February Family Fun at Appalachian Ski Mountain

things to do in Blowing Rock NC winter time

Are you ready for four days of non-stop fun in the High Country? Residents at The Coves are and here’s what’s on the horizon. Appalachian Ski Mountain is hosting its annual President’s Day Weekend event. Enjoy midnight skiing, fireworks, slope-side snacks, ticket deals, and more. Bring your family, put on your skis, and get ready to make the most out of this extended holiday weekend. Below are some of the best Blowing Rock NC activities designed to make your President’s Day weekend the best one yet.

Friday 2/16:

·      Midnight Blast Ski Session – Appalachian Ski Mountain has the only late night skiing in High Country! From 5 pm – Midnight, enjoy skiing under a gorgeous backdrop of stars and constellations. This particular event is not exclusive to President’s Day Weekend, and is available every weekend until the season ends on March 25th.

Saturday 2/17:

·      Grill on the Hill – Take a break from skiing to refuel with burgers, hot dogs, and more delicious food right there on the slopes! Food will be served from 11 am – 3 pm.

·      Special Family Skate Session – Ski for just $15 from 5 pm – 6:30 pm!

·      Midnight Blast Session – Ski from 5 pm – Midnight!

·      Moonlight Ice Skate Session – Grab your friends or family and skate under the stars from 9:30 – 11:30 pm.

·      Midnight Fireworks – Enjoy a beautiful fireworks show over the mountains by The Famous Zambelli of Zambelli Fireworks, a family-run fireworks company that is known for creating stunning displays and memorable experiences.

Sunday 2/18

·      Grill on the Hill – Take a break from skiing to refuel with burgers, hot dogs, and more delicious food right there on the slopes! Food will be served from 11 am – 3 pm.

·      Special Family Skate Session – Ski for just $15 from 5 pm – 6:30 pm!

·      Midnight Blast Session – Ski from 5 pm – Midnight!

Monday 2/19

·      2-for-1 Ticket Special – Buy a Flex Ticket (which allows you to begin an 8-hour session as early or late as you choose), get one to use in March for free! (This also works with a Night ticket. Buy one Night ticket and get one Night to use in March for free.)

·      Free Junior Ice Skating – Any child age 12 and under (accompanied by a paid adult) can skate free from 9:30 – 11:30 am.

·      Pig Pickin’ and Fixins – Yummy BBQ-style food will be served alongside the slopes from 11 am – 3 p. Refuel and pig out.

This winter season, Appalachian Ski Mountain (940 Ski Mountain Rd, Blowing Rock, NC) is open until March 25th, with hours from 8:30 – to 10 PM Monday through Friday, and 8 to Midnight on Saturday and Sunday. Patrons can explore three terrain parks and 12 slopes. Generally, 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, and Watauga County residents can enjoy half-off ice skating every Tuesday and Thursday from 2:30 – 4:30 pm. Families can even turn President’s Day Weekend into a weekend getaway and stay at one of the many lodges ASM has to offer, which include three-level chalet-style homes with 180 degree mountain views. There is also a nursery available for children ages 1-4 between the hours of 8:30 am and 5 pm.

The Appalachian Ski Mountain is located in beautiful Blowing Rock, North Carolina, a charming mountain town that is rich in arts and culture. The history of Blowing Rock NC is an interesting one, as it the town gets its name from a rare rock formation that sticks out over 1,500 ft. above the Johns River gorge. The rock’s shape and size allow wind currents from the gorge to blow vertically, which causes lightweight objects to float upwards into the sky.

It’s places like Appalachian Ski Mountain that make great winter day trips for families living at The Coves Mountain River Club. Because of Lenoir’s close proximity to Blowing Rock, residents can quickly step in and out of winter fun. Blowing Rock experiences an average of 32 inches of snow per year where Lenoir rarely sees 5 inches. Mild year round Lenoir weather is one of the reasons why so many folks have chosen to live in the foothills. Great weather, small town charm and smart located between Blowing Rock, Charlotte and Asheville.

If you’re interested in learning more about local art and culture, the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum provides tons of educational fun for the whole family. Parents can take their little ones to Tweetsie Railroad, a Wild West-themed park. If you like science, nature, and adventure – Mystery Hill, the famous historic site of a strange scientific happening, has it all. Blowing Rock has something for everyone. Families of all ages never run out of fun things to do in Blowing Rock NC.

President’s Day Weekend is a great time to explore the High Country and our beautiful mountain community.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule a visit. 

Tags: Blowing Rock

Green Park Inn – Blowing Rock Historic Landmark

Blowing Rock NC activities

Green Park Inn, located at 9239 Valley Boulevard in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, is one of the few remaining “Grand Manor Hotels” in the region. This quaint inn has enjoyed a long history, first opening in 1891, and continues providing nostalgia and charm to those who are fortunate enough to stay beneath its roof.  For those who welcome discovering more about the history of Blowing Rock NC, why not book your reservations for 2018 at the second oldest resort hotel and give yourself something incredible to look forward to with friends, family, or your special someone.

This illustrious hotel has pampered many renowned artists, writers, movie stars and even presidents, who chose the High Country to luxuriate, relax and unwind.  Check this guest book:  J.D. Rockefeller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Annie Oakley and Margaret Mitchell who wrote many pages of Gone with the Wind during her stay. Old photographs, antiques and furnishings add to the collective charm.  Grab a rocking chair and sit for a spell on the inn’s front porch after you’ve spent a day packed with Blowing Rock NC activities.  There’s nothing better than a cup of coffee or a cocktail while you gaze out on the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains.

For those of you who know a little about the history of Blowing Rock NC, three Lenoir businessmen were inspired to open the inn on a large plot of land known as Green Park. The original hotel had three floors of over 73,000 feet, the only post office for the area, (some of it has been preserved to this day) a restaurant and bar.  The “golf wing” was added in the late 1950s with larger accommodations and balconies.   In 1982 the hotel earned the prestige of being included on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 2010 its new owners refurbished, refurnished and repaired this cherished piece of our region’s history, knowing there were a lot of folks looking for things to do in Blowing Rock NC

There are now 88 guest rooms with more coming soon.  And it’s no wonder why more rooms will be needed—considering the inn is located in such a prime spot—at the gateway of the Blue Ridge National Parkway.  Landscaping has also made the outdoors more lush and open.  Inside you’ll find a 300 person conference room along with a smaller meeting room for 50-60 people.    A fitness room awaits you when the mood strikes to get in some exercise…perhaps to burn off the delicious fare offered from the Chestnut Grille or the Divide Tavern where you are certain to love the casual mountain dining experience.

Sample the Grille’s popular wines in a warm space graced with reclaimed American Chestnut, or sip a beer or refreshing cocktail in the Tavern which straddles the Eastern Continental Divide.

A selection of some of the inn’s fare: corn bread, fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, sweet tea brined fried chicken, and local trout.

Be sure to relax in the lobby on weekend evenings to the live piano while you sip your drink.

When you’re searching for things to do in Blowing Rock NC, visit the Green Park Inn’s website.  The accommodations blend the sweetness of another time with the comfort we love today—Wi-Fi, HDTV, Keurigs, and the ultimate in comfy bedding.


• Standard Room; Queen-sized bed. Comfortably-appointed and located in the “historic section.” Some rooms face the street; no mountain views available. Pet-friendly options available by reservation on a first-come, first-serve basis.

• Deluxe Room; Queen, King, or two Queen-sized beds. Many of these rooms located in the “historic section” with no mountain views, and some rooms face the street. May involve stairs. Pet-friendly options available by reservation on a first-come, first-serve basis.

• Superior Room; King or two Queen-sized beds; private balcony overlooking the yard and golf course. Adjoining rooms available upon request and availability. May involve stairs. Pet- friendly options are available by reservation on a first-come, first-serve basis.

• Junior Suites; King-sized bed with a Queen-sized sleeper sofa in separate sitting room. Located in the “historic section” with no mountain views. May involve stairs.

• Balcony Suites; King-sized bed with a Queen-sized sleeper sofa in separate sitting room. Balcony overlooks yard and golf course. May involve stairs.

• Victorian Suite; elegantly-appointed with a lovely open air environment and Jacuzzi tub in the room; claw foot tub in the bathroom.


• Winterfest; January 25-29, 2018; includes two nights and tickets to the Grand Wine Tasting held on Saturday, January 27 from 3pm – 5pm.

–Standard Room – $135/night

–Deluxe Room – $144/night

–Superior Room – $169.50/night

–King Suite – $203.50 / night

• Couples Getaway; enjoy premium beer or wine delivered to your room; soothing Swedish or deep tissue massage.

• Mid-Week Getaway; complimentary wine tasting.

Whatever the season, when you’re searching for things to do in Blowing Rock NC, remember the Green Park Inn has many year-long package specials, as well as many seasonal packages—Murder Mystery Weekend and Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Package are just two that are popular with people who adore Blowing Rock NC activities.  Weddings, family reunions, and all sorts of celebrations can also be enjoyed here.

No wonder guests write such glowing reviews:  “What a nostalgic experience to stay in this historical Inn during a snowy, picturesque weekend! We met one of the owners who made us feel like we were family, and the rest of the staff was friendly and helpful. The place has been restored to a point where you can still ‘feel’ like you are in the historical era, but still enjoy all the modern luxuries and amenities,” and “Beautiful piece of history! We loved our weekend stay at this quaint hotel. Staff was polite and attentive. The history, photos, antiques, creaking, crooked floors just add to the charm of this 126 year old inn. We loved every aspect from the wallpaper, quilts, the rocking chair porch, the stairs and even the water pipes from the ceilings.”

Call 828-414-9230 for more information or to make your reservations.

Adding to the history of Blowing Rock NC is the Bollinger-Hartley House, Gragg House,  Flat Top Estate, and the Vardell Family Cottages.  Blowing Rock sits on the crest of the Blue Ridge in Watauga and Caldwell Counties.  The town has an elevation of 3,500 to 3,600 feet above sea level which provides cooler summers and colder winters than we experience at The Coves’ more temperate climate.   

Folks who have already chosen The Coves as their home know it’s a pleasant excursion to Blowing Rock, to take in some of the awesome sights.  A rock formation extends above the Johns River gorge, and Glen Burney and Glen Marie Falls are also legendary sights for those who want to experience Blowing Rock NC activities. Don’t forget the Tweetsie Railroad theme park with its authentic steam engine that will take you on a three-mile scenic ride.  Mystery Hill and the Moon and Irene Mullins Arrowhead Collection boasts over 52,000 arrowheads, and the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum should not be missed.  Moses Cone Memorial Park provides forests and trails to stride through, or if you prefer horseback, Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve offers 25 miles of trails.

There are many community events in Blowing Rock too–Art In The Park runs May-October, the Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival happens in April; the Fourth of July festival and parade; Blowing Rock Winterfest takes place in November, followed by Christmas in the Park and Lighting of the Town, a Holiday Parade or the Charity Horse Show– a tradition for 84 years.

If you have not yet visited The Coves, or the gorgeous region of Western North Carolina that so many have chosen, stop by and see some of the stunning mountain homes.  For example, the home on Oakcrest Lane is Craftsman-style on over seven acres with views of Grandfather Mountain, Brown Mountain and Table Rock right outside your door. The design of this home is spacious, with three generous bedrooms, three and a half baths, an office, great rooms, porches and a hot tub that gaze upon the mountains.  If you tend to accumulate a lot of belongings, the storage closets will suit your needs in the home’s temperature-controlled floored attic.  Stretch your legs in the Pisgah National Forest or paddle in Wilson Creek which are directly across the road.  What are you waiting for?

Or how about Waterfall Lane, another Craftsman-style home on 2.25 acres also with inspiring views of Grandfather Mountain, Brown Mountain and Table Rock.  This gem is designed with three spacious bedrooms, two and a half baths and an office. Great rooms, porches, and of course the hot tub provide you with glorious mountain views. You won’t be longing for more storage, and the temperature- controlled floored attic and whole house generator are the perfect additions.  What more could you desire with Pisgah National Forest and Wilson Creek just across the way.

Be sure to visit The Coves and see all the other inspiring possibilities that await you include day excursions to the Green Park Inn.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule a visit!

Tags: Blowing Rock | Restaurants & Breweries

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 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.


• 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.


• 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…


• 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 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 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 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 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