Flirting with Flat Rock,
In the early 1800's wealthy plantation owners came to Flat Rock to establish their summer homes here to escape the oppressive heat of the Carolina Low Country. Many of their fine homes still stand, and today this is an upscale community with beautifully preserved century-old vacation homes and farms tucked away here and there amidst the mountain splendor.
In fact, most of Flat Rock's charms are tucked away, and you have to search a bit to find them. One attraction that is easy to find is the Little Rainbow Row of Shops nestled along Highway 25. This melange of brightly colored buildings contains a fun group of small boutiques and eateries. One of the largest shops is The Winkled Egg which houses an eclectic collection of clothing, toys, doo-dads and folk art. Attached to the shop is a children's clothing shop called Chicken Little.
Also in this mini maze of mercantiles is the upscale gallery, Hand in Hand. In the back there are two good eating places, the hearty, smoky pulled pork and ribs takeout of Hubba Hubba Smokehouse and the whole-grain breakfast and lunch goodness of the Village Bakery. Both of these establishments manage to send good smells wafting around all the shops which keeps a steady stream of hungry people heading thier way. Also nearby, An open parking lot near the Little Rainbow Row is where the town's lively Tailgate Market happens from 3-6pm on Thursdays, spring through fall.
Beyond these shops and restaurants, Flat Rock is famous for two attractions. The first is the Award Winning Flat Rock Playhouse which presents a yearly schedule of comedies, dramas and classic plays that run from May through Christmas.
The second attraction is the Carl Sandburg House National Historic Site. Known as America's poet, Carl Sandburg lived at this farm estate from 1945 until his death in 1967. Today the farm is open to the public, and with over five miles of trails, it is a tranquil and pretty place for a hike or a picnic.
Flat Rock Attractions, Shopping and Great Eats
What can you say about a shop called the Wrinkled Egg? It's fun and, well, different. Housed in what was, since 1890, Peace's General Store, The Wrinkled Egg sells a colorful blend of brilliantly hued folk art, clothes for both kids and adults, toys, gadgets doo-dads and, well - stuff. In the back of the shop you'll find the yummy Village Bakery.
Lucky Flat Rock to have this savory bakery specializing in handmade organic whole grain breads. The Bakery also offers rustic danish, bagels and a host of breakfast and lunch fare all made from super fresh local ingredients. The coffee is rich and flavorful, the salads are light and crispy and the sweets are to die for. Life is good.
Hand in Hand
The owners of this bright, eclectic gallery, potter David Vorhees and jeweler Molly Sharp, have created a delightful space filled with fine art that manages to be both upscale and inviting at the same time. David's fine ceramics include his own patented Wedding Wish Vases, pretty vases that wedding guests put written wishes into for the wedding couple to retrieve on their first anniversary. In addition to David and Molly's work the gallery represents over 150 regional artists. The gallery also hosts several themed exhibits each year.
This smoky barbeque takeout knows how to advertise. When the smokers are running the mouth watering aroma drifts all over the Little Rainbow Row of Shops, drawing a steady stream of customers like the pied piper. Although it is take out only, there are picnic tables in the courtyard in front of the restaurant and chairs in a nearby alcove. The menu is good old-style barbeque with brisket, pulled pork, full and half racks of ribs and classic sides like Black eyed peas, collard greens, and of course baked beans and cole slaw.
Flat Rock Tailgate Market
This Tailgate Market is a great place to meet Flat Rock locals as well as peruse the best in organic fresh from the farm vegetables, fruits and free range meats. Also here are handmade jams, jellies, cheeses, and a crafts. Like many of the regional tailgates, the best part is chatting with the farmers and craftspeople, sampling the baked goods and savoring some fresh brewed artisan coffee. Held from Mid April through October on Thursdays from 3-6 pm in the parking lot adjacent to the Rainbow Row of Shops.
Flat Rock Playhouse
This acclaimed playhouse has been in operation since 1952, producing a wide range of theatrical productions. Local residents and visitors alike treasure the Flat Rock Playhouse as a place where they can enjoy quality live theater throughout the year at very reasonable prices. Over the years the theater has developed from a strictly summer stock theater to a fully professional stage that produces a wide range of plays, from comedy to the classics and even Broadway musicals. It also functions as a theatrical educational facility with college internships and youth theater projects.
Carl Sandburg Home Carl Sandburg was already famous as America's Poet when his wife talked him into purchasing this farm and moving here from Chicago. His wife was a successful goat farmer and she wanted a warmer climate in which to raise her goats. This farm with 245 acres and well established barns was a perfect choice. More
Sky Top Orchard
This Flat Rock apple orchard combines the gentle fun of a U-Pick with a spectacular view from the mountain top. The orchards cover over a hundred acres, so there are plenty of apples for all, as well as pears, pumpkins and grapes. Here too are barnyard animals to entertain the kids, a working cider press and a demonstration bee-hive. In the orchard shop you can buy pre-picked apples as well as homemade apple butter, caramel apples, and a wide range of apple-inspired gifts.
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, A Visitor's Guide
An Insider's Guide to the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, North Carolina; Hiking, House Tours, Goat Farm, Sandburg History, Attractions
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