Lake Hickory – Splashing Fun Day Trips
In the foothills of North Carolina, there’s no shortage of fun activities to enjoy when the great weather motivates you to go outside. And one of the very favorite things to do in Hickory North Carolina, is to head for the lake.
Lake Hickory is fully recreational, which means that swimming, fishing, boating, sailing, water skiing and jet skis are all allowed. There are 16 access areas. It covers over 4200 acres and has more than a hundred miles of shoreline, about 20 per cent of which is maintained as nature reserve.
Lakes in North Carolina are justifiably popular with fisherman, and Lake Hickory is particularly renowned for its large mouth and striped bass. The fast-moving waters from the lake’s four dams are especially attractive to those species, and they draw anglers to high-profile bass fishing tournaments during the year. Crappie and channel catfish are other fish that flourish in Lake Hickory and its tributaries. The mean depth of the water is 33 feet, and yearly temperatures range from 39 to 87 degrees Fahrenheit.
Busy though it is, Lake Hickory has maintained every bit of its natural beauty. There are spectacular mountain views from many points on the water, and it’s easy to spot blue herons and their nesting grounds plus a variety of native ducks, osprey and bald eagles.
For boaters, the marina store is open every day and has everything necessary to make the most of the Lake Hickory experience, including batteries, life preservers, rods and accessories, a gas dock and live bait. There’s plenty of free advice, too, from the local experts who have helped people catch the big ones!
Renting a vessel all day or just a half day is another option. A jet boat for water boarding, a deck boat for skiing, a fishing boat, a pontoon boat or even a party barge for up to thirteen people…you’ll find something that’s perfect for almost any activity. All you need is current identification and a deposit.
When a group or organization is looking for things to do in Hickory North Carolina, members often recommend one of the popular dinner, party or charter cruises. Lakes in North Carolina are traditional social gathering places for families and friends, too, and in the summertime it’s not unusual to see as many as a hundred boats tied up together at Lake Hickory’s Sandbar Cove as people watch water skiers and wakeboarders demonstrate their skills. From there, Rink Dam Boat Dock is a short trip to buy drinks and snacks.
On the west side, near the 321 bridge, you’ll find a tiki bar and George’s On The Lake for come-as-you-are dining and even live music a few nights a week. And there are plenty of other things to do nearby after a fun day on the water. If you’re staying at the lake, a number of campgrounds and RV facilities are available.
Lake Hickory, one of several man-made reservoirs on the Catawba River, is located in the foothills NC, near the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway and about 30 miles north of the town of Hickory.
Lake Side Marina – 81 Marina Drive, Hickory, NC 28601
Lake Hickory Marina – 6706 Limbaugh Lane, Hickory, NC 28601
Rivers Edge Marina – 5803 Icard Ridge Road, Hickory, NC 28601
Lake Hickory Adventures – 6706 Limbaugh Lane, Hickory, NC 28601
David Chubb’s Guide Service
Lake Hickory RV Resort – 6641 Monford Drive, Conover, NC 28613
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 Lake Hickory.
Scenic Golf Courses in the Foothills NC
If you’re a “baby boomer”, you’re probably aware that many of your generation who are retiring plan to spend a lot of time on the golf course. But the actual statistics may surprise you.
First, a full fifteen per cent of boomers play golf. And that equates to roughly seven million people approaching retirement age who will be hitting the links more often when they have the free time to do so. Currently, the total number of golfers is only around three million. What’s more, retirees play about 80 per cent more rounds than the 50-to-64 age group.
All of this will impact golf courses in at least three important ways. Boomers are expected to spend a large portion of their retirement money on equipment, apparel, memberships and travel. They will gravitate to communities like the real estate in Lenoir North Carolina, that afford them the opportunity to play as often as they want to. And the courses themselves are likely to be designed with shorter yardage and lower slope ratings to accommodate those older players who want to be challenged but not overwhelmed. But that doesn’t mean they’ll have to be boring.
In the foothills of North Carolina, the clear mountain air, varying elevations and magnificent scenery offer golfers of any age a truly remarkable course experience. Around any bend, there’s likely to be a postcard view of majestic mountains and breathtaking foliage. And thanks to the mild Caldwell County weather during all four seasons, courses around Lenoir are playable much more frequently during the year than are those in other areas.
Here are some examples:
Orchard Hills Golf Club in Granite Falls
Carved out of what was once an apple orchard, this semi-private course takes golfers over 18 holes of rolling terrain that’s part of the Baron Community of Western North Carolina. It measures 6134 yards from the longest tees, for a par of 72. The overall rating is 68.9, and it has a 111 slope rating on Bermuda grass. There’s a full-featured clubhouse.
2515 Connelly Springs Rd
Granite Falls, North Carolina 28630
Phone: (828) 728-3560
Granada Farms Country Club in Granite Falls
This Tom Jackson-designed course, with a clear view of Grandfather Mountain, is 6616 yards and par 72, with three sets of tee boxes. Granada Farms Country Club is semi-private and has a putting green, a driving range and a pro shop. It’s USGA-rated at 71, with a slope rating of 121. The greens are bentgrass, and fairways are 419 Bermuda.
10 River Drive
Granite Falls, North Carolina 28630
Phone: (828) 396-2313
Lenoir Golf Club in Lenoir
Located near downtown Lenoir, this popular public course draws golfers from Hickory, Morganton, Boone and Blowing Rock. It’s a par 71, with a slope rating of 125 on Bermuda grass, and rated 71.3 overall. The Donald Ross design features two meandering creeks and amazing views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. Total yardage is 6385.
701 Norwood Street SW
Lenoir, North Carolina 28645
Phone: (828) 754-5093
Cedar Rock Country Club in Lenoir
One of the most challenging courses in the foothills of North Carolina, the 72-par Cedar Rock is 7153 yards long and has a 75 overall rating and a slope rating of 144. Tees are Bermuda, and the beautifully-manicured greens are bentgrass. The private club and the village of Cedar Rock were built around Hilbriten Mountain, and Ellis Maples designed the course.
2605 Cedar Rock Estates Drive
Lenoir, North Carolina 28645
Phone: (828) 758-4451
The Coves Golf Course in Lenoir
The 5554-yard, semi-private Coves At Round Mountain is rated 66.9 by the USGA and has a 121 slope rating. There are two sets of tees. Nicknamed “Coves At Round”, it takes full advantage of the year-round great Caldwell County weather to afford golfers the opportunity to play in some of the most spectacular natural surroundings in the country.
1875 Beaver Helton Way
Lenoir, North Carolina 28645
Phone: (828) 754-1992
When you’re thinking of buying real estate in Lenoir North Carolina, The Coves Mountain River Club is a smart choice. It’s conveniently located between Charlotte and Asheville and just minutes from the mountain towns of Blowing Rock, Morganton and Hickory.
This beautiful 3600 acre NC mountain real estate development is nestled along the Johns River at Wilson’s Creek. There are 39 miles of hiking, biking and riding trails, a two-story mountaintop lounge with a saltwater infinity-view swimming pool and a fitness center and so many more amenities. HOA fees are low at less than $1000 a year. Choose Carolina mountain property with long range views, river frontage property for sale, private wood estates, nature settings or larger equestrian parcels.
Make it a point to visit The Coves Mountain River Club, play a round or two of golf, and see how just wonderful your retirement lifestyle could be in the remarkable foothills of 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.
Bargain Hunting at Tanger Outlet Mall in Blowing Rock
Mountain living has long been cherished for its simplicity and solitude. It’s the ideal lifestyle for those of us who prefer the joys of uncomplicated nature to the noise and bluster of the big city. But even while we enjoy the quiet life in our Carolina mountain homes, we still have an appreciation for big-city style and fashion. After all, it only makes sense that the inspiration we find in the beauty and comfort of our daily surroundings extends to a love of beauty and comfort in our fashion as well.
Who knows better than a mountain lover how to dress in durable but stylish clothing? As avid hikers, we know the value of a good boot that’s both comfortable and fabulous. We understand how to layer our way through all four seasons. We’re experts in finding good-looking gear for hiking, fishing, horseback riding, skiing, and all our favorite outdoor activities. Best of all, we know how to pull together an outfit that can take us from a savory brunch with friends in Lenoir to an afternoon art crawl in Hickory to an evening of live music in Morganton. And we know the one place where we can find clothing and accessories from the labels we love for all of the above – Tanger Outlets Blowing Rock NC.
Located at the southwest quadrant of the Blue Ridge Parkway and US Hwy 321, this popular Blowing Rock shopping destination features a variety of brand-name and designer outlet stores. It’s big enough that you’ll get your fill of shopping, but compact enough for you to explore from end to end in one outing. Customers give high marks to this location’s friendly customer service, and they rave about the special deals and discounts. We like the interactive map on the mall’s web site. And thanks to free Wi-Fi available throughout the center, you can pull up the easy-to-use map on your phone and let it guide you through your day of shopping.
Let’s face it. If you’re coming Tanger Outlets Blowing Rock NC, chances are you’re here for the clothes or mountain home furnishings! So let’s start there. As you stroll through store after store of the latest fashions, you’ll find big savings on designer labels and brand names from all your favorites, including J. Crew, Polo Ralph Lauren, Coach, LOFT, Van Heusen, Bass, White House Black Market Chico’s, Banana Republic, Wilson’s Leather, Levi’s, and Gap. And for the kids, there’s Gymboree, Oshkosh B’Gosh, and Carter’s Babies and Kids. Trust us, you will never pay full price at any of these stores.
But if you’re looking to score even steeper discounts, just pull up that interactive map on your phone, and link to the special deals and coupons that you can find right there in real time. Need help? Just visit Tanger Shopper Services located right there in the center of the mall. The friendly Tanger associates will help you find what you’re looking for, and they’ll even let you in on how to get some exclusive offers, coupons, and gift cards to get even more out of your shopping experience.
If you haven’t worked up an appetite by this point, we’d be surprised! Now that you’ve finished in the fitting rooms and picked out all your favorite fashions, it’s time to load your shopping bags in the car and head back inside for lunch at Cheeseburgers Grille located conveniently inside the mall. This local family favorite has soups, salads, sandwiches, hot dogs and, of course, hot-off-the-grill burgers to satisfy your taste buds and re-energize you for the rest of your shopping expedition.
So let’s get back to it! We haven’t even tackled the sporting goods and specialty shops yet. There’s a Vitamin World, a Kitchen Collection, and side by side at one end of the mall are Board Paradise and the new Sports Fanatics. Both are fully stocked with discounted gear and equipment for all kinds of activities, weather, and terrain. We could spend hours at these two stores alone, trying out a variety of rods and reels, or buying a new set of skateboard wheels. Those of us with Carolina mountain homes like to stock up on the latest gear for hiking, biking, fishing, and all the invigorating activities that come with mountain living. Because when we’re finished enjoying a day of Blowing Rock shopping, we’re ready to get back to the great outdoors.
Those of us heading back to The Coves Mountain River Club – just 23 miles away from Tanger Outlet Mall – are lucky enough to live in a NC mountain real estate community with five miles of frontage along the Johns River, where well-stocked waters and pristine views of Grandfather Mountain add up to a perfect day. Living in such close proximity to Tanger Outlets Blowing Rock NC, where we can buy all the essentials for all four seasons of mountain-river living – from waterproof footwear, fleece hoodies, and insulated gloves to t-shirts, tennis shoes, and sunglasses all at discount prices – is just one of the many great benefits of life at The Coves. It’s a peaceful, secluded Blue Ridge oasis with easy access to outlet-mall merchandise to enhance the mountain experience.
Are you ready to experience the best of both worlds? Mountains plus river? Seclusion plus shopping? Rich lifestyle plus bargain shopping? Drop us a line to let us know you’re coming, and we’ll be happy to show you some of the finest NC mountain real estate we call The Coves Mountain River Club. Call us at 828.754.0700.
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page Complimentary Magazine.
Linville Falls – Tallest Waterfalls in North Carolina
Among the spectacular waterfalls of Western North Carolina, Linville Falls is the most popular due to its easy accessibility from the Blue Ridge Parkway at Mile Post 316. Cascading down in three tiers, the water finally drops forty-five feet into Linville Gorge, which is often called “The Grand Canyon of the Southern Appalachians” and then continues on until it reaches its ultimate destination at Lake James. The volume of Linville Falls is the highest of any waterfall at the northern edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
One way to reach the best viewing spots is to park at the visitor center on the Parkway and hike to the base from there. But that section of the road often closes in the winter due to snow and ice, so from November through April it’s often necessary to start from the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area instead.
Like all of the hiking trails in Western North Carolina, those leading to Linville Falls offer remarkable scenic views. Take the 0.5-mile Upper Falls trail all the way to the top to see the entire length of the water’s flow. Erwin’s View takes you to the Chimney View (0.7 mile) and Erwin’s View (0.8 mile) overlooks. For a perspective from the other side of the river, Plunge Basin Trail (0.5 mile) is your best bet. From that, you can branch off on the challenging Gorge Trail (0.7 mile) to reach an area near the foot of the falls. Pets can go along, but they must be on a leash.
If you’re planning to do some North Carolina trout fishing or just see some of the other sights in the area, a side trip to Linville Falls should definitely be on your schedule. A campground, RV park and picnic area with free parking are there for visitors who want to stay a while.
The falls and 1100 acres of surrounding land were donated to the National Park Service, which now administers the visitor center and the trails, by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., in 1952. He spent $100,000 to purchase the property from its local owner.
Linville Falls is probably the most photographed of the waterfalls of Western North Carolina. And its forest setting offers plenty of opportunities for taking great pictures, with its mix of virgin hemlock, white pine, oak, hickory and birch trees. In the spring, all of the trails come alive with a display of colorful wildflowers, and of course the spectacular changing of the leaves in the fall is a show unto itself. But Linville Falls can be even more beautiful when the weather turns colder, and it’s not as crowded then.
The United States Forest Service manages the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area as part of the Pisgah National Forest. It’s very popular with backpackers, hikers and rock climbers. In fact, the gorge’s Shortoff Mountain and Table Rock are two of North Carolina’s major climbing destinations.
The area is also prime habitat for deer, bear, raccoon, turkey, and ruffled grouse. Fans of North Carolina trout fishing will find plenty of rainbow, brown and brook trout in the Linville River. You’ll need to have a state fishing license.
The hiking trails in Western North Carolina are naturally popular with residents of The Coves Mountain River Club. The opportunity to get out and enjoy the beauty of their environment, get some exercise and breathe the healthy air makes day trips to Linville Falls a large part of the enjoyment of living in the area.
It’s also one of the reasons The Coves is so popular as a planned mountain community. There’s a lot to be said for waking up and seeing panoramas of such remarkable natural beauty through every window. The 3,600 acre gated community with five miles of Johns River frontage and offers exciting home design options tailor-made to fit the mountain lifestyle. And the long list of amenities includes miles of trails, community gardens and parks and a well-appointed mountaintop lodge with 360 degree panorama views.
The Coves Mountain River Club is just far enough from city life to provide all the tranquility of country living. But it’s still within easy driving distance of nearby towns and metropolitan areas to give you access to all of their shopping, dining, entertainment and cultural activities.
Planning a visit to Western North Carolina? Be sure to stop by for a tour and see how great retirement living can be in a mountain community built in the heart of it all.
Ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide packed with information about living in the foothills.
Sparkling Price Lake – Where the Clouds Meet the Forest
The scenic Blue Ridge Parkway winds 469 miles across the central and southern Appalachian Mountains, beginning at Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park and ending at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. And one of the most popular attractions at Mile Post 297 along the Parkway is Julian Price Memorial Park in Blowing Rock at an elevation of 3,566 feet. That and the adjacent Moses H. Cone Memorial Park together comprise the largest recreation area created along the Parkway.
More than 4300 acres in size, the park includes peaceful Price Lake (elevation 3400 feet), a sparkling body of water set against a picturesque backdrop of rolling tree-covered hills and a favorite local destination for fishing, boating, camping and more. The pleasant Caldwell County weather allows such activities to be enjoyed for much of the year. The campground next to the lake accommodates longer stays, and there are guided walks, picnic sites, and campfire programs.
Hikers love the park’s seven trails, including the 2.7-mile Price Lake Loop Trail and the challenging five miles of the Boone Fork Loop Trail. For a longer hiking adventure, there’s Tanawha Trail (13.5 miles), which takes you under the Linn Cove Viaduct and then winds around the southeastern ridge of Grandfather Mountain.
One of the perks of owning North Carolina mountain real estate is the ability to take advantage of so many different ways to enjoy nature without having to drive very far. A short trip to 47-acre Price Lake, which is stocked with fish, often means encountering some beavers, ducks and frogs as well. Campers often see bears, turkeys, turkeys, owls, grouse, hawks and other wildlife. You’re fishing in a forest of white pine, hemlock, birch, hickory and oak trees, with colorful wildflowers in the spring. And it’s a great place to see the changing leaves in the fall.
Julian Price, an insurance executive, bought the land in the 1930s and 1940s. He intended to develop it as a retreat for his company’s employees but passed away before he could complete the project. The acreage passed to a hospital in his will and was eventually donated to the National Park Service for public use. The donors stipulated that Boone Fork should be dammed to create the lake that would be named in honor of Mr. Price.
The campground offers locals and visitors alike a spectacular outdoor experience but with modern conveniences. There are sites for both RVs and tents (some on a first-come, first-served basis), and the picnic areas are ideal for barbecues and night-time marshmallow roasting. At the Blowing Rock elevation, the air is so fresh and clean that it clears the mind and stimulates the senses.
Here are some of the other features at Julian Price Memorial Park:
- Boat Ramp
- Campfire Programs
- Canoe Rentals
- Drinking Water
- Dump Station
- Fire Rings
- Flush Toilets
- Historic Sites
- Interpretive Programs
- Lake Access
- Ranger Station
- Trash Collection
Residents of The Coves Mountain River Club enjoy exploring the higher elevations for day trips but really love their Caldwell County weather in the foothills where there’s hardly ever any snow. The park is open 24 hours a day seven days a week and only about a 45-minute drive up US Highway 321 South, so it’s a popular day trip. People coming from Asheville go north on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Milepost 297.
Buyer’s of North Carolina mountain real estate who have done their homework will easily see that a home in The Coves is a tremendous value in terms of not only investment but lifestyle. Ask about prices on custom-built homes, cottages, home sites and larger estate properties. There are countless ways to enjoy the easy access to fishing, hiking, swimming, horseback riding and other outside activities.
Life at The Coves can be whatever you want it to be. Stay as busy and active as you like, or you can just relax and enjoy the remarkable beauty of your surroundings. And you’re within easy driving distance of nearby towns and cities for any shopping you need to do.
If you’re going to be in Western North Carolina, Price Lake is worth a visit. Then, be sure to stop by The Coves Mountain River Club to take a tour, enjoy a free glass of wine and watch our spectacular sunsets.
To learn more area, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide
Spend the Day at Grandfather Vineyard Winery
“It’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … it’s summertime.” Country crooner Kenny Chesney sings about the ingredients of a perfect “summertime, sweet summertime,” all of which can be found year-round in the beautiful mountain towns in North Carolina. Romance and relaxation are yours to enjoy when you escape to the High Country region of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
So pack a picnic, grab that special someone, and start your scenic drive along the spectacular stretch of Blue Ridge Parkway where both Grandfather Mountain and the Watauga River offer stunning views from every angle. You’re in High Country now, driving through towns like Blowing Rock, Boone, and Banner Elk. Be sure to have your camera ready – there’s a photo opp ahead!
As you travel from Boone toward Banner Elk on Highway 105, you’re about to come face-to-face with “the old man.” From this entry point, you’ll get the most popular view of the mighty Grandfather Mountain, a remarkable collection of peaks and crests that naturally form the face of an old man with a strong forehead and a chiseled chin. This faithful grandfather watches over the many NC mountain communities that are tucked in the foothills of the Blue Ridge and offer relaxing mountain living. Take note of them. You will want to come back later for a closer look.
For now, let’s park the car and step out into nature. Nestled along the beautiful Watauga River at the base of Grandfather Mountain, you’ll find a terraced mountainside vineyard with a tasting room, covered patio, and picnic area. Welcome to Grandfather Vineyard & Winery. You’ll want to spend the day here. And, lucky for you, you’ve already packed your picnic basket with local fruits and cheeses from some of your favorite mountain towns in North Carolina that you passed through along your drive. All you need now is an award-winning wine to complement your romantic al fresco meal.
Step into the Grandfather Vineyard & Winery tasting room, where you’ll sample a variety of delicious wines, including Sunset Rose Muscadine, Watauga River White, Legacy Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Cab Franc Rosé, all made with love and pride by the Tatum Family, who own this world class winery in Banner Elk.
Take home a souvenir wine glass to remember your experience, which, depending on the time of year you visit, may include a romantic springtime couples package, a scenic walk in the summer sun, live music during fall festival season, or a glass of wine by an outdoor fire pit when winter brings a chill to the air. Fans of fun factoids will definitely want to visit on Trivia Night at the winery. Or bring out the artist in you by taking part in Canvas & Cocktails, which combines wine sipping with painting. And with such gorgeous scenery as your inspiration, you’re sure to create a masterpiece.
The Grandfather Vineyard & Winery sells local cheeses, crackers, snack foods, mimosas, and even adult snow cones! The gift shop has an assortment of wine-themed gift baskets, hand-crafted candles in recycled wine bottles, and many more unique mementos.
Banner Elk enjoys all four seasons. Winters at this elevation can get quite cold and snowy (check out some local ski resorts while you’re here), and summers are often mild and pleasant. With so many seasonal activities, Grandfather Vineyard & Winery attracts guests all year long. “It’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine …” not just in summertime, but any time. It’s one of the most romantic getaways in High Country NC. And it’s not just for picnicking and couples’ weekends. It’s also a great location for an intimate – not to mention breathtakingly beautiful – mountain wedding.
As you head back along the Blue Ridge Parkway after a day at Grandfather Vineyard & Winery, don’t forget to take a closer look at one of those charming NC mountain communities you passed through on the way up. The Coves Mountain River Club is one you won’t want to miss. It’s less than an hour’s drive away, and, like the vineyard you just visited, it’s also nestled in the foothills and includes both mountain and river views – a rare treat.
Just imagine living in your own mountain home and being able to recreate the experience The Grandfather Mountain Vineyard experience in your own backyard. Considering your backyard sits right along the Johns River, where your great room window opens up to a view of the mountains, and your community offers perfect picnicking, fishing, and canoeing options. You won’t have to imagine it – you’ll be living it. The Coves Mountain River Club is beyond beautiful, and get this… it even has its own community garden and vineyard.
Isabel’s Garden is a dream-come-true for anyone looking to get their hands dirty, connect with the earth, and grow their own fresh vegetables or fragrant flowers. Evelyn’s Vineyard is an extraordinary amenity even by The Coves standards. This community vineyard is yours for the pruning, harvesting, stomping, and sipping your way through the whole grape-growing and wine-making process. Home-grown produce, locally sourced meals, and your own personal wine, perfect for sipping on your cozy mountain home porch. It doesn’t get more romantic than this.
When you’re ready to make your own mountain dream come true, give us a call to arrange a trip to The Coves and the surrounding mountain towns in North Carolina. We’re happy to share our secrets with you.
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page Complimentary Magazine.