Fort Bragg road view

8 Best Places to Live Near Fort Bragg

Best Places to Live Near Fort Bragg

When considering a move to the vicinity of Fort Bragg, now known as Fort Liberty, in North Carolina, families have a variety of factors to weigh. Especially for military personnel, finding the right balance between base proximity, quality of life, and community support is crucial. This article ranks the 8 best places to live near Fort Bragg, beginning with the top 8 and progressing to the top 1. This ranking considers proximity to Fort Bragg, local school quality, amenities, housing affordability, and lifestyle. 

Each neighborhood has its own appeal, and our goal is to help you choose an ideal home to live in near this vital military installation.

8. Hope Mills

Hope Mills, a short drive from Fort Bragg, strikes the perfect balance between affordability and a high-quality lifestyle. Families looking for a low-cost lifestyle will love this charming town. This housing market has everything from small starter homes to large homes at affordable prices. In this small town, neighbors know each other and welcome newcomers.

But Hope Mills isn’t just about affordable living; it’s also a hub of activity and relaxation. One of the main attractions is Hope Mills Lake, where people boat, fish, and relax. Families often gather here for picnics and lazy afternoons under the sun. 

The town’s parks, like Municipal Park, have playgrounds and walking trails for sunny North Carolina days. And with local shops and restaurants on the main streets, there’s always something new to try.

Education in Hope Mills is another draw. The town is served by the Cumberland County Schools system, known for its commitment to student success. Rockfish Elementary and South View High School are community gems that offer quality education and extracurriculars. 

This focus on education, combined with the town’s affordability and rich community life, makes Hope Mills one of the best places to live near Fort Bragg. It offers suburban peace with all the amenities and opportunities you need.

7. Raeford

Raeford is a picturesque town that combines small-town friendliness with convenient proximity to Fort Bragg and major urban conveniences. Due to its proximity to the base and peaceful, close-knit neighborhood vibe, military families love this charming community. Also, the housing market is affordable, with bungalows and family homes cheaper than in larger cities.

This town’s educational offerings attract families. Hoke County Schools, which includes Raeford, emphasize academic excellence and well-rounded development. Children can grow and learn at Upchurch Elementary and Hoke County High School, which offer quality education and many extracurricular activities. If education is important to you, Raeford is one of the best places to live near Fort Bragg.

Beyond housing and education, Raeford’s small-town charm is what makes it appealing. For those who love the great outdoors, Lumber River State Park is a nearby gem, offering serene canoeing opportunities, abundant fishing spots, and scenic hiking trails. 

Raeford’s small-town charm and city amenities go hand in hand because of its proximity to Fayetteville. Just a short drive away, Fayetteville has many shopping centers, restaurants, and cultural experiences. Raeford’s peaceful, community-focused living and easy access to urban conveniences make it an ideal Fort Bragg nearby location.

6. Southern Pines

Next as one of the best places to live near Fort Bragg is Southern Pines. This is a gem for community and culture. The downtown of this charming town is full of art galleries, cozy bookstores, and unique boutiques. Broad Street, lined with cafes and restaurants in historic buildings, captures the town’s appeal.

Schools in Southern Pines are consistently ranked among the best in the region. The Moore County School District in Southern Pines has high academic standards and many programs for diverse student interests and talents. Schools like Southern Pines Elementary and Pinecrest High School are community pillars that educate and nurture young minds. 

Beyond culture and education, Southern Pines is a family-friendly outdoor destination. The town’s parks and green spaces, like the Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve, are great for hiking, birdwatching, and enjoying the Sandhills’ natural beauty. Weekend outings to Southern Pines Reservoir Park include hiking, fishing, and canoeing. 

There are many events in the community all year long, such as the First Friday celebrations downtown and the annual AutumnFest. These events help people feel like they belong and build community spirit. Cultural, educational, safe, and community-engaged Southern Pines is a desirable location for families and individuals seeking a fulfilling lifestyle near Fort Bragg.

5. Sanford

Sanford offers a compelling balance of affordability, amenities, and educational excellence for those who don’t mind a longer commute to Fort Bragg. A bit farther from the military base, Sanford has a reasonable housing market with charming historic homes and modern developments. The affordability of rentals makes it a good choice for homeowners and renters.

The town’s amenities contribute significantly to its appeal. Tourists can enjoy a variety of dining and shopping at Riverbirch Corner Shopping Center. Depot Park, Kiwanis Family Park, and other Sanford parks offer playgrounds, walking trails, and community events.

Sanford’s Lee County Schools offer a variety of programs and initiatives to meet diverse student needs. Schools like Lee County High School and Tramway Elementary School have garnered praise for their committed staff and innovative programs.  

Sanford is an appealing choice for individuals who are looking for a balanced lifestyle within reach of Fort Bragg due to the city’s combination of affordable living costs, an abundance of amenities, and a focus on education.

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4. Spring Lake

Spring Lake, North Carolina, stands out as a prime location for those prioritizing proximity to Fort Bragg. Its proximity to the military installation benefits families who want to reduce commute times. Its convenient location and affordable apartments and family homes suit a variety of budgets and lifestyles.

Although Spring Lake has fewer educational and recreational options than other towns on this list, it still has essential amenities and facilities. Overhills High School and Spring Lake Middle School, both in Harnett County, have dedicated teachers and engaging programs. Shopping and dining at Anderson Creek Plaza and Skyland Shopping Center are convenient for families. Picnics and playground fun are also available at nearby Mendoza Park.

Spring Lake’s Outback Concert Series and other community events bring residents together and have fun. Although Spring Lake lacks the recreational facilities of larger towns, its affordability, proximity to Fort Bragg, and unique offerings make it an attractive option for many families.

3. Aberdeen

Aberdeen, in central North Carolina, brings history and modernity together. While also farther from Fort Bragg than others on the list, this historic town has a unique character and strong community. The city’s well-preserved downtown justifies its slightly higher cost of living. 

Aberdeen’s downtown is a mosaic of quaint shops, local eateries like The Bakehouse and Aberdeen Café, and historical sites, offering a glimpse into the town’s past while providing modern amenities.

Academically excellent schools like Aberdeen Elementary and Southern Middle School attract people to Aberdeen. The town also has Sandhills Community College, which offers additional education. For recreation, the Aberdeen Lake Park is a local favorite, offering picturesque walking trails, a fishing pier, and picnic areas, making it ideal for family outings.  

Aberdeen’s community-focused Spring Spree Festival and seasonal Farmers Market bring residents and visitors together. For those seeking a balance between old-world charm and modern living near Fort Bragg, Aberdeen’s quality of life offsets its higher living costs.

2. Fayetteville

Nearest to Fort Bragg, Fayetteville is a bustling city with many amenities. The city has many restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues. Downtown attractions like Fayetteville Woodpeckers’ Segra Stadium and the Airborne & Special Operations Museum highlight its military history.

With high-quality schools and universities like Fayetteville State University and Fayetteville Technical Community College, Fayetteville has many educational options. These institutions add youth, energy, and diversity to the city’s education landscape. For families, the Cape Fear Botanical Garden offers a peaceful retreat in nature, while the Fascinate-U Children’s Museum offers pre-schoolers interactive learning.

However, living in Fayetteville does come with the hustle and bustle typical of city life. The center of action may come with more traffic and people. A diverse culinary scene, including Luigi’s Italian Chophouse and Bar, makes the city appealing. The Crown Complex, a major concert and event venue, constantly hosts events.

Even though it’s busier and more crowded, Fayetteville offers an urban lifestyle with easy access to Fort Bragg and many cultural and recreational activities.

1. Pinehurst – Best Place to Live Near Fort Bragg

Our top pick is Pinehurst, known for its famous golf courses and tranquility. It is a charming town less than an hour from Fort Bragg that hosts many prestigious golf tournaments. People enjoy its lush greenery and well-kept courses. Beyond golf, Pinehurst has the Pinehurst Harness Track and Pinehurst Greenway System for horseback riding, walking, and cycling.

Families love the town for its great schools. Pinehurst is popular due to its high-quality schools and supportive community. Despite its international fame, Pinehurst’s small-town charm and cafes shine. This tight-knit community hosts events and festivals to foster a sense of community.

However, Pinehurst’s high quality of life raises its cost of living compared to other Fort Bragg towns. The town’s upscale amenities and prestige make housing more expensive. Despite this, many find the tranquil yet vibrant lifestyle worth the investment.

With its combination of world-class recreation, top-tier education, and a peaceful, yet active community, Pinehurst stands out as an ideal destination for those seeking a balance of leisure and luxury in their everyday lives.


In conclusion, the area surrounding Fort Bragg presents a diverse array of living options, each with its unique charm and advantages. From the peaceful, golf-centric Pinehurst to the vibrant urban energy of Fayetteville, these eight locations have something for everyone. 

Whatever your interests are, there’s a place near Fort Bragg for you. Aberdeen is historic, Southern Pines is cultural, and Hope Mills is affordable and family-friendly. Because each town has its own amenities, community spirit, and quality of life, choosing a home is an exciting adventure.

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