Welcome to the Research Triangle!
U.S. News analyzed the 100 most populous metro areas to find the best places to live. To make the top of the list, a place had to have good value, be a desirable place to live, have a strong job market and a high quality of life. Raleigh-Durham has just been ranked #4 in Best Places to Live!
Chapel Hill and Carrboro
The University of North Carolina is located in the city of Chapel Hill, a charming place charged with the culture, spirit and excitement that are unique to a college town. The city is a mix of a quiet, small town feel and a vibrant college atmosphere. College game days bring immense energy and thousands of people into town to cheer on their Tarheels at both Kenan stadium (named America’s most beautiful stadium) and the Dean E. Smith Center. However, there is much more to this gem of a city than just its college campus. A walk down Franklin Street can take you to fine restaurants such as the Lantern (named one of America’s top 50 restaurants) or Crook’s Corner (a sacred ground for southern foodies), to yummy dessert stops such as Sugarland, classic nightlife venues like Top of the Hill and West End Wine Bar, and to Time Out (featured on Man versus Food) for a midnight chicken and biscuit. There is also a plethora of opportunity for shopping (Bevello is a particularly cute boutique), art (Ackland Art Museum is just off of Franklin), and music (live music can be found at a number of venues). There is a sense of community in this college town that incorporates all comers (Fridays on the Front Porch is a great example; happening every Friday May-October, all generations join on the lawn of the Carolina Inn for live bluegrass.
Neighboring Carrboro offers a more settled small-town feel to the Chapel Hill area. From its free annual music concert that spans multiple stages, to delicious local restaurants, Carrboro provides a fun, relaxing area for residents and their families to enjoy time away from work.
Many residents from all specialties live in the nearby city of Durham. Durham, even with the Tarheel’s arch rival of Duke, is a great place to call home. The city itself has undergone a revival over the last decade. Its downtown now holds some of the most exciting venues in the area. The American Tobacco District, built from refurbished tobacco warehouses, is a frequent locale for resident fun. The ATD is the home of the DPAC (Durham Performing Arts Center) which hosts Broadway productions, various musical and comedic acts, as well as the yearly American Dance Festival. The ATD has a number of restaurants (Tyler’s is a group favorite) and neighbors the Durham Bulls Stadium.
Saturday mornings year round, Durham hosts a quaint locally grown farmer’s market. The same venue hosts Food Truck Rodeos every 2-3 months. Several breweries have inhabited the area (FullSteam, Bull City Burgers & Brews) and countless fabulous restaurants (including but certainly not limited to Dos Perros, Revolution, Parker & Otis, and Q-shack) call Durham their home.
Nearby Raleigh offers the feel of a city without quite as much traffic! Offering even more fine dining (The Pit is an exceptional BBQ spot), shopping, theatre (The Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts), art (North Carolina Museum of Art), nightlife, athletics (NC state and an occasional professional sports team), and culture (frequent festivals such as the St Patrick’s Day parade), Raleigh is a great place to be. It continues to grow and expand and was recently named America’s best city by Newsweek.
The entire area is an exceptional place for outdoor activities. Though we certainly see all four seasons, it is rarely too cold to be outside. Jordan Lake offers residents a nearby place to rent a boat, go to the beach, or go for a swim. Eno River State Park and William B. Umstead State Park, both less than a 20 minute drive from Chapel Hill are outstanding locations for a hike. The Chapel Hill Botanical Gardens and the Duke Gardens allow nature lovers a great venue for a stroll. Wrightsville Beach is just a short 2- 2 ½ hour drive to your east and the mountains are just three hours to the west.
As you can see, there are a number of things to do and explore in our little piece of paradise!