Get Your Golf On
I don’t golf, and I’m not crazy about heights. But I’d still go back to The Eseeola Lodge at Linville Golf Club, a charming little lodge nestled high in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Which says a lot about how nice Eseeola really is, given there’s not much to do in Linville besides golfing and gawking at the aerial views. The top-notch golf course (rated America’s fifth best by Golfweek magazine last year) makes this getaway a must for lovers of the sport—especially at the height of summer, when the cool breezes sweeping the fairways are a treat compared to the broiling flatlands of Charlotte. Eseeola offers golf packages starting at $650 for two nights in the spring and $750 for two nights in the fall. Plus, two rounds of golf are included, as is breakfast and dinner.
Photos courtesy of the Eseeola Lodge at Linville Golf Club
Eseeola Lodge Linville, NC
Which brings us back to why I loved Eseeola. The food. The breakfasts are truly worth getting up early for even though they stop serving at 9:30 a.m. And by the time I finished the gourmet four-course dinner featuring Asian marinated Atlantic salmon served with baby bok choy and a shiitake mushroom salad and char-grilled filet mignon with goat cheese mashed potatoes, sauteed spinach, and demi glace, I wasn’t in the mood to do anything but lounge around in my country-chic suite anyway, weighing massage options at the lodge’s spa. Well fed, pampered, and charmed by this quiet little lodge, I decided Eseeola is well worth a mountain climb. —Melissa Hankins
Blowing Rock’s newest clothing boutique, Clover, is also one of its most exclusive. The streamlined shop offers fashion-forward dresses by the likes of Rebecca Taylor and staples by favorite brands like C&C California and Splendid. Check out the jewelry selection, too—a mix of modern and unique pieces. 110 Sunset Dr., No. 1, Blowing Rock, 828-295-0552, www.shopatclover.com
Benjamin’s Libba’s is full of big-name labels. Blowing Rock visitors may be surprised to find such high fashion in such a tiny mountain town, but, thanks to this store, they can choose from Marc Jacobs, Pucci, Burberry, Diane von Furstenberg, and about twenty-five other high-end brands. 1077-2 Main St., Blowing Rock, 828-295-7781, www.benjaminslibbas.com
Lines of people consistently spilling from Kilwin’s is proof this confectionery serves must-have homemade ice cream. A heavenly scent wafts down Main Street; the sweet smell is a mixture of waffle cones, caramel-dipped apples, and fresh fudge. Best of all, purchase some of those fresh chocolatey delights for late-night snacks or after-dinner treats. 1103 Main St., Blowing Rock, 828-295-3088, www.kilwins.com
Blowing Rock Beauty
Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock sits on about eighty scenic acres located off of Blowing Rock’s Main Street, the boutique-and-restaurant-lined hub of this quaint little mountain town. The resort includes an exclusive bed and breakfast on a swan-studded lake (pictured)—but with only eight rooms it can be difficult to book. Lower key and easier to access are the condos dotting Chetola’s hillside. A one-bedroom costs about $200 on weekends from January to April and about $40 more from May to December.
The true beauty of this resort is the property itself. And Chetola offers a plethora of great packages, too. There are about twenty different seasonal offers, the most popular of which is the Holiday Shopping, in which Chetola offers gift certificates to the nearby outlet center Tanger Shops at Parkway, along with festive activities like horse-and-buggy rides. Other packages are centered on the Blowing Rock Winter Fest and the Blue Ridge Wine Festival. —M. H.
500 Main St., Blowing Rock, 800-243-8652, www.chetola.com