When winter feels like it's lasting forever and spring seems entirely too far away, there’s nothing better than fantastic cold weather jaunts to lift everyone's spirits. No matter whether you prefer indoors and cozy, or outdoors and bracing, Rutherford county has activities to chase away everyone's winter blahs.
Take a Driving Tour
There’s nothing quite like seeing the NC foothills draped in the beauty of winter's majesty, and there’s no warmer way to do so than on a driving tour. History buffs will appreciate the Cherry Bounce Trail. It's a 46.6 mile circle that loosely follows an old moonshiners' route through many of the county’s small towns. This mainly backroads journey has multiple stopping spot points of interest including the Bechtler Mint & Historic Park, the famed Washburn’s General Store, and incredible photo opportunities along the South Mountains Scenery By-Way.
For those who prefer their driving tour to be a bit more 'fruit-full' the Wineries of the Blue Ridge Foothills driving tour will be a delicious adventure. This 72-mile journey passes through four unique vineyards, each with their own vintages and stories. Don't forget to call and secure your tour and tasting room spots ahead of time!
Camp in the Snow
Anyone who enjoys the outdoors will love camping in the snow. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort Golden Valley is a perfect option offering everything from traditional camp and RV sites, to cozy cabins and glamping yurts. Rated one of the best campgrounds in North Carolina, its year round amenities, picturesque views, and family-friendly activities are an ideal way to embrace winter fun. From their onsite gem mine, mini golf course, and hiking options, to evenings of roasting marshmallows by the campfire under a chilly starlit sky -- it's an incredible opportunity to forge winter-weather memories of the forever kind.
Take a Hike
Winter hiking is the joy of nature, the exhilaration of finding that perfect bird's eye view of the world, and the adrenaline-filled rush of pushing yourself to your limits -- all without pesky bugs or stifling heat! No matter whether you prefer an easy-going trail like the Purple Martin Greenway, or multiple adventurous options of difficulty like Buffalo Creek Park, Chimney Rock State Park, or the South Mountains Game Lands; there’s a trail to fit perfectly with everyone's ability (and agility!) level. Canine companions are welcome on the majority of trails, so click here to find your favorite and embrace the outdoors!
Photograph the Season
Nothing says winter beauty like a photograph enveloping the stillness of sleeping forests and foothills. Snap a selfie from an overlook point around Golden Valley, memorialize a panoramic view from atop Chimney Rock, or catalog the season's natural beauty with photos of frolicking feathered friends along the Dittmer-Watts Nature Trail. Chimney Rock State Park even offers monthly photography classes and contests if you want to plan ahead and up your picture-taking game. No matter how you snap it, you'll have a gallery of cozy memories that are sure to chase the chill away.
Hot Cocoa Hopping
Who says 'hopping' adventures have to be of the bar variety! When it's cold outdoors there's nothing better than a steaming cup of hot cocoa to sweeten the chill, and no better place to find it than in the small towns of Rutherford County. From Coffee on the Rocks at the base of Chimney Rock, to Main Street Coffee and Small Town Coffee Roasters in Rutherfordton, to Howl Coffee Company and Twisted Pear Taproom and Coffee House in Forest City; you're sure to find the perfect cup of cocoa that will warm you to the core.
If winter hibernation has you feeling a bit pasty, there's nothing like the rejuvenation of a spa day. From heavenly customized facials at Blake's Spa in Forest City, to luxurious wraps, scrubs, and massages at the Irongate Spa and Rumbling Bald Spa & Salon in Lake Lure, or The Esmeralda Spa in Chimney Rock; you'll walk away feeling refreshed, renewed, and ready to take on the world. It's the perfect way to put a little 'spring' back in your step midwinter!
Want to warm up from the inside out? Book a tour and tasting at Defiant Whiskey's Blue Ridge Distillery. Known as the 'Spirit of Golden Valley', this unique distillery produces award winning bourbon whiskey that's sure to warm your soul.
Chase Away the Winter Blues!
Warm up your winter with a day, weekend, or even week-long trip to the North Carolina foothills. From indoor activities to outdoor frolics, Rutherford county's welcoming small towns will bring warmth to your world no matter how cold the weather. Go to VisitNCSmallTowns today and plan your perfect getaway. A lifetime worth of beautiful memories is here and waiting for you!