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20th Annual Blowing Rock Winterfest

Blowing Rock NC activities

It’s every Blowing Rock resident’s favorite time of year! This year, WinterFest turns 20 years old and is jam-packed with crazy fun events for the whole family. The history of Blowing Rock NC is one that begins in the 1800s, when the first family settled on what would become the Green Park Hotel. This charming town is tucked away in the foothills of Blue Ridge Mountain, and was named one of America’s Prettiest Winter Towns by Travel & Leisure magazine.

WinterFest made its first debut in January 1998, with Chilly the snowman and his wife Crystal as mascots. Events include wine tasting, live music, ice sculptures, a dog show, and the infamous Polar Plunge where residents jump into a partially frozen lake while wearing a zany costume. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Blowing Rock NC, look no further than the following Blowing Rock NC activities:

Thursday January 25th

·       WinterFeast – Are you ready to sample small plates from 15 different restaurants prepared by the best chefs in Blowing Rock? The event has sold out for the past five WinterFests, so call the Blowing Rock Chamber and make a reservation for your party now! Winterfeast will take place from 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm at the Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock (185 Chetola Lake Drive Blowing Rock, NC 28605) with three different available seating times: 5:30 pm, 6:45 pm, and 8:00 pm. The cost is $35 per person.

·       Doodlebug Club at BRAHM – Are you a parent or guardian with a preschool-aged child? Doodlebug Club (10:30 am – 11:30 am | Blowing Rock Art & History Museum 159 Chestnut Street Blowing Rock, NC 28605) is an educational dedicated to developing basic art skills such as recognizing the primary colors, holding a paintbrush or a pair of scissors the correct and safe way, and introducing them to easy mediums like watercolors and clay. The cost is $5 per person, and is free for Museum members, but space is limited. Call 828-295-9099 or email Jennifer@blowingrockmuseum.org to reserve your spot today.

Friday January 26th

·       WinterFest Ice Stroll – Take a tour of beautiful Blowing Rock and see all of the gorgeous ice sculptures created by Travis Dale, owner of Artisan Ice Sculptures and one of only five Master Ice Carvers in the United States. Most Blowing Rock NC activities are a free events. This one will take place from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm and the sculptures are at the following locations: Vincent Properties -989 Main St, Blowing Rock Market – 990 Main St., neaco – 1053 Main St., Blowing Rock Properties – 1059 Main St.,The Best Cellar – 203 Sunset Dr., The Spice & Tea Exchange – 1087 Main St., Sunset Tees & Hattery – 1117 Main St., Six Pence Pub – 1121 Main St., Hanna’s – 1123 Main St., Premiere Sotheby’s International Realty – 1127 Main St., SouthMarke Shops – 1179 Main St., Town Tavern – 1182 Main St.

·      WinterFest JazzFest at Green Park Inn – The Todd Wright Trio will perform from 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm in the Chestnut Grille, the original Grand Ballroom. There is no cost to attend, and full food and beverage services are available with six entrees priced below $20. The Green Park Inn is located at 9239 Valley Blvd. Blowing Rock, NC 28605.

Saturday January 27th

·      Polar Plunge at Chetola – Wanna plunge? The Polar Plunge in Chetola Lake is one of the most popular events at WinterFest. Take a dive and let the rush of icy cold water make you feel alive. The event will hosted by WBTV news anchor John Carter and judges will award the “Golden Plunger” to the best costume. Day-of registration and check-in begins at 9am, but pre-registration is encouraged. The event will take place at  Chetola Resort (195 Chetola Lake Drive) and participants, or plungers, will gather in the indoor pool area at 9:30 am for a safety speech, followed by the annual march to Chetola Lake. The official plunge starts at 10am, but onlookers should arrive early to find good a spot to watch. There will be a brunch from 10am – noon in Timbers Room, and will feature a live feed of the Polar Plunge, drink specials, and special brunch menu. All proceeds will benefit local charities.

·      Silent Auction & Raffle – Are you interested in bidding on lodging at area hotels, spa day packages, and outdoor adventures, theatre memberships, artwork by local artists, gift certificates to your restaurants, and more – all for a good cause? The Blowing Rock WinterFest Silent Auction & Raffle will take place from 10am – 4pm at the Blowing Rock American Legion behind the Police Station on Wallingford Street. Buy raffle tickets for gift baskets from your favorite shops and enjoy bidding on over $20,000 worth of items from over 200 businesses. Proceeds go directly to Mountain Alliance, an organization that aids Watauga County high school aged youth.

Sunday January 28th

·      Winterfest Beer Garden – Don’t hibernate, celebrate! The 2nd Annual WinterFest Beer Garden will take place at the Inn at Ragged Gardens (165 Morris Street Blowing Rock, NC 28605), and will included over 20 different beer vendors. Local and regional breweries will offer samples of their “Hops and Barely Pops” along with delicious snacks like fire-roasted brats and warm pretzels, and patrons can play Snowball Cornhole or Tipsy Tower. All attendees will receive a commemorative WinterFest pint glass, and must be 21 or older with a picture ID.

·      WinterPaws Dog Show – Do you have a pretty pooch? Here’s more things to do in Blowing Rock NC – Sign up for the WinterPaws dog show! There is a $5 entry fee per category or $25 for all six categories. Categories include Most Unique Looking Mix of Breeds, Best Wiggle Butt, Most Clever Dog Trick, Cutest Looking Dog in the World, and Best Winter Fashion Wear. The winner from each category goes to compete for the Grand Prize, and the title of Best In Show. Don’t have a dog? No problem. There will be several shelter dogs on-site who are up for adoption. 100% of proceeds go to the Watauga Humane Society. The show is located in the Blowing Rock Elementary School gym (165 Morris Street) and registration at the door begins at 12:00 pm.

This is a fun weekend event for residents of The Coves Mountain River Club, who are only a half-hour drive away. Western North Carolina is one of the prettiest places to be during winter, as residents never run out of fun and exciting things to do. Embark on a romantic getaway to a ski resort where skiing is available at night and under the stars. Roast marshmallows around a campfire, enter a competition for who can make the most delicious and sweetest hot chocolate.

Take your children sledding, ice skating, or even snowboarding. Have a snowball fight, or build your own igloo. Sample Apple Cider Bourbon, or learn how to make your own Cinnamon Bourbon Hot Toddy. There’s nothing better than gazing up at the stars and watching the moon rise over the snow-covered mountains. Wintertime in Western North Carolina is something truly magical.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Blowing Rock | Festivals

Local Secrets – Shopping in Blowing Rock

Blowing Rock shopping

If you haven’t yet discovered the “Crown of the Blue Ridge,” Blowing Rock, North Carolina, this is the perfect season to plan a road trip along the exquisite Blue Ridge Parkway.  Perhaps you’re considering building a mountain home in the area.  Why not take a long weekend and explore the quaint village, browse the distinct stores—there’s nothing like Blowing Rock shopping in the winter time –and be sure to fit in some recreation, dining, or a little relaxation time at the spa.  There are many sweet local inns, bed and breakfasts, rustic cabins, and, of course, pampering hotels that await you after a day of searching for North Carolina mountain homes for sale.

Blowing Rock shines year round, but during the winter time, there is some extra magic in the air– celebrations, concerts, festivals, parades, and twinkling lights abound, all to put you in the Christmas spirit!   While you’re browsing North Carolina mountain homes for sale, bring your holiday list and find the perfect precious gifts for all of your family and friends.  There’s nothing better than Blowing Rock shopping and feeling like you’ve stepped back into a simpler time with a much slower pace.  This is idyllic way to meander and shop in over 100 boutiques and stores as well as nearly 30 outlets for incredible bargains.

Some of the unique stores awaiting you in Blowing Rock:

Antiques and Collectibles

• BLOWING ROCK ANTIQUE CENTER; 7593 Valley Blvd., Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-4970; open all year long, features 50 antique dealers, art, consignments and appraisals.

• BLOWING ROCK ESTATE JEWELRY & ANTIQUES; 167 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, NC 28605;

828-295-4500; family-owned; large selection of platinum, 14 and 18kt fine and estate jewelry, specializing in diamonds, precious-colored gems and antique heirloom jewelry.

• CARRIAGE TRADE LIVING; 1079 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3110; home decor, gifts, antiques, and seasonal items; heirloom silver, Majolica and Chinese exports; tasty local treats for entertaining, and a stunning Christmas wonderland each year.

•HANNA’S; 1123 S. Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-7073; since 1919, oldest oriental rug shop in Blowing Rock; handmade antique and new oriental rugs of all types, sizes and colors. Fine European and oriental imports. Antique occasional furniture and porcelains, Swarovski crystal, M.I. Hummel figurines, Lladro, Hibel, Royal Doulton, hand-embroidered linens, fine estate and new jewelry. Direct importer, best prices. We buy old rugs, jewelry and art objects.

• POSSUM HOLLOW ANTIQUES; 247 Possum Hollow Road, Blowing Rock, NC 28605;828-295-3502; furniture and accessories for every room. Locally owned and operated since 1973. Open year round.

• RUG COMPANY; 999 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-4271; fine new and antique oriental rugs; traditional Persians, flatweaves, French aubussons and needlepoints

• WINDWOOD ANTIQUES; 1157 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9260; fine European antiques, Majolica, art and lamps. The largest selection in the area of painted furniture from Reclaimed Timber. Collection of unique gifts for travelers; shipping can be arranged.

• ANTIQUES MAIN; 109 Aho Rd., Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-414-9365.

Apparel and Accessories

•100 WEST UNION; 1179 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-6993;  quality clothing and sportswear for men.

• ALMOST RODEO DRIVE; 1132 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3422; the oldest boutique in Blowing Rock with distinctive styles.  One-stop shop for upscale ladies’ clothing and jewelry, home and garden; Joseph Ribkoff, Tribal, and Krazy Larry; floral arrangements made on site, and fine gifts for all occasions: aqua flames, oil candles, flags, birdhouses and Greenwich Bay soaps. Open year-round.

• BOUTIQUE COLLECTION BY CARRIAGE TRADE; 1077 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3110; Parisian-style boutique with unique accessories for ladies and the home.

• CELESTE’S; 1132 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3481; one of Southern Living Magazine’s “Favorite Stores,” a boutique with women’s accessories and apparel and adorable clothing for children. In-house embroidering makes personalization fast and easy!

• FIG LEAF LTD.; 1131 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3535; unique ladies casual wear and accessories, delightful gift items. A charming shop inviting you to visit year round.

• FINLEY HOUSE COUTURE; 1121 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-6373; classic and contemporary clothes– Lily Pulitzer, Comfy, Elizabeth McKay, Sara Campbell, High Point, and Verena.  Designer jewelry– Alexis Bittar, Susan Shaw, Karine Sultan, and 1Ar; candles, giftware; unique estate jewelry–Blythe Jewelers of West Palm Beach.

• J. MCLAUGHLIN; 1081 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-372-3003; quality silks, sporty cottons and cashmeres; embroidered Bermudas, feather minis and statement-making hybrid prints.

• J. W. TWEEDS; 1129 Main Street,  Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-8918; multi-levels of European and American sportswear for men and women. Great service; fun atmosphere.

• MONKEE’S OF BLOWING ROCK; 1179 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-0708; locally owned, cutting-edge designer ladies fashion. Known as “The ultimate in ladies shoes, clothing and accessories;” designers–Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Stuart Weitzman, Hunter, Frye, Jack Rogers, TOMS, Eileen Fisher, Lilla P, Johnny Was, Velvet, and Joe’s Jeans.

• SISTER ACT; 1128 A Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9333; an eclectic boutique featuring the unexpected in apparel and accessories; fashion-forward dressing, reasonably priced; the Shoe Box and an exclusive collection of Jewelry Designs.

• SUNSET TEE’S & HATTERY; 1117 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9326; western North Carolina’s largest selection and variety of hats, ball caps, casual apparel, tee shirts, sweatshirts, moccasins, gifts and variety of Blowing Rock souvenir sportswear, shirts and ball caps. Open 7 days a week year round.

• TANNER-DONCASTER OUTLET; 537 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC; 828-295-4200; Since 1931 ladies fine apparel and accessories; classic and timeless international style with  modern flair; sizes 2 – 24 at a savings of 25% – 65% off.

• TAZMARAZ; 1107 Main St. Suite C, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3737; eclectic women’s boutique catering to women of all ages. Wide variety of boutique labels and up and coming designers. Great price point with many items under $100, striving to support Made in America designers.

Galleries

• ARTWALK; 1087-1 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-414-9770; perfect gifts for everyone; home to several talented in-state potters, woodworkers, local photographers and other creators of handcrafted goods; unique North Carolina souvenirs—signs, kitchen décor,magnets; affordable and on-trend clothing and jewelry.

• BLOWING ROCK FRAMEWORKS & GALLERY; 7539 Valley Blvd, Blowing Rock NC, 28605|

Telephone: 828-295-0041; finest art by the best-established artists in Blowing Rock and the High Country– Raymond Chorneau, Wes Waugh, Joanna Wardell, Nancy Brittelle, Paul de Marrais, and exclusively representing Edward Szmyd in the US– beautiful landscapes, still lifes, and abstracts.

• GAINES KIKER SILVERSMITH; 132 Morris St Blowing Rock, NC 28605-2733; 828-295-3992;

custom silver, gold and platinum jewelry, Gaines refines raw materials into simply elegant designs; an impressive collection of contemporary jewelry. The working studio/gallery is open to the public Tuesday – Saturday 11-5pm.

• IAGO; 1165 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605-2448; 828-295-0033; finest in inspired handcrafts–jewelry, art, glass, fine art, sculpture, home decor accents, copperware, pottery, woodcrafts, metal crafts, and stained glass. IAGO’s artists and craftsmen represent local institutions as the Penland School and the Southern Highlands Craft Guild as well as others with a broader scope.Owners: Doug Lacher and Xiaodi Tang.

• MAIN STREET GALLERY/EXPRESSIONS CRAFT; 960 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605-2027; 828-295-7839; local artists feature their fine arts and crafts in this unique cooperative gallery; pottery, jewelry, fiber art, basketry, photography, paintings, woodworking, and other traditional and contemporary hand crafted art. Open every day 10am-6pm.

• PHOTOS BY META; 915 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; an Online Photography Gallery featuring Nature and Macro Photography of Western North Carolina by Macro Photographer, Meta Gatschenberger, RN. Framed Photos are for sale in Blowing Rock at Rustic and the Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge.

• REINERT FINE ART; 1153 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC; 828-414-9580; showcases many classical painters and well-known sculptors; emerging artists as well as national and world-renowned artists, including Oil Painters of America Masters Neil Patterson, Zhiwei Tu, Calvin Liang and Christopher Zhang. Lately, Reinert enjoys “sharing the colors and landscape of the mountains in addition to his widely popular Lowcountry scenes of South Carolina.”

• TRADITIONS POTTERY; 1155 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-6128; family of Blowing Rock potters for more than 40 years; handmade pottery, Christian gifts, & unique fashion accessories including handbags, and jewelry.

Gifts and Crafts

• BLOWING ROCK CIGAR COMPANY AND CLUB; 1179 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 404-713-9454; a relaxing and cozy cigar lounge–catch a game, conduct business, or just hang out with friends; active carbon ventilation system and a well-stocked bar. Annual and daily memberships are available. Widest selection of premium cigars and accessories in the High Country. Open 7 days a week.

• BRASS EXCHANGE; 1149 S. Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9611;eclectic selection of home decor and seasonal accessories at great prices.

• CABIN FEVER OF WATAUGA; 915 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-0520; cabin decor, rustic furnishings and gifts; locally-crafted wooden beds, reclaimed barn wood tables, and willow outdoor furniture. Rustic accessories include lamps, antler lighting, wall art, kitchen and bath decor and much more!

• CHRISTMAS IN BLOWING ROCK; 1125 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9696;

unusual gifts for all ages; Blowing Rock Ornaments to personalize, amazing selection of decorative flags, beautiful jewelry, and women’s clothing and accessories; open all year.

• CROSS TRADE INTERNATIONAL;1087 – 2 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605;828-295-8691;

imported women’s accessories, home decor, and unique gifts; Brazilian handcrafts. Meet the artisans, and discover Brazil! Jewelry, Handbags & Belts, Ceramic, and much more! Open all year.

• DE PROVENCE ET D’AILLEURS; 131-8 Morris Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605-1479; 828-295-9989; French gifts and accessories; collectibles–Santons de Provence, Laguiole knives, Quimper faience, Biot glasswork; household accessories such as Provence tablecloths, pottery, lamps, books, candles, natural soaps, Fragonard creams and perfumes; jams, honey, mustard, and sea salt; original French artwork. Truly “A Touch of France in Blowing Rock.”

• DREAM WEAVER; 1179 Main Street #4, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 561.603.1474; the art of basket weaving hand-woven from natural materials, hand dyed, stained and preserved.

• FINAL TOUCHES; 1077 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-6690;Mexican chimineas, pottery, talavera, metal crafts, and folk art for the home and garden; eclectic assortment of fashion accessories and unique gifts, including items made in North Carolina. Open all year, hours vary with season. Shipping available.

• GILDED LILY BY PATRA; 1053 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-4277; a gift and home decor boutique–unique items at hometown prices. Southern Living Magazine’s “favorite store in the Mountains.” Featuring French Laundry Home outlet, gifts, jewelry, home decor, and much more!

• HANDTIQUES; 110 Sunset Drive Suite 2, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-7001; handmade jewelry, practical art and craft; American-made art that is singularly beautiful, affordably priced and functional.

• HEART OF THE ROCK; 104 Maple Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3444; inspirational treasures, decor and gifts that warm the heart.

• HIGH COUNTRY CANDLES; 1098 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9655;unique hand-sculptured wax creations; tri-color candles, scented pillar, jar and votive, non-drip and smokeless taper candles. Recognized by Southern Living Magazine as one shop that visitors to Blowing Rock shouldn’t miss!

• LAST STRAW; 978 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3030; an amazing array of silk florals, artful garden gifts, inspired accessories, architectural accents, and patio furniture; customized arrangements for home or business.

• MOUNTAIN THREAD COMPANY; 1098-4 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-372-7024;

quality handmade baskets, quilts, fabrics and supplies, as well as local and regional artisan products. Classes, workshops, and special events.

• MRS. BRUMBLE’S; 1107 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9191; unique jewelry, unusual gifts, collectibles and other interesting finds with a feminine touch. Open 7 days a week in season, from 10-6. Off Season hours vary.

• MY MOUNTAIN HOME; 120 Maple Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-434-5240; home decor, gifts, and furniture featuring local and regional artisans; closed Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Open late every First Friday of the month for Blowing Rock’s Sip & Shop Events!

• NEACO; 1053 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-0709; all things groovy and unusual for the home; gifts, music and colorful art.

• PANDORA’S MAILBOX; 1098 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-4238; music, jewelry – unique pieces from Holly Yashi and Ayala Bar. Kites, flags and wind garden spinners. Cards of all descriptions.

• ROEY’S 12 CORNERS CUSTOM QUILTS; 1129 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 585-749-4826; fiber artist and quilter handcrafts each item.

• RUSTIC; 915 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9033; reclaimed wood furniture fits in a Manhattan loft as easily as a cabin. Handcrafted gifts and accessories, made from natural products, are unique to the high country. Open year round.

• SERVES YOU RIGHT; 1179 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-4438; gifts and essentials for the kitchen, dining room, bar and terrace–American and imported china, stemware, kitchen and serving accessories, cookbooks, picnicware, ice molds, fancy throwaways, special occasion cards, beautiful papers and more.

• TAKE HEART; 1009 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3444; gifts and clothing that speak to the heart of a woman.

• TERVIS; 1098-3 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-8095;Tervis has manufactured lifetime guaranteed insulated tumblers since 1946, keeping hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold; proudly made in America. They are customizable and the perfect gift for any occasion!

• TRILLIUM; 153 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-7115; a premier authorized Dr. Hauschka beauty boutique, offering holistic skin care for ladies and gents.

• UNWOUND; 1132 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605-1766; 828-295-5051; unique yarns and accessories for your knitting and crocheted projects. During the summer, we offer a full schedule of classes and projects, plus all that’s new in the world of yarn. Come by for a visit soon, or reach us through our website. Open every day, 10:00am to 5:00pm

• WE’RE GOOD SPORTS; 1087-3 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9547; featuring team logo sports gifts and collectibles, sports prints, caps, and authenticated autographed items from your favorite players, current and retired. Open year-round. We ship anywhere UPS!

Home Furnishings

• BLOWING ROCK FURNITURE GALLERY; 8486 Valley Blvd., Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-7755 ; retail furniture made in America–Kincaid, Vaughan-Bassett, Craftmaster, Broyhill and Classic Leather.

• GREGORY ALAN’S; 1151 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3330;

unique gifts and accessories for home, patio or deck; creative wall decor, including clocks, mirrors and tapestries, as well as other unique home accents in all price ranges. Open year round.

• MOODY’S HANDMADE FURNITURE; 127 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, NC 28605-0231; 828-295-3275; solid wood – Early American-style furniture.

Jewelry

• B’DAZZLED; 1179 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9006; distinctive costume jewelry design.

• VILLAGE JEWELERS; 7537 Valley Boulevard, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-414-9773; ring sizing and repair, fine estate jewelry, custom jewelry design, appraisal and evaluation of antique jewelry; vintage, engagement and custom jewelry designs.

Outdoor, Sports & Pets

• FOOTSLOGGERS; 921 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-4453; open year-round. Full line of hiking boots; newly expanded selection of women’s footwear; camping gear and accessories; dog accessories; sunglasses; clothing for outdoor activities and travel.

• RHODDIE BICYCLE OUTFITTERS; 257 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-414-9800; full-service bicycle shop; sales, rentals (mountain, road, gravel, pathway and kids), guide services, maps, route planning, repairs, and fitting services; gear necessary to fully enjoy the cycling opportunities this region has to offer.

• STELLA BLUE’S PAWTIQUE; 110 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828.719.9332; dog and cat nutrition, top of the line products, toys and apparel to help keep our pets healthy and happy!

Of course, don’t forget the bargains when you make time for some Blowing Rock shopping…

Outlets

• SHOPS AT THE MARTIN HOUSE; 1098 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-963-2720; built in 1870 as a boarding house, the shops at the main Martin House and the adjacent courtyard now provide a great shopping experience for the whole family.

• SOUTHMARKET; 1179 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3566; upscale shopping begins at the south end of Main Street; Victorian architecture, beautiful gardens and inviting, unique stores– apparel, shoes and accessories, pet boutique, home accessories, kitchen, entertaining, bar merchandise and children’s gifts.

• TANGER OUTLETS BLOWING ROCK; 278 Shoppes On The Parkway Road, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-4444; Banana Republic, Coach, J Crew, and G.H.Bass–over 30 factory outlet stores; Strollers, wheelchairs and gift cards are available at Tanger Shopper Services. Tanger Coupon books, AAA / AARP and Military discounts also available.

The Blowing Rock area has so much to offer, it’s no wonder why so many folks building a mountain home after searching many of the North Carolina mountain homes for sale, long to put their roots down in this region.  Many find they’d rather build the perfect home instead of a fixer-upper. Of course those who have made The Coves their home sweet home, already recognize the charm and allure of the North Carolina mountain towns.   Blowing Rock is a wonderful place for the entire family to explore, with no end to entertainment, shopping, dining, culture, and recreation. 

The Coves is an award winning mountain community that suits outdoor enthusiasts, no matter the season, and for those enjoy mountain biking, hiking and paddling in one of the most stunning natural environments.  If you are dreaming about building a mountain home, this is a smart time of year to choose land while the leaves are off the trees. It’s a time when scenic views are naturally revealed.

Appalachian Ski Mountain beckons…so dust off your skis, or your snow shoes, and hit the impeccably-groomed trails.  Don’t forget the glorious New Year’s Eve celebration for those of you who want an exhilarating beginning to 2018!

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page Complimentary Magazine

Tags: Blowing Rock | Shopping & Antique Hunting

NC Ski Resorts – Exciting Day Trips From The Coves

ski resorts North Carolina

Winter will soon be upon us, and that means it’s time to hit the slopes for some winter white fun. Imagine gliding over silky white snow, wind whistling in your ears, and the exhilarating rush of accelerating down a steep snow-covered mountain (with a Blowing Rock elevation over 3,000 feet!) alongside your family and friends – but that’s not all. Hop in a tube and slide down Sugar Mountain, or ice skate by moonlight at Appalachian Ski Mountain. Take a guided snowshoe tour with your grandkids and explore. The possibilities are endless at these ski resorts in the North Carolina mountains. Here’s more about the ski resorts in the area:

SUGAR MOUNTAIN

Sugar Mountain is located in a charming mountain town with an elevation of 3,566 ft. Sugar Mountain itself has a base Blowing Rock elevation of 4,100 ft. and a summit elevation of 5,300 ft., with 125 skiable acres, 21 trails, and 8 lifts. For a full day of fun at Sugar Mountain, Full Day Slope/Lift tickets for Adults ages 12+ range from $44 – $77. For Juniors ages 5-11, Full Day tickets range from $35-51.

Enjoy night skiing, tubing, ice skating, and a guided snowshoe tour. After a long day, patrons can also enjoy on-mountain dining at the Last Run Lounge which includes a full-service bar and a large glass fireplace. Special holiday rates will be available December 18th through January 1st. Children 4 and under qualify for a free slope/lift pass but must be accompanied by a ticketed adult. Lodging is also available. SugarFest will take place December 8-10 and include live music, snowboard mini-games, ski/snowboard demos, live music, fireworks, and appearances by Olympic figure skating silver medalist Paul Wylie and two-time Olympian and World Cup Downhill winner Marco Sullivan.

BEECH MOUNTAIN

Beech Mountain is located in the college town of Boone. The Boone elevation is 3,333 ft. The resort officially opens for the season November 24th. Beech Mountain itself has a base elevation of 4,675 and a peak elevation of 5,506 ft. with 95 skiable acres, 17 trails, and a lift capacity of 10,858 skiers per hour. Slope/lift tickets start at $40 for Adults (ages 13-64) and $30 for Juniors and Seniors (ages 5-12 and 65-69). Adults &0+ ski free. Children 4 and under ski free with a ticketed adult. Tubing and ice skating are also available.

Tubing is $27 per person on weekdays, and $32 per person on weekends and holidays. Ice skating is $15 per two-hour session on weekdays, and $20 per two hour session on weekends. Children under 4 skate free. Lessons for each activity are also available. There will be also be a Grand Reopening of Beech Mountain Brewing Co., Beech Mountain’s very own brewhouse, on December 1st from 5-10 pm.

APPALACHIAN SKI MOUNTAIN

Appalachian Ski Mountain opens for the season on November 17th and closes on March 25th. The mountain has a base elevation of 3635 ft. and a peak elevation of 4000 ft, along with three terrain parks, and 12 slopes. Adult tickets start at $39 and Junior/Senior tickets start at $24. Unlimited Season Memberships are available.

Ice skating starts at $15 for two hours. Watauga County residents can enjoy half off ice skating every Tuesday and Thursday from 2:30 – 4:30 pm. ASM also offers the only late night skiing in High Country with Midnight Blast Weekends offered all season long. On December 2nd, join the resort for their Anniversary Weekend and celebrate their 56th year of family fun with $5 ski tickets from 9 am – 4 pm. Are you looking to make the holidays more magical this year? The slopes will be open from 1 – 10 pm on Christmas Day. On New Year’s Eve, ski by torchlight until 11:30 pm, ice skate under the moonlight until midnight, and enjoy fireworks over the mountains.

HAWKSNEST

Hawksnest is the largest snow tubing park in North Carolina, featuring 4 different areas to snow tube with over 30 lanes of fun. Each lane ranges from 400 – 1,000 feet with 2 moving carpet lifts. Weekday tickets are $29 per session, and weekends and holidays are $35 per session. Group rates start at $23 per session. Hawksnest offers a $3 military discount. Photos of your tubing experience are available for purchase after your fun day. Hawksnest is also home to the largest Zip Line Tour, featuring ten cables.

These ski resorts in the North Carolina mountains reasonably close to the Coves Mountain River Club. Because the ski resorts are located at the higher Blowing Rock elevations, they are much colder in the winter than living in the foothills. The Coves’ residents have the benefit of scooting back down the mountain to their warmer elevation homes. Our mountain community is the perfect place to live and wind down after a long day of skiing, tubing, or ice skating.

Built an elevation of 1,700 feet, the Pisgah Mountain Lodge clubhouse offers a 360-degree view of the snow-covered mountains in Blowing Rock, Boone and Banner Elk.  Table Rock, Adams Knob, and Brown Mountain can be clearly seen from the lodge as well.

The top level of the lodge has floor-to-ceiling glass with a large kitchen, great room, and lending library. On the lower level, residents can make use of the fitness center – which has its own locker room, showers, and fitness class area and game room equipped with ping-pong and pool tables.

While not everyone is into winter sports, the lodge is the place to enjoy the view from the cozy clubhouse living room that faces Grandfather Mountain.

There are benefits of exploring NC mountain land for sale in the winter months. This is a smart time when the leaves are off the trees exposing views that can’t be seen in the summer months.  Come take a look around and see for yourself.

They don’t call us the Best Mountain Community for nothing. We will share with you we can offer you and your family when it comes to fun and comfortable mountain living, without living in the snow.

Call us 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour! 

Tags: Blowing Rock

Superb Trout Fishing Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

North Carolina trout fishing needs no introduction to those in the know.  The excellent sites for fishing near Asheville NC draw avid fly-casters from all around the country and beyond.

Traveling the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll encounter over a hundred miles of streams that will challenge your skills and knowledge.  Using only artificial lures with a single non-barbed hook, you can fish for rainbow, brown and native brook trout with no special stamp required.  Catch-and-release is encouraged.

There are thirteen lakes along the Parkway, ranging from ponds to more sizeable bodies of water, and they have an abundance of smallmouth bass and bream.  Look for specific regulations wherever you go.  No fishing from bridges, dams or walls is permitted.  And swimming isn’t allowed.

You can easily obtain a license online and it’s not required for anyone 16 or younger.

At The Coves Mountain River Club, we’re fortunate to have five miles of frontage on the beautiful Johns River NC, where water flowing down from Grandfather Mountain into popular Wilson Creek North Carolina, creates some great fishing conditions.

The Boone area is well-known for its remarkable fly-fishing and angling.

Close to Blowing Rock, you’ll find Julian Price Park and the largest lake on the Parkway (at milepost 295).  It’s stocked for trout and also has bream and bass.  Canoes and kayaks are available to rent at the lakeshore concession facility.   

Nearby Moses Cone Park features the popular Trout Lake and Bass Lake.  Trout Lake is off of Winkler’s Creek Road.  Bank fishing is difficult due to steepness and trees, but you’ll find largemouth bass, bream and trout.   Bass Lake is on 221 just outside of Blowing Rock and has great bank fishing access.  You can also fish at Doughton Park. 

For river fishing, the Watauga River has trout, bream and rock bass and provides several good access points on Highway 105:  near the Ham Shoppe in Valle Crucis, Valley Crucis Park, behind Appalachian Angler, and behind the church on Shulls Mill road.  New River, especially north of Todd, provides smallmouth bass, and at Elk River, behind Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, there’s a great catch-and-release trout stretch.

Of course, Wilson Creek, in the mountains of the Pisgah National Forest, is one of the jewels in the North Carolina trout fishing crown.  It offers something for every angler’s preference – pools, riffles, runs and pocket water – and is home to some of the most renowned fishing near Asheville NC.  Experts recommend keeping your flies along the bottom in deep runs or clear holes.

The wild trout waters of Wilson Creek, Upper Creek, Harper Creeks, etc., are considered by many to be most beautiful places to fish on the east coast.  And we’re fortunate at The Coves Mountain River Club, with our property being located right on the Johns River NC, to have such easy access to them.

Wilson Creek North Carolina – just one of the many attractions of living the good life here in the foothills.  We’re also blessed with mild weather, gorgeous mountain scenery and, of course, the spectacular annual transformation of the foliage as fall arrives.

If you’re looking for a wonderful place to live, visit us when you’re in the Lenoir area.  We’re sure you’ll be amazed by all there is to do here:  fishing, kayaking, golf, hiking, social activities, local culture…the list goes on and on.  And we’ll show you some of our beautiful mountain homes and how they blend so perfectly with their surroundings.  It’s an entirely different and much more relaxed lifestyle – free of the pressures of the city and yet so convenient to everything you need or want to do.

Can you imagine night after night gazing at clear skies and a blanket of stars?  Can you picture yourself sitting on the deck at our Pisgah Mountain Lodge, watching the sun set over the mountains?  Can you envision having limitless opportunities for outdoor activities, exercise and exploration? This is what every day life is like at The Coves.

Come by, relax with a glass of wine or tea, and let us answer any questions you may have.  We look forward to welcoming you.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Blowing Rock | Lenoir

Savor Blowing Rock NC – 4 Days of Deliciousness

Blowing Rock real estate and restaurants

Spring has officially sprung across the beautiful mountain towns in North Carolina. The foothills are bursting with blossoms, gardeners are pushing their tomato seedlings into the cool soil, and neighbors are starting to notice the aroma of smoky barbecue drifting through the air, ushering in a new season of outdoor food festivals.

This month, foodies in the foothills had even more of a reason to celebrate –  SAVOR Blowing Rock which returned for its 12th year. The four-day food fest ran Thursday, April 20th through Sunday, April 23rd in and around the downtown area of “North Carolina’s Prettiest Small Town.”

Once known as the Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival, this annual spring event recently changed its name to represent something bigger and better than ever before. With the addition of regional craft breweries and other fortified spirits, plus new food and entertainment offerings, event organizers decided this full-fledged culinary extravaganza needed new name that could say it all. That’s how SAVOR emerged as the new buzzword for “food fun” in Blowing Rock.

As if it wasn’t already the toast of the town, this year’s SAVOR Blowing Rock is kicking it up a few more notches, with an expanded schedule of seminars and cultural events, live music and entertainment, craft beers, wines, and spirits from breweries, wineries, and distilleries across the state. Not to mention food and beverage tastings, pairings, and access to a full array of regional cuisine that showcases the culinary artistry of Blowing Rock’s best chefs and restaurants.

So how do you navigate your way through this four-day gastronomical gathering? Like most outdoor festivals in North Carolina’s mountain towns, SAVOR is designed as a walking tour through Blowing Rock’s streets, which are peppered with plenty of cafés, restaurants, shops, galleries, boutiques, and shops. As you stroll through this quaint mountain village, you get to sample, sip, and taste your way through it all, as you enjoy visual displays of arts and crafts, and listen to live music along the way.

The schedule of exhibits and events is so wide and varied, you’re sure to stay entertained – and well fed – for the full four days. SAVOR’s got something for everyone! There are too many events to list here, but here are a few featured favorites:

Bubbles & Bidding (event)

Reid’s Café is joining Country Vintner at the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum to showcase hand-selected champagnes, both rare and affordable, beautifully paired with hors d’oeuvres by Reid’s Café.

Cork & Canvas (event)

An evening of wine and painting in a relaxed atmosphere facilitated by a trained instructor. Each participant goes home with a finished work of art. No experience necessary.

Grilling with the Grill Masters (cooking class)

Learn to grill everything from appetizers to desserts in this class taught by Appalachian Energy, seller of numerous grills, smokers, and built-ins.

“Grapes that Don’t Belong” Wine Tasting (seminar)

Did you know the Pinot Noir grape is being grown in Germany? Learn how this is possible. And find out more fun facts about what grapes are being grown successfully outside of these traditional regions.

Whiskey and Cigars (seminar)

Blowing Rock Cigar Club invites you to experience our private membership club for a day. They’re offering whiskey flights paired with a Padron Anniversary 1964 cigar!

Beer and Food Pairing 101 (seminar)

Discover the possibilities of pairing beer and food. In this guided tasting (and sampling) you’ll explore what works together, and how to maximize your pairing experience

Wine & Cheese (seminar)

Explore the fundamentals of wine and cheese harmony and learn which cheese pairs best with your favorite wine.

Grand Tasting (event)

Step into the Main Tent behind First Citizens Bank on Main Street to sample some tantalizing food, beverages, wine, beer, and distilled spirits.

Sip & Shop (downtown event)

Sip and Shop through downtown Blowing Rock! Participating retailers will offer free drinks and nibbles along your way!

SAVOR Blowing Rock is produced by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. We can’t help wonder if it’s this civic-minded but fun-loving Chamber that’s responsible for keeping the “rock!” in Blowing Rock. Their vibrant town is known for its awesome year-round festivals. It’s a gem among the treasure trove of fabulous mountain towns in North Carolina.

In Blowing Rock, April brings not only SAVOR, but also Blowing Rock Trout Derby, a weekend fishing event for anglers of all ages. Blowing Rock also puts on a variety of small-town holiday festivals, parades, games, outdoor musical performances, and plenty more annual events, including their 4th of July Festival, Halloween Festival & Monster March, Christmas in the Park, and Lighting of the Town. Their January Winterfest is known as one of the High Country’s largest winter events and features a chili cook-off and the famous Polar Plunge into Chetola Lake.

Rock on, Blowing Rock! This is mountain living at its best! And it explains why so many people who are drawn to this town’s festivities find themselves sticking around to explore Blowing Rock real estate and other nearby Carolina mountain properties — like The Coves Mountain River Club, a gorgeous gated community in Lenoir NC just 20 miles south of Blowing Rock.

Chances are if you attended this year’s SAVOR Blowing Rock, you would have found plenty of Coves neighbors there. These folks are foodies and fun-lovers! And they can always point you in the direction of the best festivals happening in their beloved North Carolina mountain towns.

Drop in for a visit with these folks in their beautifully designed custom-built homes at The Coves Mountain River Club, and you’ll find them living in a secluded paradise surrounded by five miles of frontage along the Johns River. Here neighbors fish together from well-stocked waters, grill up their catch-of-the-day, serve it with fresh produce harvested from Isabel’s Garden, and pair it with a wine made of fresh grapes from Evelyn’s Vineyard. 

At The Coves where foodie culture reigns supreme, community gardening is a popular activity. And spring is an exciting time of year at the community’s own on-site garden and vineyard. The Coves residents are busy sowing the seeds that will produce an abundant harvest of tomatoes, peppers, radishes, and greens from Isabel’s garden. And they’re tending to the Muscadine grapes that they’ll be harvesting later in the year when they’ll transform them into their own brand of homemade jams, wines, and glazes.

Locally sourcing and home-growing your own produce, wine-making, and fishing from your own back yard – these are just a few of the things that make life at The Coves a foodie’s paradise. These folks live for the sweet fall harvests, the spring food festivals (like SAVOR) and the farm-to-table dining experiences that are so popular in Lenoir, Blowing Rock, and the many charming mountain towns in North Carolina.

Are you ready to transform your own life into a mountain lover’s paradise? It all starts with your first exploration of Blowing Rock real estate and NC mountain land for sale. And we can help you with the exploring. While you’re in the area looking at Carolina mountain properties, stop by and see us at The Coves. We’ll show you our community garden and vineyard among many other amenities, as well as some of the most spectacular views of mountains, rivers, and waterfalls you’ve ever seen.

Call 828.754.0700 to schedule a visit to our stunning mountain community.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Blowing Rock | Festivals

Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show Events

equestrian communities North Carolina

Are you ready to enjoy a beautiful mountain spring, feel the cool summer breezes, and celebrate one of the world’s most majestic creatures? Blowing Rock, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is one of the largest equestrian communities in North Carolina. Did you know the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show Foundation has several events, including competitions and riding festivals, beginning next month and lasting through the fall?

On April 22nd, the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show Foundation will host the annual Appalachian State University Equestrian Team Spring Schooling Show. The show will offer classes in under saddle, jumping, equitation, and working hunter. The 2017 Blowing Rock Charity Saddlebred Show will be held from June 8th-11th at the L.M. Tate Horse Show Grounds at the Broyhill Equestrian Preserve, which is located next to Moses Cone Memorial Nation Park in the mountains of North Carolina. Spectators can enjoy a dazzling display of the top show horses in the country, including big, beautiful Saddlebreds and Hackney ponies, from the famous grandstand or their own box seat.

The Hunter & Jumper Division of the show will take place from July 25th-July 30th, and again from August 1st-6th. Don’t miss out on the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show’s 94th annual show! The annual Fjord and Friends Fest will take place from June 19th-June 25th at the Broyhill Equestrian Preserve. There will be scheduled and free time to explore 27 miles of trails, educational activities that include riding, driving, and natural horsemanship, as well as sessions on grooming, saddle fitting, wool spinning, and more. All Fjord owners, and their friends, are welcome to the North Carolina horse property.

Finally, from September 9th-10th, the Hugh Causey Charity Trail Ride, hosted by the North Carolina division of the American Quarter Horse Association, will take place at the Broyhill Equestrian Preserve. The trails will be available for horse drown carriages, horseback riding, and hiking.

The Broyhill Equestrian Preserve has been home for the Blowing Rock Charity Horse How since 1928. The Preserve is open from May through October every year. Patrons can board their horses at the Schaefer Boarding Barn, where all 450 stalls are 12 x 12, bedded with generous amounts of fresh pine shavings, and cleaned daily. Stalls are available for rent by the day, week, or month for those who live in nearby Blowing Rock real estate developments.

The Preserve offers easy access to ten acres of pasture for grazing and 27 miles of carriage roads in the Moses Cone Memorial Park, as well as two riding rings, cross-tied saddling areas, concrete wash racks, and a private tack room. Basic daily medical care for your horse is also available for an additional charge. There is also a nearby vet, and a farrier who makes frequent barn visits, should your horse become injured or ill during his or her stay. The carriage road trails in Cone Park offer many opportunities for leisurely hiking, including beautiful mountain views, a maze to wander through, and an apple barn. Overnight camping is available.

Blowing Rock is located in both Watauga and Caldwell County, the latter which is home to The Coves Mountain River Club. Our vibrant gated community tucked away into the Blue Ridge Foothills, is the perfect residential area for equestrians and horses alike. These beautiful creatures keep us calm, healthy, active, inspire our sense of wonder, and make us feel free. Plus, living in one of the equestrian communities in North Carolina allows you to expand your social circle and meet other owners who share the same passion and love for these magnificent animals.

Our Round Mountain Ranch is a full service equestrian center along the Johns River with high vaulted ceilings, padded barn flooring, a tack room, and 15 acres of pasture. Other services include veterinary services, riding lessons, select feed service, turn-out and pasture rotation, and round-pen training. We also have two scenic horse trails: the Highland River Trail, a ten 10 miles starting from the Pigsah Mountain Lodge, which passes by streams and waterfalls and brings riders down to the Johns River at the Mila Cascading Falls; and the Magnolia Trail, a 3 mile trail starting at the pasture that goes up about 100 ft in elevation overlooking the Johns River, and brings riders deep into the woods and back down to Coleton’s Swimming hole.  Folks searching to purchase North Carolina horse property, will find we offer larger home sites that are designed for horse owners to board their horses on own their home site or at the ranch. Living in the foothills is means enjoying mild four season weather.

If you’re exploring Blowing Rock real estate, Stop by The Coves and let us show you around. Call 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Blowing Rock