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Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary The Triangle Area
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:28 PM
 
43 posts, read 81,788 times
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Well, we've been here a month, finally bought a house and wanted to thank everyone for all the information. I'd also like to throw out my perspective on the area to any newbies thinking about relocating from out of state (especially the midwest). Hopefully this helps. It's all about perspective so from a young couple in their 30s with a toddler moving from the midwest to the triangle here are some things I've noticed, liked, hated, etc.

Cary vs. Apex - I see and hear this all the time. I see no difference whatsoever. Both towns meld together that I often don't know if I'm in Apex or Cary. They both have rich people, poor people, both are diverse, both have rural areas, both have suburbs, both have small downtowns. I really don't understand or see the real difference.

Traffic - Honestly it isn't that bad. But the drivers are absolutely awful. I've been flipped off twice (I drive a casual 7-10 mph over the speed limit in the middle lane) and had a guy try to run me off the road on purpose. The drivers are just terrible. I had my signal on the other day and slowly got over when the lady floors it to make sure I can't get in. Then she casually flips me off and speeds away. Just incredibly rude, selfish, clueless drivers. I've had people pass me on the right side going 90+ right by an exit. All it would take is me to get off on an exit and not check one mirror and it would be a fatality. I don't know how to explain it. Some people drive 90+, some drive 50 and everything in between. So many people seem to be really angry and really in a hurry.. even midday on the weekend. It's just a melting pot of driving styles and it is doesn't seem very safe.

People - It's weird. It's completely one extreme or the other. Some of the locals and transplants I've met have been some of the warmest friendliest people I've ever met. I've also met some of the rudest jerks I've encountered in all my life. All in a month. In general, the people are friendlier and more engaging than where we came from.

Bugs - This has been one of the biggest surprises. I feel like I'm in a zoo. Every time I walk outside I see some giant centipede or huge spider or snake or deer. It's really cool. I like animals. Everything is just so alive down here.

Weather - Pretty much what I expected but surprised at how strong the sun is. Some mornings I get up and see it's 50 out and put on a sweatshirt and within a few minutes of walking the dogs I'm borderline sweating from the sun. The sun's strength surprised me.

Things to do - I've read numerous threads that this place is boring. How is that possible? Every few blocks there is some beautiful park. There are lakes, 2 college towns (3 if you include NCSU in Raleigh), downtown Raleigh, Five Points, Hillsborough's cool downtown, tons of live music, festivals, Jordan Lake, etc. Everyday we have like 5 different things we want to do or see. This will slow down as we live here longer but there is just so much to do I don't see how we'd ever get bored. I didn't even mention the beautiful beaches in Wilmington or awesome Asheville not too far away.

Housing - Relatively similar priced to where we're from. Basements are rare which is totally opposite from up north where basement's are the norm. One funny thing I noticed is almost every house we looked at had a beautifully manicured front yard and almost every house we looked at had a completely unmaintained back yard. There were exceptions. We found that funny. New construction seems to be more desirable here while older is less desirable. This is totally opposite from up north. Our new construction is pretty bad and older homes with character tend to carry a higher price tag.

Central Cary - We ended up buying in SE Cary off Seabrook in Pirates Cove/Maynard Oaks. We really loved central cary. Seemed like more locals lived here. We've met some of the friendliest people here while we visited parks and walked the neighborhoods. They have a small downtown with some cool little shops and restaurants. We love Ashworth's. Their strawberry milkshakes and chili slaw dogs are awesome. Plus their toy aisle is right next to the tables so your kid can sit and play if he isn't hungry (brilliant idea). We are 15 minutes from downtown Raleigh, close to Pullen Park (awesome park with a train, boats and carousel). If you are coming from the midwest or anywhere for that matter, I'd take a good hard look at central cary. The schools are good, you are close to the "big city", tons of amenities, tons of parks, really genuine friendly people, close to malls. Just an ideal area. I'm glad a bunch of folks pointed us that way.

Pimento Cheese - What's up with this? It's on every menu.

Sweet Tea - Is poured like water down here and it's very very sweet.

North Raleigh - We also house hunted in North Raleigh and honestly just didn't like it. The homes are totally our style.. older with character and decent sized yards. But it just felt very cold. People seemed less friendly and engaging. Traffic was always bad and roads seemed narrow. It just didn't feel like a warm friendly place. Not to say we didn't meet nice people because we did. I'm just generalizing how we felt.

Durham - We've really liked it everytime we're up that way. A bit of a hippy green vibe but cool. Still haven't seen the really "bad" areas yet. Life and Science museum is awesome if you have kids. Marbles downtown Raleigh is cool too. Stay and Play Cafe is a cool little place where you can hang out while your kids play.

Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, Carrboro, Wake Forest.. all just too rural for us. We are coming from a suburb of a fairly large city just to put it into perspective.

Random thought.. go to Spirits in Cary and get their Sweet Potato Chips. Also go to Gonza Tacos y Tequila. You'll thank me later.

Not trying to poke fun at any one area but just trying to generalize our experiences in the short time we've been here. It's very different coming from the midwest to the triangle so hopefully this might help someone out. Overall we really like it and look forward to planting our roots here.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:33 PM
 
Location: My House
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You chose a good area (given what you've said you enjoy) to buy over in Maynard Oaks/Pirates Cove area. Once they complete the new construction where they tore down the York building and the theatre over there, and after the mall gets going with the renovations (they will pick up once Dave and Buster's is there, I do think), you'll be able to walk pretty much anywhere you want if you're not up to driving to find entertainment. Will be really nice when the weather is good out.



ETA: Am a local. I don't drink the tea. It's like syrup.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
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I just moved down here a little over a month ago by way of Minneapolis and Chicago. I love the pimento grilled cheese sandwiches (try Cameron Grill's) and believe that north of the Mason Dixon line, Sweet Tea is sold as hummingbird feeder food. It is good though.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:56 PM
 
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Yeah, that is a big reason we chose that area. We think the revitalization of the downtown will be nice. We prefer to walk/ride bikes and we can get almost anywhere on the greenways that run through there. Plus being able to walk to MacDonald Woods park and use the pedestrian bridge to get to Kids Together park is really convenient. Our little guy really likes looking down at the big trucks on the pedestrian bridge.

I'm not trying to steer people away from other areas. Different strokes for different folks. But you read and hear so much about west cary and north raleigh and different areas and we just didn't hear much about central cary until we got down here. I think people, especially with a midwest perspective, who like a little character and a little age to their homes would really like central cary.
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:05 PM
 
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Nice overview. I enjoyed your perspective! I promise not to "flip you off" if you ever drive through North Raleigh!
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:15 PM
 
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Haha.. thanks NRG. I have no problem being flipped off. It's happened many a time. But usually it's when I actually do something stupid. I've just never lived somewhere where you can drive 77mph in a 70 and put on your signal to get over and have plenty of room and suddenly someone flies by going 95 while giving you the bird. Definitely a first for me. Then again, I've had quite a few firsts in short time we've been here.
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:19 PM
 
Location: My House
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Quote:
Originally Posted by royals82 View Post
Yeah, that is a big reason we chose that area. We think the revitalization of the downtown will be nice. We prefer to walk/ride bikes and we can get almost anywhere on the greenways that run through there. Plus being able to walk to MacDonald Woods park and use the pedestrian bridge to get to Kids Together park is really convenient. Our little guy really likes looking down at the big trucks on the pedestrian bridge.

I'm not trying to steer people away from other areas. Different strokes for different folks. But you read and hear so much about west cary and north raleigh and different areas and we just didn't hear much about central cary until we got down here. I think people, especially with a midwest perspective, who like a little character and a little age to their homes would really like central cary.
Yeah. North Raleigh and West Cary tend to be the Wake County front runners when people relocate to the area.

We live in Northwest Cary, I guess you'd call it. Not too far from SAS. We love being near Umstead and Lake Crabtree. Guaranteed woods!
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:24 PM
 
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I couldn't agree more about the drivers down here! If you like your tea a little less sweet ask them for half sweet and half unsweet.

Another thing I find funny is that when you order tea at a restaurant they quite often ask you if you want a to go cup of tea at the end of your meal. This place runs on iced tea!
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:27 PM
 
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Don't get me wrong, west cary is nice. Clean, parks, close to RTP, great schools, etc. But we were out at Tribeca Tavern the other night and just realized we were glad we bought in older cary. Just a bit snooty. Then again, you get that everywhere. But we looked at a house in Wellsley, and as I'm walking to the car a guy is walking down the street and asks me if I'm moving in. I said maybe and he said don't do it. I laughed and he then told me how stuck up it and clicky it was. Again, just one guy's opinion. But the more time we spent out that way the more we were glad we bought where we did.

Been to both Umstead and Lake Crabtree already... enjoyed them both. So many beautiful outdoor areas around here.
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:31 PM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
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Fun post. I'm glad you are happy with your area - I'm further west but I like where you are.
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