Best Places to Live

Wilmington , NC

Population: 111,998
iStock Photo/traveler1116

Looking to put down roots on the East Coast? Consider Wilmington, NC, a vibrant community known as a gateway to the state’s Cape Fear Coast, which includes Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville beaches.

Along with an unemployment rate well below state and national averages, the city offers a variety of fun things to do, including a historic downtown district packed with dining spots, breweries, shops and attractions like the Wilmington Riverwalk — a must-visit destination stretching nearly 2 miles along Cape Fear River.

Wilmington also has a youthful college town vibe thanks to the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College, and with that comes plenty of opportunities to enjoy live performances and visual art exhibitions throughout the year.

If you’re still not convinced, check out this fun fact: Wilmington is so cool (and beautiful) that more than 400 film-related projects have been filmed in the community since 1983 – including "One Tree Hill" and "Dawson’s Creek" – earning it the nickname “Hollywood East.” Cool, right?

“Wilmington offers the unique mix of quality of life, affordability, eclectic charm and career opportunities that today’s college graduates seek,” says Natalie English, president and CEO of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. “With a lively historic riverfront, Wilmington and the Cape Fear region offer serious work and play opportunities for recent college grads.”

Here are 7 more reasons you might want to consider moving to Wilmington.