Dark and silent, late last night
I think I might have heard the highway call my name
Geese in flight and dogs that bite
Other signs that might be omens say, “I’m goin’, I’m goin'”
I’m gone to Carolina in my mind
– James Taylor, Carolina in My Mind
There’s a sense of place that feels right when you’re in the Carolinas. Something about the land that feels like home. Something about the people that makes you feel welcome. I can feel it when I’m in the region, it’s a place I could live in. Judging from the list of best places to live in the USA put out by a couple of publications, I’m not the only one to feel this way.
North and South Carolina are increasingly thought of as home for transplants from the north. Those looking to retire somewhere that feels like home without the extreme weather, those who are young and aspire to build a great life for themselves in an up and coming place. Those who just want to be where the air is clean and the people are friendly.
There’s no doubt that Raleigh, North Carolina is a trendy city. It often hits the top five on those best places to live lists, and why not? Great job market, great college scene, easy access to the outdoors and city life alike. Raleigh is one of those places you step into and feel like you could live in forever, should you ever want to move away from all that you’ve built around yourself in the place you call home already.
The Warehouse District is a distinctly cool place with great restaurants, art galleries, breweries and coffee shops in old brick buildings. If you love sushi try O-Ku for delicious nigiri and sashimi, if you love tapas get yourself to the restaurant Barcelona (of course, the city in Spain is great too!) for a great selection of small plates. These are just two restaurants jammed full of people celebrating life for awhile in a place built for it. Raleigh is just one great city in the Carolinas with great vibes reverberating with people in the know. Charlotte, Greenville, Charleston, Winston-Salem, Asheville also get a lot of attention.
On the opposite end of the food spectrum, go to Biscuitville for a uniquely tasty biscuit with a Carolina twist. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of opportunities to burn off those epic biscuits with great hiking and mountain biking in the area. The Carolinas deserve the attention they’re getting as a wonderful place to move to. But let’s keep that to ourselves, we don’t want to ruin a good thing.