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Standard Oyster Company Opens in Hickory NC

One sure thing for the North Carolina mountain communities, is the broad range of restaurants that have either been preparing mouth-watering cuisine for years, or have just sprung up in a refurbished spot with a dash of historic charm and ambience.  When you’re searching for things to do in Hickory NC, perhaps looking for a romantic evening, or the fun spot to be where everyone flocks for some much-needed social time,  our restaurants in Hickory NC are sure to please.  Those of us who live in The Coves are fond of new culinary pleasures, and this region is rich in its offerings. 

Just under a year ago, in April of 2016, Standard Oyster Company opened its door to the North Carolina mountain communities, offering the most delectable fresh and seasonal seafood as well as a full bar that includes regional spirits, great wine, and North Carolina beers. Located right on 2147 N Center Street, off of Hwy 127, in the heart of Hickory, the Standard Oyster Company is open Monday through Thursday from 4 in the afternoon, for those of you who love a little raw bar happy hour before dinner, until 10 at night.  Friday and Saturday the hours are extended from 11 in the morning, (who can refuse a delicious brunch on the weekend?) to 11 at night, and Sunday’s hours are 11 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon. Do you want to indulge in chilled seafood platters, steamed shellfish, and other classic American fare?  Then this is the perfect place!  

The Standard Oyster Company was created with a relaxed atmosphere in mind, so you feel a sense of kicking back with an urban vibe—industrially metro.  “It was cultivated and brought to life by seafood enthusiasts for seafood enthusiasts.  Our mission is to create an energetic dining experience…” their website promises, and once you step off the street and into their restaurant, you’ll understand how they succeed.   They offer a variety of fresh oysters and seafood that will make you think you’ve left the gorgeous mountains and magically stepped onto the Atlantic seacoast.  But the truth is, your sweet home at The Coves is close by, and this outstanding restaurant needs to be added to your list of amazing things to do in Hickory NC.

No matter the day of the week, those of us in the North Carolina mountain communities can find something delicious happening in this new kitchen.  Crabby Mondays deliver endless crablegs for $35; Steamy Tuesdays bring $1-steamed oysters accompanied by red bliss potatoes and kale slaw, and draft beer for a mere $3.50; what would the middle of the week be without Wine Wednesdays (half price bottles of wine and all wines are included!); and Date Night Thursdays provide a savory seafood three-course meal– $50.00 for you and your sweetheart.

For private events the Standard Oyster Company offers unique, off-site catering options–low country boils, crawfish boils, on-site raw bar, and custom buffet services that will ensure your event is raved about to those who love the restaurants in Hickory NC.  Call (828) 322-1705 for more information and remember that their space is available for private events daily for breakfast or lunch and all day Sunday. Give them a call for more information.   A limited number of reservations are accepted in advance and walk-ins are more than welcome, but for parties larger than six,  when you’re looking for things to do in Hickory NC with your friends and family, please make a reservation.

If you are in search of new restaurants in Hickory NC, the extensive and rotating menu at the Standard Oyster Company will be sure to keep you coming back to the heart of town for brunch, lunch, happy hour and dinner.  Visit their website for the complete every day menus as well as special event menus that will inspire your palate and give you one more reason to appreciate the fine life we live at The Coves surrounded by our glorious mountain community.

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

Tags: Hickory | Restaurants & Breweries

Asheville’s Longest Running Winter Beer Festival

best beer cities

Are you ready for a fun way to stay warm and have fun this winter season? Get ready to grab a mug and drink up. The Asheville Winter Warmer Beer Fest is Asheville’s longest running winter beer festival. This year’s 10th anniversary event will be held on Saturday, January 21 at the U.S. Cellular Center Asheville in Downtown Asheville, one of America’s best beer cities.

Patrons can taste and enjoy beer from dozens of local and regional breweries in an intimate, ‘family-like’ setting. The 2017 lineup includes Asheville Brewing, Birdsong, Lazy Hiker Brewing, New Belgium, and Sierra Nevada. This year’s guest brewery is Prairie Artisan Ales all the way from Tulsa Oklahoma.  Live music entertainment will be provided by Asheville’s very own Station Underground and The Rinaldi Flying Circus, who hail from Greensboro, NC.

The event is hosted by MountainTrue, which works to keep our forests healthy, our air and water clean, and our NC mountain communities vibrant with its various chapters throughout Western North Carolina.

The Western North Carolina region is gaining quite a reputation as one of the best beer cities in Asheville. It’s also home to one of the best NC mountain communities in the area, The Coves Mountain River Club near the High Country. What’s makes The Coves unique and better? For starters, stellar mountain top views in all directions from our Pisgah Mountain Lodge and five miles of frontage on the Johns River, a mountain fed crystal-clear river adjacent to Wilson Creek. The water is so fantastic here, we wouldn’t be surprised to see breweries open in the foothills of North Carolina. The latest brewery to open in Lenoir is Howard Brewing Company.

Residents love our panoramic mountain views, friendly community atmosphere, and wellness amenities. Natural amenities include waterfalls, hiking trails and community gardens. Spread across 3,600 acres, we have all types of mountain property to build your dream home. Approximately 75 homes have already been built to date.

If you’re searching for affordable NC mountain land for sale, we offer many homesite options. Our prices begin in the $40’s. To help you more, here’s 12 of the most popular builder floor plans that can work on almost any of our homesites.   

When you live in the Asheville area, you’ll not only enjoy some of the microbreweries in America, you’ll enjoy outdoor recreation second to none. Hike, bike or drive. The choice is yours. The Blue Ridge Parkway is America’s Favorite Drive and weaves from Bryson City, through the heart of Asheville and up through the High Country near The Coves. And that’s just the beginning of fun things to do surround the NC mountain communities.

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 and about The Coves.

Headed our way? Call us now at 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour.

Tags: Asheville | Restaurants & Breweries

Don’t Miss The High Country Plate Crawl

fun things to do in Blowing Rock NC

One of the best ways to get to know the prettiest mountain towns in North Carolina when you’re searching for Carolina mountain properties is to attend local events that take place 365 days a year. What fun things to do in Blowing Rock NC are coming up next? The High Country Small Plate Growl taking place Monday, January 23rd to Thursday, January 26th.

Wear your stretchy pants because dozens of independent High Country restaurants will create small plates ‘to die’ priced from $3 to $8. Patrons can ‘crawl’ from restaurant to restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Participants receive a “restaurant passport’, but are encouraged register for Chektrek, the exclusive Crawl App, where they can scan unique QR codes at each participating restaurant for an entry into the drawing at the end of the crawl.  

Attendees can sample anything from Mexican and Italian cuisine to organic juice and handcrafted bagels. The 2017 restaurants include Black Cat Burrito, Basil’s Pasta, Blue Ridge Bites  & Brews, Boone Bagelry, Casa Rustica, Sunrise Grill, Table at Crestwood, and The TAPP Room. 

Blowing Rock is known as one of the most beautiful mountain towns in North Carolina. It earned the nickname “Crown of the Blue Ridge” years ago for its breathtaking layered mountain views, nostalgic town square and college vibe. Appalachian State University is located one town over, in Boone. Visitors of the foodie event can tour wineries such as Grandfather Vineyard and Winery; spend the day outlet shopping at Tanger Outlets, or explore one of the many fine art and pottery galleries. There are also plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures ranging from hiking and whitewater rafting to spelunking and skiing.

Blowing Rock is home to three popular NC ski resorts: Appalachian Ski Mtn., which boasts has nine slopes and five lifts with state-of-the-art snowmaking and grooming equipment; Ski Beech, the highest ski resort in Eastern North America, and Sugar Mountain, which spans 100+ acres and includes a 10,000 sq. ft. ice rink.

Be sure to hit the slopes, before the High Country Plate Crawl, so you don’t feel guilty trying all the delicacies at the event. Working up an appetite on is a great way to eat at a variety of restaurants without worrying about expanding our waistline. The amount of fun things to do in Blowing Rock NC is endless.

Blowing Rock lies on a plateau above the foothills of Lenoir. As beautiful as the High Country is, many retirees do not want to hassle with the winter snow conditions often found here and choose to buy homes for sale in Lenoir NC instead.

Our 3,600 acre gated mountain community is a wonderful option. Not only is it a gated mountain community, our property is situated along the shoreline of the Johns River, adjacent to Wilsons Creek. Elevations in our neighborhood range from 1,100 to 1,700 feet. At the summit of the community, is our two story 6,000 square foot timber lodge with breathtaking views of the High Country.

Residents at The Coves Mountain River Club have more recreational amenities that include two community gardens, over 39 miles of hiking, biking, and horse trails, a full service equestrian center and the lodge has an infinity-view swimming pool, hot tub, fitness center and great room for entertainment. Social clubs events at the lodge include guest lecture speakers, cooking competitions, seasonal farmer’s market, Monday morning yoga and more. HOA fees are low at just over $1,000 a year.

If you’re exploring Carolina mountain properties for sale, why not start by visiting us. You can choose from riverfront property, large land tracts from 10-100 acres, private wooded estates, pastoral land or homesites with stunning mountain views starting from $39,900. Or you can find a re-sale home. While you’re here, we’ll share more fun things to do in Blowing Rock NC or Lenoir.

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 | Restaurants & Breweries

Bo’s Entertainment Center – Red Hot Fun When it Gets Cold

fun things to do in Lenoir NC

Is today one of those rare moments when snow is on the ground? Or tired of snowball fights and sledding in and around the beautiful Carolina mountain properties? There are plenty of fun things to do in Lenoir NC, indoors. Look no further than BO’s Bodacious Entertainment. Located on Blowing Rock Boulevard, check out what this 55,00 foot entertainment facility offers!

·      Laser Maze Challenge

·      Ultimate Laser Tag (for children 6 years and up)

·      Cosmic Bowling Lanes

·      Traditional Bowling Lanes

·      Mega Mini Golf

·      Huge Arcade

·      The Hit Zone – Batting Cage

Families can look forward to affordable pricing for each activity and have the option to choose between the Family Fun package; which includes 4 games of laser tag, 4 games bowling including shoes, and 4 games of Laser Maze; and the Awesome Arcade package; which includes a 20 game arcade card plus 100 tickets. A Bodacious Pass is also available for purchase, which provides unlimited Laser Tag, Traditional Bowling, Arcade, and Mini Golf for select time slots throughout the week.

BO’s Daily Specials include: 

·      Mondays: $0.50 Arcade games from 5-9pm.

·      Tuesdays: $1 Day Bowling Games, hot dogs, soda, and Mini Golf.

·      Wednesdays: Bodacious pass for $12 from 3-8pm.

·      Thursdays: Bring your college ID for a $10 Bodacious pass after 3pm.

·      Fridays: $15 Bodacious Pass from 3pm-7pm (Session 1) and 7pm-11pm (Session 2).

·      Saturdays: $15 Bodacious Pass from 11am-3pm (Session 1), 3pm-7pm (Session 2), and 7pm-11pm (Session 3).

·      Sundays: $15 Bodacious Pass from 12pm-4pm (Session 1) and 4pm-8pm (Session 2).

They also offer Power Play packages – which include unlimited activities – for church/club groups and schools, as well as birthday party packages for up to 20 guests. Kids can bowl free every Saturday from 10am to Noon. Military discounts are also available. 

After a day of play, families can enjoy a meal at the grill before heading back to the Carolina mountain properties. Reviewed favorably among Lenoir NC restaurants, the grill at BO’S Bodacious Entertainment offers everything from pizza and wings to fried pickles and mushrooms, and even a variety of salads for the health-conscious patron. Food can even be ordered ahead of time or for carryout.

BO’s is conveniently located near one of the best gated mountain communities in the area, The Coves Mountain River Club. Our residents can watch the sunset at the mountaintop Pigsah Mountain Lodge, sip wine or stroll through Evelyn’s Vineyard, and even plant their own fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers in Isabel’s Garden. They can enjoy riverside hiking along the Johns River, or take a dip in Coleton’s Swimming Hole during the summer months. Equestrians can also board their horses at the Round Mountain Ranch, where services include veterinary services and riding lessons, and ride them along scenic trails. People love the spectacular mountain views, friendly community atmosphere, and first classes amenities. 

If you’re looking to build or buy your dream home, why not come take a look at our selection of Carolina mountain properties for sale. Residents can choose from a private cul-de-sac to a river frontage on the Johns River and several homesites for sale with breathtaking mountain views. There are many builder floor plans available that include everything from master suites, generous guest bedrooms, detachable garages, vaulted rooms with exposed timbers, and screened outdoor living porches. Homesites start $39,000, where potential residents can choose from 1.75 acres of land all the way to 24 acres. Three-bedroom houses – 2,200-3,350 square feet – start from $289,000 without the homesite. 

Whether you’re a brand new resident or simply visiting, Lenoir remains a vibrant, charming town all year round. You’ll never run out of fun things to do in Lenoir NC. 

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour. 

Tags: Lenoir | Restaurants & Breweries

Howard Brewing – North Carolina Breweries

North Carolina breweries

Beer is on everybody’s mind in October. Cheers to Western North Carolina as it is becoming a hot spot for microbreweries with Asheville being frequently hailed as Best Beer City USA. There are 22 breweries in Buncombe County alone, with Sierra Nevada and New Belgium being included among the most popular Asheville breweries. Downtown Asheville offers a three-and-a-half hour Brews Cruise where patrons can tours some of the city’s biggest breweries and have a taste at every stop.

If you love Asheville breweries but are on the hunt for a more unique craft beer, look no further than the charming mountain town of Lenoir. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Lenoir is a vibrant community of artists, craftsmen, and nature lovers.

Founded in 2013 by Jason Howard, Howard Brewing Company is an uncommon 15-barrel brewery located in Downtown Lenoir. Stop by and enjoy an Action Man Lager or a Trail Maker Pale Ale. In the winter months, HBC offers a Mistletoe Raspberry Porter. Taproom hours are Thursday through Saturday from 5-9pm and Sunday from 1-4pm. If you’re looking for things to do in Lenoir NC, Howard Brewing frequently hosts a number of fun events: 

Tuesday (5-10) Growler Night – To kick off their new hours, HBC is offering $2 off any growler purchase during the month of October.

Wednesday (5-10) Indoor Disc Golf – Stop by every Wednesday to play disc golf for the Unifour putting league. It costs only $5 to play, teams are picked at 6:30, and the top three teams win cash every night. Every player is entered in a drawing to win a basket at the end of the season.

Thursday (5-11) Game Night – A new game is featured every week and announced on the Howard Brewing Facebook page prior to start.

Friday (5-11) Food Truck & Live Music – Check out original music from local singer-songwriters, as well as covers of classic hits while enjoying unique eats from local food trucks.

Saturday (1-11) Yoga Mornings & Free Movie Night – Relax your mind, stretch your body, and finish the class with a cold pint. The one-hour class is from 12-1pm and includes a pint. Doors open at 11:45am. At 6:30pm, enjoy a free, kid friendly movie. At 9pm, leave the kids at home for a free PG-13 or R rated flick.

On October 28th, be sure to check out one of the most fun things to do in Lenoir NC: Howard Brewing Company’s annual Halloween Party. There will be a costume party (Action Man, Best Group/Couple, Most Original, Funniest, & Scariest), a 5/50 raffle, food trucks, and live music. Admission is free and open to everyone ages 21 and up.

Along with all the town has to offer, Howard Brewing Company is conveniently located  The Coves Mountain River Club. 

Residents have the beautiful Pigsah Mountain Lodge to watch the stunning sunsets and sunrises, they sip wine and stroll through Evelyn’s vineyard, and even plant their own flowers and fruits in Isabel’s Garden. Along the Johns River, residents enjoy riverside hiking or take a dip in Coleton’s Swimming Hole during the summer months. Mountain homes amplify the scenic beauty.

People love the spectacular mountain views, friendly community atmosphere, and fun amenities. Whether they’re tasting their way through all the Asheville breweries or venturing to small mountain towns with hometown breweries like Howard, it’s hard not to love living in Western North Carolina.

If you’re considering real estate in Lenoir NC, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Lenoir | Restaurants & Breweries

Root and Vine in Morganton NC

things to do in Morganton NC

Mountain towns in North Carolina offer all the appeal of living in nature’s splendor without forcing you to give up the opportunities afforded by a more urban existence. You’re never far from shopping, dining, medical care, culture centers, educational opportunities and so much more. So Western North Carolina land for sale has become a wise choice for people seeking the best of both worlds in their retirement years.

Visitors are often delighted to find that there are plenty of things to do in Morganton NC and surrounding areas. When you first visit Morganton‘s popular Root & Vine restaurant, you may be drawn there by the unique menu that perfectly blends the culinary tradition of France with Southern comfort food. Maybe you’ll hear from locals that it’s one of the area’s most popular places to eat. But chances are you won’t know the real story behind Root & Vine and the two remarkable people who brought it to life.

In 2011, Aimee Perez was general manager of a café in Hickory. And Brian Miller worked there as a line cook while he was enrolled in culinary training at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. The fact that they lived on the same street became the basis for conversation at first, but they soon learned they had similar goals and interests. Before long, Aimee and Brian began dating.

A day trip led them to Linville Gorge for swimming, and afterward they stopped in Morganton to eat. Enjoying lunch on a restaurant’s patio, they soon found themselves talking about the place’s untapped potential. There were relatively few tables, but the location at the corner of Union and King streets was ideal, and the ambiance of brick, big trees and plenty of shade was very inviting.

The two had already begun thinking in terms of opening their own restaurant, and when it came down to the details, they found that their visions and ideas were pretty much identical.

Brian was just weeks away from earning his diploma when they decided to go ahead and take the plunge. “I don’t think I would have had the courage to do it without her,” he now says.

First, there was research to be done. The two, armed with a legal pad, spent time on Union Street trying to learn the eating habits of people in Morganton. Was there anything missing – a need that a brand new restaurant could fill?

Around this time, the restaurant they had visited on their way home from Linville Gorge suddenly closed. Sensing that the time was right to pursue their dreams, they took over the property. It was a very old building, and Aimee and Brian soon found themselves ripping up old linoleum flooring, smashing wall mirrors and doing everything else necessary to bring it up-to-date. That included investing $60,000 in shoring up the foundation.

Today’s Root & Vine is a far cry from those beginnings. In fact, now it ranks among the best things to do in Morganton NC. Brian has used his childhood influences – the basic foods of after-church lunches in the South – to create entrees such as six-cheese macaroni and cheese, pork chops with Cheerwine barbecue sauce, seared duck, the iconic iceberg wedge salad, with its grilled lettuce topped with bleu cheese and chunks of smoked pork belly and of course North Carolina mountain trout. Consistent with what he and Aimee learned from their survey of the local populace, they offer a remarkable array of dishes that are uncomplicated yet contemporary.

Root & Vine is open Monday through Saturday at 139 West Union Street in Morganton. Lunch is served from 11:30 to 2:30, and dinner is from 5:00 to 9:30. Reservations are welcome. Call (828) 433-1540.

One of the more desirable mountain towns in North Carolina is Lenoir, home of The Coves Mountain River Club. With its setting on more than five miles of frontage of the Johns River near Wilson Creek, The Coves stands out as a uniquely beautiful place to live. Anyone considering the purchase of Western North Carolina land for sale should definitely take note of the many amenities at The Coves Mountain River Club.

Stop by, kick back with a free glass of wine and watch the sun set behind the mountains. This is life in the Western North Carolina foothills. This is yours to enjoy…at The Coves Mountain River Club.

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: Morganton | Restaurants & Breweries