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From our moderate climate with excellent recreational opportunities, to our culture-rich history and arts, to the quality health care and low cost of living we offer, it’s easy to see why North Carolina attracts tens of thousands of newcomers each year.
Our moderate climate is characterized by mild winters, long pleasant periods of spring and fall, and warm summers. The state is renowned for its natural resources and diverse geography. Residents and visitors of North Carolina enjoy iconic mountains such as the Great Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains on the western end of the state, bustling city skylines in the middle region known as the Piedmont, and 300 miles of beautiful beaches on the coast.
There’s no reason to pay a premium price for the privilege of living well, and in North Carolina you’ll discover a cost of living that’s below the national average while ranking high in personal satisfaction. Several of our cities — Raleigh, Charlotte, Asheville, Winston-Salem and Wilmington — offer some of the most favorable scores on the Council for Community and Economic Research’s acclaimed cost of living index. Housing, utilities, groceries, transportation and health care all cost below the national average here.
North Carolina has some of the country’s top medical facilities as well as affordable health care costs. Four respected medical schools produce leading medical professionals that serve patients across the state and nation: Duke University School of Medicine, Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and Wake Forest University School of Medicine. In addition to the state’s largest hospitals, including Carolinas Medical Center and Duke University Medical Center, there are more than 100 community hospitals here.
North Carolina leads the country in the number of National Board Certified teachers and has cultivated increasingly accountable public schools in which students are performing above national averages. We rank among the top four states nationally for pre-kindergarten quality standards, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research. And when our students move on to higher education, they’re able to choose from 16 public universities, 36 private colleges and universities, and the third largest community college system in the U.S.
Award-winning symphonies, museums, summer theaters and fall festivals abound throughout North Carolina. A nationally recognized zoo and fine system of aquariums provide wildlife education and family fun. Along with celebrated Native American and Civil War roots, we also commemorate the Wright Brothers’ first moments of flight. And while the state’s robust culture of more than 100 wineries is known nationwide, our fast-growing number of craft breweries – with its spirited scene – is the largest in the South.
Here, you can play legendary golf courses, such as Pinehurst No. 2, that have hosted major championships. Watch professional sports teams — the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, Carolina Hurricanes and NASCAR — compete on the biggest stages. Get up close and personal with incredible college rivalries: Ever heard of Duke Blue Devils versus North Carolina Tar Heels? And set out on our beaches, mountains, and national and state parks for boating, kayaking, fishing, hiking and skiing.