The TGIF Summer Concert Series is Back!

things to do in Morganton NC 2019

Morganton’s foot-stomping concert series will be entertaining folks of all ages in the High Country throughout the glorious days of summer. The TGIF Concert Series has become a popular event for those who want entertaining things to do in Morganton NC—both locals and music lovers from afar. The TGIF event brings an average of 1,800 people to each concert. Crowds can double when there are special events that combine with TGIF.

This summer the free concert series runs from May 3-July 26th with a wide variety of performances to enjoy. The live bands perform from 7-10 pm. Arrive at six o’clock with a hearty appetite and you’ll find fabulous fare served up by the food and beverage vendors by the Historic Burke County Courthouse lawn. Spread out your blanket and gaze up at the starry night while the music fills the air. Rain or shine, the shows go on.

Here’s the amazing family-friendly TGIF line up:

• May 3; The Extraordinaires; Variety and Car Cruise In

• May 10; Grandmas Medicine; Rock n Roll

• May 17; Rooted; Americana

• May 24; Gotcha Groove; Soul

• May 31; Fox and Company; Dance

• June 7; Surf Cavalier; Indie Rock and Car Cruise In

• June 14; Sweet Revenge; Classic Rock

• June 21; Throw Down Jones; Rock

• June 28; Tuatha Dea; Celtic

• July 12; N-Spire; Party/Variety and Car Cruise In

• July 19; The Night Move Band; Beach

• July 26; Buick MacKane; Southern Rock

The twelve free concerts are produced by the Historic Morganton Festival, Inc., and its fifteen-member board, who work with gusto. In addition, the HMF produces the Historic Morganton Festival in September, farmers markets on Saturdays from May thru October, and various fundraisers for public art. HMF also collaborates with the community and other worthy organizations to offer the State of Origin Craft Brew Festival with Fonta Flora Brewery in June, and the October Oyster Outing with Burke Arts Councils each fall. The economic benefit to the local community is tremendous. Many volunteer to make these events happen, and any profit made is reinvested so that the community can continue to count on these cherished yearly traditions.

This sort of community spirit and camaraderie are among many reasons folks love Morganton. There is a pride in this town and a deep care for history as well as the charming town’s path moving forward. Morganton received the 2014 Great Main Street Award from the American Planning Association of NC. Stroll down Main Street and you’ll understand why folks cherish this quaint downtown with so much to offer and awesome things to do in Morganton NC. Whether it’s shopping, dining, sipping cocktails with your friends, catching professional entertainment, or attending an lively gala…there’s something for your every mood.

The Coves is just a town away from Morganton, which allows its lucky residents simple ease in attending all the town’s carnivals, festivals, food, art and brew crawls, parades, farmers markets, concerts, chili cook offs, fitness challenges and on! The Coves Mountain and River Club is a friendly gated community with a heart, and the folks who have made their home in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains sure do appreciate a good thing…like the mountain towns and communities that surround them.

Come and visit The Coves when you’re looking for things to do in Morganton NC and take the short drive to Morganton to discover why living in this region is truly idyllic. You’ll find plenty of unique handmade gifts and have an incredible selection of restaurants to choose from– Greek, Italian, American, French, Japanese, Sushi, and after your savory meal– tapas rolled ice cream or a Costa Rican bakery with fresh confections. If you’re thirsty there are cafes, breweries and wineries where you can relax and socialize with your friends. A visit to Morganton and The Coves will be the highlight of your summer.

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 | Morganton

Summer Music in the North Carolina Mountains Near The Coves

music North Carolina

There’s nothing quite like the sound of summer music in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.  Those of us who have some sweet down time during the long days of summer get to fill those relaxing hours with some of the many blissful things to do in Blowing Rock NC.  Taking in a concert or two on a serene night mid-summer is one of the many pleasures of the North Carolina season.

The Appalachian Summer Festival, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, is a popular annual celebration that has been happening faithfully in July the past thirty-five years in Boone.  To think this festival began as a small chamber music celebration and now many folks attend, heading to the diverse venues within the campus to catch an eclectic spectrum of music and dance.  There’s also theatre, film and visual arts happening within this vibrant academic community—no wonder this joyous festival has been selected as part of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast.”

Make sure you pin the 2019 summer schedule in a prominent spot on your bulletin board:

  • June 29; 8 pm; Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts; Ben Folds with the Winston-Salem Symphony conducted by Jacomo Bairos.  Ben Folds is a talented pianist, lyricist, composer and conductor who will open the festival with genre-bending music.


  • June 30; 7 pm; Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center; The Trio Takes Form in association with Reflections Series International will wow you with music spanning from Haydn to Beethoven to Mendelssohn.  Violinist Gil Morgenstern returns for his 35th year as Artistic Director of the ensemble.
  • July 2; 7 pm; Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center; Broyhill Chamber ensemble: Bridging the Classical and Romantic Divide in association with Reflections Series International.  For the first time take part in“Tuesday Talks with the Dean;” pre-concert insightful remarks by Hayes School of Music Dean James Douthit who will illuminate the end of one compositional era and the beginning of a new one, featuring works by Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann.
  • July 6; 10 am;Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center; the Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists.  This Classical Music event, in association with the Hayes School of Music, is in its 9thyear, and proudly launches many of the state’s most promising young artists.
  • July 13; 8 pm;  Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts; Patti LaBelle, the queen of rock and soul, is also amulti Grammy Award-winning superstar singer and actress. There is nothing like seeing this performer live, belting out Lady MarmaladeWhen You Talk About LoveNew Attitude,  orOn My Own.
  • July 14; 7 pm; Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts; Maestro Gerard Schwarz with the Eastern Festival Orchestra presents an evening of symphonic music, featuring soloists Awadagin Pratt, piano, and Morgan Short, harp, playing Beethoven, Ravel and Debussy.
  • July 18; 7 pm; Mark E. Ricks Athletics Complex; the Eastern Festival Orchestra presents Awadagin Pratt, Tapas and Tesla, an evening of chamber music by the renowned quartet in an intimate café with note worthy and savory food.  Sip, dine and socialize while overlooking the panoramic views of the football stadium.
  • July 19; 8 pm; Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts; Chris Botti, multi Grammy Award-winning master trumpeter and composer will deliver an evening of stunning jazz, pop and rock. Botti is the largest selling instrumental artist in the U.S.
  • July 28; 7 pm; Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center; the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble: The Four Bs in associationwith Reflections Series International; works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and contemporary composer Vytautas Barkauskas’ homage to Bach.
  • July 30; 7 pm; Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center; the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble: Potpourri in association with Reflections Series International;  “Tuesday Talks with the Dean” will begin with James Douthit’s enlightening remarks, followed by Robert Schumann’s piano quintet, Ernő von Dohnányi’s Serenade, and a seldom-heard work by Sergei Rachmaninov.
  • August 1; 8 pm; Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts; Punch Brothers’bluegrass quintet–mandolinist Chris Thile, guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjoist Noam Pikelny and violinist Gabe Witcher. The Punch Brothers’ critically-acclaimed T Bone Burnett–produced 2015 release, The Phosphorescent Blues,will put you in the mood for this magical night.
  • August 3; 7:30 pm; Holmes Convocation Center; The Temptations’ Concert and Dance Party; you won’t be able to sit still while listening to original member Otis Williams and singers Ron Tyson, Terry Weeks, Larry Braggs and Willie Greene Jr. crank out their popular hits–My Girl, Ain’t Too Proud, Papa Was a Rolling Stone and I Can’t Get Next to You.

No wonder why folks looking for things to do in Blowing Rock NC make sure this festival is on the top of their list.  The Appalachian Summer Music Festival is one of the country’s top regional arts festivals, celebrating the most prestigious music, dance theatre, visual arts and film.  The mission of the festival is to promote young American artists and to support the university in enhancing the cultural life of the Appalachian community through affordable access to its programs, as well as strengthening the local economy.  “Artistic Excellence, Innovation and Engagement” is the festival’s vision.  This is accomplished throughout the summer’s lectures, exhibitions, tours and workshops, as well as all the student internships and jobs to encourage learning and involvement with the arts.  Come visit the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, Broyhill Music Center, Valborg Theatre, Holmes Convocation Center, and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and discover the community’s commitment to the arts.

Life at The Coves Mountain River Club allows folks to frequent these summer concerts with ease and then return to their idyllic homes for a good night’s sleep.  When you call The Coves home, it’s possible to spend a day wandering the majestic peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, hiking, kayaking, rafting or biking, before heading out for a night on the town.  There are many things to do in Blowing Rock NC that will bring you and your family and friends together.  Summer in the mountain towns of the High Country means continuous concerts and festivals.  Make this the summer you discover the charming life in the North Carolina mountains!

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

2019 Savor Blowing Rock – Food, Wine & Fun

Savor Blowing Rock

It’s going to be an epic four days for wine lovers in the foothills, as “Savor Blowing Rock” returns to North Carolina’s prettiest small town. This year’s celebration will be from May 2 through May 5 and feature “Vintner’s Village” – a grand tasting on Main Street.  You’ll also be able to enjoy an expanded range of demonstrations, seminars, live music, visual arts, and events that showcase the area and its connection to food and drink.

If you’re fortunate enough to own Blowing Rock real estate or you live in the surrounding area, you know that there’s no shortage of interesting things to do and see there even without the added attraction of an event as special as this one.  At The Coves Mountain River Club, we consider ourselves fortunate to be close enough to take advantage of all Blowing Rock has to offer.

Attendees who aren’t local can take advantage of special lodging packages.  You can see all the details online at  Also on the web site, you’ll find a comprehensive description of the many activities scheduled during the four-days of “Savor Blowing Rock”.

On Thursday,  Bennett Larson will talk about the wines of Portugal.  It’s one of many educational seminars to be held at the popular Sunset & Vine wine and cheese shop.  Others set for the same day include a discussion of the Amador vine region of the Shenandoah Valley and a presentation of pairing wine with food.

You’ll want to attend “TASTE!” at the Chelola Resort’s event tent, where you can sample foods from over a dozen High Country restaurants, hear live music and try local wines and craft beers.  And at the Blowing Rock Museum, musician, storyteller, and avid gardener William Ritter will be giving a music and humor-filled talk on the heirloom seeds and old songs he’s collected in North Carolina and beyond.

Friday will bring Danny Sanford, owner of Fine Wine Trading Company, to the Inn at Ragged Gardens to demonstrate the luxury of Riedel glasses and how using one made exclusively for a particular variety enhances the taste of wines.  At Sunset & Vine, Robert Novick of Sour Grapes Distributing will introduce you to the fine wines of Slovenia.  You can learn about the inexpensive Mediterranean-influenced wines produced in Catalonia’s Emporda region, courtesy of Epiphany Wine’s Brian Mockler.  And from winemaker Andrew Murray, hear about Rhône varieties from the Santa Ynez Valley in California.

At the American Legion Hall, don’t miss an incredible art show featuring work by Jacob Daniels and Sir Tom Foolery and a Bodewell wine tasting with Sommelier Jared Seitzer.  When you drink Bodewell wine or purchase an original art piece, you’ll be helping to provide clean water to people around the world.  Witness the power of clean water in one of two showings of the awarding-winning feature film “I Can. I Do.” You’ll want to be part of this inspiring evening!

Also on Friday at Sunset & Vine, you can learn all about the pinot noir grape and the characteristics of the regions where it’s grown and take part in a comparative tasting of wines from around the world.  Phil Doster of Associated Brands will host.  And Anne Prevatte, Fine Wine Manager at Empire Distributing, will guide you through the wine regions of Tuscany.

Saturday, explore the various tastes and styles of rosé with Advanced Sommelier Nick Demos at Sunset & Vine.  You can also attend sessions on the effect of oak on wine and the artisan reds and whites of Italy’s Piedemonte.  The Speckled Trout Restaurant & Bottle Shop will present a showcase of distilled spirits and craft cocktail mixing techniques.  And there’s an outdoor grilling class on the lawn at the Chamber of Commerce.   

That’s a long list.  But believe it or not, there’s even more to “Savor Blowing Rock”.  People from nearby communities, Blowing Rock real estate owners and first-time visitors alike will come away with some great memories and a better perspective on the world’s wines and what makes them special.

If you’re new to the area, we hope you’ll take the opportunity to stop by The Coves Mountain River Club and let us show you how wonderful living here can be.  You don’t have to buy Blowing Rock real estate.  We’re only twenty miles away, with easy access to exciting events like this and all the other many benefits of life in the foothills.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page Complimentary Magazine.

Tags: Blowing Rock | Festivals

Swingin’ Wingin’ Moon in June Concert and More Summer Madness

things to do in Lenoir NC

Although the North Carolina High Country is famously known for its beautiful mountains and relaxed pace, many people who’ve built their dream homes in the gated communities near Asheville NC get to enjoy so many other perks of this amazing region.  The mountain towns in Western North Carolina have a deservedly rich music history with a undeniably strong beat that continues year after year.

From old-time music, to country, jazz, or indie rock, these mountain towns provide entertainment to their happy residents.  The Swingin’ Wingin’ Moon in June Concert in downtown Lenoir is proof that our musical heritage lives on, and plenty of folks will surely be there to kick off and celebrate the summer season.  Presented by COL Main St Program, Parks & Recreation, and Smoking in the Foothills, this concert will no doubt satisfy all your senses. 

Whether you want to feast on the scrumptious chicken wings, share in the friendly chicken wing cook off,  take part in a fun and challenging cornhole tournament, or dance the night away to Chad Triplett & Two Lane Blacktop, and Official Throwdown Jones, this is a free event not to be missed on June 7th from 5-10 pm.

Swingin’ Wingin’ Moon in June is part of the Summer Music Madness which is a bi-weekly Friday night series free to the public with lively bands and mini-festivals on the square.  This is the way to celebrate Caldwell County’s music heritage with your friends and family.  And be prepared to dance!  There will be a summer chock full of talented performers, so mark these concerts on your calendar and invite your friends and family from out of town to share our community spirit.

Some other noteworthy Summer Music Madness Concerts 2019:

• June 28–Cassette Rewind—80’s Night

• July 26—Lucky Pocket—Pop

• August 4—Luther Barnes—Gospel

• August 16—Crawford & Power–Country

Celebrations like these are woven into the lives of the folks who live in the gated communities near Asheville NC, like The Coves. The close-knit community at The Coves is able to share in the vibrant culture of the mountain towns and then head back to their charming homes where comfort is awaiting them. 

The High Country has too many music venues on stages, gazebos and verandas to list– with free live bands, jams, and local musicians to entertain your entire family.  No matter what your taste—grand opera, bluegrass, jazz, country, gospel, this area has an eclectic landscape that is well…music to our ears! So grab your outdoor chairs or cozy blankets and enjoy the melodies beneath the stars.  And visit The Coves and other gated communities near Asheville NC to discover the idyllic life that’s waiting for you in the mountains.

Call us now at 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour!

Tags: Festivals | Lenoir

Pretty in Pink – Spring Flowers Have Arrived in Western North Carolina

Asheville Biltmore Spring Flowers

Spring has arrived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and the folks who live in the gated communities near Asheville NC are surrounded by a palette of colors found only in nature.  What better way to celebrate spring than wandering through a vibrant sea of blooms? You may find the only challenge is deciding which gorgeous landscape to visit this spring, but put the Biltmore Estate on the top of your list to usher in this region’s glorious season.

If you haven’t yet visited the Biltmore, you will find an immense and grand estate with impeccable landscaping and gardens, and a winery and restaurants where you can enjoy some fine fare. There are reasons to journey to the Biltmore in every season of the year, but right now you’ll discover Biltmore Blooms—Tulips and Spring Flowers–an ongoing event that spans well more than a month from April 1-May 23, 2019.  With 100,000 bulbs planted on the Biltmore grounds, a profusion of tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths bloom from the main entrance, to the walled garden.  Tropical plants and flowers also are grown inside the Biltmore House.  This is a tradition in honor of Frederick Law Olmsted and his stunning final project, the gardens at Biltmore.  To help you plan your Biltmore House excursion, here’s a bloom timeline:

Early April—the Spring Garden is lit up by towering forsythia; the Walled Garden is jam packed with 15,000 colorful daffodils and early tulips; other varieties to admire—flowering shrubs and trees like spirea and sweet flowering cherries.

Mid-April—peak tulip season mostly in the Walled Garden (74,000 blooms!)  Of course the Dogwoods and redbuds add to the scenic display.

Late April—the tulips keep on blooming in the Walled Garden as early azaleas and flowering shrubs burst open.  A stroll beneath the wisteria pergola is a sight you won’t soon forget.

Early May—peak azalea time!  20 acres of pink, white, purple, orange and red blossoms—the full spectrum will surround you, and be sure to meander along the walking trails…for the blooms continue!

Late May—this is the time for summer perennials and annuals in the Walled Garden; stand among the rose blossoms, take a deep breath, and you’ll never want to leave.

The Biltmore has many incredible Spring offers, promos, deals and discount tickets.  Once you’re at the Biltmore, you can visit the Winery, Antler Hill Village, Farm and Barnyard, gift shops and restaurants at no extra charge.  There are 8,000 acres of mountain to explore while you’re visiting the Biltmore.

When you’ve settled into one of the gated communities near Asheville NC, amazing opportunities to explore the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains are plentiful.   Those with mountain homes at The Coves are among the lucky locals who can spend their days in the great outdoors, breathing in that healthy mountain air while reveling in the stunning scenery.  Wildflowers abound in this region, with a wide array of flowering plants that can be seen along the Blue Ridge Parkway or in Pisgah National Forest or other protected parks. 

We are fortunate to have flowers blooming pretty much all year long—wildflowers in spring, berries in summer and fall and winter bring their own spectacular varieties of plants and flowers.  The colors of our landscape vary with the season and the profusion of blooms.  At The Coves, residents have the best of both worlds—surrounded by nature and all the flowers and trees that grace our landscape, as well as being able to enjoy Isabel’s Garden, where vegetables and flowers grow by the Johns River.  The growing season has already begun at Isabel’s Garden, and spring blooms are bringing bright color to the English-style community flower beds.

If it’s time for you to explore idyllic places for a vacation mountain home, or to retire, The Coves Mountain River Club is one of the gates communities near Asheville NC you need to discover.  Visit this spring, take a walk along The Coves’ trails, take in all the wild life, and the spectacular flora and fauna,  and you’ll know exactly where your next home should be.

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 | Festivals

NC Gravity Games Return to Lenoir NC

NC Gravity Games Lenoir

Now in its ninth year, the North Carolina Gravity Games continues to be one of the more popular things to do in Lenoir NC.  On Saturday, April 13, enthusiastic crowds will be downtown cheering on the racers and checking out the science booths, tech demos, food vendors and more.  It all begins at eight-thirty in the morning and lasts until about three in the afternoon.

This is the signature event of the North Carolina Science Festival, a multi-day celebration that highlights educational, cultural and financial impact of science in the State.  Sponsors include Google, Appalachian State University, the University of North Carolina and the City of Lenoir.  Teams from schools, Scout Troops, and Boys and Girls Clubs across the state use their hands-on skills to build the fastest and coolest gravity-powered cars and then race them through the downtown streets.

The 2019 North Carolina Gravity Games foster community engagement through sponsorship and will award prizes to the winning teams. The competition focuses on the design, construction, and operation of a potential energy-powered vehicle on a downhill course.

The goal is to provide an opportunity for our local students to apply the principles of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a practical and fun way.  Previous competitions

have drawn more than thirty teams of middle and high school students.  Teams from colleges and universities and corporate entities are welcome to enter as well.  There’s even an “open” category for adults who want to participate.  For more information regarding entry requirements and other rules, see the Frequently Asked Questions tab at

Downhill derby-type racing events have a long history in this country, beginning to take shape in the very early twentieth century and first appearing on a national scale in 1934.  We’re fortunate to have the strong community interest and organizational support that have made the Gravity Games another of the great things to do in Lenoir NC.

Drivers must from seven to fourteen years old.  They’re required to have a parent or legal guardian sign a Participation Agreement on their behalf.  An ANSI-certified helmet is required, and protective clothing is recommended.  And of course there are standards that must be met for the weight and construction of the cars.  The Judging Committee will be responsible for inspecting all entries and the race track for adequate safety and security.  The deadline to register is Midnight EDT on March 13, 2019.

If you’re coming to town for the Gravity Games, why not stop by The Coves Mountain River Club and get a feel for how great living in the Blue Ridge Mountains can be?  It’s a great place to retire, surrounded by all the options for fun, adventure, culture, exploration and exercise you could want.

We’ve become a popular choice for people looking for the perfect combination of pristine natural surroundings and state-of-the-art modern convenience and energy efficiency.  With the help of our expert design team, they’re creating their ideal living environment and settling in to enjoy the many things to do in Lenoir NC and the surrounding area.

If you’re a golfer or plan to become one, you’ll love playing the golf courses.  They offer some of the most spectacular views you’ll find anywhere, with picture-perfect scenes at every turn.  Even on days when you’re not playing your best, Nature makes it all okay!

And, of course, the annual changing of the leaves is a show in itself – one that draws viewers from all over the country.  We have a guaranteed front row seat and the added advantage of being able to hike up and watch it develop in foliage at various elevations.

These are all things that make Lenoir a wonderful place to live, and we’d love to show you how building a home at The Coves Mountain River Club can make your retirement dreams a reality.

Call 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour!

Tags: Festivals | Lenoir