Getaway To Highlands NC

The wife booked us a three night  get-a-way in Highlands NC,  so we headed up I-985 from Atlanta for the 2.5 hour plus trip. It took 4 hours. So much for Google Maps prediction when it is foggy and light rain in the mountains.

Highlands NC is in Western North Carolina about 25 miles north of Georgia. In this section of Western North Carolina there are other desirable small towns like Cashiers, Sapphire Valley, Sylva, Glenville, Lake To a way and Brevard, a quaint college town.    Both Highlands and Cashiers are resort mountain small towns with lots of charm. Both are favorites of Atlanta people escaping the heat and humidity during the Summer months and Florida halfbacks moving up from the Sunshine state.

Highlands has a walkable town filled with antique shops, interesting stores for shopping, restaurants, some gourmet,  and places to stay like 200 Main where we are staying.

Many people come here on a vacation and end up buying a seasonal home and for some that turns into their retirement home. There are no 55 Active Adult Communities. These are mountain homes and cabins with natural yards. There are many mountain lifestyle communities with activities and amenities that are similar to what Active Adult Communities offer.  Lonesome Valley, Sapphire Valley, and  Bear Lake Reserve are some of the larger communities but there are many more. Many full time residents now call this area home.

Western NC is known for being an appealing retirement area with award winning golf courses, gourmet restaurants, and renowned trout fishing waters. Most get an introduction to the area by renting a home first from rental companies like SPM Resorts and Sapphire Real Estate and Rentals.

I would image with the influx of tourists in the Summer that might get irratating to locals, but this helps supports the gourmet restaurants and attractions. During Winter I bet it gets a little quiet around here but locals love it.

Most of the time weather is great break from city heat and people enjoy hiking the nature trails, golfing, fishing on the mountain lakes and visiting the many waterfalls in the area.

In the meantime back to my trip,  since it is foggy and raining today, we will curl up around the cozy fireplace with a glass of wine and a good book and research where to make dinner reservations.

fireplace
Fireplace at 200 Main Highlands N C

 

old Edwards inn
Old Edwards Inn Highlands

Factors That Make Small Towns Desirable for Retirement

Desirable towns

Factors That Make Small Towns Desirable for Retirement

In planning for retirement, many people seek out a new home in a new town, whether to downsize, move to a sunnier climate, or simply for a change of pace. While some baby boomers are looking for more excitement and a thriving night life, many people – both singles and couples – hunt for new homes in quieter, more cozy places than the suburban or urban environments in which they spent their working years.

Small cities – those with populations of 25,000 or fewer – offer some distinct benefits for senior citizens seeking a respite from the hustle and bustle of life, but don’t want to live out in the middle of nowhere. In the hunt for the perfect small-town retirement destination, you may want to consider a number of factors: criteria that can help you determine whether or not a small city in question is a good spot to retire.

So, what makes certain small towns more desirable for retirement than others? There are a wide range of answers to that question, but the same few seem to pop up again and again: Low crime rate; mild weather; ease of travel within city limits (walkability) and to other destinations (nearness to international airport); number of retiree amenities per capita; natural beauty and charm of the surroundings; and ability to make quality social connections. While some of these factors (low crime rate and mild climate) are easy to quantify, others are a bit more subjective.

Ease of travel: To some, this may mean the ability to walk easily to the majority of restaurants, venues and shops in the community, while to others it may mean excellent public transportation options in a small city.

Retiree Amenities: Some are looking for a bonafide 55+ community with all the included amenities and facilities, while others look to the town in general to see what healthcare facilities, senior centers, adult education opportunities, libraries, and arts and entertainment venues are available.  Is there a senior center nearby?

Social Connections: Many small towns or small cities share a common “theme,” or may have large concentrations of certain types of people. Perhaps citizens share a common ethnic heritage, like Leavenworth, WA’s Scandinavians, or shared interest like the Sedona, AZ population of artists. Towns that host annual festivals and other events also offer many opportunities to meet new people.
Are there many baby boomers or seniors your age?

Regional Medical – Is there regional medical resources nearby and 24 hour medical services close by? How about assisted living homes?

Tip! Small towns with one of the large Active Adult Communities like those of Del Webb, K. Hovnanian Homes, Brookfield Homes, Lennar, Beazer Homes,  WCI Communities or Erickson Retirement communities – they usually have done the research for you and are in or near desirable small towns for retirement.

Retiring to a small town can be an appealing option on many fronts. After battling traffic and hassles of urban or suburban living for decades, the attractions of small town life can be a serene alternative, and offer opportunities to learn, grow, socialize, and live happy and healthy lives as seniors.

Huntsville AL – A Great Town to Retire To

Magnolia Trace
Magnolia Trace

Huntsville, Alabama sounds like a small town, but it is definitely one that has experienced growth. The town of Huntsville is located in the north region of the state of Alabama. Huntsville has a current population of fewer than 200,000 people and has attracted retirees due to the vast opportunities available in this retirement city.

Huntsville, AL is a scenic and beautiful city. Though it is one of the four largest cities in the state of Alabama, Huntsville is a beautiful place with plenty of greenery. Many large cities only concentrate on building up and out, without paying attention to the natural beauty of the place. Huntsville, Alabama has plenty of wooded areas, gardens, lakes and greenery to enjoy. For this reason, Huntsville is an excellent retirement destination for those who crave the city life, while still wanting to enjoy small town luxuries.  Magnolia Trace Huntsville and Redstone Village are two Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Huntsville that offer a retirement community for independent living as well as care facilities when needed.

One thing that makes Huntsville so special is the large amount of PhD holders who live in this city. Huntsville holds more PhD holders per square mile than most other place in the United States. The reason Huntsville has so many educated citizens is due to the NASA branch located in the town of Huntsville. The city also holds many opportunities for those who hold degrees in science and engineering. Retirees who wish to have a part time job in their old field or to volunteer in the science and technology field will find Huntsville to be full of opportunities.

The growth that Huntsville, AL is expected to receive is largely due to the military opportunities that are moving to the town of Huntsville. Nearly 10,000 military jobs will be relocated to the city and a large amount of military contractor positions will be soon to follow. Military retirees who wish to remain close to a military installation and have the opportunity to contract with the military will find Huntsville to be one of the top towns to retire.

The weather in Huntsville is excellent for those who are looking to get away from cold, harsh winters without having to deal with summers that are over 100 degrees F. Most winter temperatures in the Huntsville area are around 49 degrees and temperatures in the summer are just less than 90 degrees on average. Mild falls and summers leave time to explore Monte San Mountain, a beautiful mountain and nature reserve located in south Huntsville.

The town of Huntsville’s demographics are varied, which makes for a culturally rich town. Huntsville is also located within 2 hours of both Atlanta, GA and Nashville, TN. A day trip to both of these large, popular southern cities will take no more than a few hours. Chattanooga, TN and Birmingham, AL are within one hour of Huntsville and these cities are popular destinations for large events.

The town of Huntsville, AL is the best small town for retirement for those who wish to retire in good weather and a scenic city that has lost none of its beauty. Huntsville, AL offers the ability to live well on retirement income and also offers opportunities to those who wish to stay mentally active after leaving the workforce full time.