North Carolina is incredibly diverse, ethnically and economically speaking, which makes it a great place to call home. From the coast to the mountains, North Carolina has the charm to spare. If you are looking for a nice place to settle down, here are the 10 best places to live in North Carolina.
Morrisville is a welcoming town which is one of the reasons it has one of the most diverse populations in the country. Research Triangle Park has brought to the area people from a wide variety of countries and cultures. Morrisville provides a range of activities and has invested in connection, with parks and greenways throughout the community. Its enviable position near major thoroughfares means easy access to regional cultural attractions. Less than 20 minutes away are some of North Carolina’s best museums, concert venues, and sports teams. Morrisville enjoys a desirable climate with warm summers and mild winters.
Asheville sits along the Blue Ridge Parkway and between the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests. It is one of the most breathtaking places in the state of North Carolina. With a population of 86,000, Asheville is a hotspot for nature lovers who flock here for its scenic vistas. Asheville is often considered by outsiders to be a delightfully strange place. The area boasts an outdoor-friendly culture that’s complemented by a hip downtown. Despite becoming a hot tourist destination, Asheville maintains a down-to-earth vibe. The average cost of living in Asheville is slightly below the national average, though the region’s growing population has caused housing costs to rise.
Raleigh is known for research and technology roots and collegiate rivalries. It is luring new residents every day with strong job growth and a high quality of life. Many people who call the Raleigh areas home are young, friendly, diverse and educated. The cost of living in the Raleigh and Durham areas is slightly lower than the national average, with home prices climbing significantly over the past few years. Raleigh also encompasses beautiful green spaces, family-friendly museums and a growing art and music scene defined by monthly gallery walks, summer concerts. Summers here are hot and humid, winter rarely calls for snow, but icy road conditions are known to happen.
Davidson is a college town. Like any town centered around a college, Davidson is small with just ten thousand residents and is meant largely to cater to the elite community of academics and students who reside there. In addition to being surrounded by academic elite all the time, the residents enjoy a complete and fulfilling lifestyle thanks to the well-stocked public libraries, four private schools, a number of commercial banks, and an arboretum. The value of all the amenities is increased by the presence of Lake Norman, which also serves as a picnic point for the residents of this idyllic lakeside town. Low crime rate adds a sense of safety to the intellectual setting. The city’s violent crime rate for the last year was less than one per one thousand people.
Known for its small population and lush golf courses, Pinehurst offers the perfect setting for a family home. The city’s small population of just thirteen thousand ensures absolute tranquility – one that you can expect to find only in a golf course setting but without standing in one. It’s not too congested as traffic is light. However, it’s not the serenity of the city that makes it one of the best in the country; it’s the fact that it’s serene without being lifeless. You’ll find almost everything in Pinehurst — from day schools to community colleges, from Pinehurst Resort to Mystic Cottage, from well-maintained roads to Moor County Airport. Pinehurst also enjoys the reputation of being one of the safest cities in the US.
Cary is another suburb of Raleigh located just outside the capital and the Research Triangle. It regularly features in many best places to live in America lists, among the best place to raise a family and the best place to retire. In 2017, the town of 151,000 residents was named the second best place to live in North Carolina by Niche. The favorable ranking was as a result of high scores in categories such as public schools, jobs, diversity, commute time, outdoor activities and nightlife, all ranked A and above. Cary maintains a small-town vibe with all the amenities of a large city. Its economy is as healthy as it can get, with families taking home an average $90,000. What will strike you about Cary is that, it is a town that places a high value on cleanliness and green living. There are 36 greenway trails in the area, ideal for all kinds of recreation activities.
If education is one of your priorities when choosing a place to settle in North Carolina, Chapel Hill should be one of the top places to consider. The public education system is stellar, scoring A+ on Niche which ranked Chapel Hill the third best place to live in North Carolina. It is here that you will also find the oldest university in America, the University of North Carolina, home of the Carolina Tar Heels. With homes averaging $385,000, this is an indicator that the cost of living is higher compared to other nice places. Outdoor recreation activities comprising multiple beaches and the renowned Blue Ridge Mountains are some of Chapel Hill’s attractions, with others including performing arts and a great music scene.
Only a short drive from Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach is the perfect seaside escape, one of the most affordable beach towns that you could be living in. Ideal for fun in the sun, a day at Wrightsville Beach is a great day indeed. Consisting of 4 miles of gorgeousness, Wrightsville Beach is pure paradise.
This ultimate Carolinian escape has become more than just a popular tourist destination; it is also home to a little under 3,000 residents year round. Offering endless opportunities for fun in the sun and some simply exquisite dining options, Wrightsville Beach is the perfect place to call home. Perhaps the true magic of Wrightsville Beach is in the fact that southern hospitality can still be found here.
Wake Forest is a suburb of Wake County located just north of the state capital. The town of 35,000 residents was the original home of Wake Forest University prior to the university’s relocation to Winston-Salem. As with most places on this list, the median annual income for a family in Wake Forest is considerably high, amounting to $80,000. The average price of a single-family home is $270,000. That’s right, Wake Forest is even more expensive than the capital itself. Nonetheless, most are happy to trade the cost of the perks, and more so families looking for excellent schools, a safe and beautifully diverse neighborhood and friendly people are known for their Southern charm.
Mills River is a small community of 7,000 people located in Henderson County. This is a quintessential rural community, about 20 minutes from downtown Asheville. Mills River is a long-established farming community, a productive one at that, which has led to the area being christened the “fertile crescent”. It has since grown from the small rural community it once was, but the picturesque area has managed to remain affordable while maintaining a strong sense of community. Rent averages $690 and the median home value is $216,000. The area is served by a strong education system and the crime rate is as low as you could ever wish it to be: there are barely any reported incidences. It’s a great place to call home.
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