By Jan Westmark
I was sad to see David Letterman retire recently. I will miss his Top Ten list every night – so thought I would share a quick Top Ten on the Best Things about the Western North Carolina Mountains. There are way more than 10 – but let’s just say I had to come up with photos that matched – so I kept it at 10.
10. Asheville. It’s a quirky and fascinating city with amazing restaurants and lots of fun events. The Grove Park Inn is a great place to visit and of course don’t miss the Biltmore Estate if you are in the area. But the reason I like Asheville (and the Western North Carolina Mountains) – you can grow blueberries – from Asheville to Lake Lure to Tryon!! These are from my blueberry bushes and I had them for breakfast!
9. Black Mountain. Another great little town to visit. Cherry Street is filled with wonderful stores. Lake Tomahawk is a beautiful lake with walking trails around it. I had dinner at a friend’s house in Black Mountain the other night and this was the view from her back porch. (The views in all of Western North Carolina are pretty amazing!) Living here makes you feel like you are on top of the world.
8. Chimney Rock. If we are going to talk about great views – then we must talk about Chimney Rock. The movie “The Last of the Mohicans” was filmed there – and it gives you a fabulous view of Lake Lure. Lots of hiking trails in the park and the cute little town of Chimney Rock has great restaurants and shopping.
7. It’s a dog friendly area! The towns in the Western North Carolina Mountains are very dog friendly – from the restaurants to the hiking – you can bring your dog along!! It might be a dog-eat-dog world in other places, but here in the mountains it’s just a dog-love-dog world!!
6. Picnics and hiking in the mountains. It’s easy to get off the beaten path in this area – or get on the Blue Ridge Parkway and head up to Mt. Mitchell. Or take a boat out on Lake Lure and eat a picnic in your boat! Two great things that are great together!!
5. You can own a house on Lake Lure for under $700,000. That’s amazing! National Geographic named Lake Lure one of the Top Ten Most Beautiful Man-Made Lakes in the World. I love it!!!! And you will love Lake Lure also! Here’s a house for $699,000 that’s actually on the lake – take your boat right out of your house and onto the lake!!
4. The wildlife. The Western North Carolina Mountains are full of wildlife – from deer and bears to gorgeous flowers. You can enjoy the wildlife hiking, driving or even by visiting the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge in Lake Lure. And, yes, I took this photo of a bear from my car.
3. Waterfalls and lakes. It’s that simple – they are beautiful and they are everywhere!! And the view when the leaves are changing – fabulous!
2. Tryon. It’s horse country and it’s all about the horses. The Tryon International Equestrian Center is all new and all amazing. The official opening was last week and it was packed with 10,000 people. If you want to call it the Disney World for horse people, you can. And you would be right!
1. And the #1 best thing about Western North Carolina – LAKE LURE!! The movie “Dirty Dancing” was filmed there, you can boat around the lake and even stop at a restaurant for lunch or dinner, you can hike, shop, or sit back and enjoy the life of luxury on the lake!!!
This Top Ten list doesn’t even begin to cover how wonderful the mountains are! But I think the only way to discover the beauty of this area is to visit — or better yet, move here!!
Jan Westmark, Realtor®, Keller Williams Lake Lure Professional Realty Group
Editor-In-Chief of Sidelines Magazine, www.sidelinesnews.com