Poised on the periphery of the Pisgah National Forest a stone's throw from the Blue Ridge Parkway (blueridgeparkway.org), literally half of tiny Brevard is made up of state or national forest. In those woods, you can find all sorts of unspoiled places—including more than 200 waterfalls—says Carolyn Sugg, a retired Spanish teacher who makes her home base in Brevard.
If you’re looking for something a little more intense than a walk in the woods, nearby Looking Glass Rock is a destination for climbers of all levels. Families who want to get on the water can kayak, canoe, or raft on the French Broad River.
Though tiny, Brevard's isn’t lacking on the cultural front. The Brevard Music Center draws thousands of classical music aficionados from around the country to its annual summer festival (brevardmusic.org), and Brevard College (brevard.edu) has hosted a local stop of the Banff Mountain Film Festival to sold-out crowds for almost 20 years.
Housing prices hover under $200,000 (keep in mind that homes in this part of the country typically come with acreage), and the average rental price is about $600 a month.