Greensboro is situated in north central North Carolina and has a population of 250,000 people. The city got its start in the early 1800s and today is part of a three city region, along with High Point, and Winston-Salem, and it is the third largest city in North Carolina. In 1960, it was the site of a sit-in at the local Woolworth’s, which led to the desegregation of that chain and others. Civil rights turbulence continued for most of the 1960s, but in 2007, the city elected its first black mayor.
The cost of living in this leafy southern city meets the national average, and the median household income is below the national median. Of the population, 32% is age 45 or better. Unfortunately, Greensboro has a poverty rate above the national average.
Distinct neighborhoods give Greensboro an interesting character. College Hill is one of the original sections of town and is near Greensboro College. Irving Park is one of the most prosperous neighborhoods and has large homes on large, leafy lots. In recent years, planned communities on the outskirts of town have come along. These include Adams Farm and Reedy Fork Ranch. The median home price is $150,000 or so.
The downtown area has been experiencing a re-birth, and the opening of Elon University Law School a few years ago has helped spur this. There are also museums, several theaters, a cultural center and a new greenbelt loop. The Bog Garden is a lovely wetland area. The International Civil Rights Center and Museum opened in 2010 and is in the location of the old Woolworth’s from 1960. The museum showcases Greensboro’s struggle with civil rights and is a proud addition to the city. Hagan Stone Park is a wildlife refuge. Greensboro Arboretum has a wonderful display of flora and fauna. Shopping is more than adequate, with several malls and many national retailers here.
Several colleges make their home here in addition to Elon University. The University of North Carolina has a campus here, and Bennett College, Guilford College and DeVry (for profit) also make their home in this ethically diverse city.
Greensboro has two hospitals, the Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital and Wesley Long Community Hospital. Both are accredited by the Joint Commission, but Moses Cone really stands out, with 850 beds. It is also a Level II adult trauma center and a designated stroke center. It accepts Medicaid and Medicare patients.
The climate in this part of the country is hot and humid, and winters are mild. Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 30s and 40s. Nearly 45 inches of precipitation fall each year, a few inches of which are snow. The sun shines 215 days of the year.
Overall, Greensboro receives good reviews, but it also has a crime rate well above the national average. It seems, though, that crime happens more in certain areas than it others.
The high crime rate is worrisome, but Greensboro’s character, southern style, solid medical facility and interesting architecture make it a place to consider at retirement time.