What do you think of Cary, NC, the No. 5 city on this year's Best Places to Live list? What makes it a great American town? Are real estate prices reasonable? How are the schools? What activities and events does it offer? Is it a place where you can live a low-stress life? If you don't live there now, would you consider moving there? Tell us what you think. The best replies will be published here, and possibly in a future story on CNNMoney.com.
Posted by CNNMoney.com 1:11 PM 69 Comments | Add a Comment
Tell us what you think of the No. 1 city on this year's Best Places to Live list.
What makes this city a great American town?
If you don't live in this city now, would you consider moving there? The best replies will be published here.
I went to CSU and lived in Fort Collins or "Fort Fun" for fifteen years. After living in 5 other cities and traveling most of the country for the past ten years, I cannot argue that Fort Collins is the best place to live. I wish CSU had a better sports program but you can't have everthing.
Cary, NC is boring. Really boring.
I live in Cary now and other small cities can't compare to our safety, job opportunities, park system with connecting greenways, mild winters, on and on. The school system is one of the best in the US, 1A college sports (UNC,DUKE,NCSU), mts & beach within a 3 hour drive, and plenty to do. This isn't a singles town, but geared for families. Although, if your interested in night life Raleigh is only 10 minutes away. Oh yeah, did mention the Carolina Hurricanes? 2006 Stanley Cup winners.
I agree with John, Cary is boring, really, really boring.
Cary is family friendly and family focused. Parks for playing, camping, hiking, biking and all the activity you can pack into a day less than a 20 minute drive. Where else can you have both the cool weather of the Mountains and the warmth of the summer�s ocean breeze less than 3 hours away? With education as one of Cary�s focal points, I am proud to send my child to public school. As a recent transplant, my time here has been a wonderful change from the area I came from where chemical plants ruled and teen pregnancy was at a national high. Cary, North Carolina is as good as its press and even better in person!
I just moved to Cary, NC in May of 2006. I love it here. There are parks everywhere and the Greenway System is awesome. There is a real attention to asthetics here that I haven't seen anywhere else. Just driving down the roads here is a treat with green grass, trees, etc. It's a very family friendly town. This isn't a place for singles or college students looking to party. It's a place for families to raise their children.
Moving from San Jose, Ca to Cary, NC was one of the best decisions my family and I have made. The schools are great my kids are learning a lot. I�m not spending 45 minute to go 20 mile to work. I don�t have to wait forever to get a seat in a restaurant or in line at the store. Have top run movies with good customer service. Kids and parents are polite. Schools are supported by the parents and the district office. If a student commits a crime the police handle it instead of the school giving in house suspensions. They teach the kids to be responsible for their actions.
I moved to Cary 15 years ago and cannot think of a better place to live. For singles, this is not the place, but Raleigh is just down the road 10 minutes. For families, this is a great place where education is a primary goal and concern of parents and kids want to succeed. When returning from vacation, you don't get that horrible pit in the stomach feeling because you have to go home to somewhere that is aweful. It's nice to call Cary home and I feel very fortunate to live here. Chris Gianni
CARY = Central Area (for)Relocated Yankees. I'm a transplant from Washington, D.C. and really enjoy the quality of life aspects. Property is dirt cheap in comparasin to to the North
and the city of Raleigh is pretending to transform itself into a real city. Get the property while it is cheap!
I did live in Cary, NC for several years before moving to Tallahassee, FL. Tallahassee is a little smaller, but can compare to Cary and I've grown to become very proud to call it home. If you feel the need to move south, come on down to Tally!
Overcrowded schools, neighborhoods being built too fast, poor growth management. Forced mandatory year round schools......sound like a great place??
Looking to relocate from South Florida to North Carolina, however several people have warned us about racism.
Do most NC natives welcome new residents?
I moved my family to Cary, NC from New England four years ago and have loved the decision ever since. The public school system is top notch and the list of activities that can be done year round, indoors or outdoors, seem endless. There is something for everyone here. Come to Cary, NC and enjoy.
I lived in Cary for 11 years and couldn't wait to get out. It is so transit and the town shuts down at 9:00 pm even on the weekends. I wouldn't say it should be considered on the best places to live list.
Cary is a place of diverse culture with all of the colleges in short proximity. People from many countries live here due to the extensive variety of jobs. I do not see racism at work or in the schools that I have encountered. It's a great place to live.
My husband and I lived in Ft. Collins, Co. ten years ago. It was the best place to live at that time. It has grown so much since then. The city cannot keep pace with the amount of people. Traffic is terrible. Wages haven't kept up with the prices of homes. There are more homes on the market now than ever before. They just cannot move them. It just may be time to knock this city further down on the list. Sad, but true.
I am concerned about race issue. I am an African American with a white wife and two white 11 and 12 year olds. What kind of problems might I come across in Cary, NC. We both are retired and are looking to be in a nice area to raise the two boys.
Cary is multi-national. The problem is a small amount of northerners tend to bunch up in clicks and talk about what the southerners don't have monetaryly and intellually. SNOBS-everyone in Wake County knows them. I find them offensive. I moved away for that reason. Watch them attack these comments.
I 5 years ago from Nj to Cary, we loved this place.Great public school system, lots of parks, diversity of culture and close to a happening city "Raleigh". Its one of the best places to raise kids and family.
I live on Long Island, NY> Does anyone think I should make this move?
Cary is a great city...if you like taupe. :) Seriously, despite the stringent rules and regulations, Cary is a fantastic town. I lived there for many years and loved the location and the vibe. Very well educated citizens and progressive. It is very family oriented so singles will have to work at the social life. That's what 'Canes games are for!
You can't be the low-crime rate and pride that you feel living in Cary.
I live in Charlotte now and it's definitely more of a big city feel, but with that comes the crime, traffic, etc.
If you are moving from Long Island you should find any place as nice as Cary, NC a breath of fresh air. Having lived in NY myself, I think Iraq would be better than where you live now. Please if you move South, leave your northern attitude in NY.
I want to move to Cary North Carolina I am a young 65 year old still working and would like to know if there are any job opportunities in Cary or nearby. I work as a credit rep for a Long Island Company and would like to retire to a community that would be almost like a small town. Is Cary that community?
"Stringent rules and regulations" what does this comment represent, Sherry G? Aside from this comment this city is looking to be a great fit for me and my family. Someone made a comment about the Hurricans winning the cup wich is cool as im a die hard St. Louis Blues fan but can convert. Speaking of hurricans. Well when was the last time one hit, and what was the damage
Why am I seeing negative comments from some people on here about Cary? Cary is a wonderful place to live, like I am sure a lot of other places are. It would all depend on what you are looking for. If you're single, I would not recommend it. however, when you do marry and decide to have children and get more family oriented, then Cary should be at the top of your list! I moved from Durham and the schools there suck. The one thing I noticed from my teenager (at the time) is the immediate change (a bad one) once she attended a school in Durham County. No wonder those who can afford private school in Durham, chose to do so! On the other hand, because of the growth in Cary, unfortunately Year Round Schools are necessary at this time. I really don't expect that to last forever..at least I hope not. I have one getting ready for kindergarten Fall 2007 and a Middle Schooler that will probably get bit by Year Round. Overall, I don't know what else anyone could ask of a town like Cary in order to move here. I certainly give it two thumbs up! About the snob comment and being boring; Aren't there snobs everywhere and excitement is what you make of it, right?
I want to get my family out of Niceville, Florida (near Destin for the tourist),and am very interested in moving them to Cary, NC. I am concerned about the snob comments. I hate it here because we have either poor or rich here on the emerald coast and I hate the way it affects the children in school. Do you feel there is economic diversity in you town? I have read the statistics and feel my son would find a much better educational sysytem there. But I don't want to run up against an administration that only educates the extremly wealthy and all others go to the wayside, despite how hard they work. Egos a side what do you really think the system is like there. I find that the people here will say its great when it really isn't just to be defensive.
My husband and I were born and raised in Cary. Yes, actual natives. Cary has always been a great place as long as I can remember and way before it became popular. There was actually a day when we would hang out at Pete's Hardware downtown and all the kid's would go to Triangle swim club that just closed for good last week to play basketball. Mr. Young would let you play even if you weren't a member. We all new each other and if you didn't, you knew someone who knew that someone you didn't know. Make sense? I'm proud of Cary and have always welcomed new comers. Cary is not for everyone and I have to giggle when people move here and say, "it's too over crowded." How do you think we feel! As always, time marches on and I still think I live in a great town regardless of what others think. We welcome anyone who comes and that's just how it's always been!!
I will be retiring from the Military (USMC). What type of job opportunities exist for veterans? Are there any federal agencies in the area?
Cary does many things very well, but I am afraid that too much of a good thing will be Cary's demise.
If you are a tree and you live in Cary I am sure you feel know what I am talking about. I mean there are some nice parks, but nothing here is sacred. It's all about growth and strip malls (eventhough they are very nice strip malls). My point is when cary has no more room to grow this place will be evrything people wanted to get away from in the first place. Nothing, but an overcrowded endless suburb with no imagination.
I'm from Phoenix and we spent a week there after reading about Cary as one of the "best places to live". Cary seemed like a really nice place. Very clean. Much of the housing looked the same, suburban cookie cutter homes. The airport is close which is nice. The housing market seems pretty shaky due in part to the tech heavy employment market. I don't know if I would want to own real estate there during the next tech market bust. If you decide to check it out, we found the Sheraton (off I-40) a very pleasant place to stay, cheap and close to town.
I'm just readin some of the previous comments. L@@ks like the folks who like Cary are of a certain "type" - maybe just "regular" folks? The ones who think it boring should probably leave, like one would leave any other "boring" place - this way the folks left behind can enjoy their city without the "bored" people around.
As far as growth and sprawl, that's gonna happen to EVERY place that people discover, and eventually THOSE places will become uninhabitable. This cycle will continue until we run out of land. Then what? We may have to re-use & rehabilitate. Omigosh! What a revolting idea!
Well the only two things I know about Cary is that it was recommended by a friend and he sent me the Money link. The other thing is I have a 10 y/o Gravely Tractor that I believe was manufactured in Cary. A pretty damn good machine!
Caryites, cherish your city. Get involved! Civic responsibility is the only thing that will save America. Government sure don't work!
We want to move to Cary but have a 'speical needs' child with Cerebal Palsy. He will be able to attend regular school but will need an aide and therapies. How is the elementary school system? Which is the best area to live in for a child with special needs
In 1994, I moved my family from Long Island to Cary. Smartest thing we ever did!
Traffic, over priced housing, mandatory year round schools, food and taxes are high, poor state planning and crime is rising. Need I say more... I have live all over the US and Cary is boring, the developers are cutting down all the beautiful trees for housing developments. Postage size lots...no room for kids to play.
I moved here from Panama City, FL about 6 months ago. The area is absolutely beautiful and there is just so much to do!! If you enjoy nature trails, lakes, etc, you will love it here. The town seems to be very active and there are many neat places to eat, shop, etc. We plan on buying a house in the Triangle area, but I don't know if we'll be able to afford one in Cary (as the prices are pretty high). Other than that, it's great!
I have lived in Cary NC for 12 years. It has grown out of a small town to a miserable little city over the last five. We have a daughter in her senior year in Cary. When she graduates we will sell our home and move.
They call this area the land of trees, trees and P.h.D.'s. Even the supburbs are still loaded with greenery and more trees than people! The place is very clean, virtually free of crime and there are ample bike lanes, coffee shops, and Duke, NC State, etc. nearby. The downtown has a train station and they are reviving the area with new restaurants and shops. You can walk, run or bike the greenways or State Parks. Eno River is close as are other rivers and lakes. I moved from beautiful California to (boring) Cary 5 years ago and it was one of the best moves I made. Although I agree that it is not a great place for singles, Raleigh and Chapel Hill are nearby and it is a wonderful place for young professionals who are single and would like a safe, affordable, beautiful place to live. At 28, I was able to land a great job and buy my own lakeside home! I now live in this home with my husband. We are not going to stay here forever, but it's a nice place to live and a good investment. Whole Foods and Trader Joes wouldn't have chosen this place for no reason!
Are hispanic people well accepted in Cary, NC.? We leave in Central Florida and have three children.
We would like to move to Cary N.C.
My husband, a southerner, myself, a northerner and our son (age 2), born and raised a northerner so far. Are planning a move within the next year. We are looking at Cary, NC. My husband went to school at UNC-Chapel Hill and loved the area. We are a bi-racial couple seaking an area to "fit in". Mid thirties, family focused, educated and fun loving. Is this the place for us??
I agree with "Lyn", "Jerry N.", "Pam Smith", "Charllie", and "Kathy". Forced year-round schools, too much unnecessary building, and a definite "attitude". There are some very nice people down here, but you may have to dig deep to find them.
Please do your research on the Wake County Public school system before you decide to move to Cary. There are huge problems with the system. You don't know from year to year what school your children will be going to. Some children are moved every year. They bus your children anywhere they see fit to make sure that every school is "balanced" economically. They do not guarantee that your child will attend the nearest school to your home. As a matter of fact they have reassigned my middle schooler to a school 9 miles away when we have one that is less than a mile from our home. They are also forcing 19 elementary schools onto a multi-track mandatory year round calendar. For those of you unfamiliar with this concept, it means that the school is split up into 4 tracks, 3 of which are in school at a time. The kids go to school for 9 weeks and are off for 3 weeks. 3 of the tracks start school in early July. 1 starts in late July. If you have more than one child this system is very family un-friendly as your younger children will not be on the same school calendar as your older children. If your child is in a YR middle school and they play sports or are in the band, they will have to go to practice when they are out of school, so there is no time to fit in a family vacation. They are also mandating that YR schools attend on Memorial Day. This is a system run amuck. Please do your homework before you move here. We are moving out of Cary as soon as we can (if we can sell our house--mandatory year round has lowered our property values.)
I spent five years in the Raleigh/Cary area in my late teens. I now live in LA and I have to say Cary was fantastic. I am actually planning n moving back in a few months. The town is perfect for anyone looking for the perfect middle ground in everything.
Overcrowded schools: yes, but not bad schools though, your school is what you put into it. If you a lazy parent who needs the pss to raise you children for you, Wake County is not the place for you.
Snobs: Yes, but you get those no matter where you move!
Boring: Well I suppose that would depend on what you are into. If you crave the club scene, stay on Long Island. If you are into nature, fine dining, arts, etc. Cary is for you.
I have a friend with Cerebral Palsy. She is doing great in Public School in West Cary. Even with the massive student reassignment, all schools have done great providing special arrangement to accommodate her well.
We are a working, educated Hispanic couple in our 30's. We both were born and continue to live in the NYC area. We've lived the NYC life (fast-paced) and are ready to settle down and start a family. Cary, Raleigh, and Durham are places that interest us for the family-oriented way of life, cost of living, schools for kids, low crime rate, etc. Can anyone suggest which of the 3 cities is friendliest having Hispanics or other nationalities and also best public transportation? I've lived in Florida so I know about putting my NY attitude to rest.
Thanks in advance!
I dont see what all the fuss is about? Cary has more restrictive covenants then anywhere Ive ever lived! Its crowded and the source of most of Wake County's problems due to the fact they rarely say no to development. If you want to explain to your kids why they are yet again being reassigned to another school and be a part of community that continuously grows at a fast pace yet doesnt provide the appropriate supporting infastructure move to Cary. I will be the guy sitting next to you on I40 in a traffic jam!
I grew up in Cary and now live in Apex (just a few miles away). I echo the comments from Mel in Cary. Wake County Public School System reassigns approximately 10,000+ students every year. It is referred to as the annual reassignment season. It happens every year. Thousands of families live in fear every year of their child being reassigned to a school sometimes 3 or 4 school past the one closest to their homes. Families considering Wake County should also be aware that these reassignments often lead to siblings in the same level (elementary, middle, and high) having to attend different schools. Mel did a good job explaining the multi track school but I will just add a few more cons to her list. If it snows or school is closed, students have to make up the school day on a Saturday. If both parents work and you need to send your children to "track out" camp that costs between $1500 to $3000 per year for each child.
Anthony, in response to your earlier post... As far as being from NY, you have nothing to worry about -- so are half of us here! If you're settling down to have a family, be careful. Wake County does provide a quality education, but the constant redistricting and forced MYR can be very difficult on kids and families. You have to face this anywhere you live in Wake County, but North Raleigh seems to be affected less than Cary. Durham is not well-known for schools. Chapel Hill is a better alternative -- good schools, proximity to UNC activities, etc. I'd move there from Cary if it didn't mean dragging my kids away from every friend they have.
my daughter and her hubby are taking a trip from long island to research the cary area for possible relocation. they have 2 small children. long island is becoming too expensive for all. how are the surrounding areas? apex, holly springs, fuquayvarina??
schools??? i'm concerned re: some of the blogs regarding mandatory year round school and the fact that you never know what school your child will attend and you never know if your child will stay in that school. that worries me.
I grew up in NY (Manhattan) and have lived in Atlanta and Houston as well. I chose to move to Cary and with luck will never move again. The rundown on Cary. It is a great place to raise a family. Good schools with lots of parent involvement, reasonable home prices, low crime rate, easy commutes for most people and lots of parks and family activities. The big universities help bring culture to the area and is great if you like college basketball.
Cary is ethnically diverse and more affluent than the surrounding area. Lots of transplants from everywhere. Most folks who find any area snobbish, rude, etc., generally need a mirror. I have had great neighbors and friends everywhere I have lived and Cary is no exception. If the first words out of your mouth when you get someplace is "it is so much nicer... then you should move there and not to Cary.
Downsides are minor. Growth is rapid and schools are struggling to keep up. Some schools are moving to mandatory year round schedules. Schools are still better here than most places in the nation. It is not a great place to be single; nightlife is limited. Family oriented activities are almost unlimited. People joke about Cary as the Containment Area for Relocated Yankees. There is some truth to it, but everyone is welcomed. Cary is somewhat uniform looking because the town does enforce building and sign restrictions. No huge golden arches to be found. Of course, that is one of the reasons people live here or in places like The Woodlands in TX.
Bottom line: if you have a family, like four seasons and an easier lifestyle than most big cities offer, Cary is for you.
Cary is OK. I'm from San Diego and really the only thing that makes Cary desirable is reasonably priced housing and a fairly strong job market. But for fun and sun, the west coast is the way to go!
How can you find the right place to live when you hate where you currently live???
I currently live in the DC area and have been considering a move to the Research Triangle area. I work for the DoD as a contractor for a well respected organization. Any recommendations on companies to look at that are hiring (I have a BS in CompSci and MS in Telecom)?
I live in Cary, and I was looking for advice on Cary before I moved here. I am single, and I have noticed quite a few other singles living around me. Even though there are a lot of families, single people live here too! I live in N. Cary and work in Durham so the location between Raleigh and Cary is ideal!
Asethtically, Cary is beautiful. The people are also friendly. I don't own my own home, but have rented the most beautiful apartment I've ever seen in my life. Cary is posh. Plain and simple.
I've seen a few people ask about racism. And I would say, coming from the North, overall I've noticed a few comments about Asian and/or Middle Eastern people. There are ALOT of mexican people here who work on the roads, outside and in shops.. So, the difference if you are a Hispanic family will be that you are not a new immigrant but an American who's been here for a while. (or generations..) There aren't nearly as many inter-racial couples at all in Cary area as compared with the North in my estimation. Although, I think you may encounter more of a problem overtly from the African-American side on that one. If there is racism here, I haven't been a subject of it yet. And I am a person of color. People may have said things behind my back, but overall my service and interactions have been very hospitable.
We moved here in 2005, in part due to Money magazines favorable reviews. We have found the people to be fantastic, the jobs to be plentiful, and the safety to be top-notch. However, the current city council is letting growth get out of control. If you have school-aged children I would steer clear of Wake County schools for at least a few years while they convert many Cary schools to Mandatory Year Round schedules - a proven failure in many other parts of the country. Wait to see if a new school board gets elected that will actually listen to their constituents and not tear families apart. Wait to see if we elect a Cary Mayor who will get involved in this major problem with our schools and not just say 'not my jurisdiction, nothing I can do.' Cary can be great - but it is currently spiraling out of control.
Cary is a very nice place to live. It's a bit, yuppy gone country. I moved from LI NY and I have to say that it is like you turned the clock back 20 years on LI. LI once achieved the the same ranking in Money Magazine years ago. Great value in housing and commercial real estate, low taxes and utilites. I actually live in North Raleigh where you can have a large lot, which Cary isn't particularily known for. Colleges are also fine. My son will attend NCState and it's a first tier school with a very reasonable tuition rate. The primary school reassingments are difficult for some but it is the price you pay for the vast amount of relocations. There are many new schools that will be opening and year round has an academic advantage as your children don't loose much of what they learn in a long and drawn out summer.
We moved down here 3 years ago (to neighboring North Raleigh). The area is not bad overall but but many down here hate Yanks. In fact, my wife and I enjoy watching their expressions change as we begin speaking. There are also a lot of Bible thumpers down here which have infiltrated WCPSS (Wake County Schools). I fear that this, and low pay/dissatisfaction with Year-Round schedules, will drive away many of the good teachers over time and hurt the public school system.
Bottom line: I think the Triangle may mature into something good...but it has maybe 10 more years to prove out.
I heard the Cary firefighters are ADORABLE !!!!
Hi, I'm a newly single mom of twin daughters (divorce is in the works) and will be returning to the technical field...I see lots of comments about "if you are single, don't come here"...my priorities are my daughters and providing them a safe place to live, grow while providing me a very affordable place to live without a crazy commute... any thoughts???
My husband and i are moving to Cary in 2 months from EP (#10 on the list) Minnesota. Should we really be worried about ppl hating northerners? I have to laugh. We can't wait to move. As a top mn educator I am eager to join the year round program. stats show a higher increase and steady build of young students' comprehensive skills when testing inside of a YR program.
I hope that the town isn't really spiraling out of control!
here we come.
ps. the new LIFETIME is going to be AMAZING...check it out. ask for max!
My family and I are considering moving to Cary but, having school age kids I am nervous about the possibilities of the kids being forced to move schools once they are settled, and getting 3 different tracks for each child. Are there any areas within this district that are not growing quite so rapidly where there would be less chance of this type of disruption?
Searching realtor.com, it looks like there are areas within Cary which have slightly older homes/wooded lots etc. I'm presuming growth here has pretty much stopped and life should be fairly settled but having never visited I don't know for sure. Any advice appreciated.
My husband and I currently live in one of the NYC boroughs. After reading so much about Cary, NC we decided to visit. We fell in love with it in just 2 days and we are having a home built in a 55+ community. We can't wait until we can retire there in 18 months. It is a wonderful combination of city and small town life. I can still shop in the malls, but I love the small town shops and I plan to be an asset to the small town business people who cannot compete with store chains. We are looking forward to exploring our new state. One thing you don't see mentioned is that it's great for Federal retirees. Our pensions aren't taxable in NC, but they are in SC.
We moved to Holly Springs a few months ago from Homestead FLA. We have kids and we LOVE it! Some of the comments that people have made are just dumb! No space for kids to play - were are they from Montana? There is so much to do - so many wonderful parks and lakes. We had a lot of land at our old house - highly overrated! We are now have a beautiful home with a lovely yard and awesome, friendly neighbors. The small towns surrounding Cary are great... Best kept secrets...
My wife and I were planning on moving to CARY from San Diego, but when we looked for the "perfect home" ended up in an even nicer area than Cary. Although the community is technically considered Raleigh, it is hard to beat BRIER CREEK which is in the RESEARCH TRIANGLE area. Cary is still nice to visit...but Brier Creek is where it is at...Shopping, Restaurants, convenient access to everything....Cary is great...but Brier Creek is better.
Pretty town and good location but b o r i ng. We don't have kids, and it is hard to connect with people who have same interests, since most people here do have kids and are very involved with them and their activities.. we backpack, kayak, and mountain bike, and find it hard to meet people here with those interests. Our jobs are what keep us here at the moment, but would move out west in a New york minute, for the diversity, even if it means a much smaller house -even a condo!
Saw some of the comments about the mandatory year round schools. I've lived in Cary for 5 years now (before that Chapel Hill and before that Minnesota). I'm actually buying a new house in Cary b/c I couldn't get into year round. So maybe this is the case for some, but definitely not all. Also, Cary is a great place w/ lots of parks and family activities. If you're singel, or looking for a slammin night life, this is not the place for you. Actually, NC in general might not be great...
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