Ellen Pitts NC Realtor
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We Found Small Town Charm in Fuquay Varina

fuquay varina nc arts center mural wall

When you’re looking for your perfect home, it’s about more than the house. It’s the community, the people you meet each day, the friends you make, the places you hang out with your family and the people you love. Today I took a drive to Fuquay-Varina, to show you why people love living in this idyllic North Carolina town. 

#1 Funky Name – One of the first things people notice about Fuquay-Varina is it’s funky name. Hear it once and you’ll never forget it. And stick around to the end of the video because that funky name really does seem to describe the fun and funky people in fuquay. Fuquay has 

kind of a cool story behind it, involving magical water and a little bit of romance. Back in the day, a tobacco farmer named Stephen Fuquay found a spring on his property. Stephen was a pretty good marketer and convinced the public that his spring was a mineral spring and had healing properties. Back when I moved to North Carolina in 2000, the spring used to be just a white PVC pipe. But they fancied it up for you folks… There’s your first taste of southern hospitality. 

People started coming from all over to visit Fuquay. There were moonlight excursions and a special train ran from Raleigh to the spring. The Mineral Spring Inn was built to accommodate the guests. Other hotels, restaurants, and a dance pavilion built up to accommodate the influx of people. And the town became known as Fuquay.  —— 

on the other side of the railroad tracks was another little town which had a school teacher named JD Ballentine. During his tour of duty, he received letters from a penpal by the name of Virginia. Of course no respectable lady would reveal her real name to a perfect stranger, so Virginia signed her letters, Varina. The couple later met and fell in love and he always called her by her pen name, Varina. When he became postmaster of the new post office, he named it Varina in her honor. 

Over the years, Fuquay and Varina grew into each other until they eventually merged and are now known by the hyphenated Fuquay-Varina. We call her Fuquay for short. History aside, Fuquay definitely has a funky vibe to it. People who live in Fuquay love their town fiercely. And they’ve got a little bit of a rivalry going on between Fuquay and their neighbors, Holly Springs and Cary. 

#2 Historic Downtown – I don’t know about you but I love a place that has the feel of history to it. Unlike the neighboring town of Holly Springs, where everything is new and shiny, Fuquay definitely has roots. 

#3 Tons of locally owned stores – While many towns these days are full of big box stores, Fuquay is just popping with mom and pop shops, restaurants and breweries owned by people who live here. 

#4 Close knit community feel – if there is anything that personifies Fuquay is the neighborly feel. It really is a place where you can make new friends and get involved in the community. 

#5 Events – Fuquay has plenty of community events every year. Barbecue blues and brews, downtown Sleigh Rides, the candy hop and the paint off are all popular annual events. At the paint off you can watch local artists compete in a painting contest… The annual Chili cookoff is always a big hit 

#6 Parks There are 20 parks with over 500 acres of green space in Fuquay. For such a small town that is pretty amazing. 

#7 Food – Fuquay actually has a TON of great restaurants. It’s got a smaller population than Holly Springs, but much more variety in the food scene. They’ve got Indian, Sushi, really great Italian, you can get all kinds of smoked meats at Aviator. And there is no shortage of taverns and taprooms. Vicious fishes, mason jar, aviator, fainting goat, brick house, corner beirgarten, I guess it’s no surprise that a town which started with a famous watering hole is famous for their watering holes. 

#8 the arts. The fuquay arts center is home to the fuquay theatre, they host the annual artists village festival as well as other craft fairs and the fuquay varina chorale.  The arts center offers classes and camps for kids and adults. Many of their classes are also available online for access during covid. 

#9 coffee + dessert = booze. Okay maybe this should have gone under food, but I think it’s kind of fun that so many of the coffee and dessert spots serve alcohol. Where else can you go get a mismosa on your way to work (Fuquay Brus) or grab a beer after your telecommute (The mill) or seriously, gimme a splash of rum when you take the kids for a milk shake. If I had to sum it up as a cultural identity, I think Fuquay-ans just like to have a good time. 

#10 a little bit of yard with that house – while it is getting harder to find homes with a larger yard everywhere in the triangle, in fuquay as I am creating this video, there are 89 homes for sale with a minimum of ½ an acre yard and the median price of those homes is 339,000. In cary, whose population is almost 6 times the population of fuquay, there are 51 homes with a minimum of ½ an acre lot and the median price of those homes is 675k.

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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