western north carolina relocation guide

Where we live, retire and raise a family are among the most important decisions in our lives. So you have decided it’s time for a change, but you’re still figuring out your possibilities. Perhaps you have accepted a new job in the area, or you would like to raise your family in a more outdoor setting, or you have acquired a remote job that allows you to work from anywhere. Landmark’s North Carolina Relocation Guide will help you get started so you can decide if moving to North Carolina is the right decision for you.

With the decision to move to North Carolina made, the next step is to determine the best place to live and put down roots that agree with your other determining factors. Western North Carolina relocation may be for you if you’re looking for a small-town feel, mountain views everywhere you go, hiking, a lake house or a luxury mountain cabin, charming local shops, restaurants, fun events, and more.

Landmark’s Western North Carolina Relocation Guide will tell you everything you need to know about living on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. Read on to learn more.

Is North Carolina a Good State to Move To?

North Carolina is a good place to live for a variety of reasons. People are attracted to North Carolina because of its temperate climate, beautiful landscapes and unique rustic charm. It’s also a very diverse state.

North Carolina is home to a variety of regions:

  •         The Outer Banks barrier islands along the coast
  •         The Coastal Plains, which covers almost half of the state
  •         The Piedmont in the middle of the state
  •         The Blue Ridge Mountains area in Western North Carolina

There are a few different parts of Western North Carolina to explore if you’re considering North Carolina relocation. The Highlands-Cashiers Plateau is unsurpassed in the category.

What Should I Know Before Moving to Western North Carolina?

Now that you are a little familiar with the different areas of North Carolina, there are a few things you should know about moving to Western North Carolina.

There are several noteworthy areas on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau and each offers something unique. The Highlands-Cashiers Plateau offers those interested in North Carolina relocation the options of small-town charm, rich history, local boutiques, upscale shopping and restaurants, excellent hiking options, annual festivals and events, waterfalls to find and explore and fantastic views nearly everywhere you go.

There are a variety of shops that line Main Street and you won’t find them anywhere, but Highlands. Some popular shops to check out include Brookings, Carolina Rustic Furniture, Highland Hiker, The Village Hound and more.

When you done with a day of shopping, you can head over to nearby Cashiers and dine at The Ugly Dog, Winslow’s Hideaway or Slab Town Pizza.

The area is also normally home to a variety of yearly events such as the Leaf Festival, Highlands Food and Wine Festival, annual chili cook-off and more.

Here Are Some Things You Should Know Before Moving to North Carolina

North Carolina is known for its breathtaking scenery, but there are some other things that set it apart:

  •         Western North Carolina is the Land of Waterfalls. You’ll soon see why.
  •         Barbeque is a big deal
  •         North Carolina is home to the tech hub Research Triangle in Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill
  •         You have the best of both worlds: the mountains and the beach
  •         The state’s economy is growing
  •         On the Plateau in Western North Carolina, there is a fantastic sense of community
  •         It’s a temperate climate and—for many—the weather is just right
  •         The cost of living is relatively more affordable than other parts of the country
  •         You’ll love exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway

Where Should I Move in North Carolina?

where should i move in north carolina

Many people consider a North Carolina relocation to the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau area. There are five distinct areas and the region has something for all types of homebuyers. There are lake homes, mountain homes, homes with views, homes with amenities and more.

Western North Carolina Relocation Options

When you think of Western North Carolina cities, you may think of bigger cities such as Asheville, Hickory, Hendersonville and Boone. If a slower-paced, more simple way of life appeals to you, we think you’ll love the Western North Carolina Plateau.

5 Western North Carolina areas to consider:

  1.      Highlands
  2.      Cashiers
  3.      Sapphire Valley
  4.      Lake Glenville
  5.      Lake Toxaway

What is the Best Area to Live in North Carolina?

There are countless reasons why the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau area is the best area if you’re thinking about making a change and living in North Carolina. Many people start out by visiting what’s affectionately referred to as the Plateau, and it becomes a tradition each year. So many people love it so much that they made the decision to move here full-time or purchase a second home in the area.


To many, Highlands is the perfect summer vacation destination. To you, it could be your forever home. Wander up and down Main Street and enjoy the local, upscale shops, small businesses, the local museums and fantastic restaurants. There is always something to do and always something to see in Highlands. Highlands has been a vacation escape for decades and it has the honor of being one of the highest towns East of the Mississippi River, coming in at 4,118 feet above sea level.


Cashiers is close to Highlands and it’s a little more spread out. Waterfalls and hiking trails are plentiful and so is the sense of community. It’s easy to be present and appreciate every moment when you live in a place as beautiful and serene as Cashiers. The Village Green is a 13-acre park in the center of town and host to local farmer’s markets, music and many other events. Cashiers is also home to community stables like the seasonal farmer’s market and Buck’s Coffee. Outdoor enthusiasts will love Whitewater Falls and Whiteside Mountain.

Sapphire Valley

There are a handful of communities tucked away in the mountains here and plenty of opportunities to get out and explore the surroundings. There are also 11 different waterfalls to chase and discover, if you’re looking for a little mental TLC. The Sapphire Valley also is home to several excellent golf course communities, some private and some public. If you love fishing, there is some of the best fly fishing around in Sapphire. Outdoor adventurers will love exploring Panthertown Valley and Gorges State Park.

What is the Best Lake to Live on in North Carolina?

On the Western North Carolina Plateau, you can have it all. Pair lake views with mountain views and you’ll probably never want to leave your home or just relax on your porch taking it all in. But who can blame you? If lake life and a lake home are calling your name, there are a couple of options to choose from.

Lake Glenville

Circumnavigating Lake Glenville is about an hour's drive. You'll see beautiful views from the bucolic to sweeping vistas. Lake Glenville is a public lake while Lake Toxaway is private. Lake Glenville also has the honor of being the highest man-made lake East of the Mississippi River. It sits at just over 3,500 feet above sea level. There are four magnificent waterfalls flowing into Lake Glenville.

Lake Toxaway

This private lake is a truly special place to those who live on its shores. It’s the first man-made lake created in the Appalachian Mountains. It was built as a destination location and it never fails to live up to its original purpose. If luxury, country club settings on a picturesque lake are your style, you’ll love living on Lake Toxaway.

North Carolina Relocation Information

Now that you’ve learned more about the state from our Western North Carolina Relocation Guide, it should be a little easier to decide where you will choose to put down roots and purchase your next home. There are five diverse areas that make up the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau and they each have something unique to offer each homebuyer.

Any of our Landmark real estate brokers will be happy to help you explore the area and find your next North Carolina dream home. Feel free to browse the available properties on our website and contact us if you see something you love. We became captivated by the Plateau’s special charm and we are passionate about sharing it with others.

Want to talk to our Relocation Specialist, Karen Danner, who can assist you with your move to North Carolina? Get in touch today. We hope you love living here as much as we do!

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