Retiring In the Blue Ridge Mountains - Asheville vs Blowing Rock

Downtown Asheville Fall

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History, culture, and incredible natural beauty abound in North Carolina. If you’re ready to settle into retirement, why not choose this wonderful state to build your nest? The only question remains: which community should you choose?

Asheville, NC

Asheville, NC also goes by the auspicious moniker of ‘America’s Happiest City.’ So just what makes it so happy? Nestled in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains’ western region, Asheville boasts a lively cultural scene and some truly iconic architecture.

An industrial town, Asheville prospered in the early 20th century. The Art Deco influence of the 20s and 30s is reflected in its unique cityscape. Amongst the bold, historic architecture, you’ll find Deco-esque buildings like Asheville City Hall and the S&W Cafeteria, the soaring Neo-Gothic Jackson Building, Grove Arcade, one of the country’s first indoor shopping malls, and the red-brick Basilica of St. Lawrence, to name just a few.

There’s no shortage of exciting things to see and do when you venture into the heart of America’s Happiest City. Everywhere you look, Asheville is overflowing with cultural and historic landmarks like the famed Grove Park Inn, Montford’s National Register of Historic Places and, of course, the unparalleled Biltmore Estate. The city is easily walkable, and you can find fine dining, art exhibits, and a veritable wealth of natural scenery any way you turn. Whether you’re an avid foodie, outdoor aficionado, or arts enthusiast, you’ll find something to love about Asheville. Plus, you’re never far away from top-tier medical and educational services.

Asheville experiences humid, temperate climes, making it pleasantly mild year-round. Thanks to its mountainous elevation, it’s neither as scorchingly hot or as bitterly cold as other cities in North Carolina. Speaking of mountains, the area boasts a magnificent view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which stand sentinel as though protecting the city.

  • The Cliffs at Walnut Cove: Experience the mountain splendor of Asheville from the refined luxury of Asheville’s premier active living community. The Cliffs feature state of the art wellness facilities, including swimming pools and tennis courts, along with lush, rolling golf courses and a bustling little community farm. It also offers miles of peaceful walking trails, all without ever leaving the safety of the community. And as you wind down the day, partake of one of The Cliffs’ fine dining establishments. There’s truly nothing like living amongst the Cliffs!

Blowing Rock, NC

Where Asheville is sophisticated and metropolitan, Blowing Rock is rugged and wild, with a charming small-town feel that will make you feel oh-so at home.

Known for its lush, windswept terrain, Blowing Rock is home to some of the most spectacular natural sights North Carolina has to offer. The city is named for a unique rock outcropping, which juts out over the Johns River Gorge. The strong gusts of wind rushing through the gorge, paired with the rock’s unusual geological construction, sometimes causes light objects to float upwards—a magical sight to behold from 460 meters. The local Cherokee and Catawba Native American tribes have a local legend to describe this phenomenon: a romantic and tragic tale of two star-crossed lovers.

Blowing Rock is also known for its annual arts festival and outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, equestrian, and proximity to the prestigious Appalachian State University. Its location along the Blue Ridge Parkway makes it easy to access this city from all corners of North Carolina. Like Asheville, Blowing Rock has a higher elevation than other areas in the state, meaning that the temperature is less extreme in all seasons.

  • Blue Ridge Mountain Club: This safe and cozy gated community features four beautifully maintained parks, along with 10 miles of rugged hiking trails. Camping, hiking, biking, fishing, and swimming are favorite activities of Mountain Club’s residents: after all, it’s an active community with an adventurous spirit. Many of the homes in the Club feature incredible layered mountain views. Here, the hills really are alive, and they’re right in your backyard. 
  • The Coves Mountain River Club: Wouldn’t you love to live nestled in the foothills of the iconic Blue Ridge Mountains? This community boasts luxurious sports facilities for swimming, equestrian, and more, along with well-appointed club amenities for dining, lounging, and socializing. Explore the scenery, including the Coves’ sprawling parks, mountain ranges, and even a handful of waterfalls!

So enjoy the very best of what North Carolina has to offer. Let the country roads take you home to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you would like more information on retiring in the Blue Ridge Mountains or any of our featured communities, fill out the form below.

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