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Old 05-01-2013, 05:39 PM
 
985 posts, read 2,212,315 times
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Took a drive to Asheville a few yrs. ago. Somehow it didn't appeal to me for retirement. It's just not what I expected. There were lots of "old hippies" around, not that that bothers me (I'm probably one myself!). The vibe is very progressive, and lots of unusual looking people there. The town itself wasn't that beautiful, compared to the long-distance pictures you see all over TV and magazines of Asheville. It was clean, though, and appealing for that reason.

It wasn't easy to get around town either, lots of curvy roads and soon as you left the downtown area.

There's a town further west called Waynesville. It is my next trip. People say it's lovely. The scenery looks stunning.

Drove to Weaverville, too, near Asheville. There are so many roads up the hills, once you are actually leaving the tiny downtown area, with dangerous hair-pin turns. I wasn't too keen on driving those types of roads during the winter or if it's dark outside.

Close to a charming town, within walking distance would be nice. Another town near Asheville that people say is stunningly beautiful is Black Mountain. Saw scenes from that town on an NPR program here in NC and it looks like it deserves the praise.

Maggie Valley and Waynesville and Black Mountain are on my list to check out. Local people tell me to look at Brevard. They ooooooohhh and aaaahhh about Brevard. But it's too far south for me. I want cool cool cool. Had enough of humidity that's relentless and heat that doesn't ever seem to end.

If these places don't work out, I may head way up north again. Either NH or Michigan!

One thing about the south, there are way less breezes here to clear the air and make it feel fresh. The summer air is gross because it just sits there forever and no breeze happens. Hate that.
best,
toodie

 
Old 05-01-2013, 05:54 PM
 
404 posts, read 495,025 times
Reputation: 543
I visited Ashville a few years ago with the same aim, checking it out for retirement.
I didn't like the area at all.
I found the city dirty and the vibe in the rural areas was just 'off' somehow to me.
of course millions love it, so ymmv.
 
Old 05-01-2013, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,955 posts, read 7,400,186 times
Reputation: 16293
Quote:
Originally Posted by toodie View Post
Took a drive to Asheville a few yrs. ago. Somehow it didn't appeal to me for retirement. It's just not what I expected. There were lots of "old hippies" around, not that that bothers me (I'm probably one myself!). The vibe is very progressive, and lots of unusual looking people there. The town itself wasn't that beautiful, compared to the long-distance pictures you see all over TV and magazines of Asheville. It was clean, though, and appealing for that reason.

It wasn't easy to get around town either, lots of curvy roads and soon as you left the downtown area.

There's a town further west called Waynesville. It is my next trip. People say it's lovely. The scenery looks stunning.

Drove to Weaverville, too, near Asheville. There are so many roads up the hills, once you are actually leaving the tiny downtown area, with dangerous hair-pin turns. I wasn't too keen on driving those types of roads during the winter or if it's dark outside.

Close to a charming town, within walking distance would be nice. Another town near Asheville that people say is stunningly beautiful is Black Mountain. Saw scenes from that town on an NPR program here in NC and it looks like it deserves the praise.

Maggie Valley and Waynesville and Black Mountain are on my list to check out. Local people tell me to look at Brevard. They ooooooohhh and aaaahhh about Brevard. But it's too far south for me. I want cool cool cool. Had enough of humidity that's relentless and heat that doesn't ever seem to end.

If these places don't work out, I may head way up north again. Either NH or Michigan!

One thing about the south, there are way less breezes here to clear the air and make it feel fresh. The summer air is gross because it just sits there forever and no breeze happens. Hate that.
best,
toodie
Thanks -- this is all good to know and I will check out these other towns also.
 
Old 05-02-2013, 12:34 PM
 
4,575 posts, read 7,067,487 times
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I was seriously thinking about visiting NC this summer to see how hot it really gets, but the more I read your comments and others, the less appealing it becomes. I'm not real excited about NC anyway for some reason, and the hot/humid long summers, I just don't think I could deal with those. I never thought I would fit in the south, although I really like Virginia but that's about as far south as I think I could go. I did like what I have been reading about Charlotte but the area I would like to live is getting more popular which equates with more expensive. But the COL in the south generally works with my budget...

A few years ago I had a long list of places I thought I could retire to, but that list has dwindled down and now I feel stuck. But I want to retire within a year, so I need to get inspired again
 
Old 05-02-2013, 01:11 PM
 
1,579 posts, read 2,205,771 times
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I took a trip to Asheville, Boone, and Black Mountain a couple of years ago. I liked Asheville (unique), but it's way too crowded and touristy for me. Black Mountain is a very small quaint town, but I've read from somewhere here on CD that the surrounding area is poor and run down (I didn't see that, but just stayed in the tourist part of downtown). I liked Boone the best, but just can't see myself living so far from a bigger city/amenities ... plus it's all too expensive for me, anyhow.

Last edited by smpliving; 05-02-2013 at 01:36 PM..
 
Old 05-02-2013, 01:55 PM
 
4,575 posts, read 7,067,487 times
Reputation: 4227
do you see any influx of retirees into the midwest, since the west/east coasts are too expensive and the south too hot/humid?
 
Old 05-02-2013, 03:36 PM
 
5,399 posts, read 6,544,082 times
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Hi Toodie

I grew up in Black Mountain and graduated from UNC-Asheville and must say you have captured Asheville, Weaverville, etc fairly honestly. I would add there are a lot of faux-hippies and wannabes as well.

A pet peeve of mine is that people say they have heard how pretty Black Mountain is or have seen pictures of the town and they want to check it out. Fact is the town itself is pretty with 1950ish small town brick buildings in a beautiful setting BUT it is only the town that is pretty unless you live in the upscale part ($700K to $1M+) part; that eastern/southernish side of town. That part has become quite the place to be.

Where the rest of the people live has gotten so shabby and seedy as you go away from town toward Montreat it is sad. For the most part as neighborhoods they are overgrown, in poor repair, and just strange. The 1924 bungalow that was my home has planks falling off the dormers with chickens in the yard. The shrubs I used to trim now grow to the roof.

If it were just a house or two, you could say the right owner can clean it up but the whole thing is at the best overgrown and dark with trees untrimmed.

A friend of mine said something like "Well the earthy people move in and they stay a few years and they move out". And that explains the no pride in ownership/spending time keeping things trimmed and in good repair. Just not a priority, I guess.

Fully expect that I can't go home again, but I honestly wasn't expecting that.

Depending upon your wants and needs, Maggie Valley and Waynesville are nice. I like Mars Hill (but not much going on there) and it is a straight shot to Asheville and its activities. Lots of transplants live to the south in Arden, Fletcher, Hendersonville area. think the traffic on I26 going toward those areas is dense, but if you are retired it wouldn't matter. Good shopping there and shouldn't have to go too far to get what you want. I wouldn't mind East Asheville or Swannanoa area, but that may be because I am a native and it would appeal more to me. Hard to say what works for another.

I am now taking little minivacations back to WNC and ET just to see where I like that clicks before I make my mind up.

Wish you well.



Quote:
Originally Posted by toodie View Post
Took a drive to Asheville a few yrs. ago. Somehow it didn't appeal to me for retirement. It's just not what I expected. There were lots of "old hippies" around, not that that bothers me (I'm probably one myself!). The vibe is very progressive, and lots of unusual looking people there. The town itself wasn't that beautiful, compared to the long-distance pictures you see all over TV and magazines of Asheville. It was clean, though, and appealing for that reason.

It wasn't easy to get around town either, lots of curvy roads and soon as you left the downtown area.

There's a town further west called Waynesville. It is my next trip. People say it's lovely. The scenery looks stunning.

Drove to Weaverville, too, near Asheville. There are so many roads up the hills, once you are actually leaving the tiny downtown area, with dangerous hair-pin turns. I wasn't too keen on driving those types of roads during the winter or if it's dark outside.

Close to a charming town, within walking distance would be nice. Another town near Asheville that people say is stunningly beautiful is Black Mountain. Saw scenes from that town on an NPR program here in NC and it looks like it deserves the praise.

Maggie Valley and Waynesville and Black Mountain are on my list to check out. Local people tell me to look at Brevard. They ooooooohhh and aaaahhh about Brevard. But it's too far south for me. I want cool cool cool. Had enough of humidity that's relentless and heat that doesn't ever seem to end.

If these places don't work out, I may head way up north again. Either NH or Michigan!

One thing about the south, there are way less breezes here to clear the air and make it feel fresh. The summer air is gross because it just sits there forever and no breeze happens. Hate that.
best,
toodie
 
Old 05-02-2013, 03:46 PM
 
5,399 posts, read 6,544,082 times
Reputation: 10477
BTW, I was in Ann Arbor MI last summer and liked it and the people.

To me, it seemed cleaner that where I am from. I liked that although the winter cold might be too much for me.

just saying since you mentioned it in your post.

Personal preference in an interesting thing. I love TN and have family there but I don't know if I would be comfortable in East TN, for example. I do not like pastures and the sloping hill nature of ET. Some people do. I prefer the more rugged side of the mountains where I grew up. And maybe that is it in a nutshell.
 
Old 05-02-2013, 03:51 PM
 
1,953 posts, read 4,622,171 times
Reputation: 1381
Quote:
Originally Posted by toodie View Post

It wasn't easy to get around town either, lots of curvy roads and soon as you left the downtown area.

There's a town further west called Waynesville. It is my next trip. People say it's lovely. The scenery looks stunning.

Drove to Weaverville, too, near Asheville. There are so many roads up the hills, once you are actually leaving the tiny downtown area, with dangerous hair-pin turns. I wasn't too keen on driving those types of roads during the winter or if it's dark outside.

Close to a charming town, within walking distance would be nice. Another town near Asheville that people say is stunningly beautiful is Black Mountain. Saw scenes from that town on an NPR program here in NC and it looks like it deserves the praise.

Maggie Valley and Waynesville and Black Mountain are on my list to check out. Local people tell me to look at Brevard. They ooooooohhh and aaaahhh about Brevard. But it's too far south for me. I want cool cool cool. Had enough of humidity that's relentless and heat that doesn't ever seem to end.
Interesting information. I may be vising Asheville, and given that it's a mountain town, I'm not surprised to hear about curvy roads and hairpin turns. A lot of retirees have settled there, so I wonder how they handle the driving on these roads, as you mentioned, at night or in the winter. The Blue Ridge Parkway is scenic but not a road I would tackle at night or in the winter, and could easily be avoided, but it sounds like main routes are challenging. Surprising that so many retirees are moving there, as it would be necessary to have a car there, from what I've read. A good friend of mine goes there every year to visit relatives, and I'll have to talk to her more about the roads once you leave the downtown area.
 
Old 05-02-2013, 04:04 PM
 
1,579 posts, read 2,205,771 times
Reputation: 2762
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveautumn View Post
do you see any influx of retirees into the midwest, since the west/east coasts are too expensive and the south too hot/humid?
No influx of retirees from the 2 coasts here The only few exceptions I know of are those who left Iowa when young for employment in neighboring states or the West coast, and come back to their roots when retired (for extended family/family farm).

Last edited by smpliving; 05-02-2013 at 04:19 PM..
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