6 top reasons everyone loves living in Raleigh

Raleigh, known as the City of Oaks, is one of the best places to live for number reasons that I would like to discuss for those that are considering to move to this wonderful city.  Let me start off by clarifying that I love Raleigh and I before I moved here I have lived many places around the world including Slovakia, Russia, Germany.  In in the USA I have lived in Bridgeport in CT, Pittsburgh in PA, Melbourne in FL, Toledo in OH, and Cleveland in OH.  But Raleigh is special in many ways not found anywhere else.

1. Raleigh Pops with Color

As a welcoming city with an expansive green terrain preserved among the highways and roads, Raleigh makes an extra effort in keeping the landscapes green by minimizing the number of trees cut down around homes, new construction, and especially roads.  Then something blooms here all year-round and some percentage of the trees and shrubs remain green so Raleigh never looks gloomy and gray not even in the worst of winter weather. Unbeknownst to most Northerners, we even get snow here, sometimes as much 18” as reported back in 1899 by The Great Blizzard more than a century before The Global Climate Change “started.”   But that’s not all!  When you move to Raleigh you get the bonus of not just one great city, rather you score triple by being right next to Durham and Chapel Hill both with their own facets of fascinating history, old and unique architecture, fabulous schools and politically and culturally diverse community life. You are essentially moving to what we call The Triangle, not just Raleigh the capital city, like if that wasn’t great enough.  Then 2-3 hours West you are visiting the Smokies while about 2-3 hours East you can be vacationing at the beach of the Atlantic Ocean.  What else?  Real Estate is booming and our real estate property taxes are very manageable compared to the rest of the country

2. Raleigh is a Great City for Families

Families have choices of placing their kids in public district, public charter and private schools that fair very well when compared nationally in all three cities. Some of best renowned public schools in the area that fair close and better in some cases than the private schools are charter schools:

1. Franklin Academy (K-12) with 4 separate campuses in Wake Forest with average SAT score of 1260.

2. Endeavor Charter(K-8) school also in Wake Forest

3. Raleigh Charter High School (9-12) close to downtown Raleigh with average SAT score of 1380.

4. Voyager Academy (K-12) in Durham with average SAT of 1270.

5. Woods Charter (K-12) in Chapel Hill with average SAT of 1270.

The Triangle has also one of the best private schools:

1. Cary Academy (6-12) with 753 students, 2018 tuition of $22,4K for average SAT score of 1370.

2. Durham Academy (K-12) with 1,231 students, 2018 tuition of $25,925 for average SAT score of 1380.

3. Ravenscroft (K-12) with 1150 students, 2018 tuition of $24,500 for average SAT of 1340.

Our kids have been attending the Franklin Academy years after attending local public schools.  They appreciate smaller classes and more attention and respect given to students by the teachers.  Coming from the district public schools into well managed school environment has been a blessing for our family.   One of the best approaches to education in Math and English is the placement of kids into 5 different levels of classes by student performance.  If a child is great in Math he or she can be in a fast pace class and enjoy learning without being held back by kids that may need more attention.  Vice versa kids that need more attention benefit greatly being by in classes with peers at their level where the teacher takes more time to cover new subject area.  It’s a win win design for all.

Raleigh Schools from GreatSchools.org

The national doctrine of avoiding schools that are closer to inner-cities doesn’t hold true for the Triangle, quite the contrary, the residential real estate and the schools closer to downtown Raleigh, for example, are booming, they are more expensive on average than areas outside of the Raleigh 440 belt-line and for many it is a status symbol to live “Inside The Beltline” proudly displayed through ITB car stickers.  On the left we have public school ratings by greatschools.org for the Raleigh Wake county area.  Note that the distribution of schools with high EOG scores is scattered with no noticeable decline in average scores for schools closer to downtown areas.

3. Best Universities

1. Duke University in Durham

2. North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh

3. University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill

4. Best Medical Care

With best schools in the Triangle comes the best medical care and hospitals:

1. Duke University Hospitals ranked nationally in 11 adult specialties and 9 pediatric specialties

2. University of North Carolina Hospitals nationally ranked in 5 adult and 7 pediatric specialties.

3. UNC Rex Hospital

4. WakeMed Health and Hospitals

and many others

5. Plethora of Jobs and Opportunities

Best known concentrated campus for jobs is the Research Triangle Park with over 275 companies calling it their home in technology, biomed and pharmaceutical jobs with leaders like Cisco, IBM, NetApp, GlaxoSmithKline, RTI, Biogen and many others.

The Triangle is also home to employers of all industries and sizes.  Below are top 10 largest employers in the area:

Employers# Employees
Duke University and Health System 38,591
State of North Carolina 24,083
Wake County Public School System 19,845
Wal-Mart 16,135
IBM Corporation 10,000
WakeMed Health & Hospitals 9,105
North Carolina State University 9,069
Target 8,000
UNC Rex Healthcare 7,400
SAS Institute, Inc. 5,632

6. Best Entertainment and Food

Raleigh downtown area is booming with daily events and night-life from bars to great restaurants, museums, parks, events and frequent food trucks parades and so much more. Durham and Chapel Hill is right behind with list of their own events menu. Some of the local highlights:

1. Raleigh Beer Garden is the world’s largest beer pub with over 366 varieties of beers on tap from local craftsman and breweries.

2. PNC Arena with venues from sports (Hurricanes hockey games), concerts (Bon Jovi, Tom Petty, etc.) and family shows like Disney on Ice. It seats 19,700 people.

3. Durham Performing Arts Center

DPAC

DPAC has always something going throwing among many fantastic Broadway shows like Book of Norman, Hamilton I had the pleasure to see myself recently.

Below is a short clip from Lord of the Dance at DPAC.

4. Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts Center with weekly and seasonal menu from Carolina Balet’s Nutcracker to NC Symphony’s Mozart experience.

Nutcracker at Duke Performance Arts Center

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