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 at 200 Main Highlands N C


old Edwards inn
Old Edwards Inn Highlands

Baby Boomers – A New Website Just for you – to Answer All your Senior Living Questions

This post brought to you by The The content and opinions expressed below are that of Small Town Retirement.

The website launched in August of 2014, but is already relied on for the valuable information they provide to seniors, family, professionals, and caretakers. The site provides more information than about just selling senior living. There are printable guides to videos.

Are you a baby boomer? has a very user-friendly website waiting for you. You will have access to a wealth of information so you can be fully informed on your senior living options. There you will find step-by-step guides for things such as choosing the right community for you, deciding if you are ready for senior living, options on paying for living, and so much more.

Are you a caretaker or professional? If you work closely with the baby boomer community, you will want to have this website in your favorites list. You will want to refer your patients or client to the site
when they are ready for that next phase in life, so he or she can be proactive in their decision-making.

You will also have access to the site’s information, which can be easily tailored to your needs as a

Are you a family member? You will want to be just as informed as your loved one on the many senior living options available. The website will provide you that information. The site has guides about talking to your loved ones, tips, articles, and can also be tailored to you as family as well.

There is a great short video available to view, which introduces the website. It gives a brief overview of what the site is all about and you can view it below.

After viewing the video, be sure to visit the site today. You will be guided in the right direction for making this next step in your life. The more you are informed you are, the easier the decisions will
become. In addition, when you are knowledgeable on senior living solutions, they become far less stressful and become exciting.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Small Town for Sale

I have seen several stories about small towns being for sale. Here is what doesn’t add up.

Toomsboro mayor Roger Smith stands at the fence of the newly restored bed and breakfast at the center of his mid-Georgia town
Toomsboro mayor Roger Smith stands at the fence of the newly restored bed and breakfast at the center of his mid-Georgia town

There is a story in the Huffington Post that says buying a small town just keeps getting easier.  It says a developer who owns most of Toomsboro Georgia is putting his properties up for sale.  The town has 700 residents and features several small businesses like a florist, a convenience store and a custom cabinet shop.  According to the seller it was be ideal for a movie production company for a movie or a music video.

Toomsboro is in Wilkinson County where I went to high school and I knew several classmates who lived in Toomsboro.  Kurt was a butcher in Toomsboro the last time I went through there.  .

I know this sounds sensational saying a town is for sale, but several things just do not make sense to me.  So what does it mean to buy a small town… don’t the people living there have a say?   Reportedly a developer has the properties for sale…. well I can assure you there has not been much new development in Toomboro in quite some time.  I remember when the Swampland Opera closed down and most buildings in town were showing their age and in need of repair.   Maybe I could be wrong and the developer renovated the buildings and the town.  Gosh, you know he is upside down on those loans.

Despite all the publicity, have any sales of small towns ever worked out?   I remember Kim Basigner was going to buy Braselton, another Georgia town.   That sounds about as a good idea as her marriage to Alex Baldwin. With perhaps too much disposable income, Kim headed up an investment group that purchased the entire town of Braselton, in her native Georgia, for $20 million (she would later have to sell it).

Some guy who is the sole resident of Buford Wyoming put his house up for sale and a Vietnamese businessman bought it and could say he owned the whole town.  Big deal.

The town where The Hunger Games was filmed is reportedly for sale for 1.4 million.  The owner says the town gets lots of visitors.

If a small town is for sale, it is probably not a good place to live, much less retire to.   Who wants to live in a town that someone owns most of the property in and probably runs everything.   My guess is most of these towns are ghost towns and the people have long left for better living somewhere else, leaving  some buildings that may be called a town on paper but no longer in reality.

Retirement Hobbies

So you finally have time to peruse other than work activities. What are some of the hobbies semi retired and retied folks enjoy.

It can be a wide range of things. Whatever you enjoy.

Collecting and/or restoring muscle cars from our youth is appealing to some men. Of coarse outdoors activities like hiking, fishing and hunting are popular.  For social activities check out to check on groups near you.  You may be amazed to see how many qroups and interests there are available to you to get involved.

Many women enjoy gourmet cooking, books clubs, volunteering,  and shopping. The Internet is a great source of hobbies and even a hobby unto itself.  If you are a book reader, just have to check out
Couples like traveling to new places and of coarse cruising is exciting and affordable.  Gardening is making a comeback and Victory Gardens are enjoyable and rewarding.  Stamp collecting, coin and collecting medals is also making a come back and could be a good investment.  Keeping up with your investments becomes a hobby for some.  Having time to go to the library and museums becomes enjoyable again.  Reading and bookstore visits, attending government and civic meetings, and getting involved in politics are major activities.

Gosh how did we ever find time to work?

Best Arizona Places to Retire To

Arizona has some very good small towns to retire to.  If you know of any AZ town you like, please post a description here so we will all know about it. The more descriptive the better but even just a name will help and we can look in to more details.  Why do you like it   I have heard that some ghost towns around Arizona are being settled again by retirees.

Of course Phoenix area with the Sun City and other active adult communities is a great retirement draw. Tucson also has a number of active adult communities. Arizona certain appeal to retirees.