Rave and Show Raleigh Off

We have a thread about showing things off from other cities. I wanted to show Raleigh off (and area aka Cary/Durham for my post) for a change.

This past Friday, I decided to take advantage of our bus/greenway system to ride the unofficial Raleigh/Durham Mall to Mall Trail (Southpoint to Crabtree). As always, you can right click a photo and open in a new tab to see the full photo.

I jumped on the 27 bus at Crabtree and rode to The Raleigh Market/Fairgrounds. After stopping and seeing the bus sign didn’t list #100 for GoTriangle, I rode to the intersection of Trinity Rd/Blue Ridge.
Left: Inside the #27 bus. Was very empty
Right: Intersection of Trinity/Blue Ridge. Not a good stop since I waited in the wet dirt.

The #100 bus had a decent number of riders at about 13. I transferred at the RTC station to the #800 which dropped me off at Southpoint. I was surprised to see they converted one lane as a bus only lane. Props to Durham. I took a walk around Southpoint and like that they had a display called “Prismatica” set up. I also found it interesting they had a stage set up. I’ve been to Southpoint quite a bit before, but I guess never paid attention to the truss/stage set up.
Left: Bus lane on Renaissance Parkway
Middle: Prism for “Prismatica” and truss stage set up.
Right: Looking down the outdoor portion of the mall

Left: Water feature in front of Barnes & Noble
Right: Looking towards indoor portion of mall and another water feature

I went up to the pedestrian bridge that crosses 40. I’ve passed below this bridge, but have never been on it.

I headed south on the American Tobacco Trail and found it interesting how there were lines in the middle of the greenway similar to roads. I liked seeing the sign on the side showing where there was a water fountain although it was shut off. I also liked that there was a restroom at one of the parking access points. The sculpture was a nice touch.

Left: American Tobacco Trail with dashed lines
Middle: Sign indicating water fountain just off the trail

Left: Unpaved portion of Tobacco Trail
Middle: Wayfinding sign

I continued into Cary where the paved was paved again. I thought it was interesting where a section between Davis Drive and Mac Arthur Dr. was right in the middle of two sections of houses. I thought this would be a cool Christmas light walk if the houses decorated their backyards. I liked the painting on the side of the tunnel.

Left: Painting at the entrance to a tunnel.
Middle: The trail going between the backs of houses. This photo doesn’t do it justice.

Below: Fred G. Bond Metro Park

Additional trail photos and Lake Crabtree

I continued on the trail back to the wonderful city of Raleigh where I went into Umstead, was able to take a quick look at the Bandwidth campus, and take a break at the Museum of Art.


Reedy Creek Trail:

Museum of Art:

Final photo. Does anyone know why there would be an Arlo security camera under Blue Ridge Rd? I don’t think I’ve seen them under any of the other bridges.

Final quick thought:

  1. I have to say that I am a bit jealous of Southpoint. The addition of the Prismatica installation showed that they are attempting to bring people in. I also like the outdoor part/cinema as it provides longer hours of entertainment. Crabtree has the Ale House which is a nice little spot, but it’s separate from everything else that would remain open later such as Cheesecake Factory, Fleming’s, Uncle Julio’s, and La Rancheria. Granted that the other places aren’t nightlife places, but having those places near each other would give the perception that it’s active. I don’t think Crabtree could (and probably shouldn’t) pull a cinema due in part to the proximity of other cinemas, but they could use some sort of other night entertainment aspect. There’s a lot of hotel rooms there so I’m sure it could keep busy. I had hoped they would steal Dave & Buster’s away from Cary.

Thank you for your tour! :camera:
As for Southpoint vs. Crabtree, they really are two different animals. Southpoint is Cary-like in its suburbaness, connected to periphery spawned development, and has acres and acres of surface lot parking. It’s connected by a network of roads that feel like they were built for the mall and its periphery.
Crabtree is more compact, decked, inwardly facing, and old school “mall”. It faces a main arterial road of the city that is less about the mall and more about the region (US70).
BTW, I love that you created this topic. We should celebrate our city more!


What props Southpoint up for me vs Crabtree is the outdoor plaza section. Has a very nice feel.

Also - not sure where I saw it, but I know Durham has a master plan to revamp Southpoint with more density, apartments, hotels etc in the parking lots. Could be nice. I think that’ll happen for Crabtree too.


Triangle Town also has one of these outdoor plaza sections, but that mall is far less successful in leveraging it, but that’s a completely other story altogether.
As for plans to revamp any of the remaining malls, they are/will be playing catch-up to North Hills.


Yeah I’ve considered this too. Triangle Town Center is a good example on how having an exterior portion doesn’t necessarily help. However their implementation is not as good as Southpoint’s. TTC is missing that entertainment aspect as well. The good thing about TTC is that they do have quite a bit of housing going up around it. It has the possibility of helping.


Dropping some photos off from yesterday’s ride on the Neuse River Trail. Who says Raleigh isn’t a waterfront city? Ok ok, it’s a small river, but I thought it was cool to see people going down and enjoying the river.

Left: Neuse River Trail Under Capital Blvd
Right: Near Buffaloe Rd Athletic Park

Milburnie Dam On The Neuse River

Abbotts Creek Trail and Falls River Ave. Saw a guy flying down the sidewalk which I found to be questionable since it was a sidewalk. I was on the road and found out why they were on the sidewalk. I’m not sure if it shows on the picture, but there’s no actual road connection. A ramp for bikes would have been good here. I’m not really complaining, but I did pass the trail as I was coming down the hill on the road. Had to make a u-turn.



of course i had to ride back. and a mere hour north a good kayak launch on the vastness of kerr lake. nice weekender activiies.


This is a really comprehensive recap of all the cool stuff that should be coming online this year in the Triangle, and I wanted to share.


I would love to get some feedback to this post.

What are your favorite things about Raleigh? What makes you love it?

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Maybe start a new thread with your question? If you don’t know how, maybe @dtraleigh can move your post and set that up for you.

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I’d still love to hear peoples’ responses.

Happy to chime in.

  1. It’s a city that’s emerging, and being part of something that’s emerging is very exciting for me.
  2. It’s an intelligent city with lots of interesting residents doing interesting things. That gives me energy.
  3. It’s diverse and growing more diverse every year.
  4. It’s friendly and open. It doesn’t seem to suffer from constant insufferable fringe narratives (left or especially right) while being generally progressive. That’s a breath of fresh air to me and fits in with my general world view.
  5. It has a major university. After living in places that don’t, this seems to be differentiator to me and how a city feels. Bonus points for the Triangle having several major universities including the 3 big ones. Areas with bright young people are uplifting.
  6. While others might not think so, it’s a polite city where neighborliness is still a thing. Most people are generally nice to each other.
  7. It’s a city that appreciates the arts and culture, and there are venues and events throughout the year to back that up.
  8. While this may sound stupid, it’s a grocery shopper’s heaven! Especially for a city its size, the grocer options are outstanding.
    That’s enough for now. When I think of more, I’ll post them.

Honestly @john nailed it on the head. I guess to add to it from my own perspective, it’s not absurdly expensive or terribly cold like the Northeast. It has nearly world class food and drink options; some really good restaurants and breweries. It’s also just very approachable from every aspect.


I’d add that while it’s not Raleigh specifically, there’s a lot in proximity to Raleigh that makes getting a fresh view here or there very easy.
Chapel Hill
The beach!
The mountains!

I’m sure there’s plenty more but I “new” here (10 years)


I asked my question because I am living in Washington, DC and am going to work in Raleigh this summer. From my perspective, the city doesn’t seem to have that much to offer. Architecturally, Raleigh lacks particular landmarks or style in its buildings. Culturally, the city does not have extensive museums covering significant periods of history apart from the natural sciences museum (which is not old). My last factor is the most crucial — Raleigh doesn’t have beautiful geography like a large river with walking trails in the downtown area. The city is not very walkable, and you have to drive everywhere to get anywhere.

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I have only ever heard people sing Raleigh’s praises, but I just seem to be missing what’s so good about it.

It’s very hard to rave about “it’s an incredibly pleasant place to live.”

It’s got just enough of everything (culture, food, weekend activities) to not get boring, it’s close to every kind of natural landform you’d want for a day/weekend trip, DC, Charlotte, and Richmond are all close for more urban cities, and it’s just so much more laid back and easy to live in than DC/NYC/Boston. My general day-to-day stress and aggravation are much much lower than when I lived in Brooklyn or Boston.


I always tell people that Raleigh has a bad first impression. You probably need a local to show you around if you’re here for a weekend or some short period of time.

But if you stay longer, and you keep an open mind, it grows on you. Downtown is basically its own big city neighborhood. You start hanging out there and you’ll see the same folks. If you’re social, you’ll easily meet people and feel welcome.

Come to one of our meetups this summer. :smiley:


Ur We have nearby I 95 and I 85, which become choked with stagnant traffic as you travel about 4 hours north. But the interstates will be advantageous to you as you leave your summer job.

To be fair, Washington DC is one of my favorite cities. There is a lot of history, museum, etc. I do like the fact that there’s the metro and a decent amount of biking infrastructure. I think @oakcityyimby said it best when they said “It’s got just enough of everything (culture, food, weekend activities) to not get boring”. I’ve considered moving up near DC or even to NYC (more than likely Queens area). Chances are that I may be moving abroad to live closer to family.

The one thing Raleigh does seem to excel a lot in is jobs/work. A lot of people seem to move here for jobs. The cost of living is still pretty decent compared to a lot of places.

I love how DC is pretty close to NYC/Philly/etc. There’s a lot up in that area. I love how Raleigh is decently close to the beach, DC, and mountains. I have family in Denver. While I think Denver is a very nice city, it is too far from the beach for my tastes. I’ve never been to Boise Idaho, but even though it gets ranked as a nice city on some charts, I think that would be way too away from everything else to me. I’ve only passed through Nashville. While Nashville is known for having more tourism, I do not really see the draw in Nashville. Again too far from the beach and I’d rather be closer to the NE states. I guess 4 hours would get you to Atlanta, but I don’t know a lot of people who really say “Let’s go to Atlanta”. Minneapolis seems to be a nice city, but what other city would you visit in the immediate area?

Everyone has their preference.

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