Archives

Blowing Rock Winterfest – The Zany Side of Winter

mountain towns in North Carolina

The 21st Annual Blowing Rock WinterFest, January 24-27, 2019, is almost upon the mountain towns of North Carolina.  Travel & Leisure christened Blowing Rock as “one of America’s Prettiest Winter Towns.” The popularity of the WinterFest has grown steadily over the past two decades, and this year will surely bring out the folks of the Blue Ridge Mountains–as well as the joyous visitors who make Blowing Rock their fabulous winter destination. 

From the icy Polar Plunge in Chetola Lake, to the scrumptious WinterFeast and WinterBeer Garden–there will be plenty of reasons to attend!   This festival has  been chosen as one of the “Top Pick” events by AAA, and the Southeastern Tourism Society named WinterFest a Top 20 Event.  This gorgeous region always has amazing events to draw the community together, and what better occasion than WinterFest– a crazy-fun long weekend to usher in the High Country’s  2019!    

Here’s what’s happening during WinterFest’s snowy and beautiful weekend:

Shop Til You Drop–A Community that shops local keeps their local town strong!

Thursday, January 24–10 am–Sunday, January 27, 2019—5 pm

Downtown, Main Street

“Put on a pair of comfy shoes and make room in your trunk!  Blowing Rock is one of North Carolina’s premier shopping destinations!”  Just some of the most awesome shopping possibilities:

Antiques & Collectibles–Blowing Rock Antique Center; Blowing Rock Estate Jewelry & Antiques; Carriage Trade Living; Hanna’s; Possum Hollow Antiques; Rug Company; Windwood Antiques

Apparel & Accessories—100 West Union; Almost Rodeo Drive; Blowing Rock Harley-Davidson; Celeste’s; Fig Leaf Ltd; Finley House Couture; J. Mclaughlin; J.W. Tweeds; Monkees; Sister Act; Sunset Tee’s & Hattery; Tazmaraz

Gifts & Crafts—Blowing Rock Cigar Company and Club; Brass Exchange; Cabin Fever of Watauga; Christmas in Blowing Rock; Cross Trade International; De Provence et D’Ailleurs; Final Touches; Gilded Lily by Patra; Handtiques; Heart of the Rock; High Country Candles; Last Straw; Marmalade; Mountain Laurel Floristry; Mountain Thread Company; Mrs., Brumbles; My Mountain Home; Neaco; Pandora’s Mailbox; Park Place Florist; Roey’s 12 Corners Custom Quilts; Rustic; Serves You Right; Take Heart; Tervis; Trillium; Unwound; We’re Good Sports

Galleries—Blowing Rock Frameworks & Gallery; Gaines Kiker Silversmith; Main Street Gallery/Expressions Craft; Martin House Gallery; Photos by Meta; Reinert Fine Art; Traditions Pottery 

Home Furnishings—Almost Rodeo Drive; Blowing Rock Furniture Gallery; Cabin Fever of Watauga; Gilded Lily by Patra; Gregory Alan’s; Last Straw; Moody’s Handmade Furniture; My Mountain Home; Rug Company; Rustic 

Brrrrahm—Thursday, January 24 10 am-Saturday, January 26—5 pm; free admission; Take the “brrrr” out of the chill and come to the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM).

Doodlebug Club at Brahm—Thursday, January 24, 10:30-11:30 am; or 1- 2 pm ;“preschool age children and a parent/guardian are invited to Doodlebug Club, a fun educational art program focused on basic art skills such as holding your paintbrush, the primary colors, or holding a pair of scissors while introducing them to different art mediums, from watercolors to clay. After clean up it is story time!” Free for Museum members, $5 for non-members.  Space is limited. Call 828-295-9099 to reserve a spot.

WinterFeast—Thursday, January 24, 5:30-10 pm; Chetola Resort; live music, cash bar, warm beverages will keep you entertained and happy, and after dinner the fun keeps on coming with desserts, coffee, tea and plenty more entertainment!  This is the most delicious and satisfying restaurant crawl under one roof.  Folks get to sample small plate selections prepared by the region’s top chefs for $40. 15 restaurants contribute mouth-watering fare to this event.  Get your tickets in advance since WinterFeast has sold out the past six years. Three cruise-style seatings to choose from—5:30; 6:45 and 8 pm.

Participating Restaurants for 2019:  Timberlake’s; Speckled Trout; Best Cellar; Chestnut Grille at Green Park; Bistro Roca; Restaurant at Gideon Ridge; Rowlands at Westglow; Town Tavern; Table at Crestwood;  Six Pence Pub; Storie Street Grille; Outback; Fireflies

Participating Bakeries:  The Backstreet Bakery; Timberlake’s; the Spice & Tea Exchange; WYNter Wonderland Cookies

Bonfire, S’mores and Entertainment at Chetola Resort—Thursday, January 24, 7-10 pm; Friday, January 25, 7-10 pm; Saturday, January 26, 7-10 pm; keep warm by the firepit overlooking Chetola Lake; cash bar with drink specials; gourmet s’mores ($5), and live entertainment as well as giant board games for family fun.

Pancake Breakfast at Sunny Rock; Friday, January 25, 7:30 am-1:30 pm; Saturday, January 26, 7:30 am-1:30 pm;  $5; “Come to Sunny Rock – Eggs and Things for a fantastic pancake breakfast!”  Tim’s outstanding pancakes served with one side of link sausage or bacon.

WinterFashion Show;  Friday, January 25, 10 am-1:30 pm; $35; hors d’oeuvres; mimosas, spritzers and cash bar accompany Blowing Rock’s retailers and the latest fashion for men and women; prize giveaways and gift bags for all attendees. “Come find out what you need in your closet and leave with coupons to go get it!”

Cork & Canvas at BRAHM; Friday, January 25, 4-6 pm; Saturday, 10 am-noon; $40-$45; trained art instructors help attendees paint Wassily Kandinsky’s “Winter Landscape.”  Take home your finished work of art. Canvasses, paint, brushes, and aprons provided. Wine, beer and light snacks are complimentary.  Online ticket purchase required in advance for those over 21 with valid ID; under 18 artists welcome with an adult.

Contact Jennifer Garonzik at 828-295-9099 ext. 3004

WinterFest Sip and Stroll; Friday, January 25, 4-7 pm; stroll Main Street and enjoy the amazing tastings along the way; participating businesses will be announced.

Hands-On-Ice Carving; Friday, January 25, 4-6 pm; Saturday, 11 am-3 pm; Memorial Park; free admission; children and adults come and help  artist, Cathleen Gallagher, create an ice sculpture with supplied hand chisels and safety goggles.

WinterCraft:  An Outdoor Handmade Market; Friday, January 25, 4-8 pm; Martin House; local artisans and the Mountain Thread Company look forward to seeing you!

WinterFest Ice Stroll; Friday, January 25, 5-7 pm; 20 creative ice sculptures will be on display in front of businesses; a map of locations will be available.

Music on the Lawn; Friday, January 25, 5:30-8:30 pm; local musicians will entertain you at the Inn at Ragged Gardens; food and drinks available for purchase; music to be announced.

Polar Plunge at Chetola Resort; Saturday, January 26, 8-11 am; a tradition and highlight of WinterFest.  Plungers wear costumes and“Golden Plunger”is awarded to the best costume.  On-line pre-registration is advised (www.chetola.com); proceeds benefit local charities Western Youth Network and Hospitality House.

Polar Plunge Brunch; Saturday, January 26, 10 am-noon; Timbers Room, Chetola Resort; live feed of Polar Plunge; $22 adults; $16 children 12 and under; drinks not included.

Hayrides; Saturday, January 26, 10 am-4 pm; 132 Park Avenue; free!

Silent Auction & Raffle; Saturday, January 26, 10 am-4 pm; American Legion Building; beautiful items and gift certificates donated by area retailers and businesses; proceeds go to Mountain Alliance to provide Watauga County high school aged kids a safe and supportive environment.

Rotary Charity Chili Challenge; Saturday, January 26, 11:30 am-2 pm; $8—12 years and above; $5 for kids 5 and up; Blowing Rock School Gym; taste and vote!

K9 Keg Pull; Saturday, January 26, 11:30 am-4 pm; American Legion Building; proceeds benefit Partners! (Canines).  Dogs pull empty beer kegs on sleds; free to watch for all!

Ice Carving Demonstrations; Saturday, January 26, noon-4 pm; Memorial Park; a must-see event!

Artic Art at BrrrAHM; Saturday, January 26, 1-2:30 pm; free crafts for all!

WinterFest Beer Garden; Saturday, January 26; 1-4:30 pm; $30; 15 vendors—local and regional breweries and distilleries “Hops and Barley Pops” outside the American Legion Building.  “Can you think of a more unique way to celebrate winter than by enjoying beer and spirits while watching cute dogs compete and bidding on items to support a local charity–all in one spot?  All attendees receive a commemorative WinterFest pint glass, while supplies last.”

WinterTastings & Auction at The Green Park Inn; Saturday, January 26; 3-5 pm; $30; tastings followed by auction.

Sunday Brunch at Foggy Rock; Sunday, January 27; 11am-3 pm; brunch and sangria specials!

WinterPaws Dog Show; Sunday, January 27; 1-3 pm; $5; Blowing Rock Elementary School;  sponsored by The Watauga Humane Society; “Show off your four-legged best friend or just come to see the cutest dogs around…” Proceeds go to the Watauga Humane Society, a local non-profit, serving approximately 2,000 abandoned animals each year; entertainment by The Carolina Snowbelles.

For those of us who live in our cozy mountain homes at The Coves, taking the pretty ride to Blowing Rock’s higher elevations can be a sweet excursion, especially when you get to return to your charming paradise at the end of an exhilarating day.  Come explore the mountain towns of North Carolina and make sure The Coves is top on your real estate list. 

Remember while you’re having a snowy blast at WinterFest in the mountain towns of North Carolina, you’re also making valuable contributions to many local charities. So  as they say in the High Country, “Don’t Hibernate.  Celebrate winter in Blowing Rock!”

WinterFest tickets can be purchased at the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, 132 Park Avenue, by phone 800-295-7801 or 828-295-7851 or online.

Be sure to check the complete schedule and make the most of this year’s experience while helping to support our much-loved 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: Blowing Rock | Festivals

Christmas in Lenoir – Toys, Santa and Selfies

things to do in Lenoir NC

This is the most magical time of year in the mountain towns in North Carolina, and Lenoir’s holiday traditions are well known for adding warmth and meaning to the folks who live in this charming region.  The City of Lenoir Main Street Program keeps the sense of community vibrant, and at this time of year keeps us all humming Christmas carols through the streets.  More than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities have come together to create an unusual bond—the Main Street America Program.  Initiated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the focus is to build amazing communities with hearty downtowns. 

What does this mean for all of us who are fortunate enough to live in Lenoir?  There is a never-ending list of celebrations and events throughout the year that provide us with a variety of things to do in Lenoir NC.  No matter what your holiday heart yearns for—it’s happening in Lenoir!  Shows, parades and breakfasts with Santa will be making this Christmas season merry and bright.  Check out all the holiday festivities in Lenoir:

Between November 27 – December 22 in the mountain towns in North Carolina, there are almost as many magical occasions to have a selfie with Santa as there are days of Christmas!  Downtown Lenoir  transforms into a holiday extravaganza that will warm the hearts of the young and old alike!  Made possible by our COL Main Street Program,  these are all the dates and places you, and the youngsters in your life, can visit with Santa. Be sure to let this jolly fellow spread his yuletide cheer:

  Tuesday, November 27:  6-8 pm—1841 Café

  Friday, November 30:  4-6 pm; Lenoir Christmas Parade

  Tuesday, December 4:  6-8 pm; Fercott Fermentables

  Friday, December 7:  5-7 pm; Piccolo’s Pizza

  Saturday, December 8:  4-6 pm; Walgreens

  Saturday, December 8:  6-7 pm; LHS Auditorium

  Friday, December 14; 5-7 pm; Side Street Pour House

  Saturday, December 15; 11 am-1 pm; Tybrisa Books

  Friday, December 21; 5-7 pm; Cookies and Cream

  Saturday, December 22; 6-8 pm; Shake-n-Dog

If you’re in the mood for a holiday performance, the Foothills Performing Arts will be presenting “The Adventures of Santa Claus” November 29-December 2 at JE Broyhill Civic Center, 1909 Hickory Blvd SE.  This musical production will entertain the entire family.  “Discover how Santa Claus became the legend we know today in a tale full of magic and whimsy.”

The performance on Friday, November 30 will include dinner and a show. And if you’re looking for things to do in Lenoir NC, why not enjoy a delicious holiday-themed dinner at 5:30, giving you plenty of time to appreciate the menu before the show: chef-carved honey-glazed Virginia ham, baked chicken and dressing with gravy, rosemary-roasted potato medley (Yukon Gold, red and sweet potatoes); southern green beans; rolls with butter; assorted desserts; coffee, tea, and warm apple cider—all for only $15 per person.

Performances:

11/29/2018 – 7 pm

11/30/2018 – 5:30 pm

11/30/2018 – 7 pm

12/1/2018 – 7 pm

12/2/2018 – 2 pm

Single Ticket Price $16.25 (includes tax) Group and child/student tickets are available; for more info contact 828.726.2404.

It’s impossible to think of Lenoir in December without conjuring up images of sugar plum fairies and the downtown parade!  The theme of this year’s Lenoir Christmas Parade, on November 30, 6:30-9:30 pm, is sure to warm your festive heart–“Home Sweet Home for the Holidays ~ Celebrating the Sweetness of Coming Home for the Holidays.” For those local folks who love taking part in the heart of the parade, decorate your own float—“choose your favorite holiday candy, sweet treat, or gingerbread creation and decorate your float to celebrate our flavorful holiday traditions!”

Hosted by Lenoir Parks and Recreation, with over 200 entries, this holiday parade is a cherished tradition.  University and high school bands create the festive music to accompany the floats, community groups, and, of course, Santa!  Don’t forget–streets close at 3:30 along College Avenue and Harper Ave for the parade line-up along Harper Ave, Mulberry St, Main St, Ashe Ave, and West Ave for the Parade Route.

But the fun this holiday season doesn’t end there in the mountain towns of North Carolina!  December 2, from 12:30-4:30, the Christmas Cruise-In & Toy Drive is presented by the Lenoir Cruisers on 801 West Avenue NW.  This is a fun-spirited and free event.  Make sure you participate by bringing along a new and unwrapped toy for a child aged two up to eleven,  and make his or her Christmas a little brighter.  The sight of Santa delivering your carefully-chosen toys to all the sweet little girls and boys of the area will certainly put you in the holiday spirit!

“Shine up those rides one more time and join us as we wrap up 2018 and celebrate the season of giving.”

There are boundless events when you and your family are searching for meaningful things to do in Lenoir NC to lift your spirits. Be sure to put breakfast with Santa, a worthy and joyful morning on your calendar: December 1; 8:30-10:30 am; at Fatz; 975 Blowing Rock Blvd, Lenoir, NC.

You can purchase your tickets at Second Bloom Boutique, 2301 Morganton Blvd in Lenoir to be sure you have a reservation.  This holiday affair will help support the Shelter Home of Caldwell County.  What better than to be helping those in need while enjoying a scrumptious breakfast of pancakes and sausage?  Children can celebrate and preserve the celebration with a keepsake photo with Santa! 

Now, if you’re feeling creative and crafty this holiday season, put Satie’s Holidays Workshops—at Caldwell Arts Council on your schedule!  Join in the fun as you Make-and-Take an Aluminum Wrap Ring with Ellen Ball on December 4 from 9-11 am; 601 College Avenue SW, Lenoir.  This is the time and place to “learn how to apply texture with hammers on pre-cut pieces of light-weight aluminum to create a forged wrap ring.” Tools and materials included; no experience necessary. Children 12 and up or mature children ten to twelve with an adult.

There’s more happening at the Caldwell Arts Council throughout the month.  Lenoir celebrates artisans December 7-8, 14-15, and 21-22 in true homemade fashion with its Hometown Downtown Holiday.  Fridays from noon to 7 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm.

When the mood strikes to hunker down for a Christmas film, COL Parks and Rec and Main St Program will be showing Christmas with the Kranks at 7 pm on December 8 at Historic LHS Auditorium.  Come a little early (6 pm) with your little ones for a visit with Santa. The whole night is family-friendly and free!

Also on December 8, the Elfin’ Around Christmas Show at the JE Broyhill Civic Center from 10 am-3 pm–45 vendors will provide crafts, food and prizes.  Santa will be there to spread his joy and inspire the community to make donations to the needy families in Caldwell County.

Maybe your house needs a little sprucing up for Christmas?  Santara McGlynn of Santara Flowers will be returning for a live wreath-making workshop at the Caldwell Arts Council on December 8 from noon to 2 pm.  Those folks who have cozy homes at The Coves know how festive the perfect holiday wreath can look on their front door.  “Enjoy a creative time, complete with all supplies, finger foods, and a hot chocolate bar for only $75/person! 1828 Collective will be on hand to photograph participants with their wreaths.”

This is the sweetest time of year to visit The Coves and see the gated community with its idyllic mountain homes all decked out.  The celebratory and festive air of Lenoir is carried into The Coves where the folks create a tight-knit community.  They share the holiday spirit, and usher in the season with carols, hot cider and home-cooking—all while gathering around the hearth inside their charming homes.  Be sure to plan a winter outing to the mountains 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.

Tags: Blowing Rock | Festivals | Lenoir

Smoking in the Foothills BBQ Festival and Competition

barbecue competition

BBQ is one seriously delectable pastime from coast to coast in the United States. Over the years the culinary tradition has migrated to places where folks were not reared on the saucy, finger-licking fare.  But for those of us who have roots in the mountain towns of North Carolina, we have adored this savory dish so far back we cannot remember. 

No wonder Steven Raichlen wrote “The Barbecue Bible” ( a best-seller), and gave a lecture at the Library of Congress, “Barbecue:  A History of the World’s Oldest Culinary Art.”  These days folks who live in NC mountain communities don’t just have dog-eared copies of our grandmother’s cherished BBQ sauce, we have recipes that have come from food programs and competitions, like the popular Smoking in the Foothills BBQ Festival & Competition in Lenoir, NC on October 19th and 20th, 2018.

This yearly event “combines the fun of a family-friendly festival with the excitement of a sanctioned barbecue competition!” for those of you who want to turn up the heat.  There’s so much more than sharing amazing and mouth-watering BBQ with your friends, family and neighbors…live music, poker run, corn hole, a wood-crafter’s showcase, kids’ activities, raffles, competitions and more will keep you more than happy during these gorgeous fall days.

The Festival Schedule at a Glance:

Friday, October 19, 2018; 5 pm-10 pm

• Festival opening with Mayor Gibbons; Smokey Barrel Beer & Beverage Garden; Cash Cow 50/50 Raffle; Kids’ Que Competition; Playful Piglet Kids’ Area opening; live music; Cook Team BBQ People’s Choice–Wings

Saturday, October 20, 2018; 10 am-10 pm

  10 am—Poker Run Registration

• 10:30 am—Poker Run

• 11 am—Smokey Barrel Beer & Beverage Garden Opens

• 11:30 am—Cook Team BBQ People’s Choice—Pork!

• 12-1:30 pm—Turn-ins for BBQ Competition

• 3 pm—Registration for Fling the Wing Corn Hole Tournament

• 4 pm—Fling the Wing Corn Hole Tournament

• 5 pm—KCBS Competition Awards Ceremony on the Downtown Stage

• 7 pm—Live Music; FracXured

• 8 pm—Cash Cow Winner Announced

• 10 pm—Festival Closing

Festival Music Line-Up

• Friday, October 19, 5-7 pm; Andrew Massey & the Midnight Americans

• Friday, October 19, 7-10 pm; Jim Quick & Coastline

• Saturday, October 20, 10-11 am; Terry Edwards

• Saturday, October 20, 11 am-1 pm; The Classics

• Saturday, October 20, 1-3 pm; Rooted

• Saturday, October 20, 3-5 pm; Chad Triplett & Two Lane Blacktop

• Saturday, October 20, 7-9 pm; FracXured

Fourth Annual Foothills Corn hole Tournament

• Saturday, October 20, 4 pm at the parking across from 1841 Café; $25 fee per team with cash pay outs.   50% of proceeds benefit local charity, and the remainder goes to first through fourth place winners.

Workshops; learn how to smoke, grill and carve meats like a pro, learn about new technology, or tour local furniture factories—it’s all there for residents and visitors in the mountain towns of North Carolina.

• Friday, October 19

   Where There Is Smoke, There’s Flavor!  A Smoking How-to Workshop

   Slice It Right—The butcher does it better!  A How-to Workshop on carving meats

   Seared and Sizzled—Our Lenoir Fire Fighters share their grilling secrets & fire safety tips

• Saturday, October 20; Workshop on new tech driving the furniture industry

   Furniture Factory Tours and Hayride

And of course it wouldn’t be the tradition festival for the NC mountain communities without the Professional BBQ Competition—a State Championship event sanctioned by Kansas City Barbecue Society.  Four categories include scrumptious—chicken, pork ribs, pork and beef brisket.  Come and win the $15,000 prize and be surrounded by KCBS judges and professional cook teams from across the country.

Professional BBQ Competition Schedule:

Friday, October 19

8 am–Cook Team Check In

10 am-4 pm—Meat Inspection

1 pm—Cook Team Lunch @ the Distillery

4 pm—Cook Team Meeting @ the Distillery

7 pm—Private Cook Team Social @ the Distillery

Saturday, October 20

7:30 am—Private Cook Team Breakfast

12 pm—Turn Ins for BBQ Competition

12:30 pm—Pork Rib Category

1 pm—Pork Category

1:30 pm—Brisket Category

5 pm—Awards Ceremony; Corn hole Winners Announced; 10-First Place Announced; Reserve Grand Champion Announced; Grand Champion Announced.

Contact Information:  Smoking In The Foothills–c/o Mike Kilby, 309 Sheldon Street, Hudson, NC; 28638; 828-310-2953, Festival Contact 828-757-4451, BBQ Competition Contact 828-310-2953

Venders are most welcome; download the application and mail in with fees as well as obtain your required permit.  Cooking spaces, ice and utilities will be provided.

For those of you lucky travelers coming to visit the mountain towns of North Carolina, the Comfort Inn in Lenoir is the host hotel for the festival and will provide you and your friends and family with a “foothills” discount.  Volunteers are also welcome!  The people who come together in the NC mountain communities are who make these festivals and events not only possible but also incredibly special.

Folks who have made The Coves Mountain River Club their home, nestled in the sweet and breath-taking Blue Ridge Mountains, live the idyllic life day after incredible day.  There’s no amount of time that will take away your gratitude when you awaken in your dream house and peer out upon the natural beauty that surrounds you—an inspiring vista no matter where you turn! 

And when the residents at The Coves venture out to the downtown of Lenoir, there’s plenty of community and goings on to fulfill their every desire.  Those who have settled blissfully into their custom home at The Coves get to enjoy the Foothills Barbecue Festival each and every year—a tradition that adds comfort and fun to all.  North Carolina has been a BBQ haven forever, with flavor and savory sauces that melt in your mouth.  Come and visit The Coves this fall, take part in the festival or simply dive into some of the most spectacular BBQ in the country.  You will find in just one tasty weekend why this is the place you should next call home.

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

Chrome On Over to Lenoir Cruise-Ins

Lenoir NC Cruise In

Did you know on the first Saturday of every month, from April through October, Lenoir transforms itself from a picturesque and serene mountain town into a fun destination for people of all ages who appreciate automotive excellence?

This is when the Lenoir Downtown Cruisers bring their shiny chrome cruise-ins and swap meet to the downtown streets of Lenoir.  Admission is free, but you can purchase 50/50 tickets, T-shirts, drivers tickets, ladies tickets, door prizes, and much more, with all of the proceeds going to local charities. Lenoir Downtown Cruisers is a non-profit organization. 

This popular event features block after block of eye catching cars, trucks, motorcycles, with their proud owners happy to chat about the finer points of their vehicles.  And there’s always the chance that you’ll see a special car that brings back thoughts of years gone by and the good times and good friends that defined your youth.

If you’re in the area looking for mountain homes for sale in NC, the Lenoir cruise-ins are a great opportunity to get a feel for our local culture and meet others who have relocated happily to the mountain towns in North Carolina.  Like so many of the fun things to do in Lenoir, NC, and the other towns in the foothills, they evoke memories of a simpler life and time.

You soon discover what makes this part of the country so special.  It’s the strong feeling of community…the small town appeal that’s such a welcome change from the stresses of big city life.  Before you know it, you’ve found the key to happiness.  It was within your reach all along. 

Our mountain communities in the foothills have a way of surprising people.  Just when prospective buyers of mountain homes for sale in NC may think they’ll be leaving so much behind, they learn that there’s such a wealth of activities and events to enjoy that they won’t know what to do next.  Here, you get all of the benefits of country living – the crisp, fresh mountain air, the breathtaking scenery, the exercise – with easy access to shopping, entertainment, dining, adult education, medical facilities and more.

When you’re planning a visit to any of the mountain towns in North Carolina, be sure to check the Lenoir Downtown Cruisers web site or their Facebook page to learn about upcoming cruise-ins or give us a call.  It’s good family fun but also an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to come together and share the many joys that life in small-town America brings.  And be sure to sample the local restaurants and browse the stores and quaint shops.

On your calendar of things to do in Lenoir NC, set aside some time for a tour of  our mountain community. We’re conveniently located between Charlotte and Asheville and just minutes from the mountain towns of Blowing Rock, Morganton and Hickory.

Spread across  3600 beautiful acres, our gated community is nestled along the Johns River at Wilson Creek.  Here you’ll find 16 miles of hiking, biking and riding trails, a two-story mountaintop lodge with an infinity-view swimming pool, fitness center and so many more amenities.  Choose property with mountain views, riverfront property, private wood estates, nature settings or equestrian parcels. Our home collection is extensive!

Cruise in to The Coves at Mountain River Club. We’re happy to show you around.

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

Fall Foliage and Tasty Western North Carolina Festivals

fall foliage Western North Carolina

It’s hard to imagine that summer is already winding down, but if you gaze out over the Blue Ridge Mountains splashes of color are beginning to show up here and there.  The sweet thing about living in Western North Carolina, is that all four seasons are downright desirable.  Fall brings in crisp air and foliage that draws folks out of their cozy mountain homes as well as from far away places. 

For those searching for North Carolina mountain homes for sale, autumn is the perfect scenic backdrop to browse; take a ride on the gorgeous and historic Blue Ridge Parkway and explore away.  Not only will the beauty of the region astound you in areas like Wilson Creek, but you’ll experience first hand the tight-knit communities and the down-home feel of the local towns.  You won’t have to search long or hard for things to do in Lenoir NC.  There are festivals galore that are not only free but are also loads of fun.  So gather your friends and family, grab a picnic lunch and your camera, and see what you’ve been missing.

Some traditional festivals if you’re in the area searching for North Carolina mountain homes:

Molasses Festival at Sims Barbecue—Granite Falls; 6160 Petra Mill Road, Granite Falls—Saturday, October 12, 9am-4pm. Events include bluegrass entertainment, jam sessions, clogging, molasses making, apple butter making, hayrides, food, crafts and games. Admission is free. For more information call 828-396-2052.

Smoking in the Foothills Festival—Lenoir; October 18, 19, downtown historic Lenoir. This nonprofit organization gives its proceeds to charities in Caldwell County—“just trying to make our corner of the world a little better, one barbecue plate at a time.”  This festival is a world-class family competition in the gorgeous foothills.  What could be better when you’re in need of things to do in Lenoir NC than sharing comfort food while the leaves are changing?  There’s plenty to do for everyone, even those who don’t participate in the competition.  Sit back and enjoy the live music, the vendors, or take part in the corn hole tournament (“come out and toss a few bags for a good cause!”)  Prize money will be awarded for the competition from Grand Champion to tenth place.

Lenoir works hard to keep its Main Street vibrant.  This is why there’s no end to things to do in Lenoir NC.  Lenoir’s motto is “Growing Stronger Together,” and its downtown and festivals are part of its undeniable vitality.  Travelers along the Blue Ridge Parkway make sure they stop at the Wilson Creek area for incredible outdoor recreation, and Lenoir, a quaint mountain town, to take in a little shopping, dining and entertainment during the gorgeous fall season.  There are vistas along the parkway that will cause you to pull over and take in the majestic mountain ranges with their bright hues. 

Whether you are a lover of nature—wildlife and pristine landscape, or you simply want an adventure, this is the terrain for you.  The Blue Ridge Parkway is renowned for being one of our country’s most spectacular scenic drives.  Take along your fishing rod, tote along your kayaks, or just lace up your hiking boots—there’s an endless list of possibilities for those who crave some outdoor time at Grandfather Mountain, the Wilson Creek region in the Pisgah National Forest, or Linville Falls—just to name a few breathtaking destinations.

The Coves Mountain River Club welcomes visitors all four seasons of the year.  Take a drive down the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, soak in the inspiring autumnal vistas at one of the hundreds of overlooks, and then come see for yourself why this gated community is filled with residents who not only care about nature, but who also cherish their neighbors.

When you’re coasting down the Blue Ridge Parkway, get off at Blowing Rock and stop in at our friendly mountain community. You’ll find there’s no place that rivals The Coves when you search for North Carolina mountain homes with smart lifestyle amenities, and you’ll see why there’s no mystery how living beside the Blue Ridge Mountains creates the dream life for so many.

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

Blue Ridge Mountains Music Coming Labor Day Weekend

Bluegrass festivals in Western North Carolina

What we know as fiddling dates back to the eighteenth century in the British Isles, where the baroque violin and popular folk melodies came together to create an entirely new type of instrumental tune.  When people emigrated to settle in the Appalachians region of the United States, they brought their music with them.  And today’s folk fiddlers continue the tradition, composing and performing thousands of tunes that pay homage to those early models.

Here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, fiddling was an important part of many events, including barn raisings, husking bees, weddings, shivarees, weddings, wakes and other functions.  And, of course, most of the community would turn out for each week’s Saturday night dance, an iconic feature of the rural South.

Today, the list of things to do in Blowing Rock NC, and other local communities includes opportunities to hear local and traveling artists play those old and new fiddle tunes that stir the spirit and get the toes a-tappin’.  And there’s no better time to do it than Labor Day Weekend, when the annual Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention comes to Lenoir and the music echoes through the mountains.

It’s three days of competition, performances and workshops, managed for the last fifteen years on a volunteer basis by a sub-committee of the Caldwell County Arts Council.  They’re committed to promoting our cultural heritage in a way that provides wholesome family activities and protects our community values.

The Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention is a non-profit event with low admission fees, and all funds beyond those necessary to ensure its continuation go to youth scholarships and music programs that preserve traditional bluegrass music, dance and instrument-making activities.

Historic Happy Valley is the popular name for the North Carolina mountain real estate comprising the Upper Yadkin River Valley in Caldwell and Wilkes counties, a fertile area that’s been cultivated since the 18th century.  Many farmers in the Valley today are descendants of these early families, and a significant amount of land bordering the river is still used for grazing cattle and cultivating corn and hay. 

Some residents continue occupations that are holdovers from earlier generations, such as training and working draft animals, cultivating “heritage” vegetables and fruits, and building old-style pole and log barns and outbuildings. In addition to its music traditions, Historic Happy Valley is home to quilters, woodworkers and other craft artists, painters, and storytellers. The Valley is also the location of 13 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, including The Patterson School Historic District, which is one of only two rural historic districts in North Carolina.

Families who own mountain homes near Asheville have myriad opportunities to immerse themselves in our area’s rich history.  In fact, for many that’s one of the main things that brought them here to live. 

We at The Coves Mountain River Club know the value of having so much of our heritage nearby to study and enjoy.  Whether it’s looking for things to do in Blowing Rock NC or exploring mountain trails or enjoying our wonderful parks and waterways, you’re always aware and respectful of the fact that thousands of earlier settlers walked the same paths and called the Blue Ridge foothills home.  

Quality North Carolina mountain real estate developments such as our respect the land and its heritage, while offering all of the features, amenities and comforts of modern life.

While you’re touring mountain homes near Asheville, we invite you to come to Lenoir and let us show you around our property.  We’re situated on five miles of beautiful Johns River waterfront near Wilson Creek and Pisgah National Forest. Our amenities include a mountaintop lodge with an infinity-view swimming pool, award winning hiking trails, two community gardens and more.

Call us now at 828.754.0700 to schedule a visit!

Tags: Blowing Rock | Festivals