MarionOnlineVisit website - blueridgetravelers.com Where Main Street Meets The Mountains, the phrase aptly describes picturesque downtown Marion, North Carolina. With Mt. Ida in the background, the flourishing Main Street community is filled with interesting things to do and see.In 2018, Marion was honored to be named North Carolina's Small Town Of The Year. The North Carolina Rural Center chose Marion for many reasons. Primarily, because the City is committed to creating citizen engagement and strong partnerships in order to overcome economic barriers and challenges, where a positive economic future may be enjoyed by all of its residents. The most recent census reports 7,640 people are enjoying life in Marion.Marion is the county seat and is positioned, almost, in the middle of McDowell County. It's surrounded by a variety of outdoor recreation venues including the Blue Ridge Parkway.The county hosts 21 hiking, waterfall and bicycle trails and is a short drive to five North Carolina State Parks. Lake James includes two state parks, the Catawba River Area and the Paddy's Creek Area. Both are less than a half hour drive of downtown Marion. Within an hour's drive of Marion, discover South Mountains State Park, Mt. Mitchell State Park, Grandfather Mountain State Park, and Chimney Rock State Park.Residents enjoy low tax rates and community resources including McDowell Technical Community College, the McDowell Arts Council, Foothills Community Theater, the Corpening YMCA and greenway, the McDowell Senior Center, and the McDowell Greenway.Medical care is largely provided by Western North Carolina’s largest healthcare organization, Mission Health. Mission Health has received numerous state and national recognitions and in 2018, opened a new hospital in Marion.Marion’s cost of living consistently ranks 6-8 points below the national average. You’ll find housing options to fit any budget, including apartments, townhomes, condominiums and single-family residences.Marion’s small-town charm extends to hosting seasonal and outdoor events and festivals. The idyllic location allows residents to take advantage of regional resources and entertainment in nearby Asheville, Morganton, Hickory or Boone.Learn more about Marion and McDowell County when you visit our websites. Call 888-233-6111 to receive free visitor guides and maps. marionnc.org, blueridgetravelers.com.