North Carolina Living: The Top Ten Reasons to Call it Home

North Carolina, often referred to as the “Tar Heel State,” is a captivating blend of vibrant cities, picturesque landscapes, and Southern hospitality. From the Atlantic coast to the Appalachian Mountains, the state offers a unique combination of culture, history, and natural beauty. If you’re considering a move, here are the top ten reasons to make North Carolina your home.

Diverse Geography:

One of the most compelling aspects of North Carolina is its diverse geography. From the Outer Banks with their sandy shores to the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, the state offers a range of environments to suit any lifestyle. Whether you prefer beachside living or mountain retreats, North Carolina has it all.

Diverse Coastal Regions:

North Carolina’s coastline stretches over 300 miles along the Atlantic Ocean, offering a variety of coastal landscapes. The Outer Banks, a string of barrier islands, boast sandy shores, historic lighthouses, and the famous Wright Brothers National Memorial. Coastal towns like Wilmington provide a unique blend of maritime history and modern amenities.

Piedmont Plateau:

The central region of North Carolina is characterized by the Piedmont Plateau, featuring rolling hills and fertile plains. This area is home to major cities like Raleigh, Durham, and Charlotte. The Piedmont offers a mix of urban and suburban living, with a thriving cultural scene, universities, and research institutions contributing to the region’s dynamic atmosphere.

Appalachian Mountains:

In the western part of the state, the Appalachian Mountains unfold with breathtaking beauty. The Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the larger Appalachian range, showcase stunning vistas, winding mountain roads, and opportunities for outdoor recreation. Asheville, nestled in the heart of the mountains, is known for its artsy vibe, craft breweries, and proximity to the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway.

Great Smoky Mountains:

Sharing its border with Tennessee, North Carolina is home to a portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a haven for nature lovers, featuring diverse plant and animal life, cascading waterfalls, and well-maintained hiking trails.

Inner Banks and Sounds:

The Inner Banks region, situated between the Outer Banks and the mainland, is characterized by estuaries, sounds, and picturesque small towns. The Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds offer opportunities for boating, fishing, and bird-watching. Towns like Bath and Edenton showcase historic architecture and a laid-back coastal lifestyle.

Sandhills Region:

The Sandhills region, located in the central part of the state, is known for its distinctive sandy soil and pine forests. This area offers a unique blend of natural beauty and golfing opportunities, with Pinehurst being a renowned destination for golf enthusiasts.

Crystal Coast:

The Crystal Coast, including places like Beaufort and Morehead City, is a gem along the coast known for its crystal-clear waters, maritime history, and a laid-back beach lifestyle. The Cape Lookout National Seashore and Shackleford Banks, known for their wild horses, are popular destinations in this region.

Uwharrie Mountains:

The Uwharrie Mountains, located in the central part of the state, provide a more intimate mountain experience. Uwharrie National Forest offers hiking, camping, and off-road trails, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a quieter mountain retreat.

North Carolina’s diverse geography ensures that residents and visitors alike can find their ideal setting, whether it’s by the coast, in the mountains, or within the vibrant urban centers of the Piedmont. This variety contributes to the state’s rich tapestry of landscapes and lifestyles.

Thriving Cities:

  • North Carolina is home to dynamic urban centers such as Raleigh, Charlotte, and Durham. These cities boast a rich cultural scene, vibrant economies, and a myriad of job opportunities. The Research Triangle Park, situated between Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, is a hub for innovation and technology, making the state an ideal destination for professionals. The average North Carolina home value is $320,716, up 2.7% over the past year. 

Where to live:


  • Known as the Queen City, Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina and a major financial hub. It offers a thriving job market, cultural attractions, and a diverse culinary scene. In November 2023, the median listing home price in Charlotte, NC was $419.9K, trending up 4.7% year-over-year. 


  • The capital city of North Carolina, Raleigh is part of the Research Triangle along with Durham and Chapel Hill. It’s known for its universities, tech industry, and a growing arts and music scene.In November 2023, the median listing home price in Raleigh, NC was $484.5K, trending up 10.1% year-over-year.


  • Home to Duke University, Durham is a city with a rich history and a burgeoning reputation for innovation. The revitalized downtown area features a mix of historic architecture and modern developments.In November 2023, the median listing home price in Durham, NC was $433.7K, trending up 3.3% year-over-year.


  • Greensboro is a city with a strong emphasis on education and culture. It hosts several universities and colleges, along with museums, theaters, and a lively downtown. The average Greensboro home value is $247,656, up 4.4% over the past year.


  • Winston-Salem has a diverse economy with a historical background in tobacco and textiles. Today, it’s known for its arts community, innovation, and the presence of Wake Forest University. The average Winston-Salem home value is $244,267, up 4.7% over the past year


  • Home to Fort Bragg, one of the largest military installations in the world, Fayetteville has a strong military presence. It also offers a mix of cultural amenities and outdoor recreation. The average Fayetteville home value is $199,299, up 8.1% over the past year


  • Cary consistently ranks as one of the safest and best places to live in the United States. It’s a suburb of Raleigh, known for its family-friendly environment and well-planned communities. n November 2023, Cary home prices were down 5.9% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $533K.


  • Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is renowned for its vibrant arts scene, craft breweries, and outdoor activities. It has a unique and eclectic atmosphere that attracts residents and tourists alike. The average Asheville home value is $459,606, up 3.9% over the past year.


  • Wilmington, located on the coast, is known for its historic riverfront, beautiful beaches, and a thriving film industry. It offers a coastal lifestyle with a mix of history and modern amenities. The average Wilmington home value is $391,499, up 6.1% over the past year

High Point:

  • High Point is often referred to as the “Furniture Capital of the World” due to its prominence in the furniture industry. It hosts the High Point Market, one of the largest furnishings industry trade shows globally.
  • These cities offer a diverse range of experiences, from the bustling urban environment of Charlotte to the scenic beauty of Asheville and the coastal charm of Wilmington. Keep in mind that individual preferences and priorities may influence the choice of the best city for a particular person or family. The average High Point home value is $229,659, up 4.8% over the past year.

Educational Excellence:

  • North Carolina takes pride in its educational institutions, offering a range of options from world-renowned universities to outstanding public school systems. Here are more details about the state’s educational excellence:

 Universities and Research Institutions:

  • University of North Carolina System: This system comprises 16 public universities, including flagship institutions like the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University in Raleigh, and Duke University in Durham. These institutions contribute significantly to research, technology, and academic advancements.

Research Triangle Park (RTP):

  • Home to the Research Triangle Park, the area formed by Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill is a global hub for research and innovation. The park hosts numerous high-tech companies and research organizations, fostering collaboration between academia and industry.

Quality K-12 Education:

  • North Carolina places a strong emphasis on K-12 education, with notable public school systems in various regions. Efforts are made to provide students with a well-rounded education, and initiatives like the North Carolina New Schools project aim to enhance learning opportunities.

Duke University:

  • Located in Durham, Duke University is a prestigious private institution known for its rigorous academic programs and world-class faculty. The university has a strong emphasis on research and is consistently ranked among the top universities globally.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC):

  • UNC Chapel Hill, the oldest public university in the United States, is renowned for its academic excellence, particularly in fields such as medicine, business, and law. The university is a leader in research and has a vibrant campus life.

North Carolina State University (NC State):

  • NC State, located in Raleigh, is a powerhouse in engineering, technology, and agriculture. The university’s Centennial Campus serves as a hub for innovation and collaboration between academia and industry.

Accessible Community Colleges:

  • The North Carolina Community College System provides accessible and affordable education to a diverse student population. These community colleges offer associate degrees, technical training, and workforce development programs to prepare students for various careers.

Rich Cultural and Arts Education:

  • Many institutions in North Carolina prioritize cultural and arts education. For example, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem focuses on training students in the performing and visual arts.

High-Quality Private Schools:

  • In addition to the public school system, North Carolina is home to many reputable private schools offering a range of educational philosophies. These institutions often provide smaller class sizes and specialized programs.

Commitment to Continued Improvement:

  • – The state has initiatives like My Future NC, which aims to increase educational attainment and workforce readiness. Policymakers and educators continually work towards improving educational outcomes and opportunities for all students.

Historic Charm:

  1. North Carolina is a state that wears its history with pride, and its cities and towns are living testaments to a rich and diverse past. From the coastal town of Bath, with its well-preserved 18th-century architecture, to the colonial ambiance of Edenton, North Carolina’s historical charm is both enchanting and educational. The city of Winston-Salem boasts a blend of historic Moravian settlements and modern innovation, creating a unique atmosphere where cobblestone streets meet cutting-edge research. In Asheville, the Biltmore Estate stands as a Gilded Age masterpiece, showcasing the opulence of the Vanderbilt family and offering visitors a glimpse into the past. The historic districts of cities like New Bern and Wilmington transport residents and visitors alike to bygone eras, where colonial homes, historic theaters, and cobblestone streets tell stories of the state’s vibrant history. North Carolina’s commitment to preserving its historical landmarks ensures that every corner of the state is a journey through time, making it a captivating place for those who appreciate the beauty and significance of yesteryears.

Outdoor Paradise:

  1. Nature enthusiasts will find North Carolina to be an outdoor paradise. With its numerous state parks, hiking trails, and scenic byways, the state provides ample opportunities for hiking, camping, and water activities. The Blue Ridge Parkway, often dubbed “America’s favorite drive,” offers breathtaking views and is a must-visit for nature lovers.

Culinary Delights:

  1. North Carolina is a haven for foodies, especially barbecue enthusiasts. The state is renowned for its distinctive styles of barbecue, with Eastern and Western varieties both finding devoted fans. From seafood on the coast to farm-to-table restaurants inland, the culinary scene caters to diverse tastes.

Southern Hospitality:

  1. The warm and friendly demeanor of North Carolinians is a defining feature of the state. Southern hospitality is not just a saying here—it’s a way of life. The welcoming communities and neighborly spirit make it easy to feel at home, fostering a sense of belonging for residents.


  1. Compared to many other states, North Carolina offers a relatively affordable cost of living. Housing, in particular, tends to be more reasonable than in some neighboring states, allowing residents to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank.

Arts and Culture:

  1. The state’s commitment to the arts is evident in its numerous museums, galleries, and cultural events. The North Carolina Museum of Art, the Brevard Music Center, and the thriving arts scene in cities like Asheville contribute to a rich cultural tapestry that residents can readily explore.

Economy and Jobs

North Carolina’s economy is diverse, robust, and continuously evolving, offering a range of employment opportunities across various sectors.

Technology and Research:

  • The Research Triangle Park (RTP) in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill is a global hub for technology, innovation, and research. It houses numerous companies and research institutions, particularly in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, information technology, and advanced manufacturing.

 Financial and Banking Sector:

  • Charlotte serves as a major financial center in the United States, hosting headquarters of several national and international banks. It’s a hub for finance, accounting, and related industries, contributing significantly to the state’s economy.

Healthcare and Biotechnology:

  • North Carolina is home to world-renowned healthcare systems and biotech companies. The healthcare sector provides a significant number of jobs, and cities like Durham and Winston-Salem have strong biomedical and pharmaceutical research sectors.

Manufacturing and Aerospace:

  • The state has a long history of manufacturing, with industries ranging from textiles and furniture to automotive and aerospace. Cities like Greensboro and High Point have a significant manufacturing presence, while aerospace companies operate in regions like the Piedmont Triad International Airport area.

Agriculture and Agribusiness:

  • North Carolina has a thriving agricultural sector, producing tobacco, poultry, hogs, and sweet potatoes, among other crops. The agribusiness industry, including food processing and distribution, is a major contributor to the state’s economy.

Tourism and Hospitality:

  • With its beautiful coastline, mountains, and historic sites, North Carolina attracts tourists year-round. Cities like Asheville, Wilmington, and the Outer Banks benefit from tourism, creating jobs in hospitality, entertainment, and related services.

Education and Research Institutions:

  • The presence of prestigious universities and research institutions across the state contributes to job creation in education, research, and related fields. These institutions serve as economic engines by fostering innovation and attracting talent.

Small Business and Entrepreneurship:

  • North Carolina has a thriving ecosystem for small businesses and entrepreneurship. Cities like Charlotte and Raleigh have supportive environments for startups, fostering innovation and contributing to job growth.

Renewable Energy and Green Technology:

  • The state is making strides in renewable energy, particularly in solar and wind power. Investments in green technology and sustainability initiatives create jobs in energy production, engineering, and related fields.

Economic Development Initiatives:

  • – The state government and local organizations actively support economic development initiatives to attract businesses, stimulate job growth, and enhance the overall business climate. These efforts focus on infrastructure development, workforce training, and incentives for businesses.
  • North Carolina’s economy benefits from its diverse industries and strategic location, making it an attractive place for businesses and job seekers. The state’s commitment to innovation, coupled with its skilled workforce and business-friendly environment, continues to drive economic growth and job opportunities across multiple sectors.

North Carolina’s allure lies in its ability to offer a little bit of everything—natural beauty, cultural richness, economic opportunities, and a welcoming community. Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant cities, historical sites, or outdoor adventures, the Tar Heel State stands as an inviting destination for those seeking a diverse and fulfilling lifestyle. So, pack your bags and get ready to embrace the top ten reasons to call North Carolina home.

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