By Jason Reagan
The North Carolina High Country keeps climbing new heights as a premier destination and lifestyle choice.
Forbes has ranked Boone as the fourth fastest growing small town in America. U.S. News & World Report named the area as one of the 10 best retirement destinations.
Local counties rank as the healthiest in North Carolina, according to the national County Health Rankings and Roadmaps program. Finally, Outside Magazine named Boone as one of the 10 best small towns in the U.S. in 2009.
But, if you really want to know how magnificent the High Country can be, just ask some local folks.
David Jackson, President of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce
“I love the sense of community that Boone and the High Country offer. This is the type of place where people are truly neighbors. They help each other in times of need, they celebrate together when good things occur, and they are interested in each other’s well-being.”
Loretta Clawson, former Mayor of Boone
“I grew up in Old Beech Mountain. When I was a small child, we would travel to Boone to sell our tobacco crop and buy our Christmas presents. We would eat lunch at Gateway Cafe and shop at Smithey’s Department Store. We also came into town to buy school clothes. At that time, I decided I would move to Boone when I grew up. That was my dream and in 1966 that dream became a reality. My husband and I raised our children here and I have been involved in public service ever since. Boone is the best place to live, work and play. I am proud to call Boone my home!”
Andrea N. Capua, Partner, Law Offices – di Santi Watson Capua Wilson & Garrett
“When I moved here from Miami in 1993 to be with my husband, I had no idea what to expect. The High Country has the obvious – natural beauty, recreation/outdoors and academia. But it also has more subtle qualities, which I learned of over time. Those qualities include the ease in which you can be and feel part of a community, a rich regional history and mountain culture that includes farming, art, music, dance and literature.”
Len Hagaman, Watauga County Sheriff
“We hear the High Country is God’s country – it is indeed the greatest and most special place in the world. We all enjoy the gift of beauty and the variety of every season. We all see that the High Country brings out the best in us – a big heart and sense of community. The High Country quickly infuses us with something special that we are glad to share with those we touch – our fellow citizens, neighbors, students and visitors.”
Charles Hardin, President/CEO of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce
“As an Appalachian State graduate, I came to love this place in the mid-1970s. We moved away after graduation and returned in 1994. With an extremely low crime rate, this is a very safe place to raise children as well as provide them with an education that is second to none in our public schools, community college and awesome university. My main reason for returning to this area is the beauty of these mountains, the cool summer temperatures and, if you love the snow, it is a perfect place!
Jason Triplett, Community Bank President – Northwest, N.C. Community Banking Group
“The High Country of N.C. is special in so many ways. We all embrace and lift each other up and are always there for each other in time of need. Whether it is raising money and helping out families with sick children to just helping each other get our friends’ kids to school and sporting events. Regardless, this community always steps up to support each other. Our community is blessed with incredible outdoor recreation, the Blue Ridge Parkway, excellent healthcare that is locally owned, vibrant downtowns in each of our communities that thrives with tourism and the top ski resorts in the southeast.”
Scott Elliot, Superintendent of Schools, Watauga County
“Why do I love the High Country? Is it the everchanging view from my favorite Blue Ridge Parkway overlook? Our excellent public schools? The music playing around every corner? Our genuine, down to earth people? The answer is ‘yes!’”