Considering retiring in Asheville, North Carolina? You’re not alone! US News and World Report ranked Asheville as #16 in their list for the Best Places to Live and #4 for the Best Places to Retire. Asheville, North Carolina, consistently lands in top spots for similar lists by other national outlets. Why? These lists analyze the best places to live in the United States based on the quality of life and Asheville passes with flying colors.
Not only does Western North Carolina boast amazing outdoor activities, but the Asheville area, and in particular downtown Asheville, is rich in culture, award-winning cuisine, and signature Southern hospitality. Asheville, which sits at 2,000 feet of elevation, offers stunning mountain views and easy access to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
With two national parks, two national forests and many state parks and forests surrounding Asheville, you will have endless possibilities to enjoy nature and the spectacular mountain scenery. No matter your activity and fitness level, there are plenty of ways to enjoy our great outdoors - from picnics to hiking and mountain biking. Many groups, including the Carolina Mountain Club, offer guided hikes and other outings so you can meet like-minded locals. Take in the scenic views from the comfort of your car, or on numerous hiking and biking trails. The Blue Ridge Parkway runs along the spine of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and connects the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests. See our Outdoors Guide for many ideas.
Arts & Music
As one of the top art destinations in the country, Asheville and Western North Carolina are home to thousands of artists. Be inspired by visiting countless galleries and studios, including a large group of galleries in the River Arts District. Better yet, get hands-on with a workshop or class series. Join student artists from around the world at Penland School of Crafts. Experience a variety of North Carolina mountain live music and dance traditions including bluegrass, old-time, blues and clogging in and near Asheville. See a calendar of live music and dance events on our Blue Ridge Music Trails page.
Discounts for Seniors at Biltmore
Another famous attraction in Asheville, North Carolina, is Biltmore. Known as “America's Largest Home,” Biltmore sits on 8,000 sprawling acres, with historic gardens and wooded walking paths. Seniors aged 65+ save $10 on regular adult daytime admission at the reception & ticketing sales center every Tuesday and Wednesday. See our Insider's Guide for Biltmore.
World-Class Health Care
Seniors retiring to Asheville can relax knowing that they have world-class medical care through Mission Hospital, in Asheville. Mission Health has been named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by IBM Watson Health and offers unique care for seniors through their CarePartners PACE program (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly). PACE through Mission Hospital supports people age 55 plus to promote and sustain the independence of seniors and help those who want to live at home, stay at home. In East Asheville, the Charles George VA Medical Center serves veterans from several states.
Lifelong Learning Programs
Retiring in Asheville also presents some wonderful opportunities for lifelong learning, including the chance to explore new interests, hobbies, and studies at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of North Carolina - Asheville. Founded in 1988, OLLI is a nationally acclaimed learning community for older adults, offering programs for intellectual and cultural pursuits, as well as social, physical and practical life courses such as life transition and retirement relocation planning. OLLI’s College for Seniors offers more than 350 courses in four terms every year. Read more on Lifelong Learning Programs.
Retirement Communities in the Asheville Area
Find world-class 55 and older communities in Asheville and surrounding towns with many ways to stay active and amenities to be pampered. From luxury homes to simple condos, you'll find a big variety of settings including plenty of golf options. Read more on Retirement Communities in Western NC and find many in our Top 40 Small Towns.