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Once you visit, it isn't difficult to understand why southeastern North Carolina is consistently one of the fastest-growing areas of the country. Here you will find charming coastal communities, quiet rural areas, and thriving progressive cities. The climate is mild, and comparatively speaking, so is the cost of living.

The Onslow County seat, Jacksonville is centrally located in the region. Cultural, social, and sports activities fill the community calendar. The Atlantic Ocean is less than a half-hour's drive away. And the military presence infuses the community with stimulating diversity and a pervasive, patriotic pride. No wonder Reader's Digest selected Jacksonville as one of the country's "Top 25 Places to Raise a Family."

Not surprisingly, water sports dominate the docket here, with fishing, scuba diving, surfing, water-skiing, and all types of boating among the most popular pastimes. But what is surprising is the comparative lack of crowds. Jacksonville-area beaches tend to be quiet, family-oriented communities, devoid of towering hotels and condominium complexes. Instead, the emphasis here is on natural beauty, and those fortunate enough to live here tend to be rather protective of that fact.

Shopping and dining options are also plentiful locally, and ease of travel to major cities such as Wilmington (50 miles) and Raleigh/Durham (120 miles) expands the opportunities for these and many other activities considerably.

History buffs, too, find plenty of appeal in the area. Native Americans, early colonists, and notorious pirates all settled here at one time, and the region's strategic location for military operations also came into service during the Civil War and World War II.

Overall, Jacksonville and its surrounding areas display a strong sense of community. From good schools to public parks, diverse churches to civic organizations, the opportunities to become an active part of the city are varied and plentiful. Those qualities, along with an outstanding professional environment, provide the healthy balance we all seek in life.