Fayetteville is an affordable city, with a median home sales price of $138,500 and median rent of $925 per month. The majority of residents are married and a little over half are renters rather than homeowners. It’s a quaint place to live, with a walkable historic downtown area. Downtown is a good option for renters looking for apartments; the small neighborhood is currently home to about 200 people. Other popular neighborhoods to investigate include Stoney Point, Arran Lakes, Haymount and Buckhead.

Fayetteville is home to Fort Bragg, the largest military installation in the U.S., so the military has a big presence in the town’s life. Fort Bragg has about 53,700 troops and another 14,000 civilians working there; it has been called “the center of the military universe.” It also hosts community events, like the annual Fort Bragg Fair. You can also check out the Airborne and Special Operations Museum, which features exhibits on military history. The main exhibit shows the history of airborne and special operations soldiers from 1940 to today.

Other attractions in town include Cape Fear Botanical Garden, Fantasy Lake Waterpark and J. Bayard Clark Park and Nature Center. Downtown hosts community events and parades year-round. It’s also the place for shopping and grabbing a bite to eat. Since you're in North Carolina, you’ll want to get down with BBQ, but that’s not all there is — there’s actually a wide variety of cuisines available in town, from Vietnamese to Mexican and even West African.