Lenoir, North Carolina

Lenoir, NCThe town of Lenoir is probably best known for its small town charm. Although small town living isn’t for everyone, its ideal location could convince one to try. Nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain range, the town is surrounded by breathtaking views and enjoys an enviable climate. Residents like the fact that Lenoir experiences all four seasons, with relatively mild winters and pleasant summer temperatures.

Those who love the outdoors will find the endless outdoor opportunities irresistible. Just 20 minutes north of Lenoir, the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway snakes around mountain curves leading adventure-seekers to an array of recreational activities such as camping, canoeing, horseback riding, hiking, rock climbing, picnicking and more. Hunting, fishing, equestrian and golf are also among the popular activities pursued by residents. Numerous recreational parks offer more than 20 walkways and trails. For those who want to dip their toes into the warm coastal sand, Carolina beaches can be found only five hours away.

“Lenoir’s location puts it in close proximity to the state capital, Raleigh, and other exciting cities such as Charlotte, Asheville and Winston-Salem.”

Visitors will enjoy shopping in Lenoir’s historic downtown district where a diverse collection of shops offers antiques, collectibles, hand-crafted gifts and more. A variety of dining options are available to refresh tired shoppers.

Lenoir offers numerous living options for residents such as on a lakeside, in a valley, on or near one of the excellent golf courses or on the sides of the mountains. But even more important than location, the people of Lenoir take great pride in their town and its history and are proud to boast of receiving a 2008 All-American City Award. Other important factors that make Lenoir a great place to live include strong support of education and excellent health care.

Lenoir’s location puts it in close proximity to the state capital, Raleigh, and other exciting cities such as Charlotte, Asheville and Winston-Salem.

Maggie Valley, North Carolina

Maggie Valley, NCGet to know Maggie and you may never want to leave the lush valley situated in the North Carolina mountains.

During the latter part of the 19th century, this Smoky Mountain settlement had grown large enough to require its own post office. The gentleman who had handled the mail submitted several likely names for the town, including those of his three daughters. The U.S. Postmaster chose Maggie and the blond, blue-eyed 14-year-old was forever immortalized. Maggie, it is told, was quite embarrassed and moved away shortly after marrying at the age of 17 but came back to her namesake town often.

“During milder weather, hiking the local mountain trails will take you to breathtaking views but when the snow starts falling, the skiers take to the downhill runs at the Cataloochee Ranch Area… Warmer weather invites whitewater rafting and foursomes on the local golf courses”

And visiting Maggie Valley is much like returning to the home of a good friend. The town prides itself on Southern hospitality and it is evident at every turn. Rustic motels and condos abound but to truly experience the magic of Maggie, a mountain cabin - preferably next to a babbling brook - is the order the day. Cool breezes encourage a hearty breakfast and you’ll need it to fuel yourself for a fun-packed day.

During milder weather, hiking the local mountain trails will take you to breathtaking views but when the snow starts falling, the skiers take to the downhill runs at the Cataloochee Ranch Area. Both young and young-at-heart will enjoy the newly re-opened western-themed Ghost Town in the Sky, reachable by a chair lift offering panoramic scenery. Warmer weather invites whitewater rafting and foursomes on the local golf courses.

Pilot Mountain, North Carolina

Pilot MountainViewers of the 60s sitcom Mayberry RFD often heard references to nearby Mount Pilot. This fictional place was based on the town of Pilot Mountain, which is near Mount Airy in the North Carolina mountains.

Both a town and a state park, Pilot Mountain, known familiarly as “Pilot,” has been settled for more than 200 years. The first residents arrived about 1761 and some of the earlier town names are quite descriptive. They include Hollows, Hog Wallow, Tom’s Creek and Pilotville.

Prosperity arrived in Pilot Mountain in 1880, along with the railroad. Depot Street was not only the main street, it also served as the center for activity. The first school was established shortly followed by Trinity Academy, a branch of Duke University, which enticed newcomers to town. Many of them stayed and opened new businesses as the town continued to grow.

Life was not always idyllic, however. Two fires, in 1899 and 1919, destroyed more than a few of the homes and businesses, but the plucky citizens rebuilt each time.

Perhaps the most imposing place is Pilot Mountain itself, which became a part of the North Carolina Park System in 1968. An exceptional combination of geological and botanical attributes makes the mountain particularly interesting. A quartzite monadnock, the mountain formed a billion years ago at a time when this area was a beach.

Early Indians referred to the mountain as Jomeokee, a word that means pilot. Through the years, many have used this landmark as a guide. Today, the mountain and state park draw hikers and others who enjoy the mountain breezes and the great outdoors. Main Street is still the place to hang out and enjoy life in a small Carolina town. And when you need a bit more excitement, why, Mount Airy is just down the road.