Colorful October Festivals in Western North Carolina

Western North Carolina fall foliage

An incredible canvas of autumnal colors create a landscape that is cherished by all who live in the region, as well as those who come to take in the inspiring foliage.  The magic combination of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains is the high peaks, the lush valleys, and the breadth of climates due to these variations in elevation. 

If you haven’t yet experienced the palette of rich colors that define the region for almost a month and a half, now is the time to take a scenic road trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway.  While you’re looking for amazing things to do in Lenoir NC, be sure to bring your camera, and take in some of the incredible fall festivals and events that add even more celebration to the next month or two before the holiday season is upon us.

Here are some of the most talked about festivals this month in the foothills of Western North Carolina:

The 11th North Carolina Oyster Roast at Fort Defiance

1792 Fort Defiance Drive, Lenoir, NC

Attendees enjoyed a fried flounder dinner with all the fixings and a bucket of about 2 1/2 doz steamed oysters along with two beer or wine tickets. Extra Buckets of Oysters and extra drink tickets will be available at the event as well as an amazing silent auction. The Starlighters provided the entertainment for a night of swing dancing on the beautiful grounds of Historic Fort Defiance, North Carolina. All profits from the event went directly to the mission of preserving and sharing the 1792 home of General William Lenoir.

Fort Defiance formed a non-profit organization in 1964 whose mission is to “preserve and share the life and times of William Lenoir and his 1792 home.”  Those living at The Coves cherish the restored house at Fort Defiance which has maintained its history and significance with over 300 artifacts and original furnishings.  Since Fort Defiance Inc receives no state or federal funding, the tightly-knit community of the mountain towns in North Carolina keep it going with their visits, memberships, as well as their support of events and programs.  The house was named after a frontier fort and was designed by William Lenoir and completed after four years of building in 1792.  William Lenoir was a teacher and surveyor.  His family lived in the home until 1961.

Tours are available November through March, Saturday and Sunday 12-4; weekends only or by appointment; $7 adults; $5 children 5-15; children under 5 are free.

Smoking in the Foothills Barbecue Competition and Festival

North Carolina State Championship Event

October 20 & 21, 2017

Historic Downtown Lenoir, NC

Free admission

What better way to celebrate fall in the mountain towns of North Carolina than with a little down-home cooking shared with your community, family and friends?  This is real barbecue brought to life by a good-hearted competition to feed your senses.  Sanctioned by The Kansas Barbecue Society, you can light up your own smoker or sit back and sample the perfection of the pitmasters.  Live Music on Plaza State; Poker Run; 50/50 Drawing; BBQ Competition (chicken, pork rib, brisket); and of course the Cornhole Tournament!

Smoking In The Foothills is a nonprofit organization whose commitment is raising money for charitable organizations as those who call their homes in the gated communities near Asheville NC know is so essential. Proceeds from all their festivals benefit local charities such as The Helping Hands Clinic and The Wig Bank of Caldwell County chosen in 2017.  Volunteers are needed so sign up and lend a hand to a worthy event on Friday, October 20 and Saturday October 21.

Last weekend was the 30th Annual Hickory October Fest in downtown Hickory.

This is known as “the premier annual festival for Hickory North Carolina.”  The second week of October Hickory’s downtown comes to life for three days with the charming outdoor festival so many have come to love and others seek to attend.  Three stages are lit with non-stop entertainment from traditional lively polka to the tried and true rock & roll.  There’s plenty else to keep people of all ages amused with two beer gardens, rides, games, the incredible juried arts and crafts show as well as shopping and eating from the hundreds of food and commercial vendors.  No wonder this festival has been going and growing strong since 1985.

The lucky people who have chosen to settle in the gated communities near Asheville NC, like The Coves, can take advantage of all the region has to offer. Locals know there’s no better way to take in the fall foliage than driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, climbing to elevations of 5,000 plus feet, sipping sweet cider and taking in the gorgeous colors that sprawl before you. 

Savor the sights of the fall foliage forecast before while exploring cozy mountain homes, and discover even more intimate street festivals and small mountain towns along the way.  You never exhaust the possibility of things to do in Lenoir NC along the 193 mile Parkway, or in the parks and forests you’ll discover as you explore.  Take a guided tour or venture off on your own to hike through the expanse of changing leaves. 

If you haven’t visited our gated mountain community, stop by to say hello. Did you know we have over 22 miles of groomed hiking trails within our gates? Our community spreads across 3,600 acres. Here hikers enjoy private trails that lead to four cascading waterfalls, along the Johns River and to our mountaintop clubhouse. At our mountain summit, gaze across to the mountain tops of Blowing Rock or down below into the Pisgah Forest valley. These are majestic views our residents enjoy each and every day. We’re confident you won’t find views anywhere else like we have them at The Coves.

Come explore the variety of homesites we have available whether you prefer a private wooded estate, a homesite near our amenities or near the river. Our homesites start around $39,000.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour (and hike!)

Tags: Festivals | Hickory | Lenoir

Become a Beekeeper, Brewer or Mixologist Near Lenoir

NC mountain communities

Back when we were kids, seems like everyone was always asking what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives. “What will you be when you grow up? Fireman, ballerina, doctor, nurse?” They made it seem like we had to pick just one.

These days, with the benefit of age and wisdom on our side, we’ve got this life thing pretty much figured out. Now when someone asks us what we want to do with the rest of our lives, the answer is “What don’t we want to do!” Or as some folks like to say, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Thanks to lifelong learning programs like the ones you find in the mountain towns in North Carolina, it’s easier than ever to keep on dreaming, keep on learning, keep on doing the things you’ve always wanted to do. Want to be a beekeeper? Brew your own beer? Learn a new language? You’ve come to the right place!

Like all the best goings-on in the uniquely charming NC mountain communities, even personal enrichment comes with that distinctive mountain-town flair. You’ll find some truly extraordinary learning opportunities here – like beekeeping classes! Yup, we’re serious. Our local college really does offer them! Along with classes in beer-brewing, mixology, motorcycle safety, and plenty of other topics that appeal to mountain lovers of all ages.

If you’re a lifelong learner who knows the value of expanding your horizons, you’ll want to sign up for one of these fun and stimulating courses at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. They’re offered as part of the college’s continuing education program. You may already be familiar with the two CCC&TI campuses in Hudson and Boone. Maybe your kids or grandkids are among the 16,000 students who study each year at CCC&TI, where academic programs range from business to law enforcement to liberal arts to nuclear medicine technology.

But did you know this 53-year-old educational institution also offers personal enrichment courses for those of us who want to keep on learning well into our retirement years? CCC&TI’s motto is Educational Opportunities for All. Their mission to “foster academic and civic enrichment” includes a focus on lifelong learning. And that’s great news for all of us!

If you’re ready to learn new skills or sharpen the ones you already have, be sure to check out CCC&TI’s personal enrichment courses, which are offered throughout the year on both campuses. Online registration makes it easy to get started. Current offerings include:

This short course is getting a lot of buzz! Students are introduced to the basics of hobby beekeeping. They’ll learn about the different types of bees, basic beehive and frame construction, beekeeping tools, hive management, and honey production.

Cheers! This course teaches the fundamentals of beer and the brewing process, including basic ingredients, brewing and fermentation, bottling, sanitation and cleaning methods, tasting and critique.

Want to know more about the art and craft of mixing drinks? This course will teach you how to make a variety of mixed drinks, from the classic favorites to the more exotic cocktails, and will let you in on some of the best tricks of the trade!

Both American Sign Language (ASL) and Spanish classes are currently offered. The introductory ASL course is designed for students who want to work with the Deaf community or learn how to communicate with deaf family or friends. The Spanish classes are offered at three levels: Conversational I, Conversational II, and Spanish for Healthcare Providers.

Get yer motor runnin’… Join one of three class levels – Basic, Experienced, Advanced – to sharpen your safety skills, master the rules of the road, and learn the best strategies for minimizing risk when you ride. 

It’s always a good idea to brush up on the basics of good driving, and this 4-hour course (offered weekly) can help you do it. It may also help you reduce the charges on certain traffic violations in any county that recognizes the NC Safety and Health Council program.

The Hudson campus of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute is located on 98 acres off Highway 321 in Hudson NC. This is where you’ll want to take your courses if you live in, NC mountain communities near Lenoir, Granite Falls, or Hickory. If you’re closer to Boone or Blowing Rock, you may want to study at the Watauga campus, located off Highway 105 on Community College Drive. There’s also a Continuing Education Center on Bamboo Road in Boone. Whichever location you choose, you’re guaranteed a fun and memorable learning experience at a college that’s committed to learning excellence and educational opportunities for all.

Mountain living means waking up every day knowing the sky’s the limit. And when you live under a crystal Blue Ridge sky in one of the many lovely gated communities near Asheville NC – like those in Lenoir, Hickory, Blowing Rock, or Boone – you’ll awake each day to a life of truly extraordinary opportunities.

Lifelong learning in Lenoir is particularly wonderful when you’re living at The Coves Mountain River Club. This is a vibrant community of mountain lovers who know how to live life to the fullest. That’s why they’ve chosen a dream home in the foothills of NC, where beautifully designed estates with spacious floor plans offer long-range views of Table Rock, Grandfather Mountain, and Pisgah National Forest, guaranteeing a picturesque indulgence out every window or private wooded estates set in a forest.

Folks living at The Coves relish their social and recreational activities year-round in this mountain-river paradise, where the neighborhood lodge, community garden and vineyard, and exercise facility provide dozens of ways to socialize with neighbors and friends. Unless, of course, you’re in the mood for peace and solitude, in which case, a glorious escape to the horse stables, some sun salutations on a yoga mat at waterfall park, or a leisurely walk with the family pup along miles of hiking and biking trails might be the order of the day.

And when it’s time to follow up with homework from last night’s personal enrichment class at CCC&TI, The Coves residents might choose to read their course materials in the shade of a quiet garden gazebo, or practice their new mixology skills by hosting a tasting party with neighbors at the Pisgah Mountain Lodge. We’re pretty sure they’ll be more than happy to sample an exotic cocktail or two!

The adage is true – If you can dream it, you can do it! And there’s no better place to dream or to do than The Coves Mountain River Club in Lenoir NC.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule your visit to this one-of-a-kind gated mountain community where new and exciting opportunities are yours for the taking, and beautiful Blue Mountain horizons are yours to broaden!

If you’re exploring real estate in the mountain towns in North Carolina for the first time, ask for our 84-page complimentary Western North Carolina Relocation Guide, which gives you more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Hickory

Savory Restaurants in Hickory NC

Hickory NC restaurants

Why go to your average, run-of-the-mill eatery when you can enjoy a high-quality meal made from fresh, organic ingredients at a local farm-to-table restaurant? At farm-to-table restaurants, chefs pride themselves locally sourced ingredients from farmer’s markets or even farms just down the road.

This dining experience cuts out the middleman and makes for an healthy, organic meal that doesn’t harm the environment. Hickory, part of the Lenoir-Hickory-Morganton metropolitan area, is rich with delicious, all-natural dining options that taste great and leave you feeling good about helping the environment. If you’re looking for things to do in Hickory North Carolina, below is a list of the top organic and farm-to-table restaurants in Hickory NC.

Highland Avenue has gained regional and national praise for its farm-to-table, locally sourced foods, with MSN naming them one of the Fifty-One Best Farm-To-Table Restaurants in America. Located on the second floor of the renovated Holler Hosiery Mill, the restaurant pays tribute to the city’s rich manufacturing history while focusing on Appalachian cuisine including trout, oysters and shrimp, homemade pastas and breads, chicken pot pie, and filet mignon. Address: 883 Highland Avenue SE Phone: 828-267-9800

Café Rule & Wine Bar is an upscale restaurant that offers the best in fine dining. Patrons can expect fresh flavors, locally sourced cuisine, and exquisite wine pairings in a relaxed and refreshingly casual setting. Address: 242 11th Ave NE Phone: 828-324-2005

The Fresh Depot specializes in great sandwiches on fresh made breads – including sourdough, wheat, rye, cinnamon bread and rolls – along with farm-to-table dishes. They source their veggies and beef from local farmers using organic practices. Beef is from grass-fed, pasture-raised cattle. Baked goods are fresh and made daily. Address: 220 Union Square NW Phone: 828-322-5111

Burger Fi launched in 2011 from dissatisfaction with what was happening in the burger market at the time. Thus, the all natural Black Angus CEO Burger was born. Certified American Angus burgers are free of antibiotics, hormones, and steroids. Patrons can eat happily knowing that the restaurant’s motto is: “Better people. Better to animals. Better to the environment.” The restaurant also offers hand-cut French fries, frozen custard, and natural sugar cane sodas. Address: 1854 Catawba Valley Blvd SE Phone: 828-324-9583

Bistro127 is proud to use local grown, raised, and caught ingredients by local NC farmers that share their commitment to serving high quality food. Menu items include omelets, crepes, salads, gourmet brick oven pizzas, organic salads, tapas, seafood, steak, and more – all made with natural and organic ingredients. Patrons can sit at the Al Forno Bar and watch their pizza being made in a wood fired brick oven during lunch and dinner. Address: 2039 N Center ST Phone: 828-328-3432

Crescent Moon Café offers deli fresh vegan and gluten-free options, with over 25 rotating draft microbrews. Patrons can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of a dimly lit, modern pub conveniently open until 2 AM on weekends. Address: 256 1st Ave NW Phone: 828-322-1456

Hickory is conveniently located near one of the best gated communities near Asheville NC, our Coves Mountain River Club. At The Coves, residents enjoy their own farm-to-table experience and plant their own fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers in Isabel’s Garden.

Set along the Johns River, the manicured dividers between the garden plots make for an English-style atmosphere. Peppers, tomatoes, peppers, radishes, watermelon and greens are among the popular fruits and vegetables grown in Isabel’s nutrient rich soil. Flowers commonly grown in the garden include sunflowers, daffodils, tulips, lilies, and various mountain wildflowers. Herbs such as rosemary, sage, mint, and oregano are also easy to grow in Isabel’s Garden.

Residents can test their talents at winemaking in Evelyn’s Vineyard, a riverside vineyard with craftsman-style trellises that divide the opened grassed lanes. Grapes are successfully grown in the North Carolina foothills because they need fewer chilly nights and thrive on the summer heat. People love the spectacular mountain views, friendly community atmosphere, first classes amenities – and healthy foodies can rest easy knowing a wide selection of delicious, homegrown fare is just a short drive away.

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: Hickory | Restaurants & Breweries

Sails Summer Concert Series – Toe Tapping Fun in Hickory NC

fun things to do in Hickory NC

Ah, summer! It’s the season we dream about all year long. Full of endless sun and limitless fun. In the mountains of Western North Carolina, this is the time of year when warm lazy days stretch on into cool starlit nights, painting the perfect setting for outdoor festivities with friends. This is the season for open-air gatherings. And nothing brings people together like live music!

If you’re one of the lucky ones visiting – or living — in the charming mountain towns of North Carolina this summer, you’ll no doubt want to visit Hickory, one of North Carolina’s most enticing summer destination spots. And you’ll definitely want to add the 5th Annual Sails Summer Concert Series to your list of not-to-be missed things to do in Hickory North Carolina on a Friday night.

What started out as “an idea for a modest little music series,” according to Sails Summer Concert Series founder Bob Sinclair, “has become a highly regarded musical event that attracts people from across the state.”

Each Friday in May, June, and September, friends old and new set up blankets and lawn chairs at the Sails on the Square – an outdoor venue the locals affectionately refer to as “Hickory’s downtown living room” – to sample live music from a variety of bands, singer/songwriters, and musical artists. This lineup of hand-picked talent ranges from Grammy winners to up-and-comers, from Hickory’s own to artists from cities and towns from across the United States. Performances start at 6:30 p.m., and the musical numbers keep playing on well past sunset.

Concert-goers are praising the 2017 lineup as “awesome,” “fantastic,” “an eclectic mix” of “top-shelf bands.” They love that the unique variety of music featured in the Sails Summer Concert Series has definite adult appeal but is also family friendly. This is just one reason the concert series keeps growing in popularity year after year, building on its own success with Hickory locals and mountain music-lovers across Western North Carolina.

Take a look at the lineup that’s yet to come in the 2017 series:

·       June 16: THE FRETLESS – musically eclectic maestros

·       June 23: CARAVAN OF THIEVES – rollicking mayhem

·       June 30: DANIELLE HOWLE – Miss amazing

·       Sept 1:   FREE PLANET RADIO – world music manifested

·       Sept 8:   BIG SANDY & HIS FLYRITE BOYS – Los Angeles rockabillyists

·       Sept 15:  WESTERN CENTURIES – newly imagined country, rhythm and Blues

·       Sept 22:  MILE TWELVE – new chambergrass darlings

·       Sept 29:  ADAM LEVY – guitar hero, song maker

This year, Olde Hickory Brewery and Silver Fork Winery will be selling beer and wine to concert goers in designated areas. And if you work up an appetite from all that dancing under the Sails, you’ll want to dip in to one of the nearby foodie-friendly restaurants, cafés, or gastropubs in beautiful Downtown Hickory.

If your idea of the perfect ending to a long, lazy summer week includes good food, good beer and wine (locally crafted!), and an evening of toe-tapping fun with your posse of mountain-loving friends, it’s time to head to Hickory and treat yourself to this series of vibrant, energetic, fresh, and inspiring music from distinctive bands throughout the region. Who knows… you may discover the next great act to sweep the nation, grab a Grammy, or appear on late-night TV. It’s been known to happen!

That’s because music in the mountains is a cherished part of the regional lifestyle. And while we love our traditional Blue Ridge style (bluegrass, jazz, country, rockabilly), we’re always on the lookout for new, homegrown talent. Over the years, this area has inspired some of the most prolific bluegrass artists and musicians in the United States. And it continues to influence a whole new generation of passionate musicians who find their muse in the majestic mountains of the Blue Ridge.

It’s the call of the mountains that attracts so many artists, musicians, and those of us who love all-things-beautiful-and-outdoorsy to explore North Carolina mountain real estate. Year after year, lured by the relaxing but vibrant mountain lifestyle, visitors and tourists turn into neighbors and friends. The custom-built luxury log homes of Hickory, the charming mountain homes near Asheville, and the gorgeous mountain-river properties in Lenoir all play a part in attracting people to the mountains and foothills of Western North Carolina. These gems of North Carolina mountain real estate have to be seen to be believed. They offer mountain living at its most glorious, and make the lure of the foothills almost impossible to resist.

Nestled along the Johns River adjacent to Wilson Creek – just an hour’s drive from Downtown Hickory – sits our gorgeous gated community called The Coves Mountain River Club. Talk about the best of both worlds! This is both mountain and river living, a rarity that’s truly coveted by nature lovers. Situated along 3,600 acres of flora-rich riverfront property, The Coves comes fully loaded with above-and-beyond amenities, including 39 miles of hiking and biking trails, a beautifully tended community garden and vineyard, an elegant equestrian center with handsomely groomed pastures, and a spectacular two-story mountaintop neighborhood lodge that offers jaw-dropping 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains, river, creeks, and waterfalls.

The Coves’ Pisgah Mountain Lodge has a wrap-around porch that welcomes neighbors to its wooden rocking chairs with the promise of a front-row seat to long-range views of Grandfather Mountain. This is the spot where folks will gather to talk about the live band they just heard in Downtown Hickory under The Sails, or share a story about that fabulous find from the antique store in Asheville. This is the place where memories are made. And it’s the place you’ll want to call home.

The Coves is ideally located in Lenoir, North Carolina in the Blue Ridge foothills, with easy access to surrounding mountain towns, including Hickory, Asheville, Blowing Rock, and Morganton.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule your visit to The Coves. We can help you arrange an itinerary so your tour of The Coves coincides with your favorite band’s performance at the Sails Summer Concert Series!

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 | Hickory

Hickory Farmers Market – Buy Local, Buy Fresh

Hickory Farmers Market

Hey, Hickory, have you noticed a bit more fresh in your fresh-air-and-sunshiny Blue Ridge locale lately? That’s because the annual Downtown Hickory Farmers Market is now underway, bringing together “fields, folks, and fun” for a seven-month-long fresh fest that runs through November.

The Farmers Market is just one of the many fabulous things to do in Hickory North Carolina, a town of many claims to fame, including booming businesses and college campuses, world-famous hand-crafted furniture, world-renowned art walks, beautiful community parks, and lovely temperate seasons that provide favorable year-round growing conditions for a variety of crops.

This charming mountain-lake town with nutrient-rich soil and moderate climate is a grower’s paradise that wins raves from local farmers and community gardeners. Many of Hickory’s finest restaurants and gastropubs offer seasonally changing menus with organic veggies and meats sourced from local farms. No matter the season, locals and visitors alike can always count on home-grown specialties as part of the fresh dining experience.

That’s just how it is in Hickory! People here understand the value of supporting their hometown farms by buying local. There are obvious economic benefits to feel great about. Buying local cuts down on fuel and travel time from farm to table, reducing the community’s carbon footprint, improving the environment and the local economy. And the benefits don’t stop there! Eating locally grown produce means your veggies are packed with nutrients and less likely to have been refrigerated, artificially ripened, or contaminated. Long (and delicious) story short, farm-to-table living is good for your own health, your family’s health, the health of the community, and the health of the planet. It’s a win-win-win-win!

But how do you maintain that farm-to-table lifestyle throughout the year? That’s where the Hickory Downtown Development Association (HDDA) comes in. They know locally-grown products are important to their community. That’s why they sponsor the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market and pack the seven-month-long schedule of events with tons to do, see, taste, and enjoy.

At its centrally located train side setting under The Sails, the Hickory Downtown Farmers Market brings the farm into town! Dozens of enthusiastic farmers from local and family-owned farms are on hand to meet and greet their customers and offer the “glory of a good harvest,” which includes fresh produce, grains, plants, flowers, and shrubs, as well as a surf-and-turf bounty of select meats and mountain trout. They stock their stands with locally sourced honey, eggs, and cheeses, fresh baked goods, marinades, preserves, and pickles. And it’s all presented in a festival atmosphere, enhanced by live music, games and events, booths for buying bushels of fresh ingredients, plus dried herbs and spices, artisan crafts, Chefs’ Market creations, street foods, and more.

The Downtown Hickory Farmers Market promises “a soulful feeling and a sense of belonging,” and, as the HDDA says, “for the first time, you’ll know what happiness smells like.” We’re pretty sure we can smell it from here! Or is that the scent of sweet ripe strawberries, which are currently at peak season (April to June). How do we know? The HDDA has provided a handy produce calendar on the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market web site. And we have to admit we’re counting down the days ’til summer when the peaches, cantaloupes, and watermelons will be ripe on the vine! But there’s plenty to do while we wait…

Throughout the month of May, the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market offers family-friendly activities, including “Spin a Kid to Camp” and “Kids Corner Activities” sponsored by the YMCA, plus live music from local performers Kitty G&M OD, Sherrill Keever, Kevin Lee Smith, and ELVIS!

Warm June breezes will be scented with floral notes as the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market ushers in the Lavender Festival starting on June 10th  and keeps the party going with Eat, Drink & Be Local Week starting June 17th. And there’s even more live music from Bob Sinclair & The Big Deals and Piedmont Percussion Program’s Steel Drums with Rick Cline.

As the summer rolls on, the fresh just keeps on coming with more music, more kid stuff, more family events, and our favorite fruits, along with the rest of the huge summer harvest, including farm-fresh potatoes, peppers, peas, eggplant, cucumbers, squash, beans, and (get your chompers ready) corn-on-the-cob!

Be sure to stay tuned in to the online event schedule. Even though the Farmers Market festivities continue on through October and November – grape harvesting season, by the way (did someone say home-made wine?) –  the schedule will be adjusted to accommodate two of the most popular things to do in Hickory North Carolina – the annual Oktoberfest (October 14) and Shuck-n-Peel Festival (November 11).

Are you sold on Hickory yet? We have to admit, it’s one of our favorite mountain towns in Western North Carolina. But there are lots more like it. You know, the charming towns along the Blue Ridge that get you thinking about exploring NC mountain real estate – or as we like to call it, your very own slice of heaven in the foothills.

What makes these towns so heavenly? Just ask the people who live there, in places like Hickory and nearby Lenoir. These are people who escaped the daily grind to retire in the great outdoors, surrounded by gorgeous terrain in a secluded gated mountain community that’s just minutes from outdoor adventures, art and culture experiences, dining hot spots, and exciting night life. These are the thrill-seekers and chill-seekers who relish both the adventure and relaxation that only comes from mountain living.

Not far from Downtown Hickory, a whole community of outdoorsy types with a penchant for fishing, hiking, community gardening, wine-making, and living life to the fullest are enjoying all these benefits and more at The Coves Mountain River Club, a 3,600-acre mountain community with five miles of river frontage along the Johns River. Amenities here include a community vineyard and garden, and the Lenoir North Carolina weather makes finding your inner gardener a breeze!

Residents of The Coves can take a 40-minute scenic drive to the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market to enjoy the bounty of locally grown fresh produce, and pick up a few growing tips from friendly farmers to take back with them to Isabel’s Garden and Evelyn’s Vineyard, where they plant and sow their own delicious produce and harvest their own Muscadine grapes alongside neighbors and friends. Later in the year, they’ll sit together on the porch of The Coves’ community lodge, where they’ll enjoy 360-degree views of majestic mountain ranges while they share a beautiful farm-to-table meal complemented by their own home-made wine from home-grown grapes. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

When you’re ready to tour a selection of beautiful NC mountain real estate to find your own slice of heaven in the foothills, give us a call at 828.754.0700 and schedule your visit to The Coves. We’ll help you plan your visit to experience the nicest Lenoir North Carolina weather and catch the best of the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market, Oktoberfest, Shuck-n-Peel, and other fun things to do in Hickory North Carolina.

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: Hickory | Shopping & Antique Hunting

Lifelong Learning at Catawba Community College

lifelong learning Wester North Carolina

Our perceptions about retirement have vastly changed over the years and the reality of our “Golden Years” has changed too.  If you reside in the NC mountain communities, you are fortunate to be living an enchanting new chapter, pursuing your interests and your hobbies in the perfect inspiring setting.  The beauty in the variety of things to do in Hickory NC, is you will never run out of lifelong learning options, and we all know how new adventures and journeys keep our hearts, minds and bodies young.

Living at The Coves, tucked into the NC mountain communities, and being close to Catawba Valley Community College, is just one of the many ways to stay connected socially while you continue to hone your crafts, pick up a new language for a trip abroad, or increase your knowledge and skills in a vast array of areas.

No matter the season, CVCC has courses that will stimulate your mind while enriching your life.   These are some of the courses available in your Hickory neighborhood for personal enrichment when you’re searching for things to do in Hickory NC:

Crocheting and Knitting Workshop; introductory course for reading and following patterns, learning basic stitches, tips and techniques so you can create thoughtful gifts to keep your family and friends feeling loved and warm.  Best of all, needlework is a perfect way to relax while being creative.  First class March 14-May 9, 2017; Tuesdays; 1-3pm, Hickory Senior Citizens Center; instructor, Mary Ann Parkhurst.

Needle Fun Workshop; for a variety of needle crafters at any skill level—crochet, knitting, or embroidery—the choice is yours. First class March 14-May 9, 2017; Tuesdays; 9-12pm, Newton Rec. Center; instructor, Mary Ann Parkhurst.

Quilting Back to the Basics Workshop; whether you’re a beginning or intermediate quilter, choose the pattern and size quilt you want to create and sew to your heart’s content.  First class March 13-May 8, 2017; Mondays, 9-12pm; Newton Rec Center; instructor, Mary Ann Parkhurst.

Sewing Beginning; learn to thread a sewing machine and be on your way to perfecting straight and curve seams from a simple pattern. Bring your own sewing machine or use one provided.  March 30-May 4, 2017; Thursdays; 6-9pm; CVCC EC, Rm. 975; instructor, Micki Earp.

Multimedia Editing and Production; create video stories with photos, texts, sound, video and animation to share on YouTube, Vimeo or other social media outlets; learn to shoot, develop and edit your video before publishing—all the while staying current with friends and family; March 16-April 20, 2017; Thursdays; 6-8pm; CVCC, REP 124; instructor, Aaron Tallman.

Beginning Flower Arranging; create gorgeous wreaths to welcome your visitors and arrangements to brighten every room; March 28- May 2, 2017; Tuesdays; 6-9pm; CVCC EC, Rm. 1209; instructor, Wanda Reep.  Be sure to look for Advanced Flower Arrangement in the months ahead.

Soap Making—The Basics and Beyond; covers safety, tools, techniques, molds, cutting, and wrapping.  If you choose to participate, apron, kitchen gloves and safety glasses are required.  Good squeaky clean fun! March 20-April 2, 2017; Mondays; 6-9pm; CVCC EC, Rm. 1209; instructor, Ann Oswald.

Stained Glass—Beginning Level II; the fundamentals of stain glass design from choosing the correct glass, to creating patterns, and cutting and grinding—culminates in a stunning lampshade.  Supply list is provided the first class; April 3-May 15, 2017; Mondays; 6:30-8:30pm; Newton Rec. Center, Newton; instructor, Melanie Zimmerman.

Art and Craft Classes; art media of your choice whether you are beginner or advanced, sharpen your skills, confidence, and expression while you draw and paint; brush strokes, color combinations, preparations and composition.  March 14-May 9, 2017; Tuesdays; 8:30-11:30am; CVCC EC, Rm. 1209; instructor, Natalie McNeely.

Get Your Brushes Wet; no matter if you are just beginning or you’ve been painting for decades—share your creative time with others using oils, acrylics, watercolors and pastels.  Learn composition, mixing, and general brush skills.  March 15-May 10, 2017; Wednesdays; 9am-12pm; CVCC EC, Rm. 1209; instructor, Pat Flachbart.

Cake Decorating:  Flower and Cake Design Course #2; learn to create fancy borders, flowers, and basket weaving with royal icing.  Your beautiful cakes will make your parties the talk of the town. April 6-May 5, 2017; Thursdays; 6-8pm; CVCC EC; Rm. 1209; instructor, Glenda Peek.  Wilton Kit #2 is necessary for course.

Cake Decorating: Fondant and Gum Paste Course #3; learn the art of fondant to create shapes, borders and flowers, as well as fondant icing; a final project will be designed with all the techniques you’ve learned.  May 11-June 1, 2017; Thursdays; 6-8pm; CVCC EC; Rm. 1209; instructor, Glenda Peek. Wilton Kit #3 is necessary for course.

Embossed Fondant Cupcakes; hands-on fondant basics—handling, storing, tinting, rolling, embossing, embellishing,  and creating flowers and bows; April 24, 2017; Monday; 6-8pm; CVCC EC; Rm. 1209; instructor, Glenda Peek.  Pre-requisite:  Cake Decorating-Beginning Class.

Candy Making; drip, drizzle and mold your sweet Wilton treats at any skill level.  Demo-style class with some hands-on instruction; May 15, 2017; Monday; 6-8pm; CVCC EC; Rm. 1209; instructor, Glenda Peek.

Golf for Beginners; learn the proper golf techniques to hit the course with confidence; April 10-May 8, 2017; Tuesdays; 6-8pm; CVCC EC Golf Course; instructor, Jeff Toney.  Range ball fee is extra.

Shag-Beginning; six-count method fundamental steps—shag, female turn, male turn, chase, cuddle, pivot, lead out.  Don’t forget to bring your partner!  March 14-April 11, 2017; Tuesdays; 7:30-8:30pm; Newton Rec Center, Newton; instructor, Judy Boston.

Hand Gun-Gunsmithing Basics; beginners age 21 with and older with current permits learn the basics of equipment, safety, care, maintenance, and repair; March 20-May 1, 2017; Mondays; 6-9pm; CVCC EC; Rm. 1050; instructor, Steve Cox.

Basic Pistol for Women; for beginners to learn the basics of pistol shooting; April 5, 2017; Wednesday; 6-9pm; CVCC EC; instructor, Tom McNeely.

Pistol Defense for Women-Part II;  hand-on instruction for beginners to learn safety, storage, buying, stances, positions, sight, gun maintenance and the five fundamentals of shooting; March 23, 2017; Thursday; 6-9pm; CVCC EC; instructor Tom McNeely; April 12, 2017; Wednesday; 6-9pm; CVCC EC; instructor, Tom McNeely. Pre-requisite: Basic Pistol for Women class.

Catawba Valley Community College makes it simple to continue your lifelong learning since it’s conveniently located for those who live in The Coves and those who live in other neighboring NC mountain communities at 2550 US Hwy 70 SE, Hickory, NC.   Hickory is situated between Charlotte and Asheville, at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  For those who reside in this traditional community, it’s clear that enriching your life and continuing your quest for lifelong learning at CVCC is just one of the many splendid aspects of our region.

Longing to discover more awesome things to do in Hickory NC? You won’t have to search long or hard. Hickory maintains its quaint appeal while offering plenty of culture and recreation. Folks won’t run out of culinary options, from Japanese to Italian, from American bistros to good old fashioned BBQ.  Hickory’s shopping rivals its cuisine for those of you who need a little retail therapy or want to get started on birthday and holiday gifts. 

From galleries, to boutiques, outlets and more, the only thing stopping you from shopping will be your tired feet.  When you and your family are ready for a little entertainment or recreation, this is the place to be—cinemas, arcades, museums, distilleries, wineries, parks and golf—there aren’t enough days in the year to do it all in Hickory.  And if you’re ready for a romantic date, there’s the symphony, the theater and plenty of live music to create the perfect mood. 

While you’re exploring homes at The Coves, catch a glimpse of all that Hickory offers throughout the year and see how easy it is to meet new friends.

For more information regarding CVCC call 828-327-7000 ext 4320.

Tags: Hickory