Brevard, North Carolina

Best Places to Retire in North Carolina


Brevard is a charming mountain community of about 7,500 located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, 30 southwest of Ashville, NC.  It is the county seat of Transylvania County (population about 30,000) and home to internationally known Brevard Music Center and Brevard College.  The county attracts thousands of visitors annually to experience its extraordinary natural beauty with 250 waterfalls and thousands of miles of laurel-lined trails and roads.  It offers the Pisgah National Forest, Gorges State Park, the Cradle of Forestry and other attractions.

The townspeople have restored many of Brevardís historic buildings that date to the mid-1800s.  It has a thriving downtown retail district with lots of small shops for gifts, antiques and curios. There are summertime street dances and weekly, year-round, traditional music jam sessions.  It also has a good selection of restaurants, including some with nightlife.

Brevard Music Center is a major cultural attraction with more than 80 public performancesduring its eight-week summer season.  It offers jazz, chamber music, ensembles, piano concerts, classical, and Broadway scores.  Paul Porter Center at Brevard College is another important venue for outstanding arts and entertainment.

Arts & Culture

Transylvania County Library is the local library and has 65,000 volumes, books, newspapers, and magazines.

Internationally known Brevard Music Center performs more than 80 public performances annually during its eight-week summer season.  Its primary stage is Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium which seats 1,800, and also has lawn seating on either side of the hall.  During its eight-week summer performance season BMC attracts tens of thousands to these performances. BMC has three orchestras, two wind ensembles, piano, composition, jazz and chamber music programs.

Flat Rock Playhouse/Vagabond School of the Drama produces professional theatre while teaching drama and the performing arts.  Between May and December it produces a nine-show professional series of comedies, musicals, and dramas.  Flat Rock Playhouse, by act of the Stateís General Assembly became designated ìThe State Theater Of North Carolina.î  It offers a summer and fall college intern program, a two-show season and cabaret series by Theatre for Young People, and year-round classes and workshops for students from kindergarten through high school.

The Asheville Symphony Orchestra presents a Masterworks Series of six concerts, as well as special pops and choral concerts.

Ashville Community Theatre offers great productions throughout the year.

Ashville Art Museum is the single visual arts facility serving western North Carolina

The Biltmore Estate, just south of the city of Asheville, is a major attraction.  This 255-room French chateau is the largest private residence ever constructed in the United States.  Built in 1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt (just 28 years old at the time), it was meant to rival the most magnificent castles of Europe.  It has four acres of space and includes 34 master bedrooms, 43 baths, 65 fireplaces, three kitchens and an indoor pool.  The estate was on 125,000 acres, (today it is 8,000 acres) surrounded by magnificent gardens on a grand scale.  The huge gardens are meticulously maintained and the home contains over 50,000 art objects, antiques and furnishings.


The Pisgah Forest offers a wide range of options including hiking and back-packing, camping, fishing, biking, horse-back riding, swimming, rock-climbing, car-touring, waterfalls, wildlife, historical areas, and a variety of special programs to choose from, including everything from lectures to guided hikes and square dancing.

Dupont State Forest has 7,600 acres designated for hiking, horseback riding, biking, hunting,and fishing.  There are beautiful waterfalls, rock formations, and rare plant life to be seen along more than 30 miles of forest trails.

The Cradle of Forestry in America is a 6,500-acre historic site within the Pisgah National Forest commemorating the beginning of forestry conservation in America.  It has exhibits and a film plus two guided trails to historical buildings and a 1915 logging locomotive and sawmill.  It also features craftsmen at work and other special programs

Tennis players can choose Brevard Racquet Club, which offers special rates for transient visitors (828) 883-3005, or Silvermont Tennis Courts, which are public and operated by the recreation department.

Golfers will find 11 courses within a 20-mile radius.  Brevard itself has Connestee FallsGolf Course, Glen Cannon Country Club, and Sherwood Forest Golf Club.


Blue Ridge Community College, located on a 140-acre campus two and a half miles southeast of Hendersonville, offers a broad curriculum and awards Associates degrees, diplomas, and certificates.  Its Transylvania Center in Brevard houses curriculum and continuing education classes.  It has an enrollment of more than 1,200 in degree programs, and more than 2,000 total students overall.

Brevard College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church.  It offers a broad curriculum in the arts, fine arts and sciences. Enrollment is under 1,000 students.

Brevard Music Center is an independent, non-profit educational institution dedicated to promoting quality music education by concentrating on training in performance and theory of musicians by working with demonstrated talent under repertory conditions.  Its campus in Brevard encompasses more than 145 buildings spread over a 140-acre site.  BMC attracts 400 serious, dedicated students annually who have successfully completed a competitive audition process.  These students, age 14 to post-college, perform more than 80 public paid concerts in a period of six weeks ñ working alongside experienced faculty.  The Brevard Music Center’s three orchestras, two wind ensembles, piano, composition, jazz and chamber music programs offer numerous performance opportunities for each young musician.

The University of North Carolina at Asheville is the only liberal arts school in the UNC system.It has approximately 2,600 full-time and 700 part-time students.

Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC (51 miles from Brevard) became a part of the 16-campus state university system in 1971.  It has an enrollment of approximately 7,000 students.

Senior Programs

North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement (NCCCR) at UNC offers continuing education programs for Seniors, as well as leadership and community service opportunities.  Most programs are in the area, but some are in collaboration with organizations in other parts of the state or across the country.  Seniors have full access to the resources of UNC at Asheville and can possibly even teach.  It is a member-led organization focusing on enriching the mind through continued learning.  Courses can range from Chaucer to computers, foreign affairs to opera, etc.  Courses are non-credit and there are no tests or grades.  They are open to anyone over 50 years of age.


Transylvania Community Hospital is a not-for-profit hospital located minutes from downtown Brevard and close to the entrance of the Pisgah National Forest.  It is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and is licensed for 94 beds.  It has 40 active physicians and 80 courtesy and consulting physicians.  Its capabilities include Acute Care, Diabetes Education, WorkWell Occupational Health, Labor and Delivery, Critical/Intensive Care, Outpatient Services, Rehabilitation Therapy and Home Health Care.  Emergency services are staffed 24 hours with a physician.

Mission St. Josephís Hospital in Asheville is licensed for over 800 beds.  It is the regional medical referral center for western North Carolina and parts of adjoining states. It has a medical staff of over 600 physicians representing virtually every specialty.

Veteranís Administration Medical Center is a 535-bed hospital. (828) 298-7911


Asheville Regional Airport has an 8,000 foot runway and is currently served by several regional carriers. The airport is about a 20-minute trip from Brevard.


Brevard, at an elevation of 2,300 feet, is somewhat cooler than other locations at the same latitude.  Its average annual temperature is 55 degrees.  The average for January is 38 degrees and for June it is 72 degrees. Brevard receives 80 inches of rainfall per year and averages just over six inches of snow.


Transylvania Times –

Property Taxes

State Taxes

Chamber of Commerce

State Aging Agency


Hendersonville – 20 miles
Asheville – 35 miles
Spartanburg, SC – 68 miles
Greenville, SC – 47 miles
Charlotte – 124 miles
Knoxville, TN – 135 miles
Atlanta – 176 miles

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