Winston-Salem VS Wilmington - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-07-2008, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering if a few of you could comment on these areas. We are thinking about locating to one of these areas. We have 4 children and are looking for a really outgoing community, with plenty of things to do, be able to walk to places instead of taking the car all the time, great schools}homeschool, charter, private, and public. (As you can see we are not sure about our childrens education). lol! We like socializing, having fun, and getting together for stuff!

We were thinking about CA, but financially it's just to expensive for us. We're thinking about moving this year or next year when school lets out. Plus, we're trying to sell two houses so we can buy something nice down there!:
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#2 of 8 Old 09-07-2008, 08:39 PM
 
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Just to get a better idea of your thinking, what in particular draws you to these two areas (in comparison, say, to the Triangle (Raleigh) or Charlotte areas of NC)?
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#3 of 8 Old 09-07-2008, 08:47 PM
 
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This post caught my eye. I have not lived in either of those cities but I have family that lives in Winston Salem and I lived 40 miles north of Wilmington for 4 years. I think Winston Salem is more of a suburban feel while Wilmington has more of a mix of different people. I don't know if you could realistically get around w/o a vehicle in either of those two cities. If it was my choice, I would pick Wilmington.

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#4 of 8 Old 09-08-2008, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm trying to find an area where it's a bit laid back, but still has the activities of a large city. Plus were tired of taking the car everywhere, we would like to walk to parks, stores, we're looking to get a breath of fresh air!
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#5 of 8 Old 09-10-2008, 11:49 AM
 
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hello! i have lived in wilmington for 3 years, so PM me or repost with any specific questions...i am happy to help.

what i can tell you, since you have mentioned this twice, is that wilmington is not a very pedestrian friendly city... its very much a car culture, unless you live in the heart of downtown. we actually moved to the center of town for this very reason, so i could walk to get groceries or a bite to eat, and although i am technically in walking distance, the lack of sidewalks and crosswalks makes it very difficult. There is alot of road congestion due to lots of cars, lots of people moving here, and roads that were made initially for a small town. They expand them, but it takes forever.

they did just put a beautiful bike path in that will stretch from downtown to the beach, and some communities are more walkable than others as fa as sidewalks, leisure walks and runs... (typically higher income areas and gated communities)

If you live downtown, near the stores and riverwalk, you can absolutely walk to places. There are entire long conversations that can be had about downtown and the various areas... if that is something you are interested in, do alot of research or ask more questions. There are alot of great little local businesses, the farmers market grown every year, and there are new developments and improvements happening every day, but it has its struggles like any downtown of a small city.

Overall, i like Wilmington. I'm from the NY Metropolitan area, so to me its like a big suburban town, but does have a "small city" feel. There is music, theatre, loads of activities for kids, and if you find your niche - there are communities and pockets of people that I have found to be progressive and forward thinking.

With 4 kids there will be alot to do. Look at wilmingtonmommies.com or meetup.com for an idea of local gatherings. The mom and kid community is massive - EVERYONE has babies and kids with more on the way!! I have never see more pregnant people in my life than in the last few years here. Lots of schools - public, private, and charter, and like any town there are "good" ones and "bad" ones... and events too. Free music in Mayfaire (big outdoor shopping and dining area - google it) every Friday night in the summer, with kids running everywhere and parents enjoying themselves.

THe beach is gorgeous... if you are a beach person, being this close to the ocean is amazing. In the summer, it can be rough with tourists - we dont go much. But now that college kids are back in classes and tourists are gone, its AMAZING! Like being on vacation if you go out in the AM and walk... i would have a hard time leaving it.

Have fun making your decision... let me know is you have and ?'s.
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#6 of 8 Old 09-10-2008, 03:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mumof3totz View Post
I'm trying to find an area where it's a bit laid back, but still has the activities of a large city. Plus were tired of taking the car everywhere, we would like to walk to parks, stores, we're looking to get a breath of fresh air!
I don't think of W-S or Wilmington as noticeably smaller than Raleigh. I'm sure population wise they are, but sprawl-wise in my mind they're all mid-size cities.

If you're really looking for walkability I'd suggest Carrboro. It's muy pequeño, but it has all the attributes you're looking for. If you're politically conservative you'd probably be happier elsewhere, though, since it's a flamingly liberal community.

Durham is a great town, too, and a little more diverse politically, though it still swings left. Wilmington and W-S/G-boro would be a more mixed bag politically and I wouldn't be surprised if overall they weigh a little heavier on the conservative side. Not that you asked about politics at all, but I couldn't not mention it when talking about Carrboro (and that goes for Chapel Hill, too).

Chapel Hill is fairly walkable, too, although maybe not quite to the degree that Carrboro is. Chapel Hill is home to UNC and Carrboro shares a border with Chapel Hill. School choice is excellent. The public schools have an excellent reputation, the private options are wonderful (Waldorf and Montessori included), and there's a fab homeschooling community in Chapel Hill / Durham. I would be surprised if either of the other areas you are considering can compete on schools. As far as I know CH has the only Waldorf school in NC. I'm not a Waldorf person myself, though.

Drawback is housing is high, but if you're selling two houses(!) you might be able to afford one here!

Gotta run, but I'm wondering what area of the country you're coming from. That might help us frame some comments about NC for you.

Definitely, if you're a beach person, I'd go with Wilmington. :

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#7 of 8 Old 09-10-2008, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! Girl's,
I'm greek and my hubby is greek australian. I used to live in Ohio, and then Florida. When I got married we lived in Tennesee, and then moved up here to Maryland.:
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#8 of 8 Old 09-10-2008, 05:27 PM
 
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You might like to check out www.northcarolinatravels.com. It's written by a Greek North Carolina guy. I usually agree with his take on places and he's got some good pictures up there, too. Some of his stuff is a little out of date (5 yrs or so), but the overall feel is right if not all the specific restaurants and shops he mentions. It's not particularly from a family point of view (although he is a family man), but he has a nice regular guy angle.

For a more family perspective (mainstream) on the triangle area you can check out www.carolinaparent.com. There's probably a Wilmington and Triad (W-S, G-boro, High Point) version, too. I know there is a Charlotte one.

hth

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