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heartland towns

Aiken, SC

Bennettsville, SC

Blythewood, SC

Camden, SC

Cary, NC

Chapel Hill, NC

Charlotte, NC

Cheraw, SC

Columbia, SC

Durham, NC

Fairfield County, SC

Fayetteville, NC

Florence, SC

Goldsboro, NC

Greensboro, NC

Greenwood, SC

Hartsville, SC

Hickory, NC

High Point, NC

Lexington, SC

Lincolnton, NC

Manning, SC

Marion County, SC

Newberry, SC

North Augusta, SC

Orangeburg, SC

Pinehurst, NC

Pittsboro, NC

Raleigh, NC

Sanford, NC

Santee, SC

Sumter, SC

Vance County, NC

Winnsboro, SC

Winston-Salem, NC

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Center for Carolina Living Our fragile island home.  The Daily Planet at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is an immersive, three-story, high-definition, multimedia space that presents spectacular scenes from nature and is the site of live programming on breaking science news. It’s also a great gathering area for students.
Photo by Chris Adamczyk; courtesy GRCVB/visitRaleigh.com
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Center for Carolina Living Come see Willo.  The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh is the largest natural history museum in the Southeast. Visitors can see the world’s only Acrocanthosaurus dinosaur, a two-story waterfall, and Willo, the first dinosaur discovered with a fossilized heart.
www.visitnc.com
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Center for Carolina Living Eclectic urban adventure. Join the crowd in downtown Raleigh on the first Friday of every month for a fabulous introduction to the capital city’s remarkable arts, music and dining culture. Hint: Bring your credit card. There are specials galore.
www.visitnc.com
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new again ...
at Raleigh’s Contemporary Art Museum.  CAM was called an unlikely butterfly after it emerged from its decades-long cocoon.  The historic structure began life as a welding company. Today, it invites visitors to admire its repurposed bones as well as its striking exhibits.
www.visitnc.com
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raleigh
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Center for Carolina Living Dusk falls on Raleigh. It's time to dress down, go out and let the evening unfold.
Photo courtesy of Raleigh Chamber of Commerce
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raleigh
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Center for Carolina Living Why Irish eyes are smiling. It just might be the 50 brands of whisky, and/or professional Irish dance classes that keep the atmosphere upbeat at Tir Na Nog, an Irish Pub in Raleigh.
Photo courtesy of Littleton Advertising & Marketing
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Center for Carolina Living It's oh-so-civilized... enjoying time with your best friend. The Jack Nicklaus designed view at Governors Club, in Chapel Hill, sets a splendid daily stage...on the greens or on the terrace.
Photo courtesy of Governors Club
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Center for Carolina Living Raleigh Pop.: 322,211

Wake County Pop.: 693,649
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walking raleigh/durham

written by Rebecca C. Mann
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Heartlands
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Life in Raleigh
and the Triangle --
AN Insiders' VIEW

North Carolina's capital city has history, education, entertainment and great neighborhoods.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
interesting insights
the college towns
restaurant & 5-star Hotel links
public school info
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d Summers remembers the friendly atmosphere that enveloped the students at NC State University, even though it's been many years since he called Raleigh home,

"It was an appealing community for a college kid because it was easy to get around town, and there were great hangouts near school," he said. One of his favorites was the 42nd Street Oyster Bar, which continues to attract students today, almost 50 years later.

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The capital city has grown, and the restaurants have become much more diverse, but it's still an easy town to get around in, and has even more to recommend it to newcomers.

Young families, boomers, retirees and young professionals are drawn to Raleigh and the Triangle from points near and far for all it has to offer — golf courses, a favorable climate, and so much more. The city is packed with cultural experiences that include theatre, ballet and opera, music venues, and museums of art, history and natural sciences.

Downtown is blooming.

And with a variety of sports including professional hockey, baseball, some of the nation’s top collegiate basketball, and world-renowned golf, there’s plenty to offer both residents and visitors.

Downtown Raleigh is unfolding with amenities that add to its urban appeal. The new convention center will create a business destination, and the Fayetteville Street Renaissance Project will bring wide streetscapes for artwork, open space and outdoor dining.

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Goldsboro Travel & Tourism

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Very Surry -Mt Airy

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Near the center of the city, Moore Park Square offers distinctive shopping, a flourishing arts district, and even a summer music series, which has brought in a variety of well-known names in rock, rap and country music.

Superbly situated between the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, Raleigh and Cary have a convenient location, comfortable four-season climate, abundance of good jobs, greenway system and family-friendly atmosphere – perfect for anyone on the move.

Once a sleepy Southern capital, Raleigh – “The City of Oaks” – now constantly ranks among the best places to live in the U.S. “I love it,” says Heidi Tyson, a self-described housemother who moved to North Raleigh from a Chicago suburb with her husband and three daughters. “The people are really friendly and helpful. It’s a very easy town in which to get around.”

Raleigh’s downtown nightlife scene is enhanced by Tir Na Nog Irish pub and restaurant. Its interior looks to be part Irish folklore, part classy after-work haven, and is even reminiscent of a backwoods cabin with its large fireplace area. The crowd is diverse. Any given weekend, patrons might find a local Irish folk group crooning cheerful Irish classics, or perhaps, blues guitar legend Cool John Ferguson, enthralling the patrons.

The downtown area offers more unique dining, such as the popular Duck and Dumpling, a traditional Asian restaurant with a comfortable, contemporary design. Nearby, in the up-and-coming warehouse district, Nana’s Chophouse provides a great place to enjoy drinks and dinner with a Mediterranean appeal.

And for the ultimate nightlife, Glenwood Avenue offers a host of trendy bars and restaurants like Bogart’s American Grill, Sullivan’s Steakhouse and Zely & Ritz. For a true urban experience with a hip bistro-style appeal, Enoteca Vin is a fantastic restaurant featuring the talented Chef Ashley Christiansen. Customers can enjoy socializing over small gourmet plates and wine.

With a reputation as the pinnacle of fine dining in Raleigh, Frazier’s, located on Hillsborough Street near NC State University, offers mouth-watering cuisine from Chef Jay Beaver, formerly of New York’s famed Gramercy Tavern.

Click Here For Additional Raleigh Restaurant Info

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The Triangle’s residential communities include popular, mixed-use neighborhoods designed to incorporate a variety of single-family homes, townhomes, shops, restaurants and recreational amenities. Notable among them are Brier Creek, Amberly, Twin Lakes, Bedford at Falls River, and Wakefield Plantation.

Golf course communities offer some of the best courses in the state, such as Brier Creek in northwest Raleigh.

The Town of Cary, near Raleigh, features Amberly, with its distinctive neighborhoods, and Twin Lakes, with its homes inspired by America’s favorite homemaker, Martha Stewart.

Bedford at Falls River in north Raleigh is known for its family-friendly atmosphere, and was named one of America’s top 100 communities for retirees by Where to Retire magazine.

Nearby Wakefield Plantation provides a welcoming community in an ideal location. The planner is Wakefield Development Company, part of L.M. Sandler & Sons, Inc., which has been creating neighborhoods for more than 20 years.

Cindy and Scott Gardner, Wakefield residents for five years, have found an all-inclusive community.

“The schools here are just outstanding,” Mrs. Gardner said. The highly-regarded school system in Wake County has convinced many parents that Wakefield is the prime location for their families. Wake County claims the 3rd best public school system in the country.

“We have a YMCA right down the street offering great activities for kids and adults in the summer,” she said. There are also great exercise facilities, a pool, and additional opportunities for socializing.

Those who join as members of the club will have access to one of the Triangle’s top rated golfing destinations, the Tournament Players Club at Wakefield Plantation. It's a par 71, 18-hole championship golf course, designed by three-time United States Open Champion, Hale Irwin.

The Gardners have also found a source of entertainment for their school-age children — the Factory at Wake Forest. It features a skate park, ice rink, batting cages, a baseball field and go-karts. Meanwhile, parents can enjoy downtown's fantastic shopping at Triangle Town Center and North Hills.

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Center for Carolina Living And there’s the job market — a booming workforce is anchored by a variety of technical companies and several of the nation’s top universities and medical centers, drawing in top candidates to its many corporations and businesses.
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Just outside of Raleigh, Cary residents can easily commute to and from the city, or enjoy what their own “little town” has to offer.

In the northwestern corner of Wake County, the Town of Cary, named Money Magazine’s “hottest town” over 100,000 in population in the East two years ago, offers another desired lifestyle to those who work and play in and around Raleigh. Though the town has grown significantly in recent years, residents are still proud of the small-town atmosphere they continue to uphold.

Construction of the Amberly community began in Cary in 2004 and quickly started to transform it into one of the most desired neighborhoods (with 5,000 homesites) in the Triangle, thanks to the principals of the firm, David Guy and Thomas Scott, who have more than 40 years of experience in real estate and specialize in uniquely located communities throughout the U.S.

“We had to be in Amberly, and we had to be first,” said Gail Connally, whose husband, Mark, set up a reclining lawn chair in a tent and spent the night on the property, intending to be the first to purchase a home site at a KB Homes’ event the following day. “We bought the first one sold in the section,” said Mrs. Connally, referring to Arlington Park, a neighborhood within Amberly.

The Connallys had been following Cary’s growth, and watched as the community began to take root. Originally from Georgia, they lived in the Triangle area for several years before relocating to the Northeast. The family quickly began to miss the things they grew to love around Raleigh. “The children weren’t happy and they missed the schools in the South,” Mrs. Connally said. The family also missed the college football, weekend barbecues and general Southern charm of North Carolina.

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Another desirable neighborhood in Raleigh right now is in the new North Hills area. Due to recent revitalization efforts, North Hills and its 80,000 square foot mixed-use shopping center have become a magnet for business, fashionistas and dining connoisseurs alike.

Shoppers looking for the season’s hottest runway fashions enjoy high-end, one-on-one shopping experiences from North Hills. Retailers, such as the upscale boutique Vermillion to the ritzy Luxe Apothecary, and even home décor shops and luxurious spas bring a contemporary, Madison Avenue feel to the area.

For a comfortable steakhouse atmosphere and highly flavorful wines, JK’s offers delicious selections in an intimate setting. Restaurant Savannah, features a fresh take on Lowcountry cuisine in a cozy, yet upscale environment.

Nearby, and also close to NC State University, Cameron Village provides additional shopping, dining and living experiences, similar to that of North Hills.

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Center for Carolina Living Two more university towns contribute to the wealth of knowledge within the Triangle
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Other points of interest in the Triangle
  include the town of Chapel Hill, home to the University of North Carolina, which is ranked third in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report. Chapel Hill has its own share of fine restaurants and legions of alumni who value the excellent education they received, in addition to the opportunity to enjoy some of the finest college basketball in the country. A system of bikeways and greenways invite fresh air and exercise.  Read more about Chapel Hill.

And finally, Durham is home to famed Duke University. Known as the "City of Medicine," one in four Durham residents is employed in health care. Durham has its share of downtown revitalization, and an equally loyal alumni corps who revere their education and college basketball experiences just as much as their friendly rivals one town over. Durham has excellent golf courses, bikeways and trails, plus life-long education at Duke with more than 300 courses for adults, children, retirees and other audiences, including writers' workshops, summer camps and information technology training. Read more about Durham.

Of course, the Triangle’s central location offers excellent opportunities for weekend trips. Raleigh is often celebrated as the city “three hours from the mountains and the beach,” allowing residents to spend quality coastal time at retreats such as Atlantic Beach, Morehead City and historic Beaufort. From there, Ocracoke Island is only a ferry ride away. The winter means ski season, and the most popular destinations — Boone and Asheville — are also within close proximity. Such convenience and unparalleled living opportunities make Raleigh a national destination and a wonderful place to call home.

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Raleigh and the family of communities known as the Research Triangle have long been recognized among the nation’s best areas to live, work, raise a family and earn a first-class education.

Get Cultured (no pearls required)
. Raleigh has earned its nickname, “Smithsonian of the South,” from its many museums, and support of the arts.
Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts
A treasure trove of performing arts.
Phone: 919.831.6061 • www.raleighconvention.com

Alltel Pavilion at Walnut Creek
Concerts for all types of music-lovers; events year-round.
Phone: 919.719.5537
www.alltelpavilion.com

Opera Company of North Carolina
The world’s best voices in time-honored productions.
Phone: 919.859.6180
www.operanc.com

Carolina Ballet Company
Dancers that delight the soul, feed the senses, and win critical acclaim.
Phone: 919.719.0800
www.carolinaballet.com


What to do & What to see
NC Art Museum
It’s one of the nation’s premier museums.
Phone 919. 839.6262 • www.ncartmuseum.org

NC Museum of History
This museum encourages visitors to discover more about the rich traditions that helped shape the state.
Phone: 919.807.7900 • www.ncmuseumofhistory.org

NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Look at the natural world through the distinct lens of the area’s diverse geography, plants and animals.
Phone: 919.733.7450 • www.naturalsciences.org


Calling all sports fans.  Raleigh and the Triangle have enough sports to satisfy the most ardent fan, beginning with well-known college basketball from the University of North Carolina, NC State University and Duke University. But there’s more…
Carolina Hurricanes (Professional Hockey)
Phone: 866.NHL.CANES • www.caneshockey.com


Food, Glorious Food
Duck and Dumpling
222 S. Blount St. Traditional Asian with contemporary surroundings.
Phone: 919.838.0085 • www.theduckanddumpling.com

Bogart’s American Grill
510 Glenwood Ave. Humphrey Bogart movies, and so much more
Phone: 919.832.1132 • www.bogartsamericangrill.com

Sullivan’s Steakhouse
414 Glenwood Ave., Suite 100. 1940s style, with great martinis and live jazz.
Phone: 919.833.2888 • www.sullivansteakhouse.com

Zely and Ritz
310 Glenwood Ave., Suite 100. Fresh, organic, locally grown, smokefree, tapas and more.
Phone: 919.828.0018 • www.zelyandritz.com

Tir Na Nog Irish Pub
218 S. Blount St. Good times, food and music.
Phone: 919.833.7795 • www.tirnanogirishpub.com

Enoteca Vin
410 Glenwood Ave., Suite 350. Restaurant and wine bar that offers great wine and seasonal food.
Phone: 919.834.3070 • www.enotecavin.com

Frazier’s
21418 Hillsborough St. Perhaps the pinnacle of upbeat, at-ease Manhattan fine dining.
Phone: 919.828.6699 • www.fraziersbistro.com


5-Star Hotels
Carolina Inn & CrossRoads Restaurant
919. 933.2001, visit info page where a link to www.carolinainn.com may be found.

Fearrington House Inn and Restaurant
919. 542.2121, visit info page where a link to
www.fearringtonhouse.com may be found.

The Siena Hotel
919. 929.400
www.sienahotel.com


Where to buy your bling (among other things).
Shops in these areas have unique gifts:
www.eatshopplay.com • www.TriangleTownCenter.com
www.raleighdowntownlive.com • www.northhillsraleigh.com
www.shopsofcameronvillage.com

Here are a few favorites:
Ornamentea
509 Northwest St. Thousands of different strands of Czech glass beads, loose glass beads, vintage and new buttons in glass, metal and more.
Phone: 919.634.6260. • http://www.ornamentea.com

Cat Banjo
2043 Cameron St. A glittery Cameron Village grotto lined from floor to ceiling with beautiful baubles and funky accessories.
Phone: 919.833.6711.

Haven
4359-116 Lassiter at North Hills Avenue. A home lifestyle store with unique home accents, gifts and personal items.
Phone: 919.881.2440.


Raleigh and the Triangle Area Schools
~ Wake County Public School System ranked third in the best school districts in the country.

~ The Wake County School System is the second largest in North Carolina with more than 108,000 students in 129 schools and nearly 12,000 teachers and staff. It is the second largest employer in Wake County.

~ The school system serves all of Wake County including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Wendell, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Holly Springs, Morrisville and Zebulon.

~ Wake County¹s academic performance is among the best in the country. The ABCs Public Education Report for school year 2002-2003 reported that nearly 90 percent of all students scored at or above grade level.

~ Wake County has 49 Schools of Excellence and 61 Schools of Distinction - ABC Public Education Results.

~ The system's "magnet" network has 13 year-round schools, eight International Baccalaureate schools, and a number of others with particular emphasis on areas such as creative arts, international or classical studies, and technology. Wake County also has publicly funded charter schools.

~ Contact information for the Wake County Public School System: 919.807.3302, www.wcpss.net
 

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Joy Lane is a writer who frequently works in the Raleigh area. She's been published in newspapers and magazines across the nation, and is currently living in New Bern.

David Morrowfield is a freelance writer living in Raleigh, and has collaborated with several national magazines and been published in local newspapers.

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