If you’re considering moving to Raleigh, NC, we can’t blame you. The reasons to relocate to charming Raleigh are seemingly endless. 

Raleigh is close to Duke University at Durham and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with each city being a corner of the Research Triangle Park. For obvious reasons, Raleigh is an incredible location to get your career started as a young professional. Glassdoor ranked Raleigh, NC as the Best City for Jobs in 2020 because of its affordable cost of living, strong hiring opportunities, and high level of job satisfaction. Raleigh is also home to a burgeoning tech industry and healthcare industry hubs, with over 52,000 jobs available. This certainly makes it easier to justify moving without a job lined up!  Plus, real estate is more affordable in Raleigh. The price of rent for an apartment is only $1,374. 

Serious about relocating? You’ll likely have to research apartments or homes from afar, which can be tricky. Rhino is here to help you compare and contrast the best places to live in the Raleigh area, as well as prepare for and start your big move. 

How to rent an apartment site-unseen

Renting an apartment site-unseen is more common than you think, especially for those relocating to start a new job or moving to a hotspot like Raleigh. Afterall, the pandemic has made renting site-unseen less sketchy with more virtual apartment tours and ways to apply online available to renters now. 

The only thing that’s difficult to figure out online? What your new neighborhood will look and feel like. It can also be difficult to compare rent prices of neighborhoods, especially when you want to factor in safety, crime rates, walkability, and even if there are public schools nearby! 

Before you start digging through countless tabs and cross comparing multiple sites for more information on the best places to live in Raleigh, consult this Renter Guide. It has all the information you need to know about the eight nicest Raleigh neighborhoods.  

The eight best neighborhoods to live in Raleigh, North Carolina

Oakwood (Downtown Raleigh)
An image of a Queen Anne house in Historic Oakwood in Raleigh

Located on the edge of downtown Raleigh, family-friendly Oakwood is a historic neighborhood, with 19th century homes, oak tree-lined streets, and wide sidewalks. This is the height of residential Raleigh, with recognizable Queen Anne-style homes and Craftsman architecture, meaning it’s an ideal spot to rent a single-family home. So long as you don’t mind sharing with the ghosts. The Historic Oakwood Preservation Society offers candlelit haunted history tours for those interested in all things supernatural in the south. 

Quiet and quaint, you won’t find much nightlife in Oakwood, but it is nestled next to a bustling downtown Raleigh. That means you’ll be in close proximity to the North Carolina Museum Of Natural Sciences, North Carolina Museum Of Art, and a pedestrian mall on Fayetteville Street for those who like to spend days out and nights in. If you’re interested in staying up late, there are plenty of world-class restaurants and vintage speakeasies with a diversity of food and flavors. 

The best part: You can snag a three single-family home for $2,200, making it one of the best places in North Carolina to raise a family, or just kick back and live the quiet life. 

Warehouse District

Situated inside of the downtown neighborhood, the Warehouse District consists of former industrial buildings that have been reclaimed by galleries, restaurants, nightlife, and new businesses. This transformed historic district is eclectic and popular for renters who want to experience all downtown Raleigh has to offer 24/7, including trendy food and shopping spots such as the Morgan Street Food Hall and Sorry State Records

An image of an apartment in the warehouse district in Raleigh North Carolina

Renters who are looking for a new home in the Warehouse District can find a number of luxury apartment buildings including the chic Hue and The Dillion, a high-rise that shares space with businesses and shops so that residents have easy access to groceries, gyms, coffee shops, and other modern necessities. 

Capital District
An image of the Capital District in Raleigh, North Carolina

Between Glenwood South and Oakwood, you’ll find yourself in the Capital District where—you guessed it —the North Carolina State Capitol building is located. But the real reason to move to the Capital District is the proximity to one of the country’s first Krispy Kreme locations, and its iconic sign. What a perfect way to start a day in your new neighborhood, before heading over to the North Carolina Museum of History, where you can learn about the rich history of Raleigh. 

The Capital District is extra sleek, with fully restored Victorian-Era architecture intermingling with modern bars, shopping centers, and burger joints. It’s the essence of modern Raleigh, so it's no surprise that renters acclimating to life in the South love this part of downtown.

Renters in the Capital District may shell out a little more in rent than those living outside of downtown Raleigh. You can find a luxe apartment in a big city starting at $1,462, in buildings such as Link Apartments and 511 Faye


For those seeking a little peace and quiet outside of Raleigh’s beltline, family-friendly Stonehenge in Wake County is a great place to rent a home to grow your family. In fact, there are 1,400 single-family homes in this North Raleigh neighborhood! These homes were largely built in the 1970s, with classic Craftsman, Colonials, bungalows, and ranch style exteriors paired with expansive lawns. Stonehenge is a short car ride to the city of Raleigh, but has a culture all its own. It’s close to the Stonehenge Shopping Center (we love Harris Teeter) and Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Stonehenge is one of the best neighborhoods in Raleigh, North Carolina

For renters seeking a two-to-four-bedroom home or condominium in the City of Oaks, consider your options in Stonehenge, where the rent ranges from $1,300 to $3,000. 

Hillsborough Street

North Carolina State University alumni and students, rejoice! Hillsborough Street made this list by a landslide. This vibrant street is sandwiched between NC State and Meredith College, but also stretches through the Cameron Village neighborhood. The residents can be youthful, but with an event calendar full of kid-friendly activities, there’s something for everyone on Hillsborough Street. 

An image of a Hillsborough Street apartment in Raleigh North Carolina

Because of its proximity to two universities, Hillsborough Street is a hub for arts, culture, and recreation offerings in the City of Raleigh. There are many public art grants available, studio spaces, small-town boutiques, and sidewalk art festivals to keep residents entertained. 

While there is ton of student housing on Hillsborough Street to consider, there are also condos, apartments, townhomes, and single-family homes available for rent within walking distance. 

Glenwood South
an image of downtown Raleigh, North Carolina and Glenwood South

If your heart is set on living downtown, Glenwood South is deemed Raleigh’s trendiest district, with a number of brand new shops, restaurants, fitness studios, and art galleries setting up shop in some of Raleigh’s historic warehouse buildings. It’s all about nightlife in Glenwood South, as residents are late to rise and late to bed. They enjoy live music in local bars and hanging out at the Raleigh Beer Garden. For renters arriving in Raleigh solo, Glenwood South is an incredible neighborhood to make new connections, as the locals are incredibly friendly and the small-town scene is welcome to transplants.

If you have a chance to tour your future apartment in-person, don’t forget to preview the neighborhood: Pop by Hibernian Restaurant & Pub, an Irish pub owned and operated by a bonafide Irishman. Not your scene? You still have many, many restaurants and dining options to choose from! 

Excitingly, rent for a one-bedroom apartment starts at $1,100 in Glenwood South. So, what are you waiting for?

An image of the Midtown Farmers Market in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina

Of all the great neighborhoods to live in Raleigh, Midtown might take the crown. Midtown is close to or encompasses four unique entertainment and shopping districts: North Hills, Crabtree Valley, Cameron Village, and the Five Points neighborhood. Each is known for their distinct character and history, as districts like Cameron Village and Five Points have been established in Raleigh since the 1940s. Five Points has a vintage cinema from 1942, still up and operating. 

Want to reignite your social life in a new city? It’s easy in Midtown as North Hills hosts a number of events like the Midtown Farmers Market, Midtown Beach Music Series, and Midtown Music Fest

In short, renters who want to live in North Raleigh, and want to fill their calendar with activities need to settle in Midtown, where they can find an apartment starting at $1,500

Boylan Heights 
An image of Boylan Heights in downtown Raleigh NC

Raleigh’s charm comes from the fact that its neighborhoods are diverse, and situated right next to the trendy Warehouse District is Boylan Heights, an old school neighborhood with a small-town feel. Boylan Heights is one of Raleigh’s first planned suburbs, and like Historic Oakwood, is filled with the Queen Anne and Colonial-revival style homes that Raleigh is known for. If you prefer a “modern home,” you can also rent a more recently built bungalow, constructed in the 70s, or rent in a remodeled apartment that has retained its Southern charm. The only absolute necessity for your future home in Boylan Heights is a screened porch so that you can socialize with your neighbors!

The Boylan Heights community is tight-knit, with beloved traditions such as the Boylan Heights ArtWalk, which has been held for 27 years in the Boylan Heights neighborhood. Residents can walk the wide streets to see art on display from local artists, including their neighbors! 

One thing can be said about Raleigh is that it’s unlike any other city in America as both a portal to America’s past and the perfect place to start your future. It’s both fast-paced and lowkey, which attracts a diverse population of renters from new grads to retirees. And if you don’t find a home to rent in the city itself, you find beautiful and affordable homesteads in Chapel Hill and Durham, and then get access to all three cities of the Research Triangle Park. 

Here at Rhino, we know that moving can be pricey. While it’s easy to daydream about your ideal neighborhood in Raleigh, the cost of hiring movers, packing, even changing your address, can make it less exciting to consider. Before you call it quits, remember that Rhino is available in Raleigh! Security deposit insurance that replaces your cash security deposit can save you thousands in upfront costs when moving across the country. All you have to do is ask your future property manager if they use Rhino, and you’re set. 

Get a free quote to see how much you can save when you move to North Carolina!  

a headshot image featuring kt heins-nagamoto
KT Heins-Nagamoto

KT Heins-Nagamoto is a senior brand writer at Rhino. They advocate for security deposit alternatives and renter rights in everything they write.