Much like Cary, Apex, located in southwestern Wake County, is successfully retaining its historic charm and small-town feel even as it continues to grow and prosper. With about 30,000 residents, Apex’s population is expected to more than double in the next decade. The town, which was chartered in 1873, got its unique name because the depot around which the town grew was the highest elevation on the Chatham Railroad between Richmond, Va., and Jacksonville, Fla.
Apex is perhaps best known for its historic downtown area, which has commercial and residential buildings dating back to the late 1800s, many of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The revitalized downtown received official designation as a Historic District in 1994, the same year it was named the state’s #1 Small Town in economic vitality by Business North Carolina magazine.
The Apex train depot, built sometime between 1867 and 1873, is designated as a Wake County landmark. An old caboose has been added to the site and serves as a historical museum. The Apex Historical Society helps organize walking tours of the historic downtown district.
But as Apex continues to grow, the town has started to look to the future as well. There is a new year-round elementary school and regional library serving all of western Wake County. And over the last few years, the town has started several new projects, including expanding and renovating existing greenways, parks, athletic fields and community centers.
Also, the town is restoring the Historic Old Town Hall into a Performing and Cultural Center and recently unveiled the 160-acre Community Park. This cornerstone of the town’s parks system includes picnic shelters, playground, a 50-acre fishing lake, concession area, restroom facilities, nature and fitness trails, and various athletic fields.
Moreover, as the downtown area continues to attract merchants, artists, restaurateurs and other professionals, the town is continuously renovating to offer additional retail, restaurant, office and living space.
Every May, Apex hosts Peak Fest, which features over 200 vendors with a wide variety of arts and crafts. There’s also plenty of entertainment with music and dance acts, rides, food and roving street performers.
In December, the town hosts a historical homes tour, as well as a Christmas Parade, which features bands from area schools, floats sponsored by local merchants, scout troops, and antique cars.
There’s also plenty of shopping opportunities at complexes like Haddon Hall Commons, Peakway Market Square and Beaver Creek Commons, all mixed-use developments with a wide variety of stores, restaurants boutiques and even a movie theater.
Come see why the town’s motto is “Peak of Good Living.”