Posted on: March 14, 2024 Posted by: Sarah Giavedoni Comments: 0
Here are just three specific words that describe Canton, NC.

Last Updated on March 14, 2024

After many years as a quiet mill town, Canton, NC, has seen several economic and community shifts over the last decade thanks to new businesses and changing demographics. The sleepy Haywood County town was once little more than a stopping point midway between the larger hubs of Asheville and Waynesville. Today, visitors are drawn to Canton’s historic downtown, while new residents are attracted to the area’s affordability and quality of life.

There are plenty of terms we could use to illustrate multifaceted, charming, creative, growing Canton. (See what we did there?) Here are just three specific words that describe Canton, NC.

Canton is Evolving

Canton is a snapshot of a classic mill town evolving with the 21st century. The town’s charming downtown district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But recent improvements and redevelopments offer a fresh face to small-town living.

The Town of Canton invested heavily in reenergizing the town alongside their 100-year-old paper mill, instead of around it. That strategy has served them well since the mill sounded its final bell in May 2023. Streetscaping, public art, and small business support have been and remain forefront efforts. Historic murals dot the downtown landscape, offering interesting viewing. But a quick stop into one of Main Street’s barber shops or cafes still gives you a chance to rub elbows with the locals.

Canton’s connections to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Pigeon River, a natural artery through town, also continue to evolve. The Pigeon River Scenic Walking Trail connects downtown to the scenic waterway. Benches line the 1.5-mile trail for those looking to relax and take in the native flora or feed local wildlife. And a boat ramp is available for fishing and canoeing. Chestnut Mountain Nature Park is another popular public park destination. Berm Park, located within, offers a unique skills course for mountain bikers seeking a more active biking experience within a safe environment.

Canton is Eclectic

Downtown Canton is centrally located and very walkable in a way that only a historic district can be. Local shops, restaurants, and breweries are thriving along its main thoroughfare. The district’s crown jewel is arguably the Imperial Hotel, which officially predates the town. Built in 1876, the Queen Anne building began its life as a private home and now operates as The Southern Porch restaurant. Patrons can enjoy quality service and diverse Southern fare, from fried green tomatoes to shrimp and grits.

But Historic Main Street also has a few surprises up its sleeve. Willow Hill Soap Company hand-measures and hand-pours every carefully-sourced ingredient to ensure small-batch quality of their candle and cosmetic products. Housed inside Mr. Robot Shop, Canton’s Video Game & Computer Museum displays an extensive collection of vintage computer and video gaming systems. And the restored Colonial Theater, dating back to 1932, features film festivals, stage productions, concerts, and community events in its 300-seat auditorium.

These may not be expected destinations in a town this size, but Canton residents enjoy them as mainstays.

Canton is Community Focused

It’s hard to name a singular community hub in Canton, but there are several where residents regularly gather. BearWaters Brewery is located a quick walk from the heart of downtown along the Pigeon River. Beer aficionados and families alike hang out on the patio overlooking the water, stay for trivia, and enjoy live music and events throughout the year.

On Friday nights throughout the summer, the City of Canton hosts Pickin’ in the Park. Grab a lawn chair and picnic blanket and head to the Canton Recreation Park to listen to live bluegrass and old-time bands. The Canton Labor Day Festival, which attracts record crowds from across the region, is the oldest festival of its kind in the South—celebrating 118 years in 2024. And don’t forget to travel back to town during the holidays for a variety of jolly events. In years past, the Canton Festival of Lights awed visitors by the glow of thousands of holiday lights in celebration of the season!

Find what feels like home in Canton, NC

Canton, NC, is a snapshot of a classic mill town, with many of the unique bungalows and beautiful buildings once built for mill workers and managers still intact. But the town is building on its industrial history to create a future all its own. Historic murals add an artistic touch to the downtown district, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s easy to stroll down Main Street, enjoy a meal, shop at small businesses, and be received as a local. Quality of life truly is key in Canton.

Does that sound like the perfect lifestyle for you? Search now for Canton homes for sale!

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