Each year I try to take a few weekend trips that act as an escape from Charlotte. Spending a weekend at Chetola Resort felt like I was in a private bubble surrounded by mountainous scenery and large bodies of water, all within one of North Carolina’s cutest towns: Blowing Rock.
Chetola Resort is just under a two hour drive from Uptown, and is nestled right in the heart of Blowing Rock. You can walk to the Tanger Outlets, or drive less than 5 minutes to Main Street for food and shopping. I visited for a weekend, arriving on Friday evening and leaving Sunday morning.
Named after the lake that surrounds it, Chetola Resort can cater to any kind of getaway you’re looking for: relaxed, romantic, adventurous, or kid friendly.
Before even checking into our room, I headed to the spa for an hour-long Swedish massage. I was greeted with a robe and locker key to stow my clothes in. I then enjoyed some hot tea in the lounge before my massage therapist led me to a private room. The heavy-pressure massage, aromatherapy and soft music put me in the most comfortable sleep.
Finally, I checked into our room, or what’s actually called the premier condominiums. This condo was huge, filled with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a fully stocked kitchen, 2 dining tables, a living room, a washer dryer set and a large balcony.
The condos are decorated quaintly and epitomize the mountain home vibe. If you prefer something smaller, Chetola has a lodge and an inn. They both still offer the quaintness of the condos, many have lake views, and some are pet friendly.
The resort itself is large, so you’ll get a map once you check in which makes it easy to explore the lake, head to the pool or sit by one of the many fire pits. Guests are welcome to fish on the lake, watch the swans and in the warmer months enjoy kayaking and other water activities.
After my massage nap, I was hungry, so we headed to Timberlake’s Restaurant, which is located within Chetola. The quaintness & mountainous vibes carry over into the restaurant and the pub.
After looking over the menu, the restaurant’s sommelier stopped by to ask about our wine and alcohol preferences before making some spot-on suggestions. Timberlake’s menu ranges from venison chop to vegan bolognaise to a fried green tomato BLT. I went with the Impossible burger with a side of parmesan brussle sprouts and was not disappointed.
We ended our night in the condo with some board games that were stocked in the TV stand, and some Netflix.
After breakfast at Timberlake’s Restaurant in the morning, we headed out for some shopping. Tanger Outlets has all the big brands you love – like Banana Republic, Columbia, Vera Bradley and more, and the deals were hard to resist.
Then we headed to main street which is filled with local shops, adjacent to a playground and was lined with pumpkins and fall decor. We started with coffee at Bald Guy Brew and then spent close to three hours perusing each store.
You can find hand-painted artwork, locally made goat soap, home furnishings, creative birdhouses, Chanel purses, books, candles, clothes and many other unexpected finds. A few of my favorite shops were:
Common Good on Main – this elegant modern artisan gallery has beautiful paintings, kitchen supplies, books and more.
Neaco – I found a really fun puzzle and whiskey glass set that will soon be wrapped for christmas presents. This store has every unique gift idea you can think of.
Revolution Clothiers Co. – this colorful store houses funny books, jewelry, wallets, home decor, clothing and more.
Finally on Sunday morning we headed to The Blowing Rock, just an eight minute drive from Chetola. At 89 years old, it’s North Carolina’s oldest travel attraction. We didn’t even notice being over 3,500 feet up as you walk in the gift shop entrance to buy our $9 ticket.
We left the gift shop for a short but scenic walk to see views of Grandfather Mountain, Table Rock Mountain and Hawksbill Mountain. With many outlook points along the walk it’s easy to spend lots of time just looking out. Plus there are tons of beautiful photo opportunities.