I third Asheville!!!!! We moved here almost a year ago (after visiting countless times since I was a teenager) and love every inch of it. It is, in my opinion, the perfect balance between city and nature. You really can have it all here!
Asheville is a really great size. It's big enough to offer arts, culture, AMAZING music, AAAAAAMAZING restaurants (so many of which support the hefty bounty of local farms), and most other great qualities of a big city, but small enough to have a really sweet, small town feel. It is ridiculously friendly! We moved into a small building with eight apartments and had an instant family with all of our wonderful neighbors. It has been really easy for us to carve out a place for ourselves here. We are definitely getting to know people around town and every one has been so welcoming. Takes the sting out of uprooting your life, for sure, and it's not nearly as threatening as a seriously big city.
Asheville definitely supports a healthy lifestyle. It's fairly walkable. We are pretty convenient to downtown and, up until the past few weeks, we walked nearly everywhere. We are less than a ten minute walk to a healthfood store, a bakery, a new butcher shop that supports local, sustainable agriculture, a great indie video store, an awesome ice cream shop, a yummy BBQ joint, a great park, a new vegan restaurant, and pretty much anything else we could possibly need. We have just over a twenty minute walk to downtown. There are farmers markets not quite, but almost every day of the week. There are countless CSAs to join. I even have a winter CSA this year! There is a food co-op downtown. And there's even an organic mechanic. :)
There are tons of young families and TONS of homeschoolers, but also really great alternative options for folks that want something in between traditional public school and homeschooling. My friends' son went to an art based charter school, which commonly extended invites to their events to local homeschoolers, so it seems there is community support for those that choose that route, beyond just networking with other homeschoolers. It's also not hard to find docs that have a holistic approach and are open to not vaxinating. I have not been pregnant, nor given birth here, but from what I've heard many of the midwives here have good relationships with the hospital, so home births that end in transfers are not as inclined to solicit unwelcoming attitudes or judgement (though again, that's only second hand knowledge). Other NC folks can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think we have the best laws in favor of midwifery, but the Asheville area seems no worse for the lack of state support, most likely due to the population being so supportive of it. There seems to be an abundance around town as, well as an abundance of mommies who have used midwives. I actually wonder if midwife births out number OB births???
Oh, and it's beautiful here. Ridiculously beautiful. When real life doesn't get in the way, there are times that I feel like I live in a fairy tale. We moved here from Michigan, which is generally one of the most depressed places in the country (though I still love it madly), after two years of intense debate about where to go. We considered everywhere in the continental US and beyond, when a job opened up in Asheville with my husband's company. My husband was a hard sell on Asheville, but literally after just days of being here, he was planting his roots deeply in the beautiful Appalachian soil. I could not tear him away now. There's a reason that people write songs about the Blue Ridge Mountains. It's like a little slice of Heaven. I can not imagine a more perfect place for us. The beauty and spirit af Asheville is nothing short of amazing, and even after all this raving, I don't feel like I've done it justice. I could go on and on and on and on and on...
The one downside is that well paying jobs, particularly in a specialized field, can be hard to come by. We were super lucky to move here with a job. When folks ask us what brought us here, they generally seem shocked that it was for a job. The primary industry here is tourism, which greatly narrows the demand for professionals. My husband is in IT and looks every day for a new job, as he is not crazy about his current one, but has not found many leads to follow. So, if you are interested in Asheville, I say come check it out, but keep a constant eye on job postings and jump on them asap if it is imperative for you to find a particular type of work.
Hope I didn't bore you! ;)