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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Blowing Rock, North Carolina?

Overview:   Situated in northwestern North Carolina and named for a rock formation that juts over the Johns River Gorge, Blowing Rock caps the Eastern Continental Divide and boasts stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a resort town that has been attracting tourists and vacationers since the late-1800s.

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Downtown, peppered with commercialized red and blond brick buildings and hanging flower baskets, hosts a seasonal farmers' market and has clusters of upscale gift, clothing and gourmet food shops. Most restaurants receive good reviews and serve everything from green fried tomatoes and BBQ to fish and chips. Professional theater is represented by Ensemble Stage, and the Blowing Rock Jazz Society sponsors live concerts. Residents also enjoy Art in the Park and the Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival, which features the products of neighboring orchards and vineyards. Once a summer, the Symphony of the Mountains performs by the lake at the beautiful Chetola Resort, drawing music lovers from around the region. The resort also has reasonabley priced homes for sale.

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The Moses Cone Memorial Park surrounds Blowing Rock, and it has two lakes and miles of carriage trails. Broyhill Park has a lake, outdoor pool, and gazebo. The Glen Burney and Glen Mary falls are accessed through the town's Cannon Gardens. Other nearby attractions include the historic Green Park Inn, Tweetsie Railroad, Grandfather Mountain, and Linville Caverns.

Population:  1,300 (city proper)

Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 60%

Cost of Living:  21% above the national average. 

Median Home Price: $310,000

Climate:   Summer temperatures are in the 70s and 80s, and winter temperatures are in the 20s and 30s. On average, the area receives 66 inches of rain and 30 inches of snow per year. The elevation is 3,600 feet above sea level.

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Watauga Medical Center in Boone, eight miles away, accepts Medicare patients.

At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission?   No, but Watauga Medical Center in Boone, eight miles away, is accredited.

Public Transit:   No

Crime Rate:   Below the national average

Public Library:   Yes

Political Leanings:  Nearly split down the middle

Is North Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?    Somewhat

Cons:   Tourists from around the world clog everything - the narrow roads, the restaurants, Acadia National Park - during summer and fall.

Notes:   Blowing Rock has grown by 3% within the last 10 to 20 years and has no racial diversity. Tourists are everywhere during the summer. While many retail outlets are higher-end, there is also a Food Lion and a Tanger Outlets Mall. Services not available in town are often found in Boone, eight miles away.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?   Yes

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