Most people know that apex, means “the top, highest point or pinnacle of something.” What some don’t know is that the town of Apex is ranked number one on the “Ten Best Cities in North Carolina” by Movoto.com. The designation has put the small Raleigh suburb on the map and enticed visitors who make the short drive from the capital city for a change of pace.
The town branded as the “peak of good living” lives up to its name with a thriving downtown, historic buildings and unique events held throughout the year. Apex’s close proximity to Raleigh is a perk for those who work in the capital city or Research Triangle Park. The proximity to tech-driven RTP gives a boost to the local schools, already among the state’s best. Apex High School offers the Academy of Information Technology, a four-year program that exposes students to the information technology field through coursework and internships.
Historic Downtown and Artistic Shopping
The historic district is a favorite way to spend the afternoon for newcomers. The district has more than 60 structures dating from 1870 to 1940. Visitors stroll through the pedestrian friendly downtown filled with locally owned businesses – specialty and antique shops – that mix seamlessly with local eateries. For those who like trains, the town offers its railroad history with a visit to the circa-1914 Apex Union Depot and the North Carolina Railroad Museum where visitors can take a ride on a steam engine train.
Downtown shopping is a favorite way to spend the day. “Custom made” is the focus at Moon & Lola where monogrammed jewelry is a making a comeback. The jewelry has been featured in Cosmopolitan, InStyle and O Magazine where it made Oprah’s Favorite Things List. Antique enthusiasts head to The Rusty Bucket for custom built farm tables, primitive and American country furnishings, and more. In the winter, the creak of old wood floors and the warmth of the working fireplace in the back of the store spells comfort with a capital C.
Food and Spirits
Festivals and the Arts
Apex folks get outside for festivals that highlight music, culture and of course barbecue. Festivals each year include: PeakFest, Apex Latino Arts Festival, Peak City Pig Fest and Apex Music Festival (event information at www.apexdowntown.com). During the spring and summer months, Apex Nature Park amphitheater is where crowds gather for outdoor music and movies.
For more entertainment, experience a slice of culture in the original town hall, rehabbed as the Halle Cultural Arts Center with live theater production, classes, movies or a concert. Or hop aboard the New Hope Valley Railway to experience the family-friendly ‘Brew N Choo’.