Retirement in Morganton

Now more than ever retirement means the opening of new vistas of possibilities for retirees. Burke County has become a target area for retirees who wish to keep growing, to seek adventure, and to have fun. With a mild year-round climate and its closeness to the mountains, this foothills paradise challenges those willing to try horseback riding or sail boating for the first time. We are a golfer’s dream come true and the Shangri-la of hikers and fishers. Other pursuits beckon, such as opportunities for adult education at Western Piedmont Community College, arts and crafts training, and lectures and readings at the public library and other venues. Opportunities for volunteer service abound at local hospitals and state facilities such as Broughton Hospital. The crime rate is low at 380.6 compared to a national average of 465.5. Well-lit neighborhoods and the downtown area make for safe walking even at night.

Morganton was named the #1 retirement community in the Carolinas in the May 2004 issue of Retirement Lifestyles magazine. In October 2006, the magazine chose Morganton as the #3 retirement community in the foothills/mountains.

This is what they wrote about Morganton:

A foothills town off I-40, between Hickory and Asheville, beautiful Morganton is throwing out the welcome mat to active retirees. A vibrant downtown with concerts and seasonal festivals, access to a variety of recreation, good healthcare and older adult programs, affordable housing and overall quality of life give Morganton great appeal. Attractive shops and galleries are clustered around the Historic Burke County Courthouse, the town’s centerpiece and the perfect venue for the Historic Morganton Festival. Outdoor recreation is a part of Morganton’s lifestyle, too, with the Catawba River Greenway Park, Lake James and two state parks (Lake James and South Mountain) nearby and several public and private golf courses in the area. Linville Gorge, Grandfather Mountain and four ski resorts are a short distance away. Older adults take advantage of Morganton’s Senior Center, as well as continuing education classes at Western Piedmont Community College. Health and hospital care is available through the Blue Ridge HealthCare System, known for its Phifer Wellness Center. Housing options include golf villas, lakeside homes with mountain views, town homes and luxury apartments in the business district, and there are great finds for less than $100,000.

The Morganton-Burke Senior Center provides a variety of services for senior adults, such as legal advice, health screenings, tax assistance, and recreational activities. Senior centers in Morganton and Hildebran offer exercise programs, crafts classes through Western Piedmont Community College, senior choirs, covered-dish luncheons, libraries, pool tables, and card games.

The Burke County Chamber of Commerce is your resource guide to retirement here in our wonderful community. Feel free to drop by the Chamber for a chat and a cup of coffee any time, and let our staff serve you with all your retirement needs. Give us a call (828-437-3021) or visit our website ( for your complete retirement package.