Quality of Life
Living in Rutherford County
From mountain homes to lakefront life, in-town subdivisions to rural rolling hills, Rutherford County has you covered. Looking for a townhouse or family style home? A quaint farm house, traditional or colonial designed home? Rutherford County has housing options to meet everyone’s needs.
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Isothermal Community College (ICC) is a comprehensive, two-year, public institution that serves the individuals in Rutherford and Polk counties. As a member of the North Carolina Community College System, ICC has over 3,000 students attending classes at its two campuses. In addition to individual courses, Isothermal offers certificate, diploma, and degree programs enabling students to transfer to a four-year institution or acquire skills for new or current employment, as well as function effectively as responsible citizens. ICC also provides training for area business and industry, personal enrichment courses, remedial and developmental courses, and community service activities.
With over 100 college and university campuses within 70 miles, access to a higher education is within reach.
As part of the Rutherford Regional Healthcare System (RRHS), Rutherford Regional Medical Center offers excellent hospital and outpatient care. RRHS has a large network of distinguished physicians and many programs to support and educate the community. In 2014, RRHS entered into a joint venture with Duke LifePoint to strengthen RRHS for the future and give the system new resources to enhance the health care services offered. As part of the joint venture, RRHS shifted from nonprofit to for-profit status.
Cost of living indices are based on a US average of 100. An amount below 100 means Rutherford County, NC is cheaper than the US average. A cost of living index above 100 means Rutherford County, NC is more expensive.
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The heritage of Rutherford County and the surrounding areas range from Revolutionary War sites to film locations for movies such as Dirty Dancing, The Last of the Mohicans, and The Hunger Games. Quaint villages around the area offer everything from antiques to fine local crafts. Here is a sample of what you’ll find:
- The Foundation Performing Arts Center at ICC – http://foundationshows.org
- KidSenses Children’s InterACTIVE Museum – http://www.kidsenses.org
- Bennett Classics Auto Museum – http://www.bennettclassics.com
- The Bostic Lincoln Center – http://www.bosticlincolncenter.com
- Rutherford Community Theater – https://www.facebook.com/RutherfordCommunityTheatre
- Rutherford County Arts Council – http://www.rutherfordarts.com
- Rutherford County Historical Society – http://www.rchsociety.com
- Genealogical Society of Old Tryon County – https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Genealogical-Society-of-Old-Tryon-County-North-Carolina-Inc/259911664026065?sk=info&tab=page_info
- Biltmore House in Asheville – http://www.biltmore.com
- December Holiday Activities in Downtown Forest City include over one million lights, carriage rides, Santa’s house, and more.
Home to Chimney Rock State Park, Lake Lure and numerous other scenic locations, Rutherford County is a fantastic setting to relax and enjoy all nature has to offer. There’s something here for everyone with camping, kayaking, boating, fishing world-class trout streams, gem mining, and picnicking near a rushing waterfall being favorite pastimes for residents and visitors alike. There are also several festivals held throughout the year and many museums and historical venues to visit. Don’t forget to check out Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority for festival and event information. Rutherford Outdoor Coalition is also a great resource for planning outdoor activities.Ideal for hiking, biking, walking or running, the Thermal Belt Rail Trail is 12’ wide, paved, and extends 13.5 miles through several of Rutherford County’s communities including Ruth, Spindale, Rutherfordton, and Forest City. The trail head in Forest City provides easy access to the Pavilion On Park Square (POPS). POPS is a multi-million dollar project that was completed in 2019 and is equipped with a 2,000 seat amphi-theater, covered stage, two splash pads, and a plaza with concession and restroom facilities. It is a state of the art venue!
With four large metropolitan areas within one hour’s drive, regional shopping ranges from modern malls to quaint antique and craft stores.