(WGHP) – Some North Carolinians prefer the beach, some prefer the mountains and some just want to live somewhere they can eat the best BBQ.

Fortunately, North Carolina has all that and much more. The list of ten best places to live in NC offers college sports, beautiful mountain views natural parks and bustling nightlife.

Two counties in the Piedmont Triad made the list.

Wake Forest and Elon were ranked in eighth and 10th place respectively, according to HomeSnacks, which is a website that combines and analyzes data from multiple sources to document the best and worst places to live in the United States.

NC is the 9th most populated and 28th most expensive state in the US. As of right now, over 2 million North Carolinians between the ages of 25 and 64 are college-educated.

See the full list of best places to live in NC below:

  1. Cary
  2. Apex
  3. Davidson
  4. Morrisville
  5. Chapel Hill
  6. Holly Springs
  7. Pinehurst
  8. Wake Forest
  9. Stallings
  10. Elon

To create the ranking, places were broken into three tiers: cities with populations over 5,000, towns with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 and small towns with populations under 1,000.

That narrowed things down to 132 cities, 295 towns and 250 small towns.

However, analyzers only looked at places with over 5,000 residents to determine the best places to live and made two separate lists of the ten best towns and small towns in NC.

Each place in NC was then ranked across a number of criteria from one to 132, with one being the best.

Analyzers took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score, Cary, given the title of “Best Place To Live In North Carolina”

The criteria used to create the list is provided below:

  • median home values
  • median income
  • population density
  • unemployment rate
  • commute time
  • crime
  • education levels
  • health insurance coverage
  • poverty rates

Sources for criteria include the new census data and FBI crime data.

You can download the data here.