In the dark about where to buy your retirement relocation or vacation home?  Well, if you head to the Southeast in mid-August, we can shed some light on possibilities - and, if you visit one of many master-planned communities in mid-August, you may be ...


August 21 Eclipse – When Day Becomes Night and more...

August 21 Eclipse – When Day Becomes Night

Eclipse 2017

In the dark about where to buy your retirement relocation or vacation home?  Well, if you head to the Southeast in mid-August, we can shed some light on possibilities - and, if you visit one of many master-planned communities in mid-August, you may be literally "in the dark," but in a wonderful way.

On Aug. 21, 2017, the afternoon sky will go from bright to night as a rare total solar eclipse races clear across the nation.  Its so-called "path of totality" (some 70 miles wide) will streak at 1,456 mph from the Pacific coast of Oregon to the Atlantic coast of South Carolina in just over three hours (at a speed that would make even Superman a bit envious).  It will pass over eastern Tennessee and 42 miles across western North Carolina, then sweep over 252 miles in South Carolina, from the Upstate region to Charleston (and even 12 miles over northern Georgia).  Fred Espenak, retired NASA astrophysicist known as Mr. Eclipse, says it will zoom through South Carolina in just 10 minutes, 16 seconds.

The good thing about a total solar eclipse is that, unlike a total lunar eclipse - when the Earth is directly between the sun and moon, blocking the sun's light from hitting the moon - you won't have to stay up too late or get up too early to witness this spectacle.

While the "path of totality" is approximately 70 miles wide, the closer you get to the center of that 70-mile swath, the longer you'll be "in the dark."  That doesn't mean that, if you're outside that 70-mile path, you won't be a witness to astronomical history, because regions not directly in the "totality" zone will experience near-totality of 98-99 percent.

The once-in-a-lifetime event (the last total solar eclipse to cross the nation was in 1918) lasts for roughly three hours (1-4 pm EDT), when the eclipse goes from partial to total - and back to partial as the moon slowly slides over the sun.  But totality - when all that's visible is the sun's hot-pink corona - lasts a maximum of 2 minutes, 40 seconds, and will occur between 2:20 pm and 2:40 pm, depending on which location in the Palmetto State.

What To Expect
Roughly 10 minutes before and after totality, it will look as though a different sun were illuminating the Earth - colors will get much more rich and saturated, and shadows will become crisp and stark.  The folks at Old Farmer's Almanac say that, "at 1 minute before and after totality, all white and light-color ground surfaces underfoot (sidewalks, sand, the like) suddenly exhibit shimmering shadow bands everywhere.  (Think of black lines on the bottom of a swimming pool that appear to wiggle.)"

And NASA scientists say that, at the onset of totality, the moon's valleys will play a key role in another visual effect - the sun's crescent will wane and bright spots called "Bailey's Beads" will project through the valleys.  In fact, the "bead" is so bright, NASA says, that it's also called the "diamond ring effect."  At the peak of totality, the entire corona will be visible, there will be a reddish horizon, and the sky will get as dark as midnight (stars may even be visible).  As the sun comes out of totality, the "diamond ring" and "Bailey's beads" appear in reverse.

Also, researchers at UC Berkeley say that, as the sky darkens, "and the temperature drops, birds reportedly stop singing, spiders may tear down their webs, and gray squirrels will retreat to their dens, among other observed behaviors."

Stay Protected
"You MUST use safe, CERTIFIED eye protection to view the eclipse!"

That warning, from NASA, applies to viewing the partial eclipse, and is repeated on every website devoted to eclipse viewing.  And "eye protection" does NOT mean regular sunglasses.  Even polarized sunglasses won't protect the eyes from rays that will permanently burn retinas.  The good news is that the special glasses are either cheap (between $2 and $5) or free, and widely available from stores and event organizers throughout the Southeast.  (And yes, you can wear them over regular eyeglasses!)  Be sure the special glasses say they meet requirements specified by ISO 12312-2:2015.

And there's more good news: the special glasses are NOT needed to view totality - but they do need to be worn during the partial eclipse phases.

Capturing the Eclipse
Viewing a total solar eclipse is one thing; preserving it is another.  Many people will no doubt try to capture the image with their cameras or smartphones.

Espenak, the retired NASA astrophysicist, says taking photos with either device is possible - with a few conditions.  Both are like the human eye - they can be ruined by "looking" at the sun, even during partiality.  He suggests camera owners should purchase a solar filter to cover the telephoto lens (and view-finder, if not a DSLR camera).  The filter would not be needed during totality - in fact, Espenak says keeping the filter on would reduce the quality of images taken.

Photos taken with smartphones "can be very exciting because the field-of-view is large enough that you can compose the shot with your friends and local scenery in the shot, at the same time a recognizable, eclipsed sun during totality hangs dramatically in the darkened sky."  If wanting to capture just the eclipse during totality, Espenak advises against using the phone the camera's digital zoom, because the pixel count is unchanged, meaning there's a greater risk of fuzziness.

Be Sure to Plan Ahead
Getting to the "path of totality" - and especially the center of that path - may prove to be a challenge.  NASA and various astrological groups have been spreading the word since the first of the year, and communities in the heart of the swath have been planning events for months.

NASA's coordinator for education and outreach programs, Alex Young, says that, although about 12 million people live within the narrow band of totality, approximately 25 million reside within a day's drive of it, "so we’re really in uncharted territory trying to estimate how many people are going to try to watch this event."

The National Park Service notes that "People have been planning where they want to view the eclipse years in advance."  As a result, most camp sites and park lodging have been reserved.  And some parks within or near the path of totality will close once parking lots are full.

And the North Carolina Department of Transportation cautions "There could be significant traffic impacts from congestion before and after the event," and says it "will suspend most road construction projects and lane closures beginning Aug. 19 through Aug. 22."  It also offers other cautionary notes:

  • Watch out for pedestrians on secondary roads and city streets.  People may be randomly parking and walking along roadsides as they search for a viewing spot.
  • Watch out for distracted drivers around you.
  • Do not try to view the eclipse or take photographs while driving.
  • Turn on your headlights if driving during the eclipse.  Even in partial totality, it will become dark outside.
  • Do not stop along the interstate or park on the shoulder to view the eclipse.  Exit the roadway and park in a safe spot.
  • Do not wear eclipse glasses while driving

Most people viewing the eclipse will try to depart for home immediately afterward, much like the end of a sporting event or concert.

Another planning factor is the weather.  The National Weather Service says "An important consideration is the possibility of clouds... and thunderstorms (which) are common elements of the early to late afternoons, especially over the Blue Ridge Mountains and foothills."  The NWS adds that there's a 30-50% chance of clouds "at 2:38pm on August 21," as well as "an approximately 10% chance of rain at that particular time at any location in the area."  The Old Farmer's Almanac says to expect "scattered thunderstorms and warm" temperatures in the Carolinas.

Meteorologist Jay Anderson, on his website, says, "If the weather forecast the day before is not favorable, strongly consider driving to an adjacent state within the path with a better forecast."

Best Viewing Locations
Meanwhile, so many cities and towns have scheduled so many eclipse-viewing events that, odds are, you'll find a place to be "in the dark" for the entire event.  And some master-planned communities have scheduled on-site events, which means you wouldn't even have to leave the possible home of your dreams to fulfill the dream of viewing a total solar eclipse.  Here's a look at just some scheduled events - note that, unless otherwise stated, there's still time to make a reservation, if needed.

You'll find several events in Tellico Plains, and close to 100 events in Nashville.  For details, visit and

Although the Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the eastern Tennessee/western North Carolina border, and either of them are completely in the "path of totality" or will experience 99.96 percent of it, park rangers say optimal viewing locations are just about booked.  The park is posting almost daily updates on its website,

The path of totality first touches extreme western North Carolina at 2:33 pm. (EDT), and crosses into South Carolina at 2:48 pm. (EDT).  (Note that the next time a total eclipse will be seen in North Carolina will be May 11, 2078.)

Note that, while the southern section of the Blue Ridge Parkway - from around Looking Glass Rock overlook (Milepost 417) to the end at Cherokee - will be in the "path of totality" for up to 60 seconds around 2:36 pm, its popularity may make it inaccessible.  Mark Fine, of the website, writes, "While there are numerous overlooks to stop, most will fill up quickly.  Popular hiking spots to summits like Black Balsam, Devil's Courthouse and Waterrock Knob will be packed.  So go early to claim a parking spot! Waterrock Knob has the largest parking area with prime viewing from the lot with picnic area and restrooms."  Also, Parkway rangers may consider closing a stretch if too many vehicles are blocking the scenic road.  As the date gets closer, visit this website for specifics:

However, there's another option if you're an outdoors fan...
The Nantahala Outdoor Center, near Bryson City, NC, has put together its Great American Solar Eclipse Adventures, which includes everything from zip lining to relaxing rafting. There's whitewater rafting along the Chattooga River, rafting down the Nantahala River, and flatwater paddling along Fontana Lake.  Prices range from $40 to $130 per person. Although some events are filling up, there are a number of others to choose from; just visit

Cities and towns that will experience 100% totality are Andrews, Brevard, Bryson City, Cashiers, Cherokee, Cullowhee, Dillsboro, Franklin, Hayesville, Highlands, Hiwassee Lake, Santeetlah Lake, Murphy, Robbinsville, Rosman, Sylva, and Webster - in North Carolina.

And virtually every one of those cities and towns has special viewing events planned.  In or near those towns are many communities features on our site - Balsam Mountain Preserve in Sylva, Bear Lake Reserve in Tuckaseegee, Blacksmith Run and Champion Hills in Hendersonville, Maggie Valley Club in Maggie Valley, the Preserve at Rock Creek in Sapphire, Rockledge in Bryson City, Sundrops on Caney Fork in Cullowhee, and Sunset Falls at Bald Creek near Waynesville.

To take a look at what viewing opportunities will exist when you visit the above master-planned communities, all of these websites would be a great starting point:


For more specific information on what events are planned in western North Carolina, visit:

  • to find events in Cashiers, Dillsboro and Sylva.
  • to locate events in other cities and towns.

As we mentioned earlier, the solar eclipse's "path of totality" will race across the entire state of South Carolina, from the Upstate region in the northwest part of the state, through Columbia, the state's capitol, and exit over the Charleston region.

In the Upstate region are the Cliffs Communities - six very distinctive master-planned developments (a 7th is in North Carolina).  And several are planning their own eclipse events.

  • At 2:36 pm, 100% totality will pass over The Cliffs at Keowee Falls and will last for 2 minutes, 36 seconds.  The clubhouse and golf course will be the viewing spot during its "Solar Eclipse of the Heart," and official glasses, appetizers and cocktails will be available to members and guests ($15 per person).
  • One minute later - 2:37 pm - the total eclipse will be over Cliffs at Mountain Park near Travelers Rest, and will last 1 minute, 50 seconds.  Its "Total Eclipse of the South" will include lunch, drinks, music and proper viewing glasses, for $24 per person.
  • Glassy Mountain, a Cliffs community, the only mountain community located in South Carolina - will witness the eclipse at roughly the same time as Mountain Park - 2:37 pm - and the same duration - 1 minute, 50 seconds.  Certified solar eclipse viewing glasses will be provided to members and guests, and lunch and a wine tasting are planned ($24 per person).

Potentially the most crowded viewing area in the state will be Clemson University, which will be in the center of the path of totality, which passes at 2:37 p.m. and ironically lasts for 2 minutes, 37 seconds.  Not only will area residents and visitors be there, but Clemson advises that "Most local media will be represented and also planning to attend," such as "The Weather Channel, CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, NPR, The Washington Post and Scientific American, among others."  Although campus officials say there's no need for tickets, the university is charging $50 to park in a "tailgazing" parking area; all other parking in several lots is free.  The university also says it will have 50,000 pairs of solar glasses available at no cost.  For more information, visit

The "Renaissance City" of Greenville (totality starts at 2:28 pm and lasts 2 minutes, 8 seconds) has a long list of events scheduled ranging from extravagant parties at several downtown venues to the Children's Museum of the Upstate, but almost all are sold out or close to capacity.  The Children's museum is a ticketed event, but the tickets will only be available on Aug. 21.  To view all event listings, visit

Close to Greenville and Travelers Rest is Furman University, which will open Paladin Stadium to eclipse spectators and providing approved glasses.  There will also be live music and concessions.  For more details, visit

In and near the coastal city of Charleston, more than 100 events are planned, ranging from "Eclipse on a Warship" - on the aircraft carrier-now-warship museum USS Yorktown - to "Total Eclipse of the Art" at the Gibbes Museum of Art.  However, the larger events are already sold out, but there's bound to be room at a number of smaller events.  The more adventurous might consider a unique way to view the eclipse - by paddle boat, kayak or on a small island.  Several tour companies and outdoor shops have eclipse-only packages, though the "easier" ones are selling out fast.  To get a complete look at what's planned, visit

Finally, you can "have a ball" (literally) while "viewing a ball" (the moon and sun) by attending a Minor league Baseball game.  The solar eclipse's "path of totality" first reaches Nashville, Tennessee, home of the Nashville Sounds, at 1:29 pm (CDT).  First Tennessee Park will open at 10:30 am (CST) for a special eclipse viewing event that will include music and hands-on activities.  The field's lights will come on at 1:25 pm, then observers will need to leave by 2 pm; the Sounds will take on the Iowa Cubs at 4:05 pm.  Choose tickets to either the eclipse event or the game, visit

  • The Greenville, SC Drive will host the West Virginia Power at Fluor Field at 1 pm.  But the game will stop for totality (2:38 pm EDT) and resume when totality ends.  Eclipse glasses will be provided to everyone entering the park.  For more info, visit
  • The Columbia, SC Fireflies will play the Rome (Georgia) Braves at 1:05 pm at the new Spirit Communications Park; all fans will receive special eclipse glasses, and play will be halted during totality (which they're calling "Total Eclipse of the Park").  For tickers or more information, visit
  • Gates will open at 1 pm at Joseph P. Riley Park, home to the Charleston SC RiverDogs, who will play the Augusta GreenJackets, but not until 4:05 pm.  Instead, fans will receive officials eclipse glasses to enjoy watching the celestial event.  For game tickets or more info, visit

NASA has some guidelines on how to safely watch the Great American Total  Solar Eclipse.  The only safe way to look directly at the partially eclipsed or un-eclipsed sun are with special-purpose solar filters otherwise called "eclipse glasses" or hand held solar viewers.  Ordinary glasses are not safe for looking at the sun.  There are four manufacturers that have certified their eclipse glasses and meet international standards:  Rainbow Symphony, American  Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17.   The solar filter should still be inspected prior to use.  If scratched or damaged in any way, the glasses should be discarded.  Children should be supervised when using social  filters.  NASA recommends users must stand still and cover their eyes with their eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the sun.  Then, they should turn away from the sun and remove the filter, so they don't remove the filter while still looking at the sun.   The sun or eclipse should not be viewed with an unfiltered camera, telescope, binocular or telescope, for fear of serious injury to the eyes.  NASA has stated if viewers are within "the path of totality" which stretches from Oregon to South Carolina, the solar filter should only be removed when the moon completely covers the sun and it gets very dark.  As the sun appears again, the solar viewer should be put on again to look at the rest of the eclipse.


    Is Weather A Factor In Your Retirement Relocation Decision?


    It's no secret that many retirees head south looking for better weather.  And they're usually not disappointed.  But if you have certain meteorological wants -

    • No snow, no way
    • One good snowfall a winter would be fine
    • Not too many 100 degree days from July to September

    ... you may want to do a little research before choosing where you relocate.

    South of the Mason/Dixon covers a lot of terrain with a lot of variability, weather-wise.  For example, average low in January for Wheeling, WV is around 23 degrees F, and average high for July is about 82 degrees.  But head on down to Charleston, SC and you won't see those 20 degree temperatures in the winter - the average low for January is 38 degrees.  However, July-August is a different story with an average high of about 90 degrees F.  So, you need to decide what a southern clime means to you.

    Knoxville is the largest city in East Tennessee.  It is considered to be in a temperate climate zone, with four distinct seasons.  Average January low temperature is 30 degreesº F and average high is 47 degrees.  July is the hottest month with an average high of 88 degrees.  July's low temperature averages 69 degrees and the average annual temperature is 60 degrees F.  Knoxville averages about 50 inches of rainfall a year and about 5.5 inches of snowfall.  Snowfall is fairly uncommon and the largest amount, in inches, is generally recorded in one or two events.  But, the Great Smoky Mountains are only a little over an hour east of Knoxville - and that can bring about some significant changes at higher elevations.  Annual rainfall totals for some peaks in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park often reach 85 inches per year.  And Mt. LeConte often sees just over 71 inches of snow per year.

    Gatlinburg, Tennessee's gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park cools down a bit compared to Knoxville with an average January low of 2 degrees F and a July high of 86º.  It's also a little wetter with an average rainfall of 55 inches and an average snowfall of 9 inches per year.

    The Carolinas are two states where you need to check specific localities as well.  Asheville, NC lies in the French Broad River Valley at an elevation of about 2,000 feet.  July high temperatures average around 84 degrees and January lows average about 26 degrees.  Where Asheville differs from most mountain communities in Western North Carolina is in regard to precipitation, especially rainfall.

    Asheville North Carolina Asheville stands out as one of the driest spots in the state, with only about 40 inches of rain per year.  That is because Asheville is in a "rain shadow" caused by the Great Balsams.  When moisture-laden air comes from the west-southwest, it hits the mountains.  It leaves a lot of moisture on the west side, but when it tops the mountains it gets a little bump and skips over Asheville before dumping the moisture a little bit farther east or north.  Asheville's annual snow total of 11 inches may sound daunting to the "bread and milkers" who barricade themselves inside when the first flake falls, but Asheville's snow events are generally fleeting.  It may dump two to three inches Monday night - but be 50 degrees Tuesday afternoon.  The three snowiest months in Asheville are January (4.5 inches) February (4.5 inches) and March (3 inches).

    So what happens when you move out of that rain shadow?  Well Boone, NC about an hour and a half northeast of Asheville in the North Carolina Highlands has an average July temperature of 79 degrees and a January low of 23 degrees.  Boone gets around 55 inches of rain annually and 37 inches of snowfall.  Head east to the Piedmont and you get another weather scenario.  If you head over to Raleigh, NC you'll find a July high of about 89 degrees and a January low of 29 degrees.  Raleigh gets around 46 inches of rain a year but only about 4 inches of snowfall.  Head on to coastal North Carolina and Wilmington - and you will find the July high temperature about the same as Raleigh - 89 degrees.  But the ocean breezes mitigate the January cold and the low average for January in Wilmington is only 34 degrees.  It's a little wetter, rainfall-wise with an annual rainfall of 57 inches but don't expect to see much of the white stuff.  Average annual snowfall in Wilmington is about one inch.

    Greenville, SC in the Piedmont of South Carolina, just below the Blue Ridge Escarpment still gets a little chilly in the winter - with January lows averaging about 31 degrees.  But, it heats up pretty quickly - and July highs average around 89 degrees.  Greenville gets about 50 inches of rainfall per year, but only about 3 inches of snow - and that is rare and it doesn't hang around long.  And, if you keep going south in South Carolina - you hit the Low Country and the Atlantic coast.  Summer days can get warm, but the ocean breezes make a big difference.  Bluffton, SC has an average July high temperature of 92 degrees but the July average is 83 degrees.  And - you don't have to worry about those cold, snowy winter days.  The average January low in Bluffton is 28 degrees but the average January temperature is 53 degrees.  Rainfall in Bluffton averages about 50 inches per year and snowfall... what's that?

    Carolina Colours in New Bern, North Carolina So this points out the vagaries and some of the questions you may want to ask.  If you're done with the snow, you'll want to be south and east of the Upstate of South Carolina as the Greenville SC does welcome an occasional snowfall.  As for North Carolina - about the only spot in the state that doesn't see snowfall is the southeastern tip of the state - where Wilmington and Brunswick County are located.

    If you settle in New Bern, NC - it's a charming town that's ideal for sailing in the summers, but be open to having one snow event a year.  If you're tired of those long cold northern winters but still like a little white stuff and/or want to hit the slopes a couple of times - think about Western North Carolina, East Tennessee and/or the North Carolina Highlands.

    Dixie has almost any climate you would like unless, of course, you're looking for 30 inches of snow every winter and January average lows in the single digits.  Dixie also offers some latitudinal and attitudinal options you don't find often above the Mason/Dixon line.  For instance, you could settle in Asheville, NC or Knoxville, TN - and while not being  inconvenienced often by winter snowfall, you can enjoy skiing at a number of mountain resorts within a two-hour drive.  And the trade-offs are the luxurious long green springs and golden autumns that seem to go on forever.

    There is clearly a different climate in the South, and one that is appealing to most.  But, it is definitely not the same across the region.  You want a little snow;  you want no snow;  you enjoy a little heat in the summer;  you want mountain air instead...

    Would you rather be where you could have both for a weekend - say a 3-4 hour drive to the beach or the slopes?  Well, you can find it all in Dixie and Southeast Discovery can certainly help you find it.  Contact us at or call 877.886.8388.


    Coastal South Carolina’s Palmetto Bluff’s Conservancy

    Palmetto Bluff Community

    There is a long history of human habitation at Palmetto Bluff along the May River near Bluffton, in the heart of South Carolina's Low Country.

    Artifacts at Palmetto Bluff date back to 10,000 years B.C.  Native Americans regularly visited the area to harvest fish, oysters and other delicacies like blue crabs.  Some of the earliest deeds hearken back to the 1700s when British naval officer George Lord Anson purchased the land.  The Bluff was composed of at least 21 different plantations during the Antebellum Era.  Union Bag (later Union Camp) purchased the property in 1937 because of its huge timber reserves.  And while much of this reserve was harvested, the company noted the spectacular maritime forest and rich riverine estuary and created a conservation plan to help protect this spectacular place.  International Paper acquired Union Camp in 1998 and in 2000, Crescent Properties bought Palmetto Bluff from IP.

    Palmetto Bluff Deer in Community Upon purchasing the property, Crescent created the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy.  According to David O'Donoghue, Crescent Communities' executive vice president of its Resort and Second Home Communities team, in a February interview with Crossroads Today, "We know the true value of this community lies in its beautiful, open landscape, and we want to ensure that remains as we move forward with our vision to welcome more owners and visitors to this special place in the decades ahead.  The needs and interests of the land and wildlife lead everything we do here at Palmetto Bluff, and we're in great hands with the Conservancy team helping to ensure that the Bluff's original inhabitants, its wildlife, prosper."

    The Conservancy, under the guidance of Jay Walea, director, is dedicated to maintaining the ecological and environmental integrity of this maritime forest situated at the confluence of the May, Cooper and New Rivers.  The Conservancy conducts research and programs that range from PhD-level archaeological surveys to "citizen-science" projects like eastern bluebird surveys.  Some of the projects conducted by Palmetto Bluff Conservancy include monitoring bald eagle nests, population studies of turtles, alligators, white-tailed deer, various bird populations and an analysis of artifacts from the Pettigrew Plantation.

    The recent addition early this year of 90 acres to Crescent Communities managed forest brings the total area of protected land at Palmetto Bluff to 12,631 acres of the 22,000-acre property.  Protected areas include maritime forest, saltwater marshes, headwaters of the May River and more.  But the Conservancy does more than manage protected acres.  They work with the developer, builders and members to insure that construction and human habitation mesh with the surroundings.  They review building plans and help stake out lots to ensure no damage is done to fragile ecosystems.

    Palmetto Bluff Alligator The Conservancy works with property owners, staff and visitors to educate them about the habitat and wildlife they share the Bluff with.  Conservancy staff teaches property owners how to co-exist with the native flora and fauna and teaches security staff the appropriate means to deal with wildlife encounters.

    Conservancy naturalists offer regular nature tours for guests and members.  The First Friday Lecture Series on the first Friday of every month at the Conservancy Classroom in Moreland Village focuses on environmental and historical/cultural aspects on the Bluff.  There is a Brown Bag Lunch Series held most months that focuses on a wide variety of environmental/community issues.  The Conservancy offers numerous workshops and programs designed for a more in-depth look at particular environmental/ecological topics.  And field trips are offered, not only at the Bluff, but at different venues throughout the neighboring Low Country.

    Some typical events on Palmetto Bluff Conservancy's current calendar include:

    • Brown Bag Lunch "Fossils of the Ice Age" at the Moreland Conservancy Classroom.
    • "Palmetto Bluff Development Information Session" at the Moreland Conservancy Classroom.  A program about the history of Palmetto Bluff and the vision going forward.
    • Field Trip "Eco Tour with Captain Amber" meet at Moreland Conservancy Classroom.

    And these programs continue year round.  Palmetto Bluff, Crescent Communities and Palmetto Bluff Conservancy are proud of their model of comfortable elegant living respecting the flora and fauna of the Bluff and nurturing the ecosystem that creates and sustains it.

    Make no mistake; amenities at Palmetto Bluff are first rate, including five restaurants, a general store, a gourmet market, pools, fitness center, equestrian farm, hiking and biking paths, a boatyard, canoe club, tennis, a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course and more - plus the newly expanded and enhanced five-star Montage Palmetto Bluff resort.  But to be able to step away from all this and, within a matter of minutes, be standing under moss-draped live oaks, some of which may have welcomed William Hilton to the Bluff 400 years ago, shows a special kind of commitment to a special kind of place.

    Palmetto Bluff Homes in South CarolinaIf you'd like to learn more about this coastal South Carolina community, located within 30 minutes of Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head Island in the town of Bluffton, SC - email us at or call 877.886.8388 - we'll send you information on Palmetto Bluff's Welcome Package, available to serious real estate inquirers.


    South Carolina is One of the Top Relocation Destinations in the U.S.


    According to a National Movers Survey conducted by United Van Lines, which has been tracking state migration data since 1977, South Carolina was one of five states with the largest proportion of inbound moves in 2016.  This confirms what we've found in our decade-plus work with clients:  South Carolina is a top relocation destination among Baby Boomers reaching retirement age.

    The survey ranked the outbound moves in each state as a proportion of the total number of moves in that state.  Not surprisingly, northeast states comprise 50% of the top ten spots on the list.  As the population reaches retirement age, Baby Boomers are seeking places that offer a warmer climate, lower property taxes, a lower cost of living, and communities that cater to their lifestyle needs.  The survey shows that South Carolina is one of the states they frequently choose to move to.


    The states with the largest proportion of inbound moves in 2016 were Oregon, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Vermont.  Vermont, unlike other northeastern states, showed a high portion of people (20%) moving there to pursue a different lifestyle.

    In terms of outbound moves, New Jersey, a frequent holder of the number one spot for population exodus, has topped the list again according to the survey.  63% more people are leaving that state than moving in.  A report by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association stated this out-migration has cost the state $18 billion in net adjusted gross income over a 10-year span.

    New Jersey was followed by Illinois and New York, which also had 63% outbound migrations.  Connecticut and Kansas had 60%; Kentucky had 58% out-migration, while West Virginia and Ohio both came in at 57%.  Utah and Pennsylvania rounded out the top 10 with 56% each.

    People facing retirement make up part of this demographic shift to the Southeastern and Western states.  According to UCLA economist and public policy professor Michael Stoll, who collaborated with United Van Lines to interpret the migration study, "Compared to the South and West, the Midwest and Northeast have older populations."

    According to the survey, many of the moves are a result of the weather in states people are migrating from, and high property and other taxes.  A better economic opportunity or new job was also cited as a deciding factor in a relocation move, accounting for 40% of out of state moves.

    Aiken, South Carolina DowntownPeople moving out of Northeastern and Midwestern states into Southeastern states are not only finding a warmer climate and better lifestyle, but they are also bringing their income and household spending with them.  This bodes well for personal property values, existing and new businesses and services, municipal and state coffers, and the general fiscal health of those states receiving this inbound migration.  While states like New Jersey are lamenting the loss of billions of dollars of economic impact, Southeastern states, like South Carolina, are reaping the benefits.

    If you're considering relocating to the Southeast but don't know how or where to start your search, we can help.  Southeast Discovery has been assisting folks from all over the U.S. for over a decade by streamlining the process so they can find the right area and community to call home.  Complete our complimentary online Questionnaire to receive feedback on the best areas and communities in the Southeast that fall in line with your objectives for your retirement and relocation home.  Feel free to contact us too - at or 877.886.8388.



    Northern Ga Community Big Canoe – And Atlanta Trails


    Big Canoe has partnered with Atlanta Trails to create a new interactive experience on their website.  The collaboration provides maps, photos and details of Big Canoe's award-winning trail system.  Atlanta Trails is one of the Southeast's most trusted and revered online magazines for hikers, runner, bikers and other adventure seekers.

    Big Canoe is a planned community in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains about an hour north of Atlanta.  The more than 8,000 acres are prized for their scenic beauty, more than 20 miles of hiking trails, three lakes, two waterfalls and 27 holes of golf.

    It's a sign of the times - planned communities across the country are realizing that today's retirees and those looking for second and/or vacation homes are multi-faceted when it comes to what they're looking for.  Most are looking for many things; golf; social and/or community opportunities plus the opportunity to connect with nature.

    Big Canoe, the 2014 National Home Builders Silver Award Winner for Master Planned Community of the Year has it all.  And while their golf, community and social opportunities are nonpareil - they have managed to accomplish this recognition while, at the same time, preserving and enhancing the amazing natural resources of the North Georgia Mountains.  This partnership with Atlanta Trails only helps to highlight this commitment.

    Big Canoe, with the help of Atlanta Trails has produced state-of-the-art interactive trail guides detailing every mile of the community's extensive trail network.  The guides feature photos plus detailed trail information including distance, difficulty and trail surface plus maps and parking info for each trail.

    The guides are grouped into five sections:

    • Nature Valley & Jeep Trails: highlighting Lower Falls Trails, Upper Falls Trail, Upper Jeep Trail, Cabin Loop Trail, Nancy Womack Trail, Lake Trail, Wildflower Trail and Lower Jeep Trail.
    • Indian Rocks Park & Playfield Park Trails:  highlighting Indian Mounds Trail, Lake Petit Trail, Indian Mounds Lop Trail, Playfield Park Running Trail, Playfield Trail and Village Trail.
    • Wildcat Park & McDaniel Meadows Trails: highlighting Wildcat Park Red Loop, Wildcat Park Blue Loop, Wildcat Connecter, Wildcat Perimeter Trail and McDaniel Meadows Park Trails.
    • Meditation Park & Choctaw Trails: highlighting Botanical Garden Nature Trail, Blackwell Creek Trail, John Williams Trail, Covered Bridge Trail and Choctaw Trail.
    • Waterford Trails: highlighting Toad's Pond Trail and Blackwell Springs Trail.

    Big Canoe Clubhouse Georgia Community This compilation of guides is thorough and comprehensive even pointing out how to link trails for those looking for longer and/or more diverse hikes.  The photos are outstanding and give you a virtual taste of the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains.  To see these guides visit HERE on the community's website.

    And don't worry if Big Canoe's 20+ miles of trails just whets your appetite.  Hundreds of miles of trails and unending opportunities for outdoor adventure wait just minutes outside of Big Canoe's gates in the Chattahoochee National Forest, Amicalola Falls State Park, Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area and/or the 4,500-acre Wildcat Tract that adjoins the community.

    If you'd like a real estate packet on North Georgia's Big Canoe, call 877.886.8388 or email us at


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