Tryon, NC

2526011606_3d5ebe5168Tryon, known as the friendliest town in the south, is nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Escarpment in the Thermal Belt region of western North Carolina. Year after year, Tryon’s moderate winters, cool summer breezes, rolling landscapes, and mountain views attract visitors in search of the perfect place to vacation and relocators looking for a retirement haven.

Spring is marked by the April Fool’s Festival.  The weekend begins with a downtown street dance Friday evening. Folks are encouraged to practice their best moves and show them off in the dance contest. Tomfoolery is king all day on Saturday with, that’s right, an outhouse race. Build an outhouse, put it on wheels and you may win a prize. Even if you lose, you win by strutting your creativity in the afternoon parade. Those who prefer fashion design and are avid about recycling have an opportunity to display their unique ability in the Trashion Show. If that outfit is definitely haute couture show it off at the evening’s Masquerade Ball!

Pearson’s Falls will be open and early spring flowers will be in bloom along the trails.  Pearson’s Falls is maintained by the Tryon Garden Club and provides visitors with the exquisite experience of a walk through a glen of falling water and mountain flora.

Equestrian events are on the calendar year round at the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center.  The premier annual event is a steeplechase sponsored by the Tryon Riding and Hunt Club.  The 65th Block House Steeplechase festivities is a long- standing, exciting and equestrian learning experience.

WNC Magazine compliments the “cosmopolitan convenience” of this small mountain town. The historic downtown area boasts many quality restaurants, shops, bookstores and galleries.  This Blue Ridge locale is home to a number of working artists and craftspeople.

In earlier years the Tryon area was well known for producing a fine quality of wine grapes. The industry has revived and now many local wineries offer select wine tastings and entertainment to enhance a mountain getaway.

Tryon, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and big city fun.

Hillsborough, NC

Dragonfly at the Handmade Parade

“Hillsborough is no ordinary, small, southern town”, is the declarative boast of the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough.  History, arts and culture are alive and flourishing in Hillsborough year round.

The Hillsborough Arts Council has been active in developing and supporting the arts locally for more than 20 years. In spring and summer on the last Friday of each month the town square comes alive with music, vendors and an Art Walk visiting downtown galleries, while sidewalk cafes provide food and drink to complement the festivities. Fall brings the annual Handmade Parade that rivals Macy’s, but with giant puppets created by the participants – some even on stilts- who take over Churton Street for the march and convene with observers to celebrate at the Burwell School, a local historic site. To brighten the winter months, the Arts Council presents Parlor Concerts, musical presentations that take place in some of the town’s historic homes.

The community history comes to life frequently during the year with Family History Days that re-create scenes from the Revolutionary War with reenactment and tours that highlight the period. Once the State capital, the town has a legacy of statesmen and heroes to celebrate.

There are walking tours throughout the year that begin at the Hillsborough Visitors Center which provides maps and historic information on homes and significant sites and sometimes a personal guide in period dress. The Halloween tours focus on the “haunting” aspects of town history and expand the fun to a “trick or treat” by all of the downtown merchants.

For more a more recent history experience, visitors and especially NASCAR enthusiasts, enjoy having a look at the Occoneechee Speedway Trail which includes one of the first two NASCAR tracks and is the only one remaining from the 1949 inaugural season.

Visitors find Hillsborough to be a friendly and welcoming place. It is home to a number of nationally recognized writers and artists who enjoy being a part of community activities. Visit a local bookshop and you may come away with an autographed copy of the work of a prize-winning author who just happened to stop by to say hello.

The Eno River flows peacefully through the town and adds to the beauty of its parks. A River Walk ushers visitors from the West End to the downtown area. Hillsborough is proud of its “walkable” nature and carefully maintains its very scenic environment.

Saluda, NC

pearsons2Saluda is an exciting place for fall adventures and a welcoming community that is eager to share the beauty and spirit of its scenic resources.  Waterfalls and natural gardens provide a peaceful variety of excitement while the Green River can offer an unforgettable whitewater thrill. Golfers enjoy time on local courses in a spectacular mountain setting.  Bikers and hikers have plenty of trails to explore the surroundings. At the end of the day, there is no shortage of cozy inns to relax until the next adventure begins and plenty of restaurants to partake in the pleasure of fine dining.

Saluda has a history of hospitality. It began as a crossroads known as Pace’s Gap and over the years developed into a town where families came to spend summers in the refreshing mountain air. As it became more successful with several large homes and inns, the residents created a charter that changed the name. It became Saluda after the Saluda Mountains and the name of a local Indian chief. The town grew and spread over seven hills from 2000 feet to 2200 feet in elevation.

By 1879, a train began bringing tourists up the formidable Saluda Grade.  Celebrities came regularly, well-known artists, writers and actors. Townspeople would gather at the depot to meet the train when it arrived to see what famous personality might be on board.

Some annual events in Saluda reflect the warmth and character of the community.  Each year there is a Town Barbecue because several years ago a gentleman who ran general store wanted to say thank you to his patrons.  Others joined him and started a tradition that remembers the appreciation of Charlie Ward, the store owner and celebrates the mountain community. Every July there is Coon Dog Day, “a celebration of dogs and their people.” Along with dogs, there is a parade, food, music, a street dance and more fun.  Hometown Christmas is sponsored by the Saluda Business Association. On Main Street in December, shops are open with music and Christmas refreshments from 6 to 8 and residents come together and celebrate the season. The event closes with an ecumenical service at one of the local churches.

The downtown architecture represents the town’s journey.  Old buildings on Main Street reside gracefully, blending with newer ones and demonstrate a successful transition. Saluda is recognized as a National Historic District.

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