Best mountain towns to live in the south
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Read on to discover some of the most popular places to live in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A picturesque landscape accompanied by miles of scenic vistas reveals why this mountain town is so beloved. Among the many outdoor activities available in the Blue Ridge Mountains are hiking , kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, and fishing.
Take a peek at our exclusive Asheville Region community at The Cliffs. From fine dining and shopping to live music and festivals, downtown Greenville has it all.
Night or day, this city never ceases to amaze. With a pedestrian-friendly downtown area, you can choose from hundreds of restaurants, several boutiques, and a tree-lined Main Street. Throughout the year, visitors and residents can enjoy outdoor plazas, sidewalk dining, and art galleries. You can indulge in a number of sports and outdoor activities in Greenville, which is one of the best reasons to consider living there.
One of the best places to visit is Falls Park on the Reedy, which is located right downtown. The acre park boasts a rushing waterfall and walking trails. Hundreds of miles of hiking and mountain biking trails can also be explored in the surrounding area just minutes from Greenville. Luxury homeowners can find Blue Ridge Mountain homes for sale in our community here.
Hendersonville has a lot to offer despite its small size! The beautiful scenery coupled with southern hospitality proves why this is one of the best places to live in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Craft breweries, cideries, and vineyards are widespread here. With its central location in our Mountain Region, Hendersonville is ideal if recreational outdoor activities are important to you. Asheville lies to the north, Pisgah National Forest to the west, Lake Lure to the east, and Tryon, with its world-class equestrian facilities to the south.
Travelers Rest, established in , is a small town with a lot of history in our Mountain Region. The allure of a laid-back Southern lifestyle attracts couples, families and anyone seeking a picturesque and progressive place to live. The town is nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounded by the familiar natural beauty of this range. Sylva is picture-perfect with its movie-set streets and stately court house perched on a hill.
A charming main street serves as a hub of activity, filled with restaurants, galleries, and shops waiting to be explored. Four local breweries dotted along downtown provide the perfect place to unwind and gather with friends. Within minutes, you can access trails perfect for hiking and biking, passing waterfalls that are common to the area.
Mountain views set in Georgian wine country — that is what Dahlonega has to offer as one of the best places to live in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here, you will find eight wineries and 12 tasting rooms that offer quality and award-winning selections. Thousands of visitors come to the beautifully preserved and historic downtown each year. Close by is the Chattahoochee National Forest that offers even more outdoor adventures including scenic trails made for hiking, off-roading, ATV riding for viewing nature and the surrounding landscape.
In the mountains of Northern Georgia, you can find the quaint mountain town of Ellijay. Kids who grew up panning for gold in area streams are returning as adults to sample Cabs and Viogniers among the vines.
Just outside town, five wineries produce a variety of award-winning sips. At Montaluce Winery , the rolling landscape and Italianate villa channel the Tuscan countryside, while Wolf Mountain Vineyards offers a more rustic setting—think stonework and cedar beams—for tastings of its award-winning blends. The historical boardinghouse also operates an inn with tastefully appointed rooms. Or, descend feet—and more than a century into the past—on an underground tour of Consolidated Gold Mine.
Highlands attracts visitors year-round now too, which means businesses that once closed for the winter now cater to Christmas crowds. Many credit Old Edwards Inn , opened in , for truly putting the town on the map. The luxe, European-style spa and golf resort has amassed impressive accolades Conde Nast Traveler named it one of the top hotels in the United States last year. East of town, a nearly three-mile hike at Whiteside Mountain affords panoramas of silvery cliffs and dense forest.
Stop in at charming Highlands Mountain Paws for all sorts of pet gear, plus locally made dog treats. Over at C. Orrico , brands like Lilly Pulitzer are right at home in this rarefied corner of Carolina. Be sure to hit Sidewall Pizza , serving stellar brick-oven pies in a former tire shop. Over at the Cafe at Williams Hardware , a former tool shop now doubles as a boutique with locally made gifts and a cheery spot to grab a Reuben.
The town boasts its own craft brewery, Swamp Rabbit , and a top-of-the-line outfitter, Sunrift Adventures. Selling bikes, kayaks, and apparel inside an old train depot, Sunrift is a great place to rent wheels before hitting the Swamp Rabbit Trail , an eighteen-mile greenway that connects with Greenville.
Lodging in town is otherwise limited, though Greenville offers a wide range of options. Hendersonville is often called a small-town version of Asheville. Hendersonville is known for its serpentine Main Street adorned with colorful planters and dotted with alfresco dining tables.
Postero offers New American fare such as poached salmon on avocado toast, while Mezzaluna showcases a refined Italian menu with fifty beers on tap. A visit to the gleaming Sierra Nevada brewery in nearby Mills River is in order, but make no mistake: Hendersonville is a hard cider hub.
Prefer wine? If you prefer a downtown locale, the circa Charleston Inn recently got a new name and facelift. Another popular lookout is Jump Off Rock , where on a clear day you can see four states. Despite its recent downtown revitalization and close proximity to Atlanta, Blue Ridge still feels like a well-kept secret, a Southern Shangri-La. No matter where you stay, downtown Blue Ridge is worth exploring.
Harvest on Main brought farm-to-table cooking to the area in and remains a favorite for a memorable dinner. Meanwhile, Black Sheep serves Southern fusion cuisine and housemade. Art lovers find plenty to admire in Blue Ridge, including stunning hand-blown glassworks at Multitudes Gallery.
And anglers discover paradise: After picking up a hand-engraved rod at Oyster Fine Bamboo Fly Rods , cast a line for the large trout that populate the Toccoa River and nearby creeks. Prestigious artists-in-residence hone their skills at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts , which features a lovely onsite gallery showcasing their works. The art of moonshine making is also on full display at Ole Smoky Distillery ; after a tour, sample the finely crafted white lightning for yourself.
Cades Cove , located a twenty-seven-mile journey from town, offers some of the best glimpses into the wilderness, as well as into the lives of early settlers. Reserved for hikers and cyclists before 10 a. If your preferred vantage point is a hammock, set up shop at the Lodge at Buckberry Creek , offering high-end suites and a magnificent mountain setting. For a more intimate escape, check in at the historical Buckhorn Inn , which drips with classic romance think toile bedspreads and fine china.
Long overshadowed by Helen, its bustling Bavarian neighbor, Sautee has quietly blossomed into a peaceful, culture-rich oasis.
– Best mountain towns to live in the south
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When the elevation rises, so does the fun. There’s adventure to be had on mountain vacations around the South, and those who have made the trip know few destinations can compare. Our readers voted on their favorites, so here’s a list of 15 best mountain towns to visit. Follow winding country roads to small mountain towns and explore their historic downtowns, local shops and restaurants, and cozy bed and breakfasts.
Settle in because you’ll want to stay awhile. Hike to overlooks, bike forested trails, fish quiet lakes, marvel at waterfalls, canoe calm waterways, and appreciate the astounding splendor of nature in the mountains. There, you’re breathing deeper already. There’s never a shortage of things to do on a weekend trip to the South’s best mountain towns, and these communities prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Pack your hiking boots and listen closely—the mountains are calling. The arts are alive in Abingdon, Virginia, a small town that’s home to the Barter Theatre, one of one of the oldest professional theaters in the United States. To range around outdoors, there’s also the Virginia Creeper Trail, a great spot to wander on sunny days.
Let it lead you to fishing and hiking spots around southwest Virginia. The small town of Berea, Kentucky, is near the Cumberland Mountains and surrounded by deep forests. It’s the location of Kentucky’s biggest privately managed forest, which is owned by Berea College, an institution founded in and the first college in the South to be coeducational and racially integrated.
The forest offers miles of trails and room to roam in this picturesque region of the Bluegrass State. Hop a train car on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad to see the park at pace it’s particularly inviting when the leaves light up in autumn , and then launch a raft on the Tuckasegee River for a whitewater adventure. Take in waterfall views from an easy hike, and fuel up afterward with a homestyle meal or farm-to-table offering at one of a variety of restaurants.
Plan your trip. It’s the perfect spot for viewing leaves in the fall and rhododendrons in spring. You can visit Ellijay, Georgia, at any time of year and have a great time, but it’s an especially popular spot in fall, when the area’s foliage turns vibrant, and the apple orchards open their doors for celebrations, cider, and apple picking. The annual Georgia Apple Festival draws visitors from all over; it has been going since and includes live music, crafts fairs, and a parade.
Here, you’ll also find some of the best trout waters in the Southeast, and cooler temperatures make it a good time to cast a line. The wilderness area—with , acres to explore—is known for its peaks, waterfalls, and hiking trails. This town near Shenandoah National Park has a lovely downtown , and visitors will find points of interest including Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Wilson Park. After enjoying the vistas in Shenandoah National Park, take yourself to the breweries along the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail.
Situated just a short drive from Asheville, the small town of Black Mountain , North Carolina, has galleries filled with work by local artists, breweries, music venues, and charming bed and breakfasts, all of which ensure a full and fun weekend stay in this western North Carolina town. It’s named for the Black Mountain range that rises near downtown.
There are also lots of opportunities for hiking, biking, and fishing in nearby parks and forests. This Blue Ridge town is located south of Asheville, and visitors flock to the area to enjoy the breweries, restaurants, wineries, and apple orchards, as well as Hendersonville’s historic downtown. There’s also kayaking, hiking, and canoeing in nearby waters.
Stroll through Dahlonega, Georgia, and find a mountain town filled with personality. It’s easy to go winery hopping in North Georgia. Venture farther afield for even more adventures. The historic downtown area is the calling card of Eureka Springs , Arkansas, a mountain town nestled in the Ozark Mountains near Beaver Lake.
The entire downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so take time to marvel at the architecture, then explore the works by local artisans in the town’s eclectic shops and boutiques.
Venture from downtown where there’s adventure for all types, from ghost tours to touring underground caves and caverns. Located off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Boone, North Carolina, is a western North Carolina hub for outdoorsy travelers looking for mountain views and adventure in nature.
Whether ziplining, mountain biking, or wildflowers are your thing, you’re likely to find a way to enjoy it here. Hop aboard an antique train to take a spin through the surrounding forest. If you’d rather go by foot, embark on trails through the Chattahoochee National Forest, where you can see burbling creeks and waterfalls.
Afterward, enjoy the local restaurants, breweries, and shops in the downtown district. A small western North Carolina town with breathtaking scenic views, Blowing Rock , North Carolina, is an all-time favorite mountain destination. This eastern Tennessee town is a family favorite. Gatlinburg is a gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and has all the overlooks and panoramic vistas you’d hope to see during a visit to the area.
To experience these dramatic sights, book into the Space Needle observation tower or the Sky Lift, an aerial cable car, where you can glimpse the mountains and their telltale haze. Or walk along the longest pedestrian bridge in North America for breath-taking views. When you visit the site, Dotdash Meredith and its partners may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies.
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