Traveling on Triangle Highways From Knightdale, NC

Knightdale, NC and surrounding Triangle Highways

Woah, what a whirlwind of a weekend here!  Before I go over some of the things that we got to explore and enjoy, I just want to quickly chat about our physical location of where we are in the Triangle and why we have been enjoying easy access to so many of the Triangle highways.

What Towns Are In Wake County?

Knightdale, North Carolina is located in Wake County, North Carolina.  Other towns and cities located in Wake County include Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Morrisville, Garner, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell, and Zebulon.  If you draw a line down the middle of current Wake County lines, you can see the towns that encompass the eastern side, primarily Knightdale, Wendell, Zebulon, and Rolesville to the northeast. 

Knightdale, NC and surrounding Triangle Highways

So, Why Did I Choose To Live On The East Side?

For decades now the western side of Wake County has been rapidly developing due to the demand of being close to the Research Triangle Park (RTP), as well as other big job centers like downtown Durham, Raleigh, and UNC-Chapel Hill.  But with the demand for this area increasing for a variety of factors, developers and prospective homeowners are now looking to the eastern side of Wake County (along with other neighboring counties like Harnett, Franklin, and Johnston) for more affordable land and bang for your buck. 

One of my biggest concerns when we first moved here was “But we’ll be so far from <insert cool, fun, swanky place here>”  Here is what I have found so far:

The Breakdown – My Personal Analysis

#1 Ya’ll… we have small kids.  Let’s get real.  My lifestyle right now is not conducive to an active nightlife or going out to beautiful, gourmet restaurants.  As far as I’m concerned, a day out at Knightdale Station Park and then eating a barbecue sandwich that I didn’t have to cook, and drinking a good beer is what fills my soul at this point.

#2 But in the moments where my husband and I have had the opportunity to go out sans kids, there is SO much so close to us.  We have such easy access to Triangle highways. The drives are all relatively low-stress because they are straight highway drives or slower country roads.  We moved from a place where there was so much bridge and tunnel traffic. So, for us, getting around the Triangle highways is much easier.

How Quickly Can I Get To Other Parts Of The Triangle?

  • Downtown Raleigh is 15-20 min away. 
  • North Hills/Midtown is 20 min away. 
  • Cary is 25-30 min away. 
  • Downtown Wendell is 10 min away.  Wendell Falls is 6-8 minutes.
  • Downtown Wake Forest is 20-25 min away
  • Downtown Clayton is 20-25 min away
  • Downtown Zebulon is 15 min away. 
  • Dix Park, Pullen Park, NC State, etc are 20-25 min away
  • RTP is 30 min away
  • RDU airport is 30 min away
  • Downtown Durham is 40 min away
  • Downtown Chapel Hill is 45 min away

Thanks to easy access to Triangle highways like I-540, I-440, and I-87, I can really get to the majority of the Triangle in under an hour, but often way less of a drive than that.  Being on the eastern side of the area also puts us on a shorter drive to the beach. 

What’s Coming For Triangle Highways In the Future?

I think one of the things that I am most excited about in this area is the triangle expressway extension and completion of the southern I-540 loop.  This project’s timeline has been moved up and is estimated to be completed by 2026-2027.  This will provide better access to areas like Clayton, Holly Springs, Apex, Cary, Sanford, Moncure, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, etc.  The opportunities from this improved access are limitless and exciting.  

Are There Toll Roads in Raleigh NC?

The quick answer to this is yes! But some highways, such as 540 mentioned above, are only partially tolled. The southern portion of the 540 extension that has already been completed and is open is currently tolled. The extension that runs from Apex to Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, etc. will be tolled.

The Point of All of This 🙂

So, I bring up our highway access because we got to go to an amazing event hosted by our awesome realtor (If you’re looking for a realtor, feel free to contact me and I’ll happily send her info along!). Although a 40-minute drive, getting there and back was all highway driving and pretty easy to navigate- no serious traffic for a Friday night which was such a welcome relief compared to Hampton Roads, VA.  We took the kids out to Apex, NC at Buckwheat Farm to go strawberry picking and it was a blast!

Playing in the dirt, strawberry juice dribbling down their chins, eating strawberry ice cream, enjoying the beautiful snapdragons, and playtime with cousins made for such a special night (did I mention that Maya is not only my realtor, but my mother and father in-law’s, my brother and sister in law’s, and my husband’s cousin’s, all who live in this area?  It was like a family reunion!).  Now, there ARE places to go strawberry picking in eastern Wake too, and I hope to highlight at least one other place soon- Pope’s Strawberry Farm in Knightdale.  But for now, I will happily take a Triangle highway to cruise out to Apex on a Friday night for family fun.

Author: Taylor

Taylor, the founder of Eastern Wake Love and resident of Knightdale, NC, created the platform to celebrate Eastern Wake County’s community and lifestyle. Driven by the lack of substantial information about the Eastern Wake communities during her move to Knightdale, she wanted to create a resource for this beautiful area's potential and current residents and visitors. In her spare time, she’s chasing after her two young kiddos, getting involved in her community, and laughing with her husband about the chaos of parenthood.


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