Monday, April 19, 2021

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Valentine’s Day is truly upon us. I’m not much on the “mushy stuff,” as I call it, but in our hectic lives, I do believe in taking moments to remind those we love that we love them. Days like Valentine’s Day can give us pause to reflect on the love that we have in our lives and what we love about who we are and where we live.

Since I offered seven things to love about the Lake Gaston region in last week’s Chamber Talk, I want to offer seven more this week for a total of 14 in honor of February 14th:

8. Delicious Food – The Lake Gaston region is blessed with many creative restaurants whose dishes are as unique as the chefs who prepare them. Many times I have reflected on the fabulous meals I have enjoyed around the region. One of the other wonderful aspects of dining around the Lake Gaston region is that there is incredible ambience to accompany the food. You might find yourself dining in a colonial-era home, a countryside café with a lovely front porch, by the waterside looking out at an amazing sunset, in a vineyard surrounded by grape vines or a place that just feels like home.

9. Water, Water, Everywhere – We couldn’t talk about the Lake Gaston region if we did not talk about this amazing 350 miles of shoreline and 20,000+ acres of water. This water not only generates power for the region and beyond, but provides drinking water to other communities. Lake Gaston is a magnificent habitat for all sorts of creatures – the majestic Bald Eagle, the Osprey, Great Blue Herons, Egrets, Kingfishers, a variety of ducks, catfish, Striped Bass, Large Mouth Bass, Crappie, and so much more. The water is what draws people here to enjoy swimming, boating, floating, tubing, skiing, fishing…the ultimate in Lake Gaston living!

10. Brunswick County, VA – I would be remiss if I did not talk about each of the region’s counties individually. Alphabetically, we arrive at Brunswick County, VA, first, and there is so much to love in Brunswick County, namely Brunswick Stew! What about the wonderful Valentines Post Office with the one-of-a-kind cache? On my way back to the office after a recent meeting, I followed the signs to explore Fort Christanna and loved it!

11. Halifax County, NC – Halifax County, NC, is the Birthplace of Independence where the Halifax Resolves, the first document by any colony declaring independence from England was signed on April 12, 1776 (one of the dates on the NC flag). You can explore this history at Historic Halifax State Historic Site. Don’t miss Sylvan Heights Bird Park, the largest collection of waterfowl in the world. Medoc Mountain State Park offers camping, hiking, educational programs and so much more! The Roanoke Canal Museum & Trail is essentially a 7.5-mile indoor/outdoor museum with interpretive signs along the trail and interactive exhibits in the building.

12. Mecklenburg County, VA – I was fortunate enough to take a tour around Mecklenburg County with their dynamic tourism director Justin Kerns soon after I began work here. Mecklenburg County is blessed to have ample water recreation in both Lake Gaston and Kerr Lake. There are also many historic points of interest like Prestwould Plantation and Boyd Tavern. Occoneechee State Park is absolutely amazing! Don’t miss the doll, train and tobacco farm life museums in South Hill.

13. Northampton County, NC – I love Northampton County! There is plenty of rolling farmland to enjoy via biking or motorcycling. Stop in the many small towns and explore the mom and pop businesses. Canoe on the mighty Roanoke River. Enjoy a walking tour and Northampton County Museum in Jackson or visit the Veterans Memorial in Conway.

14. Warren County, NC – There is no way that you can visit Warren County and not love it. Warrenton has created an amazing downtown environment with unique businesses and restaurants. I love the antique shop in Norlina. When you get a moment, find out why they named the community Wise. There is very much an historic and cultural vibe all around the county.

I hope you feel the love from this article and, more importantly, have a renewed love for the Lake Gaston region. Since this is Valentine’s weekend, exercise your Shop Lake Gaston 1st efforts by conducting a business blitz in one of our many romantic eateries! Take your sweetheart for dinner out at Tammy’s Place, WatersView, The Pointe, Pea Hill Creek Café, or Chef’s Korner, share a sub at Subway or Quizno’s at Bracey Slip-In, a milkshake and fries at Highway 55, or take your sweetie to breakfast at Huddle House. Valentine’s Day is all about being kind to those you love, no matter what form that takes! So let’s get out there and show the love to one another in the Lake Gaston region!

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