Sometimes everyone feels the need to get away, but the incessant pull of everyday life thwarts it. Let's face it. We all need that moment of validation when contemplating leaving the duties & stresses of day to day responsibilities behind. No worries. We're here to help! The month of March may host the official beginning of Spring, but opportunities for nationally recognized holidays during March tend to be few and far between. We've found a few obscure ones that are sure to make the yearning to get away from life's humdrum realities a necessary one to follow!
March 3rd: World Wildlife Day
World Wildlife Day is on Tuesday, March 3rd this year. What better way to celebrate our area's incredible array of wildlife than a trip to Chimney Rock State Park's Animal Discovery Den? Take the chance to learn more about the many species that call the park home, and even enjoy a stroll through the park's butterfly & moth garden. Admission is free with your park entry fee, so you can enjoy the Chimney Rock hikes and sights too. Visit ChimneyRockPark.com for details and park admission information.
For those who revel in the thought of celebrating the region’s wildlife friends to the fullest, make a long weekend of it! Chimney Rock Village offers distinctively quaint inns, lodges, and motels all within walking distance of the village’s Main Street. Just down the road are stunning location experiences like the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge, Dittmer-Watts Nature Trail Park, and of course, Chimney Rock Park itself. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the enchanting variety of wildlife Western North Carolina has to offer and enjoy a phenomenal long weekend in the process!
March 19th: Spring Equinox,
March 20th: International Day of Happiness,
March 21st: International Day of Forests / World Poetry Day
It's rather poetic (pun intended) that these three holidays occur in succession this year. Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth, forests showcase some of the best that create the poetry of springtime, and sandwiching it all together with an international day of happiness means there's no better reason to get out and embrace the new season!
The Spring Equinox was traditionally celebrated in ancient times with offerings to the god Dionysus, who reigned over fertility, wine, flowering plants, theater, and poetry. Journeys to megalith monuments (like Stonehenge) were traditionally a way to honor Dionysus, and fortunately, our area has an incredible natural megalith that inspires equal amounts of awe. Chimney Rock, the towering 535 million-year-old monolith known as one of North Carolina’s most iconic sites, offers breathtaking 75-mile panoramic views from atop its 315-foot peak. No matter whether you hike to its uppermost plateau via the park’s Outcroppings Trail, or take their state-of-the-art elevator to access this amazing view, the poetry of the scenic landscape is sure to leave you breathless.
If you enjoy the poetry of forests and the great outdoors in more of a “speed reader” format, take advantage of one of Lake Lure’s zipline tours. Canopy Ridge Farm offers 6 different ziplines each up to 100 feet in height for a stunning view of the farm’s 60 acres of forests, gorges, and hillsides. Boulderline Adventure Programs offers ridge to ridge zipline tours, kid-zipline options, and even “night flights” that include headlamps and glow paint for a whole new perspective on forested beauty. If your brand of happy is a bit more of the indoor variety, take in a live dinner theater show at the Maple Street Theater in Rutherfordton, or immerse yourself in all forms of visual arts at Rutherford county’s Visual Arts Center. Rent a cabin with a picturesque view or take advantage of the sumptuous scenery paired with pampering spa offerings at the 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Irongate Spa or the Rumbling Bald Resort on Lake Lure. No matter what you decide, it’s sure to be a weekend of self-created poetry and happiness that will leave you with beautiful memories for years to come.
March 23rd: National Puppy Day
You’d be hard-pressed to find a greater way to celebrate the special relationship between your and your favorite furry companion than to get out and share some serious QT, and there’s no better day to do it than National Puppy Day! Make your daily walk an adventure on one of Rutherford county's many dog-friendly hiking trails. Take a journey along the railroad line that once linked much of western North Carolina on the Thermal Belt Rail Trail. Dogs are always welcome to travel this newly renovated 13.58-mile path with their humans, and there’s even a dog park just past the 11-mile marker for the chance to enjoy some off-leash fun. Buffalo Creek Park in Lake Lure is 1,527 acres of multiple dog-friendly trails and its Weed Patch Mountain Trail links to Chimney Rock State Park at the incredible Eagle Rock.
If frolicking a bit closer to civilization is more your game, you and your favorite companion will love wandering along the Rocky Broad River Walk in Chimney Rock Village. This serene walking trail runs parallel to the village’s Main Street, offers lots of boulders and rock outcropping for exploring along the Rocky Broad, and provides easy access to the village’s many canine-friendly outdoor dining options for when both of you need to sit down and enjoy watching the world go by over a bowl of water and a brew. If you’re looking to make a weekend of it, check out Four Paws Kingdom and Campground. They’re hosting their season-opening weekend March 20th - 21st. This year’s event offers everything from leash and trick training with certified trainers to onsite massages and even a cocktail competition (for the humans .. not the dogs). Talk about celebrating National Puppy Day weekend in style!
March is a beautiful month and even without major holidays, there are still plenty of reasons to treat yourself to a real getaway from the daily grind. Still contemplating? Get moving! Visit the
Rutherford county travel & tourism website for even more options & create the perfect holiday of your own making. When it comes to memory-filled journeys, there’s always a reason to be found.