With dozens of beautiful parks and walking, jogging and hiking trails that cover more than 150 miles, Raleigh, North Carolina, is a great place to get active. You may find this surprising, as Raleigh has a pretty urban landscape (it is, after all, the largest city in the Tar Heel State), but locals know there are some hidden gems in this college town.
If you prefer breaking a sweat to strolling through a museum or lounging around in your pajamas all weekend, be sure to rent an apartment in one of these Raleigh neighborhoods:
I’m willing to bet that when you hear the word “Stonehenge,” Raleigh is not the first place that comes to your mind. However, it’s actually a family-friendly neighborhood located in the northern area of the city that is known for its enthusiastic and tight-knit community.
For those who like to get active, Stonehenge’s biggest draw is the Seven Oaks Swim & Racquet Club. Featuring 20 tennis courts and three swimming pools with diving wells (not to mention a water slide), this facility is the place for the athletically inclined to hang out.
Believe it or not, Brier Creek was mostly forest 20 years ago. Today, however, it’s a wealthy neighborhood that features one of North Carolina’s premier golf courses. Any Arnold Palmer fans out there? Because the golf course at Brier Creek Country Club was designed by “the King” himself.
If golf isn’t your thing, you can still get active by using the club’s tennis courts or swimming laps in the eight-lane pool. Make getting active a family affair by checking out the 115-foot waterslide and Splash Zone.
The main attraction of South Raleigh for those who like to get active is the sprawling Lake Johnson Nature Park. Covering more than 300 acres of land (and 150 acres of water), the park is the perfect place to bike, jog, kayak, sail and canoe to your heart’s content. Plus, it’s completely free!
The Raleigh Golf Association is also located in this neighborhood, so golfers who don’t want to pay for a country club membership can hit a few balls here. The 18-hole course is open every day of the week.
On the other side of the city, active residents will find just as many amenities poised to get them out in nature and exercising. There are three major parks of note in this neighborhood: North Wake Landfill District Park, Cedar Hills Rotary Park and Durant Nature Park. Visit the playground with the kids, go on a run or simply take a stroll.
Good news for golfing enthusiasts: There’s a course on this side of the city too! Wildwood Country Club features four sets of tees that cater to different skill levels, so it doesn’t matter how high your handicap is.
Smack dab in the middle of the city, Fayetteville Street may not be an area where you would expect those who like to be active to live, but it’s actually near several parks, including Eliza Pool Park and John Chavis Memorial Park. Nash Square is also a popular gathering place in the neighborhood, so walk over there when you need to stretch your legs after a long day of work.
Young adults love the NC State neighborhood for its college town atmosphere and abundance of amenities. But what many people may not realize is that it’s also a great place for those who like to be active to live. Hit a few tennis balls in Pullen Park, run laps on Paul Derr Track, or book some space on Miller Fields to play soccer, ultimate Frisbee or football with some friends.
If you’re an NC State alum or current student, you can also become a University Recreation member to gain access to all of their facilities. That means access to the basketball and racquetball courts, aquatic center and more! How’s that for amenities?