Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Waynesville, North Carolina
Tucked Between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains in Lush Western North Carolina, Sleepy Waynesville Appeals to People Who Love the Outdoors and Small Town Living
Tucked between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains in lush western North Carolina, about 30 minutes outside of Asheville, sleepy Waynesville started out in the early-1800s. It appeals to people who love the outdoors and peaceful small town living.
National forests are all around, and hiking and camping areas are nearby. The oldest ski resort in the state, Cataloochee Ski Area, is just a few minutes away, and nearby Lake Junaluska is the spot for canoeing and fishing. Waynesville has a pretty cityscape, with five church steeples. The regal, circa-1932 Haywood County Courthouse anchors downtown, while chocolate shops, antique stores, tobacco shops and clothing retailers line Main Street. The city also offers a bit of culture with the Haywood Arts Repertory Theater, an amateur community theater, and the Haywood County Arts Council, which presents piano concerts, music recitals, a chamber music festival and free Sunday afternoon concerts with regionally and nationally known performers.
Neighborhoods are quiet and tree-lined with ranch ramblers, raised ranch ramblers, bungalows and more. Cabins are in the surrounding hills.
Population: 10,500 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 48%
Cost of Living: 12% below the national average
Median Home Price: $375,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 70s and 80s. Winter temperatures are in the 30s and 40s. On average, the area receives 47 inches of rain and 13 inches of snow per year. The elevation is 2,658 feet above sea level.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but MedWest Haywood is nine miles away in Clyde and accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited By Joint Commission? No, but MedWest Haywood is nine miles away in Clyde and is accredited.
Public Transit: Yes. The country provides a call-ahead, on-demand van service.
Public Library: Yes. The Haywood County Public Library has a branch here.
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 25%
Is North Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Notes: Waynesville is remote but accessible, about 10 miles from Interstate 40. The hospital in Clyde is award-winning for excellence in clinical care and emergency medicine. Haywood Community College in Clyde has a community education program with classes in woodcarving, home maintenance, everyday math and more. Home prices have increased 20% since a year ago, and the population has remained steady during the last decade.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
The Tar Heel State was one of the first to instruct its Continental Congress delegates to vote for independence from British rule. After the Revolutionary War, it entered the Union on November 21, 1789 and started developing an extensive slave plantation system. It became a major exporter of cotton and tobacco. North Carolina was one of 11 states to secede from the Union and to spark the American Civil War.
Bordered by South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and the Atlantic ocean, North Carolina's geographic regions range from the barrier islands and low plains of the eastern Atlantic coast to the mountainous regions of the west. The rolling hills and waterfalls of the Piedmont lie in between. Because of a wide variance in altitudes, North Carolina's climate can be hard to predict. Winters, especially on the coast, can be warm and mild.
The state has 17 major river basins and is rich in hydroelectric power. Tobacco, sweet potatoes, hogs, trout, and turkeys are a few of its agricultural products. The arts and culture industry has become an economic driver. It supports more than 43,000 jobs and generates almost $120 million in state and local revenue.
North Carolina is the home of several firsts. Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run in Fayetteville. The Wright brothers launched the first manned, self-propelled airplane from a cliff near Kitty Hawk. Pepsi was invented and first served in New Bern. Vernon Rudolph first sold Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Winston-Salem.
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