Cashiers, North Carolina

Best Places to Retire in North Carolina


Cashiers (population 1,700) is located in Jackson County, NC (population 28,000).  This is a mountainous region with historic valley towns, crystal clear lakes, many thundering waterfalls, and mountain hiking trails.  The county is nestled between the Great Smoky Mountains to the north, the Blue Ridge Mountains in the south and the Balsam Mountains in the east.  Sylva, the county seat, is 35 miles south of Asheville, NC

Cashiers, at 3,487 feet above sea level, is in a magnificent setting surrounded by 4,000 to 5,000 foot mountain peaks and an ideal place for Southerners to escape the heat and humidity.  Is the community small?  Consider that residents call the center of the village ìthe crossroadsî (the intersection of US 64 and SR 107) and if you drive through the intersection and continue a short distance, youíre out of town. There are no large buildings, traffic jams, or shopping malls.  Instead there is a certain resort ambiance and the natural beauty of the area seems to be what is most important.

At the center of Cashiers is a village green where community events are held, and close by is a childrenís playground called Village Play.  There are small shops and commercial establishments in each direction, including several antique shops, galleries, gift & craft stores, a hardware store, and several restaurants.  And if dining out is important, you can find dining spots in the county that offer French cuisine, fresh mountain trout, hearty beef dishes, seafood specialties, barbecue or ethnic specialties.

As an unincorporated community, Cashiers has a volunteer fire department and relies upon Jackson County for other services, such as law enforcement.  Highlands-Cashiers Hospital is a short distance away and there are a number of churches in the community, both Protestant and Catholic.  There is no synagogue. Travel throughout the area is on two lane roads that twist through canyons, climb through dense forest, and skirt the edge of ridges.  Many sections are limited to 20 to 30 miles per hour.

Arts & Culture

The communityís events calendar is crowded with activities.  A sampling includes events like the Arts & Crafts Festival, Humane Society Gala, Highland Center Music Festival, Symphony Under the Stars, Annual Antique Show, Artists on the Green, Chili Cook-off, Annual Fish Fry, Christmas Festival, etc.  A number of the mountain towns are also as active.

Cashiers is proximate to outstanding arts and cultural activities in Brevard, Hendersonville,and Asheville.  Many people travel to these towns to enjoy the activities, particularly Asheville.

The 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 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.  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 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.

Asheville has music from formal classical concerts to spontaneous street performances. It is home to one of the oldest folk festivals, the Mountain Dance & Folk Festival which is held in August. There are free outdoor concerts at Pack Square and the City/County Plaza during the summer, and the Downtown After Five series features music of all types.  Shindig on the Green, held nearly every Saturday night July through September, features mountain music and blue grass.  If you want jazz, you can hear it at one of Ashevilleís nightclubs.

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

Asheville Community Theatre offers great productions throughout the calendar year.

Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place in Asheville is a 500-seat venue.,

Asheville Art Museum is the single visual arts facility serving Western North Carolina


The Parks & Recreation Department offers a variety of programs, activities and facilities for all residents of Jackson County.  There is a year round schedule of programs and special events for youth, adults and senior citizens.  This includes athletics, hobby classes, fitness, swimming pools, and parks.

The rugged beauty of Jackson County offers some unique recreation opportunities.  There is the Great Smoky Mountain Railway that offers scenic train rides year round, and there are ìraft and railî trips that include rafting and a picnic trip.  There are hiking trails at over 5,000 feet that offer panoramic views and valley trails along quiet streams.  Jackson County has four ìwhite waterî rivers with water difficulty ranging from  Class I to Class III.  There are many beautiful waterfalls in the area.  The most spectacular is Whitewater Falls — 411-foot high — making it the tallest in the U.S.  It is 13 miles from Cashiers.  Activities available include four horseback riding stables in the area, both trout and bass fishing in either lakes or streams, swimming, water skiing, boating, kayaking and canoeing.

A number of the residential communities offer tennis and there are excellent golf courses in the county:

High Hampton Inn and Country Club –
Sapphire Mountain Golf Club  (828) 743-1174
Highlands Cove –
Trillium Golf Links –  
Smoky Mountain Country Club –
Red Bird Golf Links (828) 743-1991
Waynesville Country Club –
Laurel Ridge Country Club –


Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC (23 miles from Cashiers) became a part of the 16-campus state university system in 1971.  It has an enrollment of approximately 7,000 students.

Southwestern Community College in Sylva offers more than 50 programs of instruction.

In addition to the Sylva campus, the college operates four centers:  Bryson City, «herokee, Franklin and Cashiers.  More than 2,600 students enroll annually in credit courses and over 10,000 participate in courses and workshops through continuing education.

The University 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.

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.

Senior Programs

Cashiers Senior C.A.F.E. provides congregate meals, home delivered meals and social activities for senior citizens.  It also has a public access computer with Internet service that seniors can use.   (828) 743-9215

North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement (NCCCR) at University of North Carolina, Asheville (UNCA) 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 North Carolina or across the country. Seniors have full access to the resources of UNCA 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.

North Carolina Senior Games provide the state with a year-round health promotion and wellness program for adults 55 and older. Over 45,000 participate in 52 local games programs that serve all counties of the state.  Qualifiers go to Raleigh and other locations for the statewide competition.


Highlands/Cashiers Hospital, in Highlands, is a 24-bed acute care hospital and 80-bed nursing center (Fidelia Eckerd Living Center).  Its medical staff numbers nearly 50. It has satellite physicians facilities in Lake Toxaway and in Dillard, and imports mobile diagnostic services.  Highlands-Cashiers Hospital is affiliated with both Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, Ga., and Mission St. Johns Healthcare in Asheville, N.C.

Transylvania Regional Hospital is a not-for-profit hospital located minutes from downtown Brevard.  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, and Critical/Intensive Care.  Emergency services are staffed 24 hours with a physician.

Mission St. Josephís Hospital 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.


Asheville Regional Airport has an 8,000-foot runway and is currently served by several regional carriers.


Cashiers has four distinct, moderate seasons with an average high of 80 degrees in July, and 42 degrees in January.  Average annual precipitation is 75 inches and there is snow cover for an average of 10 days each year.


Cashiers Crossroads Chronicle – (828) 743-5101
The Citizen-Times is the local Asheville paper.

Property Taxes

Jackson County Tax & Accounting Offices, Jackson County
Justice Center – (828) 586-4055

State Taxes

Chamber of Commerce

State Aging Agency

Jackson County Department on Aging, Sylva, NC (828) 586-8562


Sylva – 28 miles
Lake Toxaway – 14 miles
Brevard – 29 miles
Hendersonville – 49 miles
Asheville – 76 miles
Greenville, SC – 68 miles
Atlanta, GA – 140 miles

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