North Carolina––the Tar Heel State––is where aviation got its wings and where many people choose to retire. North Carolina’s coastal region has 300 miles of barrier-island beaches and Western North Carolina has several mountain chains, including the Great Smoky, Blue Ridge, Brushy and the Uwharrie Mountains. In addition to its abundant natural beauty, North Carolina has so much to offer. It’s no wonder James Taylor wrote the song "Carolina in My Mind.” With that, here are the top best cities to retire in North Carolina.
Best Cities to Retire in North Carolina
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Asheville is one of the best cities to retire in North Carolina. Ashville has warm summers, mild winters and beautiful blue skies most of the time.
Although Asheville has more breweries per capita than any U.S. city, there is more to do than drink Copperline Amber Ale. Asheville’s great weather allows its residents to bike, hike, paddleboard and explore local waterfalls many months out of the year. Plus, the local Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers over 250 classes a year and is an amazing opportunity for Ashville retirees to learn new things and stay young at heart.
The cost of living in Asheville makes it one of the best cities to retire in North Carolina. With an average home price of $370,000 and a median household income of $48,000. Asheville’s quality of life is greater than other North Carolina cities.
Greensboro, NC is a mid-size city with a small-town feel. Although Greensboro is small enough to run into a friend at the grocery store, it's plenty big and has everything you need. Most retirees like Greensboro’s centralized location, as it is only 92 miles from Charlotte, 29 miles from Winston-Salem and 77 miles from Raleigh.
Greensboro has the amenities and diversity of a bigger city without the congestion and high costs. Greensboro is an affordable place to live that also delivers a good amount of entertainment, recreation and shopping for its laid-back residents.
On average, Greensboro sees 217 days of sunshine, 45 inches of rain and just 5 inches of snow each year. Retirees can expect temperatures near 90 degrees in the summer and near 30 degrees in the winter.
Greensboro’s median household income is just under $50,000, making the median home price of $195,000 affordable. The strong sense of community in Greensboro makes it one of the best cities to retire in North Carolina.
Located in Chowan County with a population of fewer than 5,000 people, Edenton sits on the inner banks of North Carolina’s coast in Albemarle Sound. Edenton spans just over 5.5 square miles and what it lacks in size it makes up for in picturesque simplicity. The 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse, historic county courthouse and Edenton trolly make residents feel like they are living in an old-time movie.
This 300-year-old town is one of the best cities to retire in North Carolina. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities, Edenton provides great opportunities for boating, fishing and other water sports, with easy access to the ocean.
Edenton’s average home price is just over $200,000 and the median household income is $25,000. Edenton, like many other places, isn't for everyone. However, it will suit the needs of those who enjoy a slower pace of life.
Regardless of your wants and needs, everyone can find a place to retire in North Carolina. From the fast-paced cities to relaxing rural settings, there are many best cities to retire in North Carolina.