Raleigh, NC

Raleigh is officially ‘America’s Best City’ to live in, according to a recent and exhaustive survey by Bloomberg’s Business Week.

Major factors that plumped the city’s ranking include its impressive reputation for public schools, alongside its so-called ‘Research Triangle’ of three universities: North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

With no fewer than 867 restaurants, 110 bars, and 51 museums, and regular deals on opera and concert tickets, you’ll never be at a loss for how to spend your evenings in Raleigh. During the day you can opt to skip the supermarket in favor of the city’s impressive 30,000-square-foot State Farmers Market; or simply get outdoors and enjoy the city’s noteworthy abundance of parkland.

In 2012, Raleigh ranked fifth in the nation for its plentiful eco-friendly services, such as chemical-free cleaning services, sustainable interior design and domestic renewable energy installation. This is a mere whiff of the city’s commitment to sustainability.

The next few years will bear witness to the introduction of electric vehicle fleets and the promotion of public transport and cycling, alongside the expansion of green and walk-able spaces. The city has also set an impressive 2030 goal of meeting 20% of its peak load electricity demand with renewable energy sources.

Sadly, the Neuse River that runs through Raleigh is currently among the nations most polluted, owing to run-off from the state’s industrial pig and chicken farms, among other factors. Fortunately the city has indicated its commitment to a rehabilitation program for this and other waterways in the state.