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Good places in the Hampton Roads VA and Wilmington NC areas to visit? (possibly moving to the area)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,
 
Me and my girlfriend have wanted to move south for a while (we live in NY).
She is in mental health and has been looking for a job down there for a couple months with no strong leads. She just graduated so it's tough.
 
Anyway, we are planning on moving by June regardless if she gets a job before then or not.
 
The areas we are mainly thinking is the Hampton Roads area of Virginia and the Wilmington area of North Carolina.
 
We will be in Virginia Thursday-Saturday and North Carolina Sunday-Tuesday.
 
Do any of you guys have any recommendations for towns/areas to check out? More secluded beaches, nice apartment complexes, etc. Really open to any suggestions.
 
We like the ocean, but do not have to be right on it. Ideally I'd like to be within a half our of a beach.
Looking for safe areas to live. That's priority #1.
 
I appreciate any input! Thanks so much guys!
post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 

Anybody live down there?

post #3 of 4
When I was in the Marine Corps, I spent a lot of time in both areas and have been back to both numerous times over the past decade. Both areas have their positives and negatives.

I wouldn't call either area a cultural hot spot by any measure but the Hampton Roads area is really growing and has much more going on than Wilmington. I think its relative proximity to DC is a big plus in its advantage, but I love DC so maybe that's just me. There are more than 5 times the number of people in the Hampton Roads area so there's naturally going to be more selection and diversity for housing, restaurants, schools, etc. And, depending on where in the area you live and are trying to get to, traffic is absolutely horrendous.

Wilmington and Carolina Beach, and the surrounding areas (especially Surf City and Topsail Island just to the north) have some of the nicest, cleanest, and quietest beaches that I've been to on the East Coast that are still relatively affordable and easily accessible. For being such a relatively small town, there is a surprising amount of cultural events in Wilmington and the surrounding areas but, I would imagine that after 2 or 3 years, you've probably cycled through just about everything. The biggest drawback for Wilmington is its distance to anywhere - It's about two hours to get to Raleigh, 3.5 hours to get to Charlotte, and more than 5 hours to get to Asheville. But if you are prepared for that ahead of time, and don't mind being in a quiet place, that shouldn't be an issue.

Both places have oppressively hot summers but winters in Wilmington seemed to me to be quite a bit more mild.

If I could convince my wife to pack up and move somewhere with warmer weather, Wilmington would be near the top of my list of places to choose from.

If you are headed to Wilmington to visit, I always suggest folks check out Flaming Amy's Burrito Barn. I'm sure there are better, classier joints in town, but I lived in Jacksonville and would drive down to Flaming Amy's at least every other week. We loved it! I also recommend checking out the schedule of events at the Soapbox Laundro Lounge too. They get a pretty good rotation of musicians coming in, considering that it's not a big city, especially from artists out of the Athens, GA scene.

Around Hampton Roads, I cannot think of any places off the top of my head because I don't think I ever went to the same establishment more than once. I do recall really liking the area around the campus of William and Mary though and that there were some nice bars, restaurants, and coffee shops near there.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigan Planner View Post

When I was in the Marine Corps, I spent a lot of time in both areas and have been back to both numerous times over the past decade. Both areas have their positives and negatives.

I wouldn't call either area a cultural hot spot by any measure but the Hampton Roads area is really growing and has much more going on than Wilmington. I think its relative proximity to DC is a big plus in its advantage, but I love DC so maybe that's just me. There are more than 5 times the number of people in the Hampton Roads area so there's naturally going to be more selection and diversity for housing, restaurants, schools, etc. And, depending on where in the area you live and are trying to get to, traffic is absolutely horrendous.

Wilmington and Carolina Beach, and the surrounding areas (especially Surf City and Topsail Island just to the north) have some of the nicest, cleanest, and quietest beaches that I've been to on the East Coast that are still relatively affordable and easily accessible. For being such a relatively small town, there is a surprising amount of cultural events in Wilmington and the surrounding areas but, I would imagine that after 2 or 3 years, you've probably cycled through just about everything. The biggest drawback for Wilmington is its distance to anywhere - It's about two hours to get to Raleigh, 3.5 hours to get to Charlotte, and more than 5 hours to get to Asheville. But if you are prepared for that ahead of time, and don't mind being in a quiet place, that shouldn't be an issue.

Both places have oppressively hot summers but winters in Wilmington seemed to me to be quite a bit more mild.

If I could convince my wife to pack up and move somewhere with warmer weather, Wilmington would be near the top of my list of places to choose from.

If you are headed to Wilmington to visit, I always suggest folks check out Flaming Amy's Burrito Barn. I'm sure there are better, classier joints in town, but I lived in Jacksonville and would drive down to Flaming Amy's at least every other week. We loved it! I also recommend checking out the schedule of events at the Soapbox Laundro Lounge too. They get a pretty good rotation of musicians coming in, considering that it's not a big city, especially from artists out of the Athens, GA scene.

Around Hampton Roads, I cannot think of any places off the top of my head because I don't think I ever went to the same establishment more than once. I do recall really liking the area around the campus of William and Mary though and that there were some nice bars, restaurants, and coffee shops near there.

 

Thanks so much for that response!
I've been to Wilmington several times and for some reason I have just always loved it there. I know it is far removed from a lot of things which isn't ideal...but I think it's doable.

I know less about the Hampton Roads area but for my girlfriends line of work it makes sense.

 

I appreciate the suggestions a lot!

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