The Top 8 Best Places To Live In North Carolina In 2021

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Known for its affordability, quality of life, and friendly southern hospitality, choosing to move to North Carolina is easily one of the best decisions you could make. No matter which part you choose to live, you’ll benefit greatly from the positivity of this great state. Unfortunately, unless you’re planning to live in a van or an RV, or if you’re an omnipresent being, you can’t just move to North Carolina in its entirety. You’re eventually going to have to make the decision as to which part of NC you’re going to be moving to. Luckily, whether you’re a city slicker or you prefer a more rural setting, there’s going to be somewhere for you. To help you on your quest, we’ve put together our top 10 picks for the best places to live in North Carolina today.

The town of Morrisville starts off our guide with it’s enticing suburban setting. If you’re looking for a perfect mixture of nature and town life, then this could be the place for you. Morrisville benefits from a very central location, next to the city of Raleigh making it a great choice for professionals to commute comfortable distances without living in the middle of the city. The place is also a great choice for those looking to raise a family due to the relaxed culture, beautiful natural scenery, and access to quality schools, providing children with great education. When it comes to exploring the natural world around Morrisville, you can find plenty of exciting trails for both hiking and mountain biking, as well as having easy access to the stunningly calm water of Lake Crabtree.

Chapel Hill
For those families with kids getting ready to start college, you might want to consider the Chapel Hill, home of the University of North Carolina (UNC). The town itself is built around UNC and you’d be wise to expect the town to be a lively and progressive one. Not only is Chapel Hill home to one of the best universities in the country, but it also boasts some of the best schools in the state. Like Morrisville, this town is nearby Durham and a little further out from Raleigh, making both of these locations great for commuting and day trips. 

Known as the Queen City, named after queen consort to King George III, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, this city is by far one of the most exciting destinations for both living in and for visiting. The population of Charlotte is the largest in the state, with over 850,000 residents and this large population only serves to bring the city to life with opportunities, both career-wise and recreationally. Shopping districts, buzzing nightlife destinations, and even a theme park on the outskirts of the city, make for an exhausting yet intensely memorable visit. If you choose to live in this great city however, you’ll find that you never run out of exciting things to do, and for the sports fans out there, Charlotte also has the Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers football team, as well as a wealth of other locations hosting quality state and national sports teams.

If you’re searching for a more relaxed vibe, yet still benefitting from the joys of city-living, check out the colonial port city of Wilmington. This gorgeous coastal city is growing in popularity, especially among students choosing to attend UNC-Wilmington and the Cape Fear Community College. The great thing with choosing to live on the coast of North Carolina is the refreshing and pleasant sub-tropical beach weather you’ll be able to enjoy every day. It’s the perfect mix of lovely sunshine and mild temperatures, lending a vacation-lifestyle feeling without being unbearably hot. There is a great number of exciting home options here just as there are around the entirely of the state. For more information on housing in general, check out EZ Home Search. Their blog answers a lot of queries on real estate in North Carolina to help give you a much deeper insight into what you can expect from houses across the state.

Another one for those that love the great outdoors, Asheville is the perfect place if you’re looking for that small-city-living vibe, while being surrounded by nature on all sides. This great city is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, providing locals with some incredible nature spots right on their doorsteps. Mountain hikes on the weekends and camping trips into the wilderness are commonplace among residents and tourists alike—living here will definitely scratch that itch for the outdoors. A very popular attraction to this town is the exquisite beer brewing scene. This town actually has more breweries per capita than any other place in the entirety of the United States! With around 100 different local brews to try, this is the place to be for beer lovers. Who knows? You might even pick up some tips to start brewing your own, adding to this incredible range of local beers.

Known historically for its tobacco production in the 1900s, Durham is now revered as being a center for medical science in the USA. As well being home to one of the most phenomenal schools in the world, Duke University, Durham city is a hotbed of innovation and business. Alongside this though, the city is actually incredibly affordable to settle in. Housing expenses in and around the city itself are well below the national average, leading to many graduates choosing the remain in the city and begin their career here. If you’re looking for somewhere to begin a business, or even relocate your current one, Durham should be at the top of your list, especially if that business is involved in the tech industry.

This next place actually combined with Durham in the U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the best cities to live in the entirety of the USA and takes an incredibly prestigious second place. This ranking considers everything from affordability and quality of life to job opportunities and general desirability. Similar to Durham, Raleigh also has some phenomenal schooling options to provide your kids with a great education. Raleigh holds up to what people would expect from a capital city, providing residents and visitors with a myriad of activities and sights to see, such as museums, sporting stadiums, music venues, and gorgeous parks. This should easily be another top contender when deciding where to live in NC.

Southern Pines
Getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life, on the other hand, is becoming much more popular today, especially with the increase in remote working opportunities. This had led lots of young professionals to lay down roots in smaller, more isolated locations, for some peace and quiet as they continue to further their careers. Southern Pines offers a wonderful relaxed, community-focused lifestyle which is perfect for raising a young family. It might not be full of exciting nightlife, but the chances are, if this looks to be your dream home location, you’re not looking to go clubbing every night. Instead, treat yourself to the gorgeous nature trails around the town, as well as the best golf course in the entirety of North Carolina.