The Best Places to Live in North Carolina

Discover 15 great places to live in North Carolina! From bustling cities like Raleigh or Charlotte to smaller towns like Wilmington or Apex - each place offers something unique that makes it special.

The Best Places to Live in North Carolina

Last year, Apple announced plans for a new campus that will mean 3,000 jobs for the city, and the iPhone maker isn't the only innovative company bringing leading engineering minds to the area. A LinkedIn analysis also ranked Raleigh as the third most resilient technology center in the face of the consequences of the pandemic. However, there's more to cheer than working here, with Carolina Hurricanes calling Raleigh home and the city's burgeoning food scene making every night a reason to go out and celebrate. The city's calendar includes music festivals such as Hopscotch, the state's largest craft beer festival, and other major events.

If you're looking for a place to live in North Carolina, you have plenty of options. From bustling cities like Raleigh and Charlotte to smaller towns like Wilmington and Apex, there's something for everyone. Each city has its own unique charm and offers its own unique advantages. Let's take a look at some of the best places to live in North Carolina.


is the capital of North Carolina and the second largest city in the state.

Located in Wake County, Raleigh is also known as the “city of oaks” because its many oak trees line almost every street. Raleigh is an educational center with museums for the whole family and high-performance universities and colleges. The city also has a vibrant nightlife and a growing art scene. Raleigh experiences four distinct seasons, which is often cited as one of the many reasons people choose to move there.

If you like shopping, eating, hiking and experiencing history, Raleigh is the city for you.


is the largest city in North Carolina, with nearly 900,000 inhabitants. It is also one of the ten fastest growing major cities in the United States. Like Raleigh, Charlotte also has a well-educated population with three dozen higher education institutions, including the University of North Carolina (Charlotte campus). Better yet, Charlotte is the perfect city to settle in if you prefer summer to snowy winters.

The state sees more rain than snow and is ideal for anyone who enjoys a mild climate.


is one of North Carolina's best places to live. Wilmington offers its residents a relaxed coastal lifestyle that is currently gaining popularity. The city of Wilmington is located in New Hanover County, with an unsurpassed quality of life. The smaller city is an economic center that offers quality education and employment and a lot of tourism and housing.

Another reason people choose to move to Wilmington is its low tax rates. City Has Second Lowest Tax Rate in North Carolina. The cost of living is very reasonable, at 4% lower than the national average.


is the best of both worlds, a big city with a small-town vibe. Known as the “Paris of the South,” Asheville is a vibrant community with historic architecture and rich history.

Asheville is home to stunning mountain views, delicious restaurants, and plenty of walking and biking trails. With nearly 95,000 people, Asheville has a strong labor economy with a low unemployment rate. You can expect to find job opportunities with top employers in the area: healthcare and education.


has a lot of economic opportunities, an affordable cost of living, and a lot of things to do. Greensboro has a rich history as an important place during the civil rights movement that any history buff will hope to discover.

The city of Greensboro is known for its sports facilities, with a plethora of courts, fields, stadiums, and swimming pools dotted everywhere. With nearly 300,000 residents, one of the first things you'll notice is how welcoming and friendly the people of Greensboro are.


, home to NASCAR and sweet tea, is North Carolina's fifth-largest city. If you decide to move to Winston (as the locals call it), a sweet treat awaits you. One of the best parts of living in Winston-Salem is its sense of community.

They say Southern hospitality is a fact, and there's no doubt about that, with many festivals and events across the city celebrating its authentic Southern charm. Speaking of which, food in Winston-Salem is out of this world. Southern comfort food blends with authentic international flavors speaks to its diverse population.


is a smaller suburb of Raleigh in Wake County, North Carolina. With a population of just 45,000, Apex has the charm of a small town but still offers plenty of activities for everyone from outdoor enthusiasts to foodies alike.

Apex has been named one of America's best small towns by Money Magazine due to its low crime rate and excellent schools. No matter where you choose to live in North Carolina you're sure to find something that suits your needs! From bustling cities like Raleigh or Charlotte to smaller towns like Wilmington or Apex - each place offers something unique that makes it special.

Anne Hagemeyer
Anne Hagemeyer

Passionate travel buff. Amateur twitter guru. Passionate zombie geek. Total web fanatic. Unapologetic burrito geek.