No. 19: Cary, N.C.
Median Home Price: $238,800
Why it’s on our list: This suburb of Raleigh, squarely in the middle of North Carolina, is a hidden gem for endurance athletes, but it won’t be hidden for long. The U.S. Census Bureau recently named the Raleigh-Cary metropolitan area as the fastest growing municipality in the country. This is great news for mega-retailer Inside Out Sports, which is headquartered in Cary. Our favorite feature of the area is William B. Umstead State Park, located just a few miles north of Cary. Surrounded on all sides by growing suburbs and sprawling cities, Umstead State Park remains an untouched escape from the real world. There are plenty of smooth roads traversing the park for road riding and endless miles of trail when you want to get off road.
Live here if: You’re looking to start a family. Cary is as safe a town as you’ll find these days and the public schools will set your kids up nicely for four years in the Ivy League.
Don’t live here if: You prefer to stay inside on hot and humid summer days. Cary has rather mild winters, and it’s possible to ride outdoors almost year-round, but expect July to be 90 degrees F and sticky.
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