What do you consider to be close to an airport? Iredell county has great schools and is in the middle of everything. I live on the south side of Mooresville (NASCAR nation) and am 30 minutes away from the Charlotte airport, and about 90 minutes from Blowing Rock (mountain community). We're also very close to Lake Norman State Park, where you can camp, and minutes away from the lake. I wouldn't consider it a small town, but it's certainly not as busy as Charlotte.
As far as weather goes, we do get a little bit of snow. This year in particular is a bit out of the norm though. Much more snow than usual and much colder. Our normal high for this time of the year is in the 50's. Summers are usually very warm and somewhat humid. But coming from Florida this may be milder to you.
Good luck on your search!