Quality of Life

over 300 miles of beachcost of living low / high personal satisfaction900+ miles of trails


Quality of Life

From incredible geography to top-tier universities and plenty of cultural and sporting events, there’s more to explore in North Carolina. Here, opportunities to learn, grow and recharge are served up seven days a week.

Pick your favorite spot, from the mountains to the beach.

Our moderate climate is characterized by mild winters, long pleasant periods of spring and fall, and warm summers. This state is renowned for its natural beauty 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.

Cost of Living
Low cost with high personal satisfaction.

There’s no reason to pay a premium 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.

Three local hospitals rank among the Nation’s best for cancer care.

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, East Carolina University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest University. 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.

Education System
From a top pre-K program to prestigious universities.

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. Top state for Pre-Kindergarten quality standards according to the National Institute for Early Education Research, 2019.

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.

Arts & Culture
For great palates and palettes.

Award-winning symphonies, museums, summer theaters, and festivals abound throughout North Carolina. A nationally recognized zoo and fine system of aquariums provide wildlife education and family fun. Along with a 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.

Outdoor & Sports
Casual fans to weekend warriors, all are welcome.

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. And set out on our beaches, mountains, and national and state parks for boating, kayaking, fishing, hiking and skiing.