The HUB! – Hudson Uptown Building Dinner Theatre

things to do in Lenoir NC

Those who adore community theater undoubtedly frequent the Hudson Uptown Building Dinner Theater, an auditorium and events center that many who have purchased NC mountain homes visit frequently. So many beloved plays have come to life beneath their roof—Harvey, The Savannah Sipping Society, Annie, and Farce of Nature—just a few productions that entertained folks looking for things to do in Hickory NC. 

Dinner director, Keith Smith, described the local talent and strong volunteer staff who make it all come together.  Not to mention the mouth-watering catered food from the Dan’l Boone Inn, home-cooked family-style, and honored by Southern Living—a popular spot for locals with NC mountain homes to visit for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

Dinner is typically served an hour before the performance.  Just enough time to enjoy a leisurely meal before settling in for a show.  The plays are carefully balanced with actors who have performed for years alongside talented newcomers.  The actors are fortunate to be performing in a space that has been recently updated with acoustic sound treatments. 

The Hudson Uptown Building is the perfect blend of history and updated technology for those who are visiting as well as for those with Carolina mountain property.  The sound quality is markedly different if you have not had the chance to revisit the community theater. If you are exploring things to do in Hickory NC, this is the place to reserve for weddings, receptions, family reunions, parties, conventions, conferences, and training classes.  Located at 145 Cedar Valley Road, HUB is a cherished landmark in our region.

Another perk for folks with Carolina mountain property is the quality of the productions at HUB.  Even when well-known plays are brought to this stage, a great deal of attention is put into ensuring the performance is fresh.  There is always the original stamp of this unique community theater. 

Have you noticed how rare it has become to share a live theatrical performance, basking in the glow of community and camaraderie?    Sharing laughter and raw emotion is an old-fashioned way to bond, and the people who live a slower-paced life in their NC mountain homes still appreciate the simpler things.  The productions chosen at HUB are meant to remind us of our dreams, and to hold onto hope and our humanity.   The Savannah Sipping Society, produced this past spring, was a strong reflection of these values touched with humor—as four southern women cared for one another as they weathered life’s storms.

Upcoming events at The HUB:

Magic in the Mountains Dinner Show—August 11; dinner will be catered by Dan’l Boone Inn and served at 6:30, show at 7:30. 7 different magicians will perform; one performer is from Scotland. This is a family-friendly show.

Tickets on sale–call 828-726-8871 for more information.

This fall the Stephen Schwartz musical, Children of Eden, will take over the stage for anyone looking for things to do in Hickory NC. The write up describes Schwartz’s musical as stories of Adam and Noah from the Book of Genesis that reflect “timeless, monumental issues as perfection, innocence, curiosity, free will, creativity, disobedience of children, sacrifice and redemption.  This show is ideal for church groups and is sure to provoke interesting philosophical discussions.  At its face value, it is wonderful entertainment with great music.” Schwartz composed the celebrated Godspell, Pippin and Wicked.  Auditions will be held within the next few months.  Performances Thursday through Sunday, October 18th, 19th, 20th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 2018.  For more information, please call the Town of Hudson offices at (828) 728-8272.         

When you visit the picturesque town of Hudson, don’t forget The Coves Mountain River Club is nearby; discover for yourself this summer why so many choose this idyllic gated community tucked into the scenic Blue Mountains as their new home.

Come take a look! Call 828.754.0700 for access. 

Tags: Lenoir | Performing Arts

33rd Annual Sculpture Celebration in the Mountains

downtown art walk Lenoir

Hardly seems possible that we’d be looking towards September during these leisurely days of summer, but when the 33rd Annual Sculpture Celebration is coming to the mountains, it’s hard not to flip those calendar pages in anticipation.  The mountain towns in North Carolina are bursting with culture and talented folks who not only maintain the region’s rich history but also keep it contemporary and full of life.  The art community is one more reason to explore Caldwell County real estate when you’re considering where to purchase your next home.

September 8, 2018, from 9-4pm, the Caldwell Arts Council will be throwing a popular event—with over 70-plus sculptors, and 200-plus sculptures; live music will add to the air of festivity, and of course plenty of delicious food served up fresh from vendors.  For those with artistic leanings, $11,000 cash awards await you.  If you plan on bringing little ones, there are plenty of art activities for children, as well as free shuttles to convenient parking.  Best of all, it’s free entry to the Broyhill Walking Park at 945 Lakewood Cr, Lenoir NC.


Friday, September 7:

10 am-7 pm: Park opens for pre-registered sculptors, on-site registration, site selection & setup; crane available for unloading large sculptures (this needs to be pre-arranged so please use early registration). We will NOT begin check-in until 10 am

7 pm:  Sculptors Welcome Dinner

8 pm:  Introductions, Judge’s presentation

Saturday, September 8:

7-8:45 am: Park opens for on-site registration, site selection & set-up. Only small trucks allowed in park & must be removed by 8:45am; Continental breakfast available free for sculptors

9 am:   Exhibition opens; judging begins for awards

10 am-3 pm:  Live Music in the park; food vendors and children’s art activities

3:15 pm:   All sculptors come to the awards presentation area (main deck)

3:30 pm:  Awards presentation followed by Judge’s walking tour/talk about winning sculptures

4 pm:  Exhibition closes; begin to remove sculptures from the park; crane available for loading (must be pre-registered for this assistance)


$3,000 Best in Show

$2,000 First Place Award

$1,500 Second Place Award

$1,000 Third Place Award

$500 Judge’s Merit Awards (5 TOTAL)

$100 Honorable Mention Awards (5 TOTAL)

$500 Stevens Family People’s Choice Award (professional category)

AND a separate Youth Category People’s Choice Award


Separate Youth Category People’s Choice Award & other youth awards

REGISTRATION FEES (Register early for best savings-Registration by cc/debit/PayPal):

Youth/School Registration through September 6 is $35

University Sculpture Student and local schools Registration through September 6 is $35

Early Registration through July 1, $50

Early Registration July 2-31, $60

Early Registration August 1-September 6, $70

On-site Registration September 7-8 is $80

Welcome Dinner – Free to registered sculptors; guests are $20 in advance, $25 onsite; Sculptors, Judge, sponsors and guests gather for a casual buffet dinner and live music, followed by the Judge’s presentation. Talk about your work, meet our sponsors, and make friends in this party-like atmosphere. This event is included free with your registration; additional guests meals are $20/person in advance or $25/person on site. Dinner includes meat and vegetarian options, fruits & vegetables, salad, bread, sweet/unsweet tea, beer & wine (if allowed at location) and a variety of desserts.  For more information call:  828-754-2486 or email

Lenoir’s downtown art walk draws many people from the mountain towns in North Carolina.  Did you know that Lenoir has more public sculpture per capita in the U.S. than any other community of its size? The historic architecture of Lenoir is both charming and inspiring to those who want to gather aged metals for their sculptures, and the versatile display of talent in every conceivable medium makes for a great outing.  There’s something for everyone–from traditional to contemporary–to browse or select to bring home after you’ve found the idyllic Caldwell County real estate.  And for those who adore meandering through the downtown art walk, twelve planters are installed with steel bases to mount original creative work.  No wonder The Charlotte Observer deemed Lenoir the place “where sculpture reigns.” 

Since America’s bicentennial, the Caldwell Arts Council has been promoting and presenting high quality arts. Four gallery spaces and an artisan craft gift shop are bursting with vibrant art, paintings, pottery, and more, in a historic building; for anyone interested in the downtown art walk the CAC is not to be missed.  The exhibits change monthly so frequent trips for art enthusiasts is a must.  The mission of the CAC is “To establish and maintain an awareness and appreciation of cultural arts…encourage participation in arts events, and offer various educational opportunities and administrative services in support of artists, arts agencies, and audiences.”  The CAC also offers an artist-in-schools program, bringing theater, dance, and music to children in the region.

Caldwell Country real estate is graced by the amazing cultural heritage in the area.  There is a permanent collection of 83 sculptures throughout the county and most are outside so they can be viewed anytime.  People travel far and wide to visit Tucker’s Gallery, which was begun by two Caldwell Country artists, Keith Willis and Suzette Bradshaw.  The gallery is named after a family who settled in Lenoir in 1797, another slice of local history. If you are one of the lucky artists to have your work displayed at Tucker’s Gallery, your work will remain for an entire year or until your piece finds the perfect home.

Be sure to visit the permanent sculpture collection in Lenoir.  There’s so much to see!  Just a few inspiring works as there are too many to mention—Pig, by Glen Gardner (a contemporary weather vane), Golden Throat, by David Humphrey, Rusty Reader, by James Consoli, Amarylis Archecturalis, by Vega Metals, Steel Horse, by Richard Sinclair, Three Graces, by Robert Jarrel in marble (classic Greek influence), Tell the Ocean I Said Hi, by Richard Walters in marble, and the figurative Girl in Green, Rodney Shaw in clay. Of course international artist Thomas Sayre’s large sculpture is a piece that has received nonstop raves. According to the CAC’s website, “The final piece resembles a circular hole saw and is called Across the Grain.  Sayre derives its name from many places, both from Lenoir’s treasured past and its anticipated future.”

Make sure you visit The Coves Mountain River Club when you visit the mountain towns in North Carolina.  There’s no other close-knit gated community like ours, surrounded by the simple beauty of the foothills but still close to the cultural heartbeat of the state. 

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 | Lenoir

7 Reasons Why Lenoir is a Smarter Choice Than Asheville

smart Lenoir NC real estate

There’s no surprise that Lenoir, NC, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a popular spot not only to visit and but also to happily settle down. Here’s what we see.

Lenoir’s draw is multi-faceted, but one of the more obvious reasons is aesthetics, and for those who are searching for their next idyllic home in the mountain towns in North Carolina, or perhaps even for a special vacation home, Lenoir outshines many of the other mountain towns.  No wonder Lenoir received an All American City Award and Lenoir NC real estate continues to soar.

Researching potential towns and communities is an essential part of making the right choice of where to relocate or where to retire.  There are so many things to consider–recreation, traffic, pollution, and community spirit, just to name a few.  Here’s a simple comparison of Lenoir and Asheville that will make your homework a little less daunting if you’re considering the gated communities near Asheville NC.

If you’re unfamiliar with the quaint mountain towns in North Carolina, about 70 miles separate gorgeous Lenoir from Asheville NC, traveling southwest.   Take a ride along these scenic roads and see for yourself some of striking differences that make Lenoir outshine other towns:

• Traffic

Those who live in Lenoir appreciate a relaxed pace and simplified life that this charming town affords without a lot of stress maneuvering on crowded roads that plague other towns.  After all, when you’re in the mood for a little fine dining, shopping, or outdoor recreation, no one wants to waste precious time in stand-still traffic.  This lack of congestion on the roads is definitely one of the perks of Lenoir NC real estate.  Making the most of a slower pace is cherished in Lenoir, but that doesn’t mean we want to crawl along in bumper to bumper traffic, and thank goodness we don’t need to!

Asheville, on the other hand, is sandwiched by two busy interstates, I-40 and I-26, with four lanes, and with plans for expansion, it’s due to become even more congested.  This can be tiresome and time consuming for those who live in gated communities near Asheville NC.  Those who live in Asheville have to account for extra travel time—frustration we can all do without.

  Authentic versus Commercial

Lenoir is known for it’s genuine feel—a historic, home-grown community with a pride in its heritage that is reflected in every fine aspect of the town.  Stroll through the downtown and you’ll be seeped in its rich history of craftsmanship and the arts, enhanced by a spirit of innovation.  The folks who live in the mountain towns in North Carolina, pour their hearts and souls into Lenoir, maintaining its authenticity while fostering new growth.  Enjoy the craft breweries, the amazing eateries, and after your appetite is satisfied, visit the local galleries and shops.  There’s nothing that can beat a charming and real town like Lenoir.

Asheville on the other hand has grown large and over saturated.  Instead of a quaint downtown like Lenoir, it has the sprawling sports bar vibe, where visitors come for a good ol’ time.  Growth is essential, but it needs to happen hand in hand with a conscientious community at the helm.  This is the only way the cherished history of our mountain towns can be maintained.  A commercial vibe means something authentic has fallen by the wayside and Asheville is an example of what Lenoir seeks to avoid.

  Community versus Controversy

Lenoir is all about folks pulling together from the gated communities of Asheville NC.  Those who have lived here for generations, live side by side with new comers, and they all have a common goal as described on the Lenoir story website —“Now, thanks in part to this growth, Lenoir’s historic, homegrown, hard-working culture of craftsmanship and innovation is gaining momentum and inspiring a new class of entrepreneurs, tech-savvy millennials, and active retirees looking for an upbeat, small-town community to call home.”  Since the focus is on history and new creative endeavors, there’s not much time for focusing on differences or controversy.

Asheville’s diversity and size mean many protests that flavor the downtown—politics rule, from topless protests, to conflicts between political parties, you will find it here while you’re just looking to share a quiet and romantic evening.  Pack Square is where a lot of the controversy takes place and there’s always an issue that attracts a large protesting crowd.

• Pollution

If you’ve done your research you’ll know Lenoir NC real estate is sought after due to its clean environment, especially for those of us who want to spend a great deal of time outdoors, taking advantage of the gorgeous mountain recreation.  Whether you’re skiing, kayaking, hiking, fishing or swimming, you want to be in a healthy environment.  The foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains are prime real estate for clean living.  We have amazing rivers and hiking trails to feed your body and soul.

However, news in March of 2018 revealed radioactivity found in Asheville’s Lake Julian.   The EPA’s reports claimed levels were 38 times higher than what they deem to be safe.  What this will mean for the Asheville community remains to be seen.  This is hardly the place anyone would want to vacation, let alone buy.  Who would cast their fishing rod into radioactive water?

  Clean Water

Lenoir’s pristine environment also beats out Asheville when it comes to other waterways. You won’t find any scary EPA reports about Wilson Creek or the Johns River, the perfect spots to fish, white water raft or picnic.

Unfortunately for Asheville, the French Broad River is threatened by toxic waste due to the Duke Energy coal-fired power plant. The coal ash mixes with water and the end result is a toxic brew no one would want to put a big toe in let alone catch any trout for dinner.

  Outdoor Recreation

Lenoir is also blessed by its proximity to plenty of ski resorts with slopes that can accommodate the entire family.  Whether you want to experience the rush of down hill, or slow down the pace for a little cross country or snow shoeing, The Coves will satisfy your every winter whim.  Scoot on over to Blowing Rock, Boone or Banner Elk, and you’ll soon see there are not enough hours in a winter’s day to fit in all the area has to offer!

Asheville does not share Lenoir’s convenient location to these amazing mountains.  There’s more travel time involved if you live in Asheville, and who wants to spend time in the car that could be spent zipping on the slopes?  The beauty of The Coves is the ease of hitting the mountain and then returning to your cozy cabin by night fall for a home-cooked meal.

• Peace and Quiet

Lenoir’s old time charm is accentuated by its peace and quiet.  If you find yourself lounging on the deck of your mountain cabin in the evening, you’ll be lulled by the sound of nature, not the drone of noise pollution.

Asheville is proud of its expanded airport that boasts five airlines, but with that convenience comes some obvious… or not so obvious (until you’ve moved in!) disturbances.  Flight patterns are an important consideration when you’re selecting your home.  It’s one thing to have a tiny private airport nearby, but it’s quite another when daily commercial flights are roaring over head.

Consider the natural beauty and quiet splendor of The Coves Mountain River Club and be sure to come and visit soon to see why this region is so far above and beyond any other.

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: Asheville | Lenoir

Fascinating Local Libraries in the Foothills

things to do Lenoir NC

At The Coves Mountain River Club, we’re fortunate to have the advantage of Caldwell County’s excellent library system.  Spending time at the main location is one of the popular things to do in Lenoir NC, and there are excellent branches in Hudson and Granite Falls, as well.

Some people may believe that with easy access to so much online information there’s no longer any need for the services libraries have to offer.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  A well-run library still maintains a number of clear advantages for patrons of all ages.

If you’ve ever tried researching a topic in depth on the web, you know that the sources are limited and often of questionable value.  Local libraries purchase materials and subscriptions that provide excellent proprietary resources you can’t find online.  No matter what area of study or discipline you pursue, at Caldwell County’s local facilities, you’re far more likely to find data of substance that’s supported by strong evidence.  And it’s likely to be much easier to use.

Many residents of the gated communities near Asheville NC may be retired, but we know a thirst for learning has not abated.  The libraries’ NC LIVE service offers free electronic access to information on a wide range of subjects from careers, business, and investing, to health, history, and genealogy.  You can enjoy Ebooks, audiobooks, videos, magazines, newspapers, journals, language-learning tools, and other materials.

Here are some examples of monthly activities at the Caldwell County Public Library:

  • Fiction Book Club
  • Non-fiction Book Club
  • Book Recommendation and Discussion Club
  • A Classic Movie Viewing with Mike
  • Mike’s Movies Blog

Because our mountain homes near Asheville NC enjoy mild weather all year round, quite a few residents like to grow some of their own food in home gardens.  The Caldwell County Public Library’s non-profit, volunteer-run “Seed Library” program provides free seed and support in an effort to help foster resilience, self-reliance, and a culture of community and sharing.  The concept is simple:  you let some of your new tomatoes, lettuce, beans, peas and peppers go to seed and then return some of those next generation seeds for others to borrow.  There are free classes on gardening and seed saving and, of course, you can also borrow books on these topics.

You’ll find computers available for both adults and children, a Summer Reading Program, and story times designed to engage youngsters, toddlers and even babies.

When we think of things to do in Lenoir NC and nearby towns, our three wonderful libraries are high on the list:

  • Caldwell County Public Library
    120 Hospital Avenue
    Lenoir, NC 28645
  • Granite Falls Branch Library
    24 South Main Street
    Granite Falls, NC 28630
  • Hudson Branch Library
    530 Central Street
    Hudson, NC 28638

If you’re interested in lending assistance to their programs, activities and daily operations, be sure to  become a member of Friends of the Library.  Everyone is welcome to join.

Moving to one of the gated communities near Asheville NC such as ours certainly doesn’t mean giving up opportunities for continuing education or intellectual stimulation.  What you’ll soon discover is that living in the Blue Ridge foothills offers a remarkable and pleasant balance of the contemporary and the traditional.  And you can partake of each according to your needs and desires.

Retirees love their mountain homes near Asheville NC.  For many, it’s the first time in their lives that they’ve had the chance to design their own living environment.  When you factor in the majestic beauty of our surroundings and the wealth of discoveries to be made and activities in which to participate, this really is a great place to live in Western North Carolina.

When you’re visiting our area, stop by, take a tour and we’ll share more of our favorite local treasures.

Call 828.754.0700 now! 


Tags: Lenoir