Business Briefs

Chapel Hill 10th, Cary 56th on Money's 'Best Places' list

Posted August 20, 2012

— Two Triangle cities are among the top 100 "Best Places to Live in America" based on a survey of cities with populations between 50,000 and 300,000 by Money magazine.

Chapel Hill placed 10th and Cary 56th.

The annual report is based on "the optimal combination of economic strength, quality health care, low crime, great schools, and lots to do," the magazine says.

Here's how Money describes Chapel Hill:

"Locals aren't exaggerating when they refer to Chapel Hill as a "town within a park." The roads wind through tunnels of arching trees, and the area has a rain forest-like charm.

"But Chapel Hill isn't just a pretty face. It's part of the state's Research Triangle, which boasts one of the highest numbers of Ph.D.s per capita in the U.S. The town also houses the nation's oldest public university, and interesting educational opportunities abound.

"The main drawbacks? Parts of the downtown aren't in great shape, and some areas feel overrun by students."

As for Cary, Money says:

"The past 10 years have seen dramatic population growth in Cary, with newcomers attracted to its pleasant weather, safe streets (the League of American Cyclists has praised its accommodations for cyclists), and educational opportunities (the three biggest universities and research facilities in North Carolina are located close by).

"It's also a slice of heaven for sports lovers: Besides tons of college sports, Cary is home to the U.S.A. Baseball National Training Complex.

"Schools, however, haven't quite kept up with Cary's growth. While several new ones have opened recently, there are still reports of overcrowding."

The national top 10 list:

1. Carmel, IN
2. McKinney, TX
3. Eden Prairie, MN
4. Newton, MA
5. Redmond, WA
6. Irvine, CA
7. Reston, VA
8. Columbia/Ellicott City, MD
9. Overland Park, KS
10. Chapel Hill, NC

The "Best Places" issue goes on sale Aug. 24.

77 Comments

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  • Offshore Aug 21, 8:31 a.m.

    Yes, droll atheistswillrule. The 30 acre minifarm I owned in Ohio, with the 50 acre farm to the west and the 200 acre farm to the right, I couldn't see my neighbors either. Yet I knew my neighbors very well. We often stopped by just to say "hi" as they did for us. I'm sorry you feel you have to live in a compound with gates to keep out the rifraf (neighbors).

  • Triumph Aug 20, 7:05 p.m.

    What's so good about living in Chapel Hill (and Orange County)? For starters, the highest per capita income in the state among all NC counties. The lowest unemployment rate in the state, the highest test scores among public school children, and a home mortgage market that didn't crash during the current recession. A cool place to live, work and raise a family, without the crowds (and crime) or Durham or Raleigh.

  • atheistswillrule Aug 20, 6:12 p.m.

    atheistswillrule 30 years and you only met your neighbor last year, do you come out to tell how many more weeks of winter we're going to have? offshore

    How droll of you. Where I am in Chapel Hill, I can't see any neighbors from my home. The back of my property is against botanical garden property, the land in front of me is part of a land trust and can't be built on. My neighbor to my left lives on 16 acres and has a gate, my neighbors to the right from what I understand, normally stay in Europe and only use the house when visiting relatives in the state. I have my own schedule and my property is not accessible to others either. It doesn't make me a hermit. I go out each and every day, just not with my neighbors.

  • Relic Aug 20, 6:01 p.m.

    Wait....are you telling me that places where people have very stringent zoning laws and keep their real estate values high are better and safer to live in? Wow. Who would have though?

  • Offshore Aug 20, 5:58 p.m.

    atheistswillrule
    30 years and you only met your neighbor last year, do you come out to tell how many more weeks of winter we're going to have?

  • smegma Aug 20, 5:49 p.m.

    "I love Cary and Chapel Hill...

    Chapel Hill 10th Cary-11th"

    and all we hear is "blahblahblahblahblah"

  • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Aug 20, 5:35 p.m.

    I love Cary and Chapel Hill...

    Chapel Hill 10th
    Cary-11th

  • atheistswillrule Aug 20, 5:19 p.m.

    I'd rather have a nosy neighbor who let the police know someone was breaking into my house than to have a neighbor I hadn't met in 30 years. hippiemom

    That madam, is why security systems were invented.

  • carrboroyouth Aug 20, 5:07 p.m.

    I love Chapel Hill.

  • BeenHereSince67 Aug 20, 5:03 p.m.

    Obamacare returns:

    Hmm, I quoted that from one of the earlier posts to this article which has now vanished mysteriously as stuff does on this board.

    Recent? How about the last 20 years? That would suit me. About that time (~1992), an article appeared in a magazine and/or was carried in the N&O, that stated that the population of the Triangle was going to TRIPLE from ~1992 till 2015. This was a stunning thing to grasp. Imagine the BIG metro YOU came from TRIPLING in population in 23 years! I'm native North Carolinian and have lived here since I came to NCSU in 1967. Really, the last 20 years of growth from intra-US immigration in the entire state, but especially in the Triangle, has changed NC too much, and not for the better in many ways. Not trying to hurt anybody's feelings, but most of us natives are unhappy with what the growth has done to our state. A very very few people have gotten filthy stinkin' rich off of it, & the rest of us have to deal with the consequences.

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