Raleigh, North Carolina: The East Coast’s Biggest Hidden Gem

The East Coast is littered with wonderful cities and towns. Places like Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Richmond, Boston, and…

The East Coast is littered with wonderful cities and towns. Places like Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Richmond, Boston, and New York City come to mind. But for every household name, there’s a hidden gem that’s calling people home. Bustling Raleigh, North Carolina would certainly fall into this category.

6 Reasons People Love Raleigh

When asked the capital of North Carolina, people often suggest Charlotte. And while it’s by far the largest city in both of the Carolinas, it’s not the capital of North Carolina. That designation belongs to Raleigh – a city of nearly half a million people located in the northeast central region of the Tar Heel State.

Charlotte grabs all of the headlines, but it’s Raleigh that has quietly made a name for itself over the decades. If you’re looking to make a move, perhaps you should add it to the top of your list.

1. Optimal Location

Raleigh is positioned in an ideal location. In the immediate area, you’ll find a number of college towns with leading universities. In fact, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham make up what’s known as the Research Triangle – one of the nation’s epicenters for higher education.

On a larger scale, Raleigh is just a short drive from cities like Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Charlotte, and Wilmington. Cities like Charleston, Virginia Beach, Washington D.C., and Columbia, South Carolina can all be reached with a half-day drive.

2. Four True Seasons

If you enjoy variances in weather, you’ll be happy to know that Raleigh offers its citizens four true seasons. Winter almost always brings a few periods of snow, while spring is pleasant and mild. Summers are hot, with averages nearing 90 degrees Fahrenheit in July and August. Fall is arguably the most pleasant time of year with much of October and November hovering in the 60s.

3. Modern Housing

Raleigh’s real estate market has, much like the rest of the country, undergone significant growth and maturation over the last decade. It’s fully recovered from the recent housing collapse and has seen property values skyrocket in many areas of the city.

One thing that sets Raleigh apart is its modern housing. While there are plenty of historic homes and older districts, there’s been an influx of money into the area in the form of residential housing developments – and in particular, luxury apartments. The Glenwood South Apartments in the city’s revitalized warehouse district are a great example of this. They appeal to millennials who want to live, work, and play downtown, without having to compromise on amenities.  There are a handful of other similar developments in other parts of the city.

4. Growing Business Climate

As the capital city, Raleigh has an edge in terms of business and industry. Outside of higher education, companies like IBM, SAS Institute, Cisco Systems, and Fidelity Investments have a major presence in the area. There’s also a budding startup community full of ambitious entrepreneurs.

5. Culture and Flavor

Culturally, Raleigh has become a bit of a melting pot. By southeastern standards, it’s diverse and eclectic. There are a multitude of artists and galleries in the downtown area and the community has a tight-knit feel to it.

“When it comes to good food, the Raleigh region offers many options,” Livability.com points out. “For example, a favorite in the Boylan Heights neighborhood is The Irregardless Cafe, a delightfully small, environmentally friendly cafe catering to diverse dietary preferences, including those who are vegan or vegetarian. It’s an excellent choice for treating someone special to an evening of exquisite food – from the drinks and meal to dessert.”

6. Cost-Effective

In terms of the cost of living, Raleigh is extremely friendly. Your dollar will stretch much further than if you crossed the state line into Virginia. Housing, healthcare, and entertainment are all priced below average. Tax-wise, the state of North Carolina comes in as the 16th best (in terms of state income tax).

Make Raleigh Home

There are plenty of attractive living options up and down the East Coast. But if you’re looking for a place that offers a unique blend of location, affordability, and opportunity, Raleigh might just be your best option. If you haven’t already, plan a trip to check it out!

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