Few things are better than savoring an exquisite glass of wine while enjoying the scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lucky for us, there are quite a few beautiful wineries around the High Country for locals and visitors to enjoy. Here are a few of our High Country favorites only a short drive from Chetola Resort:

Grandfather Vineyard & Winery (23 min drive)

Enjoy an award-winning glass of wine from a local, family-owned vineyard on the banks of the Watauga River with a view of Grandfather Mountain. With delicious wines, tasty food trucks, and a relaxing ambiance, your visit to Grandfather Vineyard & Winery will be a highlight of your trip.

Banner Elk Winery (40 min drive)

Offering tastings, tours, and awe-inspiring views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Banner Elk Winery is a must-stop on your winery tour of the High Country. Stop by to enjoy excellent wines that reflect the unique characteristics of the Blue Ridge Mountains and take a bottle from your trip home with you.

Linville Falls Winery (43 min drive)

A family-owned and operated vineyard and winery, a visit to Linville Falls Winery is an experience you don’t want to miss. Located just a mile away from its namesake Linville Falls, this is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a beautiful hike and “earn your wine”. With a variety of wine options, yoga, chocolate, live music, food trucks, and beautiful scenery, add Linville Falls Winery to your Wine Tasting Bucket List.

Watauga Lake Winery (51 min drive)

Discover the first winery in Johnson County, Tennessee, and walk through history in their historical Dry Run Schoolhouse Winery. Inspired by the wines and scenery of Italy, these award-winning wines are made for every palate.

Raffaldini Vineyards & Winery (1 hr 9 min drive)

Travel to Tuscany right in the Blue Ridge Mountains at the family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards. With vineyard tours, wine tasting, their annual Fest Italiana, and gorgeous views, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Raffaldini Vineyards.

If you would rather stay on property for a delicious glass of wine, Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola Resort offers elusive wines that you won’t find in stores. We’ll save you a glass!

Enjoy your winery tour of the High Country!

Visit https://www.highcountrywinetrail.com/ to see all the vineyards and wineries along the trail!

Spring into Summer Package

 

Ready for sunshine, perfect weather, and parkway adventures? Treat yourself to a Chetola getaway!

Enjoy the blooms of summer and our beautiful mountain scenery, as well as our award-winning spa and on-site restaurant. It’s the perfect time to visit!

Our Spring Into Summer Package:

• Stay 2 nights and Save 10%  for a Sunday-Thursday stay
• Enjoy 2-nights lodging, breakfast each morning for two, and save 10%
• Ask about our onsite activities at check-in!

Use code Spring21 when booking.

Call now to book your room, reserve your table, and learn about room upgrades-
800-243-8652

*rates subject to change; based on availability; cannot be combined with any other offer; rates do not include resort fees, tax, or gratuities; based on rates in the Lodge (Hillside guest room); rates not available over holidays; offer not valid for groups of 10 or more; available May 3 – May 20, 2021. 

 

Warm weather is arriving in the mountains and there is nothing better than enjoying a cold drink from a local High Country Brewery on a sunny day. With many options to choose from, no matter where your adventures may take you during your visit, there is a delicious brewery nearby. Here are a few of our High Country favorites just a short drive from Chetola Resort:

Photo by: Blowing Rock Brewing Company

Blowing Rock Brewing Company (2 min drive)

It is Blowing Rock Brewing Company’s mission to “not just craft the highest quality mountain artisan beer, but to create a high-quality experience for enjoying our beer as well.” These delicious Blowing Rock Drafts are just a short walk (or drive) from Chetola Resort. Enjoy a cold one while exploring Downtown Blowing Rock!

Photo by: Appalachian Mountain Brewery

Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Boone (13 min drive)

Located in the heart of Boone, Appalachian Mountain Brewery (AMB), has something for everyone. With delightful beers and unique ciders, you will not be leaving without a 6-pack in hand to enjoy later on.

Photo by: Booneshine Brewing Company

Booneshine Brewing Company, Boone (17 min drive)

With the option to drink and dine in their tasting room or outside in their beer garden, you will not be disappointed with a trip to Booneshine. With weekly trivia, running clubs, and a guaranteed good time, make sure you add Booneshine to your trip itinerary.

Photo by: Lost Province Brewing Company

Lost Province Brewing Company, Boone (17 min drive)

Lost Province, located in Downtown Boone, is a microbrewery that serves up tasty pints and delicious meals in a fun atmosphere. With live music, trivia, and other fun events, there is always a good reason to stop by Lost Province.

If you are up for a little more of an adventure, check out these spots a little further down the road:

Kettell Beerworks, Banner Elk (36 min drive)

Boondocks Brewing, West Jefferson (40 min drive)

New River Brewing, West Jefferson (40 min drive)

Beech Mountain Brewing Company, Beech Mountain (49 min drive)

Molley Chomper Hard Cider, Lansing (56 min drive)

If you don’t want to leave the resort, Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola Resort offers local North Carolina beers on tap. We’ll save you a seat at the pub!

Enjoy your brewery tour of the High Country!

 

Saturday, April 3

Easter Egg Dyeing from 11 am to 1 pm

This event will be held outside the porch near the pool if it’s nice outside, or in the upstairs gym (rain location).

To-Go Easter Craft Bag from 11 am to 1 pm

Easter Egg Hunt 2 pm

This event will be held on the front lawn. If it is raining, the hunt will be held in the lodge. If held outside, please meet by the arbor. If inside, please meet in the Highlands
Recreation Center. Some bunny will see you there!

Helicopter Egg Drop at Alpha and Omega Maze

April 2-3, 9 am - 4 pm, Alpha and Omega Maze (Hamptonville, NC)

Tweetsie Railroad Reopens April 2

The Easter Bunny is coming to Tweetsie Railroad Easter weekend. He will be here to meet and take photos with your family during your visit.

High Gravity Adventures Aerial Adventure Park opens for spring 11 am - 6 pm

Sky Valley Zip Tours opens for spring tours 

Sunday, April 4

Easter Dine-In Brunch will be offered from 11:30 am - 2:30 pm

Reservations are required. Please call 828-295-5505 to make a reservation.

Easter Curbside To-Go Meal Reservations

Curbside pick-up slots are available from 12 pm - 3 pm on April 4, 2021 Please call 828-295-5505 to make a reservation.

Timberlake's Restaurant will be open for regular dinner service from 4 pm-9 pm.

Tweetsie Railroad Reopens April 2

The Easter Bunny is coming to Tweetsie Railroad Easter weekend. He will be here to meet and take photos with your family during your visit.

High Gravity Adventures Aerial Adventure Park opens for spring 11 am - 6 pm

Sky Valley Zip Tours opens for spring tours 

 

The views along the Blue Ridge Parkway are always spectacular, however, there is something about how the blue hues pop in the winter that makes the season a special time to enjoy an adventure along the Parkway. In between winter and spring when it's warm enough for the parkway to be open, but cold enough that plants aren't blooming yet, there's no better time to enjoy the Blue Ridge Mountains.

To enhance your drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway (during your stay), we’ve put together a list of of our favorite spots, all just a few miles from the resort:

Raven Rocks Overlook (Milepost 289.5)

Raven Rocks Overlook provides a gorgeous view of the surrounding mountains. It is a favorite for picnics and sunset views. Our favorite type of picnic is enjoying a meal from Timberlake’s while enjoying the sunset. Also, if you’re up for a hike, you can hop on the Mountains to Sea Trail (Segment 5) for a few miles- located directly adjacent to the parking area.

Thunder Hill Overlook (Milepost 290.4)

Thunder Hill Overlook is one of the most popular overlooks in the area because it provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the mountains. For a little bit of adventure, there is a small trail across the roadway that takes you on a short hike in a pasture with several apple trees. And, if you are interested in an after-dark adventure, Thunder Hill Overlook provides an astounding view of stars!

Moses Cone Memorial Park (Milepost 294)

The Flat Top Manor at Moses Cone Memorial Park is an iconic piece of the Blue Ridge Parkway. From there, you can experience views of Bass Lake, explore miles of hiking trails or the historic estate itself, discover the Southern Highlands Craft Guild shop, and further experience the property with ranger-led tours and open houses (check online for their opening schedule).

At Moses Cone, we love to bring a meal and our favorite picnic blanket and find a spot on the grounds to enjoy the estate. Or, if we’re up for an adventure, we love to follow the trail to Flat Top Fire Tower or Rich Mountain.

Price Park Picnic Area (Milepost 297)

Pick-up lunch at Timberlake’s and enjoy a meal by Boone Fork Creek and Sim’s Creek at Price Park’s 100-site picnic area. It is open year-round (comfort stations are closed in winter) and makes a perfect spot to be surrounded by the great outdoors while savoring a delicious meal.

If you’re up for more of an adventure, hop on the Boone Fork Trail (5.4 miles round trip) which will take you past Hebron Falls!

Price Lake (Milepost 297)

The view at Price Lake can’t be beaten. Kayak, canoe, fish, hike around the lake, or drive across the dam and take in the view of Grandfather Mountain. With so many activities, as well as spots around the lake to enjoy a snack or a view, everyone in the family will enjoy a stop at Price Lake.

No matter what season you choose to visit, the Blue Ridge Parkway has something for everyone to enjoy.

Spend your days adventuring and your evenings by the fire on your next stay at Chetola Resort.

**When you go out venturing on the parkway or anywhere in the High Country please be sure to leave the area you visited better than you found it so everyone can enjoy it.

 

 

Shepherd's Pie from Timberlake's Restaurant is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether you choose to tackle it yourself by trying Chef Matt's recipe or enjoying it on the patio at Timberlake's, our Shepherd's Pie is sure to make your taste buds do a happy dance!

Shepherd’s Pie
(Yields 4-6 servings)

Ingredients:

Mash Potatoes:

3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup of sour cream

1/4 cup of grated parmesan

salt and black pepper

Worcestershire Gravy:

2 qt of reserved stock

1/4 cup Worcestershire

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3tbsp tomato paste

2tbsp picked fresh thyme

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup flour

salt and black pepper

Braised Lamb Shank:

4 lb lamb foreshanks

2 cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped garlic

1 cup tomato paste

3 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

1 gallon of beef stock

2 cups red wine (burgundy, cabernet, etc.)

salt and black pepper

oil for searing

1 lb Frozen Vegetables:

We use a 5 vegetable blend but peas and carrots work fine as well

 

Preparation:

Braised Lamb: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place a large dutch oven over high heat. Season
lamb generously with salt and black pepper then once the pan is very hot, sear lamb on all sides. Set
lamb aside. In the same pan, turn the heat down to medium and add oil and onions, carrots, celery, and
season with salt and black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes then add garlic and tomato paste. Cook for 2
minutes then deglaze with wine. Add fresh herbs. Add lamb shanks back to the pan with the
vegetables and add beef stock until the lamb is almost covered. Place lid on pan and place in
preheated oven for 3.5 hours or until meat is tender and falling off the bone. Once cool, pull the lamb
meat from the bones and strain the stock. As stock cools the fat will rise to the top. Skim off as much
fat as possible and save the stock to make the gravy.
Mash Potatoes: Peel and Chop Potatoes. Place butter and cream in a small pot on low heat. Boil
potatoes in water until tender. Drain. Add cream, butter, and sour cream to potatoes, and use a whisk
or hand blender to mash potatoes until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Worcestershire Gravy: In a large pot add oil and flour and whisk over medium heat for a few
minutes until the flour smells a little nutty and is a light brown color. Add stock and rest of ingredients
whisking constantly to get rid of any lumps. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low and cook for a
few minutes until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
Assembly: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine vegetables and Lamb
together. Add gravy until the mixture is wet and saucy but not soupy. In a 4 Quart casserole dish add
meat mixture leaving a half-inch from the top. Now add mash potatoes and smooth with a spatula. Cover with
plastic wrap then aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and
plastic wrap and bake for additional 10 minutes or until mash potatoes are golden brown. Let rest at
room temperature for 15 minutes. Garnish with scallions or chives

We hope you enjoy experiencing this Timberlake's classic from home! We hope to see you soon for a meal here at the resort!

 

When visiting the High Country, we can oftentimes be overwhelmed with the plethora of outdoor activity options.  At Chetola Resort alone, we have hiking, disc golf, paddle boating, fly-fishing, sporting clays, tennis, kayaking, and more. While participating in these activities may be calming for some, for others, we prefer a bit of retail therapy.

Just like our little mountain towns of Blowing Rock and Boone provide endless adventure, they also provide some of the best shopping around. If you are looking for convenience while visiting, Chetola offers a private pathway to the Tanger Outlets. The 5-minute walk begins at the Lodge and leads you right to Tanger’s first store, Ralph Lauren. Not only do the outlets feature over 20 name brand retail shops, but they also offer places like Kilwins, a renowned ice cream and fudge establishment, Egg Rollin’, a unique restaurant offering almost anything you can think of in an egg roll, Crepes And Waffles, the newest eatery utilizing organic and natural ingredients, and Doc’s Rocks, fun and entertaining gem mine.

If you wish to explore high-end or local shopping, downtown Blowing Rock is a mere 15-minute walk from the resort or a 2-minute drive. Downtown Blowing Rock has some of the most unique stores in the area. They feature shops like J.W. Tweeds, Celeste’s, 100 West Union, and Almost Rodeo Drive. Downtown features diverse and local artist boutiques, including Crosstrade Jewelry and Gifts, High Country Candles, Winwood Antiques, Art Walk, and Bolick & Traditions Pottery. If you want to take a quick break for a glass of wine while shopping, you can stop by Sunset and Vine or the Blowing Rock Market. They also have adorable gift shops.

We can’t leave you without pointing out our three personal favorites in the area - Monkees, Neaco’s, and Mast General Store.  Monkees is a women’s high-end boutique featuring an amazing shoe selection, unique clothing pieces, jewelry, and our favorite- their gently used designer handbag section that includes Chanel Bags and Louis Vuitton.  Neaco’s indulges its patrons with interesting gifts, wines, NC brand products, and quirky handmade items. Lastly, Mast General Store has two locations nearby, with one in Boone, and the original in Valle Crucis. Both stores have plenty of quality hiking gear, outdoor clothing, gifts, dog items, and a huge selection of candy (in massive barrels) that satisfies any sweet tooth. This is certainly a memorable shopping experience for the entire family.

When you return to the resort, be sure to stop by our gift shop as we offer Orvis® clothing and gear, Hammonds Candies, Thymes Candles, and beautiful Chetola branded stoneware. After you drop your bags off in your room, head up to the Chetola Spa for a relaxing massage to rejuvenate your senses. Once refreshed and relaxed, you may just be ready for another day of shopping!

 

Valentine's Day may look a little bit different this year, but we want you to still be able to have a S W E E T day with your favorite person. That's why Pastry Chef Abby has put together a tasty dessert recipe for you! So whether you're opting for a Valentine's Day from home this year or just want to make your valentine an extra special treat, this recipe is for you!

Salted Blondies For Two:

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, room temp
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp regular salt
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, for sprinkling
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup mix-ins, such as nuts or chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a standard bread loaf pan with parchment, or grease with butter.
  2. Mix melted butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until combined. Add the egg, mix until it just comes together.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the regular salt, flour, cinnamon, and baking powder to get rid of lumps.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stir until combined. Do not overmix, batter should be thick.
  5. Fold in the mix-ins, if using.
  6. With a rubber spatula, press batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with kosher salt.
  7. Bake on center rack for 15-20 minutes, depending on the desired gooey-ness.
  8. Once cool enough to handle, cut blondie in half. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.

 

I grew up in the triad of North Carolina where winters are mild, summers are hot and humid, and it rains quite frequently. I also remember getting snow at least once a winter, which made for an epic outdoor playday. Regardless of the weather, I remember that as soon as my homework was done, I was free to go. And, fortunately, we lived in a neighborhood with lots of kids. The houses were close together, so it was easy to find opportunities to play. During the summer, we would stay outside until it was dark- usually 9 pm or so. When the weather turned cold, or rainy, we would certainly spend less time outside, however, it would take a serious thunderstorm, or bitter cold to keep us from at least attempting to play outside. I have always had a fascination with the weather, so I think I was drawn to being outdoors even if the weather was not perfect. Now as an adult, I use the inclement weather as an excuse to purchase new gear, as it prepares me for whatever Mother Nature may throw my way.

Although my wife and I grew up in the South (her in GA, me in NC), we met in Montana, where winter usually lasted 9 months or so. If you didn’t like the cold or snow, it was a very lonely place to reside. And you would inevitably spend a majority of your time indoors. Fortunately, we both love the outdoors, and everything that goes along with enjoying time in nature. Initially, we decided that we would raise our kids out west, and just bundle them up so we could continue to immerse ourselves in the place we had grown to love. We found used bike trailers for the summer, along with a fancy covered pull-behind sled so that the kids could ride along wherever we skied (cross country skiing). However, about two years ago, we decided to move close to family and found the High Country of NC, where there are four beautiful seasons. Now we are spoiled with pleasant summers (rarely gets above 80 degrees), colorful autumns, just enough snow to call it winter, and endless recreation.

Still, it can get rainy, windy, cold, snowy, foggy, and occasionally hot. While it is not always easy, and full disclosure, our kids occasionally resist our good intentions, we get outside just about every day. Here’s why this is so important for us:

1. We want our kids to experience the wonders of each season
There is something about exploring our yard, the woods nearby, and the local park trails in every season. There are different views, different bugs, and different activities depending on the season. Our kids get to experience hiking, riding bikes, skiing, sledding, collecting leaves, finding rocks, and everything in between. It can even be as simple as sitting under a tree and watching the clouds wisp by above our house.


2. We want our kids to be active and healthy
What parent doesn’t enjoy tired kiddos? If my kids are up before me, then I know they needed more exercise. I can always tell when they are tired, as they fall asleep fast, and get up at a reasonable hour in the morning. Keeping them active keeps us active, which allows for a healthy lifestyle. The whole family seems happier when we have had some time outside. Tired kids= happy family.


3. Reduces screen time, as well as dependency on devices
The more time we spend outside, the less time our kids have for television or any other device. We have seen the tables turn when someone has been under the weather or is hurt. We spend more time inside, and then it makes it that much harder to go back outside. On the flip side, once we get everyone outside, no one wants to come in either. The trick is doing whatever we can to just get outside for at least a half hour a day. It becomes routine, and then our bodies and minds crave that vitamin D, and fresh air.


4. We want our kids to be resilient to change
Being resilient is an important life skill that develops at an early age. For our kids, enjoying time outside with one another regardless of the weather has allowed them to build confidence, and not be as sensitive to small challenges that may have deterred their approach. We also do our best to make it fun when the weather turns on us. Although our floors might need to be wiped down after we come in, we would much rather play in the rain and mud than miss out on some great memories with the kids. Then, the first thing they want to tell others is that their Mom and Dad let them play in the mud and get really dirty. We are certainly not the coolest parents out there, but we have fun. We make memories. For me, that is certainly enough right now.


5. We want them to develop a love for our natural world
Having worked in the tourism industry in Montana, one of the State’s selling points is that they have a more unspoiled nature in the lower 48 states than anywhere else in the United States. There is a lot to be said about natural wonders versus man-made ones. As parents, we enjoy both, however, we want our kids to find exciting things to love as we explore the mountains around us. Our kids love to collect leaves and rocks. I don’t know why they have such an attachment to leaves, but they do, and I am ok with it. I would rather them be obsessed with keeping a rock or some leaves than always asking for a new toy (they have plenty as it is).

The weather up here in the High Country is amazing. We enjoy a little bit of everything, and while there are certainly some days that make it a challenge to get outside, those days are few and far between. If the weather does get rainy or snowy, we still enjoy the out of doors for a little while, and chances are, we will have the woods or parks to ourselves. There is so much to discover, and, as we all know, kids won’t be little forever. The memories in nature that we create now will hopefully last a lifetime, or at least guide them to desire more memories with you while enjoying the great outdoors.

-PJ Wirchansky, Director of Sales & Marketing, and champion rainy day dad

 

In times like these outdoor fitness is more sought after than ever. Luckily here in the high country, we live in a haven for outdoor recreation with a variety of outdoor fitness activities at our fingertips. These activities range from skilled sports such as climbing at Blowing Rock Boulders to something as simple as taking a walk. Exercising outdoors offers so many benefits physically and mentally. At a time when we are all trying to stay healthy and sane the outdoors is a tonic for us all.

Man and dog on snowy hike

Chetola Resort is teeming with opportunities for outdoor recreation and fitness. One of my personal favorites is playing tennis on our recently resurfaced tennis courts which also offer pickleball. Even this time of year offers a day here and there to get out to courts with the family for an open-air hit. I have also made frequent use of the new Disc Golf course located on the grounds here at Chetola which offers both a three-hole ‘warm-up’ section and a nine-hole course. Equipment for tennis, pickleball, and disc golf is available at the recreation desk. You can also rent fishing gear at the desk for days when ice does not cover the lake. The walking and physicality involved in fishing certainly qualifies as outdoor fitness.

Man and dog posing in front of snowy trail sign

My wife’s favorite Chetola hidden gem is the trail that leads to Bass Lake, the Maze, and the miles of walking and horse trails that wind out from there. On any given day you will find horseback riders, joggers, and walkers on these beautiful trails that are accessible by parking at the tennis courts and follow the signs for ‘Trails.’ I would have to say that the trails are also a favorite of my dog Scout, who is an expert on outdoor fitness. For those who are looking for a shorter walk, the paths around Chetola lake are well kept this time of year and offer great views of the swans and fisherman. Finally, you cannot discuss outdoor fitness in the mountains this time of year without mentioning skiing and snowboarding. Appalachian Ski Mountain is right here in Blowing Rock and you can be sure that it is open and providing locals and visitors alike with slopes designed for family fun. And while you won’t find skiing here on Chetola grounds you can often spot sledders trudging up a snowy hill for another run.

Dog on snowy rock wall, standing with man.

Outdoor fitness provides the vast benefits of exercise with the added bonus of fresh air, not to mention enough space to socially distance. Whether the mountains are your home, or you are a visitor, this area provides so much opportunity for exercising in the outdoors no matter your fitness level or experience. Despite the stressful and often scary times, we are in, the outdoors are available to us, calling us to come so that they may alleviate our worries and restore us. They are there, dependable, and waiting, all we have to do is go outside.

Man standing with his arms crossed but smiling.

By Lennon Redford CPT