QC Exclusive - No. 80 - 2021 - Issue 8 - The Sporting Issue

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The Quintessential Charlotte Luxury Magazine

the fall issue Explore the beautiful change of seasons here in the Carolinas, from a Blue Ridge Parkway drive to the Great Smoky Mountains. NO. 8 0 | O CT/NOV 2021

Charlotte’s Finest Men’s Cut Expertly Trained Stylists Masculine Refinements Internationally Recognized Award Winning Products

221 South Tryon Street Charlotte, NC 704-343-3443 emersonjoseph.com @emersonjosephnc

For those who seek an exceptional life Nothing Compares.


7101 Old Dairy Lane | Charlotte, NC | PREMIERSOTHEBYSREALTY.COM

PremierSIR.com | 704.248.0243 Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity. Property information herein is derived from various sources including, but not limited to, county records and multiple listing services, and may include approximations. All information is deemed accurate.





A Beacon Of Beauty The legacy of our Blue Ridge Parkway.


Mountain Majesty The inns, resorts, and hotels providing you the very finest access to the beauty of fall in the mountains of North Carolina.


The Great Outdoors Some of the best spots to see and experience at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


Carolina Elk Discover the history of North Carolina’s wild elk and learn where to catch a glimpse of them.

N O . 8 0 / T H E FA L L I S S U E 2 0 2 1



Morrocroft Village | 3900 Colony Rd., Suite E | Charlotte | 704.365.4400 | donaldhaack.com





Space To Create Artist Ashley Sellner explores her rightful place.


A Blank Slate Brand the Moth is a grassroots artist collective by and for the people.


American Reflections Jerald Melberg Gallery presents the new work of Bo Bartlett.


Meat & Fixins Take a trip to Jon G’s in Peachland, NC.


New Found Luxury At The Vintage Experience an exclusive South End destination.


Orto’s Tomato Toast A gorgeous and savory dish in NoDa.


Steak 48’s Surf & Turf A divine dish at the ultimate steakhouse. Supperland’s Intergalactic Love Affair A colorful and tasty cocktail in Plaza Midwood.


DTR SouthPark’s Old Fashioned A classic cocktail you have to try.


What’s Next In Craft Beer Starts Here Creative beer at Rocky Mount Mills.


Hand-crafted Take a look into the world of hand-crafting leather goods and olpr.’s process.


Personal Training for Personal Achievers Trainer Jen Dufresne tailors each workout to each individual.







JL ayton Int erio rs

Charlotte and nationwide design services Jlaytoninteriors.com @jlaytoninteriors 704.506.6159 2500 Distribution St Suites 10/11 Charlotte NC 28203







Classic & Effortless Rocking a new look with Nancy Parrish Interiors.

Chic And Functional A beautiful kitchen from Brenna Morgan.

A Bold Bar Space An inviting bar from Habitude Interiors.


A Celebration of Family A sophisticated family room from Tyler Interiors.

Evolved Living A smart build from Peters Custom Homes with interior design from Emerald & Oak.





Where Luxury and Modernity Meet Visit Greenville, SC’s new AC Hotel.


A High Country Gem A guide for the best lodging, food and activities in Blowing Rock.


Coastal Luxury Experience exclusive luxury, nature, and sporting at Spring Island.


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No. 80 I can't think of very many places in the world that have a prettier fall than right here in the Carolinas. From the beginning of October in the High Country to the middle of November in the Piedmont, North and South Carolina are blessed with a beautiful autumn season full of vibrant colors, wonderful festivals, and delicious seasonal cuisine. In this issue we share the various aspects of fall in our wonderful region and showcase a wide variety of activities, from sipping on cold ones in Nash County to taking in a Blue Ridge Parkway drive. We also visit our national park, the Great Smoky Mountains, and explore several of the finest trails and landmarks you have to see. We also visit both the Cataloochee Valley and Cherokee to try to find the elusive elk. Lastly, in our Exclusives we stay at a handful of our favorite mountain retreats including the famed Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville and The Swag. On top of all this fall goodness, we savor some delicious barbecue, toast the season at Supperland, meet some amazing Charlotte artists, see the leather goods of olpr., go inside a Peters Custom Homes build, and meet Nancy Parrish of Nancy Parrish Interiors. It's a fun fall issue sure to get you ready for the changing seasons. We hope you enjoy and until next issue, get out there and see all that the Carolinas have to offer in our favorite season. Sincerely, Jon-Paul Grice, Art Director Brett Barter, Publisher


Karen Hollingsworth Solo Show October 8

Duet No. 7 12x9 Oil

Red Handle 14x11 Oil

Shain Gallery | 2823 Selwyn Avenue, Suite K | Charlotte NC 28209 704-334-7744 | www.shaingallery.com

EST. 2011


OUR TEAM PUBLISHER Brett Barter ART DIRECTOR Jon-Paul Grice EDITOR Sunny Hubler EDITORIAL Liza Carrasquillo Eleanor Merrell PHOTOGRAPHY Jamey Price EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Chrissy Rolfe Sloane Wick Brandon Mitchell Elizabeth Johnson



Visit our showroom | Knowledge Park Rock Hill, SC 29730 803-329-2270 | tlgdoors.com @tlgdoors

We would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Wendy Fennell and Bohemian Bungalow Design for an error we made in their article entitled Light and Color on page 86 of our last issue (#79, Issue 7 of 2021). We printed the wrong website and social media handle and are sorry for the mistake. The correct info is below: bohemianbungalowdesign.com @bohemianbungalowdesign


September 18, 2021–January 2, 2022 • Mint Museum Uptown Step into a world of en plein air sketch classes and sun-dappled flower fields as you explore more than 70 iconic paintings by 19th-century artist John Leslie Breck, who helped bring the Impressionist style and techniques of Claude Monet to the United States.

John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist is generously presented by Bank of America, with additional support provided by The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts and the Mint Museum Auxiliary. The Mint Museum is supported, in part, by the Infusion Fund and its generous donors. IMAGE: John Leslie Breck (American, 1860–99). The Bay at Venice (detail), 1897, oil on canvas, 32 x 45 inches. Private Collection

EST. 2011

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CONTACT US FEEDBACK We welcome your feedback—both positive and negative—and believe it is very valuable in our constant pursuit to be better as a publication. We encourage all of our readers to contact us with any critiques, compliments, or questions by email at info@qcexclusive.com. EDITORIAL Contact JP Grice by phone at 828-773-4922 or email at jp@qcexclusive.com. ADVERTISING Contact Brett Barter by phone at 704-219-9088 or email at brett@qcexclusive.com. INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Please contact us by email at sunny@qcexclusive.com. EVENTS & PARTNERSHIPS

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A R T S • S T Y L E • W E L L N ES S

SPACE TO CREATE Artist Ashley Sellner explores her rightful place. words ELEANOR MERRELL





Artist Ashley Sellner thrives on experimentation. Her pieces exhibit a unique interpretation of line work and blending that has evolved from a willingness to play, in life and in art, on a daily basis. Although she has built a strong portfolio of photography and watercolors, her primary medium is oil painting. Sellner has been creating from a young age, taking her passion with her to university. She was raised in Virginia but attended Wake Forest, where she took figure drawing and watercolor classes and graduated with a degree in Art History. “I came to Wake with the ability to draw an adequate representation of a subject, but I left wanting to express my own unique vision,” remembers Sellner. “It has taken me 20 years and a mess of courage to circle back to painting and allow myself the space to create.”


“I need to create. It’s what keeps me sane.”

Part of “the space to create” is metaphorical; a willingness to break the rules or paint outside the lines. “Once I learned the fundamentals of oil painting I set to work on breaking them, and figuring out how I could manipulate oil in the same ways I use watercolor,” says Sellner. For this artist, part of the joy of watercolor is the potential for “happy accidents” that arise from quick, intuitive painting. Her oil painting process leaves room for similar “happy accidents” to appear. Seller’s space to create is also literal, as the subjects of her paintings are often inspired by breathtaking landscapes or curated interiors. In fact, her favorite subjects are the mountains, “the Blue Ridge, the Shenandoah Valley, the view from my parents’ porch — landscapes where I feel small and know my rightful place.” She describes these places as sacred, contending that in


these places “life pushes forward in all its splendor,” quoting poet Elisabet K. Jokulsdottir. Like many of us, Sellner’s focus shifted during quarantine in 2020. She turned her attention from nature’s landscapes to people’s interior sanctuaries. This shift is reflected in a series of vibrant paintings titled “created space.” “The outside world is dynamic, there is movement, and my marks reflect this freedom and energy. In contrast, these small paintings have been a study of detail and the intentionality and efficiency of each brushstroke,” explains Sellner. In between larger projects, Sellner tackles commission pieces. However, she always leaves sufficient time in her studio days for self-directed projects that provide ample opportunity to experiment. At the end of the day, it’s not about the finished product. For Sellner, it’s merely the act of creation that imbues her days with meaning. “I feel so fortunate that others resonate with my work, but I would still be painting without the gaze of others or the patronage,” explains Sellner. “I need to create. It’s what keeps me sane.” info ashleysellner.com @a.sellner.art

Gather your imagination and come make your own glass art

Charlotte’s Only Hot Glass Studio and Gallery JACOB “JAKE” PFEIFER | 438 ATANDO AVE | CHARLOTTE, NC 28206 | 980.209.9284 | HOTGLASSALLEY.COM | @HOTGLASSALLEY




A BLANK SLATE Brand the Moth is a grassroots artist collective by and for the people. words ELEANOR MERRELL

“There are plenty of lackluster buildings out there that are canvases waiting for a masterpiece.” This is how Hannah Fairweather perceives the Queen City. To her, it’s a blank slate awaiting more color. That’s why she and fellow artist Sam Guzzie founded Brand the Moth, a Charlotte organization with two primary purposes: support local artists and make art more accessible. Fairweather and Guzzie have watched Charlotte teeter at the edge of its full artistic potential for years. Despite being better known as a banking city, the Queen City has a healthy hub of artists and creatives, as well as a host of residents hungry to appreciate and engage with art. Yet, much of the city’s funding and resources have been directed toward museums, institutions, or specific projects, leaving little available to local artists and grassroots collectives that tend to engage directly with a broader swath of the city. That is where Brand the Moth fits in, providing local artists with resources and a platform. “While museums and institutions



are a necessary facet to a city’s creative culture, equally important are artists and collectives working to empower the creative culture in our everyday life. Pop-ups, art shows, grassroots events, and programs are all fueled by the ingenuity and passion of individual and collective artists and create uncensored platforms that artists can experiment in,” explains Hannah. The Individuals Within the Collective Part of what has made Brand the Moth so effective is the people power behind it. Founders Guzzie and Fairweather are both artists. Guzzie is a nontraditional oil painter, muralist, and installation artist and Fairweather explores balances in nature through mixed media. “As artists ourselves, we are always working in response to the times we live in. Because of this, we are in a unique position to act in real time with the needs of our local artists, our greater community, and the world around us,” says Sam.


“We believe that by working together as artists, organizations, and community members, we build each other up to succeed, which only builds a stronger Charlotte art community for us all.”

When it comes to collaborating, Brand the Moth has three principal qualifications for artists: they must be dedicated to their craft, thoughtful of their impact, and interested in public art. Furthermore, Brand the Moth prioritizes those artists who have dedicated significant time and energy to their craft but are not yet widely known. Artists can look to Brand the Moth for grant proposal reviews, artwork storage, written recommendations, events, artwork storage, showcasing platforms (particularly mural space — in fact, Brand the Moth was the primary organizer behind Tryon Street’s Black Lives Matter mural), and even affordable studio space. Artists can reach out with just about any request, and Brand the Moth will strive to support the artist’s vision however they can. Brand the Moth’s success is benefitting not only local artists, but also local residents. Art is able to inspire creative problem solving, spark conversation, improve mental health, and foster more empathetic citizens. By increasing the prevalence of public art, rendering it more accessible to communities that cannot access museums or galleries, Brand the Moth is injecting art’s myriad benefits into everyday life. “We believe that by working together as artists, organizations,


and community members, we build each other up to succeed, which only builds a stronger Charlotte art community for us all,” says Hannah. Metamorphosis and Transition Brand the Moth anticipates the Queen City will continue to evolve, and the organization intends to shape and respond to that evolution, transforming places and the people who inhabit them through art. “At the end of the day it’s always about creating,” says Sam, “and as long as Brand the Moth is here, we’ll keep making art to share in whatever spaces we find ourselves.” Follow Brand the Moth on Instagram (@brand_the_moth) for up to date information about how to get involved as a creator, volunteer, or art appreciator and to keep tabs on the organization's third annual META mural residency program. You can also see works on display at The Mint Museum. info brandthemoth.com / @brand_the_moth



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CULTURE Untitled 2020 22X30


AMERICAN REFLECTIONS Jerald Melberg Gallery presents the new work of Bo Bartlett. words SUNNY HUBLER


On display November 6 – January 1, 2022, Jerald Melberg Gallery will host an exhibition of paintings and works on paper, featuring a series of spontaneous and intimate gouaches by the Columbus, GA native, Bo Bartlett. Bartlett is an American realist with a modernist vision who paints within the tradition of American realism as defined by artists such as Thomas Eakins and Andrew Wyeth. His paintings are said to “celebrate the underlying epic nature of the commonplace and the personal significance of the extraordinary.” info

jeraldmelberg.com @jeraldmelberg




HAND-CRAFTED Take a look into the world of leather goods and olpr.’s process. words CHRISSY ROFFE

Started in 2014 in Ukraine, olpr. is a small, family-owned business run by Julia and Pavlo Prannyk and Julia’s brother, Viktor centered around hand-crafted custom leather goods, ranging from aprons to leather journals. Upon discovering they had a strong customer base in the United States, olpr. made the move to Mooresville to expand their business and share their craft. We asked Pavlo Prannyk, who heads up sales and marketing for olpr., a few questions about what it was like to bring their unique leather products to North Carolina and the extensive creativity and craftsmanship that goes into it.



Can you walk us through the story of making and selling your first wallet? What made you sell it instead of keeping it for yourself like originally intended? Making things is really satisfying, but making something that is good enough that people want to buy it is even more satisfying. We just wanted to be able to make beautiful products and be able to share them with the people who wanted them. What made you branch out from wallet-making to creating other forms of leather goods as well?

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FRED PARKER Repeat Home Renovations Client

“ They’re always friendly and helpful – every project we’ve done has been a very positive experience. We’ve never had an issue before, during, or after a project with them across three different homes. Working with Simonini has spoiled us! ”.

View Renovations Gallery simonini.com | 704.333.8999



“We just wanted to be able to make beautiful products and be able to share them with the people who wanted them.” In the beginning, we were so anxious to start selling. We were figuring out our business and what we wanted to make of it. We took a lot of custom requests at the beginning and learned how to make different things. It was a lot of trial and error and learning how to be a business and make things. How would you explain the difference between your leather products and others’ leather products? Our first concern when we choose leather is quality. That is why we use so much leather from Horween Leather Co.,


one of the finest tanneries in the United States. They make their leather in the same way they did over a century ago, without the use of synthetic chemical solutions. We choose durable leather that ages beautifully over time. What are some of the most common misconceptions consumers have about leather products? The leather we use has character. It’s not going to always be this clean, unblemished piece. There are going to be scratches, marks, and pull-up effects on the leather and will gain a rich patina due to use.

SOUTHPARK | $3,200,000


MYERS PARK | 2,400,000


EASTOVER | $2,150,000

PELLYN WOOD | 2,000,000

THE POINT | $2,000,000

DEERING OAKS | $1,950,000

MYERS PARK | $1,925,000

GREENWOOD | $1,922,500

PIPER GLEN | $1,899,000

DILWORTH | $1,700,000

Serving Charlotte’s Luxury Home Market Since 1975

WOMAN FOUNDED. FAMILY OWNED. LOCALLY OPERATED. helenadamsrealty.com | @helenadamsrealty


What is the most interesting leather product you or your company has been commissioned for? A cool product we were commissioned for were Bacardi bartender bags for their ambassadors. It was a special bartending bag for holding equipment for mixing drinks and liquor bottles. We also did an interesting custom apron with a design engraved on the leather pocket for Dilworth Tasting Room.

info olpr.com @olpr.leather


A U GU STA H O MESNC.COM | 704 .201.4 4 60



PERSONAL TRAINING FOR PERSONAL ACHIEVERS Personal trainer Jen Dufresne tailors each workout to each individual. words ELIZABETH JOHNSON

Jen Dufresne is a personal trainer based in Charlotte, NC. Visit her SouthPark fitness studio where you can participate in workouts tailored to you and particularly with the busy professional in mind. With her personal training, small-group training sessions, and group classes, Dufresne has created a community of people who are dedicated to personal achievement and living a healthy lifestyle. With eight years of experience, Dufresne prides herself on creating fitness regimes that reduce your risk of injury from the get-go. Describe your typical client. While I see former or current college athletes, my typical client just wants to be able to move freely without pain or perform better. Maybe they have had a chronic injury that makes it difficult for them to play with their kids or maybe they just want to train for living a strong healthy life. How has the fitness industry changed since you became a part of it in 2012?



There is a lot more creativity out there now. When I first moved to Charlotte, you basically went to a big box gym: the Y, Golds, Planet Fitness. Now there are so many free and boutique fitness businesses that really allow people to find exactly what they want without needing a big box space. If you just want to strength train, ride, run... there are places for all that. What kinds of incremental goals are helpful in terms of fitness? We should always be striving for progress, whether it is with our movement or something else. I work with people who just want to run without pain all the way to a 5K or even a marathon. I also teach people how to appropriately do movements. What’s the most important component of being a personal trainer? Connection and trust. If my clients can’t trust me it is almost impossible for them to see progress.



CULTURE What does a typical “Corporate America” workout look like? Most people in Corporate America need to do 2-3 strength training workouts a week and 2-3 cardio workouts per week. Neither of these workouts have to be high impact. Shoot for a walk or bike ride two days a week and weights two days a week and you are there. How do you encourage people who may feel less comfortable or motivated to work out to go to a gym or to a class? I listen to them. There are so many things that make it hard for someone to make the step into a gym or class. Once someone reaches out to us the first thing I like to do is talk to them on the phone. There is an instant ease once a connection is made. How does a client’s attitude towards fitness affect the quality of the workout they’re going to have? Exercise creates endorphins: that is a fact. If they start they are more than likely going to feel positive by the time they are done. I can deal with a negative attitude or two. We usually work through it! info jendufresne.com @jen.w.dufresne


Carrie Brighton 704-241-4418 cbrighton@realliving.com

Fifth floor end unit with extended terrace and wall of windows features 3 spacious bedrooms 3.5 baths / 2371 HLA. Contact me to discover why Rosewood is an ideal option for luxury living. Advising buyers and sellers since 2005 as a trusted top producer in Charlotte. Rosewood at Providence - Unit 256. | MLS 3717721 tours.charlottevirtualhometours.com/1795039 6000 FA I RV I E W R D ST E 104, CH A R LOT T E , N C 28210











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MEAT & FIXINS Take a trip to Jon G’s in Peachland, NC for some delicious barbecue and an amazing community experience. words BRANDON MITCHELL photos JAMEY PRICE



“Barbecue is communal, and we want to keep it that way.”


Jon G’s Barbecue has been serving delicious Texasinspired barbecue to the Charlotte area since 2018, but the husband-and-wife co-owners, Jon Garren Kirkman and Kelly Kirkman, began their brisket journey a decade ago. “In 2011, shortly after I had my first bite of brisket, I knew there was more than the pork or chicken that I grew up eating at fundraisers or your annual fire department BBQ,” said Garren. “I bought a cheap Lowe’s smoker and started experimenting with brisket in our backyard.” Garren kept improving his work, and the Kirkmans eventually found success. However, it didn’t come easily. “Three years later, while my wife and I both worked full time, we were putting together events to serve at,” said Garren. “That meant working all week and staying up all night to smoke meat and prep everything to serve the next afternoon. Forty-eight-hour stretches with no sleep were exhausting, and looking back, I'm not sure how we did it.” In 2014, the couple started doing private catering events for friends and family. In 2016, they started hosting pop-up


events from under a tent at breweries and festivals, and used the money from these events to buy a food truck and expand their reach. “We did some big-name festivals such as Beer, Bourbon & BBQ and Hops and Hogs,” said Kelly. “We then began a monthly rotation at Fourth Creek Brewing in Statesville, NC and began getting asked to do events as far away as Buies Creek.” By February 2020, everything was looking hopeful for the Kirkmans. After years of hard work, they were able to purchase a brick-and-mortar store in Peachland, NC. A month later, nationwide COVID lockdowns began. “It was terrifying, to say the least,” said Garren. “During Phase-1, we were very fortunate to have a food trailer and a permanent location that we could serve from. In March 2020, we transitioned from breweries and festivals and started offering pre-order pickup from the food trailer at our new location in Peachland.” The couple adapted and set up an online store to help with sales. Still, there was no shortage of challenges.

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“This business is more than just work to us. It’s our livelihood. It was our dream, and we are in it for the long haul.”

“Catering was at a standstill for a good portion of the summer,” said Kelly. “And while that was tough, somehow we made it through. We were very fortunate that once fall rolled around, most weeks we had catering jobs, and of course, now we have the restaurant open on Saturdays as well.” Regardless of all the highs and lows throughout the years, the Kirkmans never lost sight of what sparked their passion in the first place. They care deeply about their customers and work just as hard as they did back under that tent. “Creating this business with Kelly while building our family has been some of the hardest, but best days of our lives,” said Garren. “When you come into the restaurant or to our food truck, we are typically working too. You might see us slicing meat or bussing tables. You name it, we do it! The


best feeling is hearing the words people say without them even realizing this is actually our business. Our guests are what keep us pushing to be better every single day.” “We want our customers to know us as people and know that this business is more than just work to us,” said Kelly. “It’s our livelihood. It was our dream, and we are in it for the long haul. We don’t have any financial backers, and Garren and I have truly built this from the ground up. We want people to love the experience when they come out to our restaurant or visit our food truck. Barbecue is communal, and we want to keep it that way, even if it’s socially distanced.” info jongsbarbecue.com / @jongsbbq

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NEWFOUND LUXURY AT THE VINTAGE South End’s destination for those who want an experience unlike any other. words LIZA CARRASQUILLO photos JAMEY PRICE



Whisky bars are often seen as establishments of luxury—and for good reason. They elevate the average drinking experience with curated flavors and a dignified club space. As someone who’s spent a great deal of time traveling throughout major cities like NYC and San Francisco, Dan Weiss is no stranger to these types of highly alluring bars. After discovering that Charlotte lacked the type of spaces Weiss sought when traveling, he decided to fill that gap with a bar of his own. That’s when The Vintage was born. Located in South End, The Vintage is a full-service whisky and cigar bar known for its robust selection of handrolled cigars. They also serve other curated items like artisanal coffee and craft cocktails. “Charlotte’s spirit scene has evolved a great deal,” says Weiss about his decision to open the bar. “We see The Vintage as an opportunity to introduce the region to some whiskeys they may not have had, or feature a local distillery on the menu.”

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“Our hope is that you’ll never feel intimidated in our spaces. It’s perfectly natural to ask our staff for recommendations.” But Weiss wanted more than just another high-class bar to add to the Charlotte lexicon. He wanted a space that fostered relaxation and felt welcoming to those who didn’t know much about whiskey. To create that space, Weiss started by renovating an old auto parts shop once owned by Michael Jordan’s father, James R. Jordan, Sr. He even decided to pay homage to the building’s history by keeping a framed MJ jersey hanging in the back hallway. “Once the location was secured,” notes Weiss, “we went to work with three amazing local partners: designbar, Black Wednesday,


and The Savage Way. They all helped us bring The Vintage to life.” They created a private and public lounge, as well as a large outdoor patio so that guests could enjoy the fresh air as they smoked. Reminiscent of 1950s Havana, The Vintage balances its classy atmosphere with a grounded style that feels warm. “You’ll find a unique mixture of materials used throughout the space,” notes Ben Torres, the general manager of The Vintage. “Just like the cigars and whiskeys we sell come from the earth, so do most of our design elements, whether it appears in the rich leather seats or warm wooden tables.”

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The interior design isn’t the only part of The Vintage that makes guests feel comfortable. There’s also a knowledgeable staff ready to guide both newcomers and experts alike in their selection of whiskeys, cigars and more. “Our hope is that you’ll never feel intimidated in our spaces,” says Torres. “It’s perfectly natural to ask our staff for recommendations.” The staff can also recommend memberships based on what each client might like best. Currently, The Vintage holds four membership types with varying degrees of perks. Nonmembers are still more than welcome to visit and can simply pay a door fee upon arrival. For more information about memberships and other news, guests can visit the website. info thevintageclt.com @thevintageclt

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If you are looking for a fine dining experience that offers authentic Italian cuisine, Orto is the place for you. Located in the heart of NoDa with a bustling patio, Orto features Chef Paul Verica’s always stellar cooking. The tomato toast makes for a light, fresh

starting bite or palate cleanser: served on a fresh slice of focaccia, the toast is topped off with basil pesto, confit tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, arugula, and a healthy drizzle of olive oil. Catch it while you can, as this menu rotates frequently.

— info — ortonoda.com / @ortonoda

— info — cuplux.com / @cuplux





Steak 48 Charlotte is more than your average steakhouse. They offer nationally-inspired dishes consisting of high-quality cuts of steak or delicious, fresh seafood. They do both so well that it is near impossible to choose just one, and luckily, you don’t have to. Steak 48’s Surf & Turf takes two of the restaurant’s best dishes and pairs them together in an unparalleled concoction of flavors. Your choice of steak is prepared masterfully and paired with their black-truffle-sautéed Maine lobster. It is an indulgent adventure of the refined flavors for which the restaurant is famous. — info — steak48.com / @steak48



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Supperla nd’s ba r progr a m is led by mixologist Colleen Hughes, so you already know it’s going to be good. In expected fashion, the drinks are equally as beautiful as they are pleasing to the palate. The Intergalactic Love Affair is one of our favorites: bright, crisp, and

subtly fruity, it’s made with vodka, super carbonated soda water, lemon essence, botanical cucumber aromas, and frozen cosmic strawberry orange rose. Go just for the drinks or order as the perfect way to kick off your meal at this Plaza Midwood hot spot.

— info — supper.land / @supper.land




A Magliocca Co.





The interior of SouthPark’s Dilworth Tasting Room exemplifies the elegant character and creativity of its drink menu. With an eclectic mixture of rustic tones and bold natural elements, it has earned its title as a Charlotte staple. Although their drink menu is vast and ever-changing, their DTR Old Fashioned might be the best representation of the establishment.

Dilworth Tasting Room’s Old Fashion takes a simple drink and elevates it to something one of a kind. It pairs a bonded bourbon with organic agave and chocolate bitters. This creates an authentic, smokey taste that is accented by subtle hints of light, natural flavors. The drink is poured over hand-crafted cocktail ice that’s hand-stamped with the restaurant’s logo and is a must-try during your visit.

— info — dilworthtr.com / @dtr_southpark


LocaL ExpErtisE, taiLorEd sErvicE, christiE’s crEdibiLity


Stunning 4th floor condo featuring an expansive wrap around balcony overlooking the resort style pool and lounge areas. Open floorplan featuring great room, gourmet kitchen, and dining area surrounded by windows with custom lighting.


Private, gated equestrian estate with 58+/- acres. Close proximity to downtown Davidson, Mooresville, and Concord. Multiple pastures, riding trails, 10 stall barn. Heated and lighted indoor 20m x 50m riding arena and an outdoor Olympic-size dressage arena.

19329 Watermark Drive #141 Cornelius

10600 Archer Road Davidson

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WHAT’S NEXT IN CRAFT BEER STARTS HERE Taste small-batch, creative, one-of-a-kind beer at Rocky Mount Mills. words SUNNY HUBLER and DARRELL K ANIPE photos GERRY BRABHAM and DARRELL KANIPE

Rocky Mount, NC, just over a three-hour drive from Uptown Charlotte, is home to the largest craft beer incubator in North Carolina. Long before your favorite craft beers reach the bars, high-tops, and beer gardens of the South, they get their start in Rocky Mount. Rocky Mount sits between Edgecombe and Nash counties, right off of I-95. The city has continued to add to its cultural and tourist offerings over the years, increasing the vibrancy of a place founded in the early 1800s that once centered around cotton. One of the more recent additions to the city and the beer scene is Rocky Mount Mills. This destination opened in 2017 with an innovative idea to restore the second oldest cotton mill in the state and make it a destination for people of all ages to enjoy. Rocky Mount Mills began with an idea to put brewers together in a place surrounded by fresh, local ingredients and simply see what can happen. Fast forward half a decade and the 82-acre Rocky Mount Mills campus is thriving. Beloved by tourists and


locals alike, the converted, centuries-old textile mill now offers award-winning restaurants, the state's largest tiny house hotel, and, of course, eight different breweries. Brewing at Rocky Mount Mills is not your typical affair. There are no lone brewers mixing, blending, and starting over on their own. Instead, beer making is a group project where brewers can share equipment and trade inspirations. The result is a campus filled with rotating flavors of craft beer based on the season, local ingredients, or just a “what if” moment between two brewers. Without the expense of buying their own equipment, brewers at the incubator have the freedom to experiment. And with local taprooms and a beer garden, there is a constant influx of public opinion. Test, drink, learn, refine, drink some more. This is the path to the perfect craft beer, and it can typically take decades. But here, that time is cut in half. HopFly was one of the first breweries to open its doors at the Mills in 2017. In the span of three years, owner Cam Schulz


expanded his operation from a one-person start-up to include a 1,700-square-foot taproom. Their products are now distributed in key cities across the state, with plans to open a new bar and taproom in Charlotte later next year. Some of their most wellknown brews include the Jalapeño Saison and the refreshing Universal Sound IPA that tastes like papaya. Outside of familiar, fan-favorite brands, the true draw of Rocky Mount Mills is the discovery of what’s next, finding the beers that are only made or available on-site, or getting to taste the next, in-demand small batch only available this week. That’s what makes this place a craft beer Mecca. It’s the chance to get something unique, something rare. It’s a chance to taste something for the first time or only time. Every visit is different. Explore options like Mythic Brewing’s wheat beer, conditioned with vanilla bean, cinnamon, graham cracker, and chock full of peach puree sourced from the nearby sandhills of North Carolina. Grab Koi Pond’s amber ale, infused with a taste of Nash County sweet potato and fall spices. Or perhaps try a rare, small-batch of First Light from HopFly, aged for six months in bourbon and maple-soaked barrels before being tapped.


Photos of River & Twine tiny house community by Gerry Brabham courtesy Rocky Mount Mills

Every month, hopheads and libationists venture out to Rocky Mount to tempt and tease their palates. What started as a place for a small gathering of friends has now become a regular pilgrimage for many. Rocky Mount Mills is open seven days a week, and the taprooms are buzzing in full force every Wednesday through Sunday. Many of the outdoor breweries are dog-friendly as well. We suggest you do what the true enthusiasts do and make a weekend of it. Walk through Battle Park. Kayak the Tar River. Sample the local barbecue scene. When you get tired, check into the boutique tiny house hotel located conveniently beside Rocky Mount Mills. In the world of craft beer, Rocky Mount Mills is advanced citizenship. You don’t come here to order the same old beer that you can find in your local hometown bar. This is a place for a more adventurous palate. If that sounds a lot like you, consider yourself invited. Rocky Mount will keep an open barstool and full glass waiting. info explorenashcounty.com / @explorenashcounty



CLASSIC & EFFORTLESS Rocking a new look with Nancy Parrish Interiors. words ELEANOR MERRELL photos DUSTIN PECK AND LAURA SUMRAK




Nancy Parrish launched her namesake company, Nancy Parrish Interiors, in 2013. Since then, she has been helping her clients bring function, style, and individuality into their homes with “effortlessly cool design.” She took a break to discuss her business, background, and aspirations. What inspired you to start your own business? I have always had a creative spark that centered around home design and fashion design. When my dream of attending the Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC didn’t work out, I went the mainstream route, which led to a corporate career in the private and public sector. I always knew this wasn’t my path, but it absolutely provided the path I am on now. So, when the timing was right, I took the bull by the horns, immersed myself into design education, and ultimately started NPI. What initially drew you to the home industry? The top passions in my life have been interiors, fashion, and music. When I was younger, I would rearrange my


bedroom and my outfits while waiting to record a mix tape from Casey Kasem’s countdown. I have always been intrigued by the way people live and the things they surround themselves with. Everyone has their own style whether they know it or not. I began in this industry to help those who have difficulty creating a lifestyle that reflects who they are as well as how they live. Whether it’s your home or your daily being, it’s all about function, style, and individuality. How do you prioritize design in your daily life? God, my family, my clients. That’s the priority I shoot for every day. Does it always work? No, but I will try. From my years in the corporate environment, I learned very quickly that structure, multi-tasking, and organization are the key to every successful business. There are so many “hats” to wear, so keeping that order helps in my prioritization. Each client has entrusted me with their home, their family environment, and their money. I take those very seriously. That is my design priority. What kinds of design/art influence your taste and current designs?

HOME & DESIGN I pay a lot of attention to what is happening on the runways. So much of color, style, and texture is driven from the incredible creatives in the fashion industry, especially avant garde. What sorts of design elements do you incorporate? The basis of my designs leans more on the classic side, but I always incorporate color, pattern, texture, and metallics. I am not an “on trend” designer, but I will incorporate some pieces on trend just to keep things current. Like an evolving wardrobe, classic pieces are the basis but layering with nostalgic nods, allows that effortlessly cool design. Tell us about the difference between designing for a single room versus designing for an entire house. Normally when designing for a specific space, there are some parameters involved. That could

“Whether it’s your home or your daily being, it’s all about function, style, and individuality.” be an heirloom piece of furniture or a footprint of the current style of design, both of which need to be cohesively considered. An entire building or space can take on many different angles with no design specific narratives. This really requires taking all of the ideas for the project and expanding them throughout to also bring a cohesive aesthetic. How does the architecture of a client’s home incorporate itself into your designs? This is everything! The design has to compliment the basis of the home without competing for it. This is not to say that structural or cosmetic changes can’t occur, it just means that the design will still reflect the overall aesthetic of the home. It’s like the old you, but rocking a new look! info nancyparrishinteriors.com @nancyparrishinteriors


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For this Charlotte-area project, Habitude Interiors completed an entire kitchen remodel to open up the kitchen and dining area floor plan while also creating a bar area for entertaining. One of the main goals of the client was to have a bar that felt separate and distinct from the

kitchen. The result is a stylish, clean, and inviting bar space, complete with the functionality needed to dish up anything a guest might desire. Pictured here, the countertops are from Harkey Tile & Stone and the faucet is Majestic Bath.

— info — habitudeinteriors.com / @habitudeinteriors






Tyler Interiors specializes in tailoring interior designs for Charlotte residents. Led by Natalie Tyler, the team recognizes that homes need to be functional reflections of their owners’ personalities. For this project, their goal was to create a space that was modern and elegant, but it also had to be able to withstand the energy of the owners’ young children. Built by Vista Homes, this beautiful house offers a palette of soft whites and grays that establishes a tranquil mood. The design team also added splashes of earth tones that bring visual excitement to the space. To offset some harder,

more rigid elements of the room, they added soft curves of the vases, sofa and chandelier to make the space feel livable. Together, this creates a seamless blend of traditional and modern aesthetics. Tyler Interiors used subtle design elements for this personalized, familiar living space. Tonally, it represents both the femininity and masculinity of the couple who owns it. The children were also an important consideration in the design process. The fabrics of the sofa are made from durable, easily cleanable materials. This is a celebration of the complexities of family.

— info — tylerinteriorsdesign.com / @tylerinteriorsdesign



Vessels of Personal Expression & Symbols of Love and Significance TINYGODS.COM



This lovely, inviting kitchen in Davidson, NC came from designer Brenna Morgan, who blends her New England roots with the perfect accent of Southern hospitality and charm. One of the clients’ major goals on this project was to be able to better accommodate their large, blended family in a more functional space for everyone to gather. And, of course, the family needed storage. Previously, the kitchen was dated and dark, so Brenna and her team eliminated a large pantry and opted for pantry cabinets for more space and a cleaner aesthetic, and also removed wall ovens for a much more functional dual range.

The clients are avid art collectors so the hand-painted terra cotta tiles made perfect sense. “The clients were open to mixing in the materials and colors,” Brenna shares. “They live by the idea of surrounding themselves with what they love, as do I. If you love it, you won’t tire of it!” The result is an updated kitchen that truly reflects the family that lives there and their own unique style. Designer Cameron Jones did the cabinetry and layout, Corban Homes was the GC, the tile is from Walker Zanger, Vine and Branch Woodworks did the custom island, and the stone countertops are OHM and AGM Imports.

— info — brennamorgan.com / @brennamorganinteriors



EVOLVED LIVING A Smart Build from Peters Custom Homes with interior design from Emerald & Oak.




Peters Custom Homes creates luxurious spaces through the combined talents of its two founders: Nicholas and Miriam Peters. Both Nicholas and Miriam, who are also marriage partners, spent years working as real estate brokers, gaining familiarity with the Charlotte real estate market. They then combined that real estate background with Nicholas’ knowledge as a second generation builder and Miriam’s talent as an interior designer to provide clients with a smooth, seamless remodel or new build experience. One of their recent projects, which exemplifies their commitment both to evolving technologies/techniques and to timeless work, is a new home built in the Highgate community of Weddington. With five bedrooms, five full baths, and two half baths, this home clocks in at just under 10,000 square feet.


The Smartest Home in Charlotte — Two primary goals guided the Peters Custom Homes team as they constructed this home. First, they intended to build one of the most electronically advanced houses in the area. The property is almost entirely self-maintaining; the lights, plumbing, appliances, cameras, thermostats, and even the lawn mower are automated. All systems can be adjusted remotely, as well as through voice controls. As a result, stepping into the house is like stepping into the future, or transitioning from a flip phone to a smartphone. Suddenly, a new world of convenience and capability becomes accessible. Secondly, the Peters Custom Homes team sought not only to design a to-die-for outdoor living area, but also to integrate that area as seamlessly with the interior of the home as possible. Double collapsible doors open the rear of the house to the backyard area. The outdoor living space maintains year-round comfort through automatic heaters, automatic fireplaces, and power screens. A gleaming pool glistens invitingly on hot summer days and a relaxing waterfall hot tub steams on winter nights.


Transitional Modern — This smart home has a healthy dose of modern design elements to match its state-of-the-art gizmos. Clean, elegant lines abound and minimalism takes precedent throughout the home’s open floor plan. Ultimately, though, the interior skews transitional, blending its more modern design elements with traditional elegance. Miriam foregrounds a neutral palette throughout, which is sparingly interrupted with dramatic pops of color. Take for example the green waterfall tile backsplash in the half bath. Organic elements like wood floors, marble, and gold finishes add texture and create cohesion.

The majority of the home’s more opulent features were sourced from Emerald & Oak, Miriam Peters’ design studio in SouthPark, which carries a number of exclusive lines such as La Cornue, True Residential and AGA. For example, in this design Emerald & Oak used DuPont/ Corian quartz, and sourced custom cabinetry as well, providing the client with access to top-of-the-line products for their home. The design studio also carries other appliance lines. This Weddington build from Peters Custom Homes exemplifies the company’s central principles: quality, integrity, and accountability. From concept to completion, every detail was considered and every promise kept to produce a new home for a family of five.

— info — peterscustomhomes.com / @peterscustomhomes emeraldoakdesign.com / @emeraldoakdesign


A Community Where Adventure Is Always In Season Two Hours from Charlotte • World-Class Amenities • 50+ Miles of UTV & Hiking Trails Four-Season Community Near Blowing Rock • Three Paths to Ownership Homes from $800k | Homesites from $150k

Schedule your Discovery Tour to begin a life well-lived. ExploreBRMC.com | sales@brmountainclub.com | 828.520.8901

Obtain the Property Report required by Federal law and read it before signing anything. No Federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. This information shall not constitute a valid offer in any state where prior registration is required. © 2021 Blowing Rock Resort Venture, LLC.



WHERE LUXURY AND MODERNITY MEET Visit Greenville, SC’s New AC Hotel. words SLOANE WICK photos courtesy AC HOTEL



Modernity and the old-fashioned merge on Main Street in Greenville in the form of the new AC Hotel. While you may expect these two aspects to compete or conflict, the AC managed to meld the qualities seamlessly. Let’s discuss the hotel’s more contemporary and innovative side first. This eight-story retreat features 196 guest rooms and suites, unique options for food and beverages, a rooftop, speakeasy, TechnoGym, almost 29,000 square feet dedicated to meetings or other events, and a lovely private collection of art that features more than 100 works and 35 local artists. Despite its massive size, the AC promises each suite has a stunning view and “no room will disappoint.” Conveniently located right in the electric heart of downtown Greenville, the hotel allows access to all the best spots where excited tourists and spirited locals can go to mingle amongst countless dining, shopping, and entertainment options. Favorites in the area include the Peace Center performing arts center and the Greenville Zoo, both


of which offer programs for guests of all ages. The Peace Center features a wide array of acts such as musicians, films, and musicals. Another treat in the vicinity of the AC is the River Falls Spa. The spa is located just a one-minute drive or a three-minute walk away from the AC. It offers numerous indulgent services such as facials, hair and scalp treatments, therapy baths, manicures and pedicures, and even couple’s massages. The local area around the AC is teeming with fresh, interesting things to do, see and eat, and the inside of the AC is just as vibrant. The hotel features multiple dining options such as Paloma, a buzzing, Spanish American fusion restaurant located on the ground floor with both inside and outside seating. Upstairs, you’ll find Juniper, offering sweeping views from the eighth floor and extending outside onto the roof. The urban gin bar also offers seasonallydriven refined small plates. If you’re looking to get outdoors, Greenville is a hub for nature and all its

TR AVEL majestic beauty. Within a mile and a half of the AC are multiple biking trails, fitness trails, and tennis courts. If you don’t mind going a little further, there are also opportunities for mountain biking, horseback riding, and miniature golf all within several miles of the hotel. Fall Park, fondly called “one of Greenville’s greatest treasures,” is located just a quick five-minute walk away from the hotel. The iconic Greenville park is breathtaking, with striking views of waterfalls, oneof-a-kind architecture, public art, an array of local flowers and more. For those with younger travelers, visit nearby Linky Stone Park, otherwise known as the Children’s Garden. This travel gem is tucked away next to a babbling creek and offers picnic tables, walking paths, and a playground. Greenville has lots to offer for every kind of traveler. Whether you’ll be enjoying plush pillows and pedicures or nature adventures, the AC has the perfect room for you. A weekend here is a weekend well spent.

info marriott.com @achotelgreenville

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A HIGH COUNTRY GEM A guide for the best lodging, food and activities in Blowing Rock. words BRANDON MITCHELL photos JAMEY PRICE OR JP GRICE

Less than two hours from Charlotte, Blowing Rock has something for every visitor. From its quaint downtown shops to the famous mountains that surround it, it’s a quiet town with hidden adventures everywhere. Here are my recommendations for what to do, what to eat and where to stay during your time there. WHAT TO DO IN BLOWING ROCK — Visit The Blowing Rock Sometimes the obvious choice is the best choice. During your visit, take the twenty-minute gentle hike to the peak of the town’s namesake attraction, Blowing Rock. During the hike, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of nearby Grandfather Mountain, Table Rock & Hawksbill. Then, at the top, you’ll be blown away by one of the state’s most stunning views. Blowing Rock Art & History Museum The Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) is a must-see during your stay. Their exhibits celebrate local art from across time, and they offer events like “cork and canvas” and “coffee with the curator.” There are lots of activities for kids, too. It’s a great place to engage with the community and the local culture.


Apple Hill Farm Apple Hill Farm will impress you, your partner or your children. Take a private tour of a family-owned alpaca farm and learn about the fiber-collecting process. Alternatively, go meet the many other animals around the farm. Although the farm isn’t a petting zoo, their donkeys, goats and cows love making new friends! WHERE TO EAT IN BLOWING ROCK — Woodlands Barbecue Woodlands Barbecue looks the part on the outside, and on the inside, the barbecue hits the spot too. Here, you’ll get to enjoy authentic, delicious North Carolina barbecue and award-winning chili. With fun, old-school decorations, it feels just right for this little mountain town. Come in the evening to enjoy live music from local artists. Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub is a unique mixture of the light-spirited aesthetic of the mountains and the modern elegance of an upscale eatery. Between their globally-inspired dishes like their

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TR AVEL delicious “banh mi pork sandwich” and the novelty-laden interior, curiosity alone should be enough to warrant your visit. Twigs Twigs offers a rustic and intimate dining experience for guests. Their dishes add a Southern flair to classics like crab cakes, filet mignon and duck confit. They also have one of the biggest wine selections in the area which includes many local options. Twigs creates a romantic ambience that can only be found in Southern Appalachia. WHERE TO STAY IN BLOWING ROCK — Chetola Resort Chetola Resort emphasizes all the romance of Blowing Rock while still providing activities for everyone. Kids can enjoy the resort’s paddle boats and pickleball courts, and the older folks can test their aim at the resort’s ar-

chery and gun ranges. Their spa is the perfect place to unwind after a hike. Green Park Inn Founded in 1891, the historic Green Park Inn has greeted guests with comfort and contemporary elegance for over a century. To get the most out of your stay, book one of their tailored packages. From a murder mystery weekend to a couple’s getaway, they offer a tailored experience for all guests. Hemlock Inn Nestled right in the heart of downtown Blowing Rock, Hemlock Inn provides a rustic, cozy experience that will make guests feel right at home. It may not have a spa or other upscale amenities, but it has familiar tranquility that matches the town’s spirit. This is an amazing place to soak in the relaxing atmosphere of the mountains and connect with the local community.



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COASTAL LUXURY Experience exclusive luxury, nature, and sporting at Spring Island. words BRANDON MITCHELL

Nestled between the resort town of Hilton Head Island and the charming coastal village of Beaufort, two salt-water rivers converge to create a serene oasis of native plants, diverse wildlife and still waters. The gated community of Spring Island offers residents a quiet luxury that accents the natural beauty of its environment which is distinct from its neighbors. From cozy cottages to a $12 million private-island estate, the community offers gorgeous housing for a wide range of budgets. Lots are also available for those interested in building their dream home. It is a phenomenal place to spend weekends, vacation or retire. Spring Island is full of member-only amenities. Residents can test their accuracy at the community’s sporting-clays area or stalk quail with the community’s hunting club. The community


photos courtesy SPRING ISLAND

sports complex is popular among tourists. It offers fitness classes, massage suites, a lap pool, and a fully-equipped gym. Outside, there’s a tennis court, a croquet field and a heated/cooled pool. “Old Tabby,” the community's private golf course was designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer. It incorporates natural elements of the marsh to create a secluded, breathtaking golf experience. Palmer enjoyed spending time on Spring Island and would often visit with his wife and grandchildren. According to legend, this is where he concocted the famous lemonade-sweet tea beverage that now shares his namesake. The community’s untouched natural surroundings provide residents with many opportunities for relaxation or adventure. The calm waters that surround the community are perfect for kayaking. Thirty miles of trails can be explored on foot or

TR AVEL horseback. After residents return from fishing, they can drop off their catch at a community restaurant, and the chef will turn it into a specialized meal. There are two restaurants at Spring Island, and fish aren’t the only thing on the menu. The community’s chef masterfully crafts culinary experiences that incorporate fresh ingredients from the onsite farm. Residents can also take cooking classes where they can learn about baking, sauces, butchery, pasta, and more. Volunteers from the community manage Spring Island's year-round farm. This gives residents a chance to connect with nature and play an active part in food-preparation for the community. Extra crops are also grown to feed native deer and raccoons. The community also holds many events for its residents. From live

music to art classes, there’s always something to do. For competitive residents, there’s weekly sporting events and yearly golf tournaments. These events are excellent opportunities to make new friends within the community and explore new passions. Life on Spring Island is an unparalleled experience. Every element is crafted to preserve the natural beauty of the island while providing a luxurious experience for residents. Very few places are able to create this balance, and nowhere does it as well. If you’d like to experience the community before making a commitment, the community offers two-night “discovery packages” where guests get a tailored tour of the island and its amenities. info springisland.com / @springislandsc

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This Page: Looking Glass Overlook. A tunnel near Asheville. Opposite Page: Frying Pan Mountain Lookout. Black Balsam Knob sunset.

A BEACON OF BEAUTY The legacy of our Blue Ridge Parkway. words ELEANOR MERRELL

In the dark, desperate depths of the Great Depression, the Appalachian region was, like much of the rest of the country, struggling. In juxtaposition to the beauty of the Southeast’s Blue Ridge, the horrors of widespread poverty languished in the shadows of Appalachia’s rugged ridges. Amid this backdrop, President Franklin Roosevelt left the nation’s capital to witness the Civilian Conservation Corps, newly created via the Depression-inspired New Deal, in action. The first two CCC companies to join forces with the National Park Service were stationed in Virginia, aiding in the construction of Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive.



The trip would prove consequential not only for Virginia, but also Tennessee and North Carolina. Roosevelt’s inspection created an opportunity for U.S. Senator Harry Byrd of Virginia to pitch a park-to-park highway that would connect Shenandoah National Park with Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At Roosevelt’s behest, the three states’ governors marshalled a team of engineers, architects, and designers to plan the nation’s next great public works project: the Blue Ridge Parkway. Before construction began on the next segments of the parkway, landscape architect Stanley Abbott traveled through the


region, tasked with trying to identify a path that would do justice to the mountains by highlighting the beauty of its vistas, improving accessibility to its trails, and preserving the integrity of the mountain communities it would pass through. Ultimately, his guiding design principle was variety. He anticipated that a route that supplied unbroken panoramic views would corrupt the impact of those views, in the same way that a person who eats nothing but chocolate cake for a week would find the taste less appealing than the person who ate one slice


of chocolate cake after a week of varied diet. Thus, he sought to pair each sweeping, panoramic view with a glimpse of smaller scale beauty, such as a summer meadow in full wildflower bloom or the bubbling bend in a sun-soaked mountain stream. Fifty years would elapse before the parkway spanned the full 469-mile route. In the meantime, many mountain communities ravaged by the Depression discovered an economic lifeline in the form of the twisting parkway and the hundreds of thousands (now millions) of visitors it brought each year. It was the region’s

Crabtree Falls


This Page: Craggy Pinnacle. Opposite Page Clockwise from top left: Sims Pond, Graveyard Fields Waterfall, a curve in the road near Craggy Gardens, Cascades.

ticket to a brighter future and is now the National Park Service’s most visited attraction (yes, the Blue Ridge Parkway attracts more visitors even than Yellowstone). Among those who have visited the parkway — or “The Scenic,” as it was once known — who can claim surprise at its popularity? It traverses six mountain ranges, snakes along and across four major rivers, and soars from 649 feet in elevation to 6,053 feet. Outside the car, a wide range of ecosystems awaits the intrepid hiker. Travelers can also break from the sweeping views at one of many campsites along the parkway, visit a cultural or historic site to learn more about the region, or behold


engineering marvels like the Linn Cove Viaduct, which was built in reverse (top down) in order to better preserve the ecosystems of Grandfather Mountain. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a one-of-a-kind creation. It is a testament to the resilience of Americans, a reminder that creation can rise from destruction. It is a marker of the potential for mankind’s harmony with nature, an example of what marvels can emerge when we apply our human genius to projects that work in tandem with, rather than against, nature’s grace. And it is, above all, a reminder that the destination can sometimes be the journey itself — on “America’s favorite drive.”

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Chetola Resort



The inns, resorts, and hotels providing you the very finest access to the beauty of fall in the mountains of North Carolina. words SUNNY HUBLER and BRANDON MITCHELL

With the sights and sounds of fall upon us, there is no better time to visit the mountains. Nestled in between the peaks, you’ll find endearing mountain towns all over Western NC, all with different activities to offer. Here are some of our favorite places to lodge up and call home for the week. The Swag The Swag is a spectacular balance of luxury and rusticity. The entire property sits atop a mountain and has a variety of unique lodging options. While on the property, guests can take a stroll through the seasonal garden or go for a chilling swim in the pond. There’s also a variety of games available to the guests like croquet, badminton and corn hole. If guests want to venture away from their cabin, they can explore the nearby mountains through the Swag’s exclusive entrance into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. theswag.com Chetola Resort Chetola Resort is the most family-oriented option on this list. While it provides romantic scenery and relaxing activities for

photos courtesy HOTELS

couples, everyone will find something to do here. Kids can enjoy the resort’s paddle boats and pickle ball courts, and the older folks can test their aim at the resort’s archery and gun ranges. Outside the resorts, guests can explore the village of Blowing Rock or take a hike through the nearby mountain range. chetola.com Grand Bohemian Asheville The Grand Bohemian Asheville takes a different route to luxury mountain vacations. While most mountain resorts will place you in nature, the Grand Bohemian elevates you above it. The hotel celebrates the beauty of the great outdoors through its rustic yet modern architecture. Even if you’re not staying there, it’s worth the visit for its eclectic art gallery. kesslercollection.com The Inn at Biltmore Every North Carolinian knows about the Biltmore House, but the estate’s four-star resort is a bit more exclusive. The Inn at Biltmore treats guests to the same luxury that has made the estate famous for centuries. Although their spa and wine



The Foundry

options are amazing, the real allure of the Inn comes from its world-famous architecture and unique scenery. During their stay, guests can also take a tour of their masterfully designed gardens or even take falconry lessons. biltmore.com

Though the hotel has since been renovated and refined, it maintains many important elements of its industrial origins. Indulge in The Foundry’s artisanal food and craft cocktails while reveling in its stylish, eclectic atmosphere. foundryasheville.com

The Greystone Inn The Greystone Inn is the perfect spot for adventurers who don’t want to sacrifice luxury. Located in Asheville, guests can explore nearby waterfalls or book the inn’s private boat tour of the lake. The inn also sells takeaway picnics for guests who want to find their own scenic lunch spot. With calming views and adventures all around, the inn provides relaxation without boredom. greystoneinn.com

Lakeview at Fontana Lakeview at Fontana is a return to nature without any of the usual discomforts. Located off the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway, this hotel is an amazing home base for mountain adventures. If hiking isn’t your thing, the hotel’s secluded treetop soaking cabanas provide a relaxing bath, a glass of wine and beautiful views of the nearby lake and mountain range. lakeviewatfontana.com

Switzerland Inn Located on the edge of Pisgah National Forest, the Switzerland Inn is a foreign escape in the middle of the Blue Ridge Parkway. To reach this resort, guests will have to traverse the Diamondback, one of the curviest roads in the state. But the mountain's peak will reward them with breathtaking views and a small town that looks like it belongs in the Alps. Although not extravagant, it is quiet and has luxury amenities that rival the larger resorts on this list. switzerlandinn.com The Foundry The Foundry is a unique retreat located in the heart of Asheville. The historic building was originally used as a steel factory.


The Esmeralda Inn The Esmeralda Inn is the perfect mountain getaway for those wanting to explore North Carolina’s famous Chimney Rock, Lake Lure or the Rocky Broad River. The Inn offers hotelstyle rooms with astounding views of the nearby mountain, or guests can book one of the Inn’s three secluded cabin options. The Esmeralda Inn isn’t the most lavish stay on this list, but with its variety of nearby natural wonders, you probably won’t spend much time in your room anyway. theesmeralda.com Old Edwards Inn and Spa Guests of the Old Edwards Inn and Spa, located on the southern plateau of the Blue Ridge Mountains, can stay in one of the lodge’s beautifully furnished suites or a luxurious cabin.

Omni Grove Park Inn

Grab a drink at the Inn’s rooftop terrace bar and take in the serene mountain views, or hike to one of the nearby waterfalls. The nearby shops of historic downtown Highlands are also worth visiting during your stay. oldedwardshospitality.com The Omni Grove Park Inn The Omni Grove Park Inn is just far enough from Asheville to explore the city while still enjoying the quiet bliss of the mountains. Although, once you step foot into the inn’s 43,000-square-foot subterranean spa, you probably won’t want to leave, and with the inn’s excellent restaurants and bars, you won’t have to. This place is for travelers who will spare no expense for relaxation. omnihotels.com The Lodge at River Run The Lodge offers the quietness and rustic charm of a cabin with the comforts of a bed and breakfast. Hidden in Banner Elk, the log-cabin interior is warm and cozy, and the surrounding property is littered with relaxing hangout spots. There’s a hot tub, hammocks, fire pits, and even a hanging bed. thelodgeatriverrun.com The Black Walnut The Black Walnut is oddly decadent for a bed and breakfast. Each room has a peculiar beauty that differentiates it from the others. Located in the Historic District of Montford, guests can start their day off with a three-course breakfast before exploring nearby shops or taking a drive through Blue

Ridge. They also have pet-friendly rooms if you want to give your furry friend a taste of luxury. blackwalnut.com Blue Ridge Village Blue Ridge Village, near Beech Mountain, is a great jumpingoff point for skiing adventure. In the warmer months, it’s still an excellent place for hikes and mountain views. The village also has direct access to a lake that’s great for paddle boating and fishing. Guests at the village can expect an understated but luxurious stay and lots of nearby adventures. bluegreenvacations.com The 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa Lake Lure Inn was known for its romantic scenery and intimate lodging well before Dirty Dancing was filmed there. Surrounded by mountains, the lake-front hotel is a timeless luxury. This hotel might be short of a few modern amenities. But, the rooms are still incredibly comfortable, and the property has a distinctive charm. It’s a great place to take your partner for a weekend getaway. lakelure.com Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn The Cumberland Falls Bed & Breakfast Inn is one of the coziest option for those wanting to explore Asheville. Guests can expect colonial-style rooms, welcoming innkeepers and delicious homecooked breakfasts. A beautiful garden surrounds the house, and the property’s koi pond is a blissful place for reflection. cumberlandfalls.com




THE GREAT OUTDOORS Some of the best spots to see and experience at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. words CHRISSY ROFFE and BRANDON MITCHELL

A widely popular vacation spot, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a gorgeous, scenic mountain getaway located on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. The park holds both historic and cultural significance and is filled with beautiful landscapes, wildflowers and wildlife. Encompassing more than 500,000 acres, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has an endless amount of things to do and places to see. A visit to the park means making sure to see all the very best it has to offer, and this list will allow you to make the most out of that next trip. Cades Cove Cades Cove is a valley in Great Smoky Mountains National Park full of historical buildings to visit. In the valley, you can find three churches, a grist mill, barns, log houses, and many more buildings from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Wild-



life in Cades Cove is abundant, with white-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, and turkeys wandering around the area for visitors to see. Hiking trails sprawl for miles and include Abrams Falls and Cades Cove Nature Trail for a shorter hike. Camping is also welcome in Cades Cove, with multiple campgrounds available to visitors looking for the full, immersive experience. Clingmans Dome Perhaps the most visually striking spot of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Clingmans Dome puts you at the highest point of the park at 6,643 feet. Clingmans Dome offers the best views as clear days can allow for visitors to see viewing distances of up to 100 miles with a 360 degree view. The area is often much colder than the lowlands and has high amounts of precipitation, so it is best to bring a jacket with you even in the warmer months.


Newfound Gap Not only can you visit the highest point, but you can also visit the lowest of Great Smoky Mountains National Park at Newfound Gap. Many visitors recommend it for its amazing views and photo opportunities as you take the scenic drive through the gap. It runs through the center of the park for 31 miles and has stops along the way including Mingus Mill, Oconaluftee Visitor Center, and Mountain Farm Museum, among others. Laurel Falls One of the most popular spots to stop at is Laurel Falls. The scenic 80-foot tall waterfall is a sight to behold and attracts some of the largest crowds. Laurel Falls is named after the mountain laurel, an evergreen shrub that grows in the area in May. Visitors can take the 2.6 mile hike up to the waterfall and take some beautiful shots on the walkway. The area, known for having active black bears, allows for great wildlife sightings (so long as done safely).


Abrams Falls This moderately strenuous trail takes hikers on a beautiful five mile round trip trek through pines and oak to a 20-foot high and very powerful waterfall. Here, visitors can escape the crowds and take in the serenity of this truly gorgeous park. Be sure to enjoy the calm pools below the waterfall as well. Deep Creek Trail and Waterfalls This beautiful area on the Bryson City side of the park is a mustvisit. It can be crowded so get there early. It's well worth it. It is an easy trail for all ages and offers three wonderful waterfalls: Juney Whank Falls, Tom Branch Falls, and Indian Creek Falls. Mt. LeConte If you like hiking and had to do one hike in the Great Smoky Mountains, this is probably the trail you have to do. It’s a long eleven mile round trip hike that has so many beautiful natural features. Hikers can enjoy impressive views from the nearly 6,600 ft. high elevation at LeConte’s peak.

Ramsey Cascades Experience one of the gems of the Smokies with this eight mile round trip trail to the largest waterfall in the park. This waterfall is over 100 feet tall and is surrounded by old growth forest. There are plenty of opportunities on this trail to enjoy a cold mountain stream and take in wild life. Chimney Tops This short four mile round-trip trail is not for everyone due to its strenuous nature but it truly offers some of the best views in the Great Smokies which is why its one of the most popular hikes in the park. Just be sure to take the final section slowly, as the trail is very rugged and steep. The payoff is worth it though. Mingus Mill One of the gems of the park is located less than a mile from the entrance of the park. The Mingus Mill, a historic grit mill dating back to 1886, uses a water powered turbine. The grounds are really interesting, there is staff on location to

demonstrate how the mill works, and you can also purchase cornmeal. Elk In Cataloochee Valley The wildlife in the park is absolutely amazing, and probably your best chance to see both black bear and elk on the East Coast. The elk herds tend to stay in several places in the area including the Cataloochee Valley and the fields by the Oconoluftee Visitor Center. You won’t want to miss the elk on your trip, but please respect the animals and do not get close to them. Bull elk can be especially aggressive. After spending so much time indoors, a trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park will give you the reinvigoration we’ve all been needing. If you’re looking to spend some time with family and friends while sight-seeing at some of the most beautiful spots in North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has you covered with endless things to do and see.




CAROLINA ELK Discover the history of North Carolina’s wild elk and learn where to catch a glimpse of them this season. words LIZA CARRASQUILLO

The North Carolina area is blessed with a wide range of ecological diversity. From the Outer Banks to the Appalachian Mountains and the vast land stretching between them, this state has cultivated the perfect environment for all kinds of creatures. The Eastern Elk was no exception. This subspecies of elk roamed the Eastern US for centuries, including the land in the southern Appalachian region. As colonizers from Europe began to settle the area in the 1700s, however, the elk population quickly started to decline. Habitat disturbance was likely a factor, but most were simply hunted beyond sustainability. As an animal that could weigh up to 1,000 pounds and grow beautiful antlers spanning up to five feet across, the elk quickly became a favored target for hunt-



ers. By the mid-1800s, the Eastern Elk had been pushed out of North Carolina, and by 1877, the subspecies was officially declared extinct. So how did North Carolina get its elk population from zero to the nearly 200 roaming throughout the state today? It happened by reintroducing a different subspecies to our mountain ranges. While the Eastern Elk is still considered extinct, the Manitoban Elk is most definitely not. After the National Park Service successfully reintroduced a herd of 52 Manitoban Elk into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the agency handed management of the subspecies over to the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission (NCWRC). Their population has been growing little by little ever since.


For some, that growth is just not fast enough. In 2016, the NCWRC passed a bill that paved the way for future elk hunting seasons throughout the state—but only when their population met a certain threshold. That threshold has yet to be crossed, so big game hunters looking to take down one of these prized animals still have a while to wait before that’s possible. Fortunately, those looking to catch a glimpse of these elk can still find them in their natural range—if they know where to look. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park where the animal was first reintroduced is still one of the

best spots to go see them. The elk are now known to roam areas like Oconaluftee and Maggie Valley, but are easiest to spot at Cataloochee Valley. Visitors can often see them grazing in the early morning or late evening when the weather is cooler. Bulls are very territorial, and cows can get aggressive if they have a calf nearby, which is why it’s illegal to be closer than 150 feet to an elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors are instead encouraged to check out the national park website for proper viewing tips and to bring a set of binoculars.


INDEX Amina Rubinacci ..........................18 Anne Neilson Gallery ...............25 Arcadia Homes .............................31 Augusta Homes ...........................43 Blackhawk Hardware ..............48 Blue Ridge Mountain Club ......90 Brandon Lawn Real Estate ......29 Cadenza ........................................55 Carin Miller Allen Tate ..........42 Carolina Dental .........................45 Coggin Law ...................................22 Cope and Stick ...........................101 Cottingham Chalk .....................37 Crystal Coast .............................95 DHL Mortgage .............................63 Diamonds Direct .......Back Cover Donald Haack Diamonds ........13 E. Swann & Associates .............58 Emerald & Oak .......................79 Emerson Joseph .............................4 Empire ............................................57 Gerrard Builders ......................26 Grande Custom Homes .............47

Helen Adams Realty ....................41 Hot Glass Alley .........................30 J Layton Interiors .......................15 Jillian Mack Allen Tate ................61

Karen Kettler .............................98 Kingswood Homes ......................23 Lake Norman Realty ...................33 Lisa McCrossan Ivester Jackson... 17 Lucy and Company .......................75 Majestic Bath ...............................72 McDevitt Agency ........................10 Middle C Jazz ...............................24 Mint Museum ................................21 Myron Greer ..............................102 Nestlewood Realty ...................53 New Life Building Supplies ....65 Noble Food & Pursuits................. 8 Omni Hotels & Resorts ............122 Paper Skyscraper .......................59 Peppermint forest......................97 Peters Custom Homes ...............35 Plaza Appliance .........................83 Premier Sotheby’s ........................6

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Real Living Rosewood ...............46 Royal Building Group .................51 Saint Mary’s .................................93 Scott Russo ..................................77 Selenite Beauty ..........................94 Shain Gallery ..............................19 Simonini .........................................39 Sodoma Law ..................................99 Steinway Piano ..........................123 TLG Hardware .............................20 Tiny Gods .......................................81 Tracy Davis Ivester Jackson ....67 Window And Door Pros ..........103 Windsor Jewelers .......................2

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