A suburb of Asheville, Hendersonville is located in the mountainous region of Western North Carolina. Lovers of fall foliage, craft brews, and picturesque mountain views can find it all in Hendersonville. A strong sense of community, a vibrant downtown area, and trouble-free travel make the city a popular destination for active adults looking to retire in the Carolinas.
Climate & Geography
Hendersonville is just south of the Cherokee National Forest and the Pisgah National Forest, and is east of the Nantahala National Forest. At the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains, the city has higher elevation, and therefore experiences more below-freezing weather but less snow than the rest of the North Carolina. Summers are warm and humid, and the city experiences all four seasons. There is higher than average rainfall and over 210 sunny days a year.
Recreation, Culture & Entertainment
Residents seeking a strong sense of community can find it in Hendersonville. The downtown historic district hosts a wide variety of events and festivals, including the North Carolina Apple Festival, Rhythm & Brews Concert series for local craft beer and live music, and an annual antique and vintage show. There are also several farmers markets both in and around the city. Downtown also has over 20 restaurants, 70 shops, three microbreweries, and a cidery.
Wine lovers can also visit several wineries, including Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards, Burntshirt Vineyards, and Point Lookout Vineyards. Justus Orchard, Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard, and Grandad’s Apples are popular destinations for apples and other fall produce.
Nearby national parks, as well as Mud Creek, also offer residents plenty of camping, hiking, and fishing opportunities.
Cost of Living & Taxes
Though the overall cost of living is slightly above the national average, this is only due to the cost of housing and health care. Groceries, utilities, and transportation all come far under the U.S. average, which is characteristic of North Carolina as a whole.
North Carolina is moderately tax-friendly to retirees as it does not tax Social Security, but does fully tax pensions, IRAs, 401(k)s, and other forms of retirement income at the state’s flat rate of 5.5 percent without the possibility of deductions. Property taxes are on the low end, while a 6.75 percent sales tax in Hendersonville is about average. North Carolina does tax groceries, but at a reduced rate, and prescription drugs are exempt from sales tax.
The Asheville area ranks within the top 10 communities in Gallup’s Well-Being Index. It rates especially high in Gallup’s Community index, indicating that residents enjoy where they live, feel safe, and take pride in their community.
Hendersonville has two hospitals within city limits, Margaret R. Pardee Memorial Hospital and Park Ridge Health-Hendersonville. Nearby Asheville has Mission Hospital-Asheville, high performing in nine specialities and the No. 7 hospital in North Carolina as ranked by U.S. News.