Ohio Residents love relocating to the South

Mon, December 11, 2017  |  11:28 PM

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North Carolina | North Carolina Towns

North Carolina photo
North Carolina invites you to spend some time exploring. Crisscrossed by major highways and with the second largest ferry system in the country, virtually all of the state is easy to get to. But the most interesting parts of the Tarheel State are found off the beaten track.

Divided into three major regions, the western part of North Carolina is high country. Though it is framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is not a typical mountain town. It is a modern, artistic community with more than its share of galleries, yet the city manages to retain its historic charm. Big towns, villages and hamlets are scattered throughout the area, so it is possible to head west and get away from it all.

The Piedmont of North Carolina is among the fastest growing places in the state. Charlotte, also known as the Queen City, is a delightful blend of tree-lined avenues and soaring skyscrapers. The Raleigh/Durham area, the Research Triangle, is home to Duke University, the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University.

And then there is the coast. Florida might have more miles of beach and South Carolina's Grand Strand might be visible from the space station, but North Carolina offers the Outer Banks and the Cape Fear Coast, where pirates once plundered and strong ships were sentenced to the bottom of the sea by swirling storms. Today, the North Carolina shore is quiet, and, except perhaps during the summer months, it is a great place for long strolls as the sun rises above the endless waves. Although some of North Carolina's islands are remote, most of them are reachable by bridge. Not so Ocracoke; the only way to get there is by air or ferry. Farther south, Bald Head Island is a community without traffic's noise and congestion; all you hear is the steady hum of golf carts passing by.

It's clear to see why North Carolina is one of the most popular destinations in the Southeast for visitors and for people seeking a new permanent home.

South Carolina | South Carolina Towns

South Carolina photo
Visitors to South Carolina return again and again, some because they are drawn for a second or third time to the state's beautiful beaches, vibrant waterways and verdant mountains and others because they have chosen to put down permanent roots in the Palmetto State.

And whether they stay for a day, a week or a lifetime, few are disappointed by what they find in a state known for its beautiful places, smiling faces and historical significance.

While South Carolinians have taken great pains to preserve the relics of their storied past, they also have taken great pride in looking to their bright future. Not far from Charleston Harbor, where the initial shots of the Civil War rang loud and clear in April 1861, the Boeing Corp. is building its newly developed 787 Dreamliner jet in a $750-million production facility in North Charleston.

Boeing is not the only large company that has found a home in the Palmetto State. In the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, BMW is in Spartanburg and Michelin is in Greenville, and a wide assortment of other corporations have determined that South Carolina is the place to be.

In between the Upstate and the Lowcountry, in the geographic center of South Carolina, Columbia, the state capital, offers a revitalized downtown and its own brand of Southern hospitality.

South Carolina has more to offer those who seek refuge from the overcrowded metropolitan areas of the North and Northeast than the thriving cities that straddle Interstate 26. Along the coast, there's the sun and sand of Hilton Head Island, historic Georgetown, booming Mount Pleasant and its neighbors, Isle of Palms and Sullivan's Island, and Myrtle Beach, the entertainment mecca of the Carolina coast.

Moving inland, those who prefer the serenity of small-town living have a seemingly endless menu of choices, from Conway to Moncks Corner to Lake City. And for those who appreciate distinct seasons, the small towns of the Upstate beckon, among them Seneca, Anderson and Fountain Inn.

Everywhere you go in South Carolina, you will find magnificent weather, beautiful scenery and friendly people.

Now you know why the Palmetto State is home to so many of those smiling faces.

Georgia | Georgia Towns

Georgia photo
The welcome sign at the border says it all: We're glad Georgia's on your mind. More than just a state to zip through on one of many interstate highways, Georgia is a place to savor slowly. From the pristine coastal region, with its sun-drenched beaches and live oaks, to the mountains, where icy streams carve up the rocky terrain, Georgia has something to offer almost everyone.

Coastal treasures include the Golden Isles, which encompass the town of Brunswick and the beautiful barrier islands that surround it: Sea Island, Jekyll Island, St. Simons and Little St. Simons. Just to the north, the port city of Savannah is a grande dame rich with history and atmosphere. Tybee Island, Savannah's beach town, is a mix of old and new, sophisticated and sometimes slightly shabby but always a great place to settle. A bit inland, Augusta sits on the Savannah River, at the South Carolina border.

Georgia is beautifully unspoiled and boasts a number of hidden gems, including the peaceful Altamaha River in the southeastern corner of the state. The Altamaha is included on The Nature Conservancy's list of the 75 "Last Great Places" of the world and is the largest water system east of the Mississippi. As such, it is lush with wildlife such as soaring bald eagles, shy red-cockaded woodpeckers and, a local favorite, the flathead catfish.

Another wonderful place to explore is Cumberland Island, a barrier island that is a protected National Seashore and has been listed as one of the Travel Channel's best American beaches. Accessible only by ferry, Cumberland offers a glimpse into Georgia's fascinating past.

In spite of its proximity to Florida, where it is perpetually summer, Georgia offers the perfect combination of a temperate climate and seasonal changes. With its lush landscape and genteel Southern ways, it is no wonder Georgia is on so many minds these days.

Florida | Florida Towns

Florida photo
Retirees seeking the sun and shore have traditionally chosen the Sunshine State to settle. With 1,200 miles of sandy shoreline and more than 11,000 miles of rivers, streams and other waterways, it is easy to see why Florida beckons. New residents – numbering about 1,000 per day, on average – are drawn to the semitropical climate, which promises mild winters and year-round coastal breezes.

Also important to the many who move to Florida each year is the favorable tax situation. There is no state income tax, and, overall, Florida residents are among the least-taxed people in the country. This could be a critical factor, especially for retirees on a fixed income.

Possibly the most difficult part of moving to Florida is deciding where to live. There are so many choices, from the dynamic city of Jacksonville to the quaint, historic streets of St. Augustine; from the laid-back atmosphere of Key West to the sophistication of Palm Beach and its surroundings. Those who like small-town living will find plenty of places to consider.

One section of the state that is popular with new residents is the Cocoa Beach area, which is about halfway between the two large metropolises of Jacksonville and Miami. In addition to sun-drenched beaches, attractions such as Walt Disney World, the Kennedy Space Center and Daytona International Speedway are nearby, and cruises to the Caribbean are popular from Port Canaveral. For those who take retirement seriously, it is possible to laze the day away while enjoying dramatic views from high-rise balconies.

Those considering Florida should visit a variety of places before making a final decision. The casual party atmosphere appeals to many, while others prefer the amenities and convenience of large cities. Both, and everything in between, are available in Florida.

Since 1513, when Ponce de Leon came ashore in search of the Fountain of Youth, people have been flocking to the paradise that is Florida.