Should You Move to Cary? A 2023 Guide


Nestled in the heart of the Tar Heel State lies Cary, North Carolina, a place where southern charm seamlessly intertwines with urban sophistication. As a part of the renowned Research Triangle—comprising Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill—Cary stands out as a beacon of progress and tradition in equal measure. The town is an eclectic blend of tree-lined streets, state-of-the-art amenities, and a cultural tapestry that reflects both its historical roots and a burgeoning cosmopolitan vibe.

You can’t discuss Cary without highlighting its magnetism as a relocation destination. Cary has humorously been referred to as the "Central Area for Relocated Yankees" due to the significant number of transplants from the Northern states. While this acronym isn't an official designation, it captures the town's history of attracting residents from other parts of the country, especially the Northeast. Given Cary's rapid growth and the influx of people from outside North Carolina, the nickname emerged as a playful nod to the town's changing demographics.

Why listen to us? We're Bellhop - we offers moves in Raleigh, as well as moves in Durham and in Chapel Hill. Further, I (Tyler) used to live here! And just to disprove the stereotype, I'm a native North Carolinian. Let's walk through the reasons why Cary might be a fit for you.

Why move to Cary, NC?

At the crossroads of tradition and modernity, Cary stands out with its pristine parks, tree-lined streets, and a vibrant cultural scene. While it retains a small-town feel, Cary offers amenities and experiences typically associated with larger cities. Its community is diverse, with a significant percentage of residents originating from outside North Carolina, bringing an eclectic mix of cultures, traditions, and flavors to this southern town.

The reasons to consider moving here are manifold: from its robust job market powered by the proximity to tech hubs and leading research institutions, to its top-tier educational institutions, and the sense of community that permeates its neighborhoods. This thriving town continually finds itself on lists of the best places to live in the United States, and a short visit quickly reveals why. The allure isn't just in its tangible offerings but also in the intangibles—the warmth of its residents, the vibrancy of its cultural scene, and the pulse of innovation that beats through the town.

But it's not all hustle and bustle. Cary's temperate climate ensures that residents can enjoy all four seasons, from colorful autumns and mild winters to blooming springs and warm, sun-soaked summers. This pleasant weather complements the town's laid-back vibe, allowing locals to relish the many parks, recreational areas, and open spaces. It's easy to lose oneself in the beauty of Hemlock Bluffs or the serene trails around Bond Park. In Cary, nature's tranquility and the urban rhythm create a harmonious symphony, setting the stage for a life well-lived.

What’s the current vibe in Cary?

Often touted as one of the best places to live in the United States, Cary, North Carolina, is experiencing a significant growth spurt. As a part of the famed Research Triangle (comprising Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill), Cary has seen a consistent influx of people, attracted by its unique blend of southern charm and urban sophistication. This has inevitably led to a surge in its population, making it one of the fastest-growing towns in the South. At the crossroads of tradition and modernity, Cary stands out with its pristine parks, tree-lined streets, and a vibrant cultural scene. While it retains a small-town feel, Cary offers amenities and experiences typically associated with larger cities. Its community is diverse, the significant percentage of residents originating from outside North Carolina bring an eclectic mix of cultures, traditions, and flavors to this southern town.

You'll find in Cary some of the Triangle's best restaurants. Himalayan Range offers superb Nepalese food, while Annelore's German Bakery regularly wins plaudits. Lastly, Bond Brothers offers some of the most interesting brews in the triangle, and has a great brewpub experiene to boot.

Cary, North Carolina’s nearest neighbors

Cary's prime location in the Research Triangle means that it's nestled among other significant cities. Raleigh, the state capital, is just a short drive away, while the historic towns of Durham and Chapel Hill are also in close proximity. This adjacency provides Cary residents with expanded opportunities for employment, education, and entertainment.

Top Neighborhoods in Cary

Preston: Arguably Cary's most upscale neighborhood, Preston is home to luxurious residences with the median home price often exceeding $600,000. For culinary delights, residents often frequent the "Dean's Seafood Grill & Bar" for its seafood delicacies.

Lochmere: Known for its serene lakes and green spaces, homes in Lochmere average around $500,000. "La Farm Bakery" is a local favorite, offering French-inspired baked goods.

West Cary:A rapidly growing area with a mix of traditional homes and modern townhouses. Average home prices hover around $450,000. "Nazara Indian Bistro" is a popular spot for its sumptuous Indian cuisine.

Downtown Cary: The heart of the town, homes here are diverse, with many charming historical houses. Prices vary but expect averages around $400,000. For dining, "The Mayton" offers a refined culinary experience.

Cary Park: A newer neighborhood with a mix of single-family homes and townhouses. Homes average about $350,000. "Ruckus Pizza" is a beloved spot for its relaxed ambiance and delicious pizzas.

Cary’s Job Market

One of Cary's standout features is its robust job market. With an unemployment rate consistently lower than the national average, Cary is a hub for industries such as technology, healthcare, and education, thanks to its location within the Research Triangle. The average salary in Cary tends to be higher than the national median, reflecting the presence of many tech and research-focused companies in the area.

Attractions and Activities in Cary

Cary is brimming with attractions that cater to a wide range of interests. Nature enthusiasts can lose themselves in the beauty of "Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve" or enjoy the scenic "Fred G. Bond Metro Park." For those inclined towards arts and culture, the "Cary Arts Center" and the annual "Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival" are must-visits. Sports aficionados can catch a game at the "WakeMed Soccer Park," home to professional soccer teams. William Umstead State Park is just a few miles away in Raleigh, offering fantastic biking, trail-running, and nature-bathing experiences. Cary's downtown area is continually evolving, with a plethora of shops, restaurants, and breweries breathing life into the heart of the town.

Schools in Cary

Education in Cary is top-notch, with its schools consistently earning high ratings. The Wake County Public School System, which serves Cary, is renowned for its commitment to excellence and innovation. The schools here have a reputation for their rigorous academic programs, diverse extracurricular activities, and dedicated staff.

Cary’s Crime Rate

Safety is a defining feature of Cary. The town consistently ranks as one of the safest in North Carolina. Compared to nearby cities and the national average, Cary's crime rate is considerably low. While no place is entirely devoid of crime, the trend in Cary, in recent years, has been steady with some categories even showing a decline.

Advantages to Living in Cary:

Safety: As noted above, Cary is one of North Carolina's safest towns, offering peace of mind to its residents.

Job opportunities: Proximity to the Research Triangle brings ample employment opportunities in diverse sectors.

Quality education: Schools in Cary are part of the highly-rated Wake County Public School System.

Cultural Diversity: A melting pot of cultures, offering a rich tapestry of experiences.

Disadvantages to Living in Cary:

While Cary offers numerous advantages, some potential drawbacks include the rising cost of living, especially in housing, as well as the challenges that come with rapid growth, such as increased traffic and the strain on public resources. Also, life in Cary may be a bit...ho-hum compared to some of the other parts of the Triangle. While that reputation is no longer quite as deserved, nightlife in Raleigh or Durham will still outshine Cary.

Moving to Cary, North Carolina?

Cary's blend of southern charm, modern amenities, and opportunities make it an attractive destination for many. Whether you're a young professional, a growing family, or looking for a peaceful retirement, Cary has something to offer.

And if you’re heading to Cary, Bellhop can help you get there. We know moving is no one’s idea of a good time, and we’ve dedicated ourselves to figuring out how to make the experience as stress-free as humanly possible. And as we mentoned, we also offer moving services in Raleigh and its surrounding suburbs.

We have long distance service options for moves of any size and budget. Options range from labor only service to our unique direct truck moves. We can help you with packing, storage, car shipping, junk removal and many other needs. And our flat rate pricing option ensures that you are not surprised by hidden fees on move day. Plus, our terrific customer support team is with you every step of the way. Tell us what you need, and we’ll do our best to find a way to make it happen.