Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fall into the Outdoors in Jackson County, North Carolina

Western North Carolina has it all! Hiking, biking, golfing, watersports, horseback riding, stunning scenery and so much more. And it's easier than ever this fall to explore the outdoors of the towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, Sylva, Balsam, Cullowhee, Glenville and Sapphire with the new Jackson County hiking map. Released this fall, the map includes directions to 19 waterfalls, nine hiking trails, three multiple-use trails for riding and biking, five semi-private or public golf courses, three whitewater rafting and water sports outfitters, three horseback riding locations and eight recreational rental service locations. Whew....we're exhausted just thinking about the outdoors possibilities!

The new hiking map showcases some of the best outdoor tourism attractions, activities and scenic views that Western North Carolina has to offer. Some of the more popular destinations include Richland Balsam along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is the highest point in the area with an elevation of over 6,400 feet, the 2.5 mile round-trip hike up to Waterrock Knob with breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains, and Whiteside Mountain which features the highest vertical drop of 750 feet in the Eastern U.S. Another stunning option are the waterfalls of Cashiers Sliding Rock, Silver Run Falls, and Whitewater Falls, the highest waterfall in the eastern United States.

You can access the map online (access waterfalls or biking/hiking/golf/watersports) or pick up a copy at the Dillsboro Visitor Center or the Jackson County Visitor Center. The map is also available at many area retail shops, restaurants, and accommodations, as well as the Smoky Mountain Host Visitor Center, Harrah's Cherokee Casino & Hotel, any state visitor center or town chamber office.

Fall into the outdoors this fall and enjoy the lofty peaks, rushing water, stunning scenery, and timeless charm of Western North Carolina's Jackson County.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Inn to Open on Folly Beach, South Carolina

New luxury accommodations at Regatta Inn on Sunset Cay Marina in Folly Beach, South Carolina

Located on beautiful Sunset Cay Marina on the west side of Folly Beach, the new Regatta Inn is scheduled to open in early October and will be a great addition to the charming island town. Owned by Paul Lauer and Ivan Block of Water's Edge Inn, the high-end Bed & Breakfast will offer spectacular sunset views and every water amenity you can imagine.

Featuring ten luxurious guestrooms with a contemporary nautical decor, each room comes with a private screened-in porch or balcony with views of the marina or surrounding landscape, gas fireplaces, wireless internet, a soothing ocean sound machine, heavenly king-sized beds with luxurious linens, and more. Guest will also enjoy complimentary daily breakfast made with locally-sourced ingredients, complimentary Happy Hour on the Madeline Bell Terrace, and complimentary golf cart transportation on the island. Massages and other spa treatments are available on site, as are beach chair, umbrella and bicycle rentals.

In addition to lodging, the Regatta Inn will be available as an event venue to accommodate everything from full-sized weddings, private elopements, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and family or business gatherings.

Located 30 minutes from Charleston, the Regatta Inn is a perfect combination of southern hospitality and Key West charm. Join them this weekend at their Open House September 26 & 27 from 5pm-10pm and enjoy live music, an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, wine tastings, and a sneak peek into the newest beachfront accommodation in Folly Beach.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Motor Supply Co. Bistro Celebrates 25 Years in Columbia, South Carolina

Dishes such as Duck Breast Confit Crepinette and Rabbit Ravioli were two dishes served at Summer Harvest Week 2014

A staple in the Vista area of Columbia, South Carolina and a driving force in the farm-to-table initiaitve in the area since 1989, Motor Supply Co. Bistro celebrates its 25th anniversary during Fall Harvest Week October 7-12. The celebration festivities will feature new Executive Chef Wesley Fulmer, who joined the team earlier this year, a new, enclosed brick patio with roll-up vintage garage doors, and a menu highlighting the bounty of the region and of the season.

The week will kick off on Tuesday, October 7 with a Meet the Farmer Happy Hour from 5:30-7:30 when guests will have the opportunity to taste the first sips of Head Barman's Josh Streetman's exclusive, limited-edition Harvest Week Cocktail List while hobnobbing with featured local farmers. These Motor Supply partner farmers are small, sustainable, organic or near-organic growers located in or near the Midlands. The restaurant works with them year-round and supply Motor Supply Co. Bistro with the seasonal and fresh ingredients that it has become known for.

Harvest Week, which started as a bi-annual celebration in 2011 to thank local farmers for their hard work and delicious ingredients, continues throughout the week with nightly-changing menus. Each night features a different farmer and his best seasonal ingredients that Chef Fulmer then crafts into a distinctively Motor Supply dish. All culminating in a culinary celebration of feast and farmers.

For reservations, visit Motor Supply Co. Bistro or call 803-256-6687.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

New B&B Headed to Beaufort, South Carolina

The Anchorage House plans to reopen as a 15 room bed & breakfast inn

The historic Anchorage House in Beaufort, South Carolina has a long and storied history. Built in 1770, the mansion, nicknamed "The Queen of the Bay" for its prominent location overlooking the waterfront, was owned by the William Elliott family from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War. It served as a Union Hospital during the Civil War and then became the clubhouse for the Sea Island Hotel after the war and then the Ribaut Club, a social club for locals and sea captains. Around 1900, Admiral Beardsley, a retired naval officer, purchased the property and began an $80,000 renovation (that would be $1.5 million today). After the Admiral's death, the property was auctioned off and over the subsequent years, served as a tourist home, a restaurant, event space and corporate office space.

Now, the Lesene family from Atlanta have purchased the property, invested $3 million, and plan to breath new life into the home by opening a bed & breakfast inn featuring 15 waterfront rooms, (including 15 new bathrooms), a new two-room cottage, and a roof-top deck. The inn is expected to open in the winter of 2015 and will be a welcome addition to the Beaufort waterfront. Follow along with their progress on their blog and make plans to stay at the Anchorage House for a truly historical visit.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

ASAP Farm Tour in Western North Carolina

Fresh vegetables await at the ASAP Annual Farm Tour

This weekend, the gates and barns of more than 35 Appalachian Grown certified farmers will open to the public for the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) annual Farm Tour. The self-guided tour offers a chance for locals and visitors to learn how food grows, taste farm-fresh products, see farm animals, and meet the community's food and fiber producers.

Created to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and help build healthy communities through local food, ASAP will feature 37 farms on the tour, including 11 new farms such as Amusing Farms, Eagledove Greenhouse and Farm, Full Sun Farm, New Sprout Organic Farms, Rockbottom Farm and many others from six participating counties in Western NC.

Advance passes for the September 20-21 tour are on sale for $25 online and at several area businesses as well as tailgate markets. One pass admits a carload to any participating farm on both days. Passes can also be purchased the day of at the first farm visited for $30, or individual farms can be toured for $10.

And if you can't wait until then, ASAP, along with the OM Sanctuary, is presenting a Taste of the Tour cooking demo by their Growing Minds program. Learn simple cooking techniques to prepare seasonal foods found on the tour. Tickets are $45 and include a pass to the Farm Tour. Find out more about the class at omsanctuary.org.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The British are Coming to the Yadkin Valley

An automotive classic, the vintage Triumph, will be on display at Shelton Vineyards

There is nothing as classic on the road as a Triumph. You can't take your offs off one. And now you can gawk all you want as North America's largest gathering of Triumphs in the past two decades comes to the Yadkin Valley town of Dobson, North Carolina.

Hosted by Shelton Vineyards and the town of Dobson, the 2014 Vintage Triumph Registry national convention rolls into town tomorrow with more than 250 vintage sports cars displayed across the winery's estate. And although the convention runs for several days, the public is invited to come view the collection on Friday, September 12 from 9am-3pm. There is no admission charge for the car show and there will be food vendors on property and dining experiences at Shelton Vineyards' on-site restaurant. And what's a visit to Shelton Vineyards without a wine tour and some tastings.

If you are a true Triumph aficionado, be on the lookout for Harris Mann. Mann designed the final line of Triumphs produced--the TR7model-- in 1977 and 1978. This will be the first time that Mann has attended a Triumph event in North America. Also in attendance will be several people who raced the cars professionally.

So if you are a gearhead or a true fan of the classic British roadster, then head to Shelton Vineyards for a Triumph and a tasting.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Wine & Dine in Surry County, North Carolina

Enjoy a glass (or bottle) of Shelton Vineyards wine with a meal at Harvest Grill restaurant

The kids are back in school, things are back to normal, and fall is in the air. Seems like a perfect time to plan a romantic getaway. How about weekend filled with wine, food, golf, spa, and the beautiful countryside of North Carolina? Sound good? And what if it were for free? Sound even better?

Then register to win the Wine & Dine Weekend in Surry County and this could all come true. Boasting 17 wineries, friendly towns, beautiful landscape and a tasty culinary scene, Surry County in the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina could be the perfect fall getaway.

The sweepstakes includes:

*Three nights accommodations for two at the Cabins at White Sulphur Springs in Mount Airy
*Half-day tour of Surry wineries for two with chauffeured transportation from Parkway Wine Tours
*Wine tasting for two at JOLO Winery & Vineyards, including lunch at their restaurant, Ends Posts
*Wine tasting for two at Shelton Vineyard, including a dinner at their Harvest Grill restaurant
*Dinner for two at Trio in downtown Mount Airy, including a wine tasting at Old North State Winery
*Dinner for two at Twenty-One & Main, including a wine tasting at Brushy Mountain Winery
*Breakfast for two at Barney's Cafe
*Spa treatment for two at Infinity Med Spa
*Round of golf for two at Cedarbrook Country Club
*A $500 VISA gift card to help you get there

Only problem is that you've got to hurry. The sweepstakes ends Tuesday, September 30, 2014. Oh yeah, and taxes and gratuities are not included. But that's a pretty small price to pay. See the full rules and regulations here and then register to win here.

Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

X Marks the Spot with Charleston Wine + Food Festival

The 2014 Poster for the Charleston Wine + Food Festival

The Charleston Wine + Food Festival, one of the top food festivals in the country, is celebrating it's 10th anniversary and X will definitely mark the spot come March. With tons of new events, the return of many favorites (can you say Waffle House Smackdown), a who's who of chefs, purveyors, farmers, winemakers, brewers and distilliers, and one of the tastiest cities on Earth, the 10th helping of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival March 4-8 is going to be a sight to see and taste. Trust us. We've been to all ten! Events are selling like hotcakes so check out their (new) website and make your plans for this X-tra special foodie X-travaganza!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Quench your Thirst at North Carolina Fall Beer Festivals

Foothills Brewing is one of the many North Carolina breweries that can be found at the NC craft beer festivals this fall

The North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild announced their endorsement of four craft beer festivals set for the fall in the Tar Heel State. Recognized for their commitment to showcasing North Carolina craft beer and providing educational programming, the four not-to-miss festivals include:

Co-Hops Beer Fest, Burlington, NC: September 6 - this intimate setting festival is limited to 400 attendees and the ticket price includes a mixed six-pack from participating breweries to take home.

Beericana, Holly Springs, NC: September 27 - this first-time event features bluegrass bands and food trucks to complement the ice-cold craft beer.

World Beer Festival, Durham, NC: October 11 - one of the state's longest-running beer events, this years' festivities include an Art of Beer Experience with ingredient samplings, pairings, educational seminars, and a mini commercial brewery.

NC Black Friday Cask Festival, Durham, NC: November 28 - an alternative to shopping the day after Thanksgiving, this event features NC breweries serving naturally carbonated casks at cellar temperature, many of which have unusual ingredients or have been specially dry hopped.

So make plans now to attend one (or four!) North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild beer festivals and help them advance the interests of craft breweries in the South.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Greensboro Celebrates Cookbooks at Savor the South

Food fanatics and cookbook collectors will come together to toast and celebrate UNC Press' Savor the South cookbook collection at the inaugural Savor the South Weekend September 26-28. Held at the O. Henry Hotel, Savor the South brings together a dozen cooks, food writers, and cookbook authors and teams them up with the hotel culinary staff to create and present extraordinary food and drink and celebrate beloved food traditions of the American South. From buttermilk to bourbon, pecans to peaches, and bacon to catfish, Savor the South will be an ode to the culinary history of Southern foodways.

In addition to great food, Savor the South Weekend will feature cooking demonstrations, food samplings from more than 30 recipes, mingling with the authors, and an elegant five-course dinner every evening. Some of the featured events include: the Our State Welcome Wine Reception with small bites featured in some of the Savor the South cookbooks, the Farm-to-Fork Grand Dinner including cooking demos by O. Henry Executive Chef Leigh Hesling and special guests, trips to the Farmers Market, a Biscuits and Preserves Bar hosted by Belinda Ellis and Andrea Weigl, a Saturday Tasting !and Book Signing, and the grand finale dinner, Bourbon Bluegrass & Bacchanal, hosted by Ronni Lundy, Nancy King Quaintance, Kathleen Purvis, Virginia Willis, and Kelly Alexander.

Get our southern on at the Savor the South Weekend Tickets and weekend packages are available at 336-854-2000 or online at www.ohenryhotel.com.