Blowing Rock : North carolina


What It Is Like to Retire in Blowing Rock

Blowing Rock is a very tiny but affluent town in northwest North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. It got its name from some unusual rocks above the town that cause vertical wind currents.  After the Civil War summer residents began to come up from the nearby city of Lenoir to enjoy the cool fresh air and magnificent mountain views. The village eventually became a haven for well-to-do tourists.  Thanks to well-to-do, out-of-state summertime residents, Blowing Rock boasts restaurants, hotels, golf courses, and other attractions. A recent priority for Blowing Rock's residents has been to preserve and protect the town's historic structures and maintaining the small-town charm.  There are several places on the National Register of Historic Places. The population is about 1,300 but it seems much larger than that.


Where to Retire in Blowing Rock and Home Prices

Real estate is expensive here. Zillow reports the median home value in early 2022 was $597,814, up over 30% during the past year. There are active adult communities in the area, which includes the towns of Boone, Lenoir and Hickory. Homes just outside of town offer commanding views of the mountains beyond.


What Is Special about Blowing Rock

A beautiful and affluent small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Summer climate is very cool for the Carolinas, although winters are harsher. Great outdoor recreation nearby including skiing. The downtown is compact but interesting with some good restaurants and shops. There is a downtown park with area for performances and children's area. The surrounding mountains are really beautiful.


What Is Not Special about Blowing Rock

It is a very small town and a long drive to the nearest cities of any size, which would be Asheville and Charlotte for shopping, medical, and entertainment. Winters are fairly fierce for the south.  It is also one of the more expensive towns in this part of the Blue Ridge.


Who Will Like Retirement in Blowing Rock

People who want to live in a cute little town in the mountains with outstanding outdoor recreation. Retirees are a big part of the population since the average age is 59.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism and retirement are very important.


Climate and Physical Environment

The town is actually on the top of the Blue Ridge in northwestern  NC. Some parts of town drain toward the Mississippi and others to the Atlantic Ocean.  It is very rural and mountainous with an altitude of 3600'.  The average January temp is about 30 and the average July temp in the mid 60s with few days over 80.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Attractions in the area include the elegant and historic Green Park Inn, Mystery Hill, the Blowing Rock Country Club, and the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum. There are numerous festivals including the "Art In The Park" festival, a monthly summertime event in downtown Blowing Rock where artists set up booths to sell their work to tourists; the Fourth of July festival and parade; Blowing Rock Winterfest in November; and the Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival in April.  As a tourist destination there are some restaurants. Appalachian State Univ. is 6 miles away in Boone, NC.



The crime rate is about half the national average.


Medical Facilities

Blowing Rock Hospital serves the town, and there are other facilities in Boone and Lenoir. For specialists and more serious matters Asheville or Charlotte are a considerable drive away.



The closest airport is Tri-Cities Regional Airport 77 miles away in Blountville, Tennessee; the nearest international airport is in Charlotte, about 90 miles away. 


Valuable Links

Blowing Rock Visitors Guide


What people are saying about Blowing Rock

If you have a snake phobia, you should get help. Regardless, snakes are not an issue for Blowing Rock or NC in general. For one, black snakes are great to have around as they provide rodent control and also tend to drive off any venomous copperheads (which themselves are very non-aggressive). However, my wife was born and raised less than an hour from Blowing Rock. We have visited Blowing Rock often and have vacationed there several times. We have lived in NC for more than 60 years on average. We used to backpack through all these mountain areas. I have never seen any snake in Blowing Rock. We seldom ever see snakes of any kind anywhere in NC. That is not to say they are not here. We are fortunate enough to have several black snakes living under our decks. We have also had passing encounters with various snakes (a few venomous), but have never found them to be a problem. I\'m an observant person and I don\'t miss much that goes occurs around me. If I haven\'t seen many snakes, then you can be guaranteed that they are not \"EVERYWHERE\" in Blowing Rock or any part of NC. Certainly they exist, but hardly to excess.
Posted by richlife on June 25, 2015
I have friends that live in NC and they always go on and on about the black snakes. They post pictures of snakes EVERYWHERE. I cannot deal with a bunch of snakes! This town SOUNDS wonderful and right up our alley, but I need to know if it has the same onslaught of snakes I\'ve heard about.
Posted by jststric on June 24, 2015

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