Otherwise, you’ll have to contend yourself with shelling out $1454 to rent a residence in this prestigious district of low crime rates, highly educated residents, excellent amenities, and highly rated schools. First, we looked at housing affordability and overall cost of living. It's not a surprise that Davidson takes the cake. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. Just saying, America.). Oak Island is also a dog lover’s dream: Four legged friends are allowed on the beaches year-round, and they can be off the leash from October 16-March 15 from 6am to 8pm. We ranked each place in North Carolina across a number of criteria from one to 130, with one being the best. Population: 6,194 Median Home Value: $328,000 (11th best) This young and educated city has a low cost of living. Keep in mind, however, that most of these are second homes and that many of the people who keep this beach town in operation commute from the greater Wilmington area. This smaller community situated near the mountains is a natural haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering everything from hiking and watersports to golf and tennis. Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (25th best) Mountain scenery, outdoor activities, a vibrant arts scene, and historic architecture make it one of the best places to live in North Carolina. looking for best beach area to live at in North Carolina Heck, someone has to pay for the programs that are keeping the city safe, employed, and educated. Given the low crime rates and excellent school system, its little wonder the neighborhood is so desirable among young families: of its population, 46% have young children. Here's where you can pick apples in every state. Known as the Harbor of Hospitality, Elizabeth City is a waterfront community on the eastern seaboard, just 45 minutes from Norfolk, Virginia. Located on the eastern side of the state, it is one of the few places close to the coast to make our list. Keep in mind, however, that most of these are second homes and that many of the people who keep this beach town in operation commute from the greater Wilmington area.eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'homesnacks_com-large-mobile-banner-2','ezslot_14',115,'0','0'])); If you do decide to become a Carolina Beach local, be prepared to pay around $328,000 for a home and make sure that you have a job that pays at least $74,091/year before you make the big move. But what really makes Cary great is that it has one of the best school districts in the state, it's super close to Raleigh and Durham, and it has been able to maintain its small city charm in the midst of its rapid growth. Culture: We considered the well-being of each city using Gallup’s research and also looked at things like nightlife, events and activities. There are few disadvantages to living in Raleigh. Whether you're into lake activities or tasting craft brews at the local brewery, you won't get bored in this suburban oasis. With historic architecture; a thriving downtown with great shops, restaurants, and bars; a picturesque Riverwalk on the Cape Fear River; and a youthful vibe thanks to the local University of North Carolina campus, this magnet is also a quick drive to the sands of Wrightsville and Carolina beaches. Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (11th best) Duck has devoted extensive energy and funds to the nourishment of its beaches (named among the Best Restored Beaches for 2018), but it’s important to note that access is for residents and vacation property renters only. Despite lying only two miles off the North Carolina coast and due south of Wilmington, this three-by-one-mile barrier island feels like a secret hideout from a Robert Louis Stevenson story. Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1) Communities throughout Eastern North Carolina invest in their central business districts. Take a walk on the wild side with this list of unusual activities. This city of 15,821 residents is one of the safest places in the Tar Heel State. However, all of this does come at a price: the cost of living in Wake Forest is well above the national average. This is our sixth time ranking the. Other than that, its 4003 residents can enjoy an excellent quality of life thanks to the neighborhood’s abundance of restaurants, coffee shops, and green spaces. Outdoor life here centers—appropriately—around boating, paddling, and casting, but the famed beaches of the Outer Banks are just an hour to the east. These numbers are both well below the state and national level. Meet North Carolina’s earliest capital—and an utterly charming harbor town with plenty of historic architecture (more than 160 homes on the National Historic Register and four historic neighborhoods), waterfront fun, arts and culture, and a deep legacy of Southern hospitality. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions. We use data, analytics, and a sense of humor to determine quality of life for places across the nation. Copyright © 2010-2020 Livability - Journal Communications, Inc. It’s also home to the Jockey’s Ridge State Park, which is the East Coast’s tallest natural dune system and an incredible place to try hang gliding. Nightlife, a thriving foodie scene and plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation keep locals happy as well. Five Points. Keep in mind that there may be smaller areas around these large metros that are more desirable places to live. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. This is the first time Carolina Beach has made our top ten list of best places to live in North Carolina and we are as happy as an intracoastal clam. Bankrate’s editorial team writes on behalf of YOU – the reader. Best Places To Live In North Carolina; Cheapest Places To Live In North Carolina; Best Places To Retire In North Carolina; The 10 Best Neighborhoods To Live In Raleigh. Our editorial team receives no direct compensation from advertisers, and our content is thoroughly fact-checked to ensure accuracy. It’s also home to the largest privately owned home in America, the Biltmore. The average resident can expect to own their own property valued at a mammoth $854,384, enjoy next to no crime, a median household income of more than double the national average ($160,432 to be exact), and access to some first-rate leisure and public service amenities (including exceptional schools such as Myers Park High School, Cato Middle College High School and Charlotte Engineering Early College). Home to Pinehurst, one of the country’s most beloved golf courses, Seagrove, the handmade-pottery capital of the U.S., and Biltmore, America’s largest home, North Carolina has a strong tourism industry.