Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of essays written by a recent retiree to North Carolina. If you would like to share your story, please send it us at: Essay. Please limit to 500 words. Your full name will be kept confidential.

Why I Retired to North Carolina

Evelyn S., Danbury, NC

As a child, I was fortunate enough to spend many summers and long school breaks with family members in North Carolina, and my love for this beautiful state began as a 6-year old girl who loved being able to climb on rocks, walk barefoot through creeks, and hike through the woods to discover my next treasure. I was fascinated with the simplicity of North Carolina and the hospitality of its residents, and even as a child, I felt comfortable with the slower pace and the variety of wonderful things to do. When I would return to my home in the Northeast, I always looked forward to my next big adventure in the beautiful state of North Carolina.  

Later in my life, after my husband and I raised our family, finished our careers, and began planning our next phase in life, it felt natural to me that we would choose North Carolina as our home to spend our “mature” years. We are a very active “redeployed” couple, and for the past 5 years, we have embraced all that North Carolina has to offer and have hiked trails at Hanging Rock State Park, camped at Pilot Mountain, and explored the beauty of Stone Mountain. We have discovered an unexpected love for Lexington barbecue, watched dolphins at Sunset Beach, and even visited the “hometown” of Andy Griffith!

From the mountains to the beaches, we do enjoy moving at a slower pace now, but also appreciate the flexibility and number of activities that North Carolina has to offer. Since I began to explore my artistic side before we retired, I now have the perfect backdrop and constant inspiration to paint, draw, and capture my artistic thoughts – the beauty of a rhododendron on a hike; the unexpected find of a sweeping waterfall; the power of a sunrise on a beach – all treasures of this beautiful state. We are also taking advantage of the many beautiful golf courses all across North Carolina, and we both appreciate the incredible beauty that surrounds us on every course we have played so far.

Choosing to retire in North Carolina has been one of the best choices we ever made. We have the best of both worlds – the mountains & the ocean – and I now hope to give our grandchildren the opportunity to develop a special love for this state as well...and all that it has to offer.