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BLACK MOUNTAIN - Southern Living has released its 2020 list of the South’s best mountain towns, and half of the top 10 are in North Carolina.

Voted on by readers, Black Mountain came in at number 10.

Black Mountain resident Brian Guengerich said he thinks the size of the town helps make Black Mountain such a desirable location.

“The quaintness of it along with the uniqueness of the stores and shops that we have and the great food and restaurants and the people and it just makes for a great town,” Guengerich said.

Steve Raymond has lived in Black Mountain for only about two years, but he agrees the size of the town is one of its shining points.

“The small-town atmosphere is probably the number one thing,” Raymond said. “It’s a feeling of community. Everybody waves to each other. You stop at the post office or the restaurants and everyone seems to know each other and they’re talking pleasantly. It’s just a feeling of community.”

The magazine described Black Mountain as “part of the galaxy of cool Western North Carolina towns orbiting Asheville.”

Having been born and raised in Asheville, Guengerich has seen the city change and said Black Mountain reminds him of a different Asheville.

“It’s just a slower pace,” Guengerich said. “I really feel like it’s a slow-down. It reminds me of Asheville of the old days.”

Raymond said while Black Mountain is convenient to Asheville, it is not as crowded.

“It has a proper balance between population density and the amount of amenities it has to offer,” Raymond said. “It’s just got the right variety and it fits well with the number of people here.”

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