A Cozy Mountain Escape In Blowing RockBy: Erin Byers Murray
Fresh air, luxurious amenities, and hearty meals await at this mountainside resort in Blowing Rock, North Carolina
THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Chetola sits on 78 acres that include a large lake, hiking trails, and quick access to the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. The newly built Chetola Sporting Reserve offers clay-shooting, archery, or guided fly-fishing—it’s one of just two Orvis endorsed fly fishing lodges in the state and has experiences for both novice and practiced anglers. The lake provides fishing, paddle boating, and stand-up paddle boarding. Or, head into Blowing Rock to explore the artist galleries and boutiques.
THE VIBE: Think of the coziest mountain cottage—wood, stone, fireplace, soft blankets—then, upgrade that into a full-service hotel. Chetola Resort is that kind of laid-back retreat where the service is warm and welcoming, and the outdoors are calling. The lobby is all earth tones (hardwood floors, bark accents, and natural materials), while the rooms, which overlook the property’s lake, are stocked with wool blankets and local photography. Dating back to the 1840s, the resort includes a forty-two-room lodge as well as an eight-room inn. There’s also a striking indoor pool that feels like the interior hull of a ship, as well as a spa outfitted with natural sea stones and hardwood.
THE FOOD SCENE: Anchoring the resort is Timberlake’s, named for artist Bob Timberlake, where chef Matt Rivers emulates English pub fare with mountain inspiration. There’s bratwurst on a poppyseed bun; shepherd’s pie brimming with lamb, beef, and vegetables under a Yukon gold mashed potato crust; and beer-battered haddock in the pub-style fish and chips. Spread out over three dining rooms, it also has its own patio overlooking the lake. Stop for a whiskey starter at Headwaters Pub, a warm little bar set near the entrance of the restaurant, or order up a few snacks, like the pimento cheese dip and Jack Daniels-laced chicken wings, and have it delivered to you lakeside.