14 Reasons to Retire in Asheville

Discover What Makes Asheville a Great Place to Retire

With so many charming cities and towns to choose from, deciding where to spend retirement can be a challenge. Luckily, there is a city that has the perfect balance between urban amenities and the rustic mountain spirit that offers something for everyone to enjoy: Asheville, NC. 

Named one of the best places to retire by Forbes Magazine, Asheville has earned its reputation as a dream destination for retirees. With its scenic beauty, temperate climate, vibrant culture, and strong sense of community, Asheville offers a unique and enriching retirement experience. 

In this comprehensive post, we will delve into fourteen reasons why you should retire in Asheville.

1. Temperate Climate

With its elevation slightly above 2,000 feet, Asheville becomes an ideal destination for retirement if you are searching for a location that offers both scenic beauty and a comfortable climate. Asheville enjoys a delightful climate that appeals to retirees seeking comfortable living conditions. 

Winters are mild, allowing for a touch of snow without the harsh cold, and summers are warm without being excessively hot. This balance ensures that residents can enjoy outdoor activities year-round, from scenic hikes in the spring to cozy evenings by the fireplace in the winter.

2. Beautiful Scenery 

One of Asheville’s most captivating features is its breathtaking natural landscape. Surrounded by the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, the city boasts panoramic views that are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Rolling hills, verdant forests, and cascading waterfalls create a picturesque backdrop, making every day a postcard-worthy experience for retirees.

Known for the characteristic blue-toned mountains that surround the city, Asheville boasts some of the most spectacular mountain vistas on the East Coast. The area is home to a number of National Forests and State Parks with endless miles of hiking trails to explore the scenic landscape. One of the most beautiful times of the year in Asheville is during the fall months when the vibrant colors of the foliage take over the horizon.

3. Proximity to Blue Ridge Parkway

Known as America’s favorite drive, the Blue Ridge Parkway is easily accessible from Asheville. With 469 miles of mountain roads that meander along the Appalachian Highlands, offering breathtaking vistas of rolling mountains and lush forests. The Parkway also connects you to a number of charming mountain towns where you can stop for a bite to eat and explore the local shops.

4. Food and Drink

Asheville’s culinary scene is a delightful fusion of flavors, emphasizing farm-to-table dining and a commitment to sustainable, locally sourced ingredients. The city is renowned for its diverse restaurants, ranging from cozy bistros to upscale eateries, catering to every palate. If you’re a foodie, you’ll love the number of dining options to choose from when you retire in Asheville. 

One of the most popular options is Cúrate, a Spanish restaurant offering traditional paellas, tapas, charcuterie, and other Spanish favorites. A unique vegan option is Plant, which offers meatless international dishes made from the freshest local ingredients. If you’re looking for Eastern Carolina-style barbecue and other Southern favorites, you’ll want to try the specialties at Luella’s BBQ. And let’s not forget the amazing pizza spot, All Souls Pizza, which is committed to using locally sourced ingredients, including the dough. 

Asheville is also known for its large number of microbreweries. The Highland Brewing Company, which opened in 1994, is the city’s oldest craft brewery and a great spot to enjoy live music with friends. Another popular option is the New Belgium Brewing Company, located just across the French Broad River. As you can see, whether you are in the mood for a home-cooked meal, would rather indulge in four-star cuisine, or are simply looking to grab a drink, this city has it all.

5. Arts and Crafts

Asheville has a rich tradition of arts and crafts, with hundreds of local artists and a number of performance venues and museums scattered throughout the city. This dynamic environment has cultivated a thriving community of skilled artisans and craftsmen.

Retirees interested in honing their artistic skills or simply appreciating handmade creations will find Asheville to be a haven. Local workshops and art studios provide opportunities to learn pottery, painting, or other crafts, allowing retirees to express their creativity and indulge in artistic pursuits.

Visitors and residents alike can wander through the eclectic art galleries that showcase the unique works created by local craftsmen or attend shows at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts.

One of the most popular art attractions in town is the River Arts District. Here, you can visit working studios and galleries and get to know the artists on a more personal level. Who knows, you may even walk away having commissioned a one-of-a-kind art piece for your new luxury mountain home!

6. Festivals and Events

Throughout the year, Asheville hosts an array of festivals and events that celebrate the city’s diverse cultural heritage. From music and arts festivals to food and wine events, there is always something exciting happening in Asheville. Retirees can immerse themselves in these festivities, enjoying the vibrant atmosphere and engaging with the local community.

7. Healthcare

Maintaining good health is a priority in retirement, and Asheville provides excellent healthcare facilities to cater to retirees’ medical needs. The city is home to top-notch hospitals and medical centers, ensuring access to high-quality healthcare services and specialists when required.

8. Cost of Living

While the cost of living has seen a gradual increase, Asheville remains relatively affordable compared to many major cities in the United States. For retirees living on fixed incomes, this affordability can be a significant advantage, allowing for a comfortable lifestyle without excessive financial strain.

9. Historical Charm

Asheville’s historical charm is evident in its well-preserved architecture and rich heritage. The cityscape is adorned with elegant buildings, each with its own story to tell. Exploring Asheville’s historic districts is like stepping back in time, providing retirees with a unique opportunity to appreciate the city’s past while enjoying the comforts of the present.

10. Continued Education Opportunities

Learning is a lifelong journey––and for retirees with a thirst for knowledge, Asheville’s educational opportunities are boundless. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UNC Asheville offers a lifelong learning program that allows retirees to explore new interests and engage with intellectually stimulating courses. Here, you can attend lectures, art and music performances, and other events held on campus and throughout the city.

Additionally, various workshops, lectures, and cultural events are regularly organized, both on campus and throughout the city, providing continuous opportunities for personal growth and enrichment.

11. Community

Asheville prides itself on its strong sense of community, welcoming newcomers with open arms. Retirees can easily connect with like-minded individuals through a myriad of clubs, social groups, and volunteer organizations. Whether you’re interested in gardening, book clubs, or charitable endeavors, Asheville offers a supportive community where meaningful friendships can flourish.

12. Proximity to Nature

Beyond the city limits, Asheville offers retirees easy access to the wonders of nature. Additionally, retirees can explore nearby national parks, waterfalls, and nature reserves, embracing the tranquility and beauty of the great outdoors.

13. Outdoor Recreation

To retire in Asheville means immersing yourself in the great outdoors. The surrounding mountains and forests provide an extensive network of hiking and biking trails, allowing nature enthusiasts to explore the wilderness and observe the local flora and fauna. Fishing in pristine mountain streams and kayaking in nearby lakes are popular activities, offering peaceful moments of connection with nature.

14. Quality of Life

Ultimately, the combination of these factors contributes to Asheville’s exceptional quality of life. Retirees can enjoy a peaceful, fulfilling existence surrounded by natural beauty, cultural richness, and a supportive community. The city’s unique blend of amenities and opportunities makes it an ideal destination for those seeking a retirement experience that is both enriching and satisfying.

Experience Luxury Retirement at The Cliffs at Walnut Cove

If you retire in Asheville, it offers you the chance to embrace a lifestyle characterized by scenic splendor, cultural vibrancy, and a strong sense of community. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, a lover of the arts, or simply someone seeking a peaceful retreat, Asheville provides the perfect backdrop for a fulfilling retirement.

Located just a short, 20-minute drive from Downtown is The Cliffs at Walnut Cove––one of the seven private luxury communities at The Cliffs.

We offer a diverse range of options to cater to your unique preferences––so, whether you dream of designing your custom luxury mountain residence or prefer the convenience of moving right in, we have you covered. Explore our exclusive homesites that allow you to build the perfect home amidst Asheville’s natural splendor. Alternatively, delve into our selection of turnkey estates, cozy cottages, and convenient townhomes, offering the ease of immediate occupancy. At The Cliffs, the choice is yours! Feel free to contact us today to explore the possibilities and begin your new chapter at The Cliffs.

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This post was originally written in October 2020 and rewritten in December 2023.

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