All posts in Scenic Wilkesboro

Raffaldini Vineyards

Raffaldini Vineyards

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I have heard it said that life is a journey, not a destination and that is true, but in the case of Raffaldini Vineyards, the destination is worth the journey. Getting there is a little challenging, but don’t give up. There are a few lefts and rights, a few dirt and gravel roads, but the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow makes the trip seem fun.

Arriving at the vineyard, I was struck by the setting and the architecture. The Tuscan-style villa sits atop a gentle rolling hill with views in almost every direction. It was a clear day and the mountains were especially beautiful. I parked in the lot adjacent to the winery and took a stroll through the flower gardens that lead to the entrance. Being greeted by roses and seasonal flowers, put me in a great mood before I entered the tasting room. I must admit, leaving the beauty of the setting and the amazing vistas was difficult, but I tore myself away and ventured into the villa.

The winery was no disappointment. While I have not been to Italy or visited a vineyard there, I would imagine that this is a faithful reproduction. I was certainly transported to somewhere other than the foothills of North Carolina. I was greeted with a warm hello and given instruction on how the operation works. I paid my dues and stepped up to the wine bar and was given a list of available wines to taste. I am certainly no wine connoisseur, but I know that if I must taste wine… the sweeter the better. I found a few that tilted towards the sweet side, but even the dry wines were enjoyable.

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The experience was excellent and the stories told by the tender filled the time with interest. My problem was focusing on the wine when the view was so incredible. I left the tasting room and found a comfortable chair on the patio outside and just soaked in the setting. I could try to communicate what I saw and how I felt, but I am telling you that you need to go and see and hear and touch the place to fully understand. Several couples purchased bottles and made their way onto the ornate patio and sat together to enjoy the wine and the day.

I was informed that the vineyard had become a wedding destination and that they were booked up nearly a year in advance. I fully understand! What a setting to make a vow to the one you love. The only thing that I can think that would rival the beauty of the setting is a glowing bride on her wedding day. So, if you are making those types of plans, call early and often to book your weekend.

My wife and daughter enjoyed the visit as well and we plan on making a return trip this year. This time, I will know to allow for an afternoon rather than an hour and a picnic basket as well. Enjoy or as they would say “salute”.

Paddle Boarding in Wilkes

Paddle Boarding

Love being on the water? Love kayaking or wake-boarding?  Then why not give Paddle Boarding in Wilkes a try?  Cook’s Sporting Goods is one of the local stores that offers paddle board rentals and they are $25(per board) by the day.  Simply swing by Cook’s, load the boards(onto a vehicle that can haul them of course!), and hit the W. Kerr Scott Dam or travel along the Yadkin River.  The type of trip you are looking to experience is completely your choice!

Tricks of the Trade

What to Wear.  Swim suits of any kind will work.  Girls- one or two piece, Guys- shorts (& a tee if you want the protection from the sun)  I typically wear a swim suit and shorts just to give myself a little extra coverage when sitting/standing on the board, but anything is fine, as long as it is water-proof and comfortable.  Sunscreen- Be sure to put on a good layer of sunscreen before heading out!  You will most likely not be able to take any out on the water with you, so be smart and put it on in advance!  Sunglasses/Hat-  Again, it will most likely be sunny when you go out and the water only reflects the brightness of the sun.  Wearing sunglasses and/or wearing a hat helps cut down on the sun, so that you can enjoy the experience better!

The Paddle.  The paddles used with paddle boards adjust in length so that they are the right size for the user at the time.  In a standing position on land, hold one of your arms straight up-  The paddle should be adjusted to reach the palm of your hand.

Life Jackets.  You are required to have a life jacket on board, however you are not required to be wearing it unless you are 13 or under.  I have found that it is easier to paddle without one, but if you choose to get in the water, you may want to put it on so you can float around a bit.  My recommendation is tie the life jacket to your board and let it lay on the back of the board- it shouldn’t go anywhere!  However, if you feel more comfortable wearing one the entire time, then definitely do:)  Your safety is the most important thing!

The Board.  Before you begin standing on the board, I recommend starting out in a sitting position on the board once it is in the water.  Give yourself a little time to get comfortable on your board and then work your way up to a kneeling position.  Balance is key when it comes to paddle boarding and you want to make sure you have your balance before you try to stand!  Once you feel confident in a kneeling position, try standing shoulder width apart on the middle of the board.

Paddling.  Now you are up and look like a pro!  But wait- How do you get around??  You have a paddle(that should be adjusted to fit you perfectly) and you will be surprised at how fast you are able to get around just by using it!  If you are interested in going to the right, paddle on the left and if you are interested in going to the left, paddle on the right.  If you want to keep moving forward, alternate paddling on each side.

Fitness.  Paddle Boarding is a great way to workout and challenge your body in new ways.  As you paddle, you have the option of just working your arms and shoulders, or getting your entire body involved and working several different muscles- the choice is yours!  *For those of you looking for an even bigger challenge- try out some yoga poses on the boards!  Yoga classes on the water are becoming very popular and they take immense concentration and practice!

The View.  While you are floating around the Yadkin or W Kerr Scott, take in the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, of the wildlife, and of the sun setting.  You never know what you might see!

*Tip-  When paddle boarding on a lake or in an area where there are boats and jet skis, there will definitely be a few moments of bumpy waters.  This is not something I prefer to experience standing on a paddle board, so I typically get in a sitting position either indian style or legs out in front of me and continue paddling.  The main thing is to stay calm, the chances of your board flipping are slim.  Just stay aware of your surroundings and of the water.  Make sure you are comfortable and if you are not, paddle to a different location to where there is calm water.

Most ImportantlyHave FUN!!! Paddle Boarding is a blast, especially if it is something you have never tried before.  Bring your friends, bring your family, bring your significant other- and Give Paddle Boarding in Wilkes a Try!!

Guide to MerleFest

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MerleFest Group

It is difficult to put into words what MerleFest is and what the four days around the last weekend in April are all about, but here goes….

This year we get to enjoy again what many people consider to be the best outdoor Bluegrass/ Americana music festival in the world. Held annually on the campus of Wilkes Community College (Harvard on the Yadkin, as the locals call it), the festival that began on the back of a flatbed truck in 1988 has evolved into a campus wide, multi-stage music extravaganza. The festival is held in honor of Merle Watson, the deceased son of Doc Watson who was killed in a farming accident. Merle was a devoted musician who loved to play the guitar with Doc. For more information on Merle and the history of the festival, please visit www.merlefest.org.

Read more below the break!

Brushy Mountain Apple Festival

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The first Saturday in October brings the masses to North Wilkesboro for the Brushy Mountain Apple Festival. They come to town for what has become one of the largest single day arts and crafts festivals in the Southeast US. Over 160,000 people crowd the downtown streets enjoying a day of food, fellowship and downright fun.

How to get to the Apple Festival.

The festival is held on the streets of downtown North Wilkesboro, so regardless of where you are coming from, just follow the signs once you get into Wilkes County. If you are coming from the east, I would advise you to take the NC Hwy 115 exit and turn right on 115. This will take you to NC 268, turn left on NC 268 and you will run right into the festival.

If you are coming from the west on US 421, take “421 Business” into the downtown area. This left turn is the next left after the Taco Bell. Business 421 will take you directly into the down town area. If you are tech savvy, just enter North Wilkesboro into whatever device you have and hit the road.

Parking

Like most large events, parking is the challenge. The downtown area is closed off, so parking has to be in the surrounding areas. Many public and private lots are open for paid parking (the closer the parking, the higher the price). In addition, the Festival provides free shuttle service to and from parking at West Park where there is lots of free parking. Visit www.applefestival.net and click on the parking link for information on this service.

You will find a place to park, so be patient and decide if you want to walk in from paid parking or ride in from free parking. Also, a word to the wise, the neighbors around the festival are wonderful people, but they draw the line when you park in their yard or driveway, so play nice.

Food and Beverage

The Brushy Mountain Apple Festival is famous for its food selection. My wife always shows up early (7am) and enjoys a country ham biscuit or apple pie. Food is available throughout the festival grounds, so be sure to bring your festival map or pick on up the intersection of Main and 9th and do your food research ahead of time. (Nothing worse than eating something at one location only to realize that you missed out on your favorite just a block away)

Prices are reasonable and the food quality is excellent. The variety is expansive and you will find more that you want to eat than you can eat (very frustrating J). Again, research is the key to finding just what you are craving. My favorites are always the ice cream, the homemade apple pies, awesome Carolina pit cooked bar-be-que, anything with grilled peppers and onions and that really greasy slice of pizza. But whatever your personal tastes are, you will find a place to chow down and enjoy.

An honorable mention here, a local water bottling company sets up a location at the Main and 9th intersection and gives a cold, clear drink of mountain water to every festival goer. Kudos to Brushy Mountain Water and Coffee Company!!

Things to do at the Apple Festival.

Every corner brings a surprise and every street a new series of crafts to enjoy. My favorite times at the festival are watching the artisans at work. Blacksmiths, quilters, potters, wood workers and many others are hard at work and you can quietly watch or ask questions as the work their magic. Where else can you watch cane be turned into molasses or hear southern gospel singers while your child is having their face painted? To say the least, diversity reigns supreme. Take your time, get into the crowd and see what each vendor has to offer.

And don’t forget, this is a celebration of the apple harvest on the Brushy Mountains. The orchards produce some of the best apples in the nation and are available for purchase at the end of almost every street. My favorite apple is the Pink Lady, a wonderful combination of sweet and sour that leaves your mouth watering.

The festival has added a Friday night event known as the “Apple Jam” that is centered on local music. It is held in the Festival Park located on the corner of 10th and Main in downtown North Wilkesboro. The Friday night festivities begin at 6 PM, so come early, bring your chairs and enjoy some beautiful mountain music.

Suggestions

1. The crowds are large, but the people are wonderful. If you are opposed to large crowds, show up early or arrive late and you will miss the biggest crowds.

2. Do your homework ahead of time; this will save you time and lots of walking, nothing worse than backtracking at a street festival.

3. Bring something to carry your awesome purchases in. Backpacks or shoulder bags are excellent choices.

4. If you bring children, allow adequate time for them to have a blast in the children’s area. My kids always loved the sand art and face painting.

5. Wear great walking shoes. You are on streets and sidewalks the entire time and some nicely padded walking shoes will seem worth their weight in gold.

6. Dress in layers. You are in the foothills of North Carolina and as Forrest Gump said… “You never know what you’re going to get”.

7. Get a good night’s sleep the night before and bring a big bag of patience. If you get in a hurry, you will miss something pretty special or you will be very frustrated.

8. Get a bag of apples! This festival is still months away and I am already craving one of those wonderful Brushy Mountain apples.

 Leaving the Apple Festival

Because it is an all day festival, leaving is no big deal. There is no mad rush or clogged highways, so take your time, leave when you want to and enjoy the view as you go. Before you go, be sure to stop by the Festival headquarters at the intersection of 9th and Main and get your free VisitWilkesboroNC.com bumper sticker. See you there.

Rendezvous Mountain Educational State Forest

At Rendezvous Mountain you can enjoy winding trails, mountain top views and …Talking Trees!

Rendezvous Mountain Educational State Park is loads of fun for Family and school groups.  Here you can hike the trails, have a picnic and enjoy some of the many educational opportunities.  If you come on a good clear day you may even get to enjoy a hayride!  I first went to Rendezvous Mountain when I was just a little kid.  I remember taking a hayride from the parking area up the mountain where my family had a picnic.  My favorite part about the trip was the hike to see the Talking Trees!  My sister and I would race from one talking tree to the next and take turns pushing the button to hear what each tree had to teach us.  I still enjoy the Talking Tree Trail today but my favorite part now are the many hiking trails and the views. 

Tips for your trip

  • Call ahead.  You may not always need to call ahead but if you are going during the school year and want to avoid a school group it may not be a bad idea to check first. If you are taking a group of friends and family you may want to call and see if a ranger can give you a tour when you arrive.
  • Read the trail map before you get started.  Little ones may not have the energy to walk all of the trails.  Planning your hike will allow you see what you want to see first and not feel exhausted when you reach your favorite parts.
  • Take a camera!!!  The views are amazing and you are sure to see some wildlife.
  • Check the weather.  You won”t want to be there on a rainy day or during a lightening storm.  If the forecast calls for fog you may not get to see the long views until later in the day if at all.  Even if it is foggy there will still be plenty to see on the trails and at the educational sites.
  • Dress comfortably.  Anytime you travel in the mountains you will want to wear sensible shoes and dress in layers.  The weather is typically cooler at higher elevations and earlier in the morning.
  • Take a picnic! There is so much to see and so many great places to have a picnic.  Having lunch on the mountain will be a great way to take a break between hiking trails.

Things to see at Rendezvous Mountain

  • Talking Trees Trail
  • High Mountain Views
  • Fire Tower
  • Forestry Center
  • Hiking Trails
  • Waterfall Trail
  • Cabin
  • Picnic areas
  • Amphitheater
  • Forestry Education Trail 

Weddings and events at Rendezvous

With the picturesque views and calmness of nature all around it is no wonder that couples would chose to be married at Rendezvous Mountain.  One of the most popular locations for any event on the mountain is at the amphitheater, nestled below a tall canopy of foliage. The park has sheltered areas perfectly suited for a casual chic reception. To learn about how you can schedule your event at Rendezvous Mountain call (336) 667-5072.

How to get to Rendezvous Mountain

  • Drive from Wilkesboro towards Boone on US 421 North 
  • Turn right onto NC 16 North 
  • After about 3 miles turn left onto Boone Trail Road
  • In about 3 miles turn right onto Purlear Road
  • In about a mile Purlear Road will become Shingle Gap Road (just keep going)
  • In one mile turn left onto Rendezvous Mt. Road
  • Follow the drive up the mountain to one of the two parking lots

A Leaf Lookers Guide to Fall in Carolina

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Leaf Looker”s Guide to Fall in Carolina

Each season brings a transformation to the Carolina landscape.  Winter brings white slopes. Spring buds with fresh green foliage and fields of wildflowers.  Summer is warm with sunsets that paint the sky.  Of all the seasons in Carolina, Fall is best of all.  As Autumn comes to the Blue Ridge Mountains each morning seems to reveal more and more change until all at once the mountains burst into vibrant color and leaf season is here!

Fall in Carolina

When and where to see the fall color

The show usually begins in the first days of October when the highest elevations are at their peak.  This is a great time to visit Grandfather Mountain where you can see how the mountains change color from top to bottom, from a hat of vibrant red and orange to a deep summer green skirt blanketing the foothills.  As the season progresses the color spreads down the mountain.  If you come late in the season, late October into early November, you will likely still find color in the foothills.  This is one of the main reasons why I think leaf lookers should begin their journey in the Key City (Wilkes) at the foot of the mountains.  From here you can begin a morning journey up the mountain (by way of HWY 421) and see every level of color.  With Wilkes County being so central, the hardest decision you will likely have to make from Hwy 421 is whether to take the Parkway North or South, drive on into Boone, up towards West Jefferson or down into Blowing Rock.  Each of these places has its own charm and you are sure to enjoy your experience therehuge water slides for sale.

Fall Travel Tips

  • Take your camera!  The views will be beautiful and will also make for great backdrops with family and friends.
  • Take it easy.  Don”t get too caught up in the idea of going to one destination for one great view.  The views will be all around you as you go. Take time to enjoy what you see as you see it and be prepared to stop for some unexpected photo opportunities. 
  • Dress for comfort.  Wear your walking shoes and dress in layers.  The temperatures will change from morning to noon and as you travel from higher and lower elevations. 
  • Read ahead.  The color varies from year to year as do the best spots to see it.  Reading color watch reviews online will help you to know when to be where.  You can also follow us on Facebook (Visit Wilkesboro NC) where we will be sharing some of the best color in our area.

 

Where to start and where to stay

I prefer to start my morning in Wilkes County.  Wilkes has long been know as the “Key City” or the “Gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains”.  There are two very nice and affordable hotels just off of Hwy 421, the Hampton Inn and the Holiday Inn Express.  Leaf Lookers have been staying at these two establishments for years.  This means that the staff knows what your needs will be and will be able to answer any questions you may have.  There are places to stay up the mountain but the prices and crowds rise with the elevation. 


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Visit Wilkes and enjoy Carolina in the Fall!

Shine to Wine

Shine to Wine

The Shine to Wine festival gets bigger and better each year.  The festival is held in historic downtown North Wilkesboro.  The festival includes regional wines and beer for the tasting, live music and art. The festival lasts from 12 PM – 6 PM and is free to the public.  However, if you plan on sampling the wines, a wristband must be purchased. (Proof of age is required)

Wilkes County was at one time known as the Moonshine Capital of the World and for good reason. Nowadays, the region is becoming known for it”s variety of wines.  Ideally situated with the right precipitation and temperatures, the Yadkin Valley is a perfect region to grow grapes. (Who knew, right?)  So the name, Shine to Wine is a throw-back to the old days with an eye on the future of the wine industry in our community.

Several of the downtown North Wilkesboro restaurants join in the celebration and offer a “Downtown Wine Dinner”.  Be sure to visit 6th and Main and Branciforte’s. Both of establishments offer special entrees paired with signature wines.  Reservations for this special evening is advised, so call ahead and ask them to save you a seat.  The food is always delicious and the prices are reasonable, so enjoy.

The festival always has a great band to listen to while you sample the wines.  Enjoy the distinctive sounds of some of the regions best bands as you walk the streets of North Wilkesboro.  These groups have always provided a great backdrop to the entire event.  Vendor tent hopping and wine tasting to live tunes played with true talent is a great way to pass a Saturday afternoon.

Should you attend?  If you enjoy friendly people, great music and art and a sip of the fruit of the Yadkin Valley Winegrowers, then this is a festival for you.  Check out their website for all the ins and outs and make your s plans now before all the hotel rooms fill up.  Salute!  (www.shinetowine.com)

How to get to the Shine to Wine Festival?

The Shine to Wine Festival is located in Historic Downtown North Wilkesboro.  If you are coming from the east, I would advise taking the NC Hwy 115 exit and then turn right on 115. This will take you to NC 268, turn left on NC 268 and you will run right into Downtown North Wilkesboro where festival signs and parking will be easily visible.

If you are coming from the west on US 421, take “421 Business” into the downtown area. This left turn is the next left after the Taco Bell. Business 421 will take you directly into the down town area. If you are tech savvy, just enter North Wilkesboro into whatever device you have and hit the road.


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W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir

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W. Kerr Scott is a place for fun, excitement, rest and relaxation.

W. Kerr Scott Dam & ReservoirResting in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir is the perfect place for a relaxing vacation by the lake or an exciting excursion on winding forest trails or in the water. W. Kerr Scott has so much to offer including camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, boating, ranger tours, children’s water safety activities, bird watching and much more.  You can rent a shelter for gatherings of friends and family, participate in the many cycling events, experience the Tom Dooley Outdoor Drama and concerts at the Forest Edge Amphitheater, or simply unwind and enjoy nature at its finest.

 Campgrounds surrounding the lake include:W. Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir

  • Bandits Roost
  • Warrior Creek
  • Fort Hamby

Amenities at the lake include:

  • A minimal admission fee
  • Numerous boat launch sites and docks
  • Boating and sailing
  • Children’s activities
  • Environmental Education Center
  • Fishing by boat or from one of the many fishing docks
  • Free parking
  • Gift shop
  • MarinaW. Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir
  • RV parking
  • Nature center
  • Pet-friendly
  • Picnic areas all over the place
  • Playgrounds near picnic shelters
  • Swimming area
  • Self-guided tours
  • Ranger guided toursW. Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir
  • Trails for hiking and walking
  • Bike trails with berms
  • Archery course
  • And More!!!

 

nbso online casino reviews lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in;”>How to get to W. Kerr Scott.

There are many places to access the lake.  The northern shore is closest to HWY 421 while the southern borders 268 which can be reached from 421 by taking exit 286 B.  The way is well marked with signs. 


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W. Kerr Scott Dam & ReservoirW. Kerr Scott Dam & ReservoirThe primary address for the reservoir is:

499 Reservoir Road
Wilkesboro, NC 28697
Phone: (336) 921-3750 
 

This will take you to the visitor center which is open weekdays from 8:00 to 4:30, November through March.  They are open all week long during the busy season from April to October.  The Environmental Education Center, located in a separate wing of the same facility, is open Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 to 4:00, April 1 – October 31 and by appointment.

Where to get your gear.

Wilderness Lodge 

185 Edmiston Road
Boomer, NC 28606Girl in yellow kayak at W. Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir
(336) 921-2277
 

Wilderness Lodge is on the lake and offers 
rentals for canoes, kyaks and mountain bikes 
as well as accommodations.

Cook”s 

1402 Willow Lane
North Wilkesboro, NC 28659Bike Race at W. Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir
(336) 667-4121
 

Cook”s offers a variety of kyaks and bikes
at competitive prices.  They care also a great
place to go for camping gear and repairs.

Foothills Outdoor Adventures

2618 West NC HWY 268
Wilkesboro, NC 28697
(336) 990-0780

This family owned business is located just
below the W. Kerr Scott Dam and offers everything from pontoons to canoes and the River Tub!

 

The video below was uploaded in 2011 and things have continued to grow at W. Kerr Scott since.  There are more trails, picnic areas and more fun to be had!

Click on the links below to read other insiders about the lake.

Kerr Scott Trails (KST)

Tom Dooley Outdoor Drama

Whippoorwill Academy and Village

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Whippoorwill Whippoorwill has been a labor of love for owner Edith Carter, who saw the importance in historic buildings and began saving them long ago. Edith is also an artist and has repurposed an old smokehouse, built in the late 1700″s, for use as a gallery. Visitors will notice that much of the art displayed tells the story of local legend Tom Dula (Tom Dooley), a young man who hung for crimes he committed…or may have committed. This is the real mystery. There is also a cabin museum especially for Tom Dula. Those who tour the village will get to hear the legend of Tom Dula, visit the Daniel Boone Cabin, a blacksmith shop, a schoolhouse built in 1880, the lovely Chapel of Peace (a popular location for weddings) and many more structures. Most importantly, visitors will learn about life and the way things once were.

Whippoorwill When to go to Whippoorwill

The village is open to the public Saturday and Sunday, 3-5 pm and during the week by appointment. The Village is closed January through March. I would recommend making a special trip to visit on Daniel Boone Day (the second Saturday in May) or for the Christmas Open House in December.

Call (336) 973-3237 for an appointment.

How to get there

Whippoorwill is not hard to get to but can be easy to miss if you aren”t looking for the sign.

  • From 421 North (like you are coming from Winston-Salem) you will take exit 286 B towards 268
  • From the ramp turn left onto 268 and continue straight for about 12 miles
  • Whippoorwill will be on your left. Look for a gravel drive and small brown sign
  • From 421 South (like you are coming from Boone) you will take exit 286 towards 268…the sign will also say “WCC Gardens.”
  • From the ramp turn right onto 268 and continue straight for about 12 miles
  • Whippoorwill will be on your left. Look for a gravel drive and small brown sign.


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What to pay

The village is free to enter but we strongly recommend making a donation.

Whippoorwill Remember that everyone who is working at the village is a volunteer, so please make life a little easier and keep the greens green (aka…no litter)

You will want to bring some cash for any special finds you may come across in the old country store. The store has old fashioned toys, canned goods and Items made by local craftsmen. I am a big fan of the bamboo pickles and am always able to find wonderful gifts for friends and family!

What to bring

Food! Whippoorwill does have some tasty goodies in the old country store but it is not really enough to make a picnic out of and Whippoorwill is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic. Anything that you would take for a day at the park is just the sort of thing that you may want to bring here.

Where to stay

The Hampton Inn of Wilkesboro is located just off of 268 and is the closest hotel to Whippoorwill.  You will even see the hotel to your left as you drive to the village.  You may also consider the Holiday Inn Express, located just off of Hwy 421.Whippoorwill

If you are feeling really adventurous you may even consider camping at W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir.  You will drive past the lake on your right on while on 268 traveling towards Whippoorwill.

Getting hitched 

If you would like to hold a wedding, or any other event at Whippoorwill Village, you will simply need to book ahead of time, pay a small rental fee, respect the property and have a jolly good time!

Whippoorwill Village has grown even since this video was made.  Don”t miss your chance to tour this treasure of a place!

Visual Arts

Touring the Arts in Wilkes County

When people hear “Wilkes” they often think of MerleFest, The Brushy Mountains or W. Kerr Scott Lake but there is another attraction here, well known among Wilkes County locals and rapidly growing in size. Murals are coming to life in downtown, galleries are opening, and crafts, rooted in North Carolina heritage, are being preserved and shared. The visual arts are alive and well in Wilkes. Travelers are discovering that there is more here than nature and music, there is a feast for the eyes. Local craftsmen display and sell their goods throughout Wilkes, especially in the downtown areas, museums and galleries are welcoming travelers daily and murals and barn quilts are gracing the sides of many a building.

Local Crafts and Visual Arts

• Locally made custom jewelry can be found at Sisters.
Taupe Gallery represents 65 Northwestern N.C. craftsmen.
• Textiles are artfully stitched at Gloria Sews.
• Crafts and coffee come hand in hand at Talia.
• Stone Mountain Country Store has quilts, crafts, good eats and ice-cream.
• William Vance Nichols shares his paintings and skills at his studio in Melody Square.
• Royall”s Custom Framing and Fine Arts has paintings by local artists of many local places.
Southern Candle uses traditional artistry in producing their own hand crafted candles.

Permanent Museums, Galleries & Displays

• The Old Wilkes County Courthouse, built in 1902, is home to the Heritage Museum.
• Saint Paul”s Episcopal Church, built in 1848, features two frescoes by renowned artist, Ben Long.
• Historic log cabins at Whippoorwill Academy contain art by locals both young and old.
• The Wilkes Art Gallery, located in the old library, originally the North Wilkesboro Post Office, always has something new to see and sell.

Events like MerleFest and the Brushy Mountain Apple Festival allow craftsmen to gather annually while long time establishments such as Whippoorwill Academy, Wilkes Art Gallery, The Wilkes Heritage Museum and others, remain open throughout the year. With so much to see and learn, experiencing the arts in Wilkes is a must.

 

Visiting these establishments in Wilkes could become a vacation all its own.

We invite you to stay awhile and experience all that Wilkes has to offer.