Quality of Life

Ready for Development!

Gateway West Commerce Park is a shovel-ready development, owned by Rutherford County and developed for high quality advanced manufacturing, automotive and technology opportunities. Over 17 acres are pre-graded and available to reduce time, risk and cost for your project. Click here for more information.

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Living in Rutherford County

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COMMUNITIES & HOUSING
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.
 
EDUCATION
K-12
Quality education is a top priority in Rutherford County and is readily accessible through public, charter and private schools, as well as the home school network. Rutherford County Schools are comprised of four high schools, three middle schools, ten elementary schools, one pre-school center, and one alternative school. Two charter schools provide a rigorous classical curriculum preparing students for college and beyond.

For more information:
COMMUNITY COLLEGE:
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. Isothermal also provides training for area business and industry, personal enrichment courses, remedial and developmental courses, and community service activities. In 2014, Isothermal entered into a partnership with Western Carolina University (WCU) to offer 56 pathways for students to transfer to WCU and earn a bachelor degree. The same year, Isothermal and North Carolina State University (NCSU) initiated a partnership to establish an engineering summer camp in Rutherford County, and formed a joint committee to develop a 2+2 program and pathway that will allow local students to begin working at Isothermal toward an engineering degree from NCSU. In 2015, Isothermal announced a partnership with Gardner-Webb University (GWU) that will further ease the transfer process for students who complete degrees in certain programs with coursework at both institutions.

UNIVERSITIES:
With over 100 college and university campuses within 70 miles, access to a higher education is within reach.
 
HEALTHCARE
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.

The County Health Department provides a myriad of programs to assist, educate and support the community, ensuring total well-being. Numerous independent healthcare facilities complete the circle, ensuring head-to-toe care for all Rutherford County citizens.

COST OF LIVING
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.

Overall, Rutherford County, NC cost of living is 88.40.

COST OF LIVING Rutherford County, NC United States
Overall   88 100
Grocery   102.9 100
Health   103 100
Housing   65 100
Utilities   96 100
Transportation   97 100
Miscellaneous   99 100
 
 
ARTS / CULTURE
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:

RECREATION & ENTERTAINMENT
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.

Just a short four miles from the Rutherford County border in Polk County, North Carolina is the Tryon International Equestrian Center – one of the largest equestrian show and training facilities in the country. Take a peek at what you can expect to find at the resort.

Sports enthusiasts can cheer on the local Forest City Owls, a wood-bat collegiate summer league, at McNair Field. Seeking more excitement? Within one hour of Rutherford County you will find the NFL Carolina Panthers, NBA Charlotte Hornets, MiLB Charlotte Knights, MLL Charlotte Hounds, AHL Charlotte Checkers, MiLB Greenville Drive (SC), ECHL Greenville Swamp Rabbits (SC), and the Class A MiLB Asheville Tourists; you can also experience NASCAR’s Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Rutherford County features eight challenging golf courses, including Forest City Municipal Golf Course, Cleghorn Plantation Golf & Country Club, Bald Mountain and Apple Valley Golf Courses at Rumbling Bald Resort, and Lake Lure Municipal Golf Course, to name a few; many more golf courses can be found in our neighboring communities.

RETAIL
With four large metropolitan areas within one hour’s drive, regional shopping ranges from modern malls to quaint antique and craft stores. Tanner Companies, the makers of fine women’s apparel, is headquartered in the heart of Rutherford County.