Upcoming events and news about the sounding area of Rocky Mount North Carolina Eastern North Carolina, promoting the New Belmont Lake Community and Golf Club.


In this post, we will continue through what we called in our previous post, your monthly doses of much needed “me time.” Basically, to add positive change and focus on you enjoying your amazing surroundings, we followed the suggestions laid out on the Only in Your State website. Those ideas were to take advantage of the unique weather we get in each season. Likewise, in doing so, there was an NC Monthly One Day Trip for you to embark on throughout the entire year.

In our first post in this two-part series, we brought you through six amazing locations to visit. Covering the months of January through June in that introductory piece, we move along from the “dog days” of Summer in July and take you to the end of your NC Monthly One Day Trip journeys in December. Again, each of these stops epitomizes the wonderous outdoors and scenic beauty of your home state since you’ve moved into your new home in Rocky Mount. Consequently, much like we state about your new home community Belmont Lake Preserve, when you take the time to have a plan for yourself, “you are never too far from there.” 

Your NC Monthly One Day Trip Schedule Continues through the Heat of Summer Towards Fall

Ok, we all know and love those four seasons we get here in NC right? Well, the term “love” may sometimes come into question with the extreme heat and high temperatures we reach in July and august sometimes.\Regardless, this is your “you time,” remember. These months just like all the others will find you continuing your amazing NC Monthly One Day Trip voyage. Can you beat the heat? Come on, of course, we can, there are plenty of amazing stops left, let’s get started.

July- Sand Dollar Island, Morehead City

Time to “strike it rich” on your NC Monthly One Day Trip, as July brings you to Morehead City, where you take the ferry over to Sand Dollar Island. Plenty of beach, plenty of water. Plenty of ways to enjoy a gorgeous hot, summer day in North Carolina. Be sure to take home some sand dollars or any amazing shells and the like that you may find. Oh, and try and stay cool in this heat, ok?!?

August- Salty Pirate, Emerald Isle

Ok, we know, so those steamy days in July…they remain steamy hot through August, too. But as we continue your NC Monthly One Day Trip itinerary. Just as we planned for last month’s stop, it is essential in enjoying your “you time” that in July and August these destinations are near or on water. Unlike July, when we “hit the beach,” August finds you in Emerald Isle to one of the most classic, old-time water parks in the entire country, Salty Pirate Water park. Not to be confused with the more modern-day version of a water park, Salty Pirate is a throwback to or childhoods and simpler times. Features include old school tube water slides, toboggan slides, and even a main pool which is painted as a pirate ship. Sitting steps away from the gorgeous beach at Emerald Isle, this is another perfect day that awaits you.

September- Shatley Springs, Crumpler

As the temperatures finally seem to start dropping slightly, your next NC Monthly One Day Trip brings you on another scenic journey. Upon reaching your desired spot, you arrive in Crumpler at The Restaurant at Shatley Springs. As it commonly is referred to, the “legendary restaurant in the middle of nowhere,” is exactly where you want to be. Sure, the food is delicious, and you’ll want to try it for sure there are many more interesting aspects at this site of a mineral spring that was first discovered in 1890. Stop into the unique variety stores, check out the jewelry and arts and crafts, and if you ever wanted to extend past your day, feel free to rent an on-site cabin overnight.

October- Hickory Nut Falls , Chimney Rock

In our first post, we went through the winter and took you snow tubing. The summer months above found you nearby some type of body of water at all times. Now into October, and your NC Monthly One Day Trip, and it’s all about the Fall in North Carolina. Anyone who knows the Fall in North Carolina knows it’s the season for breathtaking scenery and fall foliage. When we say Hickory Nut falls is your destination, you actually will be looking at those falls from Chimney Rock State Park. Known statewide as one of the most beautiful spots to just enjoy the surrounding nature, the park does give an awesome view of the 404-foot waterfall, which was featured in the 1992 movie, “The Last of the Mohicans.”

November- North Carolina Renaissance Festival, Huntersville

For November’s NC Monthly One Day Trip we bring you back in time. In medieval times actually, you will visit Huntersville and the Medieval Village of Fairhaven. This stop for those who didn’t figure it out yet is the North Carolina Renaissance Festival. The annual festival is one of the largest of its type in the whole U.S. This brings your “personal journey” to a land of make-believe. More. than 100 vendors and hundreds more costumed characters wander around and run many of the day’s events. Sometimes, a journey back through time hundreds of years can be just what you need, right now.

December- Biltmore, Asheville

Ok, it’s the final month of the year and your final NC Monthly One Day Trip. Where else in December? In North Carolina? As the Holidays Approach? Where else could we possibly direct you than to Asheville’s iconic Biltmore. Not only is this one of the most impressive and spectacular places to visit statewide all year, but their amazing decor and holiday spirit make the Biltmore in. December a “must-see” at some point. Whether it’s the enormous, 35-foot Christmas tree in the banquet hall, the overwhelming 135,000 square foot castle completely decorated for the holiday or the other 55 trees that adorn this classic estate, or something else, this last stop is certainly a grand stop and a fitting way top draw close to your journey

The End of the Year Has Come for Your NC Monthly One Day Trip. 

You’ve seen the four seasons in all of their glory. But you only took the on the day at a time approach. You have seen an incredible array of events and places that truly show who and what North Carolina and its residents are all about. Consequently, it all began just by taking a small amount of time, even just one day a month, and staying true to a promise to yourself. Oh, and making it to some of these scenic and normally out of the way you have experienced in a year the full spectrum of what a North Carolina is all about. All it took was to just set aside some “you time.”

For any information on the Belmont Lake Preserve new home and golf community, visit belmontlakepreserve.com.


With the year that many have had in 2020, it’s an understatement to say a new year would be welcome by most at any time! But once this new year does come, just as many do every year, what truly do you go out and change in your life to make it more enjoyable? It is a common joke that people declare their “resolutions” for a year, but then never quite own up to or stay true to them. Well, only you can change and make that extra time for yourself, and likewise, only you can decide what exactly this new “you time” consists of. At the beginning of 2020, the tourism website “Only in Your State” offered an idea for just this type of thing. It was there suggested that one take One NC Day Trip Per Month to a Special Location.

So, where exactly does one consider to be a “special location?” This would be the logical follow-up question in moving towards taking One NC Day Trip Per a Month. Well, as you have come to see since relocating to your new home in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve, the amazing outdoor activities and destinations across the state are seemingly endless. However, with your one day per month for these “trips,” we have laid out an awe-inspiring agenda for “you time” in the upcoming year.

This will be the first in a two-part series and will take you from January-June. In our follow up post, we will finish off your One NC Day Trip Per Month “agenda” for July through December.

Starting Your One NC Day Trip Per Month Schedule: Late Winter into Spring

Another key factor in choosing the move to Belmont lake Preserve, Rocky Mount, and North Carolina, for that matter is its four distinct weather patterns for its four distinct seasons.

Well, staying true to that pattern we will center your One NC Day Trip Per Month around taking advantage of this weather…and we will take advantage of it one day per month, all year long.

January- McGailliard Falls Park, Valdese

To kick start the year, we suggest you wait for one of those uncharacteristically warm January North Carolina days. The weather need not be perfect, but for the first One NC Day Trip Per Month, we explore McGailliard Falls Park. Now when we say “explore,” at this site, located in Valdese, we truly mean it. Enjoy the hidden 40-foot waterfall sitting next to a historic mill right inside a beautiful city park. Pack up a picnic and let yourself truly enjoy the serenity of this majestic location.

February- Hawks Nest Snow Tubing, Seven Devils

Our number two One NC Day Trip Per Month brings us to February and the largest snow tubing park on the entire East Coast. Whereas in January we waited for that elusive warm winter day, not needed this month. Even if there has not been actual snowfall, as long as temperatures reach cold enough temperature, they make their own snow at Hawks Nest, so all you need to worry about is steering that tube!

March- Lazy 5 Ranch, Mooresville

So far as the winter months slowly head toward Spring, we’ve had two entirely different, but wholly amazing experiences. Well, we won’t let the One NC Day Trip Per Month “streak” of amazement end, especially not if you’re an animal lover. Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville is our March day trip. This up close and personal wildlife experience takes you by wagon or you can take your car “on safari.” You will see and interact along this 3.5-mile journey with animals from six different continents that have been raised here at Lazy 5 Ranch.

As the Temperatures Rise, So do options For More One NC Day Trip Per Month

Winter is hopefully in our review mirror by the time March has given way until April. The Spring season is truly a season of beauty here in the “Tar Heel State.” Hence, moving along with your One NC Day Trip Per Month you will experience that beauty first hand. Let’s get back “on the trail,” shall we

April- Covered Bridge at Ole Gilliam Mill Park, Sanford

Scenic. Historic. A true time tested treasure is our first stop of the “swing into Spring.,” This 140-foot long covered bridge is actually the longest covered bridge in the entire state. This stop among your One NC Day Trip Per Month schedule is all about the sights, sounds, and scents of Spring. Connected to this walk back in time is a park that appropriately includes a near-exact replica of an old mill that once sat on this land before being washed away by floods. But back to the present time and more importantly your monthly voyage, soak in and enjoy the amazing array of spring blooms on your scenic drive to this destination. Likewise, continue enjoying all the way home until next month.

May- Cheerwine Festival, Salisbury

Nothing, and we mean nothing (well almost nothing) screams North Carolina like Cheerwine! The delicious soft drink that was born out of our home state has been delighting people with its sweet and bubbly cherry goodness for over 100 years. Now, readying for its fifth year in existence is your next One NC Day Trip Per Month destination…Salisbury’s Cheerwine Festival! The last festival in 2019 drew over 50,000 people to Salisbury to celebrate all things Cheerwine. Street performers, food vendors, live music, fun, and every possible recipe that could include Cheerwine you could ever imagine. Now, this was a day trip that truly cements your place as a North Carolinian!

June- North Carolina Zoo, Asheboro

The Spring has long passed, and the rainy or more mildly warm days are few and far between. Simply said, it’s hot, and it’s Summer in North Carolina. Yes, there are plenty of places statewide to enjoy on a gorgeous summer day. However, many do not realize that right here in Asheboro is not only your next One NC Day Trip Per Month is to the largest zoo in the world that features natural habitats for the animals. Just before the heat of June flames up even higher in July and August, June is the perfect time to visit the North Carolina Zoo. It’s also the perfect time for a visit to the grasslands of Africa, the North American Prairie, and all the habitats, right here in NC.

Continuing on Your NC One Day Trip Per Month Get-Aways From Red Hot to Ice Cold

In our next, follow-up post, we will take you through the last six months of the year and more specifically layout your day trip agenda from July through December. With the heat reaching in highest and the cold sinking its lowest within this upcoming six months, who knows where the trail to more positive “you time” will bring you. The one thing that we can be sure of is that it will be amazing, and it will be NC.

For any more information on the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community in Rocky Mount, visit belmontlakepreserve.com.


The colder winter months can at times drag down the spirits of anyone. A yearning for the flowers of Spring and the warm, Summer sun is easy to imagine as we move through January. However, since relocating to Belmont Lake Preserve, your new home in Rocky Mount puts you in a central location to all points in NC. Thus, with some planning, there is some fun awaiting and reasons to get out from under the blanket and enjoy the winter. This can be done by planning a trip for any of the following North Carolina Winter Activities.

Many different people certainly have many different tastes when it comes to events and activities in the winter. North Carolina offers plenty for all, whether they enjoy hitting the mountains to ski, cozying up at a spa or resort, or any other “getaway.” Below, we will briefly remind you of the great options you have for North. Carolina Winter Activities.

North Carolina Winter Activities: Hitting the Slopes

Skiing is no question one of the most popular sports, especially for people to take part in themselves. The wintertime is in many cases and locations, actually the only time of year that you can ski. Whether a lifelong skier who loves a trip to the mountains to ski or an interesting first timer, who needs help and instructions, if skiing is your choice among North Carolina Winter Activities, the fun will be certainly in the forecast. Likewise, that fun awaits at each of the following spots.

Beech Mountain Ski Resort

Located at 1007 Beech Mountain Parkway in Beech Mountain, NC, this is the actual highest ski area on the east coast of America. Your veteran skiers will love the slopes at Beech Mountain, while the less experienced also have trails and options for them to enjoy, too. Don’t forget once night falls to warm up and have a few cold brews at the on-site Beech Mountain Brewing Company. Consequently, this is one of the only craft breweries nationwide that is run by a ski resort.

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort

When we talk North Carolina Winter Activities, there may be no spot on this list with more try out than at Sugar Mountain. Of course, this resort features some of the best skiing in the “Tar Heel State.” That being said, if you are only familiar with tackling the slopes on skis, there are a few other ways “down the hill” that you may find fun at Sugar Mountain. Snowboarding has become increasingly popular at this location, as has snow tubing. The onsite skating rink also gives you a chance to “lace ’em up” for a skate. There is even an area and trails for snowshoeing here at 1009 Sugar Mountain Drive in Sugar Mountain!

Appalachian Ski Mountain

A trip to Blowing Rock, NC, and the Appalachian Ski Mountain might be the most intriguing of these three for the beginner who wants to learn more about North Carolina Winter Activities. For the more experienced ski and snowboard enthusiasts, you can stay out all day on the slopes. But for those with less “mountain time” under their belts, there is professional help on-site at the French Swiss Ski College. Likewise, the Burton Learn How to Ride Center is available for lessons to those wanting to give snowboarding a try. Regardless, no matter the day’s activities, be sure during your stay at 940 Ski Mountain Road to reserve a cozy and comfy chalet at the Appalachian Ski Resort to settle in come nighttime.

Inns and Spas with North Carolina Winter Activities That “Aren’t so Cold”

Yes, many people are looking for the thrill of the slopes as part of their North Carolina Winter Activities. However, it is safe to say that there are just as many folks looking to stay warm and be pampered to some extent on their trip. What follows are several Inns and Spas that \you can enjoy in NC.

Old Edwards Inn and Spa

First up among the inns and spa-type resorts for our North Carolina Winter Activities one covering both of these. At 445 Main Street in Highlands, NC, is the perfect winter getaway, Old Edwards Inn and Spa. Bask in the awesome scenery as you sit in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition to the spectacular scenery, the spa treatments at Old Edwards are amazing. Beat the cold of winter with treatments such as a vitamin-A facial or fight of illness with their immunity-boosting aromatherapy massage.

Hot Springs Resort and Spa

When many people set out on vacation for some North Carolina Winter Activities, they look for comfort and relaxation. Well, look no further than 315 Bridge Street in Hot Springs, NC. Stay while in town at the Old Edwards! The Hot Springs Resort and Spa is “relaxation central” among stops for North Carolina Winter Activities. Unwind and enjoy a mineral bath with natural mineral water directly from the NC hot springs. It is actually said in Cherokee legend that the water from these springs has healing powers. If nothing else, that’s worth testing out I’d think.

Other Stops for North Carolina Winter Activities: Some Familiar Names and Some Fast-Downhill Games

Your personality and demeanor would no question affect your decision process in the following few North Carolina Winter Activities destinations. The first two would seem a good choice for a getaway to somewhere at least somewhat familiar. They could be visited year-round actually. But something about the beauty of these places in the wintertime is almost magical. Bullet pointed below are the two stops.

  • Blowing Rock, NC
  • The Biltmore Estate

These next two may not be as well-known as those above. But for North Carolina Winter Activities that specialize in relaxation, try the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville. On the contrary, some folks want adventure and fast fun. For this, we suggest the Hawksnest Tubing Park in Seven Devils, NC. With 30 different tubing tracks and terrain lasting up to 1,000 feet long, this is your place for speed!

These North Carolina Winter Activities give you plenty of ideas to get “extreme” or get comfortable. Plus, you can really choose your level of comfort somewhere in the middle. Wherever fits you best will be a perfect way for you to drive away those winter blues and blahs. For more information on your location at Belmont Lake Preserve in regards to other attractions in NC, visit our “Lifestyle Redefined” section at belmontlakepreserve.com.


Now that you’ve relocated to Belmont Lake Preserve new home community, you are becoming accustomed to the “Carolina Way.” Not that it is a huge change. Just certain things, places, and tastes that everyone seems to want to tell you about. For good reason, mind you, as the Carolina-style BBQ is fantastic, as are Krispy Kreme donuts, Bojangles biscuits and sweet tea, and plenty of other NC delicacies and classics. But sometimes, you just want a great burger. If you’re like me, many times you would like a great burger. Now, you can always grab some fast food or try a local spot, but for the true burger enthusiast, the listing below is 5 “can’t miss” Burger Joints in NC, you have to try. 

As you are well aware, your new home in Rocky Mount places you in a prime location to basically anywhere across the state. Now, obviously, you aren’t going to take a drive for a few hours with the kids one night after school for a burger. However, I don’t think anyone familiar with these Burger Joints in NC would fault you for such a “burger-seeking” mission. But, with some planning and centering around a day or weekend trip, if you love burgers and you now are an NC resident, you almost have to give these a try at some point.

Best Burger Joints in NC: Special Places and Their Special Tastes

Ok, let’s be straight upfront with you. There are many great Burger Joints in NC and may of which I’m sure are not listed here. That being said, we are always open to try any patty referred to as a “great burger.” We are by no means meaning to disclude anyone, however, you certainly cannot go wrong on a “perfect burger search” when the Burger Joints in NC listed below are your destination

Johnson’s Drive-In, Siler City

Siler City and Johnson’s Drive-In are just about an hour’s drive away from your new home at the Belmont Lake Preserve community. Scratch what I said about not going here on some weeknight. This one is worth it! Many people consider Johnson’s signature “Velvet Burger” to be the best of at any of the Burger Joints in NC. We can’t really argue. Serving mouth-watering burgers since 1946, this place is truly a throwback to great times and great food, too.

Brooks’ Sandwich House, Charlotte

Okay, so this one is a little further away, but you are “true tar heel blue” now, living in NC, so at some point worth the journey. Much like Johnson’s above, this is one of the many NC Burger Joints that just never changed. No frills, no-nonsense, just a killer cheeseburger, and similar type sandwiches and food. The bacon or chili topped burger is always a favorite at Brooks’. Just remember that this is a cash-only establishment and they are open Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.

Melvin’s, Elizabethtown

Another on our list of best Burger Joints in NC and another classic establishment. Melvin’s initially opened their doors in 1938 and for almost 80 years have been flipping some of the tastiest burgers statewide. This iconic burger joint is not even two hours from your new home in Rocky Mount.But with Melvin’s call it what you will. Basic, historic, “old school,” whatever, but for the better part of a century, these burgers are as good as things that come with a side of chips and a drink can get!

Clyde’s, Waynesville

The Smokey Mountains of North Carolina are a bit of a drive from your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve But they are certainly an area that at some point you will want to take in and enjoy. Much like those mountains, when you make that trip, you will also want to take in and enjoy another of the Best Burger Joints in NC, Clyde’s. Known locally as one of the best comfort food restaurants you can find, when opting for one of Clyde’s classic burgers, this truly is “Where the Home Folks Eat.”

Emma Key’s Flat Top Grill, Greensboro

Once again, just a little more than an hour separates you in Rocky Mount and this next trip to “burger paradise.” Any local resident would know by the mention of the word burger that next up on our Burger Joints in NC is Emma Key’s Flat Top Grill. Bringing “Mississippi cooking to North Carolina” and offering the hugely popular “Hotel California” burger, you could say Emma Keys is a true American classic.

Looking for More Burger Joints in NC, We Got You Covered

While we list five iconic Burger Joint in NC above, there obviously are many more that restaurants deserving of “great burger” status. We will follow this post with five more Burger Joints in NC at some point. To see more information on the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community, visit belmontlakepreserve.com..

nc-holiday-events-belmont lake preserve

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s how the classic Christmas carol goes, and many NC residents would agree. Since you have chosen a new home in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve, you will be in a great location to experience some of the fantastic tradition and iconic NC Holiday Events that people look forward to year after year. Likewise, you probably will feel the same once you’ve experienced the “yuletide” fun.

There are a good variety of NC Holiday Events and traditions and they literally span across the entire state. There are light shows, tours of decorated holiday gardens, outdoor ice skating, and much more. Below, we look at some of the annual NC Holiday Events that are cherished by families every winter about this time of year.

NC Holiday Events: Holiday Light Shows

Once the holiday season is upon us here in North Carolina, one decoration that “brightens up” everyone’s spirit is lights. Among the many traditional NC Holiday Events, some of the most breathtaking and impressive displays are at the annual holiday light shows. Below, we will detail a few of the iconic and spectacular light displays that have become traditional NC Holiday Events.

Speedway Christmas , Concord, NC

The first of our NC Holiday Events is actually one of the most anticipated light shows nationwide. Speedway Christmas is a 3.75-mile course that boasts more than 3.5 million lights. As if that was not enough, the infield turns into “Christmas Village, “with live actors, animals, Santa’s Workshop, and a 50-foot Ferris wheel make this a special time for the whole family.

Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville, NC

A 3-acre nightly walking tour in Asheville is the next stop among our NC Holiday Events. This is much more than just a stroll in the park, however. The arboretum’s nationally known gardens including the Quilt and Bonsai Exhibition Garden displays are part of the tour. In addition to many other fun holiday activities, crafts, and games the displays at “Winter Lights” are all programmed to follow with specific corresponding holiday tunes.

Winter Lights at Elizabethan Gardens, Manteo, NC 

Another spectacular annual entry to our classic events. Each winter, in Mateo, the Elizabethan Gardens are the home to numerous animals, birds, and such that are brought in to be part of their Winter Lights celebration. 

It isn’t strange to see butterflies, peacocks, order amongst the enchanting lights in this wonderful display. In addition to all this are the gorgeous flowers and natural elements of Elizabethan Gardens, which only add to the festive atmosphere.

NC Holiday Events: The Classics

The last two NC Holiday Events that we will document take us to a couple of classic holiday themes. No matter where you live or what traditions you have, a certain train ride and lacing up skates in an outdoor setting scream the holidays. Especially when done in the spectacular fashion that each of these destinations produce every winter.

The Polar Express, Bryson City, NC

The next of our NC Holiday Events was one that was actually a bit ahead of its time, given its name. Obviously, most know of the movie, “The Polar Express, ” however, years before that title hit the screens, The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in Bryson City’s own “Polar Express” was a family favorite of the season. The once-popular train ride turned into a Christmas-time phenomenon after the movie release over a decade ago. Thousands now call and book reservations for this event annually and enjoy every inch down the tracks right up until Santa greets them at the “North Pole.”

Holiday on Ice, Charlotte, NC 

Another classic Christmas time activity that as part of the NC Holiday Events has an amazing setting is Holiday on Ice in Charlotte. This tradition sees Ceremonial Plaza at the NASCAR Hall of fame turn into a 7,000 square foot ice rink. The backdrop for the seasonal rink is breathtaking, with a striking view of the Charlotte skyline. The skating surface sees several different events in its time open each year. Be sure you don’t miss out on this classic wintertime activity.

You’re Never Too Far from NC Holiday Events

One of the major selling points of Belmont Lake Preserve and a new home in Rocky Mount is location. As we state on our website, at Belmont Lake Preserve, “when you’re here, you’re never too far from.”, meaning basically you are not too far from anything in NC. To see more on the location of BLP in regard to other NC attractions, visit belmontlakepreserve.com


One of the allures that drew you initially to North Carolina was its four “full” seasons. The distinct and enjoyable weather patterns for each season now that you’ve opted to relocate to Rocky Mount are a major factor in many choosing to call NC their home. Of those seasons, there may be none prettier than the Fall. Couple that weather with the changing of the colors coinciding with the autumn season and it is the perfect time to spend outdoors. That along with your great location at Belmont Lake Preserve gives you countless incredible options for North Carolina Fall Hikes that all showcase the true beauty of our state.

Sure, in a perfect world, we would all like the chance to get away for a weekend. Soak in the brisk fall air and marvel at the spectacular oranges, reds, and yellows, that fill the natural scenery. But in reality, many of us don’t have the time or money for this type of weekend excursion. Thus, these North Carolina Fall Hikes that follow are ones that can easily be accomplished round trip on the same day.

North Carolina Fall Hikes Where the Beauty Matches the Heights

Obviously, some of the most breathtaking points in all of North Carolina are those from its highest points, the mountains. As you can imagine, with all the colors and natural beauty of the season these are even more spectacular each Autumn. While these may not be the longest or most strenuous walks, the following North Carolina Fall Hikes will certainly give you a view that screams, “I made the right choice moving here.”

Jomeokee Trail, Pilot Mountain

Speaking of shorter trails, this may be the shortest on our list. However, at just under one mile, the view from the Jomeokee Trail makes up for any distance. Of any of these North Carolina Fall Hikes, this one may be the best to enjoy even when. alone. With numerous “nooks” and rocky “hideaways,” you may literally gasp at the gorgeous view from here.

Craggy Gardens

Referred to at the website “Only in Your State” as a “fairytale year-round,” Craggy Gardens is another amazing entry to our North Carolina Fall Hikes. This one-and-a-half-mile trail is accessible from a parking lot just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are two separate amazing overlooks on this hike that give you a “peek” from two of NC’s highest “peaks.”

Whiteside Mountain

When locals hear the name Whiteside Mountain, they immediately suggest you enjoy this entry to the North Carolina Fall Hikes in the late fall. This is one of two points in the year that you can see the amazing “Shadow of the Bear.” All that aside, the incredible surroundings you will pass by on the 2.5-mile walk along the Whiteside Mountain Trail will take you to a stunning view from the cliff at its end.

Chimney Rock

Talk about an awesome view. Now, let’s talk about Chimney Rock, the next of our North Carolina Fall Hikes. To make it to this incredible point, one may first ask how you are climbing stairs or steps. Why? Well, this is a 500-step climb to its top, but once you are there it is said the awe-inspiring panoramic views you see can reach an almost 75-mile radius.

Lower Cascade Falls at Hanging Rock State Park

Ok, so this is another of the North Carolina Fall Hikes that is not the longest of walks. Actually, it’s only about a half of a mile, but once you reach the end, you’ll probably want to stick around and enjoy a bit. Once you reach the trail’s end here, you will find a spectacular waterfall that is surrounded by rock formations that combined with the soothing sounds of the rushing water is about as pleasant as one could imagine.

Flat Laurel Creek

The last of our North Carolina Fall Hikes is one that takes you on an equally amazing, but somewhat unique 2.5 miles. To look at the surroundings, one may think for a second that they were somewhere in the mid-western part of the country. However, any feeling of that should suffice once you’ve entered the spruce-fir forests. This trail actually lies under both Black Balsam Knob and Sam’s Knob and can easily lead to a nearby waterfall that lies on the Creek.

You’re Never Too Far from the North Carolina Fall Hikes when You’re At BLP

Through all your research and preparation for the move to the Belmont Lake Preserve you have become familiar with “Lifestyle Redefined.” Likewise, the “Location” section at belmontlakepreserve.com reminds you that when you are at BLP ” you are never too far from” all the great sights and places of the state. This couldn’t be truer as you set out to enjoy the gorgeous NC fall season and all the surrounding beauty in which it entails.

east-carolina-university-belmont lake preserve

In his inaugural address, the school’s first President, Robert Wright described East Carolina University in words that still ring true today. “It was built by the people, for the people, and may it ever remain with the people, as a servant of the people.” This powerful statement has proven to be true in numerous ways over the years. However, now your child has decided to pursue an education at the highly decorated college located in Greenville. This played heavily into your choice to relocate to the Belmont Lake Preserve (BLP) community in Rocky Mount. Thus, making you and your family those “people” that President Wright spoke of. Likewise, this is a good thing for your family, as he notes in his speech, what lies ahead will no question “remain with you” as “the people.”

Once your son or daughter made their final pick of East Carolina University, yours for BLP was an easy one. From the front door to your new home in Rocky Mount to the Greenville ECU campus is just a 53-minute drive (48.7 miles). With such a short distance and your child’s unlimited opportunities in many fields of study, your collective decisions for ECU and BLP can also be described in abbreviated initials. Those initials would be “A-1.”

What Makes the East Carolina University Experience Unique? It’s All in the Numbers!

Sure, it is fantastic that your new residence at Belmont Lake Preserve is so close to your child’s college. However, most importantly, is the education received and the opportunities post-graduation that your child will get as a result of attending ECU. Not to worry though, the accolades and honors heaped on ECU are plentiful and quite impressive. With some of the top publications and organizations in. the U.S. consistently praising East Carolina University, we will look at some of the accolades below.

First off, with such other highly accredited colleges in North Carolina, as UNC, Duke, and many other, any school that is the “only” in any area is a strong statement. Well, East Carolina University is just that. Consequently, the school is the only NC university with a dental school, medical school, and a college of engineering at the same institution. The lofty honors for ECU do not stop there, however.  

In 2019, ECU’s School of Dental Medicine was given the prestigious Gies Award for Vision, Innovation, and Achievement. This is handed out by the American Dental Education Association for giving future dentists a chance to learn breakthrough approaches to the field through practical learning experiences.

U.S. News and World Report Recognition of ECU

As we discuss in other posts about the colleges in NC, possibly the foremost authority on analyzing and recognizing them is U.S. News and World Report. Just in their most recent 2019 annual U.S. college analysis and rankings, the publication honors East Carolina University as being in the top 25 percent of schools nationwide in 9 sperate areas. Shown below in bullet points are each of these honors.

U.S. News and World Report Honors for East Carolina University

Two different demographics that the annual study listed ECU under was their “Top 15 Percent” and “Top 25 Percent” listings. This simply means that for the programs listed that U.S. News and World Report places ECU in these top percentiles nationally.

Top 15 Percent of U.S. Colleges 

  • Education- Best Online Graduate Programs 
  • Top Performers on Social Mobility

Top 25 Percent of U.S. Colleges

  • Physical Therapy- Best Graduate Programs
  • Rehabilitation Counseling- Best Graduate Programs
  • Primary Care- Best Medical Programs
  • Doctor of Nursing Programs- Best Nursing Schools
  • Master’s in Nursing- Best Online Programs
  • Education- Best Online Graduate Programs
  • Criminal Justice- Best Online Graduate Programs

A Start at East Carolina University Often Becomes a Life in North Carolina

While you made the over to be close to your child’s academic journey at ECU, four years can go fast. However, as you fall in love with Belmont Lake Preserve, Rocky Mount, and the state of NC during this time, do not fret! If history is any indicator, there is not only a strong graduation rate at ECU. But also a large number of graduates who join the work force in their field of study right in NC. Thus, upon receiving their degree about half of ECU graduates choose to stay right in North Carolina.

As a matter of fact, East Carolina University boasts a near 50 percent rate for those coming out of their Brody School of Medicine that stay and practice in NC. With very similar percentages in several top graduate programs, it seems your child made the right decision of school…and by default for you as well.

To read all things about Greenville’s East Carolina University, visit ecu.edu. If you want any information on the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community, visit our official site here.

At Belmont Lake Preserve, you get some of the most scenic and beautiful surroundings anywhere in the state. By moving into your new home in Rocky Mount, the local parks and green spaces are truly something to behold. But for the outdoorsman who avidly likes to fish, you also are in a prime location to set up day or weekend fishing trips at the finest spots to “drop a line” across NC. In this post, we will look at the Best Fishing in North Carolina and where exactly you can find it.

To come up with an accurate and definitive list of the spots for Best Fishing in North Carolina, we turn to the experts. Actually, they refer to themselves as the “authority resource for everything to do with the Great Outdoors.” Of course, I speak of the website Wilderness Today and their hands-on, experienced staff of authorities on all things fishing and otherwise in nature.

The Best Fishing in North Carolina: The Top Five Locations!

1) Lake Fontana

According to Wilderness Today, Lake Fontana is the number one destination for the Best Fishing in North Carolina. They immediately note that this destination is best for bass fishing, but there also are trout to be caught in some of the many streams that feed into the lake. 

Lake Fontana features a water surface of 10,230 acres with countless different branches and streams. Couple this with the 400 yards of shoreline, and you have a fishing experience that awaits you your pole, and a peaceful, serene, time on the water.

2) Jordan Lake

The second choice from Wilderness Today for the Best Fishing in North Carolina, is Jordan Lake. This 13,940-acre reservoir is in the New Hope Valley, just to the west of Raleigh. Nate Drescher, columnist, and blogger at Wilderness Today describes this spot as follows. ” It is a popular destination for those who want to get out of town for some quality fishing time.”

Lake Jordan does have areas of Shoreline that are not easy to access. However, there is 180 miles of uninterrupted shoreline on the lake also. There are many campgrounds, local shops, and restaurants, etc. in this area too, making the destination one that could call for a weekend trip. Whether you are trying to hook large or smallmouth bass, yellow perch, Channel catfish, or more, Jordan Lake for sure has some of the Best Fishing in North Carolina. 

3) Lake Norman 

Another popular spot to fish for bass is next among our Best Fishing in North Carolina list. Likewise, at Lake Norman, you can also find some big catfish and white perch, too. Lake Norman can get crowded, as it is a very popular fishing spot. However, with 500 miles of shoreline around this 32,000-acre lake, you can surely. find a more private spot if you prefer.

This lakes’ access to a wide array of catfish certainly adds to its popularity. However, it must be noted that you do need a license to catch fish at Lake Norman. But they do not have seasonal restrictions on bass, so you can catch them at this stop for the Best Fishing in North Carolina year-round.

4) Lake James

Next, we take a look at the 6,800 -acre, cold water lake that’s fourth on our Best Fishing in North Carolina, Lake James. Boasting depths of up to 1220 feet below surface, this entry for Best Fishing in North Carolina. This is noted as being an especially popular spot in the summertime.

The Wilderness Today blogger, Drescher explained the following about Lake James. ” For those of us who want something beyond the typical bass fishing experience. There is the thrill of chasing Northern pike or tiger muskies on this beloved NC lake.” That being said, add in some amazing scenery and the crystal-clear water here, and this is a stop you don’t want to miss.

5) Lake Chatuge

The final of our five Best Fishing in North Carolina entries is Lake Chatuge. Situated in the spectacular Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains, anglers have over 7,000 acres of water surface at this destination during the summer. All types of bass are the most common fish caught here. These include spotted, white, largemouth, and hybrid bass.

Lake Chatuge sits right near the North Carolina and Georgia border. Thus, you can use a fishing license from either of the two states when “casting out” at Lake Chatuge.

The Best Fishing in North Carolina: You’re Never too Far Away

Any of the five above Best Fishing in North Carolina destinations will be an easy “getaway” spot to plan from your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve. Some may be a bit farther than others, but all are worth planning a trip to for some incredible fishing.

To see more of the Best Fishing in North Carolina destinations ranked by Wilderness Today, click here. Likewise, for any information, you may need on BLP, visit belmontlakepreserve.com.

best-diners-in-nc-belmont lake preserve

Ambiance. Southern hospitality. The friendliest service you can imagine. Comfort food like it was meant to be prepared, served, and eaten. Now that you have chosen to build your family’s new home in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve, your prime location puts you in a reasonable distance from all the great sights, sounds, and in this case, tastes of North Carolina. Sure, you hear about the BBQ in NC, likewise, there are many different types of restaurants that you’ll be told are “can’t miss.” However, if you talk to some of the lifelong residents and ask what they consider “good down-home” cooking, you may want to plan out a few weekend mornings here and there and take a journey to try each of the Best Diners in NC.

So, to be clear, these are not your “fancy-schmancy,” “five-star” gourmet stops. Nope, as a matter of fact they are far from it. But with huge portions, big friendly smiles, and some of the most delicious classic dishes for breakfast, lunch or dinners, the Best Diners in NC will not disappoint.

The Best Diners in NC : An Hour or Less from Rocky Mount

The first two entries on our list of Best Diners in NC are both in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Neither one of these is even an hour drive from Belmont lake Preserve, making these more than likely a “repeat performer” once you’ve been able to give them at try.

Poole’s Diner, Raleigh, NC

An absolute classic in every sense of the word starts our list of Best Diners in NC. For starters, Poole’s is located right in the heart of downtown Raleigh, the capital of NC. This Raleigh staple first opened over 75 years ago and still has some of its classic layout. A double horseshoe bar, red leather stool cushions and banquettes along with the menu on the chalkboard changing things up daily give you a glimpse into past, simpler times. 

Oh, and the food…amazing, there have even been a few modern touches added to all the diner classics you could hope for the current chef at Poole’s is multiple time Chef of the Year recipient, Ashley Christiansen.

True Flavors Diner, Durham, NC

Snazzy, yet hearty is how one reviewer described our next entry on st Diners in NCWith a comfortable yet classy layout that gives perfect diner ambience, True Flavors gives a unique twist on many diner classics.

Known throughout the area for its weekend brunch, you have to try a few of the following signature diner classics with True Flavors own “Carolina twist to them. These dishes include: Howling Moon French toast (French toast topped with a moonshine-based sauce), fish and grits, and duck hash.

A Little Over an Hour, But Well Worth the Trip to these Best Diners in NC

While these may take you a little further up the road, rest assured the hour and fifteen to twenty-five-minute drive for these next entries are also well worth the time. High quality taste , service and experiences await at the next two Best Diners in NC. 

MaryBills Cafe & Elbow Room, Fayetteville, NC

While we are introducing you to the Best Diners in NC, anyone local to Fayetteville, would probably send you here. Being commonly referred to as “The Place to Have Breakfast in Fayetteville,” you sort of just have to try the place….right?!?

Well, no one seems to argue the lofty nickname status for breakfast. Likewise, they are legendary locally for such diner classics as their burger and turkey melt sandwiches. So basically, MaryBills is a safe bet for delicious diner fare anytime you stop in.

Elmo’s Diner, Carr Mill, NC

Yes, Elmo’s. Another not-so-far-ride up the way from Rocky Mount. This is the “Cheer’s” of our Best Diners in NC. Why, you ask? Well, the friendly atmosphere and hospitality at Elmo’s makes it feel that “everybody knows your name.” With the local contingent, they usually all do know each other’s name, actually. 

Regardless of the friendly smiles and incredible service, the made from scratch pancakes at Elmo’s are famous in. the area. Consequently, all of the made from scratch rich and hearty meals here are the stuff of legend if you just give them a try.

Just a Little Bit Further Now, But Ohhh So Good!!!

All right, so we have kept it below the 90-minute mark from your new home in Rocky Mount before these final three entries. These Best Diners in NC that follow are not too much further a drive, and from a brunch spot, to omelets and so. much more, you won’t be sorry you took the time for any of these signature NC breakfast stops.

Goody Goody Omelet House, Wilmington, NC

Since 1977, Wilmington natives have known the secret of this entry to the Best Diners in NC. A Sunday morning tradition for those living nearby, even at this distance, you may make Goody Goody a regular stop too.

The “retro” interior leaves you wondering if it still sits as it did when it opened in the late 70’s, and yes, much of it has. But a taste of any of their signature omelets, including the highly recommended Spanish omelets are ones you don’t want to let “time pass by.”

Mary’s Gourmet Diner, Winston-Salem, NC

Am I becoming repetitive by calling the Best Diners in NC that we are documenting each by the word “classic.”? Well, whether that is the case or not, Mary’s when it comes to brunch is, you guessed it, a classic.

Fresh and local produce and foods fuel the unique menu at Mary’s. In addition to all the loved and renowned diner dishes, you also get many communities and otherwise, fun themed events here as well. For example, their recent “Zombie Brunch” “knocked ’em dead” with the great food and atmosphere.

Smith Street Diner, Greensboro, NC

Fun decor, incredible service, and huge portions are all synonymous with our final entry on this Best Diners in NC “tour. Famously touting that they serve breakfast “8 days a week,” safe to say this establishment is ready to serve whenever you are hungry.

Just sit back and enjoy the witty portraits of pigs that make up the decor as you wait. Once the wait is over, regardless of your order its best you brought an appetite, a doggie bag, or maybe both to Smith Street Diner.

Great Food is a Part of NC Culture, Set Your Sights on This Journey to Breakfast Nirvana 

Sure, you are getting accustomed to all things NC. maybe every weekend is not optimum to take an hour or so drive for an amazing breakfast. But as you may be noticing since your move, there is a lot of pride in a lot of things here in North Carolina. While you may not be able to finish this list for a while, it is well worth making the voyage fit into your plans at some point. 

For more information on Belmont lake Preserve and its location in Rocky Mount in respect to all other points across the state, visit the Location section at belmontlakepreserve.com.


So, after much deliberation, you have decided to make your relocation choice one that is close to where your child has opted to go to college. Your decision process took many items into consideration, but as much as your final choice wound up at Belmont Lake Preserve for its proximity to your child, its overall centralized location to all things NC was very inviting also. But, Rocky Mount and North Carolina Wesleyan College (NCWC) will be home to your son or daughter for the next several years, on their personal educational journey. Thus, for you, our new home at Belmont Lake Preserve not only puts you close, but it literally makes them your neighbor.

Sure, being literally next door is unbelievably close to North Carolina Wesleyan College. However, on top of the their actual family, the NCWC experience will introduce them to a whole another family as well. Known as a very “hands-on” school many students and professors take part in this. Yes, their initial college experience is successful but readies them to leave the university upon graduation.

Making You “Believe” at North Carolina Wesleyan College

The school’s slogan at North Carolina Wesleyan College is “Believe.” This can be taken in several different ways, however as they use the term on their own website, NCWC “believes” in you, their students. With several amazing options for incoming students to show them support and help them transition to “college life,” it is obvious that the great staff and faculty truly do “believe” in making a difference.

One of the very first “support services” that your child will be introduced to at North Carolina Wesleyan College is Academic Support Services. The mission of this service is to help students adjust .Its also to assist the students in achieving academic success throughout their entire time at NCWC. The NCWC Academic Support Services help them to become active in their studies. Likewise it shows that can be responsible within the NCWC community. 

The school’s academic Support Services programs and resources include Supplemental Instruction, Peer and Professional Tutoring, and Online Tutoring.

Supplemental Instruction at NCWC: Students Making a Difference for the Students

Your first question when arriving at this point in our post almost has to be, what exactly is “Supplemental Instruction?” Well, to begin, it is a voluntary program at North Carolina Wesleyan College, however it comes highly recommended.

For starters, Supplemental Instruction or SI is a completely peer/student facilitated cooperative support system for fellow NCWC students. This is not some type of remedial program or aimed at students who are struggling or having difficulties. While it certainly could help a student in such a predicament, SI is a program by students and for any and all at North Carolina Wesleyan College looking to improve academically.

What are the End Results from the SI Program at North Carolina Wesleyan College?

So, all this being said, the next apparent question about Supplemental Instruction would be, how does it work? Well, to start, the SI program is available in a variety of supported courses at North Carolina Wesleyan College. Students enrolled in these classes have support and assistance available to them in the form of an “SI leader.” The SI leaders are sophomores, juniors, or seniors at NCWC with a GPA of 3.0 or above that have knowledge of and have been successful in the area of study of the given course they are to help with.

The Supplemental Instruction leaders are assigned to a particular course and then attend all class sessions for the said course that semester. They schedule and meet outside of the class for study and review type sessions on the class 2-3 times weekly with students seeking their assistance. This works as a forum for students in the class to compare their notes and outlook on the course. 

Likewise, they become more familiar with the material and not only their own take on it but also the way others in. the same spot views the material. These sessions are not mandatory, but North Carolina Wesleyan College research done on the SI program shows that on a consistent basis, those who do attend received on average an increase of nearly a full letter grade in these topics. 92 percent of those utilizing this resource received as A, B, or C letter grade.

“Believe” in Becoming Part of the Rich History of NCWC

Yes, the SI program is a unique and self-sufficient way that students can come together to achieve their goals. This innovative program builds confidence and readies the students for the future and similar situations where they will need to work with others. their given field of study. 

A third and most important yes…is yes, these traits and good habits will form. Likewise, they will continue as your child becomes part of the NCWC family. That is a family that has evolved. A family that values the coming together of a student body . Family values that has stood strong and built a strong reputation for nearly 65 years.

North Carolina Wesleyan College stands today just and strongly as it did upon opening in 1956. In the current day, it has a total of 2,008 undergraduate students on campus. This also allows for that “hands-on” family feel that NCWC strives for, as nearly 80 percent of the classes have fewer than 20 students in them. 

There are many great programs of study at NCWC. The most popular majors at the school include Business Administration and Management, General; Organizational Leadership; Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration; Psychology, General; and Accounting. There is an overall student satisfaction ranking of over 60 percent. This shows that the NCWC “family-style” of learning is one that truly “hits home.”

Let North Carolina Wesleyan College Help You be One Big Happy Family!

You opted for your new home in Rocky Mount with many deciding factors playing into the choice. Being closer to your child as they begin their college journey was one of the top factors on that list. Thus moving to the Belmont Lake Preserve new home and golf community, was a winning choice. Likewise, you literally put yourself next door to North Carolina Wesleyan College and your son or daughter. Whether at BLP, NCWC, or under your very own roof, that spells one thing…family!

For more information on North Carolina Wesleyan College, visit there official website here. For all the latest at Belmont Lake Preserve, visit belmontlakepreserve.com.