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Get familiar with Raleigh’s unwritten rules

Tell us you’re from Raleigh without telling us you’re from Raleigh — keep reading for more than 25 unwritten rules in the City of Oaks.

Raleigh's skyline on a cloudy day.

Did you find yourself nodding along to these unwritten rules?

Photo by RALtoday

Whether you’re a City of Oaks native or a relative newcomer, there are just some things every Raleighite understands to be true.

We asked our readers to share Raleigh’s unwritten rules, from common city knowledge to relatable trends and local lingo. You won’t find these rules in a handbook, but they are undoubtedly absorbed by the community — and if you’re not from the 919, these might be a little difficult to explain.

Note: Some responses were pulled from our Instagram.

The unspoken rule everyone knows

“Don’t park in the lower levels of the parking deck at Crabtree when it rains.” — Tracy V.

“Return your cart when grocery shopping.” — Cindy B.

A parking meter.

DYK: Metered parking is free on the weekends.

Photo by RALtoday

Raleigh pro tips

“Never wash your car during pollen season. It’s futile.” –@princethepatel

“Don’t call the area Raleigh-Durham like it’s a hyphenated city name. Raleigh-Durham, or RDU, is just the airport.” — @nukulerjewelry

“It’s called ‘Falls of THE Neuse,’ no matter what the signs say. ‘THE’ is not optional.” — @citrixcycle

“Everything closes before you see the first snowflake fall.” — @JBo0603

“Avoid Capital Boulevard any time of day.” — Lisa D.

Hayes Barton Pharmacy on the corner of Five Points.

Warning: Use extreme caution when driving through the Five Points intersection.

Photo by RALtoday

We’ve learned a thing or two from commuting

“Don’t use Hollenden Drive and Spring Forest Road when Millbrook is in session.” — Judy K

Never turn left on Wade.” — @itsbrittanynelson

“All semi-trucks avoid the Peace Street bridge.” — @Mamaj1822

“Don’t race the right of way at the Five Points intersection.” — Robin S.

“Driving on Wake Forest Road and Atlantic Avenue is an extreme sport, Capital Boulevard too.” — @garsanvic

“Don’t even try to understand or explain the 440 Beltline.” — @bayleafmarketraleigh

“Get right with your higher power if you intend to go through the Five Points intersection.” — @saddison2004

“Avoid 🍴🍴🍴🍴🍴🍴 Road the day before Thanksgiving!!” — @liiz_zziiee

A spread from State of Beer.

State of Beer’s pimento cheese dip is a must-try.

Photo by RALtoday

Foodie opinions

“Pimento cheese. Put that on everything!!!!” — @rissilient

“Always stop for donuts when the ‘Hot Now’ sign is lit!” — @breinerfamilycircus

“Vinegar based is the way to go!” — @tracy.22

“Two words: ham jam.” — @MeganEHinkle

A dog sitting in a park in front of two homes.

City Editor Cat’s dog Tucker also loves Cameron Park.

Photo by RALtoday

We’re kind to our neighbors

“Rude driving and honking (except in an emergency) is not polite. Always show courtesy when driving.” — Jan I.

“Cameron Park is the best place in Glenwood South for throwing a ball with your dog.” — @colin_shelton

“Bring a picnic blanket or lawn chair just in case there’s no seating at Lafayette Village, especially on a nice sunny day!” — @glowingpossibilities

“RESPECT THE GEESE!” — @braidbabekatie

“Your car horn may work just fine, but we never use it to honk at another driver. Slow down + give them the benefit of the doubt. That could be somebody’s grandmother driving!” — @southernpicnics

RALtoday pro tips

“Be kind to our squirrels, trees, and wildlife — after all, we are the City of Oaks.” — City Editor Cat

“Don’t speak ill of the other Tobacco Road college sports... at least in public. A Carolina or Duke fan might get mad at you.” — City Editor Allie

What did we miss? If you know an unofficial rule that’s not on the list, let us know using this survey.

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