Located a little over 20 miles to the south of Asheville is Hendersonville, North Carolina. Although it's a smaller town with a population of just over 13,000 people, Hendersonville offers four distinct seasons (it's known as "The City of Four Seasons" for good reason!), low crime rates, and some of the best scenery you'll find in North America. Summers rarely reach above 90 degrees due to the 2,000 feet elevation. As for winters, they can be mild and usually produce less than 20 inches of snow. In the fall, beautiful foliage pops up all around the city, making it look like a picture in a storybook.
Hendersonville residents have a median age of 45 and earn a median household income of about $35,800 per year. Median home values are also great and sit just over $268,000 - making this town both affordable and extremely popular among retirees or first time home buyers. It's easy to understand why this charismatic city finds itself on a list of the 100 Best Small Towns in America.
Hendersonville is home to the annual North Carolina Apple Festival, an event that typically pulls in as many as 50,000 spectators each year. Main Street downtown also hosts several other festivals and special activities during the year. Locals also enjoy having the ability to catch a show from the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, an experience usually only found in major cities.
Anyone who spends enough time in this city will also become extremely familiar with Flat Rock Playhouse. The infamous Mr. Papes has performed there, and it's also the state theater of North Carolina. Flat Rock Playhouse is even considered one of the 10-best seasonal theaters in all of the United States.
Much like the city of Asheville, Hendersonville is quickly making its mark as one of the best places for arts and culture in North Carolina. Famous American poet and author Carl Sandburg spent his last 20+ years at Connemara, his 264-acre estate in Flat Rock that today serves as a National Historic Site. The Henderson County Heritage Museum along with the Mineral and Lapidary Museum offers visitors unique views of giant geodes, a Tyrannosaurus skull, and almost everything you could possibly need to know about the history of Carolina.
Anyone who enjoys being outdoors will surely love living in Hendersonville. The city is surrounded by the Pisgah, Nantahala, and Chattahoochee National Forests, public spaces that offer different hiking trails and adventures for people of all skill levels. Horseback riding, fishing, skiing/snowboarding, bird watching, and camping are also popular activities all year round. Before the population started to grow more rapidly in Hendersonville, this area was a magnet for coastal families wanting to escape the summer heat in other parts of the East Coast. If going up into the mountains isn't really your thing, don't worry; the city also has a number of different golf courses and at least a dozen different parks for you to check out.