It could be that you’re looking for top-notch medical care for seniors in your own backyard. You may want a slower pace of life, without sacrificing culture, dining and public transportation. Maybe you just want to be able to hit the links more than a couple months a year.

The Triangle area, including Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, draws retirees from New England to California for all of these reasons and then some. “People who have ties to the area often come back,” says Tony Hall, owner/realtor of Tony Hall & Associates. “Maybe they went to school here. Or if they’re from rural North Carolina but have been living in a big city, they might choose to retire to the Triangle because it has big-city attractions.”

Indulge your passions
Speaking of big-city attractions, Raleigh has earned the moniker, “Smithsonian of the South,” thanks to its string of fascinating museums. The North Carolina Museum of Art is home to the most comprehensive European art collection in the south, while the largest natural history museum in the region, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, attracts visitors to its many intriguing exhibits.

When your grandkids come for a visit, entertain them for hours – while they enjoy a variety of new experiences – at the Marbles Kids Museum. And sports enthusiasts can participate in interactive presentations and view legendary b-ball memorabilia at the Carolina Basketball Museum at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Are you a foodie looking for the next great meal? The greater Raleigh area alone boasts 1,100 restaurants – everything from barbecue and sweet tea to ethnic cuisine. And after you pamper your palate, you can satisfy your taste for the arts with an evening at the Carolina Ballet, North Carolina Symphony or Broadway Series South. Or stop in at Durham’s Manbites Dog Theater Company to experience the work of up-and-coming actors and playwrights.

Stretch your legs
Even if you prefer your fun in the fresh air, the Triangle’s moderate weather and variety of outdoor activities give you plenty of reasons to get outside and get moving. “We have lots of beautiful golf courses close by and park land,” says Carol Sims, broker/realtor for Fonville Morisey Realty, Inc. In fact, whether you want to drive a ball, kayak, fish, hike or simply take a casual stroll, greater Raleigh’s 150 parks, lakes, gardens and greenways give you plenty of opportunity and space to do it. Plus, the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, occupying 55 lush acres in the heart of Duke University, attracts more than 300,000 visitors a year to enjoy its extraordinary horticulture and landscape design.

Is watching and cheering more your thing? Carol Sims and Jean Stevens, both Fonville Morisey Realty, Inc. broker/realtors at The Village of Aversboro, say many of their residents enjoy the local sports here. That’s because there’s no shortage of teams to support, including ACC basketball, Carolina Hurricanes hockey and Durham Bulls baseball. And if you can’t find something to keep you busy at home, “you are a modest two hours from the coast or three hours from the mountains,” says Lannie Hall, owner/realtor of Courtland Hall & Associates. Not to mention, Raleigh-Durham International Airport provides access to destinations around the globe.

Feel secure
While you’re active and in good health now, it’s important to know excellent medical care is available if you need it. The Triangle’s three major health systems, UNC Health Care, Duke University Health System and WakeMed Health & Hospitals, are some of the best you’ll find anywhere in the nation.

In 2010, U.S. News & World Report chose Duke University Hospital as one of the top 10 hospitals in the nation. The publication also ranked four of UNC Health Care’s specialties among the country’s best. Rex Hospital, part of UNC Health Care, was also ranked by Becker’s Hospital Review in the 50 best hospitals this year. And in 2009, three of WakeMed’s critical care units won Beacon Awards for Critical Care Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

As if all that isn’t enough, the Triangle is home to Duke, NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill as well as many smaller universities and colleges. So you get education (some even have programs tailored to seniors), plus everything else that comes with it, including the arts, sporting events, great speakers and a vibrant multi-generational community. The Triangle: it’s everything you need to stay social, active and engaged in life!

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