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North Carolinas Best City for Singles in thier early 30s

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Feb 24th, 2014, 07:34 PM
  #1
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North Carolinas Best City for Singles in thier early 30s

Hello Everyone! I am thinking of traveling to NC to scope out a new place to live. I want to be in a city where I can walk to most destinations, but yet I would like to ensure that I am in a safe neighborhood. I feel that charlotte may be a bit too congested with traffic, I am moving from North Jersey so I don't want to move somewhere too similar to NY, but I do definitely want to be in a medium-large size city. I was thinking of Greenville? Any suggestions?
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Feb 24th, 2014, 11:00 PM
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Raleigh-Durham?

Believe me, there isn't much of anyplace in NC that is "like North Jersey."
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Feb 25th, 2014, 07:16 AM
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How about Asheville!
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Feb 25th, 2014, 07:55 AM
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Hard to know without knowing more of your tastes. How do you like to spend free time? What sort of career are you putting together? In any case, there's NOWHERE that you'd find similar to NY. Our "medium sized cities" are like your moderate suburbs.

Greenville is very small compared to the 3 largest areas, which I'll talk about. You may feel somewhat isolated and frustrated by limitations of local economy.

Asheville is lovely - mountain context, very strong on arts/crafts, outdoors stuff, and independent spirits, but it's small. Downsides are distance from anything else, rising level of wealthy retirees. It won't look much like a city to you, though. Mixture of liberal and conservative populations. You can walk a lot downtown, but need a car to survive -- airport connections are rough.

Charlotte is much more city-like but it'll still look fairly small to your eyes - some very walkable areas, but still need a car to survive. Heavy on commerce, banking, etc., but also some hardcore-country tastes in entertainment and lifestyle - NASCAR nearby rules, a fair amount of outdoors stuff, etc. Decent health and educ. resources, though not like the Triangle. At present, some good connections at CLT airport. Probably more conservative than Asheville, but they aren't really comparable areas - artsy-country vs. urban business with country tinge.

Triangle = Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill. Durham and Chapel Hill are college "towns" - but sharp contrast between the two re: demography, wealth, politics. Raleigh isn't as urbanized as Charlotte (which isn't that much to begin with compared to what you're used to) but has most lively commercial activity - spread out around the beltline as well as downtown.

The combination of all three provides some special resources that may appeal to you at this time of life. Lots of student presence thanks to all the univs., good sports, some culture (not like NYC but if that's not your thing....). Very good health and educ. resources. Again, you can find walkable neighborhoods but you won't survive without a car, no matter where you live. Airport is improving and many connections are as good as or better than CLT, although that stuff changes daily. Diverse political profile but remember it's a conservative state and getting more so. If that matters to you either way, you should know that.

If you don't need an area as large as those three areas, seriously consider Wilmington. It's pretty, old-ish, has water and nearby beach but its own economy. UNC Wilmington plus the vacation economy mean that the workforce is young, but the economy is fairly strong. Downside - the occasional hurricane ;-)
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Feb 25th, 2014, 10:32 AM
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Depends on your occupation, as the first question should be "how I . Asheville and Wilmington would be great if you can support yourself there. Wilmington is somewhat more distant than the others so airport connections would seem to me to be a problem.

If you need to be in a "real city" then Charlotte's the choice.

Triangle area would be great if you're into a college atmosphere and have a technology background.
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Feb 25th, 2014, 10:33 AM
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Oops--activation of submit button caught me editing. First line should be "Depends on your occupation, as the first question should be "How am I/we going to earn a living?"
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Feb 26th, 2014, 11:44 AM
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dwd is right. Smaller towns like Asheville are nice, but the jobs that pay well will be in larger cities (and both Durham and Raleigh are sizable cities, not college towns - Duke's campus is an enclave within Durham and a self-contained oasis separate from the main city, NC State is more integrated within Raleigh but 34K students can easily be lost in a 400K person city more easily than 15K students in 50K Charlottesville, VA).

And this will be nearly impossible: "I want to be in a city where I can walk to most destinations." You'll be in the South, which means you will need a car, period.

Southerners don't pile on top of each other like Northerners. Charlotte's land mass is about 298 square miles compared to NYC's 302 - 9% of the population on 98.5% of the land. Similarly, Raleigh has 400K people and is physically larger than Philly.
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Feb 27th, 2014, 07:16 PM
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Thanks Everyone, I really appreciate the input. Gmoney, I considered Ashville, but I think it is too small, and I want to be able to meet people and like I mentioned I want to be in a walkable community. I do plan on having a car, I cant imagine not. The career I am pursuing is Counseling Psychology, I plan on doing therapy with families and children with mental health issues, (like a phyciatrist, but I can not prescribe meds). I also have a background in sales & admin, so I hopefully will not have trouble finding a job. Also I plan on finding on before I move if possible. AS for Raleigh , charlotte and Greenville, It seems like everyone has mixed reviews. I definitely want to be able to walk to local places like grocery stores, restaurants and shops. I am almost 30 so I do not nessasairly want to be around all students, I would preferto be around young professionals, but not that young !I am very into health and fitness, so an area with a selection of gyms, grocery stores, shops would be ideal. As I am aware there is not one perfect place, but I am just trying to get a feel before I visit. Is there a bigger downtown in any of the three cities I mentioned above?
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Feb 27th, 2014, 08:02 PM
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If you want to be around young professionals, then you need to go where young professionals and probably need to broaden your horizons as possibilities. Check and see what the average age and average educational level is for cities you are considering.
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Feb 27th, 2014, 08:17 PM
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Hit the wrong button Places like Greeville, SC and Greensbro, NC are in the top ten of the highest average age of Americans. Places like Boston, Denver, San Franciso are in the top ten of the youngest. Those cities are also in the top ten for highest educated along with the triangle in NC. If wanting to walk to services you might check the rates of those cities towards bicyclists. That will give some clue as to the non-vehicular attitude of the cities. And, more importantly, you need to spend some serious vacation time in cities you are considering. Now I can hit the send button
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Feb 28th, 2014, 04:42 AM
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Charlotte certainly has plenty of young professionals and if you choose your area, you can walk to "stuff". The University area is growing, as is Ballantyne. The downtown area/South End also.
YOu also need to consider organizations that put you in touch with that demographic, and in Charlotte it could be gyms--or churches, as in much of the South. Seen it happen with my own eyes!!
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Feb 28th, 2014, 05:22 AM
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Raleigh is certainly heavy on the young-professional demographic. Cary is too but tends to be on the beginning-family end of it. Both have plenty of opportunity for counselors.
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Feb 28th, 2014, 09:44 AM
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Check out Wilmington. Walkable downtown. UNCW is there so lots of young people. Minutes from the beach, but the city itself didn't feel like a beach town.
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Feb 28th, 2014, 07:48 PM
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FMDEN, I defin. want to be in NC, I hear great things about the state and I need to be in a warmer climate, I also have some family in Wake forest. They moved there with their kids and are very happy there, which is part of the reason why I am so inspired to move. Also why I am inquiring on this blog, I was hoping to get advice from locals... I just hear so many mixed reviews, What exactly is the Triad? I hear that it is a decent sized city,,, is that better than Raleigh? I think I am ruling Charlotte off the list at this point. I hear its very congested, although I want to be in a city I don't want to sit in a ton of traffic every time I need to drive somewhere.
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Feb 28th, 2014, 08:15 PM
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Triad = Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem. Not to be confused with Triangle (Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill, which are the 3 corners and Research Triangle Park in the middle, with Cary just to the west of Raleigh.

Dani23, there's no substitute for visiting. All those reviews and opinions - including those here -- are personal and subjective and depend on taste and needs. Difficult to say A is "better than" B (Triad is better than Raleigh?), esp. when they really aren't easily compared. Hearing that Charlotte is congested could refer to traffic on the highways around and through it or could refer to downtown density -- you'd have to see. You are used to a level of congestion you'll just never see down here. As a rule, you end up sitting in "a ton of traffic" only at rush hours on weekdays and maybe on Fri. and Sun. afternoons in the summer when people are going to and from the beach.

Recommend you take the time to poke around and explore. People love where they live, generally so Greensboro people will think you'd like there better than Raleigh and Wilmington people think you'd like there better than Charlotte.... you just have to see for yourself before you jump.
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Mar 1st, 2014, 04:49 AM
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My first husband lives and works in the Triad area and has for over 20 years and loves it.
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Mar 1st, 2014, 05:49 AM
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There is much to love about many many parts of NC. As someone wisely said above, you just have to look for yourself and decide what "suits". Personally, I find Raleigh more congested than Charlotte--but it IS the time of day, and the route you are travelling either place, IMO.
The healthcare systems in the large cities are outstanding because of the medical schools, and Carolinas Healthcare System based in Charlotte which is, I believe in the top 5 largest in the country.
A place no one has stressed is Winston Salem--it is a lovely smallish to mid-size city with a LOT of corporate support (BB&T Bank among others).
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Mar 1st, 2014, 06:01 AM
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If you "definitely want to be in NC" you can take Greenville off your list as it is in SC. Unless you're talking about the college town of Greenville, NC which I'm not sure anyone would recommend relocating to.

As for Charlotte, commuting into and out of the city can certainly be congested, but if you live in an in-town neighborhood like I do, you never see any of that congestion.
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Mar 1st, 2014, 04:59 PM
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You have probably noticed that some people are boosters of their own city, which is nice, but no need to try to put down other cities to do that.

Size of medical programs, again, isn't the same as comparing apples-to-apples, and unless you really know the ins and outs of specialties, outreach, etc.,, just be assured that it's quite good in both Charlotte and in the Triangle (Duke, UNC, and Wake system).

Whatever else is true, it's a lovely state from the point of view of natural beauty, and it sounds like you'll enjoy getting to know everything from the mountains, from north to south (or vice versa), to the middle piedmont to the coast.
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Mar 1st, 2014, 06:11 PM
  #20
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Yes as many of you have stated I need to see for myself, this is something that I do plan on doing in the near future, but I still enjoy hearing everyone's opinions. As I have mentioned I do want to live in a downtown area, being that I would like to have shops, and restaurants I can walk to. Raleigh is def. one of my top choices, but more recently I have been looking into Wilmington as well, it is a little further then I wanted to go, but seems like it have a lot to offer. I compared demographics with Raleigh and they appear to be very similar density wise... any opinions on that? are the housing/ rental costs higher there because of the beach/ tourists?
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