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Town Highlight: Cary

Downtown Cary, NC featuring Cary Art Center and park.
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Moving to the Triangle and looking for a quiet, suburban area with quick access to downtown Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park (RTP)? Are you already a local in the Triangle but considering a move? Cary is a great option to explore! The town started as a settlement in the 1750s, later became a town built surrounding the railroad junction in the 1870s, and today is one of the fastest growing places in the Raleigh-Durham metro area. What makes Cary a great place to call home?


Need to be close to RTP for work, yet also close to downtown Raleigh? Cary is centrally located and within a 20-25 minute drive to both RTP and various shopping and entertainment districts in the area, such as downtown Raleigh, the Village District (formerly known as Cameron Village), Crabtree Valley Mall, downtown Durham, and more. Nestled to the west of Raleigh and the south of RTP, Cary is a convenient choice for employees in the RTP area and Raleigh.


Many of the best-ranked schools in the area, the state and nation are located in Cary. There is a wide variety of top notch choices, including public, private and charter from pre-K through high school. With NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University and several other colleges in close proximity, the educational opportunities are endless.

In addition to the great schools, the community itself is very family-friendly, with endless amounts of playgrounds, many daycare and preschool options, and a lot of family-friendly events planned throughout the year.

Fred G. Metro Bond Park, located in Cary NC
Fred G. Metro Bond Park, located in Cary, is one of the largest municipal parks in Wake County.

Parks and Nature

Love the outdoors? Cary is home to over 30 parks and natural areas, such as Umstead State Park and Hemlock Bluff Nature Preserve. The Cary greenways, which includes over 80 miles of trails, are great for walkers, runners, bikers and pooches and are also maintained and preserved by the Town of Cary. Fred G. Metro Bond Park, which includes a boathouse and amphitheater, is also a great outdoor destination for families looking to get the kids outside for the day and is also the location of several outdoor events throughout the year.

Rising Home Values

While most towns and cities in the Triangle are experiencing rapid growth, Cary is one of the fastest growing towns in the entire area. As people continue to migrate for employment and milder weather, many of them are making Cary their home, and this trend does not seem to be slowing anytime soon. With the influx of people and investment that will be coming in the near future, there is no doubt that a house in Cary purchased in 2021 will see a significant jump in valuation in a short amount of time. Median sale price for homes in Cary rose by 4% from December 2019 to December 2020.

Small Town Feel with Large Suburb Amenities

Cary is truly the best of both worlds and the community feel is a major reason why so many people are choosing to call Cary home. Downtown Cary has been revitalized in recent years, thanks to an influx of new, locally-owned businesses in recent years, which helps create a special local flavor to the main strip. The small town feel and high quality of life also translates to low crime rates, specifically very low rates of violent crime.
However, there is no shortage of grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, department stores and more! Wegmans has recently opened their second North Carolina location in West Cary, with another one planned for Cary in the near future.

You can meet people from every corner of the world while taking a stroll through any neighborhood in Cary. While it is a well-known choice for transplants from northern states escaping snow, you will find many residents from all over the world. There are also a number of life-long Cary residents who have chosen to remain in the area, along with their children and grandchildren.


Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic, businesses in the Raleigh-Durham area have continued to grow and expand despite global economic uncertainty. One such example is Epic Games, who recently purchased the Cary Towne Center mall to develop into their new, expanded headquarters, which will add an undisclosed amount of jobs. Cary is also home to the SAS Institute, a premier employer in the Triangle, along with several other growing small businesses.

The heart of downtown Cary, lined with locally-owned restaurants and shops.
The heart of downtown Cary, lined with locally-owned restaurants and shops.

Dining & Drinks

The myriad of cultures represented in the population of Cary leads itself to a diverse restaurant scene, with eateries representing a melting pot of food from all corners of the planet. There are over 200 restaurants in Cary alone, serving traditional southern cuisine, traditional Eastern Carolina BBQ, Italian, Indian, Thai, Korean, Mexican and more! There are always new and interesting places to try and you will never tire of the dining choices available.

The popularity of breweries has exploded in recent years, and Cary is no exception to this, as the home of places like Bond Brothers Beer Company, Fortnight Brewing Company, Cotton House Craft Brewers and Southern Peak Brewery. Breweries often host local food trucks, and have live entertainment on the weekends.

If you are looking for a town that has both the feel of a small town and the amenities of any modern suburb, Cary is a great choice, whether you are moving to the Triangle from elsewhere or are a local looking to make a move. Suitable for everyone from young professionals, to growing families and retirees, Cary has something to offer for everyone.

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