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Views on Black Mountain, N.C., and its environs

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Hi all -- My husband and I are now in the Philadelphia region and looking at retirement sites. We'd like to get away from the brutal winters and find a place near a community of compatible people.

My priorities are relative privacy and plenty of room to garden and let our dogs enjoy life -- maybe add some chickens and even a horse. My husband is interested in access to a vibrant progressive community -- walkable, a good library, ideally a Zen center, a food co-op, etc. So ideally we'd like to find a home with some acreage in a semi-rural area that's within easy driving distance of an interesting town or small city.

Asheville keeps popping up in our searching, and we'll explore that. In addition, we're wondering if any of the smaller towns in the area have a similarly interesting, liberal vibe. I'm betraying my biases here, but I'm worried that if we get too far away from Asheville we'd be getting into a more stereotypically conservative Southern area.

So -- long lead up to my question: What can you tell me about Black Mountain or other towns in the Asheville region? Knowing that we're politically liberal Northerners, are there towns you think would definitely NOT be a good match for us? How about some that might?

Thank you very much for any input!


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