When it comes to living inside Raleigh’s Interstate 440 beltline ITB, there are many options from which to choose. Homes in this area have a rich character and are situated along tree-lined streets in established neighborhoods. But this highly desirable area of Raleigh is more than established neighborhoods. There also are new communities springing up throughout the area, which is adding to the center city’s appeal. It is a short drive not only to various businesses but also to the downtown area, North Carolina State University, and Raleigh-Durham International Airport. This makes living in the center of Raleigh quite literally the center of everything.
And fortunately for residents, living inside Raleigh’s beltline offers many nearby shopping and dining opportunities as well. From Crabtree Valley Mall to North Hills to nearby Triangle Town Center, there is something for everyone at these bustling retail centers. The region also is filled with an array of dining options from both locally based restaurateurs and nationally regarded restaurants. And with access to the highly regarded Wake County Public School System – as well as a variety of quality private schools – people living in this area of Raleigh can enjoy everything that the capital city has to offer.
Downtown Raleigh has been transformed by an attractive pedestrian mall where trees, fountains, and statuary create a shopping oasis. No fewer than six college campuses dot the city's streets, with wide lawns and impressive brick buildings. The oldest, St. Mary's College, was founded in 1842. The big name in town, though, is North Carolina State University, and cheering for the Wolfpack in basketball or football is more than just an idle pastime. New suburbs and gigantic shopping centers dominate the outskirts of Raleigh, characterized by nicely designed homes blending into a landscape that retains much of its original wooded character.
Victorian mansions and majestic oak trees line Raleigh's graceful boulevards, and North Carolina's capitol has been called "a city within a park." Saved from destruction during the Civil War by a well-timed surrender, Raleigh's preserved history and vibrant technology industry make it a place where the Old South and New South effortlessly intersect. Along with neighbors Durham and Chapel Hill, Raleigh anchors The Triangle, a region of 1.5 million known for its excellent universities, mild climate and high tech industrial sector.
As the population explosion suggests, real estate and construction in and around Raleigh are abundant, to say the least. The City of Oaks is broken down into five geographic areas: Olde Raleigh, predictably, is home to the city's oldest neighborhoods as well as the City Market, Fayetteville Street Mall, the North Carolina State Capitol and a handful of museums and other attractions; East Raleigh is bordered by the town of Knightdale and lies along the I-440 Beltline, and most of its development is along established thoroughfares like Capitol Blvd. (US 1) and New Bern Ave. (US 64); West Raleigh is home to the North Carolina State University campus and the Municipal Rose Garden, and is bordered to the west by the town of Cary; North Raleigh or outside the beltline is an expansive area that is home to many established neighborhoods and rapidly developing rural areas; South Raleigh is the least developed and populated section of the city, but it too is home to handful of neighborhoods and is growing fast.
Raleigh boasts a number of museums, parks, and events that draw visitors and keep locals busy during their leisure time. Exploris is a new interactive museum focused on world cultures and features the only IMAX Theatre in the state. Others which are more established include the North Carolina Museum of Art, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and the North Carolina Museum of History. On pretty days (and in Raleigh there are plenty), visitors can enjoy outdoor sites such as the JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University, Shelley Lake Park and historic Oakwood, Raleigh's oldest and grandest neighborhood, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sports fans can check out the Carolina Hurricanes, an NHL team, formerly the Hartford Whalers that won the Stanley Cup in 2006. Raleigh's largest event is the North Carolina State Fair, which takes place over ten days every October and draws more than 700,000 visitors.