For thirteen years, Southern Candle has been pouring and wicking each one of their high-end, custom-blended scented candles by hand in the Blue Ridge Mountain tradition. Activate nasal flashbacks with hundreds of memorable scents, including all-American apple pie, Christmas singed bayberry, and Summer of Love-smelling patchouli. Experiment with aromatherapy by sampling Southern Candle's well being, tranquility, and common cold-curing and koala-charming eucalyptus blends. All flavors are available in 8 ounce country classic jars ($7.95), 10 ounce and 16 ounce decorator glasses ($11.95 and $17.95 respectively), and 2 ounce votive 9-packs ($13.50).
Nestled between the mountains of North Carolina, the family owned and operated Blue Ridge Frasers helps families get firmly into the holiday spirit with their rows of Fraser firs. The crisp, cool climate serves as the perfect setting for Christmas trees to grow tall and develop their natural pine scent. Beyond their stock, the farm gets guests in the yuletide mood with colorful light displays, cups of hot chocolate, and smiling staffers on hand to help pick out the perfect tree.
Since 2001, Extreme Snowboard and Ski has populated the slopes of Sugar Mountain Resort with snow sportsters outfitted with rental and retail equipment, as well as apparel from brands such as Neff, Loki, and Grenade. The ski shop’s prime location at the entrance to mountain makes it a convenient stop for downhillers in need of rental skis or snowboards, a new pair of Spy or Smith goggles, or equipment tuning performed by the onsite repair technicians. The tech team treats skis and boards with the help of a Wintersteiger Micro 91, restoring their functionality and refining their bottoms until they can slide over snow with powder-cutting grace.
To navigate Regal Corn Maze’s 7-acre labyrinth, families must work together to answer trivia questions whose answers unlock the route to freedom. Farm owner Brian Bell and his wife Catherine hope the questions not only add a strategy component to the maze but also encourage families to collaborate. “We want people to make this an annual event," Catherine says. "Our maze isn’t just about the maze—it’s about the whole experience."
The collaboration of the Bell family on the farm is evident: Their 7-year-old daughter, Reagan, helps sell ducks for the duck races each year, and Allison, 13, helps out at the concession booth, selling homemade s’more brownies, apple cider caramel cookies, and mini pumpkin cakes.
The Bell family strives to create an atmosphere that’s safe and welcoming for visitors and their little ones. For instance, corn cops rove the maze to ensure participants’ safety, and there are a dozen games for young kids. They can clamber up a mountain of hay, shoot corn out of a cannon to a distance of 500 feet, and hop aboard the tractor-driven cow train. “The cow train rocks,” Catherine says. “I don’t care how old you are. Everybody rides in it at some point or another.”
Like many women and retired manikins, Salice Boutique owner Kristen adored fashion, but wanted affordable, flattering styles she could really wear. She began selling apparel by indie designers out of her spare bedroom, but the business became so popular she decided to open up a true storefront. Her airy boutique, nested inside a white clapboard house, stocks feminine fashions in hard-to-find brands such as Miss Me Jeans, Tulle, Karlie Clothing, and Joyous & Free. Dresses in bold, vibrant prints can go from casual to glamorous with the change of a Lindsay Phillips sandal strap, and handmade jewelry by Lori Snyder brightens outfits with colorful beads, stones, and petrified rainbows.
Dave and Ester DeFehr founded Daveste' Vineyards in 2003, and, after several years preparing the land, turned their first harvest into 500 cases in 2006. Today, alongside winemaker Sara Wooten, Dave and Ester continue to take a minimalist approach to winemaking, limiting their production to some 1,500 cases per year. Despite its size, the DeFehr's output has resulted in award-winning varietals, as well as both dry and semi-sweet whites and reds. Visitors to the vineyard may test some of that selection inside the property's rustic, timber-frame tasting room, which doubles as a gallery for local artists.