This week, I have a real treat for you (and me) as we move north and west to the North Carolina Mountains region.
North Carolina is truly one of the most beautiful places in the entire country and definitely an area where you’ll find a lot of very charming small towns and cities beckoning you to relocate or retire ASAP!
If your looking for a small town to relocate or retire to, you should know the North Carolina Mountains - for reasons of geography and history – has very few towns or cities with populations over 15,000 people.
In fact, before the expansion of roads and more modern means of transportation, there used to be towns so small and remote in this part of the North Carolina Mountains that local people joked that you “had to be born there to get there.”
On the other hand the North Carolina Mountains also used to be the place where coastal Carolinian’s went to escape the summer heat.
There isn’t any wonder why many of my favorite best places to live in the North Carolina Mountains are old time resort towns that have long enjoyed a nice blend of traditional mountain culture with a more forward looking cosmopolitan vibe.
There are so many opportunities and reasons why people are deciding to relocate and retire to live in the North Carolina Mountains.
- Affordable housing
- Low cost of living
- Moderate climate
- Beautiful mountain vistas
- Captivating waterfalls
- Art colonies
- College towns
- Wide variety of outdoor recreational opportunities
These are just a few of the reasons people give for moving to the Best Places To Live in the North Carolina Mountains.
So let’s look at some of my favorite small towns and cities with population of less than 30,000 in the North Carolina Mountains.
The town of Boone NC has a population 13, 945 and is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in northwestern North Carolina.
Boone has a great combination of a lot of the things I look for when determining a North Carolina or South Carolina best place.
First, Boone is a college town which means you’ll find …
- Affordable housing
- Economic stability
- Cosmopolitan mix of people
- Lifelong learning opportunities
- Wide variety of civic and cultural events
Second, there’s a lot to do in and around Boone NC.
I’ve already mentioned all the things the Appalachian State brings to the table, but there really aren’t a lot of places you can spend part of the day hanging out downtown or taking in a museum and the rest of the day skiing, fishing, golfing, hiking, camping and so on and so forth.
Last of all, but certainly not the least of reasons, even with all that’s going on in Boone NC it’s still really just a small town where you won’t feel like you’re getting lost in the shuffle.
The median house value in Boone is about $202,000 and the average rental cost starts at $591 a month.
With a population of only 1,490, North Carolina Mountains Best Place Blowing Rock NC, is named for it’s nearby 4,000 foot cliffs. Cliffs whose powerful gusts of wind often return light objects tossed from its heights.
Blowing Rock NC is only six miles south of Boone NC and is the only full service town on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
While its population almost doubles during the summer Blowing Rock NC still has a delightful small town atmosphere.
Complete with a vibrant art scene, unique mix of great restaurants, small shops, and art galleries, Blowing Rock NC also has plenty of natural beauty to enjoy.
A bit more pricey than its neighbor Boone, the median home value in Blowing Rock NC is $424,000 and the average rental cost starts at about $686 a month.
Moving on east of Boone about thirty minutes in the North Carolina Mountains is Banner Elk NC.
Population of 900 is often referred to as either the “Balcony of the Blue Ridge Mountains” due to its high elevation or;
The “Christmas Tree Capital of the World” due to the thick forests that make it a major Christmas tree supplier.
Although small in size, Banner Elk is about as active a place as you’ll find in the North Carolina Mountains.
Ski resorts, fishing tournaments, bird watching, year round festivals and a small liberal arts college keep things hopping year round.
A bit more like Boone, the median home value in Banner Elk is $264,000 and the average rental cost starts at $519 a month.
Now, if your looking for a very small North Carolina Mountains town, Little Switzerland NC might be your next home with a population of around 46.
Little Switzerland NC is a longtime resort village located about half way between Boone NC and Asheville NC.
High in the mountains, Little Switzerland is the kind of place people go for the quiet and the natural beauty.
From mountains to lakes and streams the Little Switzerland area is genuinely breathtaking.
The median home value in Little Switzerland is around $380,000.
It’s been great showing you some of my favorite places in the North Carolina mountains.
Come back next week when we look at more of my favorite North Carolina Mountains best places to relocate or retire.
In the meantime if your looking for more information about these towns and cities and more best places to retire or relocate to in the North Carolina and South Carolina, check out NC Best Places and SC Best Places .
Have a great week!
Bob Bencivenga is a professional site locator and location analyst for major corporations. Bob researches the growth of NC and SC to find the Best Places to Retire or Relocate that are still affordable.
Bob Does Not Sell Real Estate!