In Western North Carolina, just a few miles south of the Virginia border is a little slice of mountain life that is good for the soul (and the stomach). Shatley Springs is a ramshackle collection of metal-roofed buildings and cabins, some dating as far back as 1923. Décor leans to early-barn, with colorful flowers planted in re-purposed kitchen pots and old equipment.
Built over springs reported to have medicinal powers, a typical Sunday finds a huge after-church crowd and (without being rude) lots of folks who appear to have very healthy appetites. If you don’t have a reservation you may have to wait, but just sit back in the porch rockers and enjoy the live music or wander around the grounds, check out the spring, buy some Ashe County fruit and bread, browse the shops, or chat-up some new friends. NASCAR is a popular topic I overheard being discussed during this most recent visit. The shops have an eclectic variety of items including jewelry, candy, and locally handcrafted goods.
Lunch and dinner are available after 11:30 and feature fried chicken and sugar-cured country ham. This was our first time trying the breakfast menu and we had a delicious meal. I like that you can forgo the trademark large family-style meals and order exactly what you want, including eggs made to order. The biscuits are amazing, and as long as I can get good country sausage gravy I am happy (a treat my Yankee husband just does not understand).
When you can’t eat another bite, your waitress will add “God Bless You” to your check and wish you a blessed day – and she will mean it.
If you drive over from Boone the Railroad Grade Road between Todd and Fleetwood is a beautiful drive along the New River.
Once at Shatley Springs, you will need to check in at the office; they will call your name to be seated. You return to the same area at the end of the meal to settle your bill. Keeping up with the times, they now take credit cards. Open daily 7 AM til 9 PM. Call for reservations.
407 Shatley Springs Road, Crumpler, NC 336.982.2236
For more details check out: www.shatleysprings.com
My family loves games and puzzles and are always up for an escape room adventure. This week, we tried Boone’s first escape room – Mysterium, and were not disappointed.
The Boone property is a completely local, original venture; not part of a franchise like so many others. Owner-creator Shaun has done a masterful job. His video, recordings, clues, and special effects are top-notch. The hour was packed with lots of interesting special effects – really the most we’ve ever experienced. Of course, I’m not going to give any hints, but don’t be daunted if you have to ask for help and get a few extra clues along the way. You are connected to the outside by walkie-talkie and can ask for assistance at any time.
The theme of the room was “The Inheritance” and we were looking for the fortune left by mischievous adventurer/explorer Uncle Ambrose. The room is not large and play is limited to no more than six participants at a time. Our team of four joined the mother-son duo Vicky and Andy (pictured above, on the left) for this quest.
Shaun is currently creating his next room and we can’t wait.
We did escape, with 8 seconds to spare.
828.865.0009 * 743 W King St. * $25 per adult; $15 students with ID * Must be 12 and, if under 18 with an adult.
Our friend in Asheville thought we would enjoy the LaZoom City Comedy Tour and she was right on point.
The 90-minute open-air bus tour winds its way through charming Asheville and manages to impart quite a bit of local flavor and history between the funny, corny, and sometimes bawdy, commentary.
This is a great city – chock full of unique locally owned shops and restaurants (over 90%) and more craft breweries than anywhere else in the country. You can bet the breweries are mentioned during this tour, which allows consumption of wine and/or beer while on board, and includes a rest stop at the Green Man Brewery.
Two facts that made an impression:
- despite the ghost stories, no one died during the Civil War’s Battle of Asheville, and
- last month Asheville’s nationally renowned Wicked Weed Brewing company sold out to Anheuser-Busch. We hope it’s not the start of a trend.
Check out their website for times, fees and other tour options: http://www.lazoomtours.com/
The August issue of Pinecrest Lifestyle Magazine is hot off the presses and I’m pleased to share my article about the thriving Rivers Arts District in Asheville, NC.
Click this link for the full article. Pinecrest Mag.Paint the Town.August2016
Each little “pup” is ready to plant.
Who knew that Appalachian State University (ASU) has some amazing greenhouses and conservatory tucked away a couple of miles from campus, behind a commercial area in Bonne, NC.
I had the opportunity to tour this wonderful ASU facility and see plants from, literally, every country in the world. There were so many unusual and amazing varieties. We had a crash course in plant adaptation and got up close and personal with plants that mimic rocks, house ant farms, emit unpleasant odors, and produce mini-me offspring all by themselves. We had botany and world geography lessons rolled into one.
They have two plant sales a year (usually May and September) and also offer some public classes; volunteers are needed and welcome.
For more information contact Greenhouse Manager Jerry Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out why life is great in the NC High Country. Check out my recent article in South Florida’s Pinecrest Magazine: