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Charming, Historic Town of Garner Becoming a Popular Place to Own a Home

If you looked up the textbook definition of the ideal All-American town, it would make perfect sense to post photos of Garner, N.C. right next to it.

Garner is a town of about 32,000 that has a lot going for it, from a convenient drive to the nearest big city, Raleigh, to its own historic downtown recognized for its fine performing arts center.

Garner is part of the Research Triangle, a park that’s home to numerous tech companies and research facilities. With a highly educated workforce, the area has been a major attraction for new businesses, and the local economy is booming. That’s helped draw in plenty of new residents.

For many of them, the idea of settling down in Garner is particularly appealing. It’s a charming place with a quaint small-town feel, while still offering residents plenty of things to do in Garner.

Garner, N.C.: An Interesting History

things to do in garner nc

The Downtown Garner Historic District, which is also known as Garner’s Station, is made up of 62 buildings in the central business district and surrounding residential areas of Garner. In 2014, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

That’s because the town of Garner, located in Wake County, N.C., has a rich history.

The land that would become the town was first settled around 1751, but it only started to get developed around the 1850s, after the North Carolina Railroad got built. The railroad definitely contributed to the growth of the settlement area.  

In the 1870s, a wood-and-water stop was established in what is now downtown Garner. In 1878 a post office was built at Garner’s Station, and from there the area continued to build up, finally being incorporated in 1883. The town would get telephone service in 1912, and see additional growth after U.S. Highway 70 opened in 1917 as the first paved highway built in North Carolina. For a long time, farming was the chief source of income for the early settlers of Garner.

History plays an important part of Garner’s appeal today. The historic downtown district was developed between 1883 and 1940, and the architectural styles reflect the different decades: Bungalow, American Craftsman, Queen Anne, and Classical Revival styles of architecture are still prominent here.

Visiting downtown today, you can still see the Garner Depot that was built in 1902, along with Garner High School (1923), Hayes Chapel Christian Church (1870), H. D. Rand Store (1895), Bank of Garner Building (1910), and the W. L. Brooks House (c. 1912).

The town’s earliest residents worked to build it up. The Garner Woman’s Club pushed for the opening of a public library in 1928, staffed by community volunteers. The Garner Woman’s Club, which is still active today, also worked to promote the arts. That helped lead to the opening of the Garner Performing Arts Center, a community theater that hosts performers from Broadway and around the country.

What’s Appealing About Garner Today?

things to do in garner nc

There are lots of things to do in Garner, NC. In addition to the downtown, Garner is known today for its parks and cultural resources. Garner has the long-standing tradition of an Independence Day Celebration featuring the North Carolina Symphony, and other amenities include the Garner Veterans Memorial and the Nature Center at White Deer Park. The town hosts activities built around fitness, athletics, camps, nature, cultural arts, and senior activities.

There are special events throughout the year, like the Spring Eggstravaganza Festival featuring the town’s annual egg hunt at Lake Benson Park.

Garner also has some popular places to relax and enjoy a good meal. It’s home to Brice’s Brewing Company, a popular spot for craft beer fans. Tucked away in an industrial complex, they specialize in Belgian style beers and have a great variety of options. This is considered a great weekend afternoon spot for meeting friends or going on a date. Other popular dining spots include Lorraine’s Coffee House, Angie’s Restaurant, and Taqueria El Toro.

Best of all, the town is conveniently located, just 10 minutes from downtown Raleigh and the jobs base there. Garner home values have gone up 10.4% in the past year, as more and more people have discovered this charming town. Zillow predicts values will continue to rise in the next year, and homes remain affordable here, with a median price of $287,500.


If you’re relocating to the area, contact us at Waterford Green Communities.  Our team of experienced home builders and community development professionals take a lot of pride in building homes in communities like Garner.

We design homes with the highest quality materials, and we believe that every family deserves a beautiful place to call home. Contact us today at 919-629-1329.

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