By Dathan Kazsuk | Jan 4, 2014
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It was back in 2006 … the first time I visited the small town of Blowing Rock. It was for Jen’s birthday in October, and we went to see North Carolina’s wonderful Fall weather up in the mountains. The amazing autumn colors were very picturesque for my first trip there. We visited The Blowing Rock, where I learned the legend behind the infamous rock. We shopped on the Main Street. We stayed at the historic Green Park Inn, which was built back in the 1880s. The hotel’s Queen Anne Style architecture has seen many historic figures stay the night there, including Annie Oakley, J.D. Rockefeller, Calvin Coolidge and Eleanor Roosevelt – just to name a few.
Since 2006, we’ve been back at least five other times. A Valentine’s Day weekend back at the Green Park Inn. A cold and windy October at the Alpine Village Inn, where we stayed in a corner suite with a indoor jacuzzi. A July gallup through town prior to a friend getting married in Banner Elk. And earlier this year to partake in our first Winterfest, where we stayed at the Ridgeway Inn. Let’s not talk about my car getting stuck in the ice, please!
And now we’re going back in 2014. Jen and I will be going to the annual Winterfest festival on Jan. 24-26, and this time with some good friends of ours. We decided to go back to our favorite – the Green Park Inn. To me, it has some sentimental value attached to the hotel. And they have a great package deal, which includes tickets to the chili challenge and the grand wine tasting held there at the hotel.
There’s also a handful of new places that sprung up since our last visit. The new Blowing Rock Ale House & Restaurant. The new Public House & Hotel. Also a new restaurant inside Green Park, the Chestnut Grille, which is run by executive chef James Welch.
One staple of Blowing Rock which will be dearly missed is Crippen’s. Luckily, this past January we shared a couple beers with friend, and owner of the B&B, Jimmy Crippen.
But it’s a new year! I’m looking forward to spending it with Jen, drinking good wine, having nice meals, possibly signing up for the Polar Plunge, where I’ll give myself a heart attack jumping into the icy cold Chetola Lake. Maybe I can talk my friend Dave into donning a costume and jumping in the lake with me!