7th Annual Gravity Games in Lenoir NC

Local soapbox racing. in its earliest form. dates back more than a century.  Then, in 1934, the concept went national with the first All-American race.  Fast forward to now, and you see that it’s evolved greatly to become an exciting marriage of fun, sport, and cutting-edge technology.  And, it’s just one of the many fun things to do in Lenoir NC.

Every year, as part of the North Carolina Science Festival, the Google Lenoir Data Center joins forces with Boone’s Appalachian State University, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, to sponsor the NC Gravity Games, an educational, hands-on activity designed to get young people excited about science.   It’s a signature event of the multi-day downtown festival and a way for them to take the concepts they learn in the classroom and apply them in a practical way.   More than 30 teams of middle and high school students have participated in past events. Adults can also enter in the “open” race category.

The 2017 NC Gravity Games will be held in Lenoir on April 29th, and the deadline for registration is April 17th.  Visit http://www.ncgravitygames (dot) com for all the details.

Last year, the organizers expanded race day to include food vendors and the popular Google Science Street, your opportunity to get your hands on the company’s latest innovations.  There are also educational exhibits from Appalachian State University, Catawba Science Center, the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University.

Visitors exploring the purchase of Blowing Rock real estate are often drawn instead to the vibrant lifestyle of the lower elevation towns such as Lenoir because the weather is so mild and there’s always something going on.  Attending the NC Gravity Games can make you feel like a kid again.  And maybe you’ll be transported in memory back to your college days and even think about enrolling in some classes.

With so many things to do in Lenoir, NC, living at The Coves Mountain River Club can be as active as you want it to be.  Events such as this can give you a good feel for the community and the unique lifestyle we treasure in the Western North Carolina foothills.  The arrival of the Google Lenoir Data Center in 2008 cemented our reputation as a new tech hub, but we still haven’t lost that small town charm that brings so many people to settle here.

If you find that the harsh winters and snow of the High Country aren’t for you, consider seeking an attractive alternative to buying Boone, Banner Elk or Blowing Rock real estate.  Come to Lenoir and take a tour of The Coves Mountain River Club.  You’ll find a wealth of outdoor activity you can enjoy year-round:  golf, hiking, fishing, walking and biking trails, boating…the list goes on and on.  Explore local culture and history, enjoy the spectacular changing of the leaves, make new friends, and do all the things you never had time for when you were working.

When you visit, be sure to stop by our design center and see the ways we’re building innovative homes that take full advantage of the property and the views.  The Coves Mountain River Club is where all your dreams of a carefree retirement come to life.  Here you get all the many benefits of living in the country and still have easy access to shopping, fine dining, cultural events, continuing education and so much more.

We welcome you to Lenoir and the 2017 NC Gravity Games in April, and we look forward to giving you a personal tour of our beautiful property and showing you all it has to offer.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour. 

Tags: Festivals | Lenoir

Blowing Rock Winterfest – Four Days of Fun

Blowing Rock Winterfest

Every year since 1998, the popular “WinterFest” celebration in Blowing Rock has drawn more and more tourists and local residents of mountain towns in North Carolina to its fun activities and entertainment.

It’s been an AAA “Top Pick” and was named a Top 20 Event by the Southeastern Tourism Society.  And Travel & Leisure magazine rated Blowing Rock one of America’s prettiest winter towns.

The 2017 festivities begin on Thursday, January 26 and continue right through the weekend.  You can find all the details at the WinterFest web site (  For more information call (877) 295-7801 or (828) 295-7951).

Here’s just a sample of what’s in store for you this year:

  • Shop Till You Drop (1/26 through 1/29) –  Blowing Rock is one of North Carolina’s premier shopping destinations, and the quaint downtown boutiques and Tanger Outlet Shoppes offer an abundance of possibilities from art and antiques to local provisions and unique crafts made in Carolina mountain homes.
  • Doodlebug Club (1/26) – Children and their parents or guardians enjoy an educational program at the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, learning to work in various art media.  After cleanup, it’s story time.  Space is limited, so call (828) 295-9099.
  • WinterFeast (1/26) – Our best area restaurants come together at Chetola Resort to put on this much-anticipated annual event.  It’s a fabulous dinner of mouth-watering delights prepared by Blowing Rock’s most accomplished chefs.  There are three seatings, and it’s recommended that you get your tickets early.
  • WinterFeast After Party (1/26) – Enjoy live music with the Jacob Johnson Band at Twigs, with no cover charge.
  • Beer Tasting (1/26) –  Join representatives of Booneshine Brewery at Foggy Rock Eatery & Pub as they offer samples of various brews for your evaluation.
  • Winter Fashion Show (1/27) – “Spring Trends” is the topic, as top Blowing Rock retailers display the latest and finest in women’s apparel and accessories.  A “Winter Warming” lunch follows the show.
  • Cork And Canvas (1/27) – It’s a free wine-tasting event at Sunset & Vine (formerly Christopher’s Wine & Cheese).
  • Ice Stroll (1/27) – Travis Dale, owner of Artisan Ice Sculptures, is one of only five Master Art Carvers in the United States.  You’ll see his custom creations on display as you visit local shops and businesses.
  • Snowflake Parade (1/27) – Of course, no celebration of the season would be complete without a parade.  It’s a great opportunity to see and enjoy the winter lighting in town, and you’re welcome to join the marchers or just watch from the sidelines.
  • WinterFest Family Night at AppSki  (1/27) – App Ski will be offering special pricing on Learn To Ski and Learn To Snowboard packages in conjunction with French-Swiss Ski College.  And, they’ll have an ice skating session with s’mores toasted on the rinkside bonfire.
  • Polar Plunge  (1/28) –  One of the highlights of WinterFest is watching fearless contenders for the coveted “Golden Plunge” award, most of them in outrageous costumes, brave the icy waters of Chetola Lake.  John Carter emcees the event, and the proceeds benefit local charities Western Youth Network and Hospitality House. 
  • Little Miss Winterfest (1/28) –  This year’s theme is Disney’s “Frozen”, and contestants will be in winterwear.  Judging categories include Best Smile, Best Personality and Beauty.  All children are eligible, and you’ll find a registration form on the web site.
  • Ice Carving Demonstrations (1/28) – Watch Travis Dale and his team create their remarkable sculptures at Memorial Park.  Prepare to be amazed.
  • WinterPaws Dog Show (1/29) – Registration is just five dollars at the door for each of six judging categories:  Most Unique Looking Mix of Breeds, Best Wiggle Butt, Most Clever Dog Trick, Cutest Looking Dog in the World, Best Winter Fashion Wear and Most Crooked Smile.  All proceeds go to the Watauga Humane Society.

There’s more, of course – something for everyone, in fact.  So check the complete schedule and make the most of this year’s experience. 

Blowing Rock is known as the “Crown of the Blue Ridge” for good reason.  Its breathtaking views and storybook village, the far-ranging opportunities for outdoor adventure, and of course the iconic Grandfather Mountain, Linville Caverns and Linville Falls have always attracted visitors. 

If you happen to be in the area looking at Western North Carolina land for sale, Winterfest is a good opportunity to get a feel for what it’s like to put down roots in this remarkable part of the country.

It’s a nice change of pace to go from the milder climate at The Coves Mountain River Club to cooler high elevations.  And, as is the case with so many other popular destinations, it’s only a short drive away.  Like other mountain towns in North Carolina, Blowing Rock offers a winning combination of natural splendor and the simple pleasures of living in the foothills.

Our selection of unique Carolina mountain homes has made The Coves Mountain River Club the top choice for many retirees and others who simply want to escape the stress and pressures of city life.  It’s not hard to find Western North Carolina land for sale, but the ideal location, features and surroundings of The Coves Mountain River Club are impossible to duplicate.

When you’re in the area for WinterFest at Blowing Rock, be sure to set aside some time to stop by and see all we have to offer.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour.

Tags: Blowing Rock | Festivals

Christmas Time in Morganton North Carolina

things to do in Morganton North Carolina

The “old-fashioned” Christmas has been an advertising staple for many years, evoking memories of how we celebrated the season in small-town America.  It’s a powerful image – one that stirs a longing inside us for those simpler times and traditions so treasured by our parents and grandparents.

In the mountain towns in North Carolina, you might still see a father and son bringing home a freshly-cut tree, smell the pies baking in the kitchen or hear the joyous laughter of the young ones enjoying their first hayride.  And one of the things to do in Morganton North Carolina, when December comes around and the Christmas lights go up and the hearts are filled with holiday spirit, is to bring the whole family downtown to watch the parade.

The Downtown Morganton Christmas Parade is December 15th this year, and more than 75 floats, marching bands and characters will be there once again to delight young and old alike. 

When you purchase real estate in Lenoir North Carolina, such as at the Coves Mountain River Club, you soon find yourself drawn to these local events.  You see them all around you, and you realize this is what you were missing.  This is what was lost when your life became so complicated.  This is why you’re here – to recapture the simple pleasures.

Things to do in Morganton North Carolina, when it’s Christmas time include a horse-and-carriage ride through the streets of downtown, bundled up against the chill, looking up in wonder at the beauty of the clear night sky and the lights and decorations.  People line up on West Union street across from Benjamin’s and Libba’s when the sun goes down, because it’s first-come, first-served and no one wants to miss out.

Sampson’s the white horse, and Belle is brown, and you’ll want to get close and pet them just because you can.  These carriage rides are a social event, like so many things in the mountain towns in North Carolina.  People come together, sharing the moments, making the memories they’ll treasure for years to come.

Of course “Downtown Santa” will be there on the weekends, bringing his “naughty and nice” list up to date and taking pictures with the children who look forward so much to his annual visit.

Christmas in the North Carolina foothills is much as it used to be.  People here still treasure quiet family moments.  Friends gather, thankful for another year together in this very special place.  Among such natural splendor, you can’t help being a bit humbled.   You learn the importance of preserving and passing on those things in life that really matter.  Traditions matter.  Parades and carriage rides and the wide-eyed innocents sitting on Santa’s lap…they all matter a great deal.

And so we discover these treasures we thought were long lost, and we understand why real estate in Lenoir North Carolina, is more than just property.  It’s a trip back in time, to those days when life was simple – yet so much more fulfilling.

Living at The Coves Mountain River Club, you’re surrounded by these treasures.  Travel a short distance in any direction, and you’ll find yourself deeply immersed in the area’s culture.  There’s so much to do and see here!

At The Coves, you can be as active as you like.  There’s a wealth of opportunities for anyone who loves outdoor activities, and our great mild weather allows you to enjoy them all year long  Hiking, biking, boating, swimming, fishing, golf, cycling and so much more…whatever your pleasure, it’s all available to you and at home or only a short drive away.

Whether you come for the fall foliage colors or the famous North Carolina trout fishing or just to experience Christmas where it’s still much like it was in days gone by, plan to visit The Coves Mountain River Club and see why so many people say buying a home in the North Carolina foothills is the best decision they ever made.

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: Festivals | Morganton

23rd North Carolina Renaissance Festival

festivals in North Carolina

If you plan on being in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains this fall, one event that should not be missed is the North Carolina Renaissance Festival. Celebrating more than two decades of European culture on both Saturdays and Sundays,  autumnal entertainment can be found at 16445 Poplar Tent Road, October 1st through November 20th, 10 in the morning until 5:30 in the evening. 

How fortunate for folks who own Carolina mountain property that festivals in North Carolina abound, and this event sprawls, rain or shine, over a spectacular twenty-five acre park, located within 325 acres of gorgeous woodlands north of Charlotte.  There are endless cultural and educational opportunities for the entire family (but no pets please)—games that rely upon skill, lively music, comedy, rides, as well as crafts, and food is served in kitchens and pubs reminiscent of a bygone era.  Enjoy the arts and crafts marketplace, the outdoor theater, or the lively circus and jousting tournaments. 

For those families with little ones, children under five are always free.  Costumed characters mingle and mesmerize, singing old songs and performing charming tricks from another time and place.  When you’re tuckered out from the hiking trails in Western NC, there’s nothing like the excitement and ritual of a jousting match, or the artistry of falconry—two events that showcase the splendor of the animals as well as the skill of those who are trained in these impressive sports.   

The Carolina Renaissance Festival is committed to its community and the area’s vital non-profit agencies, donating $10,000 to non-profit fundraising use in events, auctions and raffles–as well as Festival characters who visit other non-profit events in costume.  Many local organizations are fortunate to receive support from the Festival.

And don’t forget about the Festival’s student education days—planned during the week for field trips that offer what can’t be learned in a book—a complete 16th century immersion that will resonate long after the experience is over. Special Events include:

Celtic Music Jams Weekend –  Saturday, October 22, Sunday, October 23, 2016; special guest musicians and Festival minstrels create lively Celtic music.  Take part in the Men of Skills Competition—strength, confidence and skill tested– whether or not you’re wearing a kilt.  

Halloween Daze & Spooky Knights –  Saturday, October 29, Sunday, October 30, 2016.    The largest costume party for all ages; children 12 and under are free.  Don’t have your costume yet?  Find it at one of the largest festivals in North Carolina!  Over 100 locations in the Village to trick or treat, take part in a treasure hunt with prizes, or show off your costume in a contest for all ages; 2:30 PM for children and 3:00 for adults.  For the brave of heart, three jousting performances throughout the day by the Knights of the Living Dead. 

Pirates’ Christmas – Saturday, November 5, Sunday, November 6, 2016.  Shop early  for Christmas and save at Fairhaven Village Marketplace; with $200.00 spent on arts and crafts (one offer per person) two FREE $24.00 Festival tickets are awarded for the season.  Pirate entertainment abounds, Pirate Costume Contests with prizes at 2:30 PM for both children and adults who dare to dress up. 

Time Travelers Weekend – Saturday, November 12, Sunday, November 13, 2016. Visitors are encouraged to dress up as time traveling characters from all genres and take part in the costume contest.  All children under five are free, and  5-12 year olds are FREE also with a school supply donation at the entrance.  Local science fiction and fantasy authors will be present to sign books.

Final Huzzah –  Saturday, November 19, Sunday, November 20, 2016.   Donations of canned foods are encouraged at the entrance.  Children ages 5-12 enter for FREE with the donation of one item, but feel free to be more generous during the holiday season before enjoying some Renaissance turkey and taking part in the cheerful festivities.   

It’s no secret that the folks who have settled into a peaceful life on their Carolina mountain property are able to celebrate the spectacular seasons at the many festivals in North Carolina.   

Our gated community is design for those who appreciate a glorious mountain view, fresh air, and plenty to keep busy.  Life at The Coves, with 3,600 acres, is an incredible blend of the serenity of nature, harmonizing alongside  vibrant community life. 

Have you experienced the peace and beauty along the hiking trails in Western NC?  We have thirty-nine miles of hiking and horse trails nestled into The Coves. Days spent along the Johns River allow you the pleasures of fishing, kayaking or simply relaxing in a riverfront pavilion with family and friends. 

Whether you choose to sip wine on a lazy afternoon at Evelyn’s Vineyard, or sink your hands into the soil at Isabel’s Gardens, there’s plenty to do and explore when you settle down on your own Carolina mountain property.  Those who have already chosen life at The Coves Mountain River Club love discovering incredible and new experiences in a glorious setting.  

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: Festivals

Grandfather Mountain Bonfire Delight

Coves NC outdoor recreation

It’s time once again for one of Fall’s most anticipated events:  the Creatures of the Night and Bonfire Delight at Grandfather Mountain!  Every year, residents of the mountain towns in North Carolina have this rare opportunity to encounter the famous park’s nocturnal animals in their habitats.  We gather our blankets, flashlights and s’mores ingredients and head for the park.  It all starts with the traditional hot chocolate and apple cider by the bonfire, and then the park staff members lead the group on an educational tour of the mountain.  The Owl Prowl part of the adventure is a lot of fun, and there’s so much to see after dark that we never would have learned about otherwise.

  • Where:  Grandfather Mountain – 2050 Blowing Rock Highway
  • When:   Saturday, October 1, 2016
  • Time:    5:30 to 9:30 P. M.

Of course, Grandfather Mountain is the most-visited attraction in the state.  More than a billion years old, it’s the highest point in the Blue Ridge Mountains, at an elevation of 5,946 feet.  Looking down at the peaks below, you feel as if you’re on the top of the world.  And the scenery is nothing short of breathtaking.  It’s a photographer’s paradise, especially when the fall foliage makes its appearance. 

Anyone used to hiking in Western North Carolina knows that the best trails are found here, and the mile-high swinging bridge is known all over the world.  The area is habitat for black bears, river otters, cougars, deer and bald eagles.  It’s a great spot for picnics, and over a hundred tables and grills are available in the park.  And the Nature Museum has great exhibits detailing the region’s natural history.  Guided tours are available as well.

Residents at The Coves Mountain River Club love living in the foothills, away from the tourists and the heavy snow.  Grandfather Mountain’s less an hour away, and there are many other nearby locations where they can easily enjoy the unique sights and activities to be found at higher elevations.

When the leaves start to change color around this time of year, the fall foliage appears first near the top of the mountains and then works its way down over the next few weeks.  So living here you can see an ongoing show as different species of plants and trees add their unique hues to the spectrum.

Look at a list of the best mountain towns in North Carolina for retirement living and you’re likely to see Blowing Rock, Boone, and Banner Elk.  They’re all within an hour’s drive of The Coves Mountain River Club in Lenoir and part of Western North Carolina’s High Country, an area often called “nature’s year-round playground” because of its mild weather and wealth of sporting, recreational and cultural events.  Anyone living here who wants to stay active has plenty of options to choose from.

This is a great time of year to visit. Come hiking in Western North Carolina to see the spectacular foliage, do some trout fishing or just exploring. It’s worth taking time to see what we have to offer you in mountain living.  You’ll find unique mountain homes, from cozy cottages to estates on equestrian parcels, all designed to take full advantage of their natural surroundings and remarkable mountain and river views. 

Living at The Coves is affordable, and the area’s rich with opportunities to enjoy your life to the fullest.   It’s only after spending time here that you begin to appreciate just how much there is to see and do.  It’s the best of both worlds:  fresh air, clear night skies and the countless other blessings of living in the country, along with easy access to nearby towns and cities for shopping, dining, entertainment and culture.

By the way, if you’re planning to be here this fall, be sure to make your arrangements early. As at any popular vacation destination, the best bed and breakfasts, family-owned inns and hotel chains are booked up early and/or get more expensive as the season approaches.

We’d love to show you around our remarkable community, nestled on the bank of the Johns River at Wilsons Creek.  Join us at the Pisgah Mountain Lodge to share a glass of wine and the nightly show as the sun disappears over the mountains. 

This is your retirement dream come true!  This is The Coves Mountain River Club, our very special home in the foothills. 

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

Tags: Blowing Rock | Festivals

Our Adventure to Hart Square in Newton NC

CovesNC_Hart_Square_North_CarolinaOn the fourth Saturday of every October, residents of The Coves Mountain River Club in Lenoir rent a bus and head for Vale, where the Hart Square Festival presents more than 300 artisans and docents sharing their knowledge and demonstrating the craftsmanship of the area’s pioneers.

All of the mountain towns in North Carolina have a rich history, and this popular event brings much of it together at one location. From flax-making and tinsmithing to cotton baling and old time music, it’s like taking a trip back to the 1800s. Between all that and the many things to do in Hickory North Carolina, which is just a few miles away, it’s easy to see why so many people flock to the Hart Square festival every year.

It’s been presented since 1986 and runs from ten in the morning till five in the afternoon. Tickets are available on the first working day of October at the Catawba County Museum of History in Newton. You can buy them in person or call (828) 465-0393 to order by phone. For more details, contact the Hart Square Foundation Executive Director, Rebecca Anne Hart, at

The Hart Square Festival evolved from Dr. Robert Hart’s efforts to rescue and preserve artifacts of 19th century Carolina life. Starting with a hundred acres of land he purchased in the early 1970s, where he developed lakes for the use of wood ducks and other native water fowl, he began accumulating original log structures in various states of disrepair, restoring them, and – over time – creating an actual village from them on his property. Now there are more than ninety, ranging from corn cribs and barns to houses and chapels and even a few outhouses.

Bob and Becky Hart have been recognized for their efforts by publications such as Foxfire, Homestead, Off Hours, Our State, Early American Life and many newspapers. A documentary, “Hart Square – The 1840 Carolina Village” was produced in 1997 and received an Aurora Gold Award. It continues to air on public television. Preservation North Carolina presented their Gertrude S. Carraway Award of Merit to them in 1997, and Bob was honored by the local chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution with their National Conservation Medal the following year.

History buffs are right at home in the mountain towns in North Carolina. There’s so much to learn and see, and luckily the people behind events like the Hart Square Festival work hard to educate new generations regarding the vibrant history of the area. When you’re looking at Western North Carolina land for sale, it’s interesting to know what nearby events may have shaped the events of those early days.

Be sure to check out things to do in Hickory North Carolina, and the surrounding area, if you’re planning a trip in late October. It’s the height of the foliage season, so be sure to plan well in advance for your accommodations. With the mild fall weather and the panorama of color on full display, is there any better time to visit?

At The Coves Mountain River Club, we know the value of living in the foothills, where life is filled with unique opportunities to take advantage of all that’s good about the present while respecting the elegant beauty of our natural surroundings and the efforts of all those who came before us. We’d love for you to visit when you’re nearby.

Whether you want to stay as active as possible or just take it easy in one of the most beautiful locales in this part of the country, retirees seeking Western North Carolina land for sale have found that The Coves Mountain River Club is one of the best bargains around. We think you’ll agree.

Call us directly at 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 gives you more information about living in the foothills of North Carolina.

Tags: Festivals | Hickory

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