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The mountains of Western North Carolina and the small towns scattered near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park have a unique charm and character that make you feel right at home and on a wonderful adventure simultaneously. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, a craft and antique lover, or simply looking for an affordable, friendly, small town to raise your family, the villages and communities of Western North Carolina have much to offer.

If you are considering a position with Meridian Behavioral Health Services, in these southwestern most counties of Western North Carolina, we have created a list of websites that you may find useful in exploring the area online. Many of our staff have relocated to the area from around the country and have found their homes from the city of Asheville to the Georgia and Tennessee borders. These communities are filled with diversity; locals who have always called the mountains home, those drawn to the mountain trails and rivers with their outdoor gear, young people starting families, those looking to slow down or retire, and artists and craftsman who love the peaceful beauty of the valleys and peaks, rivers and lakes.

Options for weekend excursions are plentiful, including many activities in your own backyard - Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, the Appalachian Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway and numerous rivers. The most western counties of NC have the benefit of offering relaxed, rural living but are within driving distance of larger towns, cities, and airports. For example Hayesville in Clay County, is just across the Georgia border and is only an hour and a half drive to the outskirts of Atlanta, Knoxville and Asheville. Bryson City in Swain County is about a 75 minute drive to Asheville, which offers all the luxuries of a small city including cultural events, concerts, galleries, UNCA, minor league baseball and basketball, fabulous restaurants, the Biltmore Estate, and shopping at the mall as well as the many unique stores downtown. Other surrounding cities of interest are Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN, Knoxville TN, and Greenville, SC all within 2-3 hours. Don't forget, the beautiful Carolina Coast and Atlantic Ocean are merely a half-day's drive away.

Another important note is the beautiful mountain weather. WNC weather is mild in every season. Spring and Fall are a delight because of the cool temperatures and breathtaking views. The summer is warm during the day (unusual to get into or stay in the 90's much) but cool and pleasant at night (in the 60's typically). During the winter, the temperature does not fall or remain below freezing often. Overall, precipitation of all kinds is also mild. Snow is actually not that frequent (except at the high elevations) and typically does not accumulate more than a few inches (there are exceptions of course!) Snow skiing is available in NC and West Virginia, three hours drive North.

Below are Websites to browse through to gain further understanding of what this area of the country has to offer. If you have further questions, a member of our administration would be happy to put you in touch with one of our transplanted staff to speak with you further about the process of relocating to this area.

Tourism Sites

Great Smoky Mountains (https://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm)

WNC Attractions (http://www.westernncattractions.com)
Great Smokies Attractions (http://www.greatsmokies.com)
Great Smoky Mountain Railroad (http://www.gsmr.com)
Cherokee Reservation Informatiion (http://www.cherokee-nc.com/)
Gatlinburg Information (http://www.gatlinburg.com)
Balsam Mountain Inn (http://balsammountaininn.com)
Charleston Inn (http://www.charlestoninn.com)

Outdoor Activities

Nanthala Outdoor Center (http://www.noc.com)
Visit NC (http://www.visitnc.com)
Mountain Biking in WNC (http://www.mtbikewnc.com)
Ski NC (http://www.skinorthcarolina.com)
Cataloochee Ski Resort (http://www.cataloochee.com)
Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center (http://www.scalymountain.com)
Chimney Rock Park (http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/)
NC Rock Climbing (http://www.southeastclimbing.com/)
Mountain Project Climbing (http://www.mountainproject.com/destinations/)
Cherokee Smokies (http://www.CherokeeSmokies.com)

Newspapers

Asheville Citizen Times (http://www.citizen-times.com)
Smoky Mountain News (http://www.smokymountainnews.com)
Clay County Progress (http://claycountyprogress.com)
Cherokee Scout (http://www.thecherokeescout.com)
Graham Star (http://www.grahamstar.com)
Crossroad Chronicle (http://www.crossroadschronicle.com)
The Franklin Press (http://www.thefranklinpress.com)
Highlands News (http://www.highlandsnews.com)
The Mountaineer (http://www.themountaineer.com)
Mountain Xpress (http://www.mountainx.com)

County Information

Clay County (http://www.clayconc.com/)
Cherokee County (http://www.cherokeecounty-nc.gov/)
Graham County (http://www.grahamcounty.org/)
Haywood County http://www.haywoodnc.net/)
Jackson County http://www.jacksonnc.org/)
Macon County (http://www.maconnc.org/)
Transylvania County (http://www.transylvaniacounty.org/)