Anderson has a median house price of under $250,000. But residents don’t have to sacrifice big-city services, such as health care. Officials credit the AnMed Health system, which includes clinics and private practices on one campus.
At Anderson County’s Jo Brown Senior Center, Program Director Kelly Jo Barnwell says she helps older people “put down rich roots by doing what they love to do.” She coordinates 20 program leaders who guide peers through line dancing, bridge, quilting and more.
To those who value creativity, the city boasts a surprisingly vibrant arts community. A converted railway building called the Warehouse serves as the Anderson Arts Center headquarters. It draws myriad residents to its gallery, as well as classes in pottery, ceramics, painting and mixed media. “We also started a wine dinner last year, and try to have one in the fall and spring,” says executive director April Cameron. Beyond the arts center, colorful murals and sculptures dress up an architecturally diverse downtown, where locals have also loyally supported the Electric City Playhouse for nearly 40 years. And then there’s recreation, most notably at Lake Hartwell. With 962 miles of shoreline, it stretches from Anderson into Georgia. “I was living in New Jersey,” says retiree Herb Nymark, “and we looked at maps to find places in the South with boating opportunities. The lake is a wonderful, quiet place.”
Median housing costs
$898 per month
Median housing cost burden
32.3 percent of income spent on housing
Access to exercise
65 percent live near parks and recreational facilities.
Lazy days on the lake
Courtesy Libby McMillan Henson www.aarp.org