20 Family-Friendly Activities to Beat the Murphy, NC Lockdown Blues (Plus 15 Great Ideas for Bored Kids)

As the “stay at home” order continues (although hopefully not for much longer), many Murphy, North Carolina families are running out of ways to maintain some degree of sanity. Flipping through the cable channels and Netflix provides little inspiration, and your list of lockdown projects has gone by the wayside. To compound the situation, out-of-school children are likely bored and looking for ways to get into mischief.

So, switch gears and take some virtual trips outside your home’s four walls. Or, re-discover the great outdoors without leaving your property. Chances are that school-aged kids and adults will all find these family-friendly diversions a pleasurable experience. Continue reading “20 Family-Friendly Activities to Beat the Murphy, NC Lockdown Blues (Plus 15 Great Ideas for Bored Kids)”

Enjoy a Small-Aircraft Flight Experience Near Murphy, NC

Have you ever wanted to see our beautiful mountains from the air? To fly over the peaks and valleys, and see familiar landmarks and towns from a bird’s eye view? That’s actually easier than it sounds, as you can easily book an aerial tour above Murphy, North Carolina and our mountain region.

Maybe you’d like to climb into a wind-powered glider, and soar silently over some of eastern Tennessee’s highest peaks. Regardless of the season, you’ll enjoy spectacular views, and will likely have the thrill of a lifetime. Can’t decide which one to choose? Try them both!

Enjoy a Scenic Flight (or Flight Lessons) Above Murphy, NC
To experience the thrill of flying over our stunning mountains, you won’t have to drive for two hours and book a sightseeing flight from a metro airport. Instead, hop in your car (or truck), and make the scenic drive to Western Carolina Regional Airport in nearby Andrews, North Carolina.

Located in the scenic Andrews Valley, Western Carolina Regional Airport (call sign KRHP) is home to numerous small aircraft, and you might even see a private jet or two on occasion. With hangar space and tie-downs, plus fuel and service, this historic airport makes a convenient home base or stopping point for regional explorations.

Western Carolina Regional Airport is also home to KRHP School of Aviation, operated by The Blue Ridge Mountains Flyers and directed by Retired Captain Gayland Trull. Captain Trull possesses his Airplane Single Engine Pilot, Airline Transport, Airplane Multi-engine, and Commercial Licenses. With those credentials, he’s well equipped to provide you with a memorable flight experience.

Scenic flights are available for up to two adults or one adult with two children. Note that flights are dependent on pilot availability and weather conditions. Call the airport office for details, and leave a message for a prompt return call.

If you’d like to get your private pilot’s license, Captain Trull can also help you to accomplish that goal. You can easily complete your ground school on the airport’s premises, and also book your flight hours from this convenient regional home base.

Western Carolina Regional Airport
5840 Airport Road, Andrews, NC
Office: (828) 321-5114

Soar Over the Tennessee Mountains in a Graceful Glider
If you’re ready for a different kind of flight experience, take an unforgettable glider ride over the eastern Tennessee mountains and surrounding countryside. Glider flights are available from Chilhowee Gliderport in Benton, Tennessee, which has been in operation since the early 1970s.

When you pull onto the Chilhowee Gliderport grounds, you’ll notice an inviting-looking building that houses the facility’s office and clubhouse. You’ll see a roomy covered hangar, along with plenty of spots to observe glider flights from your comfortable folding chair. And, there’s a long, well-maintained grass runway that gets plenty of use by the gliders and Pawnee tow plane.

Let’s say you’d like to take a short glider ride with an FAA-certified glider flight instructor. You can soar with the pilot by yourself, or invite another rider to join you (combined 350-pound weight limit). So, you might be able to enjoy this incredible experience with a favorite companion. What could be better?

So, how is a glider ride different than a small private aircraft flight? For starters, you’ll hitch a ride up to “soaring” territory with the Pawnee tow plane. Once you climb to several thousand feet, your pilot will disconnect from the tow plane. Then, you’ll experience a gloriously silent flight except for the “whoosh” of the glider in the wind.

Below, you’ll see mountain peaks and valleys, and perhaps even the winding Hiwassee River. Depending on wind and weather conditions, your pilot could speed along the ridgelines, or might soar upward in the air thermals. You might even get a chance to briefly take the controls. Regardless of how the experience unfolds, it’s a “once in a lifetime” flight.

If you get hooked on gliders, and want to obtain your glider pilot license, Chilhowee Gliderport can help you to achieve that lofty goal. Private pilots who want to earn a glider ticket are also welcome.

Chilhowee Gliderport is open Friday through Sunday year ‘round, plus weekdays by appointment (weather conditions permitting). Call ahead for glider ride reservations. Day trippers will enjoy the Gliderport’s popular Octoberfest, racing events during the peak of the soaring season, and winter wave camps.

Chilhowee Gliderport
Benton, TN
P: 423-338-2000
C: 423-506-9015
info@chilhowee.com
Directions: Chilhowee Gliderport is 15 to 20 minutes from most of the Ocoee River rafting outfitters. Take Highway 64 to Highway 411 north, and continue about 10 miles. Chilhowee Gliderport is on the left. Look for the large signs.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.ILoveMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Enjoy Lake Time & Ice Cream Treats in Murphy, NC

There’s nothing like spending some time at a cool mountain lake near Murphy, NC. You herd the family into the car (or truck), pack a picnic lunch and some sunscreen and cold water, and get ready to chill out for the day. When you arrive, you soak up some fresh mountain air and decide whether you’d like to swim, fish, or do absolutely nothing. And sometime during the afternoon, you decide to top off this splendid day with a delicious ice cream treat. It really doesn’t get much better than this!

So, decide which beautiful mountain lake you’ll visit today. To make your decision easier, you’ll find all three lakes located along Route 294 just a stone’s throw west of Murphy, North Carolina.

CHEROKEE LAKE
Enjoy a good old-fashioned summer picnic at this scenic lakeside spot with plenty of room for everyone. Bring some sandwiches and snacks from town; or pair some grilled burgers and hot dogs with salads and cold drinks. While you dine like kings, enjoy Cherokee Lake’s serene setting, and soak up the peace and quiet.

After lunch and a quick pit stop, stroll the walking trails, or spend a few lazy hours casting your line from the dock. With a current North Carolina fishing license, and equipped a good rod and tackle, you’ll be ready to face off against those crafty, elusive mountain fish.

Directions: Take Highway 64 West, and turn right on Highway 294. Travel just a few miles. Turn right on Forest Service Road 313 to enter the Cherokee Lake picnic area.

HIWASSEE LAKE

Scenic Overlook
As mountain lakes go, Hiwassee Lake is pretty impressive. This sprawling lake covers almost 6,100 acres, has nearly 180 miles of winding shoreline, and extends for a generous 22 miles. In other words, you’ll find plenty to see (and plenty of fish) there.

If you enjoy picture-postcard mountain scenery, you’ll have some stunning photo ops here. Hiwassee Lake is completely nestled in the Nantahala National Forest, and the view from the dam-area overlook is simply amazing. The lake stretches on forever, and it’s bordered by miles and miles of wooded shoreline.

Directions to scenic overlook: Take Highway 64 West, and turn right on Highway 294. Travel several miles, and look for the U.S. Forest Service sign on the right.

Water Activities
Now, let’s assume you’d like to do some serious fishing, boating, or water-skiing. Or, you’ve had enough of the hot, steamy weather, and you’d like to splash around the lake to cool off. Or, maybe you want to enjoy a picnic lunch before taking a leisurely hike through the woods. You can access those activities at Hanging Dog Recreation Area, located just an easy drive from Murphy.

Directions to Hanging Dog Recreation Area (from Murphy): Drive about 4 miles northwest on Peachtree Street, which turns into Joe Brown Highway. Look for the entrance to Hiwassee Lake on the left.

APALACHIA LAKE
If you’ve been looking for a serene, unspoiled mountain lake with amazing views, put Apalachia Lake on your “must see” list. This gorgeous 10-mile-long lake feeds into the Hiwassee River, and the Nantahala National Forest is right next door.

As the crow flies, you’re not too far from Hiwassee Lake, but Apalachia Lake has a remote character all its own. With very little shoreline development, and virtually no recreational facilities, Apalachia Lake is one of the purest mountain lake settings you’ll ever find.

If you want to enjoy some laid-back fishing, kayaking, or canoeing, you can take advantage of a convenient launch ramp. Or, you can meander through the woods on a scenic hiking trail. In other words, you make your own fun at Apalachia Lake, and you probably won’t have much company.

Directions: Take Highway 64 West, and turn right on Highway 294. Stay on 294 for quite a distance, and you’ll eventually see the Apalachia Lake turnoff sign.

ENJOY ICE CREAM TREATS AT THE SWEET TOOTH
Wrap up your lake excursion with some delicious ice cream confections from The Sweet Tooth. This incredibly popular family ice cream shop is located at 658 Andrews Road, not far from downtown Murphy, NC. During the summer season, The Sweet Tooth is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

This little walk-up ice cream shop has a quirky character, and the building features lots of ice cream-y photos that you can view while waiting for your order. There aren’t any one-size-fits-all ice cream cups here – perish the thought! Instead, you’ll enjoy your own personal ice cream treat that comes with your choice of toppings. So, dig in and enjoy every bite as you reflect on the perfect ending to a great summer day at the lake.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.ILoveMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Murphy, NC Spring Festival Offers a Feast for Your Senses

If you’re itching to enjoy some balmy spring air, and you’re up for some lively family fun in historic downtown Murphy, NC, the Murphy Spring Festival is just the ticket. Set for Saturday, May 4 from 12 -8 p.m. along Tennessee Street, this popular event is coming back for its second year. The Murphy Business Association is the force behind this multi-faceted celebration, which really does include something for everyone’s taste. Note: If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the Murphy Spring Festival’s rain date is Sunday, May 5. Continue reading “Murphy, NC Spring Festival Offers a Feast for Your Senses”

Ramps, Ramps Everywhere at the Ramp Festival in Murphy, NC

Springtime in our mountains sparks a veritable riot of color. You can’t help but notice the striking light greens of the forest, accented by the flowering trees and bushes that seem to pop up everywhere. Underneath the vibrant forest canopy, millions of regional plants spring up from the ground, responding to the warmer weather and great seasonal growing conditions.

One notable plant species has earned its own dedicated group of fans over the years. Yes, we’re talking about quirky little ramps. In fact, this unusual member of the onion/garlic family has even given rise to several regional festivals, including one in Murphy, NC. Read more about this upcoming gathering, and find resources for cultivating ramps on your property this season.

Murphy’s 10th Annual Ramp Festival
Late April is the perfect time for a ramp festival, as these funky little vegetables are smack in the middle of their harvest season. On Saturday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., the 10th Annual Ramp Festival will kick off at the L&N Depot in downtown Murphy, North Carolina. You’ll enjoy a plate of ramps and fixins’ for $8, with $4 plates for children under 12.

This popular annual event is sponsored by the Cherokee Masonic Lodge #146. All proceeds benefit the Masonic Home for Children in Oxford, North Carolina. So, come on down for a lunch you’ll remember for years, and support a good cause while you enjoy your meal. Continue reading “Ramps, Ramps Everywhere at the Ramp Festival in Murphy, NC”

Experience These 4 Legendary Motorcycle Rides near Murphy, NC

Our mountain region offers some of the most drop-dead-gorgeous scenery you’ll find anywhere. Just a short drive from Murphy, NC, you’ll encounter winding mountain roads through lush green forests, stunning waterfalls fed from hidden streams, and sweeping vistas with layers upon layers of mountains. From time to time, you’ll happen upon a quirky little town or a restaurant that retains its decades-old décor and vibe. Continue reading “Experience These 4 Legendary Motorcycle Rides near Murphy, NC”

Discover Two Great Shopping Destinations near Murphy, NC

Finding a family-friendly shopping experience is like going on a multi-generational scavenger hunt. You’d like everyone to find something on their list, and you want family members of all ages to enjoy themselves so they’ll want to hop in the car for a return trip.

Quite surprisingly, two intriguing retail destinations will appeal to everyone in your family – and these distinctive shops are located in beautiful Blue Ridge, Georgia – just a stone’s throw from Murphy, NC. Even better, both stores are open all year round. Read on for all the pertinent details, and gather your family for a trip they’ll remember for years.

MERCIER ORCHARDS
8660 Blue Ridge Drive Blue Ridge, GA 706-632-3411
Open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day

A visit to Mercier Orchards is like an extended trip to the candy store – for children and adults alike. When you swing into Mercier’s sprawling parking lot, you’re surrounded by acres upon acres of gently rolling hills that comprise this fourth-generation family farm. During the growing season, you’ll see colorful peach and apple orchards, with lush blueberry bushes and fragrant strawberry fields located nearby.

Enticing Market Store
Shopping at Mercier’s Market Store is considerably more fun than visiting your local grocery store. For starters, every tempting product is geared toward your tasting, snacking, or baking pleasure. You’ll find fruit butters, jellies, honey, salsas, sauces, dressings, crunchy snacks, muffin mixes, cider, and much more. Toward the back of the store, you’ll spot the colorful produce section that perfectly showcases Mercier Orchards’ currently available fruit. Try a delicious free sample while you decide which bag or box you’ll take home. Continue reading “Discover Two Great Shopping Destinations near Murphy, NC”

Enjoy a Fun Family Activity Near Murphy, NC: Ye Olde Goat Farm or Gem Mining Experience

Searching for a fun family activity that won’t break the bank? Come spend a few hours at two intriguing destinations just a stone’s throw from Murphy, NC. Take a visit to Ye Olde Goat Farm, where you can get up close and personal with quirky goats of all ages.

Or, dig for gems and pan for gold at the Salty Dog Gem Mine, located on the Wagonmaster Adventure Ranch premises. At either destination, you can soak up some mountain air while you unplug from technology and enjoy some time in the great outdoors. Continue reading “Enjoy a Fun Family Activity Near Murphy, NC: Ye Olde Goat Farm or Gem Mining Experience”

Murphy Spring Festival Offers Good Old-Fashioned Family Fun

Let’s face it: a good old-fashioned community festival just gets your juices flowing. Residents and visitors come from miles around, gathering in a convenient central spot for an event filled with local flavor and fun activities. Throw some gorgeous spring weather into the mix, and you have an unbeatable combination that appeals to festival attendees of all ages.

So, come on out to the first annual Murphy, NC Spring Festival, hosted by the Murphy Business Association. This exciting event is set for Saturday, May 5 from 11-6 on downtown Murphy’s Tennessee Street. Browse this tempting menu of festival activities, and come enjoy a healthy serving of small-town family fun.

STREET VENDORS AND ARTISTS

As you stroll along Tennessee Street, you’ll happen upon a variety of colorful vendor booths, many offering a locally sourced product or service. Talented local artists will also showcase their work, and some artisans will also demonstrate their craft throughout the day.

CLASSIC CAR SHOWCASE

When you see a nicely restored classic car, you can’t help admiring its often-impeccable paint and trim work. These vehicles often feature period-appropriate décor and accessories, and the owner(s) frequently sport authentic-looking outfits from that era. Not surprisingly, classic car clubs and car shows have become very popular around our region.

Many community festivals and parades also include classic car displays. At the Murphy Spring Festival, take a leisurely walk along Tennessee Street, where you’ll find a nice lineup of classics vying for your attention. Remember to vote for your favorite car, as event judges will award prizes to the winners.

FUN KIDS’ ACTIVITIES

A community festival just isn’t complete without kids’ activities, and the Murphy Spring Festival certainly offers some options for the younger set. Youngsters can try their hand at an art project or select another age-appropriate activity that intrigues them. Of course, the Pet Adoption Exhibit will draw children and adults alike, and they just might find an adoptable pet to add to their family.

LOCAL FOODS & RESTAURANT SPECIALS

If you enjoy buying fresh local produce, and you take every opportunity to try locally made foods, you’ll be delighted at the festival’s varied food options. In addition, downtown restaurants will feature festival specials throughout the day. The bottom line: arrive with a hearty appetite, and you’ll find plenty to satisfy your taste buds.

LIBATIONS AND LIVE MUSIC

Western North Carolina offers an ever-increasing number of craft breweries and local wineries – some right here in Cherokee County. Several of these businesses have banded together to present the Murphy Spring Festival’s Beer Garden, sure to become a popular spot for thirsty adults throughout the day.

Our mountain region is also home to many talented musicians, several of whom will take the Tennessee Street Stage during the festival. While you relax and listen to the performers’ toe-tapping music, quaff a tasty brew or sip a fragrant glass of wine from the nearby Beer Garden.

With plenty of lively activities, tasty foods, and infectious music, the Murphy Spring Festival promises to be a popular destination for residents and visitors alike. So grab your sunscreen and a hat, and spend the day soaking up downtown Murphy’s distinctive ambience. We just might see you there!

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.ILoveMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team


Bring the Family to These Easter Weekend Events Near Murphy, NC

The Easter holiday weekend is traditionally a popular time for family gatherings in Murphy, NC. Sometimes relatives come from other regions, and everyone attends church together to celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection. Afterward, some families share a hearty meal at a local restaurant, while others enjoy a wonderful feast at someone’s home.

Not surprisingly, the Saturday before Easter is also filled with family get-togethers. In fact, Saturday, March 31 marks the date for Easter events at three separate area venues. Each gathering has its own flavor, giving adults and children alike the chance to enjoy their time together in the beautiful spring weather. And if you plan your time carefully, you can make it to more than one Easter weekend event.

EASTER EGG HUNT
Saturday, March 31 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
John C. Campbell Folk School
1 Folk School Road, Brasstown, NC

The John C. Campbell Folk School’s annual Easter Egg Hunt is popular with youngsters from many area communities. Held at the school’s Open House near the vegetable and herb gardens, this lively event features crafts, games, refreshments, and entertainment. Our sources tell us that the Easter Bunny will also make a special appearance.

Plan to arrive at 12:45 p.m. for the main event, as the free Easter Egg Hunt begins at 1 p.m. sharp. Park in the large gravel lot on the corner of Brasstown Road and Harshaw Road, and walk to the Open House. Once you get there, head to one of three age-divided egg-hunting areas. Then get ready to watch the youngsters scramble for colorful eggs among the vegetable and herb plants. Bring your cameras and enjoy the happy chaos!

EASTER EGG HUNT
Saturday, March 31 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m
Bear Creek Mini Golf,  7289 Highway 64 West (west of Murphy)

This brand-new Easter Egg Hunt takes place at Bear Creek Mini Golf, an entertaining venue on Highway 64 West a few miles past the Route 129 intersection. Co-hosted by Bear Creek Mini Golf and Mountain Memories Antiques, this event promises to be an annual favorite with Cherokee County youngsters.

The Easter Egg Hunt begins promptly at 11:30 a.m., so arrive a bit early. Kids from ages 1-12 are invited to bring their favorite egg basket, and prepare for an egg hunting frenzy among the boulders, bushes, and trees. After the Easter Egg Hunt, kids can have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny.

ALL-DAY EASTER CELEBRATION
Saturday, March 31 from 12:00 p.m – 8:00 p.m.
Fields of the Wood, 10000 NC-294 (off Highway 64 West)

Experience Easter’s grandeur at Fields of the Wood, an acclaimed biblical theme park west of Murphy on Route 294. This free all-day Easter celebration takes place from 12-8 p.m., and kicks off with an Easter Egg Hunt at 1:00 (registration at noon). Come watch the youngsters comb through the park’s bushes and grasses, searching for those elusive colored Easter eggs.

From 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., gather for a memorable special singing program. A dramatic passion play begins at 6:00 p.m., bringing the Easter story to life in a beautiful mountain setting.

Now that you know about these Easter weekend events around Murphy, NC, gather your family together and enjoy some quality time during this beautiful spring weekend.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.ILoveMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team