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15 Intentional Communities in North Carolina with Openings for New Members

Published May 4, 2023
Written by Cynthia Tina

Thinking of moving into a conscious living community in the southeast US? There are dozens of intentional communities in North Carolina to choose from — including ecovillages, cohousing, homesteading families, coops, spiritual, and senior communities.

With a moderate climate, low cost of living, growing economy, and spectacular mountains, North Carolina is an attractive place to live. Good news is there are also many intentional communities throughout the state.

Below are 15 intentional communities in North Carolina that are generally open to new members. Some have homes or land for sale now, others have rental opportunities, and a few may not have anything ready to buy now, but it’s well worth getting on their list to be the first to know when they do.

Each community has its own unique focus, but they all share a commitment to sustainability, social connection, and making beautiful homes for residents.

Want to visit these communities in-person? Join the North Carolina Intentional Communities Tour and travel in a small guided group to communities throughout the state.


Communities Under Development in North Carolina

Common Ground Ecovillage

1. Common Ground Ecovillage

Located in the Piedmont bioregion, Common Ground Ecovillage has a deep commitment to both environmental and social justice. They’ve had a few hurdles with the permitting process, but that hasn’t stopped future residents from gathering frequently on their beautiful 112 acres of land.

Learn more: https://www.commonground.eco/

Rainwater Collective

2. Rainwater Collective


An aspiring “ecohamlet,” Rainwater Collective has the goal to be 10-15 people stewarding 17 acres, in collaboration with a network of other small communities and permaculture homesteads in the Piedmont bioregion. The community is still small and rustic, but seeking members and WWOOF (work exchange) volunteers.

Learn more: https://www.ic.org/directory/rainwater-collective/

Coweeta Heritage Center

3. Coweeta Heritage Center

The Coweeta Heritage Center is a community nestled in the Smoky Mountains that is focused on preserving the natural and cultural heritage of the southern Appalachians. They have thriving educational programs and are looking for long-term residents who are committed to simple living, self-reliance, and appropriate technology.

Learn more: https://coweetaheritagecenter.com/


Established Communities & Ecovillages in North Carolina

Earthaven Ecovillage

4. Earthaven Ecovillage

Located in Black Mountain just outside Asheville, Earthaven Ecovillage is a thriving intentional community that is focused on sustainability, community building, and social justice. The community has been established for over 25 years and is home to over 70 people. Naturally built homes and gardens abound in this mountainside village.

Learn more: https://www.earthaven.org/

Celo Community

5. Celo Community

Established in 1937, Celo is one of the oldest Community Land Trusts in the country. There are over 40 families living on its 1,200 acres in Yancey County. Visit the lovely Celo Inn to get a taste for community life here.

Learn more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celo_Community

Living Well Ecovillage

6. Living Well Ecovillage

Living Well is a neighborhood that values social, cultural, economic, and environmental sustainability. This charming community is located in the small town of Franklinville, about 30 mins outside of Greensboro.

Learn more: https://www.thelivingwellcommunity.com/

Arcadia Cohousing

7. Arcadia Cohousing

Arcadia Cohousing is a community in Carrboro that is focused on sustainable living, community building, and social justice. The community has been established since 2001 and is home to over 30 people. Rarely do homes become available for sale here, but do join their waiting list if interested.

Learn more: https://www.arcadiacohousing.com/

Westwood Cohousing

8. Westwood Cohousing

Westwood Cohousing is a suburban community located in artsy West Asheville. This multi-generational community is home to over 40 people sharing 4 acres of land for over 20 years.

Learn more: https://westwoodcohousing.com/

Adawehi Wellness Village

9. Adawehi Wellness Village

Located on over 125 acres in Columbus, North Carolina, Adawehi Wellness Village is focused on health, healing, spiritual development, and community. They are based on the teachings of Jackie Woods but open to all spiritual paths. Featuring a grocery store, B&B, retreat spaces, and many wellness practitioners.

Learn more: https://www.adawehi.com/


Communities Where You Can Build Your House in North Carolina

High Cove

10. High Cove

High Cove is an intentional community in Bakersville that is focused on the arts, environment, and lifelong learning. The community is unique in that it allows residents to build their own homes, with a focus on small and tiny dwellings. There are two small neighborhoods now and a mixed-use village center is planned.

Learn more: https://highcove.com/

Mountain Meadows

11. Mountain Meadows

Less than a 30 minute drive outside Asheville, this is a community with lots available to purchase to build your own home on 1 acre – 5 acre home sites. Mountain Meadows has an organic garden and orchard that’s ideally situated on a south facing slope.

Learn more: https://ashevillemountainlots.com/

The Villages at Crest Mountain

12. The Villages at Crest Mountain

Great location just outside of Asheville with eco-built homes and lots available for building yours. The Villages at Crest Mountain can be pricey, but you are surely getting a lot of value for the location and privacy of the community.

Learn more: https://www.villagesatcrest.com/

Hickory Nut Forest

13. Hickory Nut Forest

Another community close to Asheville in a forested setting with gorgeous homes and gardens. Wedding venue and home to a somewhat transient community, with opportunities to build your dream home on nearly 1 acre of land.

Learn more: https://hickorynutforest.com/


55+ and Senior Intentional Communities in North Carolina

Elderberry Village

14. Elderberry Village

Elderberry Village is an intentional community in Rougemont that is designed for people 55 and older who are looking for a more sustainable and community-oriented way of living. 18 townhomes form this community focused on healthy living and social connection.

Learn more: https://www.elderberrycohousing.com/

Village Hearth Cohousing

15. Village Hearth Cohousing

Village Hearth Cohousing is an intentional community in Durham that is designed for LGBTQ+ seniors, straight friends, and allies. Homes available to buy with frequent in-person and virtual open houses.

Learn more: https://www.villagehearthcohousing.com/


More Intentional Communities in North Carolina to Explore

These intentional communities in North Carolina provide a sense of community and a more sustainable way of living for people who are looking for a different kind of lifestyle. Whether you are interested in living in an established community, a community in development, or a community where you can build your own home, North Carolina has a variety of intentional communities to choose from. Explore even more through these intentional community directories. If you see one that interests you, go ahead and contact them to arrange a visit!

Overwhelmed by the idea of visiting intentional communities on your own? The North Carolina Intentional Communities Tour may be just what you need. Travel in a small guided group to communities throughout the state.

Intentional Communities in North Carolina


Do you know of an intentional community in North Carolina that’s missing from the list? Have you visited any of these communities yourself? Leave a comment below to share!

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18 Comments
  1. Cynthia Tina

    Hey everyone!

    If you want to visit North Carolina intentional communities in-person, join the Ecovillage Tour happening Sept 8 -15, 2024: https://www.ecovillagetours.com/north-carolina

    We’ll travel in a small guided group to communities throughout the state. Including many of the ones listed in this article! Great way to finally check out ecovillages and intentional communities for yourself.

    Hope to travel with you soon,
    Cynthia

    Reply
  2. Nicole

    Is there anything close to west jefferson, nc

    Reply
    • Cynthia Tina

      Hm… not that I’m aware of. You may need to start something!

      Reply
  3. Elizabeth

    Does anyone know of intentional communities such as these close to the Boone, NC area?

    Reply
    • Cynthia Tina

      Good question! Nothing to my knowledge close to Boone.

      Reply
  4. Thayer Jordan

    Are there any communities East of Raleigh or in the mountains of North Carolina or Virginia that have space for new people?
    I, myself,grew up in Celo community. It’s a great place to live. My wife and I are living in the same house she grew up in near Chapel Hill NC. We’d like to move out of the triangle area as it’s now getting to many people. We’d like to be close to a town, but not in it.
    Thank you.
    Thayer Jordan

    Reply
    • Cynthia

      Hi Thayer, yes, there are communities in those regions! You may be interested in the Virginia and North Carolina community tours to see the communities out there and possibly visit them.

      Reply
  5. Jack Henry

    My wife and I are founders of a new eco community in West Asheville called Terra Futura Farm. We have a permaculture and expansive mindset/tantric/futurist education model feel. Our first two houses are under construction and we will be accepting applications for membership in a few months.

    Reply
    • Cynthia

      Wonderful! Thank you for sharing Jack and good luck with your community project. Please feel free to share a link for people to learn more.

      Reply
  6. Deborah Christner

    I would like to see more comments with details from visitors.

    Reply
    • Cynthia

      Yes! Visitors, please comment on your experiences.

      Reply
  7. Deborah Christner

    Would there be communities that slice it even thinner – by interest or some other shared bond – like addiction recovery? Or horses?

    Reply
    • Cynthia

      Hi Deborah, absolutely, there are communities with even more specific focuses. One horse focused one I know about is Dream River Ranch in Idaho: https://www.dreamriverranch.org/

      Reply
    • Cynthia

      That’s great! Thanks for sharing and good luck with your community development.

      Reply
  8. Donna Hadley

    Looking for a cohousing home in the Triangle area of North Carolina. If anyone is selling please contact us .

    Reply
  9. Roshana Ariel

    I recently visited Common Ground, Living Well Ecovillage, High Cove, Mountain Meadows, The Cove at Celo Mountain (another development similar to Mountain Meadows, and different from the Celo Community you’ve listed), Earthaven, and Simple Life (a tiny-home village south of Asheville). Also drove over the border to Virginia to visit Valley of Light outside Independence, VA.
    Amazing trip. You learn so much by actually being there and talking to people and seeing where the lots are, etc. Highly recommended. 🙂

    Reply
    • Cynthia

      Thank you so much for sharing Roshana! Indeed, sounds like it was an amazing trip!

      Reply
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Cynthia Tina

Hi! I’m Cynthia.

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