NC Small Business Holiday Gifts that Every Woman will Love (The Family, too)

For the past few months, I have hosted the OutaboutNC Small Business Holiday Gift-Pop-Up on Facebook with TeachLearnStyle.com.  Kim and I were able to promote these NC businesses without any cost to them to give back to the state in 2020.

It's been a tough year on hospitality and retail, which those two subjects are at the core of what my social media platforms are all about. The event was sponsored by our blog affiliates, which help support bloggers, so they do not have to beat the payment finding sponsors every day, and we can continue to share editorial content with you. Your purchases from our website affiliates are a passive way to help support the blogging industry because you don't show up to work for free, and neither do we. 

As I've gotten to know these North Carolina business owners, I have put together a list of my favorite products that I think would be great holiday gifts.  These gift ideas would be great for anyone on your list, however, I've geared this holiday gift guide toward women. 

I've been known to wrap up my own Christmas gifts and place them under the tree, so no judgment from me if you place these in your holiday cart today just for you. 

non-toxic hand=-poured beeswax lavender vanilla candle made in NC

5” Honeycomb Pillar candle with 100% Pure Beeswax Candle made in NC

100 % Natural Beeswax, hand-poured  NC-made aromatherapy candles

Wellness by Ari is based in Matthews, North Carolina. Owner, Dasha Kosovon,  began the quest to find non-toxic candles in 2018 for her family. So many candles are made with artificial scents and man-made ingredients. "This desire came after burning a candle that was gifted to us and seeing black residue in our kids' noses after burning the candle. That’s when we said “Never Again!” and began working on creating a candle that would not only be pleasant to burn but beneficial." stated Dasha. 

Wellness by Ari candles are hand-poured with U.S natural beeswax and organic hemp wicks and scented with pure essential oils. She has many best-selling aromatherapy scented candles such as Honey CinnamonChristmas Tree, Lavender Vanilla, and Forest Romance

Hand-stamped hammered bar necklace with birthstones

Adventures by Bloom is located in Cary, NC, and was recommended to me by a friend who lives in Cary. Owner Laura Gerenser began her business with mobile metal stamping classes in 2017. Adventures by Bloom has now grown into a gift shop and craft space in downtown Cary, offering metal stamped jewelry classes and local products from over thirty artisans. 

hand-stamped christmas tree holiday ornament with family names

Stay 6 feet apart 2020 holiday ornament made to look like a ruler

Keepsake 2020 Holiday Ornaments from Adventures in Bloom in Cary, NC 


Fluffy-white zip-up jacket

Cozy attire and affordable fashion from Anna Jean Boutique in Elizabeth City, NC

I think it is wonderful when you see young women pursuing their dreams.  Brie Barclift graduated from Meredith College in 2018 with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing and founded Anna Jean Boutique in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  

The boutique is full-service in Eastern North Carolina, from clothing to accessories.  I love that she finds affordable fashions that can make women look great.  I love the Frosty Nights Fluffy Zip-Up Jacket and the Cozy Collection Loungewear.  Who doesn't love to lounge? Brie looks great in both. I love the Netflix and Chill outfit.  That's like the epitome of my life: blog, Cook, Netflix, and Chill in my chair.  Currently, I'm finishing the Crown and will soon start the Queen's Gambit. 

NC-made-gift basket with NC food appetizers

A gift box containing three NC jams such as pepper jelly, blackberry jam and bacon and fig jam.

North Carolina Food can be experienced throughout the world with a customized Hometown Goodie Boxes Gift.  From holiday jam to charcuterie gift boxes, there is something for everyone's culinary tastes. 

North Carolina is a foodie state, and we have a lot to offer in culinary products from Murphy to Manteo. Hometown Goodie Box founder, Linda Seymour, combined her own love to eat with North Carolina made products. Through her goodie box business, people from all over the world can experience a taste of North Carolina. 

"Growing up in Eastern North Carolina, I was surrounded by families, farmers, and neighbors that grew vegetables and fruits, harvested nuts from their trees, and raised animals for consumption. Craftsmanship, ingenuity, and pride in every aspect of life’s work forged the lives of the women and men around me," stated Linda. "Over the years, I’ve tried to pass these "hometown" treasures and traditions on to my own family and friends, and now - through Hometown Goodie Boxes - I'm excited to pass them on to other people.  The "NC Family Breakfast" box is one of her most popular collections. 

NC handmade natural espresso cups with colbalt blue decoration

pottery necklace and jewelry holder with dog paw print handpainted in 22k gold

wood-fired vase with slipping trail details

Beautiful NC pottery designs from Curry Wilkinson Pottery 

North Carolina has so much talent, and two truly talented individuals are Curry and Sarah Wilkinson, who founded Curry Wilkinson Pottery in Burlington, NC.  Curry was an apprentice under NC potter Joseph Sand when he first met Sarah. She is the creator behind the NC holiday ornaments and pottery jewelry featuring hand-painted 22K gold. 

Curry Wilkinson Pottery opened in 2018, where these North Carolina artisans focus on home decor and functional pottery art.  Each handmade pottery  piece is one-of-a-kind,  and in my opinion, quite affordable. They are also animal lovers, with three pets of their own and certain products have 10% of the proceeds going to the NC animal rescue organization, Paws4ever, in Mebane, NC

holiday gift ideas with Beautycounter clean beauty producs

beautycounter luminous cream eyeshadows gift box

Make better health a priority in 2021, and share clean beauty with your loved ones. Beautycounter has gorgeous holiday gifts for men and women that anyone would love. I certainly have my favorites, but the one product I'm looking the most forward to is the Luminous Lid Cream Shadows

Give the gift of clean beauty. I've been brand loyal to Beautycounter, a clean beauty brand with the most rigid ingredient process. Beautycounter Founder, Gregg Renfrow, started the company with the mission of health before beauty after learning that only 30 harmful chemicals were banned by the FDA due to harmful side effects.  In contrast, the U.K. bans around 1400 ingredients in its products, while Canada bans around 600 chemicals/ingredients in its personal care and beauty products. 

Renfrow leads this company with advocacy behind its' mission with ingredient transparency, powered by the people, the planet, a purpose to get safe beauty products in the hands of everyone at all price points by changing federal laws.  Every Beautycounter product is transparent of its ingredients and is responsibly-sourced to protect both people and the planet.  

tory burch bag with countertime skincare line with retinatural formula
The safe alternative to retinol is Beautycounter's Retinatural Countertime formula that mimics the effects of retinol with the harsh side effects making it a safe beauty health choice for anti-aging beauty products.  The Countertime Ultra-Renewal Eye Cream and Countertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Night Cream are my favorite skincare products. 

Beautycounter has a never-list of over 1800 unsafe chemicals that it does not allow in its products.  Beautycounter is about both health safety and product performance. Some ingredients are synthetic because they perform better and they work. Natural sometimes is not the best choice when it comes to safety and products due to allergens. I've been part of Beautycounter's affiliate marketing/sales team for four years, and it's the brand I stand behind and support. It is my number one skincare and cosmetic brand by choice. If you have a passion for clean beauty, please join my VIP group, Curating the Good Life with Better and Safer Beauty (Deals for VIPs), on Facebook.  

We have lots of fun over there through giveaways, mystery hostess events, and much more.  Being clean is about more than just switching to safer beauty.  It's a lifestyle, and I help my group do it at their own pace and on their own budget. Getting clean can be overwhelming, but every little step makes a big difference.  Beautycounter's curated  The Clean Guide can help consumers make better and smarter choices. 

red holiday lantern with santa and snowman and spinning christmas tree

Holidays Gifts from St. Nick's Nacks. This lighted shimmer water lantern with a snowman, Santa, and a spinning tree. Would make fabulous holiday decor for the season. 

BuDhaGirl All Weather Bangles jewlery in gold and fawn colors

Callahan's Holiday Gifts for Her and one of the largest patterned face-covering/mask selections from designers such as Simply Southern to Vera Bradley that I've seen anywhere locally. 

pumpkin cheese cake holiday fudge from Callahan's of Calabash

When COVID protocols forced the closure of restaurants and retail in 2020. Callahan's developed its first-ever online retail store. Because Callahan's inventory is massive, not everything is online, including its fudge. Still, you can call during store hours and have Callahan's homemade fudge shipped as well as other gifts if you are looking for something particular.  Callahan's has something for everyone or even for yourself. I think the all-weather bangles from the BuDuaGirl brand are a perfect holiday gift idea for someone special on your list.   

Because my parents owned a second home in North Myrtle Beach, I grew up going to Calabash, NC, during the holidays and over the summers. We would eat fried seafood then stop at Callahan's of Calabash to shop.  It was my favorite place to go because the Christmas shop looked like a wonderland. This family-owned business, established in 1978, takes up several blocks of the town's main street corner as you head to the waterfront. Callahan's has one of the largest Christmas shops in North Carolina called St. Nick's Nacks. My Dad loved Callahan's homemade peanut butter fudge.  

My Dad consistently claimed their fudge as the best in NC and never left a trip without a pound in a bag.  His favorite was the peanut butter, which is typically available year-round in the store.  

cheer holiday ornament

Last year, the store sent me a Cheer ornament for Liza because I knew that it would be Callahan's if any place had one. Seriously, they have everything!!! I was thrilled to include Callahan's of Calabash in my OutaboutNC virtual pop-up store. 

stud earrings from the  pink champagne celebration from McRae Design using colors pink, red and green.


Plaid earrings with gold, burgundy, and a holiday plaid pattern

holiday tear-drop earrings in pink, red and green

McRae Design offers a monthly subscription box where you receive new one of a kind jewelry releases each month. 

Jen McRae is the creator behind McRae Designs in North Carolina. She embraces the colors in paintings and then formulates many earring designs and color palettes from those paintings, then she releases them as a jewelry art collection. I am one of those rare women who don't wear earrings because I've never had my ears pierced, but I was drawn to her Mad about Plaid-Holiday collection. Her latest inspiration is the Pink Champagne Celebration collection with beautiful greens, pinks, and reds.

 I love reading the McRae Design website because artist Jen McRae tells the story of why she chose the path that she did with her color choices and pattern collaborations. Jen has also branched out into designing to snap clips for your hair and mask/wallet clutches. I think Jen is most fond of plaid, and since she is located in Scotland County in the town of Laurinburg, plaid designs certainly fit her brand well. 

plaid hair clips

I basically live in Zyia Active Wear these days. I joke that I wear it to type 100 words per minute.  The first purchase I made was Zyia's Bomber bra, and now I've thrown away all of my old bras, and I only wear Zyia Active sports bras. I love them.  I also live in the Zyia Light and Tight Leggings and a half- zip pullover.  I'm wearing those three Zyia Active items from TL Style Boutique, which is also a sponsor of the OutaboutNC pop-up.  

Kim was the one who helped keep me all organized with these pop-up events. Zyia Active is a lifestyle clothing brand founded by Erin Bradley, a fellow cheer mom. No doubt, cheer moms are unstoppable. I'm so impressed with the brand. 

dog in stroller with woman wearing Zyia Activewear

green pocket  1/2  zip pullover from Zyia Active

purple bomber bra from Zyia Active

Zyia Active has something for every body type  I truly love my Zyia light and tight leggings and Zyia sports bras. I get sad when I have to put them in the wash. I think I need a pair for every day of the week. I also recommend Zyia underwear. I thank Kim for helping me sponsor the holiday pop-up. I ordered the green pocket half-zip pullover for myself this week because I wanted to own two of them. It is a true staple in my wardrobe. You do not get too hot in the house, but yet it is easy to layer without being bulky

customized-name-braclets in a variety of colors from Raleighwood Beads

Colorful Nutcracker necklaces

pink and cobalt blue bead braclet

Each Raleighwood Beads necklace, bracelet, or earrings have a unique name. If you see something you like from Instagram, it can be recreated with a similar look, but would still be one of a kind.  The bracelet pictured above is called the Brenna Bracelet. It features a beautiful cobalt blue patterned bead. 

Raleighwood Beads Owner and Designer Carolyne Grizer never make the same jewelry design twice. She will work with you to customize your own design, and each design is unique. One of her bestselling items during the holidays is the whimsical Nutcracker necklace. Carolyne loved beads as a child, and she would be fascinated with all the beads in Michaels. Not living in Raleigh during her childhood, but close enough to make day trips, her Dad would announce, "Lets' go to Raleighwood!" hence the inspiration for the name behind her Raleighwood Beads jewelry.  Raleighwood Beads designs can be found in many local NC boutiques. 

Epicure multipurpose steamer filled with chicken parmesean accompanied by a green salad and pasta noodles

I am thrilled to introduce the Canadian company, Epicure, as one of my latest blog affiliates. Epicure was founded by Sylvia Rochette in 1997.  Like many of us today, she was a busy mom who wanted to eat clean and healthy but needed to quickly get dinner on the table. She developed time-saving silicon cookware that can be used in both the oven and microwave.  Epicure is a household name in Canada and launched into the U.S market last fall.

 Epicure helps time-starved families get affordable and simple meal solutions on the table from raw to ready in 20 minutes or less.  All ingredients in its healthy seasoning mixes are clean, non-processed, and gluten-free.  I have fallen in love with Epicure products because it is what I needed in 2020 to make life in my kitchen easier.  The first product any person should buy is the Epicure multipurpose steamer.  It is a true workhorse in the kitchen. I used it for Thanksgiving with so many dishes, and without it, I don't think I could have made as many dishes as I did. There are tons of Epicure multipurpose steamer recipes. 

Creamy mashed potatoes in the Epicure multipurpose steamer

With the Epicure steamer, you can make entire meals such as steamer chicken parmesan in eight minutes and steamer buttery mashed potatoes in ten minutes.  It has truly become one of my favorite products. The best deal is to get the Epicure steamy dinners collection which includes three meals that can be cooked in the steamer.  Join my A Dash of Flavor with Leigh Powell Hines group on Facebook. 


Holiday Shopping Made Easy: Shop the #OutaboutNC Virtual Small Biz Holiday Pop-Up Market

2020 will go down in history as the year the world stopped being what we were used to living in daily.  We stopped basically everything we loved, and unfortunately, many people lost people who they loved.


In 2020, we are more attached to the internet than in any year prior. Travel stopped. Eating in restaurants stopped. Shopping in person stopped. Retail stores closed down for months, and to survive, many retail stores had to turn to online sales to survive the economy. 

Callahan's of Calabash Opened an Online Store During COVID in NC

For my OutaboutNC community on Instagram, my focus is 100 percent on North Carolina, the same place where I have called home for a lifetime. When I started my #OutaboutNC chats on IGTV in late March, getting to know the individuals behind North Carolina's businesses put a little spark in my step in 2020.  

These local businesses have had to pivot with some developing an online store for the first time ever. Even I have somewhat pivoted in a new direction during COVID as my HouseStalker YouTube Show shoots halted, and travel and leisure content became limited. 

I've put more emphasis on working with brand affiliates, which align with my lifestyle such as my passion for clean beauty education/advocacy with Beautycounter. This beauty and skincare brand is a leader in the Clean Beauty industry with a Never-List of about 1800 questionable or harmful ingredients not allowed in its products.  My Beautycounter affiliate is now a primary source of revenue to support this blog over sponsorships, enabling me to keep the majority of my OutaboutNC and blog content editorial. 

Beautycounter wrapped up a three-month partnership with Sephora, and awareness about health over beauty is now greater than ever. More and more companies are cleaning up their act and making more products safer for consumers. My #BetterBeauty VIP group on Facebook shares all brands of Clean Beauty and helps educate consumers to make better choices at all price points. I also offer flash sales and discounts. 

For my latest #OutaboutNC project, I hand-picked vendors throughout North Carolina to work with me on a virtual holiday pop-up market for three weekends in October, November, and December. My longtime friend, Kim Prejs, of Teach Learn Style.com, is also sponsoring the event with her main affiliate, Zyia Active, a new favorite brand. 

The NC Small Biz Holiday Pop-Up

NC Small Business Pop-Up Participants

Wellness by Ari, located in Matthews, NC. Ari candles are made using 100% natural ingredients, starting with organic hemp wick and beeswax. 

Curry Wilkinson Pottery, located in Burlington, NC. This NC artisan specializes in jewelry, gifts, and pottery decor made on-site in its pottery studio. 

Hometown Goodie Boxes, based in La Grange, NC, This online shop specializes in gift boxes filled with NC made food/products. 

Callahan's Of Calabash,  located in Calabash, NC. This popular gift store has 35,000 retail space and has been a staple on the North/South Carolina border for forty years. Callahan's debuted its new online shop in 2020.  

Our October pop-up shop will be hosted in a special online Facebook group, and we will also share some items on Instagram. Join the pop-up shop on Facebook. Also, respond to our event RSVP as well so more people can learn about it. 

We will be having a few other vendors join us for our November and December pop-ups. 

Each vendor will be hosting a giveaway for one of the events. In October, everyone who joins the October 9-11 pop will be registered to win one of our two October gifts. 

This adorable fall patchwork pumpkin gnome from Callahan's will look great in your home for a festive fall.

Hometown Goodie Boxes has put together an exclusive goodie box for one lucky winner who attends the pop-up. 

The winner will enjoy a hot cup of tea from Asheville Tea Company. Working closely with local growers, Asheville Tea creates unique blends using botanicals, herbs, and other natural ingredients. From the piedmont area of NC, Lindley Mills organic muffin mix is healthy, easy, and delicious! A 10th generation organic specialty flour mill, Lindley Mills'  Muffin Mix is great alone, just add water, or toss in your favorite fruits, nuts, or chocolate chips. Top off your hot muffin with delicious peach preserves from Deans Farm Market in Wilson, NC. A local working farm, Deans Farm, gathers local produce at its peak, capturing the essence of that peach taste. 

We look forward to you attending the October 9-11 OutaboutNC Small Biz Holiday Pop-Up.

Sponsored by Beautycounter with Leigh Powell Hines and Zyia Active with Kim Prejs

Beautycounter and Zyia  Active: Two Great Brands


NC Travel after COVID: Fall in Love and Feel Safe with The Chetola Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains

185 Chetola Lake Dr, Blowing Rock, NC 28605, USA

Travel in 2020 has been a downer. For many, it has been non-existent. With hotels and restaurants closed, COVID quarantine restrictions, many traveler's plans were scrapped, or people were afraid of traveling. My own family vacation to France and Germany came to a screeching halt. No flights going to France made that decision automatically for us. Still, even if traveling continued all summer during this health crisis, I do not believe we would have continued with our plans to Europe at all. More than likely, we would have canceled them on our own. 

Lucky for me, I live in North Carolina. I have a beautiful state to explore in my own backyard. North Carolina ranked sixth in the nation for overnight visitation in tourism last year. In fact, North Carolina was on an upward swing in tourism spending in all 100 counties. 

The lake on the Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, NC
The Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, NC

Unfortunately, no one could predict the massive tourism halt that COVID caused in 2020.  Hotels and restaurants were closed to guests for months. When they slowly started opening at 50% capacity, they were faced with the public hesitation about travel in general and the additional responsibility of extra sanitation and safety diligence. 

Chetola Resort Lodge

During quarantine, I launched a new Live Interview Chat from my home office on OutaboutNC Instagram. Each week, that interview segment became my weekly dose of joy and my new connection to NC.  When Governor Roy Cooper announced the state could operate in Phase 2 of COVID Restrictions, I interviewed management with the Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock. It was one of the first hotels in North Carolina to undergo the new "Count on Me NC" NCRLA Safety Certification. 

After that interview with Chetola, I had the itch to travel and look at something besides my living room.  Will was more skittish about travel than I was. However, he was sad about missing our trip to Europe.

Leigh Powell Hines, founder of OutaboutNC/HinesSightBlog Visits the Chetola Resort during COVID

After some sweet talk-coaxing, I convinced Will that getting away would be excellent for our family's mental health.  Let me rephrase that. I did say it would be good for our mental health, but I also flat out announced I would take the Chetola Resort up on its offer for a press trip. He could stay home and work or go with us to the mountains, but COVID would not stop me. I felt confident in the steps the resort put into place after my interview.  I also was so tired of cooking in quarantine that the thought of getting room-service was really appealing. 

My list of pros for visiting the Chetola Resort was strong. 

I stressed that the hotel was taking a full 24-hours between guests to clean rooms during COVID. This top-ranked North Carolina mountain resort, located on 78-acres between the mountain towns of Boone and Blowing Rock, has received many housekeeping accolades throughout the years, so cleanliness has always been a resort strength. Still, that strength is even more critical in 2020 and is at the top of every guest's check-list due to the COVID circumstances. 

The Chetola Resort recently received the AAA "Best of Housekeeping" Award.  Following CDC guidelines, masks were also required in all public spaces. Temperatures of all guests were being taken at the entry gate before checking-in

The resort's Timberlake restaurant served at 50 percent capacity, offering take-out, room service, and outside seating.  The hotel also had a list of restaurants at the Front Desk that offered outdoor dining and take-out in Blowing Rock and Boone. 

Another strong pro travel point I gave to Will was there were activities for us to do on the property, so it would definitely feel like a vacation. The pro there for safety is that there was a lot to do outside while staying on the resort property.  If we didn't feel safe leaving the resort to go into Boone or Blowing Rock, we would be entertained with tennis courts, resort activities,  hiking, and swimming. 

The Blowing Rock-Boone area is also an easy drive two to three-hour drive from Raleigh. It is shorter in length than a trip to the Asheville area. 

And last, but certainly not least, our dog, Andy, could go with us to Blowing Rock for this get-away. The Chetola Resort is pet-friendly in the newly-renovated Chetola Lodge only. The condos available for reservations through the hotel reservation system and The Bob Timberlake Inn do not allow pets.  VRBO rentals on resort property for individual condos could possibly allow four-legged friends if you want to stay on the resort property in a larger space. 

Pet-friendly Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, NC

Andy our poodle loved the Chetola Resort.  

I could not think of one negative con to put on the list for not making the trip. However, we did agree that if either one of us did not feel comfortable about something while staying at the resort when it came to COVID safety, we would leave even if on a press trip. 

Luckily for us, there was not one concern during our three-night stay at the Chetola Resort, and we had the best family vacation that we've had in a very long time. It was relaxing, and just like its name in the Cherokee language was meant to be,  Chetola is a truly a "haven of rest." I think everyone needs to visit the North Carolina mountains and enjoy this resort in any season. 

The Chetola Lodge is my Preferred Lodging Choice

I like the location of the Chetola Lodge, which is the resort's pet-friendly option for guests. There are 42 modern, nicely decorated, and also in this building is resort ware and local sundries, including the best cider from Appalachian Mountain Brewery. The lodge is adjacent to the Bob Timberlake Restaurant and all the resort amenities such as the indoor pool, the spa, and recreational activities ran by the hotel. 

The Bob Timberlake Inn is operated more like a Bed and Breakfast manor above the resort's restaurant in the estate's old manor house. It's a romantic hideaway for couples only featuring a complimentary cheese and wine reception plus a butler's pantry for ice cream and drinks.  The inn rooms depict artist Bob Timberlake's craftsman furnishing style and feature period furnishings from the 1920s to the 1940s. 

The Chetola Premier Condominiums make up the majority of accommodations on the scenic 78-acres. One hundred one to four-bedroom-condos are individually owned, and many are available for both nightly and weekly rental through both the resort. 

Chetola Resort Condos

Condos are dotted throughout the estate, and some condos are a mile or so away from the restaurant and resort activities.  All condominium guests have access to resort amenities, but they do not have housekeeping services. Condos under the resort's management are not pet-friendly. 

Check-In and Housekeeping During COVID

The Chetola resort has implemented a touchless check-in service since reopening after COVID, and the housekeeping staff does not enter your room once you have checked-in. Each morning, I greeted housekeeping in the hall, got fresh towels, and replenished coffee supplies. Our room was spotless, and I did not have one concern about cleanliness. 

I loved our balcony overlooking the resort lake, and all of you know that this type of vacation is my cup of tea. We are not very active. Some may call my family boring, but we had enough adventure and relaxation mixed in with this stay, and we left feeling relaxed and rested as opposed to being on the go. 

The Spa at Chetola Has Medical Grade Ventilation Fans in Treatment Rooms

Spa services are back open at Chetola. This was my first time visiting the spa on the property, even though it was my third time staying at the resort. The Chetola spa is tucked away adjacent to the indoor pool. It's full-service but small in capacity even before COVID.  In 2020, spa capacity is so low now for that safety reasons that you feel as if you have been whisked away like a Hollywood Star, and you are the only person they are pampering. The resort is spacing out their appointments, so that will be the case. It is truly a magical experience, and probably at the top of my spa experience list. 

The spa at the Chetola Resort

The Chetola Resort spa menu is extensive, and they are offering their full-spa menu except for a couple massage.  Spa guests are asked to receive spa services in a mask. 

When this spa first opened, it was built as a medical-grade spa, and that is now a blessing for the resort because the ventilation is top-notch, which is another plus that makes guests feel more comfortable post-COVID.

This spa experience was so great that I think it would make the perfect girlfriend getaway for a spa weekend. Blowing Rock is known for its adorable shops, great food, and add a visit to this spa and resort, then you will have a perfect getaway. 

On-Site Chetola Resort Recreation

Archery lessons at the Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, NC

The Chetola Resort offers so many fun activities for the family such as campfire s'mores, paddleboat rides, archery lessons, disc golf, tennis, pickleball, lake fishing, and hiking. My family loved the archery lessons. While the girls toured all the accommodations on the property with marketing, Will and my son got in a game of disc golf.  That was also great exercise because the course took them throughout the resort's sprawling condominium area. 

The premier condo area at the Chetola Resort in Blue Ridge Mountains

Chetola Sporting Reserve

The sporting reserve within the Chetola Resort
The Chetola Resort Sporting Reserve is off-site of the main property and is about a 30-minute drive away from the resort. 

The Chetola Resort operates a state-of-the-art sporting reserve about thirty minutes away from the resort. To get there, you basically go up a mountain then back down a steep cliff. I did not visit the reserve, but Will and my son decided to reserve a spot for shooting. They loved the experience. Will thought there was a lot of value for the approximate $200 cost for the two of them. I think this activity was a highlight for some father and son bonding. Meanwhile, Andy, my daughter, and I tried the paddle boats and kayaking. 

Recreational activities at Chetola Resort

The Sporting Reserve features clay shooting, rifle and pistol range,  archery, Orvis endorsed fly fishing and special events. The sporting reserve also coordinates snow skiing, tubing, zip-lining, golf at Hound Ears Club and white water rafting. 

Timberlake's Restaurant at the Chetola Resort 

Chetola Resort Timberlake's Restaurant serving casual, comfort-style food.

I like to save the best for last when I write about hotel stays. Guests need to eat, and when a resort restaurant is good, that makes a hotel stay even better, especially in this post-COVID travel time.  For us, dining at Timberlake's was an easy choice, especially because Andy was with us on this trip.

Patio dining with a dog in Blowing Rock at Chetola Resort

 As sweet and cute that he may be, Andy is, unfortunately, a high maintenance traveler and barks when he is left alone in a room. We had no choice but to take him with us wherever we dined.  

Under the culinary leadership of Matt Rivers, Timberlake's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It has a very casual, comfort-food style, and Bob Timberlake, a foodie, gave his seal of approval before putting his name behind any menu item.  We ate two dinners and one lunch at the restaurant. One last dinner at the resort was a carry-out meal that we ate on our porch. 

I was extremely impressed with the food, and that's nothing new for me because when I visited the resort years ago, I felt the food was very memorable then.  I plan to share one of Matt River's recipes on this blog soon for the home chef. 

The special lunch order request for the delicious Korean BBQ short ribs

The Korean BBQ short ribs was a clear family favorite entree.  I had it with delicious collards and golden roasted potatoes. My youngest child, after tasting my entree,  loved the short ribs so much that we had to ask if they would make a lunch portion for her.  It's also important to note that our waitress had no idea that I was there working with the resort for an editorial review. She immediately asked the chef if that was possible. He had not even met me yet, but Chef Rivers was so thrilled that some child would want his Korean BBQ shortribs for lunch that he gave her a huge portion.

I personally think the gesture speaks volumes about the resort's customer service. Staff from housekeeping to the front desk make this resort so special. Resorts can have the most beautiful views and facilities, but if customer-service is off then a guest's stay is off. I feel 100 percent confident in recommending this resort to vacationers.  The  Chetola Resort is a family-owned resort, and by its customer service, it shows.  They treat their staff like family and the attitude is passed on to its guests. 

The sesame ginger dressing was divine. It was so good that I almost licked the bowl. 

I must point out that this area of the North Carolina mountains has great food in general. Some of the meals I had at other area restaurants are some of my best tasting meals in 2020.  Be sure to watch my live interview with Chef Matt Kelly on Timberlake's patio. He shares some hints about how he makes his Korean BBQ and the sesame dressing I adored. 

Resort Packages at the Chetola Resort 

Many resort packages are bundled together for travel savings. We experienced the resort's doggone friendly package. At the front desk, there was a welcome sign for all the guests with four paws. Typically, pet owners are assigned to the first floor of the lodge for easy access. 

When the doggone friendly package is active (it goes in and out on the calendar and is a popular summer package), the pet-fee is waived, and dogs get a complimentary bandana, leash, doggie treats, and pup bags in a cute fire hydrant dispenser. 

Dogs and humans have plenty of places to walk on the resort

Whether you escape for two-nights or a week, you will fall in love with the Chetola Resort. I did. 

The Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, NC, a Western NC mountain town on the Blue  Ridge Parkway, is pet-friendly

Read some of my older Blowing Rock area posts when my kids were a lot younger. 

Check out more recent  posts about this beautiful area in the NC Mountains from my friends at NC Tripping.com

13 Wonderful Hikes Near Blowing Rock, Boone, and Banner Elk

17 Beautiful Waterfalls near Boone, Blowing Rock, and Banner Elk

Glen Burney Trail in Blowing Rock

A Weekend in Blowing Rock: 25 Things To Do, Hotels, and More

We visited the Chetola Resort in July 2020. My editorial writing is funded through my Beautycounter affiliate website. Join my new VIP group on Facebook for Deals and Sales. It pays to shop clean. 

Fall in love with two of my favorite Beautycounter products: Vitamin C-Serum and The Overnight Resurfacing Peel

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