Blowing Rock NC Scores Again – Top Southern Towns
It’s that time of year again! Southern Living’s yearly survey to discover the top southern towns in the United States is out, and it’s no surprise that Blowing Rock has made the list as one of best mountain towns in North Carolina. Who doesn’t adore checking out what makes life in the south “down” right delightful? Tried and true recipes, garden and home ideas, as well as our much-loved culture–are all brought to life in the pages of illustrious publications like Southern Living.
Folks who participate in this yearly survey event understand all the essential elements necessary to create a charming and sought-after town—“a thriving downtown with locally-owned restaurants, shops and galleries; a touch of the artsy; loads of character; friendly locals; and, of course, a beautiful location.”
These are the very reasons so many have chosen Blowing Rock real estate. Down south we adore the preservation of traditions, and the warmth that comes from a close-knit community that we can share our day to day life with in the mountain towns in North Carolina.
These favorite towns don’t need to be over-sized to be vibrant and inspiring. What they may lack in size they make up for in charm that has its roots deeply planted in historic preservation, breath-taking scenery, and plenty of shops, galleries and unbelievably delicious and diverse cuisine.
As Blowing Rock real estate proves and Southern Living stated so well, “These Main Street towns evoke the best of what we are as a culture. They’re places with a beating heart, where tradition is the lifeblood, and neighbors gather on front porches for a glass of sweet tea.”
The locals know why there’s so much to love about Blowing Rock, named for its unique rock formation that attracts visitors all year long who come to experience the wind currents that blow vertically. It’s quite a sight to drop a handkerchief and have it return to you as you’re perched high at blowing rock elevation of 1,500 feet above the scenic Johns River gorge. For those of you who appreciate a good photo op for Instagram, this is the spot to snap away. Capture the Blue Ridge Mountains at their best.
The town itself is located at the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is just a little over three miles. Due to the blowing rock elevation, the climate can’t be beat. Those who enjoy life in the mountain towns of North Carolina have a strong appreciation for the cooler summer temperatures. Who can complain about summer days that don’t creep above 80 degrees? Rainfall is moderate, and winters deliver snow for those who wouldn’t consider passing up a season of skiing and cold weather recreation—of course knowing they have their cozy home at The Coves awaiting them when the sun sets beyond the white-capped mountains.
The Coves Mountain River Club is a natural draw for those exploring Blowing Rock real estate due to its proximity—just under a half an hour! Those who have settled comfortably into their Coves mountain homes drive the scenic route often to take advantage of the blowing rock elevation, the gorgeous views, and the perks of a nearby mountain town where a slow and relaxed pace is just how it goes.
When a unique gift is in order, the upscale boutiques won’t disappoint. And don’t forget–there are attractions to suit your entire family, from the Tweetsie Railroad Park, to the Green Park Inn, the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, Moses Cone Memorial Park, trails to Glen Burney and Glen Marie waterfalls, 25 miles of equestrian trails, and plenty of popular festivals throughout the year to usher in every season with celebration and endless fun.
Come and see for yourself why this enchanting region was chosen for this year’s Top Southern Towns. Plan an idyllic getaway and experience some warm Southern hospitality in Blowing Rock.
Residents at The Coves are not surprised by the recognition. It is already one of their favorite day trips in the High Country. If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page Complimentary Magazine.
Local Secrets – Shopping in Blowing Rock
If you haven’t yet discovered the “Crown of the Blue Ridge,” Blowing Rock, North Carolina, this is the perfect season to plan a road trip along the exquisite Blue Ridge Parkway. Perhaps you’re considering building a mountain home in the area. Why not take a long weekend and explore the quaint village, browse the distinct stores—there’s nothing like Blowing Rock shopping in the winter time –and be sure to fit in some recreation, dining, or a little relaxation time at the spa. There are many sweet local inns, bed and breakfasts, rustic cabins, and, of course, pampering hotels that await you after a day of searching for North Carolina mountain homes for sale.
Blowing Rock shines year round, but during the winter time, there is some extra magic in the air– celebrations, concerts, festivals, parades, and twinkling lights abound, all to put you in the Christmas spirit! While you’re browsing North Carolina mountain homes for sale, bring your holiday list and find the perfect precious gifts for all of your family and friends. There’s nothing better than Blowing Rock shopping and feeling like you’ve stepped back into a simpler time with a much slower pace. This is idyllic way to meander and shop in over 100 boutiques and stores as well as nearly 30 outlets for incredible bargains.
Some of the unique stores awaiting you in Blowing Rock:
Antiques and Collectibles
• BLOWING ROCK ANTIQUE CENTER; 7593 Valley Blvd., Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-4970; open all year long, features 50 antique dealers, art, consignments and appraisals.
• BLOWING ROCK ESTATE JEWELRY & ANTIQUES; 167 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, NC 28605;
828-295-4500; family-owned; large selection of platinum, 14 and 18kt fine and estate jewelry, specializing in diamonds, precious-colored gems and antique heirloom jewelry.
• CARRIAGE TRADE LIVING; 1079 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3110; home decor, gifts, antiques, and seasonal items; heirloom silver, Majolica and Chinese exports; tasty local treats for entertaining, and a stunning Christmas wonderland each year.
•HANNA’S; 1123 S. Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-7073; since 1919, oldest oriental rug shop in Blowing Rock; handmade antique and new oriental rugs of all types, sizes and colors. Fine European and oriental imports. Antique occasional furniture and porcelains, Swarovski crystal, M.I. Hummel figurines, Lladro, Hibel, Royal Doulton, hand-embroidered linens, fine estate and new jewelry. Direct importer, best prices. We buy old rugs, jewelry and art objects.
• POSSUM HOLLOW ANTIQUES; 247 Possum Hollow Road, Blowing Rock, NC 28605;828-295-3502; furniture and accessories for every room. Locally owned and operated since 1973. Open year round.
• RUG COMPANY; 999 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-4271; fine new and antique oriental rugs; traditional Persians, flatweaves, French aubussons and needlepoints
• WINDWOOD ANTIQUES; 1157 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9260; fine European antiques, Majolica, art and lamps. The largest selection in the area of painted furniture from Reclaimed Timber. Collection of unique gifts for travelers; shipping can be arranged.
• ANTIQUES MAIN; 109 Aho Rd., Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-414-9365.
Apparel and Accessories
•100 WEST UNION; 1179 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-6993; quality clothing and sportswear for men.
• ALMOST RODEO DRIVE; 1132 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3422; the oldest boutique in Blowing Rock with distinctive styles. One-stop shop for upscale ladies’ clothing and jewelry, home and garden; Joseph Ribkoff, Tribal, and Krazy Larry; floral arrangements made on site, and fine gifts for all occasions: aqua flames, oil candles, flags, birdhouses and Greenwich Bay soaps. Open year-round.
• BOUTIQUE COLLECTION BY CARRIAGE TRADE; 1077 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3110; Parisian-style boutique with unique accessories for ladies and the home.
• CELESTE’S; 1132 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3481; one of Southern Living Magazine’s “Favorite Stores,” a boutique with women’s accessories and apparel and adorable clothing for children. In-house embroidering makes personalization fast and easy!
• FIG LEAF LTD.; 1131 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3535; unique ladies casual wear and accessories, delightful gift items. A charming shop inviting you to visit year round.
• FINLEY HOUSE COUTURE; 1121 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-6373; classic and contemporary clothes– Lily Pulitzer, Comfy, Elizabeth McKay, Sara Campbell, High Point, and Verena. Designer jewelry– Alexis Bittar, Susan Shaw, Karine Sultan, and 1Ar; candles, giftware; unique estate jewelry–Blythe Jewelers of West Palm Beach.
• J. MCLAUGHLIN; 1081 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-372-3003; quality silks, sporty cottons and cashmeres; embroidered Bermudas, feather minis and statement-making hybrid prints.
• J. W. TWEEDS; 1129 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-8918; multi-levels of European and American sportswear for men and women. Great service; fun atmosphere.
• MONKEE’S OF BLOWING ROCK; 1179 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-0708; locally owned, cutting-edge designer ladies fashion. Known as “The ultimate in ladies shoes, clothing and accessories;” designers–Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Stuart Weitzman, Hunter, Frye, Jack Rogers, TOMS, Eileen Fisher, Lilla P, Johnny Was, Velvet, and Joe’s Jeans.
• SISTER ACT; 1128 A Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9333; an eclectic boutique featuring the unexpected in apparel and accessories; fashion-forward dressing, reasonably priced; the Shoe Box and an exclusive collection of Jewelry Designs.
• SUNSET TEE’S & HATTERY; 1117 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9326; western North Carolina’s largest selection and variety of hats, ball caps, casual apparel, tee shirts, sweatshirts, moccasins, gifts and variety of Blowing Rock souvenir sportswear, shirts and ball caps. Open 7 days a week year round.
• TANNER-DONCASTER OUTLET; 537 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC; 828-295-4200; Since 1931 ladies fine apparel and accessories; classic and timeless international style with modern flair; sizes 2 – 24 at a savings of 25% – 65% off.
• TAZMARAZ; 1107 Main St. Suite C, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3737; eclectic women’s boutique catering to women of all ages. Wide variety of boutique labels and up and coming designers. Great price point with many items under $100, striving to support Made in America designers.
• ARTWALK; 1087-1 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-414-9770; perfect gifts for everyone; home to several talented in-state potters, woodworkers, local photographers and other creators of handcrafted goods; unique North Carolina souvenirs—signs, kitchen décor,magnets; affordable and on-trend clothing and jewelry.
• BLOWING ROCK FRAMEWORKS & GALLERY; 7539 Valley Blvd, Blowing Rock NC, 28605|
Telephone: 828-295-0041; finest art by the best-established artists in Blowing Rock and the High Country– Raymond Chorneau, Wes Waugh, Joanna Wardell, Nancy Brittelle, Paul de Marrais, and exclusively representing Edward Szmyd in the US– beautiful landscapes, still lifes, and abstracts.
• GAINES KIKER SILVERSMITH; 132 Morris St Blowing Rock, NC 28605-2733; 828-295-3992;
custom silver, gold and platinum jewelry, Gaines refines raw materials into simply elegant designs; an impressive collection of contemporary jewelry. The working studio/gallery is open to the public Tuesday – Saturday 11-5pm.
• IAGO; 1165 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605-2448; 828-295-0033; finest in inspired handcrafts–jewelry, art, glass, fine art, sculpture, home decor accents, copperware, pottery, woodcrafts, metal crafts, and stained glass. IAGO’s artists and craftsmen represent local institutions as the Penland School and the Southern Highlands Craft Guild as well as others with a broader scope.Owners: Doug Lacher and Xiaodi Tang.
• MAIN STREET GALLERY/EXPRESSIONS CRAFT; 960 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605-2027; 828-295-7839; local artists feature their fine arts and crafts in this unique cooperative gallery; pottery, jewelry, fiber art, basketry, photography, paintings, woodworking, and other traditional and contemporary hand crafted art. Open every day 10am-6pm.
• PHOTOS BY META; 915 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; an Online Photography Gallery featuring Nature and Macro Photography of Western North Carolina by Macro Photographer, Meta Gatschenberger, RN. Framed Photos are for sale in Blowing Rock at Rustic and the Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge.
• REINERT FINE ART; 1153 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC; 828-414-9580; showcases many classical painters and well-known sculptors; emerging artists as well as national and world-renowned artists, including Oil Painters of America Masters Neil Patterson, Zhiwei Tu, Calvin Liang and Christopher Zhang. Lately, Reinert enjoys “sharing the colors and landscape of the mountains in addition to his widely popular Lowcountry scenes of South Carolina.”
• TRADITIONS POTTERY; 1155 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-6128; family of Blowing Rock potters for more than 40 years; handmade pottery, Christian gifts, & unique fashion accessories including handbags, and jewelry.
Gifts and Crafts
• BLOWING ROCK CIGAR COMPANY AND CLUB; 1179 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 404-713-9454; a relaxing and cozy cigar lounge–catch a game, conduct business, or just hang out with friends; active carbon ventilation system and a well-stocked bar. Annual and daily memberships are available. Widest selection of premium cigars and accessories in the High Country. Open 7 days a week.
• BRASS EXCHANGE; 1149 S. Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9611;eclectic selection of home decor and seasonal accessories at great prices.
• CABIN FEVER OF WATAUGA; 915 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-0520; cabin decor, rustic furnishings and gifts; locally-crafted wooden beds, reclaimed barn wood tables, and willow outdoor furniture. Rustic accessories include lamps, antler lighting, wall art, kitchen and bath decor and much more!
• CHRISTMAS IN BLOWING ROCK; 1125 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9696;
unusual gifts for all ages; Blowing Rock Ornaments to personalize, amazing selection of decorative flags, beautiful jewelry, and women’s clothing and accessories; open all year.
• CROSS TRADE INTERNATIONAL;1087 – 2 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605;828-295-8691;
imported women’s accessories, home decor, and unique gifts; Brazilian handcrafts. Meet the artisans, and discover Brazil! Jewelry, Handbags & Belts, Ceramic, and much more! Open all year.
• DE PROVENCE ET D’AILLEURS; 131-8 Morris Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605-1479; 828-295-9989; French gifts and accessories; collectibles–Santons de Provence, Laguiole knives, Quimper faience, Biot glasswork; household accessories such as Provence tablecloths, pottery, lamps, books, candles, natural soaps, Fragonard creams and perfumes; jams, honey, mustard, and sea salt; original French artwork. Truly “A Touch of France in Blowing Rock.”
• DREAM WEAVER; 1179 Main Street #4, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 561.603.1474; the art of basket weaving hand-woven from natural materials, hand dyed, stained and preserved.
• FINAL TOUCHES; 1077 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-6690;Mexican chimineas, pottery, talavera, metal crafts, and folk art for the home and garden; eclectic assortment of fashion accessories and unique gifts, including items made in North Carolina. Open all year, hours vary with season. Shipping available.
• GILDED LILY BY PATRA; 1053 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-4277; a gift and home decor boutique–unique items at hometown prices. Southern Living Magazine’s “favorite store in the Mountains.” Featuring French Laundry Home outlet, gifts, jewelry, home decor, and much more!
• HANDTIQUES; 110 Sunset Drive Suite 2, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-7001; handmade jewelry, practical art and craft; American-made art that is singularly beautiful, affordably priced and functional.
• HEART OF THE ROCK; 104 Maple Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3444; inspirational treasures, decor and gifts that warm the heart.
• HIGH COUNTRY CANDLES; 1098 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9655;unique hand-sculptured wax creations; tri-color candles, scented pillar, jar and votive, non-drip and smokeless taper candles. Recognized by Southern Living Magazine as one shop that visitors to Blowing Rock shouldn’t miss!
• LAST STRAW; 978 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3030; an amazing array of silk florals, artful garden gifts, inspired accessories, architectural accents, and patio furniture; customized arrangements for home or business.
• MOUNTAIN THREAD COMPANY; 1098-4 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-372-7024;
quality handmade baskets, quilts, fabrics and supplies, as well as local and regional artisan products. Classes, workshops, and special events.
• MRS. BRUMBLE’S; 1107 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9191; unique jewelry, unusual gifts, collectibles and other interesting finds with a feminine touch. Open 7 days a week in season, from 10-6. Off Season hours vary.
• MY MOUNTAIN HOME; 120 Maple Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-434-5240; home decor, gifts, and furniture featuring local and regional artisans; closed Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Open late every First Friday of the month for Blowing Rock’s Sip & Shop Events!
• NEACO; 1053 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-0709; all things groovy and unusual for the home; gifts, music and colorful art.
• PANDORA’S MAILBOX; 1098 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-4238; music, jewelry – unique pieces from Holly Yashi and Ayala Bar. Kites, flags and wind garden spinners. Cards of all descriptions.
• ROEY’S 12 CORNERS CUSTOM QUILTS; 1129 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 585-749-4826; fiber artist and quilter handcrafts each item.
• RUSTIC; 915 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9033; reclaimed wood furniture fits in a Manhattan loft as easily as a cabin. Handcrafted gifts and accessories, made from natural products, are unique to the high country. Open year round.
• SERVES YOU RIGHT; 1179 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-4438; gifts and essentials for the kitchen, dining room, bar and terrace–American and imported china, stemware, kitchen and serving accessories, cookbooks, picnicware, ice molds, fancy throwaways, special occasion cards, beautiful papers and more.
• TAKE HEART; 1009 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3444; gifts and clothing that speak to the heart of a woman.
• TERVIS; 1098-3 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-8095;Tervis has manufactured lifetime guaranteed insulated tumblers since 1946, keeping hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold; proudly made in America. They are customizable and the perfect gift for any occasion!
• TRILLIUM; 153 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-7115; a premier authorized Dr. Hauschka beauty boutique, offering holistic skin care for ladies and gents.
• UNWOUND; 1132 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605-1766; 828-295-5051; unique yarns and accessories for your knitting and crocheted projects. During the summer, we offer a full schedule of classes and projects, plus all that’s new in the world of yarn. Come by for a visit soon, or reach us through our website. Open every day, 10:00am to 5:00pm
• WE’RE GOOD SPORTS; 1087-3 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9547; featuring team logo sports gifts and collectibles, sports prints, caps, and authenticated autographed items from your favorite players, current and retired. Open year-round. We ship anywhere UPS!
• BLOWING ROCK FURNITURE GALLERY; 8486 Valley Blvd., Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-7755 ; retail furniture made in America–Kincaid, Vaughan-Bassett, Craftmaster, Broyhill and Classic Leather.
• GREGORY ALAN’S; 1151 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3330;
unique gifts and accessories for home, patio or deck; creative wall decor, including clocks, mirrors and tapestries, as well as other unique home accents in all price ranges. Open year round.
• MOODY’S HANDMADE FURNITURE; 127 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, NC 28605-0231; 828-295-3275; solid wood – Early American-style furniture.
• B’DAZZLED; 1179 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-9006; distinctive costume jewelry design.
• VILLAGE JEWELERS; 7537 Valley Boulevard, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-414-9773; ring sizing and repair, fine estate jewelry, custom jewelry design, appraisal and evaluation of antique jewelry; vintage, engagement and custom jewelry designs.
Outdoor, Sports & Pets
• FOOTSLOGGERS; 921 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-4453; open year-round. Full line of hiking boots; newly expanded selection of women’s footwear; camping gear and accessories; dog accessories; sunglasses; clothing for outdoor activities and travel.
• RHODDIE BICYCLE OUTFITTERS; 257 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-414-9800; full-service bicycle shop; sales, rentals (mountain, road, gravel, pathway and kids), guide services, maps, route planning, repairs, and fitting services; gear necessary to fully enjoy the cycling opportunities this region has to offer.
• STELLA BLUE’S PAWTIQUE; 110 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828.719.9332; dog and cat nutrition, top of the line products, toys and apparel to help keep our pets healthy and happy!
Of course, don’t forget the bargains when you make time for some Blowing Rock shopping…
• SHOPS AT THE MARTIN HOUSE; 1098 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-963-2720; built in 1870 as a boarding house, the shops at the main Martin House and the adjacent courtyard now provide a great shopping experience for the whole family.
• SOUTHMARKET; 1179 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-3566; upscale shopping begins at the south end of Main Street; Victorian architecture, beautiful gardens and inviting, unique stores– apparel, shoes and accessories, pet boutique, home accessories, kitchen, entertaining, bar merchandise and children’s gifts.
• TANGER OUTLETS BLOWING ROCK; 278 Shoppes On The Parkway Road, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; 828-295-4444; Banana Republic, Coach, J Crew, and G.H.Bass–over 30 factory outlet stores; Strollers, wheelchairs and gift cards are available at Tanger Shopper Services. Tanger Coupon books, AAA / AARP and Military discounts also available.
The Blowing Rock area has so much to offer, it’s no wonder why so many folks building a mountain home after searching many of the North Carolina mountain homes for sale, long to put their roots down in this region. Many find they’d rather build the perfect home instead of a fixer-upper. Of course those who have made The Coves their home sweet home, already recognize the charm and allure of the North Carolina mountain towns. Blowing Rock is a wonderful place for the entire family to explore, with no end to entertainment, shopping, dining, culture, and recreation.
The Coves is an award winning mountain community that suits outdoor enthusiasts, no matter the season, and for those enjoy mountain biking, hiking and paddling in one of the most stunning natural environments. If you are dreaming about building a mountain home, this is a smart time of year to choose land while the leaves are off the trees. It’s a time when scenic views are naturally revealed.
Appalachian Ski Mountain beckons…so dust off your skis, or your snow shoes, and hit the impeccably-groomed trails. Don’t forget the glorious New Year’s Eve celebration for those of you who want an exhilarating beginning to 2018!
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page Complimentary Magazine
Bolick and Traditions Pottery in Lenoir
We are lucky to live in a region of North Carolina that holds tight to our rich traditions and creative spirit. Arts, crafts and sculpture are all near and dear to our hearts and they often come to reflect our personalities as we decorate our mountain homes near Asheville NC.
If you’re craving an old-fashioned sort of outing, and searching for things to do in Lenoir NC, a visit to Bolick and Traditions Pottery should certainly be top on your list. Conveniently located just south of Blowing Rock, the scenic nature of this property alone is reason to visit. Tucked into the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, the farm will transport you to another time, with an old-fashioned village, two pottery shops, and the serenity of a flowing mountain stream.
Several worthwhile events happen here throughout the year, for those of you who live in the gated communities near Asheville NC, such as their well-known kiln openings, or the foot-tapping mountain music and lively dancing on summer Sundays.
Incredible artists display their fine work at Bolick and Traditions. Both galleries are chock full of functional, decorative and folk art pottery. Two of these artists are Mike and Janet Calhoun who were married in 1986. Mike soon learned the art of pottery, which allowed him to channel his creativity and imagination into his artisan face jugs.
For those who travel from their mountain homes near Asheville NC –Santas, Wizards, Clay Spirits and Cry Babies are some of the most popular of Mike’s creations. Our region is seeped with moonshine history. Moonshine tours are popular for locals and tourists alike, highlighting some of the most ingenious folks and where they made their popular liquor. Mike’s jugs are a great way to pay homage to the history of moonshine, but there’s plenty more–handmade pottery, teapots, mugs, bowls, pitchers, and candlesticks.
There are many reasons to visit Bolick and Traditions Pottery when you’ve got that free day stretched before you and you need some fun things to do in Lenoir NC. The last Saturday of every June, they have an incredible tradition, the Annual Heritage Day and Wood Kiln Opening that many with mountain homes near Asheville NC attend.
In its 26th year, this past June 24th did not disappoint with live entertainment, music played by The Dollar Brother, The Martin Laurel Band (bluegrass and gospel) as well as Glenn Bolick and Friends, Denny Key, Bruce Hill, Connie Trivette, Gail Evans, Vicki Shell, and Janet Calhoun. Storytelling by Frawley and Orville Hicks also kept folks spellbound. Their write up describes it perfectly: “The purpose of the event is to educate the public on some of the traditional ways of life. Through demonstrations of heritage arts, crafts, and interactive events, visitors can get a glimpse of the way their grandparents may have lived, worked, and entertained.”
The festival featured regional artists who demonstrated, educated, and sold their works. These potters create the same shapes that have been in their families for more than 190 years as well as creating their own unique designs. Charlie Glenn was in attendance, demonstrating and selling his handmade instruments, and the talented John Peterson had his banjos for sale as well.
Admission was free and the festivities lasted all day from ten until four. The wood kiln, otherwise known as the groundhog wood kiln, which uses the method of firing without electricity, was filled with face jugs, owl mugs, sculpted chickens, Rebekah pitchers, hand-formed animals, teapots, vases, pitchers and more. Those who got there early had the best selection.
The shops were also bustling with people, many who live in the gated communities of Asheville NC, browsing for more pottery, and additional arts and craft items such as quilts, goat milk soaps and lotion, leather, iron and wood works. “We love to offer local and US made items such as sterling silver, and aluminum jewelry from NC, Lula N Lee jewelry from Texas, and wall art from P. Graham Dunn with an inspirational flair.
Soaps, lotions, honeys, and candles are also offered from local artists, and craftsman,” their website describes. All pottery is microwave, oven and dishwasher safe and all glazes are lead-free for convenience and good health. For those who love to quilt, there was an interactive quilting party and a Gee Haw Whimmie Diddle Contest. Plenty of delicious food was served, so there was no need to bring coolers—only chairs were needed to kick back in a comfortable spot to enjoy the celebration.
When you’re in the mood for new things to do in Lenoir NC, just take the short trip to 1155 Main Street, where you can find Original Owens Pottery, and gifts from Natural Life, Demdaco, Savannah Bee Company, Chala and Mona-B fashion and handbags, plus a bounty of handmade jewelry, soaps, lotions and candles. “The shop in Blowing Rock is more than a pottery fix. We blend casual clothing, accessories, and other needful things for the home, body, & spirit.
Trendy clothing like flowing vests, crochet ponchos, and wraps. Our selection of handbags include animal themes and up-cycled material that are fashionable, and affordable,” their website describes. They make it easy for those who can’t make the trip in person. You can shop online for convenience or get out and visit one of their festive wood kiln openings if you live in the gated communities near Asheville NC. Calls can be made for availability, pricing and orders. In addition, Mike’s jugs are available on Pinterest.
For those of you who just can’t get enough pottery, there are North Carolina Pottery Shows in March, April and October—opportunities to browse and shop for personal gifts throughout the year. March brings the Catawba Valley Pottery Festival in the Hickory Metro Center. April means spring and Merlefest at the Wilkes Community College–easy to find in the Heritage Craft Tent. And autumn is the time to celebrate the North Carolina State Fair located in the Village of Yesteryear in October. Mark these shows on your calendar and bring your friends and family.
Living at The Coves Mountain River Club affords endless possibilities to inspire your creative side while finding those perfect unique artistic pieces to make your charming mountain house feel like home. The Blue Ridge Mountains lend a stunning backdrop to The Coves, just beyond your door, and with a short drive you can explore and take in the creations of so many talented and valued artists in our region and perhaps be inspired to be creative yourself.
Bolick and Traditions Pottery can be found at 4443 Bolick Road, Lenoir, NC 28645; Phone: (828) 295-5099
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 9am-5pm; Sunday: 1pm-5pm.
While you’re in town, be sure to stop by The Coves. We’ll take you up to our mountaintop lodge and 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.
The Kitchen Connection and Wine Shop Spices Up Morganton
Hello Morganton! Are you ready to spice up your life? Then you should know about a local hot spot on the Morganton NC shopping scene that’s “your connection to the good things in life.” They’ve got sugar and spice and everything nice. And by “nice” we mean an incredibly nice selection of the finest in gourmet arabica coffee beans, loose-leaf teas, award-winning wines, plus gifts and gadgets galore.
The Kitchen Connection & Wine Shop is now located at 108 West Union Street in Downtown Morganton right next to Yianni’s Restaurant. Although the Grand Opening for this Downtown shop took place just 10 months ago (September 2016), owner, Pamela Saunders, and her husband, Keith, are not exactly new to the task of serving up the finest in culinary merchandise to customers in Morganton. This powerhouse husband-and-wife entrepreneurial team have been in business for 22 years running The Kitchen Connection, which has even earned Ms. Saunders the Burke County Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Cornerstone Award for Female-Owned Business of the Year.
Having already built a time-honored relationship with customers at the original Sanford Drive location in Morganton and from neighboring North Carolina mountain communities, this new Kitchen Connection location prompted Saunders to rebrand and expand! The new Downtown store has additional square footage that provides a more comfortable and enjoyable shopping experience for customers who like to browse, taste, sip, and shop.
As for rebranding, The Kitchen Connection has added “Wine Shop” to its name and, with it, a slew of extra offerings to spice things up and keep this small business growing and thriving in a town of foodies and wine lovers. Known for 22 years as the local shop that offers the best in party supplies, custom gift baskets, kitchen tools and top-of-the line cookware, The Kitchen Connection & Wine Shop has some great new features to keep customers “connected to the good things in life.” These new offerings include:
WINE STATION offers wine by the glass
The Wine Shop has a great selection of bottles to choose from. But for those who want to take-a-break-and-partake, wine is sold by the glass and dispensed from an innovative in-house Wine Station. Manufactured by Napa Technologies of California, this sophisticated wine preservation and dispensing system uses state-of-the-art software to cool each glass to the optimal temperature, allowing customers to savor the flavor of each glass just as the wine maker intended. Saunders is excited to offer the Wine Station at her new Morganton Wine Shop. “There are very few of these Wine Stations in Western North Carolina,” she says, “and we hope it will add to the appeal of our downtown, helping to attract more visitors to our area.” With so many wine lovers in the mountain towns in North Carolina, we bet they’ll be lining up to give Saunders’s Wine Station a try!
WINE TASTINGS let you “Sip ‘n’ Shop”
Living up to their philosophy of “drink what you enjoy,” The Kitchen Connection & Wine Shop invites customers to explore their inner sommelier by doing a “Sip ‘n’ Shop” through the store on Fridays and Saturdays when a few bottles of wine are uncorked for in-store tastings. On select dates, wine distributors might even be available on site to answer questions and offer tips for pairings.
The Kitchen Connection & Wine Shop staff are always on a mission to find great, inexpensive wines to offer their customers at discounted rates. In addition to offering popular favorites from California, Italy, and France – which include a selection Pino Noir, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Moscato, Shiraz, and Chardonnay – they source and sell Cakebread, Caymus, Rombauer, and other outstanding boutique wines. Their diverse selection of wines sets them apart from the competition and has earned them Best Wines in Burke awards for six consecutive years. But they don’t stop there! The owners continue to attend trade shows, visit wineries (as far away as the Pacific Northwest), and work closely with distributors to find distinctive wines they can bring back to their customers at 5-20% savings.
COFFEE CLUB members get peak flavor and freshness… and some free beans!
The Kitchen Connection doesn’t just serve up a great cup o’ Joe. They’re masters at understanding – and explaining to customers – what the art of coffee is all about. From sourcing, cultivating, and growing to brewing, freezing, storing, and grinding the beans, the experts at The Kitchen Connection know what’s best at every step in the process. And when it comes to roasting, The Kitchen Connection ensures their coffees are roasted delivered on schedule so they arrive fresh and vacuum-packed in Mylar bags to preserve peak flavor and freshness. They offer a variety of beans and unique seasonal flavors, and they’ll grind the beans up fresh for each customer. Java lovers who join the Coffee Club and purchase 10 pounds of coffee will receive their 11th pound for free!
That’s just a sampling of what you’ll find in this foody-friendly all-things-kitchen shop. But don’t take our word for it. Visit The Kitchen Connection & Wine Shop for yourself. Next time you’re in Downtown Morganton, stop by and explore row after row of cookware, bakeware, and cast-iron pots; kitchen gadgets, barware, grilling supplies; mouth-watering condiments, jams, crackers, and salsas; beautiful linens, ceramics, and glassware for everyday use or entertaining; and uniquely designed gift baskets tailored to your tastes and occasions. And be sure to take advantage of the Wine Station, Sip ‘n’ Shop Tastings, and Coffee Club.
Morganton is a mountain-town hot-spot with some of the coolest shops and restaurants in Western North Carolina. The growth of these local small businesses is just one reason Morganton’s culturally rich Downtown area attracts so many neighbors from nearby North Carolina mountain communities, including The Coves Mountain River Club.
Just a short drive from Morganton is Lenoir, one of the most charming mountain towns in North Carolina. And this is where you’ll find The Coves, a scenic gated mountain-river community with a collection of beautifully crafted homes with chic elegant-yet-rustic designs, breezy floorplans, and picturesque windows that open up to spectacular views of Grandfather Mountain and the Johns River. Neighbors here are the first to boast about this quiet but lively community that serves up an endless stream of year-round recreational activities, including hiking, fishing, biking, horseback riding, wine making, community gardening, swimming, and pool-side yoga.
Talk about spicing up your life! The Coves is where mountain meets river, and relaxation meets invigoration. It’s your key to your very own heaven-in-the-foothills lifestyle, where the climate is always pleasant, each season is more beautiful than the last, and your quiet mountain retreat comes with quick access to vibrant North Carolina mountain communities with your choice of cool shops, restaurants, museums, theatres, and night life. That’s mountain living done right!
Visit The Coves Mountain River Club and find out how to spice up your life with a new mountain property of your own. While you’re here, be sure to stop by The Kitchen Connection & Wine Shop in Downtown Morganton.
Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule your visit.
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, as for our 84-page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide, which gives you more information about living in the foothills.
Lenoir Farmers Market at The Coves
It’s that glorious time of year again! The Downtown Lenoir Farmer’s Market will soon return to the Pisgah Mountain Lodge bringing fresh produce, meats, and an incredible array of artisan delights to those who live at The Coves, one of the finest NC mountain real estate developments near Asheville.
There is nothing more convenient than the bounties of summertime being made available once a month just beyond your front door from 10 am-12 pm at the Lodge. Those who live at The Coves care about community and good health, and the Lenoir Farmer’s Market is a perfect way to celebrate both.
The produce and products are absolutely top-notch, reflecting their motto—“Buy Local, Buy Fresh, Buy Quality.” The community works tirelessly to ensure these words ring true. Once you taste a locally grown tomato, there’s no doubt you’ll be a believer.
The Lenoir Downtown Farmer’s Market is proud of the fact that many of their farmers are Appalachian Grown certified through the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, as well as belonging to Foothills Fresh, a division of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Office, North Carolina Farm Fresh and Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. Many who live in mountain homes near Asheville understand the commitment to community, the environment, and preservation of our gorgeous North Carolina landscape.
After settling into your charming NC mountain real estate, the support that’s given to our local economy, our local farms, and those who work there, really shows, as well as the care we give to the culture, while tending to the environment and our health and, of course, our family’s well-being too.
What will you discover at the Pisgah Mountain Lodge? There’s no shortage of brightly-colored vegetables to liven up your dinner table while providing undeniable nutrition to those you love. There’s no comparison between the fresh produce at the farmer’s market and the typical fare offered in the supermarket. Asparagus that’s perfect for the grill, sprinkled with a touch of artisan cheese, sea salt and pepper, and also perfect for grilling—eggplant, onions, sweet peppers, or sweet corn.
What better way to spend an evening than grilling while surrounded by the scenic backdrop of The Coves? Arugula, spinach, kale, mustard greens, cucumbers, and mixed greens will fill your salad bowl with an incredible combination of your choice… touched by the perfect light dressing made with delicate shallots. There’s not a kid at your table who won’t find a new love for fresh crunchy broccoli with a scrumptious and creamy dip on the side, or even those sweet garden peas with a light snap. How about a delectable Caprese salad made from fresh tomatoes, embellished by basil, olive oil and some artisan mozzarella?
For dessert creations, there’s no shortage of fruits and berries to fill your homemade pies, tarts, cakes or top your refreshingly sweet ice cream and gelato. Make a fruit salad with cantaloupes, berries, and watermelons. Dip those juicy strawberries in chocolate and chill for the perfect after-dinner sweet. There’s no better way to begin the morning than golden pancakes or crepes top with berries. And of course, you can get your eggs, meats, breads, baked goods, jams, dressings, pesto, tomato sauce, grains, herbs, nuts (chestnuts, walnuts and pecans) and don’t forget the wine!
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift, there are teas, flowers, wreaths, candles, soaps and artisan crafts to choose from—enough to check all those birthdays and special occasion presents off your to-do list. Any visiting children coming to your gated communities near Asheville NC this summer? There are plenty of farm tours, hands-on workshops, festivals and celebrations to inspire and educate the kids in your life.
There are other incredible farmer’s markets in our area, if you live in a gated community near Asheville NC, that will inspire your culinary talents and supply your table with all you need to entertain and feed those who gather round.
The Downtown Hickory Farmer’s Market takes place Wednesdays, 10 am-2 pm, and Saturdays, 8 am-1 pm. Their train side location under The Sails provides a relaxing atmosphere while you shop for “the glory of a good harvest, select meats, mountain trout, rice, honey, eggs, cheeses, baked goods, marinades, preserves & pickles, fresh cut flowers, transplants, potted plants, shrubs, fresh & dried herbs, heritage & artisan crafts, street foods and more!”
In Morganton, there is an open-air farmer’s market that offers more of the best locally-grown produce and products Saturdays at 300 Beach Street from 8 am-noon, just behind Maria’s Italian Eatery at Morganton Station, and Wednesdays at 111 North Green Street from 11 am-3 pm. They believe “by visiting the Market right at your back door and supporting your local growers, you reduce your carbon footprint.”
The Morganton Farmer’s Market is also identified as a National Nutrition Incentive Network member. If those of you who live in mountain homes near Asheville, you will find artisan breads, baked goods, eggs, fresh cut flowers, fruits, goat cheese, herbs (fresh cut and seedlings), honey, jams and jellies, meat (beef, pork and poultry), salad greens, shitake mushrooms, vegetables and more!
Life at The Coves Mountain River Club just can’t get any better. When you’re done browsing the farmer’s market at the Lodge, you can return to your state-of-the-art kitchen in your new mountain home and prepare the perfect meal to enjoy with your friends and family.
If you are looking for NC mountain real estate, once you visit The Coves you won’t need to search any further. There are many gated communities near Asheville NC but The Coves far exceeds most folks expectations. In fact, our community won two significant awards this year:
- Best Mountain Community of the Year from Real Estate Scorecard
- Best of the Best Mountain Views from Ideal-Living Magazine
Have you explored mountain homes near Asheville yet? Take a few days vacation and come to Lenoir, which is conveniently located a little more than an hour from Asheville and a little more than an hour from Charlotte.
There are so many home site styles to choose from, there’s absolutely something for everyone, whether you’re longing for stunning riverside parcels with breathtaking views (priced at $6995 an acre), or high country farm parcels which are super-sized and perfect for equestrian lovers (priced at $10,999 an acre), mountain ridges on wooded land for ultimate privacy (priced at $39,900 for 1.87 acres), gentle sloping home sites with long-range mountain views ($79,900 for 1.49 acres), or views of the majestic Table Rock Mountain (priced at $79,900 for 2.20 acres); there are also flat home sites with river or mountain views priced between $99,900 and $169,900 for 1.45-1.79 acres.
Come and visit The Coves Mountain River Club and discover the fabulous lifestyle that can so easily be yours.
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.
Hickory Farmers Market – Buy Local, Buy Fresh
Hey, Hickory, have you noticed a bit more fresh in your fresh-air-and-sunshiny Blue Ridge locale lately? That’s because the annual Downtown Hickory Farmers Market is now underway, bringing together “fields, folks, and fun” for a seven-month-long fresh fest that runs through November.
The Farmers Market is just one of the many fabulous things to do in Hickory North Carolina, a town of many claims to fame, including booming businesses and college campuses, world-famous hand-crafted furniture, world-renowned art walks, beautiful community parks, and lovely temperate seasons that provide favorable year-round growing conditions for a variety of crops.
This charming mountain-lake town with nutrient-rich soil and moderate climate is a grower’s paradise that wins raves from local farmers and community gardeners. Many of Hickory’s finest restaurants and gastropubs offer seasonally changing menus with organic veggies and meats sourced from local farms. No matter the season, locals and visitors alike can always count on home-grown specialties as part of the fresh dining experience.
That’s just how it is in Hickory! People here understand the value of supporting their hometown farms by buying local. There are obvious economic benefits to feel great about. Buying local cuts down on fuel and travel time from farm to table, reducing the community’s carbon footprint, improving the environment and the local economy. And the benefits don’t stop there! Eating locally grown produce means your veggies are packed with nutrients and less likely to have been refrigerated, artificially ripened, or contaminated. Long (and delicious) story short, farm-to-table living is good for your own health, your family’s health, the health of the community, and the health of the planet. It’s a win-win-win-win!
But how do you maintain that farm-to-table lifestyle throughout the year? That’s where the Hickory Downtown Development Association (HDDA) comes in. They know locally-grown products are important to their community. That’s why they sponsor the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market and pack the seven-month-long schedule of events with tons to do, see, taste, and enjoy.
At its centrally located train side setting under The Sails, the Hickory Downtown Farmers Market brings the farm into town! Dozens of enthusiastic farmers from local and family-owned farms are on hand to meet and greet their customers and offer the “glory of a good harvest,” which includes fresh produce, grains, plants, flowers, and shrubs, as well as a surf-and-turf bounty of select meats and mountain trout. They stock their stands with locally sourced honey, eggs, and cheeses, fresh baked goods, marinades, preserves, and pickles. And it’s all presented in a festival atmosphere, enhanced by live music, games and events, booths for buying bushels of fresh ingredients, plus dried herbs and spices, artisan crafts, Chefs’ Market creations, street foods, and more.
The Downtown Hickory Farmers Market promises “a soulful feeling and a sense of belonging,” and, as the HDDA says, “for the first time, you’ll know what happiness smells like.” We’re pretty sure we can smell it from here! Or is that the scent of sweet ripe strawberries, which are currently at peak season (April to June). How do we know? The HDDA has provided a handy produce calendar on the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market web site. And we have to admit we’re counting down the days ’til summer when the peaches, cantaloupes, and watermelons will be ripe on the vine! But there’s plenty to do while we wait…
Throughout the month of May, the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market offers family-friendly activities, including “Spin a Kid to Camp” and “Kids Corner Activities” sponsored by the YMCA, plus live music from local performers Kitty G&M OD, Sherrill Keever, Kevin Lee Smith, and ELVIS!
Warm June breezes will be scented with floral notes as the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market ushers in the Lavender Festival starting on June 10th and keeps the party going with Eat, Drink & Be Local Week starting June 17th. And there’s even more live music from Bob Sinclair & The Big Deals and Piedmont Percussion Program’s Steel Drums with Rick Cline.
As the summer rolls on, the fresh just keeps on coming with more music, more kid stuff, more family events, and our favorite fruits, along with the rest of the huge summer harvest, including farm-fresh potatoes, peppers, peas, eggplant, cucumbers, squash, beans, and (get your chompers ready) corn-on-the-cob!
Be sure to stay tuned in to the online event schedule. Even though the Farmers Market festivities continue on through October and November – grape harvesting season, by the way (did someone say home-made wine?) – the schedule will be adjusted to accommodate two of the most popular things to do in Hickory North Carolina – the annual Oktoberfest (October 14) and Shuck-n-Peel Festival (November 11).
Are you sold on Hickory yet? We have to admit, it’s one of our favorite mountain towns in Western North Carolina. But there are lots more like it. You know, the charming towns along the Blue Ridge that get you thinking about exploring NC mountain real estate – or as we like to call it, your very own slice of heaven in the foothills.
What makes these towns so heavenly? Just ask the people who live there, in places like Hickory and nearby Lenoir. These are people who escaped the daily grind to retire in the great outdoors, surrounded by gorgeous terrain in a secluded gated mountain community that’s just minutes from outdoor adventures, art and culture experiences, dining hot spots, and exciting night life. These are the thrill-seekers and chill-seekers who relish both the adventure and relaxation that only comes from mountain living.
Not far from Downtown Hickory, a whole community of outdoorsy types with a penchant for fishing, hiking, community gardening, wine-making, and living life to the fullest are enjoying all these benefits and more at The Coves Mountain River Club, a 3,600-acre mountain community with five miles of river frontage along the Johns River. Amenities here include a community vineyard and garden, and the Lenoir North Carolina weather makes finding your inner gardener a breeze!
Residents of The Coves can take a 40-minute scenic drive to the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market to enjoy the bounty of locally grown fresh produce, and pick up a few growing tips from friendly farmers to take back with them to Isabel’s Garden and Evelyn’s Vineyard, where they plant and sow their own delicious produce and harvest their own Muscadine grapes alongside neighbors and friends. Later in the year, they’ll sit together on the porch of The Coves’ community lodge, where they’ll enjoy 360-degree views of majestic mountain ranges while they share a beautiful farm-to-table meal complemented by their own home-made wine from home-grown grapes. Life doesn’t get much better than that.
When you’re ready to tour a selection of beautiful NC mountain real estate to find your own slice of heaven in the foothills, give us a call at 828.754.0700 and schedule your visit to The Coves. We’ll help you plan your visit to experience the nicest Lenoir North Carolina weather and catch the best of the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market, Oktoberfest, Shuck-n-Peel, and other fun things to do in Hickory 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.