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Apex NC: 10 Reasons People Love it {Updated 2020}

Apex NC has collected numerous accolades including:

  • Best Place to Live
  • Happiest Suburb
  • Best Town for Families

And many more…And if you’re anything like me, your next question is…why? Why is Apex such a great place? Stick around because I’m going to give you 11 reasons why everyone loves Apex!

Jump to Area of Interest…

living in apex nc

When you’re done reading, check out these other great Triangle cities!

12 Reasons People Love Cary, NC.
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Apex NC Parks

The Town of Apex, NC maintains numerous parks throughout the city. There are dog parks, skate parks, soccer parks, great parks…

There are parks with agility courses, batting cages and disc golf. Parks with outdoor amphitheaters for summer concerts.

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Apex Nature Park image courtesy Town of Apex

Crowder Park

Crowder Park  – A Wake County park consisting of 33 acres of forestland and landscaped grounds, with multiple playgrounds, shelters, an outdoor ampitheatre, observation deck 3 acre pond and boardwalk. Crowder Park is a favorite place for kids of all ages to walk the boardwalk over the lake and feed the turtles. And the observation deck, complete with rocking chairs offers a quiet location to watch local birds and wildlife.

Apex Community Park

Apex Community Park – 160 acre park with multiple sports fields and courts, fitness court, playgrounds, restrooms, nature and fitness trails. The 50 acre offers a great spot for fishing and kayaks and canoes and other non-motor boats. There is also an onsite Elevate Fitness Course. Designed for teens, this course offers a fun obstacle style course for all ages.

Apex Jaycees Park

Apex Jaycees Park – 23 acre park with picnic shelter, batting cage and athletic fields.

Hunter Street Park

Hunter Street Park – small park across from Town Hall with playgrounds, sports fields and paved walking trail.

Kelly Road Park

Kelly Road Park – 25 acres with ball fields, mult-iage playgrounds, tennis courts, and trail head access to the Beaver Creek Greenway

Apex Nature Park

Apex Nature Park full features park with disc golf, soccer field, tennis & volleyball courts, playgrounds,  amphitheater with music and movies in the summer, dog park and nature trails on over 160 acres. 

Pleasant Park

Pleasant Park (coming soon!) This is going to be an amazing park!  This 92 acre space is going to combine nature play and other innovative ideas for playspace, including rope climbing, electronic play and splash pad. There will be multiple sports courts including pickleball, basketball, volleyball, baseball/softball as well as concessions areas. Also, included will be a 1.5 acre Enchanted Children’s Forest, a 5K course, and a food truck alley. Full construction began at the end of 2019. The image below shows the prototype. 

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The future Pleasant Park in Apex, Image courtesy of Town of Apex

Rogers Family Skate at Trackside mimics street skating conditions with competition skate board elements thrown in. It is a 13,000 square foot, 4 tiered skate park.

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Image courtesy of Town of Apex

Kelly Road Park

Kelly Road Park mimics a wooden medieval castle. Get a tour in the video, courtesy of WRAL.

Apex NC Greenways

The Town of Apex, NC maintains 11 miles of public greenway. In addition to the Town maintained greenways, there are currently 9 miles of additional Apex greenways in the planning phases of the Wake County Greenway project.

Also, some of Apex’s greenways actually connect to the Town of Cary’s greenway system so you have access to all those great trails as well.

You can find the current list of Apex Greenways as well as greenway maps and future greenway plans here.

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Image courtesy of the Triangle Rails to Trails Conservancy

The American Tobacco Trail is another greenway resource in Apex. This 22 mile trail spans from Apex to Durham. The ATT is a project of the American Rails to Trails Conservancy, which turns abandoned rail lines into greenway trails across the Triangle.

The Town of Apex is continually growing and improving, making Apex better than it already is. 

They are currently working on a greenway extensions and new greenway system to make the current system more accessible from all over town. 

Apex NC Festivals

The Town of Apex calendar stays full much of the year. If you want an idea of what’s happening right now, check the Think Apex Event Calendar. Throughout the year some of the festivals you might see in Apex are…

  • Apex Music Festival
  • Peak City Pig Fest
  • Old Fashioned 4th of July
  • Peakfest
  • Founders Day
  • Trick or Treat on Salem
  • Easter Egg Hunt
  • Apex Latino Arts Festival
  • Family Basketball Ham Toss
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Image from courtesy of WRAL. Peak City Pig Fest is a vintage market foodie festival in Apex, NC.

Apex NC Historic Downtown

Everyone wants to live in the Gilmore Girls, right? We have a ton of small town charm in the Triangle area in general and Apex, NC is no exception. While Apex is probably too big at this point to really feel like the fictitious Star’s Hollow, it definitely has it’s charm and Salem Street is full of energy and activity every day of the week. 

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Downtown Apex is primarily focused around Salem Street and is home to numerous restaurants, bakeries & boutiques. Salem Street is also the home of the Halle Cultural Arts Center. 

Things to Do in Downtown Apex

Take a class or find some funky fabric at Downtown Knits

Meet with a personal stylist at My Girlfriend’s Closet

Plan your next adventure at Apex Outfitter and Board Co.

Meet a friend for a Craft Brewed Cranberry Standard Sour at the Beer Dispensary

Take a class or see a show at the Halle Cultural Arts Center

Cozy up with a cappuccino in “the living room” of Apex…Common Grounds Coffee

Feast upon fancy confections at The Buttercream Bake Shop

Lend or Borrow a book at the Little Free Library Apex

Want to learn more about Downtown Apex? Click Here…

Apex NC Safety

The Triangle area is known for being a very safe area. And Apex NC is one of the top 100 safest cities in America. But what exactly does that mean? 

Well it can be a. bit hard to sleuth out with so many different lists and accolades, but what I want to know, and I’m sure you do, too, is how does it compare to 2016’s safest city in America, Cary, NC?

Great question. To find out I went to Sperling’s best places,  which gathers their data from FBI databases — the same place the annual accolades get their information. Best Places has a city comparison tool that lets you compare anything from crime rates, weather, education statistics, religion statistics and a bunch more for any two cities in the US. It’s a really fun tool. You can find it here.

But I went ahead and compared crime rates for Cary and Apex. Look at the screen shot below to see how they compare.

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Just to give that data a little more context, I went ahead and compared Raleigh with Apex as well.

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So you can see that Apex really is very low in crime. I think the reason that it didn’t make that big list is because the population may not be high enough to be considered a city. But statistically speaking, Apex seems to rank right behind Cary in crime rates.

Education: Smart People Live Here

Education Levels

The education rates in Apex NC are very high compared to North Carolina and the United States as a whole, but they are also very high when compared to the overall Triangle area.

You can’t really see it in the shot, but the arrow to the right is the whole Triangle area, including Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary and surrounding areas.

Only 41% of people in the Triangle area have a Bachelors degree. Compared to 61% in Apex.

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Public School Performance

Almost all of the rankings on Schooldigger.com show Apex schools as 5 star. Having said that, I recommend much more research before determining which school is the best fit for your child. Even if a school’s test scores aren’t the highest level, that doesn’t mean that you child won’t get an excellent education at that school. It may just mean that students have more challenges to overcome that affect their test scores. It doesn’t mean that the teachers aren’t well trained and excellent teachers. For more detailed information about the Wake County School System, see Charter School, Magnet School, Traditional School: Everything you Need to Know About the Wake County School System.

Did You know…?

Condos and town homes made up 21% of Apex home sales in 2019, but only 7% of Apex home sales in 2000.

That’s a 300% increase in attached housing sales in Apex since 2000. 

Cultural Resources

For a small town, Apex has some terrific cultural arts resources. The Halle Cultural arts center has many resources for enjoying the arts. From jazz to classical concerts, classes and family dance events, there are many ways to enjoy the arts in Apex.

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Image courtesy of local artist Lewis Wilson

Halle Cultural Arts Center

Visit the Halle Center to enjoy the following activities…

  • Music Concerts – Classical, Jazz, Broadway, etc
  • Family Dances – Square, Circle, Appalachian…
  • Arts & Craft Saturdays – FREE!
  • Pizza & a Movie
  • Summer Outdoor Movie Series
  • Visual Art Exhibits
  • Take a Drama or Voice Class
  • Join a Senior Group – Mah Jongg, Art or Music
  • Kindermusik or Snapology for Children

Koka Booth Ampitheatre

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Image Courtesy of Visit Raleigh

From popular modern music, to classic rock, classical, bluegrass and more, the Koka Booth is a fabulous event venue. In addition to music concerts, their annual winter Chinese Lantern Festival is stunning.

Located in South Cary, just a few minutes from Downtown Apex, Koka Booth is a scenic and beautiful location to visit. The surrounding Symphony Lake provides a stunning backdrop for concerts and for their annual Fourth of July Fireworks and Carnival.

Apex Arts Council

In addition to the venues above, the Apex Arts Council provides resources to support local art, funding to bring traveling shows and events to the area, supports community theatre and writers guilds, and hosts local art and craft shows.

Rock Garden, Downtown Apex, Salem Street

Apex NC Restaurants 

The local foodie scene is big stuff throughout the Triangle and Apex is no exception. The following restaurants are some of the most popular locally owned restaurants in Apex.

The Provincial Fresh Local Food 
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Peak City Grill Rich with History Exquisite Food
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The Blistered Pig House smoked, pasture-raised meats
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Doherty’s Irish Pub
Scratch Kitchen and Taproom It’s Better from Scratch!
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Skipper’s Fish Fry The Freshest Seafood Available
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Daniel’s Casual Italian dining
Salem Street Pub  Historic Downtown Apex

Apex NC Jordan Lake

Apex is home to Jordan Lake, the second largest lake in the Triangle area. The Jordan Lake State Recreation area covers over 13,000 acres and has a shoreline of 180 miles. In addition to being a major water supply for a large portion of Triangle residents, Jordan Lake provides a myriad of recreational activities for locals as well.

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Image courtesy of Kids in Parks

Hiking

With numerous hiking trails for all ages and activity levels, Jordan Lake offers a beautiful location for outdoor activity. You can find trail locations and difficulty level rankings here.

Swimming

Jordan Lake has four different swim beaches. All locations have restroom facilities with shower and changing areas, playgrounds, picnic areas. See here for more details.

Camping

Jordan Lake offers more than 1000 family camp site for tent and RV camping. Sites with water and electrical hookups as well as community showers, restrooms and trash containers are available. See here for more information and to reserve a site. If you are looking for other campsites around the country, this is a great resource.

Boating

Jordan Lake has four different swim beaches. All locations have restroom facilities with shower and changing areas, playgrounds, picnic areas. See here for more details.

Fishing

Jordan Lake offers more than 1000 family camp site for tent and RV camping. Sites with water and electrical hookups as well as community showers, restrooms and trash containers are available. See here for more information and to reserve a site.

Nature Watching

​Jordan Lake is a great place for watching nature of all kinds. Until 2014 there was a live feed Eagle cam set up at one of the eagles nests at Jordan Lake. That nest unfortunately collapsed and the pair didn’t return to nest. You can find other wildlife photos and videos at Jordan Lake on the Facebook page, as well as follow future plans for a nature cam. And the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill hosts regular skywatching sessions at the Lake.

Farms & Vinyards

North Carolina is true to it’s agricultural roots. The foodie scene is really big here and people love local restaurants, especially those that serve locally grown food. They also like buying directly form the farm, when possible and in the summer time, pick your own farms and farmer’s markets open and fruit and vegetable stands dot the road sides throughout the Triangle.

Buckwheat Farm offers pick your own strawberries and blueberries, fresh local honey, shiitake mushrooms, homemade jams, jellies, ice cream and on-farm pulled pork barbecue during harvest season.

DJ’s Berry Patch sells fresh strawberries in the spring and pumpkins, mums and Christmas Trees in the fall. 

There is even an on farm preschool in Apex! Sunstar Farm Preschool and Kindergarten offers a Waldorf inspired nature and play-based education. 

Cloer Family Vineyard is a Apex winery that offers wine tastings, tours and event hosting. 

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Image courtesy of Cloer Family Vinyard

Farmers Market

Apex hosts it’s own farmers market on Salem Street in Historic Downtown Apex. This medium sized market is growing each year and currently offers 20 full time vendors and 13 part time vendors.

From the Apex Farmer’s Market Website….

“We are excited to host a large variety of farmers and vendors, including both certified organic and conventional fruits and vegetables, organic herbs, fresh flowers, chicken, pork, beef, goat, lamb, fresh farm eggs, honey, preserves, jams, jelly, cheeses, mustards, freshly baked bread, sweets, salsa, sauces, vinegars/oils, plants, natural soaps, crafts and more!”

Learn more about the market, including location, dates and products at the Apex Market Website.

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Image Courtesy of Abundance NC

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About the Author Ellen Pitts

Ellen is the founder of Harmony Realty, a socially conscious realty company. Ellen believes in empowering her clients through education and open communication. Ellen is a number-cruncher at heart and takes great pleasure in following and analyzing the trends of the housing industry. She loves communicating the big picture to her clients and helping them to understand how the market affects their sale or purchase. Her honest and down-to-earth approach allows her clients to make informed and intelligent decisions to get the most out of their offers and negotiations.

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