Apex, NC is one of the fastest growing towns in the Raleigh-Durham metro area. This area is also called the Triangle or the Research Triangle. Apex is fast becoming the 'bedroom' town for Raleigh metro, which means it is a commuter town for the surrounding business and academic industries.
The Triangle is named that because the main cities, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill make up the three points of a triangle. It's also called the Research Triangle Park, RTP for short because each city has large, world-renowned research universities.
Raleigh is home to North Carolina State University, Durham has Duke University, and Chapel Hill is home to the University of North Carolina. All three institutions have world-class faculty and research facilities. The Research Triangle area also boasts the highest number of per capita Ph.D.'s in the entire world.
Being only 12 miles from Raleigh and 11 miles from the Research Triangle Park, Apex has become a hot destination for young couples looking for affordable housing. It's also attracted many residents who want to be near big cities while maintaining a small town lifestyle.
Historic Downtown Charm
Downtown Apex was designated as a historic district in 1994, allowing the quaint main street to keep its charm. N. Salem St. is what you would call 'Main Street' and is home to hip and up-and-coming restaurants like Salem Street Pub, The Beer Dispensary, and The Provincial.
It's also home to other attractions like the Apex Farmer's Market, which was established in 2014. It's a lovely venue for local farmers and growers to sell their produce, dairy, meats, cheeses, and other foods produced locally. Their vendors must live no farther than 150 miles away to sell their goods at the market.
The Apex Farmer's Market partners with Local Food Alliance, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public on the value of buying local. They also provide valuable educational and fun activities for kids during the market.
Studio 123 Art Gallery is also located on N. Salem St. and is home to local artist Janet Harrell. She's a North Carolina native and spent 30 years teaching art in the Wake County School system. She is retired and now works full time as an artist out of this studio in Apex.
History and Founding of Apex
The town was incorporated in 1873. There's some debate on how the name came to be. Some say it's because it's the highest point between Raleigh and the Deep River. Other historians say it was named for being the highest point on the Chatham Railroad between Jacksonville, FL, and Richmond, VA.
Apex was a vibrant railroad town, which included a passenger station. The train station has been preserved and now houses the Apex Chamber of Commerce.
Devastating fires in its history have struck the town. A major fire in 1911 burned down most of the historic downtown district. Another fire caused by a chemical explosion in 2006 let to almost the entire population of the town being evacuated.
The town's largest employers include Wake County Public Schools, Dell EMC, Apex Tools and the city itself. Most residents work in nearby Raleigh, Cary and the Research Triangle Park.
Apex is only 12 miles south of the Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU Airport). With easy access to a major airport with many direct flights to Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, DC, New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston has attracted many large companies to move their headquarters to the area.
Parks and Recreation
The anchor town park is called Apex Community Park. It boasts a massive 160 acres of green space. It has multiple soccer fields, baseball complex that includes batting cages, your obligatory basketball courts, tennis courts and even facilities for volleyball.
There are ample picnic areas, some for 50-100 people. There's also a 50-acre lake that allows for fishing, boating, and kayaking. Apex even has an urban park. It's a 12-acre park with playgrounds, a baseball field, a soccer field, and a walking trail. It also houses the city's central dog park.
The town's main annual festival has been held in May of each year for over 30 years. It draws over 22,000 people to this small town. The Apex Festival Commission runs it. The festival boasts over 200 vendors with unique food, local artists, entertainment for kids and local bands. The festival's show also includes student groups from the town's 13 public schools and three private schools.
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