It’s hard to find a Best Of list that doesn’t include Raleigh-Durham as a top place to live. And rightly so. There are many reasons to move to Raleigh, such as well-paying jobs, good schools and an affordable cost of living. But don’t get caught in the hype – Raleigh is not the right place for everyone. Just like any city, you must check it out and make sure that it’s the right fit for you and your family.
Here are some potential deal breakers to know before you pack up your life and head to the Triangle:
June, July and August are very sweaty.
Humidity is a real thing. And people who are not used to southern summers often find themselves miserable. The good news is North Carolinians love their air conditioning, so you can easily spend summer days going from your air-conditioned car to your office to your home – limiting your sweltering moments. But if you dream of cool summer breezes and sleeping with your windows open, you are in for a very long summer.
You will spend a lot of time in your car.
If you want to keep your car parked and use a combination of public transportation and foot power to get around, this may not be the right spot for you. This is very much a car-centric area, and you will find yourself behind the wheel most anytime you want to go somewhere.
While there are buses that serve the region, the Triangle area is very spread out and not served well by public transportation. The same is true with walkability – we have some walkable areas, but most people don’t find their homes and jobs within close enough distances to lace up their tennis shoes for the trek to work.
You will have to look for nightlife.
Yes, we have some night life, especially in the Glenwood South District. We also have the world’s largest beer garden. But it’s not on every corner. Or even every other corner. Raleigh is very family-centric, and most of the entertainment options are family friendly. If you plan to spend every weekend dancing and partying, you should probably cross Raleigh off your list.
Pollen is no joke.
While Raleigh typically only gets a few days of snow each year (although we make up for lack of frequency by shutting down the city and emptying the grocery store shelves every time a snowflake is predicted), you can count on a thick coat of yellow pollen every spring. For several weeks, everything in sight – cars, homes, your dog – is covered in yellow. Be sure to stock up on allergy medications before the pollen hits.
The beach is a long day trip.
If you dream of heading to the beach every weekend, you might want to move elsewhere. Yes, it is technically a day trip with Wrightsville only two hours away. But with summer traffic, most people only take a handful of day trips and some weekend trips a year to the beach, if that. People who move here for proximity to the ocean are usually disappointed that they didn’t move further towards the coast.
Football is second best.
Basketball is king in this area, with the ACC tournament being pretty much a regional holiday. But diehard football fans, like me, are often disappointed to realize that the passion doesn’t carry over to college football. NC State games come closest to the atmosphere found in SEC and Big Ten stadiums on Saturdays, but even those games tend to fall short. So if football is your passion, just be sure to keep some Saturdays free and money in your budget to travel back home (or maybe to Charlotte) to catch a few pigskin games each year.