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Old 05-04-2010, 12:55 PM
 
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My husband and I are looking to relocate to North or South Carolina from New Hampshire. We'd like a small, quaint and rural town (so we can buy a house with some land and our kids can go to smallish schools) with an excellent school system.

Emphasis on "small, quaint and rural" and "excellent school system."

Suggestions?
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:38 AM
 
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I'd highly recommend Hillsborough. It's a small town outside of Durham. Lovely quaint downtown with shops and restaurants. Excellent schools. Also look at Mebane, Pittsboro. All within access to Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill. Great universities and hospitals nearby (UNC, Duke).

As a native New Englander, you might find SC somewhat too conservative.
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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ljd1010 beat me to it...I'd also recommend Hillsborough or Pittsboro.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Though isn't Hillsborough practically a "suburb" of Chapel Hill now, with so many moving there? The problem in high-growth places like NC, with "small towns with good schools" is that everybody wants to move there, and they don't stay "small towns" for long (witness Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs etc in the past 5-10 years).

I have recently spent a lot of time in Smithfield and it's quite "small town" in personality (not "still trying to be a small town but doubling in size every few years") and I understand Johnston County schools are good, though I admit that I know nothing about the Smithfield schools except I know a couple of teachers there.

Really, if you want a small town that will still be a "small town" 10 years from now, you'd want to get pretty far out from an explosively-high-growth area like the Triangle or Charlotte, in NC. But the double-edged sword is that the better schools are going to be closer to where the growth is.

I might go out on a limb and suggest some places near the Outer Banks though not the OB proper? I'm thinking specifically Curritcuck county off the outer islands--there are lots of small towns there and I knew a LOT of smart kids from there, back in the day. There's money in the area so while I again don't know anything about the schools personally, it might be something to look into (i.e. see how the school system stacks up).
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,246 posts, read 94,945,877 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francois View Post
Though isn't Hillsborough practically a "suburb" of Chapel Hill now, with so many moving there? The problem in high-growth places like NC, with "small towns with good schools" is that everybody wants to move there, and they don't stay "small towns" for long (witness Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs etc in the past 5-10 years).

I have recently spent a lot of time in Smithfield and it's quite "small town" in personality (not "still trying to be a small town but doubling in size every few years") and I understand Johnston County schools are good, though I admit that I know nothing about the Smithfield schools except I know a couple of teachers there.

Really, if you want a small town that will still be a "small town" 10 years from now, you'd want to get pretty far out from an explosively-high-growth area like the Triangle or Charlotte, in NC. But the double-edged sword is that the better schools are going to be closer to where the growth is.

I might go out on a limb and suggest some places near the Outer Banks though not the OB proper? I'm thinking specifically Curritcuck county off the outer islands--there are lots of small towns there and I knew a LOT of smart kids from there, back in the day. There's money in the area so while I again don't know anything about the schools personally, it might be something to look into (i.e. see how the school system stacks up).
I think you make excellent points All the really nice small areas with good schools have been "discovered" and aren't so small anymore

I think your suggestion of something at the coast is a good one. In particular, I think they should give the Crystal Coast of Carteret county a look see.
http://www.crystalcoastnc.org/
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:37 PM
 
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Craven and Carteret County both have excellent school systems, especially in contrast to other schools systems in eastern NC. Havelock High in Craven and Croatan High in Carteret are nationally ranked. The other schools in the county aren't bad. Croatan is 1A or 2A so it's a smaller school. Elementary schools tend to all have small classrooms. Middle schools were crowded back when I was coming up (they kept the sixth graders at the elementary school to ease crowding) but new middle schools have been built since then. I don't know of their current status.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Another option is to live somewhere near Rocky Mount and send them to Rocky Mount Academy (private, but small and, last time I checked, good). Private schools in the more rural areas are a lot cheaper than the ones in the Triangle, of course.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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West Jefferson is a quaint, small town in NW NC's mountains. It is anything but developed or sprawling, still has a real Main Street with shops and restaurants and a nice little arts scene going on. It's a safe area with a wonderful climate and tons of outdoor recreation options. It's also only 30 minutes to Boone, home of Appalachian State University with some nice cultural opportunities. Schools in Ashe County seem to be quite good, especially compared to a lot of the more rural districts in the state.
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