Over 30 Best Places To Live In North Carolina – NC Piedmont Region
I couldn't help but notice how quickly the air changed, becoming hotter and more humid.
Immediately I missed the ocean breezes of the North Carolina best places along that coastline that had helped to keep me cool during the past days.
I easily found my way to Falls Lake State Park, where I was able to cool off in clean waters, just a stone's throw from downtown Raleigh.
The next morning I woke up and headed into Raleigh to walk around and get a feel for the place.
Getting into the city was a guessing game. The highways circle the center of the city creating a beltway like Washington D.C. and Baltimore.
I found navigating this beltway to be quite confusing as the roads didn't seem to travel in the directions that the signs indicated. In addition the road was very busy which didn't help matters.
Getting into downtown Raleigh with a sigh, I headed to the business district which is located in the center of the city.
The central downtown and business district of Raleigh North Carolina is made up of a dense cluster of high rise buildings. Surrounding this area is a series of many one way streets. After a bit of driving in circles, I found myself in the southwest corner of the city, which is part of the arts, restaurants, and entertainment district.
Parking was readily available and not expensive, either on the street or in parking garages.
A couple of parks line the roads and there was a larger central park where a few people were hanging out in.
Also in downtown there are many cafes, bars and restaurants.
From Raleigh, I drove southwest to Cary, NC.
Now, Cary, NC is known as the center for relocated Yankees. I didn't see any, but maybe that's just because they weren't wearing their signs.
As it is only about twenty-five minutes from Raleigh, Cary serves as a great home for commuters. Cary is a small town, with a Mainstreet of stores with an intersecting street that has some business activity as well.
A couple of the buildings had murals on their brick walls depicting scenes from the past…
Model T's skirting through cobbled streets, men in top hats and ladies in petticoats.
Most of the shops were small and quaint. A gourmet deli sat on one corner and a pharmacy with a lunch counter called Ashworth's was on another.
I headed into Ashworth's for lunch and got a barbecue sandwich. The sauce was authentic Eastern Carolina Barbecue, made with a vinegar base rather than a tomato base.
Next to me was a long time citizen of Cary, NC, Gus. Just about everyone who walked into the store greeted him by name and I wondered how long he had been sitting there.
With lunch finished, I left the Ashworth’s and Gus' warm company, heading into Apex, NC about twenty minutes down the road. I felt as though this would be were I would live if I were to commute into Raleigh everyday.
Only forty-five minutes from Raleigh, Apex has a much larger selection of services than Cary's small downtown. Apex's commercial district is made up of a long strip of shopping centers, and residential communities set back from the road.
The centers held everything from Applebee's and Chili's, to small Greek and Thai restaurants, and bakeries. The residential communities were recently built, well maintained, and adequately insulated from the sound and bustle of the street. I continued through the commercial area and turned left to enter the downtown Apex historic district.
Although Apex, NC is made up of only one street, I found some great potential there. There were many people walking up and down the length of the road, popping in and out of the many boutiques, galleries and curio shops that lined the street.
Several of the downtown buildings had recently changed hands and were undergoing renovations to turn them into higher end restaurants.
With the wealth of commercial businesses and a prevalent, protected historic downtown section I immediately felt that Apex, North Carolina was a best place to live in North Carolina.
Come along as we move on to …
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About Bob Bencivenga
|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.
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