A Taste of WNC - Summer 2024

A Taste of WNC - Summer 2024: Four food and drink trails to try this summer
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Baabals Ice Cream Shoppe (above) & Piggy's Ice Cream (right)

Hendersonville Ice Cream Trail
Enjoy sprinkle and syrup-filled memories in one of WNC’s sweetest small towns. Filled with local joints, the trail features ice cream parlors of many varieties. Many locations are diet-sensitive as well, and have options that are vegan and dairy free. Baabals Ice Cream Shoppe and Family Grill serves classic scoop flavors, while other stops on the trail like Celtic Creamery and El Río Ice Cream & Paleteria are known for their sundaes and Mexican desserts, respectively. visithendersonvillenc.org/ice-cream-trail

Linville Winery

Neck of the Woods 
Recognizing the tastes of the High Country, this local flavor trail not only celebrates the restaurants of the region, but their farms, breweries, farmers markets, and more. The route, which covers Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey counties, is a demonstration of Appalchian foodways. Linville Falls Winery, one stop on the trail, is a purveyor of both fine mountain wines and Christmas trees. For farm-to-table dining, check out Pie on the Mountain, an award-winning pizza restaurant in Lansing, and Ashe County’s largest eatery, Boondocks Brewing Taproom and Restaurant, which serves traditional pub fare. Looking for more? The trail has an interactive, comprehensive map on their website. neckofthewoodsnc.com

WNC Cheese Trail
From Andrews to Charlotte, you’ll find regional cheesemakers and vendors on the map of this trail. The trail itself is a nonprofit organization that was formed in 2012 in order to, “promote production and sale of WNC artisan cheese, facilitate consumer education, and encourage tourism to the region to benefit our members.” The map features several notable locales including Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery in Fairview and Ferncrest Winery, which pairs Ashe County Cheese products with their own creations. In the fall, the organization hosts the Carolina Mountain Cheese Festival, the trail’s annual fundraiser that features WNC cheesemakers, crafts, live music, and animal spotlights. wnccheesetrail.org 

The only provisional trail in North Carolina to include five types of craft beverages, the Cheers! Trail identifies 27 standout tasting locations for a diverse libational experience. Travelers can find breweries, wineries, hard cideries and distilleries, as well as a meadery. With Henderson County’s reputation as a nationally-competitive apple producer, the region’s cideries are not to be missed. Bold Rock, a household name for hard cider, and Saint Paul Mountain Vineyard, a rustic-meets-classic locale, are a few notable stops on the itinerary. Folks who plan to visit many different locations on the map can grab a trail passport for $10; after collecting at least 12 stamps from tasting rooms, consumers can head to the Hendersonville Welcome Center to pick out some prizes, and retain their passport as a keepsake. cheerstrail.org