Supplying contractors and do-it-yourselfers for almost nine decades, the family-owned Little Hardware Company stocks a complete selection of high-quality tools, hardware, and hard-to-find items. Customers can protect fingers from jobsite hazards, home-remodeling incidents, and roving gangs of manicurists with a wealth of insulated and regular gloves ($0.99–$36.99). Carve manifestoes into tree trunks with an assortment of pocket knives ($6.99+) such as the Kershaw Oso Sweet model ($23.89), or complete toolboxes with Little Hardware's full line of Irwin vise grips ($5.99–$44.79). Timberland boots enclose feet in stylish comfort ($85.49–$99.99), and power tools from DeWalt, Bosch, Makita, Milwaukee, and Festool supply wielders with more might than the enchanted screwdriver King Arthur used to install Camelot's spice racks.
The scent of freshly popped popcorn fills the air as customers carrying complimentary paper bags of the buttery kernels meander through aisles of birding supplies, gardening tools, home décor, and eclectic gifts from around the globe. Eighty employees advise customers on home projects and purchases such as gas and charcoal grills from brands including Big Green Egg and Weber. Before new grills fire up hamburger patties or outstanding parking tickets, the kitchen department's wall of gadgets, serving ware, and party supplies completes any checklist of barbecue necessities. The home-repair and project areas include a Benjamin Moore station with custom paint-blending services to mix up sample colors to find the perfect hue. Outdoors, the garden area encloses a hand-selected assortment of leafy green plants in a natural, garden-like setting alongside birdbaths and fountains. The birding department carries more than 100 different feeders and specialty seed blends to attract tiny hummingbirds or tiny bee-riding knights.
Grove Station Farms' skilled instructors transform the casually riding-curious into ride-ready equestrians with technique and safety lessons on a stunning 65-acre plantation-style farm. During the one-hour horseback-riding session, experienced teachers guide herds of eager students through English riding techniques, including proper posture, balance, and balancing a tea set on one knee while ahorse. The spacious indoor arena protects classes from the elements as pony passengers of all ages and skill levels learn the grooming basics necessary to properly care for their hoofed charges and protect their vestigial wings from prying zoologists' eyes.
Owned and operated by Greg and Sheila Paul, Carolina Ace Hardware adds comfort and convenience to daily life with products, tools, and project-solving expertise. Secure sheds, trunks, and Fabergé egg display cases with an Ace 2-inch padlock ($11.99), and illuminate midnight-snack paths with mood lighting using dimmable GE Energy Smart 100-watt CFL light bulbs ($13.99 each). Messy projects clean up their act with a six-pack of ultra-strong Scott shop towels ($17.94), retiring soiled materials to Glad Odor Shield kitchen bags ($8.99) after their heavy-duty absorption is done (prices and availability may vary).
Though most people don’t visit hardware stores until 38 light bulbs simultaneously go out, the sturdily constructed walls of the local hardware store hold a smorgasbord of life-simplifying tools and treats, including standing fans ($19.99+), Scotts Turf Builder and lawn-fertilizer bundles ($11.99+), or King Kooker marinade injectors ($8.49), which are perfect for August 18th Day feasts. Ace has everything you need to finally organize your garage or refinish the hand-me-down dinner table you’ve had since you moved out of your parents’ house. Check out the corporate site for an idea of pricing for thousands of items.