I always tell my buyers to do "drive by's" before we go out looking at properties. This gives people an idea of how a neighborhood feels, what neighbors are like, if there are any "eyesores" or noisemakers nearby like a highway, powerline. Once you identify a few neighborhoods you really like, then go back at different times (i.e. 5 pm on a weekday, saturday afternoon, sunday morning, etc.).
What does your Realtor tell you about this neighborhood? If you aren't working with one, you really should. Let me know if you need the name of a good agent in your area.