Located in the Swannanoa Valley, Black Mountain is a recreational, homey town in North Carolina, not that far from Asheville. Hiking, biking, golf, gallery-hopping, and swimming are some of the main activities here. The town has a reputation as being an artistic town that attracts weekenders, vacationers, and retirees who tilt toward the liberal side. There is a nice downtown with quaint shops and B & Bs. It is known as the "Front Porch of Western North Carolina". Photo of mountains and lake courtesy of townofblackmountain.org; photo of Black Mountain Downtown Historic District courtesy of Wikipedia and Bill Fitzpatrick.