Map showing locations with red markers in North Carolina.

Day Tripping in North Carolina

Since I retired in May, I now have time to get out and go places.  Usually, it’s me and my sister Meleady.  We have various reasons for why we go to these places, but mostly we get inspired creatively.  Also, we like to eat, too.

Caswell Mercantile - Yanceyville, NC

Meleady and I grew up in Caswell County.  We have family buried at Union United Methodist Church in the Leasburg community and we have made countless trips to place flowers and flags on their graves. 

In past years the hardware store in Yanceyville was operated by Mike Hooper.  This store was a typical old- fashioned hardware store where you could buy plants, feed, hunting licenses, just about everything under the sun.  Mike had the best selection of yard flags of anybody around.  We would spend an hour or so going through racks and stacks of flags.  Tragically, Mike passed away and some good- hearted people came together to reopen the old hardware store called the Caswell Mercantile.

Assorted jars of soil samples on store shelf.

I love, love, love this store!  It’s like going home every time we go out there.  It’s got a new look and a great selection of new products.  We think of Mike every time we go, and we know how proud he would be of what these folks have done for the community.  Go see them!

Yoder’s Amish Market - Yanceyville, NC

Another favorite spot in Yanceyville!  We stopped by this market for fresh sourdough bread and to eat lunch.  I can’t begin to tell you about all the food products they offer.  When you walk in the door your eyes don’t know where to go first.  I start on the left side of the store and make my way up and down each aisle.  If you are looking for gluten free, organic, hard to find ingredients-this is the place!  But wait!   I see slices of fresh cakes and other desserts calling out to me, but I’ve got to have a sandwich first.  A great place to have lunch!

High Country Lavender Farm and Shop - Meadows of the Dan, Virginia

Sandra Sarlinga.  If you ever came to the winery for our annual Christmas at the Vineyard event, I’m sure you remember meeting Sandra and her husband.  They made such wonderful jams, jellies, chimichurris, cheeses, and the list would just go on and on.  Perfect items for gift giving. 

Now, I am happy to say Sandra and her family live in Meadows of the Dan in Virginia and she and her husband are the proprietors of this wonderful farm and lavender shop on the top of the mountain. Sandra grows lavender and has a line of lavender products. 

Hands holding fresh lavender bouquet.

The view from this place is amazing!  They have cabins available to rent, too!   When you go, please tell Sandra I said hello.

The Yellow Deli - Hiddenite, NC

Most people have never heard of Hiddenite, NC.  It is a very small community with one stoplight, however, from Sunday to Friday it seems everyone in the world now knows about this place.  I almost don’t know how to describe it.  It’s beautiful! 

The craftsmanship and creativity inside and outside are breathtaking.  The murals on the side of the building, the stonework, the flowers, the iron work, the woodwork, are all so masterfully done. 

Charming eatery with outdoor flower pots and wooden architecture.

Then you go inside.  Your jaw drops!  It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen.  There are 3 levels with a dumbwaiter system delivering food to various levels.  Did I say the food was awesome? Of course, it is.  There’s macrame’, reclaimed wooden beams, beautiful murals on the walls and a fireplace with a crackling fire on chilly days.  If you like the wonderful bread served with your meal, you can go next door to the bakery at The Community Market.

Gene grew up right down the road from Hiddenite in another little town, Stony Point.  His brothers Dale and Terry and their families still live there.  Dale was the first person to tell us about The Yellow Deli.  He goes there every morning for breakfast and supplies the logs for the fireplace.  

And while you are in Hiddenite you might as well visit the Emerald Hollow Gem Mine.

Why? Because the 4th rarest gemstone in the world can only be found in this small town of Hiddenite, NC.  In August of 2009 Terry Ledford and W. Renn Adams unearthed on their farm the largest cut emerald ever found in North America-310 carats!  It was dubbed the “Carolina Emperor”.  It was trimmed to 64.83 carats.

Traditional wooden sluice boxes in gold panning facility.

Side note:  Whenever we head off in that direction, we take highway 421 and get off at Brushy Mountain Road just before entering Wilkesboro.  Why?  You won’t believe the views as you wind up the mountain!  Don’t be in a hurry because this is a winding road but well worth the drive. 

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