Murphy and the surrounding area in extreme southwestern North Carolina is a great place for a second home or retirement, particularly if you are interested in a quiet and rural environment. This very small town (about 1600 people) is the county seat of Cherokee County. There are some restaurants and shops. Downtown is small with tree lined streets and many historic buildings restored to their original state. The climate is mild and the scenery is breathtaking with mountains, lakes (several large ones like Lake Hiwassee), and streams. Nearby towns are reported to be quite nice: Sylva and Waynesville. The people are very friendly and the community is small and tight-knit. Asheville is located to the northeast. Photo of Courthouse courtesy of Wikipedia and Hi540.