Small Towns Around Coastal Wilmington North Carolina


Coastal Wilmington Port City North Carolina Best Places To Live BeachesWelcome to this week’s Carolina Report and the North Carolina Coast Best Places To Live.

Get your gear, and let’s hit the road.

As always we’re exploring the best places to live in NC and SC.  Best Places in the Carolinas to live, including those cities that ranked well in the Forbes List of the Best Places for Business and Jobs.

One of the North Carolina Coast best places to live is a city I love!  Wilmington North Carolina has great culture and beauty and ranked well for business and jobs.

As you will remember, last week we explored Wilmington and learned about the economics of living in the area.

But before you get your GPS all set up, today we’re going to be delving deeper into the North Carolina Coast best places to live. We’re headed east and southeast of downtown Wilmington.

Which means…we’re going to the beaches.

With a population of over 376,000 people, many people that work in Wilmington don’t choose to live in such a big city.  And thankfully there is plenty of other North Carolina Coast best places to live close by.

So, let’s check out the suburbs and get some information about the area closet to the beaches of  Wilmington.

Perhaps you don’t want city life, but you want beach life? Let’s first head on over to the best beaches in the Wilmington area.

North Carolina Coast Best Places To Live

Wrightsville Beach Coastal North Carolina

Wrightsville Beach North Carolina ~ Wrightsville Beach is the closet beach to downtown Wilmington and in less than 15 minutes you can be sitting in your beach chair.

Or if Wrightsville is your North Carolina Coast best place to live, you can be at work or enjoying the restaurants and nightlife of downtown with a short commute.

Interestingly, while Wrightsville Beach is very small, there is a high proportion of single people living there.

And often, it is thought of as a college town as quite a few of the residents are college students.  However with the younger residents also comes a vibrancy not found in most beach towns.

Like Carolina Beach and Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach is a major tourist destination so the population in season swells and with any beach town the roads can get pretty congested.

Of course the real estate is going to be more expensive here but for retirement or relocation if living on the water and being able to dip your toes into the ocean at a moments notice is your best place.  Check out Wrightsville Beach.

North Carolina Coast Best Places To Live

Carolina Beach Coastal North Carolina

Carolina Beach, North Carolina ~ Located about 13 miles east of downtown.  And only about 4 miles from Wrightsville beach.  Not too bad.

Yes, it will take a bit longer to commute into work (if you work in Wilmington.)

And yes when the tourists are in town you might want to pull your hair out but the area is worth it!

However, you have to know the real estate on Carolina Beach is some of the most expensive in North Carolina.

But all things considered, it’s still less expensive when you compare it to other parts of coastal living throughout the United States.

What’s interesting about Carolina Beach is that most of the residents are white-collar workers. And Carolina Beach has more residents who work in computers and math.  Interesting right?

And to add to that, the residents work from home. I guess living on the water who wants to commute to work?

As you would suspect with being a beach community, there will be tourists.  It is one of the most popular beaches along the North Carolina Coast. But with that comes numerous local amenities and of course a strong housing market.

What makes Carolina Beach one of the North Carolina Coast best places to live is a slice of heaven to call your own here is easy to do.

Coastal Wilimington North Carolina Best Beach Cities To Live

Kure Beach North Carolina Coast Beach Living

Kure Beach, North Carolina ~ Wow what’s not to love!

Kure Beach is a very very small North Carolina coastal town. But it is one of the North Carolina Coast best places to live if you love the beach.

However, if you choose Kure Beach, you’ll have to love the beach enough to pay for some of the most expensive real estate in the U. S..

And if you don’t mind tourists, you’ll find the rest of the year you can enjoy the peace and quiet of one of the most beautiful areas along the North Carolina Coast.


And downtown Wilmington is less than a 30 minute drive.

If the expense and traffic of living on the beaches for your relocation or retirement isn’t for you, there’s still plenty of North Carolina Coast best places to live a bit more inland.

Seagate, North Carolina ~ Almost due east of downtown Wilmington is the neighborhood of Seagate.  Seagate is just four miles from the center of Wilmington.  And so it is perfect for college students commuting into the city.

It is a fairly quiet neighborhood, which has  low crime rates, a moderate cost of living, and a strong housing market. Being this close to downtown Wilmington the housing costs are a bit more expensive.

However, you’ll also notice that the homes here are a bit larger. That’s due in part because of the higher income per capita present here.

Myrtle Grove, North Carolina ~ In 2011 this North Carolina Coast best place to live was listed in “Best Places to Live CNN Money’s list of America’s best small towns.”

About 6.5 miles southeast of Wilmington is Myrtle Grove. It has moderate to low crime rates,  low cost of living, and a stable housing market. However as you can imagine being this close to the North Carolina beaches, the Median median home price of $213,338 is a bit higher than you will find in other North Carolina Best Places to live

All of these factors, and still being within a short drive to the beaches and downtown Wilmington, makes Myrtle Grove one of the North Carolina Coast best place to live in if you want to be close to a big city.

As we drive through Myrtle Grove,  it’s easy to see the kids outdoors playing and with top rated public schools, this is a great neighborhood to relocate your family. And, Myrtle Grove is rated in the top 10% for family friendly neighborhoods in North Carolina.

However, being this close to the water, means it is has a very nautical atmosphere.  While it is somewhat historic and walkable and densely populated, if you don’t like the sights and sounds of being seaside and shipping, you might want to look a bit more inland.

Masonboro, North Carolina ~ If you like a coastal setting, this neighborhood may be to your liking.  Masonboro is southeast of the center of Wilmington about 8.8 miles.   While the feel of Masonboro is established, it is by no mean old.  Most of the homes were built between 1970 and 1999.

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The homes are primarily medium sized (three or four bedroom) to large (four, five or more bedroom) single-family homes and small apartment buildings.

Like Myrtle Grove, Masonboro is also a great option for families.   And since Masonboro is among the top family-friendly neighborhoods in North Carolina, it’s easy to socialize and quickly feel like you are part of the community.

The residents of Masonboro value education. And it is reflected by the strength of the local schools. In addition to being one of the North Carolina coast best places to live for families with school-aged children, it’s also great for urban sophisticates and highly educated executives.

It’s no wonder Wilmington, North Carolina ranks as one of the best places to live. It has the right type of living for just about everyone.

Take some time to find a place to love in Wilmington. There’s more than one location here that’s simply too good to pass up!

Don’t take my word for it…..check out Wilmington!

That’s all for today.  We’ve only scratched the surface of the North Carolina Coast best places to live around Wilmington but I’ve got to go.

We’ve got to continue our countdown of the best places for business and jobs in NC and SC.

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Bob Bencivenga - Location Expert North Carolina and South CarolinaAbout The Author

Bob Bencivenga is a professional site locator and location analyst for major corporations. Bob researches the growth of NC and SC to find the Best Places to Retire or Relocate that are still affordable.

Bob Does Not Sell Real Estate!
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