My husband and I are very interested in relocating from the dusty, dry Texas Panhandle to a more lush area of the US that has lots of things to do and lots of pretty scenery. We love the idea of "3 hours from the beach/3 hours from the mountains". I have only been to the Charlotte and Asheville areas of North Carolina, but I know that they are both gorgeous (compared to where we live now, of course). I am wondering if the Raleigh/Durham area is as lush and pretty as the Charlotte area. We have friends who live in Matthews and their backyard looks like a rainforest with all the trees and flowers - they also have a creek running through it. Beautiful! However, my husband works for the government and will need to be employed by a local VA Hospital no matter where we end up. Does anyone know of any nice, lushly landscaped neighborhoods fairly close to a VA Medical Center? Really though, any advice would be extremely appreciated. I've lived in this small town my entire life and this will be my first move! Honestly, I'm terrified! Thanks in advance.