Did You Know the North Carolina Burger Trail Starts in Lenoir NC?

North Carolina National Burger Trail


“North Carolina may be famous for its barbecue, but there are a lot of people who know how to make a great burger.  We thought it was time to shine the spotlight on them.”  And with that goal in mind, “Strange Carolinas” web site editor Chris Hocker added the burger category to his annual poll for “Best of NC”.

After two weeks of voting by readers, the clear winner was announced:  Lenoir’s iconic Carolina Burger, at 606 Blowing Rock Boulevard.

Foodies who frequent Lenoir NC restaurants probably weren’t surprised.  At The Coves Mountain River Club, we’re well aware that some of the state’s best comestibles are found far from the bigger cities.

In their search for offbeat and interesting places and people, “Strange Carolinas” learned that there are excellent burgers along the trail to suit any and all tastes.  Carolina Burger offers ten different types, from “The Standard’ to the popular “Carolina Firecracker”, with grilled Texas toast, Swiss and jalapeño cream cheese, grilled onions, and their famous homemade lava sauce.  They’re all hand-pattied each morning with locally-sourced 100 per cent ground chuck – always fresh and never frozen – and served on a buttered and toasted bun with your choice of toppings.

The menu also includes amazing quarter pound 100 per cent Angus beef hot dogs and crispy shoestring fries.  Carolina Burger believes in making food like you would at home, with big portions and lots of flavor.

Living here in the foothills, we’re blessed not only with great Lenoir NC restaurants but plenty of others in small mountain towns and larger metro areas within easy driving distance. 

If our travels take us to Greensboro, must-stops for burgers might include Burger Warfare, Hops, PorterHouse and Emma Key’s.  Asheville has Juicy Lucy’s and Farmburger, and Charlotte swears by The Ashbury, Cowbell, Bang Bang Burgers, Zack’s, Brook’s and Pinky’s.  Try the mac ‘n’ cheese burger at The Loaded Goat in Mount Airy.  It’s “so good it feels wrong”.  And if you want slaw and chili in your bun, you can’t beat Duke’s when you’re in Monroe and hungry.

We know that Lenoir has plenty of things to brag about.  Having the best burger in the state is just one of the newest.  Living at The Coves Mountain River Club, you soon come to realize just how many advantages there are to putting down roots in this area.

For the person who loves to stay active outdoors, we have spectacular nature trails for hiking, walking and riding bikes.  Being right on the water means boating, fishing and swimming are all nearby.  There’s camping in Pisgah National Forest and day trips to local attractions like Blowing Rock and Grandfather Mountain.  And our golf course at The Coves offers remarkable mountain views.

Lenoir and its surroundings are steeped in culture and history, and our residents often take advantage of lifelong learning classes at local colleges.

And, of course, our year-round mild weather makes it especially easy to pursue whatever hobbies or other special interests you may have.

Carolina Burger is just one of many Lenoir NC restaurants that have developed a loyal following.  The food scene here is very active.  We host tastings at our Pisgah Mountain Lodge that are always well-attended, with wonderful local chefs preparing the fare.

When you’re close to Lenoir, please make it a point to stop by and take a tour of The Coves Mountain River Club.  Talk to our design team and learn how easy it is to bring your dreams to life with a custom home in our community.

And take some time to relax and breathe in the mountain air.  Marvel at our majestic mountains and forests.  Hear the whisper of Wilson Creek as it winds along to join the Johns River right at the edge of our property.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

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: Lenoir | Restaurants & Breweries | Uncategorized

New Mountain Homes With Touches of the Past

reclaimed building materials

Starting as a trend in certain parts of the country, the use of reclaimed and recycled materials in construction and remodeling of houses has now gone mainstream.  And nowhere has it been more popular than here in the foothills, where the unique and often rustic look of such salvaged items can so beautifully complement the natural ambience of our NC mountain real estate.

Just building a mountain home sets you apart from the crowd.  And freeing yourself from the rigid rules that control construction in metropolitan areas allows your imagination to come into play.  At The Coves Mountain River Club, our design team loves working with people to help bring their dreams to life.  Together, we can find innovative ways to blend traditional with modern to create a dramatic new look that’s uniquely and distinctively yours.  It’s a great way to add character to your NC mountain real estate and at the same time be more environmentally-friendly.

Wood has always been chosen for buildings and structures, furniture-making and other uses because of its density and strength.  In the past, it was plentiful and inexpensive.  But over the years, population growth contributed to the over-harvesting of forest land.  So using wood and other materials from older homes, factories, and warehouses came to be seen as a green solution that provides warmth, value and a bit of history.

There are also practical advantages to recycling vintage wood.   Having come from the tallest, straightest and largest trees in the forest, it offers a level of quality that’s hard to find in today’s lumber market.  And being already air-dried and naturally-weathered gives it rustic good looks, durability and strength.  Finally, you can select from an amazing variety of textures, patterns, grades and species of tree.

Because the concept of using reclaimed and recycled materials is now so widespread, you can find a wealth of ideas online to consider incorporating when you’re building a mountain home.  Some are more obvious, such as installing an antique farmhouse sink, vintage light fixtures, a butcher block or old handles, knobs or drawer pulls.  But there are many others you may not have considered.

At The Coves Mountain River Club, we see seasoned lumber used for cabinetry, furniture and architectural details.  But it’s particularly popular for use as siding, timbers and floorboards because it doesn’t require much maintenance.  The wood has already shrunk into a permanent form and developed a tightness of grain that makes it considerably more durable.  From a cosmetic standpoint, it’s worth noting that reclaimed beams can be sawn into wider planks.  And old fencing is valued for consistency, structural soundness and its low moisture content that minimizes the need for treatment.

It’s important that the source of your reclaimed wood be able to verify what it might have been treated with over its lifetime.  You want to avoid possible harmful off-gassing of volatile organic compounds associated with lead paint, stains and other treatments – especially when the wood will be used inside the house.

NC mountain real estate is also ideal for the use of reclaimed slate, clay or concrete roof tiles.  They’re fireproof, extremely long-lasting and environmentally-friendly.  Even with older material, the quality is likely to be very good.  They enhance the beauty of a property, adding character and style.  Little maintenance is required for a tile roof.  And they’re usually cost-effective compared to the alternatives.

So where do you find these gems from years gone by?

You can either find a company that sells them or opt to do the work yourself.  With some research, you should be able to find older buildings that are being demolished.  Salvage sites may have exactly what you’re looking for and at a very reasonable price.  Farm auctions are another good place to look.  And check the local ads or place your own, specifying what items you’re seeking.

At The Coves Mountain River Club, we make every attempt to be respectful of the magnificent place in which we’ve chosen to live, and we encourage anyone building a mountain home to consider utilizing reclaimed materials wherever possible.   

Come by soon and take a tour.  We’re sure you’ll be inspired by the ways many of our homeowners have adapted these elements of the past to make their own impressive design statements.

Call 828.754.0700 now!

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir | Uncategorized

Western Piedmont Symphony Kicks Off 2018 Spring Season


The Western Piedmont Symphony of Hickory, NC is bringing folks together in 2018 for another year of musical enrichment and classical joy.  Whether you’re new to the North Carolina mountain communities, or whether your roots go back generations, there’s nothing better for the soul than a live musical performance.  These scenic mountains are home to a wide array of artists, and the WPS has successfully gathered some of the most talented musical performers to bring magical concerts to audiences from the very young to the very old.

If you live in one of the enticing gated communities near Asheville NC, the accomplishments of WPS are certainly known and cherished. The organization was founded back in 1964 and its very first rehearsal sounded its notes on the Lenoir-Rhyne University campus.  In time WPS took off, expanding with the Western Piedmont Youth Symphony, and of course the Western Piedmont String Quartet.  It’s no wonder so many have selected this vibrant region as the best place to retire in North Carolina.

The importance of friends, family and neighbors are the core of the North Carolina mountain communities, so it was a natural evolution for WPS to launch its Family Concert Series in 1988.  Another favorite event takes place every third year—a twelve-month Battle of the Bows to determine which quartet will secure a three-year residency.  Frye Street Quartet was the first quartet, the Degas Quartet was next, followed by La Catrina Quartet and the Kontras Quartet.  This year marks the last year of the amazing Tesla Quartet—if you have not yet experienced the auditorium filled with their music, don’t miss out on this years concerts.  This year also marks the last year of Maestro Ross’ beloved run as Music Director and Conductor.

WPS is just one of the many undeniable attractions that make this region the best place to retire in North Carolina.  Their mission is a special one—“to provide musical performances of distinction that enrich and enliven the community’s classical music experience; and to nourish new audiences through school concerts and family outreach programs.”  The gated communities near Asheville NC have benefitted from over five decades of fine classical music performed by gifted and trained guest musicians and orchestra members.  This is the place to gather, whether you are celebrating another year of your own music appreciation or introducing a young grandchild to an age-old tradition. 

Each year the WPS produces five Masterworks Concerts, four Chamber Classics Concerts, two Soup, Salad & Strings Concerts, two Youth Symphony Concerts and many worthwhile community engagement, pops and outdoor concerts.  This 53rd season will be one to mark on your calendar.  Some of what’s musically noteworthy:


Masterworks III—Heavy Metal

• February 3, 2018

• Time: 7:30 PM

• PE Monroe Auditorium; Lenoir-Rhyne University

  • Tickets:  $22-$42

Program:  “Machine” (Higdon); Concerto #4 in G Major (Beethoven); “The Foundry” (Mosolov); “The Infernal Machine” (Rouse); “Pacific 231” (Honnegar)

Notes on Program: Guest Artist, “Greg Knight is one of our favorite soloists for several reasons. WPS welcomes back the internationally recognized and award-winning pianist for a night you’ll not soon forget!”  Higdon, both Pulitzer and Grammy winner, wrote the energetic Machine “as an encore tribute to composers like Mozart and Tchaikovsky, who seemed to be able to write so many notes and so much music that it seems like they were machines!” The premiere was given by The National Symphony Orchestra. Concerto #4 in G Major is a surprising departure in style and composed in 1805 while Napoleon was conquering the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Zavad was written in the 1920s and reminiscent of Stravinsky. The Infernal Machine was composed by Rouse in 1981 and has been heard by various orchestras internationally. Pacific 231 was written in 1892 and was inspired by the composer’s love for locomotives.

Masterworks IV:  Homecoming

• March 3, 2018

• Time:  7:30 PM

• PE Monroe Auditorium; Lenoir-Rhyne University

• Tickets:  $22-42

Program: Meditation (Williams); Violin Concerto in D minor (Schumann); Symphony #2 in B minor (Borodin)

Notes on Program: Guest Artists: Dmitri Pogorelov, Violin; featured artists: James & Sally Fanjoy-Labrenz. The  inspirational “Meditation” was written in1992 for Shenandoah University’s Easter celebration. The Violin Concerto in D minor was written in 1855 by Schumann and is a vibrant and varied work. Symphony #2 in B minor was completed in 1877 and was inspired by warriors, minstrels and ancient tribal instruments.

Masterworks V:  Ode to Joy!  Beethoven’s 9th

• April 14, 2018

• Time:  7:30 PM

• PE Monroe Auditorium; Lenoir-Rhyne University

• Tickets:  $22-42

Program:  Overture to “Consecration of the House” Op. 124 (Beethoven); Symphony #9 in D minor, Op. 125 (Beethoven)

Notes on Program:  Guest Artists:  WPS Orchestra, Hickory Choral Society, LR Acapella Choir & CVCC Chamber Ensemble.  “Fittingly, Maestro John Gordon Ross began and will end his Symphony career at WPS with the powerful Beethoven’s 9th. Combining our award-winning orchestra with the Hickory Choral Society will bring joy to all for Maestro’s final Masterworks.” Overture to “Consecration of the House” Op. 124 was written in 1822 and received thunderous applause for its lively and majestic chords.  Symphony #9 in D minor, Op. 125 is Beethoven’s expression of joy through suffering and was first performed in 1824.


Chamber Classics III:  Past & Present

  February 17, 2018

• Time:  7:30 PM

• Drendel Auditorium on the Salt Block

• Tickets:  $22-$32

Program:  Madrigals (Gesualdo) arr. Snyder; String Quartet No. 4 “Ritratto di Gesualdo” (Pintscher); String Quartet in D major (Respighi)

“The Tesla Quartet will once again mesmerize our audiences with their exceptional talent and energy!”

Chamber Classics IV:  Tenebrae

• March 31, 2018

• Time:  7:30 PM

• Drendel Auditorium on the Salt Block

• Tickets:  $22-$32

Program:  Tenebrae (Golijov); Sonata for Violin and Cello (Ravel); String Quartet in G major, K.387 “Spring” (Mozart)

“The Tesla Quartet will once again mesmerize our audiences with their exceptional talent and energy!”


“Join us for lunch – amazing performances by the award-winning Tesla Quartet and delicious food provided by Cafe Rule & Wine Bar. The WPS Soup, Salad & Strings series provides great daytime performances, catered lunch and fabulous fun! Ticket price includes lunch, complimentary wine or beer, dessert & performance.”

Soup, Salad & Strings II

• April 6, 2018

• Time:  11:45 AM

• Keiser Community Room on the Salt Block

• Tickets:  $35

An incredible daytime performance in an intimate setting.

WPS owes a great deal of its success to all the devoted volunteers who reside in the North Carolina mountain communities.  There are countless enjoyable and fulfilling ways to be involved with WPS and help bring music into the lives of those who live in the gated communities near Asheville NC.  If you’d like more info on volunteering contact: Box Office:  (828) 324-8603;; Monday-Friday 10-2; 243 3rd Ave NE # 1N; Hickory, NC 28601

Residents at The Coves Mountain River Club know first-hand why this is the best place to retire in North Carolina.  There is just so much to cherish and so much to enjoy throughout all four seasons of the year–whether you’ve built your own custom mountain home chock full of mountain charm, or chosen the idyllic new home of your dreams.  Folks at The Coves understand how to make the most of every day from sun up to sun down.  The outdoors is enticing no matter the season, and the lively towns offer all you need from down-home cooking to the finest in entertainment.  Be sure to visit us and discover the dream life for yourself.

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

Tags: Hickory | Performing Arts | Uncategorized

Pisgah National Forest – Adventurous Hikes Near Asheville NC

hikes near Asheville NC

Western North Carolina offers a tremendous variety of recreation opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast.

One of the most popular places for hikes near Asheville NC is the Pisgah National Forest. This paradise of mile-high peaks and heavily-wooded slopes offers hundreds of miles of trails to explore. You’ll see a fascinating array of wildlife, plants and hardwood trees along the way.

People who own North Carolina mountain real estate have learned to appreciate and coexist with the pristine beauty of their surroundings while keeping in mind that outdoor activities in natural settings can sometimes carry inherent risks. Always be aware of your limits and focus on remaining safe.

The Pisgah National Forest encompasses more than 500 thousand acres. Conveniently close to several gated communities near Asheville NC, it’s a photographer’s dream, punctuated by picturesque whitewater rivers and cascading waterfalls that are simply postcard-perfect.

Even many locals may not know that they’re living near the very first tract of land purchased under the Weeks Act of 1911, which led to the creation of the national forests in the eastern United States. The Pisgah National Forest is also home to the first school of forestry in the United States and two of the first designated wilderness areas in the east.

You’ll find many camping, picnic and day-use areas for your enjoyment:

Dispersed Camping Areas:

  • Appalachian Ranger District
  • Big Ivy Area, Coleman Boundary
  • Black Mountain / South Toe River Area
  • Harmon Den Area
  • Hot Springs Area

Grandfather Ranger District

  • Linville Gorge Wilderness area
  • Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River Area
  • Pisgah Ranger District
  • Shining Rock Wilderness

Group Camping Areas:

  • Appalachian Ranger District
  • Briar Bottom Group Campground

Pisgah Ranger District Areas:

  • Cove Creek Group Campground
  • Kuykendall Group Campground
  • Wash Creek Horse Camp
  • White Pines Group Campground

Campground Camping

  • Appalachian Ranger District
  • Black Mountain / South Toe River Area
  • Black Mountain Campground
  • Carolina Hemlocks Recreation Area
  • Harmon Den Area
  • Harmon Den Horsecamp
  • Hot Springs Area
  • Rocky Bluff Campground
  • Grandfather Ranger District
  • Boone Fork Campground
  • Curtis Creek Campground
  • Mortimer Campground
  • Pisgah Ranger District
  • Bent Creek Experimental Forest
  • Lake Powhatan Campground
  • Davidson River Recreation Area
  • North Mills River Campground
  • Sunburst Campground
  • Wolf Ford Horse Camp
  • Briar Bottom Bicycle TR 1006
  • Grandfather Ranger District
  • Old Fort Picnic Area
  • Point Lookout Trail

Road cycling is available at these locations:

  • Briar Bottom Bicycle TR 1006
  • Grandfather Ranger District
  • Old Fort Picnic Area

Point Lookout Trail

  • Rock climbers can challenge themselves here:
  • Grandfather Ranger District
  • Linville Gorge Wilderness area
  • Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River Area
  • Little Lost Cove Cliffs

Of course, anyone who enjoys backpacking and hikes near Asheville NC will find that there are far too many exciting options to list here.

One of the especially nice spots for swimming and non-motorized boating is the Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River Area. Owners of North Carolina mountain real estate at The Coves Mountain River Club are fortunate to live along five miles of beautiful Johns River frontage near Wilson Creek, so they’re able to enjoy all the benefits of being right on the edge of Pisgah National Forest – like the sparkling clean water, fresh mountain air, mild four-season weather and unspoiled environment. Wilson Creek is also know for some of the best trout fishing in North Carolina and challenging kayak rapids.

Living near a forest is a pleasant change from living in the city, with all of its stress and congestion. As one of the finest gated communities near Asheville NC, The Coves Mountain River Club has become a very popular place to retire and live the good life. That’s because we offer not only an amazing number of options for outdoor adventure in the Pisgah National Forest but easy access to everything else you may need or want to do, like shopping, dining, medical facilities, local culture, continuing education, golf, and so much more. We also have more than 39 miles of hiking trails within our community.

When you’re in the Lenoir area, be sure to stop by The Coves Mountain River Club and let us take you for a hike and show you around our mountain paradise. 

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule a visit.

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir | Uncategorized