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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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Raleigh
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Center for Carolina Living It’s fiesta time! Once the local farmers market, Raleigh’s City Market today is a cluster of restaurants, shops and nightclubs. The 1914 Spanish Mission-style center attracts fun-lovers to its famous cobblestone streets.
Photo courtesy of Greater Raleigh CVB
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Heartlands
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cary
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t’s just amazing,” raves Christine Barker, who moved to Cary, N.C., with her husband, Russell, and their three sons, from Rockland County, N.Y., in August 2006. “Cary reminds me of where I am from, as it was about 40 years ago.”

Once considered a suburb of North Carolina’s capital city, Raleigh, Cary has now come into its own and is receiving national recognition. One such accolade came in 2006, when Money Magazine named Cary the fifth best place to live in the entire country on their annual list. The attention is well deserved, as Cary offers both small town charm and big city amenities.

This combination attracted the Barkers, who felt immediately welcome when they moved into town. Within the city, the family chose to live in Amberly, a most family-friendly community with distinctive neighborhoods and wonderful amenities for every life stage. The Barkers particularly enjoy Amberly’s expansive Residents’ Club, which encompasses everything from swimming pools and a fitness center to venues for meetings and social gatherings. “It’s phenomenal!” exclaims Mrs. Barker.
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eyond their community, the family enjoys the numerous benefits of one of Cary’s best features – its location. “Twenty minutes in each direction you can find everything!” says Mrs. Barker. Raleigh, Durham and The Research Triangle are all nearby, as is an international airport. Additionally, Cary’s location in the heartlands of North Carolina places the unparalleled scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains an easy drive to the west and the fun of the Outer Banks and the North Carolina coast just to the east. Mrs. Barker loves the spontaneity that all of this convenience offers. “In New York it seemed like you had to plan everything six months in advance. Here you can be more spontaneous – more spur of the moment.”

When the mood strikes them, the Barkers enjoy going to nearby Jordan Lake, particularly in the summer, and on Sundays they often cherish going to Bond Park, one of many in the city, for long walks. The walks are a nearly year-round family activity, compliments of Cary’s mild climate.

During the summer months, the Booth Amphitheater at Regency Park hosts the N.C. Symphony’s annual Summerfest performance series, and the Cary Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department presents the “Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival,” one of the Southeast’s largest arts festivals. Numerous other festivals punctuate the yearly calendar.

Raleigh’s RBC Center brings exciting sporting events, concerts and performances to the area. Three major universities are also close at hand – Duke University, North Carolina State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provide enriching educational opportunities as well as the fun of college athletics and other activities.

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Center for Carolina Living Combined with a varied selection of shopping and dining, there is always entertainment to be had. “The more and more I see it, the more I think that it’s probably one of the most well-rounded places,” says Mrs. Barker.
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Another great asset to the area is the Research Triangle Park, one of the world’s largest research, technology and business parks, which is home to such notable companies as IBM, GlaxoSmithKline and Cisco, to name a few.

In addition to the wealth of employment opportunities for adults, children benefit from a quality public school system and private schools. With all of these attributes, it’s easy to see why Cary residents are so passionate about their home. “It’s more like a community than I’ve ever had before,” says Mrs. Barker. “I think I’ve been to seven baby showers in the past year – everyone chips in and cooks a meal for the new family. We have a support system here, an extended pseudo family.”

Mr. Barker is enjoying their new home, too. “I’ve known him since 1984 and he’s never been happier,” says Mrs. Barker. A factor may be his 20-minute commute to work in Raleigh. “It beats the over an hour commute he had when we lived in New York!” she says.

Even the three young Barker boys relish living in Cary. “They love it here. They especially love taking part in all of the recreational sports,” says their proud mom, who feels safe letting them explore and play in the neighborhood.

“You know, I always wanted to move to the South,” admits Mrs. Barker, “so, I got my dream. And it’s absolutely lived up to my expectations – it all just fell into place.”
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Kristen F. Anthony has worked in magazines, newspapers, marketing and corporate communications. She has contributed to a variety of projects, from an award-winning newspaper special section on veterans to the 2006 Southern Living-Progressive Farmer Idea House. Kristen earned her BA in Communications Studies from Furman University in Greenville, S.C., and now calls Columbia, S.C., home.
 
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