Cary, NC is one of the hottest locations in the country for people looking to relocate. And it’s no surprise. Among a long list of accolades, Cary has been named in recent years:

  • #6 Most Desirable Places to Live
  • #3 Safest City in America
  • #1 Lowest Property Crime in the South
  • #3 Best Midsize City to Move to
  • #6 Best Places to Live in America
  • #1 Top Town for Families
  • #4 Best City for Job Growth
  • #4 Best City to Launch a Start-Up
  • Best City for Early Retirement
  • …and many more!

But all these accolades beg the question… Why? Why does everyone want to live in Cary? Some of them are self-explanatory in the accolades themselves… Job growth, low property crime and opportunity to entrepreneurship are all attractions in and of themselves. But the quality of life is the main attraction for living in Cary, NC.

The Arts are valued in Cary, and it is apparent by the many local works of art displayed throughout the cityscape, parks, and greenways. Citizens enjoy supporting local artists, and many opportunities are available for that support.

The Cary Arts Center

  • 431 Seat Theatre
  • Classes & Camps
  • Events & Performances
  • Gallery Exhibitions
  • History & Public Art
  • Open Studios for Clay, Glass, Metals & Jewelry, Sewing, Woodworking, etc.
  • Performance Programs
  • Rental Space

Page-walker Arts & History Center

This beautiful building is a stunning representation of Cary Historic architecture. Fully restored in the 1990’s the Page-Walker building now serves as a location for classes, events, concerts, social gatherings, historical and fine arts exhibitions. The building is open most days from 10am through the evening. It is well worth a visit to learn about our history and see the beautiful grounds, especially in the summertime.

Koka Booth Amphitheatre

The Koka Booth is an outdoor venue in the Regency area of Cary. The stunning amphitheater overlooks Symphony Lake, providing the backdrop for the North Carolina Symphony, popular bands from all genres (see here for past performers) as well as community and cultural events such as the annual Chinese Lantern Festival and Fourth of July Celebration.

Local Performance Opportunities

For the amateur (or even more accomplished) performer, Cary offers a wide variety of performance opportunities.

The Cary Town Band rehearses weekly in preparation for patriotic events, ceremonies, and civic events. They welcome amateur musicians with a very informal interview and audition.

Concert Singers of Cary is a community chorale offering multiple groups open to singers of differing ability level. The chorale performs independently as well as in conjunction with local symphonies and music ensembles.  

Cary Youth Voices was originally a youth division of Concert Singers of Cary. They provide concert singing experiences for children in grades 2 – 12. Auditions are required, but no singing experience is necessary.

Cary Players is a community Theatre Company that performs at the Cary Arts Center. They perform 4-5 shows per year. Both auditions for performance as well as volunteer opportunities for behind the scenes are available. 

Restaurants & Shopping

Cary has become a haven for fresh local food with many cultural and ethnic choices. This is just a small selection of what is available in Cary. There are many more excellent, well-reviewed restaurants to don’t stop at these! Some of the most popular choices are…

  • Academy Street Bistro – New American & cocktails in downtown Cary
  • Kababish – Traditional Indian and Pakistani Food
  • Awaze – Authentic Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine
  • Himalayan Nepali Cuisine – A place to enjoy your favorite Nepali and Indian foods
  • Corbett’s Burgers & Soda Bar – The Best Burgers and largest selection of glass bottled sodas in CaryBanana Leaf – Casual Asian food in a modern, colorful space
  • Bosphorus – Turkish & Mediterranean kebabs, meze & more
  • Hot Point Deli – Down-to-earth eatery offering a cafe menu with global flair, plus draft beer & wine.
  • Kashin – A lengthy menu of authentic Japanese cuisine
  • Roma’s Italian – Quaint, informal eatery featuring pizzas, deli sandwiches & other standard Italian dishes.

Cary must be the grocery store capital of the world. It is true that Cary has been called the Containment Area for Relocated Yankees. (C.A.R.Y) But we also attract people from all over the country and the world. And grocery stores have followed from all parts of the country.

Cary has Harris Teeter, Lowe’s Foods, Earth Fare, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Super Target, Walmart Neighborhood, Aldi, and Publix. More stores are coming soon, which will include Lidl and Wegman’s.

In addition to grocery stores, Cary is home to a large number of both chain and independently owned shops. The major shopping centers are:

Waverly Place: more than just a shopping center, Waverly Place is a central hub of entertainment and recreation. The center, anchored by Whole Foods and Cinebistro, boasts a lawn and fountain area for concerts and events, a playground and a splash pad.

Park West Village: winner of the 2018 Maggie Award for best shopping center, Park West is a collection of walkable boutique shops and restaurants as well as the Park West Cinema. District Lofts provide premium rental apartments for those wishing to live in the middle of everything. Park West often hosts seasonal festivals and events.

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Ellen Pitts is a Triangle Area Realtor™ and real estate blogger at The Harmony Blog. She specializes in Wake County Real Estate.