• Population: About 70,000 residents in the city, 215,000 in Buncombe County. Asheville is the county seat and regional cultural, medical and educational hub.
  • Cost of Living: Slightly below average.
  • Rain: 48 inches
  • Snow: 15 inches
  • January High: 47 – January Low: 25
  • July High: 83 – July Low: 63

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Biltmore’s Behind the Scenes Tours

Get an up-close account of what it was like to live as a servant in America’s largest home, or get an incredible bird’s eye view of the estate on a guided tour of the rooftop.

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Asheville, North Carolina Details

Asheville mixes retirees with college students, young families and professionals of all ages. Health care, manufacturing and tourism are major industries. Downtown houses museums, a theatre and cultural center. Galleries and shops showcase beautiful arts and crafts created in the region, supplementing the extensive college of mountain crafts at the Folk Art Center outside town on the Blue RIDGE Parkway. Asheville’s extensive cultural venues are a drawing card for many retirees who are eager to escape the stresses of living in metropolitan areas but still want tons of the big city amenities. A focus for many seniors who move to the Asheville area is the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement, established in 1988 as part of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The center designed programs that have become national models. Its heart is the College for Senior’s, which offers for terms annually with classes in such far-ranging topics as Understanding the Balkans, King David vs. King James, Getting Started With Computers and US Leadership in Today’s Global Economy. UNA faculty, community residents and retirees who are experts in varying fields teach the noncredit classes, which draw about 1500 seniors annually.

This small, vibrant city in the North Carolina Mountains attracts active retirees from all over the country. On a high plateau surrounded by the misty Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has been a natural cross road for centuries. A small but sophisticated city with excellent health care, a reasonable cost of living and the added bonus of a university with cutting edge program for active seniors. Well-located, its on Interstate 40 and the slow placed Blue Ridge parkway, approximately 200 miles from Atlanta, 120 miles from Charlotte, 110 miles from Knoxville, and 60 mils from Greenville.

Creative Retirement Exploration Weekend held annually over Memorial Day weekend draws about 150 senior who attend workshops to discuss the economic, social and psychological factors of relocating to this region when they retire. With mountains at their doorsteps, Asheville residents enjoy a variety of outdoor sports, including hiking, rafting, biking and fishing. The area has a mild four-season climate with a beautiful spring and fall.

Videos of Asheville, North Carolina

Sales Tax

7%. Sales tax exemptions: Prescriptions and services.

Income Tax

For married couples filing jointly, the rate is graduate from 6% taxable income up to $21,250 to 8.25% (plus $13537.50) on amounts over $200,000. For single filers, it is graduated from 6% of income up to $12,750 to 8.25% (plus $8,722.50) on amounts over $120,000.



Estate Tax

Applicable to taxable estates above $2 million.

Property Tax

City residents pay a combined city-county tax rate of $1.13 per $100 of assessed value, with all homes assessed at 100% market vale. Annual taxes on a $272,768 home are about $3,082.

Homestead Exemption

Those age 65 and older can exempt $20,000 or 50% off the assessed value of permanent residence if combined income is less than $19,700 annually.


The city has about 300 places of worship, representing Protestant, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Jewish faiths.


The city has several colleges and universities augmented by campus in surrounding communities. The University of North Carolina at Asheville has degree programs and is home to the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement, which ahs numerous programs for retirees, including the College for seniors with four terms of noncredit classes annually.


A regional medical center Asheville has five hospitals and more than 500 doctors, providing a range of health care including heart and cancer centers, trauma services and emergency air transport by helicopter.


Some retirees choose to buy older homes in city neighborhoods, which others relocate to new developments in suburban areas or adjacent communities in Buncombe County. Some developments cater to active adults but many are composed of all ages. Among choices: In the eastern part of the city, ViewPointe is a gated community for active adults, with a clubhouse for activities; homes are in the $240,000s to $270,000s. In he north in Weaverville, about 20 minutes to downtown Asheville, High Vista Falls is a gated community for all ages with golf course clubhouse and patio homes from the $277,000s and townhomes from the low $300,000s.

Visitors Information

A popular vacation hub, Asheville has a wide choice of lodging, from budget to luxury and including bed and breakfast inns.