Raleigh's Five Points
For the perfect afternoon
Written by Debra Simon and photographed by Carolina Woman
The Southern Living mom, the Etsy girl about town, the perfectly groomed businesswoman — everyone feels at home in Five Points.
This happenin’ neighborhood, where the traditional mixes easily with the contemporary, is one of Raleigh’s walkable, work-live-play corners.
Nothing here is too far — from an arty movie theater to sidewalk cafés to antique shops to a retro pharmacy to up-to-the-minute boutiques to one-of-a-kind restaurants. Most of the businesses are owned locally.
It’s a little bit small-town warm and fuzzy and a lot lively and spirited. It’s a neighborhood that’s filled with character and surrounded by beautiful homes in old-school architectural styles.
Located north of the Glenwood neighborhood and northwest of central Raleigh, Five Points earned its name from the five districts that connect at its intersection of Glenwood Avenue, Fairview Road and Whitaker Mill Road. Four of the five have been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.
Forget about those car-crazy suburbs that stretch into every nook and cranny of Wake County. These were the original Raleigh suburbs!
As the history books tell it, in the late 19th century through the 1920s, as Raleigh’s population grew, planners moved beyond downtown. They constructed modern, efficient communities — such as Five Points — that provided escape from stressful, hectic urban living.
Five Points exemplifies the variety of architectural styles that were popular between 1915 and 1950. They include Tudor, Spanish Colonial, Craftsmen Bungalow, Period (English) Cottage, French Eclectic/Norman Revival, American Foursquare, American Colonial, Modernist, Minimal Tradition and even Ranch. Many of the houses use stone that came from a local granite quarry.
Carolina Woman asked a Five Points devotee to scope out a perfect afternoon in her ‘hood. Here’s her day planner:
1. Grab coffee at The Third Place.
Relax in the warmth of woven rugs and local artwork.
2. Meander through Nofo @ the Pig.
This combo café, gourmet market and gift shop opened a decade ago in a former Piggly Wiggly grocery store. The building retains elements of the original space, including a full-service bar created from Piggly Wiggly food cans and dairy case displays. The hand-blown glass chandelier encircled with pigs and the pink-piggy bicycle racks are all Nofo.
3. Eat lunch at Lilly’s Pizza.
Position yourself at the outside tables to people-watch, and, yeah, gobble down a couple of great slices with eclectic toppings.
4. Indulge in dessert at Hayes Barton Café and Dessertery.
Stroll over to the Hayes-Barton Pharmacy (“Filled With Care”), and then go next door to get a load of the dessert case filled with mile-high cakes. Share a slice.
5. Browse antique shops and boutiques.
6. Eat dinner at The Point.
This eatery boasts a wood-burning oven and a menu with something for everyone. For a bonus, you’re just a few steps away from your next stop.
7. Catch a movie at The Rialto Theatre.
Built in 1942, this restored temple to the silver screen is a charming theater with vintage accoutrements that shows foreign and independent films.
8. Cap off your fab day.
If you’re lucky enough to live nearby, just stroll home!