date night. Kings Dining & Entertainment offers an entertaining experience like no other in Raleigh, offering family-friendly days and fun adult evenings. In addition to a restaurant with delicious made-from-scratch dishes and a full-service bar, this retro venue also boasts modern bowling lanes with comfortable sofa-style seating, billiards, air hockey, electronic darts, foosball, and an arcade. It’s a great place for family fun, watching a sports game, or a lively night out with friends.  

The North Hills Innovation District is a $1B new multi-phase development currently underway. This 33-acre development will feature a popular new trend of including apartments, retail space, restaurants, and office space integrated with more outdoor space for people to gather and engage with nature, and plans for pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and streets. They will offer loads of open, natural green space and even outdoor working spaces to accommodate the changing landscape of remote workers in today’s world. Additionally, the district will boast Big Branch Food Hall, a 2-story, 20,000 sq ft space with 11 stalls for local food vendors featuring indoor and expansive outdoor seating nestled along a creek bed for a tranquil dining experience. The second-floor will offer flexible space for meetings, social gatherings, and even live music events. Another addition will be The Pumphouse, a single-tenant 1,500-square-foot retail space with an outdoor biergarten.

Real Estate in North Hills:

Real Estate in North Hills comes at a premium because of the fabulous location. There are many established subdivisions in the area, many of which have expanded with new homes being constructed. One of these neighborhoods is North Hills itself, located on the west side of the shopping areas and within easy walking distance. The North Hills subdivision is comprised of a mix of homes built in the 1960s and new construction with home prices ranging from the $400s to $2M. Farrior Hills is another similar development located on the east side of the shopping centers, also within easy walking distance, and also includes a mixture of 1960s homes and new construction with prices from the $400s to $2.5M. Chestnut Hills, originally built in the 1960s offers older homes, as well as new construction homes, ranging from the $300s to $1.5M. Eastgate offers charming 1960s homes with mature landscaping and an abundance of foliage from the high $200s to $1M range. Hickory Hills is a beautiful, heavily wooded neighborhood featuring homes built in the 1960s and 70s with prices ranging from the high $300s to $700s. Lakemont was also built in the 1960s, and like many of the subdivisions in the area, offers great lots with mature trees and landscaping with homes ranging from the $300s to $900s. Quail Hollow is yet another beautiful neighborhood surrounded by trees that features homes built in the 1960s and 70s in the $300s-$700k price range. Woods of St. Albans is a charming neighborhood with homes built in the 1990s and prices ranging from the $300s to $600s. Some of the other notable subdivisions in the area include: Northwoods Acres, built in the 1960s ($300s-$500k); Briarcliff, built in the 1960s ($400s-$700k); and Hickory Hollow, built in the 1980s ($300s-$500k). 

Crabtree Valley

The History: 

Crabtree Valley Mall opened in 1972 with the original anchor stores: Hudson Belk, Sears, Miller & Rhoads, and Thalhimer’s. From the moment the mall opened, it was an extremely popular shopping destination, attracting people from all over central and eastern North Carolina. Many shoppers came to visit the Hudson Belk, which still remains the largest store in the mall and serves as a Belk flagship store. In 1993, the complex embarked on a major expansion and over the years Crabtree Valley Mall has grown to an impressive 1.3-million-square-foot shopping oasis, one of the largest malls in the Southeast. Stores have come and gone over the years, with one of the most recent closures being the Sears anchor store. However, that closure paved the way to reimagine how that space could be renewed, and a $290M redevelopment project has been proposed by Crabtree Valley Mall which would convert the vacant space into a mixed-use 30-story tower to include retail and office space, as well as a hotel. 

Crabtree Valley Shops, Eats, and More:

Crabtree Valley Mall is home to over 200 stores which means there is something here for everyone. Some of the more popular shops include H&M, Lego, LUSH, Apple Store, Sephora, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Soma, Michael Kors, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Altar’d State, Barnes & Noble, Lululemon, J. Crew, Coach, Arhaus, Aldo, and much more. The mall is anchored by three department stores: Belk, Belk Men’s Store, and Macy’s. The Belk is a flagship store and features 3 floors brimming with stylish clothing, shoes, jewelry, make-up, home goods, and more. The mall is tastefully designed and the enormous skylights allow light to flood the posh space creating a lovely shopping experience.

There are dozens of restaurant options at Crabtree. Favorite places to dine include Brio Italian Grille, Kanki Steak & Sushi, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, P.F. Chang’s, The Cheesecake Factory, Seasons 52 Fresh Grill & Wine Bar, Torii Noodle Bar, Uncle Julio’s Mexican From Scratch, Red Monkey Latin Fusion Kitchen, and Crabtree Ale House. Additionally, there are numerous options to choose from at the food court.

Crabtree Valley Mall is located on Glenwood Avenue and just a few miles north of downtown Raleigh. If you travel north on Glenwood Avenue from Crabtree you will find plenty more shopping and restaurant options, particularly an abundance of furniture stores, which is perfect for filling up your new home!

William B. Umstead State Park is a favorite spot for hiking and biking enthusiasts. This beautiful park features a network of over 20 miles of hiking and multi-use trails, which offer a variety of options whether you want a leisurely stroll along a nature trail or a more strenuous hike through the woods. The park also boasts three man-made lakes which offer fishing and canoe and rowboat rentals. Additionally, there are picnic shelters and camping areas with restrooms and showers.

Real Estate in Crabtree Valley:

Crabtree Valley is a desirable area because of all the nearby amenities and proximity to downtown Raleigh. There are a variety of subdivisions in the area for those looking for single-family homes or townhomes. Birchwood Hills is a beautiful neighborhood very close to Crabtree Valley Mall that offers homes mostly built in the 1960s with large lots and mature trees and prices ranging from the $300s to $600s. Brookhaven is a popular subdivision that offers stately homes built in the 1960s through the 2000s with prices ranging from the $400s to $800s. Copper Ridge offers beautiful brick townhomes with 2-car garages built in the early 2000s and priced in the $400s. Country Woods Estates offers gorgeous, well-appointed homes that were built around 1990 in a highly desirable location with prices ranging from the $500s to $600s. Glen Forest boasts charming 1960s ranch homes on large lots with prices in the $300s to $400s. Glen Laurel is another desirable neighborhood offering large, beautiful homes built in the 1960s through 1990s priced from the $500s to $700s. Inman Park is a large subdivision with single-family homes and townhomes ranging from the $400s to $600s. Glenlake Gardens features newer townhomes built in 2014 with prices in the $500s. Laurel Hills offers older homes from the 1960s as well as newer construction, with prices ranging from the $300s to over $1M for some of the newer homes. If you are looking for condo living, Martinique Condos offers 2-3 bedroom condos built in the 1970s priced from the high $100s to low $200s. The Townes at Crabtree offer 3-4 bedroom condos built in the 2000s with prices from $300s to $400s.

Ready to Buy a Home or Sell a Home in Midtown Raleigh?

Team Anderson Realty is an independent 5-star, concierge-style real estate firm that has been serving Raleigh and the surrounding areas since 2014. We provide superior service tailored to each individual client, whether you are looking to buy a home in Raleigh or the surrounding areas, or if you are looking to sell your home, you need a realtor who will work hard for you. We pride ourselves on taking the time to get to know our clients in order to best serve them. If you are looking to buy a home in Raleigh or the surrounding area, we would love the opportunity to show you what’s available and help you purchase that perfect home! Likewise, if you have ever thought to yourself, “What do I need to do to sell my home?” then we can help with that too! We are a top seller’s agent in Raleigh and the greater Triangle, and we would be delighted to put our expertise to work for you in getting you top-dollar for your home. If you’re in the market to either buy a home or sell a home in Raleigh or the surrounding areas, please let us help make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Call our team of Realtor experts today at: 919-610-5126 and let us get to work for you!