What’s New at The Coves Mountain River Club

Shop for Your Grandbabies at Doodle Bugs in Lenoir NC

things to do in Lenoir NC

Summer in Lenoir has settled in with cold glasses of sweet lemonade and dining beneath the canvas of North Carolina stars.  There’s so much to enjoy during this glorious season in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and an incredible array of things to do in Lenoir NC. Thankfully the days are good and long so we have plenty of time  to do it all!

And luckily for us, stores like Doodle Bugs, conveniently located at 108 Main Street, make unique shopping an easy affair.  Doodle bugs celebrated its grand opening on June 7th, and already local and visiting folks are handing out rave reviews: “Great selection, cute store, everything you need at awesome prices and service. Definitely recommend!” 

Owner Jennifer Sime had a feeling that Lenoir would adore a children’s clothing store.  She naturally included her mother, Rebecca Sime, who shares her affection for the community and the town, in her business dream. This is a four-generation family affair, customers who are discovering things to do in Lenoir NC have found Rebecca’s happy grandchildren giggling in the store.

If you want to do a little shopping for your children, your grandchildren or any special children in your life, this baby boutique store is the place to be!  They have a colorful and whimsical collection of clothing and accessories mostly made in the US.  Some items are even handmade with care by the Doodle Bug staff.

Here’s some of the adorable items you’ll find; of course right now the focus is summer clothing and swimwear:

  • Sun dresses (size 12 months to 6x)
  • Bubble outfits to beat the heat (size 6 to 24 months)
  • Rare Editions adorable sets in dots and stripes
  • Boys six-piece sets: two onesies, pants, socks, hats and bibs (size 3-9.5 months)
  • Seersucker dresses (size 6-9 months up to 6x)
  • Brother and sister Rugged Butts and Ruffled Butts matching outfits as well as Ruffled Butts Mommy and Me matching tees in four different styles
  • Bodysuits (3 pack; 1 with lace tutu or a 5 pack)
  • Trendy Baby Mocs—so soft and comfy!
  • Holiday clothing
  • Handmade burp clothes, and key chains in charming cloth prints
  • Organic stuffed animals
  • Teething rings, paci clips, Taggie blankets and bibs
  • Mama Bear accessories and 1, 2 and 3 Cub Jewelry
  • Diaper bags and utility bags
  • Brushies to helpyourkids learn to care for their teeth
  • Vintage children story books (Wonder Books, Rand McNally Start-Right Elf Books; as well asTell-a-Tale Books)

Don’t forget you can make your gift a little more personal with monogramming on bibs, blankets and burp cloths.

The community who call The Coves home appreciate Lenoir’s downtown and all it has to offer. When they are looking to get some shopping done for the little ones in their life, Doodle Bugs is a go-to shop–open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays 10-6, Thursday, Friday and Saturdays 10-7 and closed on Sundays.  This boutique needs to be on your list of things to do in Lenoir NC.  You will discover a world of unique treasures for little ones beneath their roof.

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. Or stop by! We’d love to show you around.

Tags: Lenoir | Shopping & Antique Hunting

Collecting Rainwater for Your Mountain Home

mountain cistern

Most of us tend to take potable water for granted. Getting it is just a matter of turning a faucet handle or buying bottles at the store.  So it’s easy to imagine that there’s no end to the supply. 

Over time, however, some have begun to wonder whether might be fooling ourselves. 

More and more, we hear about pollution, waste, extended droughts and the increased usage that comes with population growth and realize that someday we might need to seek alternatives.

Here in the Blue Ridge foothills, the solution’s been around for a very long time:  collecting rainwater.  And now, with more sophisticated methods available, it’s starting to regain popularity.

You may be thinking of a simple rain barrel, and that’s still part of the equation.  But so are complex and sophisticated irrigation systems. 

For a lot of good reasons, using rainwater to supplement or replace other sources is an idea whose time has come – again.  And harvesting features such as roof pitches, gutters and water tanks can be incorporated into the plan when you’re building a mountain home.

The quality is often superior to that of surface water.  There’s no system maintenance involved, other than regular cleaning and inspections.  And, of course, you save money.  Collecting rainwater reduces pollutant runoff and contamination.  In low-lying areas, it minimizes flooding in low lying areas and helps to control erosion and foundation damage.  Watering gardens and planters can be done freely without impacting the public water supply.

It’s important to be aware of certain important guidelines that make rainwater collection safe and viable, especially if human consumption will be involved.  One of the major advantages of building a mountain home at The Coves Mountain River Club is having the opportunity to consult with our design experts.  They have the knowledge and experience to incorporate the features you want, while being attentive to the unique setting and natural environment in which your unique house will be constructed.

A basic collection system can consist of a properly pitched roof that routes the water into storm pipes leading to a large underground cistern for storage and later use.  More sophisticated installations may also include filtration and UV treatment components.

Building a mountain home affords you the opportunity to have things your way.  Maybe you’ve spent much of your adult life in cookie-cutter structures built for the masses, where cost-cutting is the norm and neighborhoods look alike, for the most part.

At The Coves Mountain River Club, our job is to bring your dreams to life.  Write down all those ideas you’ve had for the house you’d build if you could.  Tell us what’s important to you – what kind of lifestyle you’ll have now that you’re finally free to choose. Whether it’s a full-size home, a cabin, a cottage or even a tiny house, we can make it work for you.

Settling into such spectacular surroundings, with all this beauty and splendor right at your doorstep, you can’t help but think more about how our choices can impact the world we live in.  The use of environmentally-friendly materials, minimal disturbance to the land we build on, conscientious care of common areas, and encouraging our residents to conserve water and other precious resources – these are some of the ways The Coves Mountain River Club has become such a popular choice for buyers who understand that nature is there to be enjoyed and not destroyed.

If you’re in the Lenoir area, please take the opportunity to come by and let us give you a tour.  We’ll show you how others like you have incorporated imaginative touches such as recycled timber, local stone, re-purposed antique pieces, rainwater collection systems and more as they worked with us to create their own unique dream homes.

Let us show you around. Call 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour!

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

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

Farmhouse Decor for Cozy Mountain Living

farmhouse decor

Moving into gated communities near Asheville NC, like The Coves Mountain River Club, new homeowners find creative ways to blend distinctive elements of country life with their state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly designs and mountain construction.

It’s a way of reminding yourself that you’re not in the city anymore.  You’re living in surroundings rich with heritage – a place that moves at a different pace.  The rustic charm of a vintage farmhouse carries with it a certain warmth and soul.  Life in the country’s about the simpler things.  And when you tastefully mix the old and new, suddenly you have the best of both worlds.

Start with incorporating recycled materials like worn, reclaimed woods (especially from barns) and oil-rubbed metals as decorative touches, both inside and on the exterior.  Drive through one of the gated communities near Asheville NC and you’ll see countless examples of how creative use of such repurposed items can establish a look for a house that’s both unique and reflective of the owner’s personality.

When you see your mountain home as a blank canvas, and you’re looking for ways to develop your own farmhouse décor, you’ll find that there’s no shortage of items to choose from.  Much of the fun lies in finding them, and you’re right where you need to be to start looking.  Local flea markets and yard sales are a treasure trove of vintage wood-burning stoves, old lanterns and hammered metal sconces, mason jar lights, iron or wooden chandeliers, rustic wood pendants, old baskets and all sorts of copper and brass pieces bearing the patina of age.  You can find them online as well.  Carefully chosen, these disparate things will come together in a way that feels both nostalgic and familiar.

The modern farmhouse look works especially well in bathrooms.  You’ll see an abundance of brass, from cabinet pulls and faucets to lighting and furniture  to mirrors and wall sconces – especially with brushed or matte finishes.  The black metal panes of an industrial shower door can add definition and complement the softer colors and woods in the room.

Toss the old “rules” about lighting out the window.  In this setting, modern glass globes in a chandelier

work just fine in conjunction with the antique look of sconces.  Everything works together to form a cohesive image.

Perhaps nothing says “farmhouse bathroom” better than a freestanding tub.  Paint the feet black or a color of your choice to blend with the rest of your décor.  You can get a tub faucet, towel bars and rings and toilet paper holder in black matte finish that will contrast nicely with white walls.

Don’t be afraid to use different tile styles in your bathroom to define each space and add visual interest.  For example, subway tile on the shower wall, pebbled shower floor and wood-look tile throughout will make a striking statement.

Be sure to make use of open shelving wherever possible.  It makes the room seem larger, and it’s a great way to display your prettiest lotions, potions, towels and baskets.

Finally, consider covering your bathroom walls with shiplap.   It’s a wide wooden sheathing on which the edges of each board lap over adjacent boards to make a flush joint.  You can run it horizontally or vertically and create an aged look that’s long been popular in barns and historic homes.

These are just a few ideas to help get you started.  In the gated communities near Asheville NC, we like to go well beyond the stale home designs we left when we moved here.  For many of us, it’s the first time we’ve been able to build the house we really want.  The expert design team at The Coves Mountain River Club understands, and they’re ready to help bring your dreams to life.

Come by for a tour and see how others like you have made farmhouse décor work for them in new and exciting ways. 

Call 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour!

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

National Trails and Hikes Near Asheville NC

hikes near Asheville NC

Did you participate in National Trails Day last month?   From volunteering at a service project to being part of an individual or organized cleanup effort, people take this opportunity each year to pledge their time and energy to a nationwide movement to sustain and preserve America’s trails system for the benefit of future generations.

Anyone who hikes near Asheville NC knows the value of these great natural resources.  And residents of The Coves Mountain River Club are fortunate enough to have easy access to miles of the nation’s most popular and scenic hiking and horse trails, right within our 3600-acre community near the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Western part of the state.

You don’t have to be a trained athlete to enjoy the experience.  From less taxing walks along the bank of the Johns River to a real workout climbing up to Davis Knob’s 1700 feet of elevation, anyone who wants to spend time in our breathtaking surroundings has plenty of opportunities to do so.

Here’s a guide to some of the highlights:

  • Switchback Trail – Three-and-a-half miles in length, it crosses over several streams and brings you to the bottom of the lodge, by the old gold mine and along Mila Cascading Falls.
  • Spine Trail –  Another three-and-a-half-mile trail that takes you through the pasture property alongside the stock fishing pond, past the wildlife viewing area and over several beautiful streams.
  • Winding River Trail –  You’ll follow the Johns River tor two miles, passing Coves River Park, the community gardens and stables leading to Coleton’s Swimming Hole.
  • Magnolia Trail –  This one-and-a-half-mile trail starts down near the pasture and then climbs in elevation about 100 feet, where it overlooks the river.  Then you’ll go deep into the woods and back down to Coleton’s Swimming Hole.
  • Tranquility Vineyard Trail – Hike a one-mile trail deep into woods and along several small streams down to the vineyard.
  • Little Waterfall Trail – It starts at Table View Lane and takes you three quarters of a mile, passing several waterfalls and tying into Waterfall Trail.
  • Cedar Cove Trail – It’s a half-mile hike that brings you to the Waterfall Trail and eventually the community gardens and stables.
  • Waterfall Trail – Take this trail a half mile down to Waterfall Park and into the community gardens.
  • Hawks Nest Trail – This is another half-mile hike that brings you from Waterfall Lane down along a spring-fed stream and into the Waterfall Trail leading to the community gardens and stable.

You won’t want to miss our four cascading waterfalls of Western North Carolina:

  • Grandfather Gorge Falls – a fifty-foot triple-tier waterfall over large boulders that plunges into a pool.
  • Mila Cascading Falls – a dramatic, stairway-like waterfall into the Johns River at Mila Park.
  • Highland River Falls – tumbles down a mountain hollow into the Johns River
  • Penelope Cascading Falls – a forty-foot layered waterfall with splash areas, with easy access near the Coves River Park

Hikes near Asheville NC are a treat for all the senses.  You’ll see wildlife in its native habitat, dramatic foliage at every turn and spectacular views of the natural wonders that make life at The Coves Mountain River Club rewarding on so many levels.  Whether it’s a  short day hike or a full day’s adventure, it all awaits you right outside your mountain home. Please come by The Coves Mountain River Club and see all we have to offer.  Our hiking and horse trails are wide and well-marked, and they lead to scenic outlooks, picnic areas, and community parks.  Be sure to bring your camera! 

And, of course, our fresh, clean mountain air and year-round mild weather create the perfect environment for hiking and all the other outdoor activities that make living here in the foothills one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Call 828.754.0700 to schedule a visit!

Tags: Asheville | Greenways & Trails

64th Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

hikes near Asheville

Summer visitors to the popular Highlands towns of Boone, Blowing Rock and Banner Elk and even many of the locals who enjoy hikes near Asheville NC are probably not aware that in the 18th century the state was the most popular destination for thousands of Scottish Highlanders migrating to the American colonies in search of a better life.

The first of them arrived in 1729, escaping laws enacted by the British aimed at destroying their culture.  The clan system was already in decline, and disruptions of the agricultural system they had relied upon led to poverty and unrest.  Ten years later, Gabriel Johnston, the Royal Governor of North Carolina (and a native Scotsman himself) began taking steps to encourage more immigration – and a heritage was established.

Donald MacDonald and Hugh Morton held the first Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain in 1955. Now, over thirty-five thousand people attend the event each July, often taking time for a visit to the picturesque and historic village nestled at the exhilarating 4000-foot Blowing Rock elevation.

This year’s Highland Games, at MacRae Meadows near Linville, begin on July 11th and run through the 14th.  They provide a great opportunity to see why those who enjoy their summers in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Highlands towns and the foothills think it’s the best place to retire in North Carolina.

The area’s year-round mild weather is a bonus for anyone who enjoys outside activities.  Enthusiasts consider hikes near Asheville NC some of the best in the country, and the waterways offer world-class fishing.  Boating, swimming, biking and golf are even more enjoyable in this uniquely beautiful natural environment.

On your way to the Highland Games – maybe about the time you reach Blowing Rock elevation – you’ll start noticing how just breathing the fresh mountain air invigorates your body, mind and soul.

Plan to arrive early on Thursday for the whiskey tasting at  Best Western Mountain Lodge in Banner Elk.  Other activities on the first day include a picnic, sheep herding demonstrations and the torchlight Opening Ceremony.  You’ll hear traditional Celtic music performances, and over 800 runners will start up the Old Yonahlossee Road in the five-mile Assault on Grandfather footrace.

Friday brings a wealth of cultural events and entertainment for all ages, ending with a Celtic rock concert at MacRae Meadows and a Scottish Country Dance gala at Lees-McRae College.  Saturday and Sunday are packed with competitions, demonstrations and traditional music and dance.  You won’t want to miss the impressive and moving Parade of Tartans, where all members of the sponsoring clans are invited to march behind the massed pipe bands.

To make sure you don’t miss any Highland Games activities and presentations, be sure to check the detailed schedule at the event’s website for dates, times and parking information.

Anyone looking for the best place to retire in North Carolina needs to spend a few days exploring the Lenoir area.  It’s the ideal location for easy access to everything wonderful this part of the state offers its residents.  Grandfather Mountain State Park is just one example, with its incredible scenery and breathtaking ecological diversity.

Living at The Coves Mountain River Club means having a long menu of summer and winter sports, cultural celebrations and leisure activities to fill your time.  It’s all right there for the taking, with no long drives or traffic hassles to mar the experience.

This is the lifestyle you’ve dreamed of.  This is your reward for a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice.  Bring us your ideas for the home you’ve always wanted, and we’ll work with you to make it happen.

The design team at The Coves Mountain River Club is used to bringing dreams to life.  Take a tour and see examples of how our innovative designs both reflect and respect their surroundings.

Then, at the end of the day, kick back at our Pisgah Mountain Lodge with a glass of wine and watch the sun set over the mountains.

Close your eyes.  Take a deep breath.  Relax.

You’re at home!

Bullet point key events, what and when, Give tips on parking etc.

The connect the story to The Coves. Tell readers why The Coves location is excellent being so close to a broad variety of winter sports and summer mountain events.

Saturday, July 13th

6:30 AM Mountain Marathon begins in Boone, NC. Runners will arrive at Games track around 9:30 AM. Among the most strenuous marathons in the nation.

7:30 AM MacRae Meadows Opens

Amateur Heavy Athletic Qualifying Begins

Competition begins for Highland Dancing Atlantic International Championship, piping, drumming, Scottish athletic events, track & field events, Scottish country dancing and Scottish harp.

  • Scottish Fiddling Competition at Marathon Tent
  • Scottish Cultural Village
  • Children’s Highland Wrestling Competition
  • Sheep Herding
  • Massed Bands on track
  • Opening Ceremonies
  • History & Genealogy Studies at Clan Tents
  • Children’s Tent Activities
  • Celtic Grove Music
  • Highland Wrestling
  • Harp Competitions
  • Pre-Premier Highland Dance Competition
  • NC Provincial Gaelic Mod

4:00 Days events end. Preparation for Celtic Jam

6:30 – 10:30 PM Celtic Jam at MacRae Meadows.
$15 Adults / $5 Children age 5-12

Sunday July 14th

AM MacRae Meadows Opens

  • Scottish Heavy Athletic Demonstration and Clinic
  • Prelude Music for Worship Service Begins
  • Scottish Worship Service Outside main gate, bring a folding chair. Includes Kirkin ‘O’ the Tartans.
  • Scottish Cultural Village
  • Children’s Border Collie Demonstration on the main field.
  • Celtic Grove
    Entertainment Begins
  • Scottish Fiddling Workshop at the Harp Tent followed by a Jam session for fiddle and other instruments
  • Atlantic International Highland Dance Championship Competition

Competition takes place throughout the day for Scottish athletic events, sheep herding, kilted miles, children’s events, Scottish country dancing, Scottish harps, Clan Tugs-of-War. Celtic Grove entertainment continues.

History & Genealogy Studies at Clan Tents

Sheep Herding Demonstration

4:00 PM Closing Ceremonies

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