Apples, Pumpkins and Hot Chocolate Deliciousness

This is the sweetest time of year to enjoy an outdoor stroll while sipping hot chocolate or indulging in homemade treats made by a friend and loved one. Lenoir North Carolina is an easy walking mountain town that has four mild seasons and a rarely a blanket of snow, that when it does, it doesn’t stick.

It’s when we love to wear our wool socks, soft cashmere sweaters, and sip hot apple cider in the NC mountain communities. And at night at this time of the year, the clear sky reveals millions of stars to make a Christmas wish upon.

Did you know the Lenoir-Hickory-Morganton metropolitan area is filled with delicious bakeries, in addition to apple orchards and pumpkin patches that are fun for the whole family?

If you’re looking for a Pumpkin Spice cupcake or a smooth cup of hot chocolate, look no further than these stellar restaurants and bakeries found within minutes of the gated communities near Asheville NC. Here’s a few of our favorites:

Cornerstone Bakery

(2131 N Center St. Hickory, NC | (828) 324-9994) – Locally owned and family operated, Cornerstone has a wide selection of cupcakes, cookies, cake truffles, cinnamon buns, danishes, brownies, and more. 4-5 new cupcake flavors are unveiled each week. Stop by and try a homemade warm Red Velvet cookie or their famous tiramisu.

Café Rule

(242 11th Ave NE Hickory, NC | (828) 324-2005) – Café Rule has one motto: “Life is Short. Have Dessert.” The bakery portion of the restaurant offers Pecan Pie Cheesecake, Nilla Wafer Bread Pudding, a Warm Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich, a Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownie, and their signature Strawberry Fool, which is stewed strawberries on Texas toast topped with whipped cream.

Highland Coffeehouse

(113 Main St NW Lenoir, NC) – Do you like good coffee, great atmosphere, and even better hot chocolate? Highland Coffeehouse is a cute café spot that has fresh baked goods, locally sourced coffee, and White Hot Chocolate. Bring your laptop and do a little work outside of the house, or come later in the evening for performances from local acts.

My Local Bakery

(109 N Sterling St. Morganton, NC | (828) 432-7343) – This sweet spot offers hot Apple Cider, Hot Chocolate, Apple Turnovers, Apple Uglies, cannolis, full-sized cakes, and gourmet jumbo cupcakes. There are even special occasion cakes available for your dog! Custom cake options are available as well.

Abele’s Family Restaurant

(2115 S Sterling St. Morganton, 28655 | (828) 433 – 5400)  – Abele’s offers many different delicious desserts including apple pie, Hot Apple Dumplings, pecan pie, cheesecake, carrot cake, and fresh strawberry pie. Come on down and order an Old Fashioned Milkshake with your slice!

If you enjoy hayrides, corn mazes and picnics while you’re looking for NC mountain cabins or sale, these three spots in our area your family will love:

Hickory Nut Gap Farm

(57 Sugar Hollow Road Fairview, NC) – The Hickory Nut Gap farm has dozens of Fall festivities that are fun for the whole family. This includes The Corn Maze, Hay Climb, Kiddie Cart Rides, Petting Zoo, Hay Rides, Horse Rides, and more. Visit the pumpkin patch and apple orchard and head home ready for pumpkin carving and pie baking. There are also barn dances every Friday from 6-9.

Apple Hill Orchard Cider Mill

(2075 Pleasant Hill Avenue Morganton, NC) – Apple Hill provides a fun time for the whole family. Tour the Cider Mill, browse the country store, pick from dozens of apple varieties, or enjoy freshly baked pies and friend apples from the bakery.

Perry Lowe Orchards

(8741 NC Hwy 16 N Moravian Falls, NC | (828) 632 – 7913) – Perry Lowe pasteurizes their own apple cider. Try Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, Suncrisp, Goldrush, and a Mix cider made up of 4 different apples. Perry Lowe also dries their own apples, and has dried apples available in over 10 different varieties. Tours are by appointment only.

Lenoir is also home to The Coves Mountain River Club, gaining a reputation as one of the best gated communities near Asheville NC. Our perfect mountain paradise has a community garden and vineyard, miles and miles of hiking trails, a full service equestrian center, a mountaintop lodge with beautiful sunset views looking over an infinity-view swimming pool, and more.

If you’ve been looking into NC mountain cabins for sale, look no more. We can quickly build them in all shapes and sizes. Choose from stunning views of Grandfather Mountain and Table Rock Mountain, live near the crystal clear Johns Creek, or among the fresh air forest with a private wooded setting.

Come check out one of the most dazzling NC mountain communities in the Carolinas. On December 2, 2017 is our last Cook-off competition of the year at our stunning mountain summit clubhouse. The delicious theme is apple pie and chilli and you’re invited.

Call us at 828.754.0700 for more info and to schedule a tour!

Tags: Events At The Coves | Hickory | Lenoir | Morganton

Solar Eclipse August 2017 – See it from The Coves

solar eclipse august 2017

Imagine watching the moon cover the sun in a total solar eclipse from high up on a mountaintop, surrounded by family, friends, and the beautiful outdoors. On August 21, visitors and residents alike will have the chance to experience a rare solar eclipse – the first in 26 years – near Asheville, NC. The once-in-a-lifetime nature of this event will stargazers and nature lovers from all over the world to the mountain towns in North Carolina. Given the many locations to view the eclipse, there is simply no excuse not to attend.

It’s no secret that the stars look better from the Western Carolina mountains than any other place in the world. Living in the Western NC mountains provides unparalleled stargazing opportunities, including that of the mysterious Brown Mountain Lights. The Brown Mountain Lights are a series of red, circular ghost lights that can be seen from the Blue Ridge Parkway and from the Brown Mountain Overlook between Morganton and Linville, NC.

If you’re looking for a view of both the stars and nighttime skylines of surrounding towns, The Thunder Hill Overlook, located between mileposts 290 and 291 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, is the perfect place. Just beside the parkway, the Green Mountain Overlook provides the perfect view of the Milky Way, Ursa Majora, and other breathtaking constellations. Additionally, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Brown Mountain Overlook are two places where one can view the upcoming solar eclipse.

Another perfect location to view the eclipse is at our Pisgah Mountain Lodge. Built an elevation of 1,700 feet, the clubhouse offers a 360-degree view of the night sky. Residents can spend time in the infinity-view swimming pool, relax in the hot tub, and enjoy the view from the living room that faces Grandfather Mountain. The top level of the lodge has floor-to-ceiling glass with a large kitchen, great room, and lending library.

On the lower level, residents can make use of the fitness center – which has its own locker room, showers, and fitness class area and game room equipped with ping-pong and pool tables. Table Rock, Adams Knob, and Brown Mountain can be clearly seen from the lodge as well. The sunset over the mountains is nothing short of breathtaking, and millions of stars are visible at night.

The Pisgah Mountain Lodge is one of the many amenities that The Coves Mountain River Club, one of the best gated communities near Asheville NC, has to offer. After a long day of riverside hiking along the Johns River or splashing in Coleton’s Swimming Hole, residents can sip wine or stroll through Evelyn’s Vineyard, and harvest their own fruits and veggies in Isabel’s Garden.

Equestrians can also board their horses at Round Mountain Ranch, where services include veterinary services and riding lessons, and ride them along scenic trails. Our equestrian director, Mona Houston, is one of the finest you’ll ever meet.

The Coves is more than just a neighborhood – it’s a vibrant community set in a mountain paradise.

Start marking your calendars for the August 2017 Solar Eclipse! Don’t miss the chance to witness the awe-inspiring beauty that our galaxy has to offer.

Tags: Events At The Coves | Lenoir

Move Over Irish – The Coves Italian Cook-Off is Next

Coves Cook-Off Competitions

At The Coves, we embrace many aspects of fine living, and lucky for all of us who have found our spectacular Carolina mountain properties, a region makes this all so easy.  Cook-Offs provide plenty of delicious opportunities to come together with friends, family and neighbors with one simple goal—to enjoy the food you adore most, and while you’re at it—let others come to appreciate your culinary skills.

If you are feeling a bit of spring fever and find yourself looking for things to do in Lenoir NC, The Coves Italian Cook-Off, a Taste of Italy, is right around the corner on March 18 at 1pm in the afternoon.  If you haven’t experienced an old-fashioned Cook-Off, it’s an incredible way to gather and share conversation and amazing food—whether you want to show off your own talents in the kitchen, or you simply long to taste what others create.  There’s nothing like a little bit of sweet competition to bring out the best culinary creations.  Who knows…you may leave not only with a satiated appetite but with a prize.

Those of us who have settled down after choosing the perfect parcel of NC mountain land for sale already have a good idea of the welcoming community at The Coves. Our Italian Cook-Off provides even more joy and togetherness.  Italians believe in sharing their meals and taking their time while doing so—a pace of relaxation we share at The Coves.  Mark the date on your calendar and forget about your other obligations for the afternoon.  As soon as you take in the aromas of fresh bread and marina sauce, you won’t have a care in the world. 

Is a trip to Italy is on your bucket list?  Perhaps you’ve already experienced an amazing Italian vacation, traveling through Florence, Venice or Rome, basking in the rich culture–the art, architecture and food and wine. There’s such diversity in Italian cuisine–from the north, the hearty polenta, risotto, fish, potatoes, rice sausages, pork and cheeses, pasta with tomatoes, or stuffed pasta.  In the south, they also blend in capers, peppers, olives, artichokes, eggplant and fresh ricotta cheese.  There’s no surprise that those of us who celebrate life every day on our Carolina mountain properties, also love to celebrate the art of Italian food.  Come and celebrate life at The Coves over your favorite Italian creation, main dish, side dish or dessert while live music creates an even richer environment for all of those who gather. 

No matter the region of our country or the world, food bring us together as communities, as families or close-knit friends.  Upcoming culinary events, cook-offs and things to do in Lenoir NC to celebrate life—food, and the precious time we spend together:  

A Taste of Italy—March 18, 2017, 1-4 pm, The Coves Mountain River Club; Lenoir, NC; Pisgah Mountain Lodge with spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Grandfather Mountain, Table Rock, Hawks Bill, and the Wilson Creek Gorge.  Please RSVP to or 828-754-0700 and prepare your most raved-about Italian dish 

Rib Cook-Off—June 17, 2017, 1-4 pm, The Coves Mountain River Club; Lenoir, NC;

 Pisgah Mountain Lodge is the backdrop for our infamous Rib Cook-Off. The competition gets more fierce every year.  Bring the ribs that make your family flock home or create an awesome side dish for all to share. 

• Side Dish Cook-Off—August 19, 1-4 pm, The Coves Mountain River Club; Lenoir, NC; Pisgah Mountain Lodge; this is the time and place to bring in your Grandmother’s secret dressing, or your own creative side in a friendly competition that will make your mouth water before you’ve tasted a bite.  We’re never too old to develop a new fondness for a side dish prepared a fresh way, and this is your chance to sample the best.

Fall Colors Celebration & Chowder Cook-Off—October 14, 2017; 1-4 pm; The Coves Mountain River Club; Lenoir, NC; Pisgah Mountain Lodge. There is no better way to celebrate fall than to cook up a big batch of hearty chowder for your friends and neighbors.  Live Music accompanies this affair, and of course prizes for the most delicious chowder.

Chili and Apple Pie Cook-Off—December 2017–to be announced…

Comfort food at its best—hearty chili followed by sweet apple pie.  Live music and prizes to make the celebration more festive.  Cook up your best batch of chili and bake those apple pies to compete and share.

Our neighborhood cook-offs and culinary events are among the fabulous ways we find things to do in Lenoir NC.  Spend an afternoon with other friendly folks who live on their Carolina mountain properties, share a glass of wine, or your precious family recipes passed down through the generations–all while sharing mountain tales and laughter.

Come and visit The Coves Mountain River Club, perfectly located in the Blue Ridge Mountain’s scenic foothills.  If you are searching for NC mountain land for sale, you’ll find it here. The events and celebrations that take place at Pisgah Mountain Lodge, like our fabulous cook-offs, offer a warm glimpse into how incredible life could be living in Lenoir, NC. Our Pisgah Mountain Lodge clubhouse provides stunning and elevated views of mountain ranges in every direction. While you’re visiting, be sure to take in all the other amenities at The Coves—the equestrian center, the well-tended community gardens, stroll the hiking trails and make sure you plan to view one of the four private waterfalls and parks. 

We have a variety of property available in a range of accommodating prices–with homesites that would be the ideal spot to build a mountain cabin, mountaintop parcels for those who want to feel they are on top of the world, and larger properties for those who plan to spend their days riding on the extensive and secluded trails.  Property prices begin in the low $30k range. The Coves blends community friendliness with nature, and is in close proximity to four quaint mountain towns where you can explore, treasure hunt and explore the rich history.

Clear your calendar and make your search for NC mountain land for sale more fun by exploring all the fun things to do in Lenoir NC.

Call us to RSVP and visit at 828.754.0700.

Tags: Events At The Coves | Lenoir

2017 Cook-Off Competitions at The Coves NC

Chili Cook-Off Competition

Are you looking to live in a place with continuous good ol’fashioned family fun? Look no further than The Coves Mountain River Club, located in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Every year at Pisgah Mountain Lodge, our stunning 6000-square-foot clubhouse, we have hosted a variety of exciting Lenoir NC events in the past including cook-offs that provide a lot of fun along with a little friendly competition. 

This spring, enjoy homemade Italian cuisine at A Taste of Italy. The event will take place on Saturday March 18th from 1 pm – 4 pm. Do you make a mean Stromboli or delicious eggplant lasagna? Prepare your favorite Italian dish and join in the competition. Side dishes and desserts are welcome. There will be live music and prizes.

In the summer, the Pisgah Mountain Lodge will host its Annual Rib Cook-Off on Saturday June 17th from 1 PM – 4 PM. If you’re up for the challenge, bring your favorite rib entrée. If not, bring a delicious side dish for everyone to share. Get ready for live music and great prizes. You won’t find any NC mountain communities like us.

Don’t forget the side dishes. Watch sweet potato casserole and grilled asparagus go head-to-head at the Side Dish Cook-Off. The event will take place on Saturday August 19th from 1 PM – 4 PM. No bets are allowed, but be sure to come with a big appetite.

Nothing beats a crisp, beautiful fall in Western NC. Head over to the Pisgah Mountain Lodge for the 2017 Fall Colors Celebration and Chowder Cook-Off. The event will take place on Saturday October 14th from 1 PM – 4 PM. Prizes will be awarded for the most mouth-watering chowder recipes, and all entries are welcome.

In the wintertime, nothing sounds better than a cozy sweater and a warm bowl of chili. Bring your best recipes to the Annual Chili and Apple Pie Cook-Off. One of the most fun Lenoir NC events will take place December 2nd from 1pm – 4pm. There will be live music, special pricing on select homesites, and prizes awarded for the most delicious apple pie and chili recipes.

The origin of the cook-off started in Texas, as the first one was held in 1967 as a means to settle a feud between two journalists over who could make the meanest bowl of chili. Since then, cook-offs have evolved into big events, typically held at local parks, for food lovers and competitors alike, and has become a vital part of southern living. Cook-offs bring communities together for good food and friendly competition. It’s a great opportunity to make friends, trade cooking secrets, and even acquire famous family recipes.

The Coves Mountain River Club Resort, known by many as one of the most charming NC mountain communities, puts a different spin on cook-off competitions by holding them at our own Pisgah Mountain Lodge. The 6,000 square foot lodge has an 8,000 square foot wrap-around veranda, an infinity-view saline swimming pool, a hot tub, and an outdoor living room that faces Grandfather Mountain. Because it was built at an elevation of 1,700 feet, participants can enjoy spectacular views of Table Rock, Adams Knob, and Brown Mountain while celebrating good food and good company.

Pisgah Mountain Lodge is just one of the lifestyle amenities at The Coves. Residents have access to Round Mountain Ranch, a full service equestrian center, two community gardens, four private waterfalls and parks, five miles of frontage on the Johns River and over 39 miles of hiking and walking trails.

Property available at The Coves is extensive too. Buyers can choose from a mountaintop homesite, lots for a cozy mountain cabin, larger equestrian parcels or property near the mountain-fed Johns River. Prices begin as low as the high $30’s.

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: Events At The Coves | Lenoir

Pisgah Mountain Lodge – Close to Heaven, Down to Earth

Pisgah Mountain Lodge

Retirees and others looking at Smoky Mountain land for sale give a lot of thought to how their daily lives will be:  what activities there are to enjoy, convenience of access to shopping and other necessities, and whether they’ll form the kind of lasting friendships they’ve made where they’re living now.  A little research can resolve the first two concerns.  And the response to the third one is an easy “yes”.

In the planning stages of The Coves Mountain River Club, we reserved the best parcel of land for the sole purpose of bringing people together.  And that’s where, at a towering 1700-foot elevation, we built Pisgah Mountain Lodge – a magnificent, rustic, 6000-square-foot clubhouse with an infinity-view saline pool, hot tub and outdoor living room that overlook Grandfather Mountain, Table Rock, Adams Knob and Brown Mountain.  If you’re like most people, the views from the lodge will steal your breath away.

Our year-round mild Lenoir North Carolina weather encourages residents to spend time outside, whether alone or in small groups, taking advantage of all there is to do here.  And sooner or later, everyone discovers the cozy and grand appeal of the Lodge, with its spectacular views across miles of unspoiled natural forest, its unparalleled sunset panoramas and, at night, the blanket of stars that appear close enough to touch.

Inside, there are hewn timber beams and floor-to-ceiling windows that capture breathtaking mountain vistas in every direction.  Upstairs, you’ll discover a comfortable place to sit and talk in front of a stone fireplace, a kitchen and a lending library.  And the lower level features a state-of-the art fitness center with cardio and weight equipment, locker room, showers, fitness class area and a game room equipped with Foosball, pool and Ping-Pong tables.

Mountain towns in North Carolina are known to be friendly places, and Pisgah Mountain Lodge is very much in keeping with that tradition.  It’s not an exaggeration to say that there’s always something going on that brings people together.  Five times a year, we have themed Cook-off Competitions.  Our monthly Guest Lecture Series brings in local chefs, artists, musicians, hiking guides and educational speakers. The first Wednesday of the month is Game Night, and every Monday morning our yoga instructor leads a wellness class on the mountain’s edge.  And of course our residents can use the Lodge for their own family functions.

Buyers are happy when they discover there are still some great homesites available near the clubhouse, and our innovative floor plans are designed to make the most of this remarkable property and its breathtaking features.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how affordable Smoky Mountain land for sale really is.  Of course, at The Coves Mountain River Club, you’re buying far more than just real estate.  It’s a lifestyle – one that suits you and your family perfectly, whether you want to be very active or just spend time enjoying new friendships and all the many benefits of living where the sky is clear, the air is fresh and each day offers new adventures and discoveries.  The mild Lenoir North Carolina weather is just what the folks relocating from the snow laden northeast appreciate.

The Coves Mountain River Club encompasses 3600 wooded acres, so you can be as secluded as you want to be but still take advantage of a vibrant social community centered around Pisgah Mountain Lodge and all it has to offer.  That, plus our close proximity to four unique mountain towns in North Carolina, makes us the ideal choice for anyone thinking of living in the foothills area.

We hope you’ll stop by and take a tour.  Watch the sunset from the balcony at Pisgah Mountain Lodge…and enjoy the incredible experience that your family can have every single day of the year.

That’s what mountain living’s about, and it’s all waiting for you at The Coves Mountain River Club.

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: Events At The Coves | Lenoir

Prime Time – Fall Foliage Social Events at The Coves

Fall Foliage Events at The Coves

Who doesn’t love the fall foliage season? The time of the year when pumpkins arrive and everything smells of sweet apples and cinnamon. Perfect Lenoir North Carolina weather, when the air becomes crisp and refreshing.

At The Coves, fall foliage season becomes ‘prime time’ as the mountain ranges change into a kaleidoscope of color visible through floor to ceiling glass or on the wrap around veranda at our Pisgah Mountain Lodge. It’s a wonderful time to explore hiking trails in Western NC, community gardens at The Coves and NC mountain land. Meet friendly neighbors while you’re here during one of the many monthly social events at the lodge. Here’s what’s coming up in September and October:

Lenoir Downtown Farmer’s Market Visits The Coves

Hosted by Jeff Crane and Linda Holland West

Wednesday, September 14th 6:30-8:30pm

Attendees will be treated with Lenoir-style chicken wings, frog legs, twice baked sweet potatoes, jalapeno peanut butter poppers and apple crumble. The Lenoir Downtown Farmers Market motto is Buy Local, Buy Fresh, Buy Quality. Many of our farmers are Appalachian Grown certified through ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project).

Annual Coves Chowda Cook-off Competition

Sponsored by Blossman Gas

Saturday October 15th 1:00-4:00pm

Homeowners and guests will cook up their special chowder recipes and be judged by three local friends of the community. Property owner, Patti Brandenburg, is graciously providing the winning prizes (colorful aprons or towels). Blossman Gas is sponsoring food for the event and is the largest family-owned propane business in America. They have been providing propane gas and appliance services to The Coves and owners of NC mountain land for years.

Are you a golfer? Don’t miss playing in The Coves 6th Annual Golf Tournament happening that weekend. Friendly competitions during the day will include closest to the pin, longest drive, and longest putt near some of the finest hiking trails in Western NC.

Chef Corey Hooks Cooking School

Guest Lecture Series

Wednesday October 26th 6:30-8:30pm

Chef Hooks will demonstrate preparing southern comfort foods with an Asian twist. His menu this month includes meatloaf, potatoes and asparagus. Guests will be treated to a “sweet’ surprise while enjoying the mild Lenoir North Carolina weather.

Last month, we had a wonderful audience when Chef Corey Hooks demonstrated cooking seared salmon and citrus fennel salad. About a dozen Coves’ residents attended for the first time. Chef Hooks started the evening with plating the dishes, an art of entertaining. Attendees enjoyed seared salmon with savory white beach puree, arugula, shaved fennel, orange supreme, and a citrus vinaigrette. It was delicious!

Hooks explained the importance of letting the pan heat up before adding your oil/fat. He continued by skillfully searing the salmon and sharing with everyone the best local shop in Morganton where he purchases his fish. He then revealed each of the tasty herbs in his vinaigrette. Chef Hooks is a great teacher and attendees asked a lot of questions.

The Annual Side Dish Cook-off on August 20 was a smashing success with almost 60 attendees! Competitors brought their most delicious dish from their collection of secret family recipes to battle against the other dishes in this high stakes competition. No wagering is allowed, but everyone is encouraged to attend with a hearty appetite to taste all the scrumptious side dishes.

Attendees were treated to BBQ by Hannah’s BBQ in Lenoir serving up the best barbecue in the foothills NC since 1982. Acoustic guitarist and pianist, Holden Bare, serenaded attendees with soft rock and music from the 60’s & 70’s. The first place side dish prize went to Paul Brandenburg, 2nd to Lori Gibeau and 3rd to Barbara Russell.

Other events at The Coves include Social Sunday NFL football, Monday Morning Yoga, Thursday Ladies Golf and Friday Movie Night. 

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, be sure ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides information about living in the foothills and life at The Coves. You’re always welcome at any of our social club events.

Tags: Events At The Coves | Lenoir