Greensboro, North Carolina, is affectionately known as the Gate City, originally given that moniker because it was a center of transportation. These days, the city is filled with artisan-crafted metal gates throughout that represent its name. Pairs of decorated, statue-like jeans are found throughout to pay homage to the textile industry that still thrives here. Parks and green spaces abound, offering families and individuals ample lush spaces to play, read, jog, or catch up with friends. Colorful murals designed and painted by local artists grace many walls. The spirit of creative entrepreneurialism is booming here, and I would say that the Gate City name still holds truth. While it may not be the hub of transportation it once was, Greensboro certainly swings open the gates of opportunity. I’ve seen it happen for my friends and I’ve experienced it firsthand. Today, I want to take you on a little tour of what Greensboro has to offer and why it’s the right little city for us – and, maybe, for you, too.

When we found out we were moving a few years ago, we weren’t yet sure where in NC we’d be placed. It was between Raleigh, Charlotte and Greensboro. Chris and I both hoped for Greensboro because we felt drawn to the size of the city and knew it was the most affordable. We felt we could offer our family a great quality of life here and that instinct proved to be right. One of the best things about Greensboro is that it’s a rather small city with tons to offer and one can easily get from place to place in a matter of minutes. Our realtor told us when we moved here that, back in the day, it had been a 5 minute city, meaning you could get from one side to the other in 5 minutes. She said it’s grown to a 15 minute city, but even that is nothing to us! Within a matter of minutes, you’ve got so many restaurants, shops and places to explore. Because housing here is so affordable, we were able to purchase a 4-bedroom house within the city limits – something we couldn’t do in Maryland – close to everything and in our favorite neighborhood. On a date night when we both want to have a couple of drinks, we can take an inexpensive Uber ride. To be honest, I thought I would miss the more rural setting, but now that we’re lived here for a couple of years, I can’t imagine going back.

Another huge plus is the community. Never before have I lived in a place where so many creative businesses exist and wish to truly elevate each other. Shortly after moving here, I fell in with a group of inspiring go-getting women and we’ve become a close-knit crew. Three of the six own local businesses! In all of the towns and cities I’ve lived, this is the first place where I truly feel like I fit. On top of the close friends I’ve made, I’ve connected with many other local businesses and they’ve all been welcoming, supportive and excited to think of ways to work together. We all genuinely want the best for one another and our city. Greensboro has actually been recognized recently as a top US city for starting a new business and I can see why! It takes a village and you can find yours here.

This post is an excerpt from Cassie Bustamante’s blog. Read the full post here.

Mural painting by Gina Franco.