For those unfamiliar with the natural beauty of the Western North Carolina mountains, driving through the region can be a truly rewarding, perhaps life changing experience. The spectacular views, clean air and moderate climate make many feel nostalgia about a place they’ve never been. The mountains of Western North Carolina offer a variety of small, charming and not-so-small towns; a temperate four season climate, excellent healthcare, abundant educational opportunities for people of all ages and a vast array of cultural activities. The location of the region also affords a small town lifestyle, which is attractive to newcomers because of its relative proximity to cities such as Charlotte, Atlanta, Knoxville and Charleston, all within easy driving distance.
The largest city in the region is Asheville, with a population of about 80,000. The surrounding towns include Hendersonville, Brevard, Waynesville, Weaverville and Black Mountain. All of these towns have a vibrant city center and walkable downtown business areas filled with shops, arts and crafts galleries, independent businesses and restaurants. Asheville, Paris of the South, offers an eclectic mix of fabulous restaurants, a thriving art district, antique shows, festivals and fairs, and theaters.
Nearby Hendersonville is a combination of retirees and families with children. Listed as one of the “100 Best Small Towns in America”, Hendersonville has been rated by MONEY magazine as one of the 20 best places to retire. Just east is the town of Brevard, which features waterfalls and seemingly endless mountain views, as well as outstanding shops and restaurants. National geographic Traveler has named it one of America’s top places to live and play.
The northwest area of the region, including Boone and Blowing Rock, boasts Western North Carolina’s most popular ski destinations, including Sugar Mountain, Ski beech and Appalachian Ski Mountain. This area also features many attractions and historical sites such as Linville Caverns, Grandfather Mountain, Mountain State Park and Glendale Springs Inn.