Looking for more to do in Caldwell County? Here are 100 suggestions.

A collaborative effort by the News-Topic and the Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce.

1. Caldwell County musical talent is displayed regularly through impromptu front porch jam sessions and live pickin’ sessions in public places. Popular events include: the annual Musicians’ Showcase at the Broyhill Civic Center, Historic Happy Valley Old-time Fiddlers’ Convention, Caldwell Men’s Chorus and community concerts by students at the James C. Harper School of Performing Arts. Lenoir and Hudson also feature live music events in the summer, including Pickin’ in the Park, Sundowners Music Showcase, Friday After Five and the Bluegrass Farmer’s Market.

2. Cast a line into one of Caldwell County’s excellent fishing spots. In addition to ample angling opportunities at Lake Hickory and Lake Rhodhiss, Caldwell County is home to some of the best trout fishing in the state with various mountain streams draining the highest parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

3. Spend a Friday evening at Tri-County Motor Speedway, which features NASCAR All-American Series stock car racing as well as special events throughout the spring, summer and fall season. Several NASCAR legends have raced at the 4/10-mile oval paved track, and more are sure to come. If one night of racing isn’t enough, Hickory Motor Speedway and Antioch Speedway offer exciting racing just a few minutes outside Caldwell County.

4. From Little League to American Legion to the Major Leagues, Caldwell County is home to thousands of baseball fans and fields hundreds of talented players every season. Caldwell County Post 29 has won four state championships – 1986, 1990. 1991, 2000 – while South Caldwell won 4-A titles in 1982 and 2007. Madison Bumgarner, a key member of the 2007 South Caldwell squad, was selected in the first round of the 2007 Major League Baseball draft by the San Francisco Giants and is currently excelling in the minors.

5. Fly a kite at Fort Defiance, which features wide-open spaces and an annual kite flying festival each spring. While there, visit the restored ancestral home of the Lenoir family and tour a collection of 18th century artifacts and antiques that rivals even Jefferson’s Monticello. Guided tours are offered Thursday through Saturday, April through October, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. All other times are by appointment. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children. Special events, including Living History Days, Oyster Roast, Colonial Christmas and Independence Day, are offered throughout the year and often feature period demonstrations and activities.

6. Train for and ride in one of several annual bike rides, including the 100-mile Bridge to Bridge Incredible Challenge, the Lenoir Criterium, the N.C. Cyclocross Series, and the Rotary Club Cycle to Serve. Not only is Caldwell County’s mild climate coupled with a scenic – and sometimes mountainous – terrain perfect for bicycling, it’s also home to a growing community of cycling enthusiasts offering year-round riding for everyone from the casual rider to the more advanced roadie.

7. Learn about local history at one of several museums. The Caldwell Heritage Museum in Lenoir displays artifacts, records and archival documents relating to Caldwell County history. The Granite Falls History and Transportation Museum features local transportation and town memorabilia. Antique Vending Company showcases one of the largest collections of soda machines, including one of the original 1925 Coca-Cola vending machines (even Coca-Cola’s headquarters in Atlanta doesn’t have this gem). The Wilson Creek Visitor Center has a photograph and artifact collection that tells the story of the town of Mortimer and Ritter Lumber Company. Hudson’s Railroad Depot Museum provides memorabilia pertaining to the renovated depot along with a restored 1912 Wood-Sided Rear Cupola Caboose furnished with railroad artifacts The Hudson Railroad Depot Museum is open during special events and by appointment.

8. Caldwell County is home to one of the state’s seven educational state forests. At Tuttle Educational State Forest, one can learn all about ecosystems and our relationship with Mother Nature in this outdoor classroom. The children will love the "talking trees." The forest is located on Playmore Beach Road, off N.C. 18.

9. Sleep under the stars at one of several camping areas in Caldwell County. Boone Fork, Mortimer, Green Mountain Park, Brown Mountain Beach, and Anita-Alta 4-H Outpost Camp. During their off-season, many local non-profit camps offer camping facilities, such as Camp Carolwood, Camp Ginger Cascades and John’s River Valley Camp.

10. Visit Wilson Creek. Camping, kayaking, hunting and fishing, waterfall hikes, off-road driving, tubing and mountain biking are available in selected areas. Opportunities for adventure and activity abound for every skill level including the most experienced outdoorsmen. From Lenoir, take Abington Road to Collettsville Road, then turn left onto Adako Road. You’ll reach Brown Mountain Beach Road, and the entrance to the Wilson Creek wilderness, just before the Burke County line. Just don’t expect to get any use from your cell phone, as there is no service in this part of Caldwell County.

11. Every Friday and Saturday night, you can go clogging at Sims Country Barbecue in Dudley Shoals. Enjoy down-home cookin’, warm yourself by the big stone fireplace, and strap on your dancing shoes! There’s also live music and good old fashioned Caldwell County hospitality.

12. Compete in the blackberry eating contest at the North Carolina Blackberry Festival in Lenoir. The annual event, the second weekend in July, is hosted in downtown. The day is full of crafts, music, food and entertainment for adults and children alike.

13. Catch a show at the Hudson Uptown Building. Planned events include a variety of concerts, public parties and the popular dinner theater. For more information, visit www.ci.hudson.nc.us/hub on the Web.

14. Shop at the Caldwell County Farmer’s Market on Saturdays at the public library lower parking lot In Lenoir. Open from 6 a.m. to noon, the market offers a variety of locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as other homemade items. There’s plenty to enjoy in this friendly, laid-back, open-aired atmosphere. Be sure to bring cash.

15. Catch a show at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center, which offers a wide variety of entertainment. From live concerts and comedic acts to elaborate stage plays and performing artists series. For a complete schedule and ticket information visit www.broyhillcenter.com.

16. Shop the downtowns in Granite Falls, Hudson and Lenoir. Locally-owned stores offer a quaint and unique shopping experience, plus a chance to experience the Caldwell County that most travelers do not see from U.S. 321.

17. Explore Coffey’s General Store in Edgemont. This general store once served as the Edgemont post office, tax listing station, Army recruitment point, and the store had the neighborhood’s only telephone up until the 1970s. The store contains a collection of antiques, original store fixtures, and photographs of Mortimer and Edgemont from the early 1900s. Visitors enjoy the galvanized metal roof, the relaxing benches, and an ice cold cola with a pack of "nickel candy." The store is open on weekends during the spring, summer, and fall months of the year from Friday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

18. Visit The Blowing Rock, North Carolina’s oldest tourist attraction. Located in the far northern end of Caldwell County, overlooking the Globe community, The Blowing Rock is surrounded by legend and regional folklore. The attraction is located just off U.S. 321 in Blowing Rock, and there is an admission fee. For more information visit www.theblowingrock.com. While in the neighborhood, visit Blowing Rock, which features a Tanger Outlet Center, a vibrant downtown district and the historic Green Park Inn.

19. Find a moment of peace and time for prayer at the Chapel of Rest. The historic chapel dates back to 1887 (the Chapel burned in 1916 and was reconstructed a year later) and is open to the public during daylight hours. Resting atop a hill and offering a panoramic view of Happy Valley, the property also has a historic cemetery with graves dating to 1856. The Chapel also hosts public concerts as well as Thanksgiving Eve, Easter Eve and Christmas Eve services. For more information, visit www.chapelofrest.org.

20. Visit Bo’s Bodacious Entertainment in Lenoir, which offers miniature golf, a huge game room, bowling, birthday parties and a sports bar. The bowling alley offers 24 lanes, as well as special events such as league play and cosmic bowling.

21. Take a kayaking trip with Wahoo’s Adventures. Wahoo’s is one of two outfitters permitted to provide guided kayaking trips for groups in the Wilson Creek gorge. For more information, visit www.wahoosadventures.com.

22. Ride or walk on more than 25 greenways and paths in Caldwell County. Some of the most popular include Redwood Park in Hudson, Lakeside Park in Granite Falls, and the Lenoir Greenway and T.H. Broyhill Walking Park in Lenoir. Each year, Healthy Caldwellians offers gifts and prizes for participants who meet specific challenges as a part of the Trails-to-Trails Incredible Challenge.

23. Try your hand at skipping stones across Lake Rhodhiss, which is easily accessible from Veterans Park in Sawmills and Lakeside Park in Granite Falls. Both parks offer spectacular views of the lake, as well as paths, piers and other recreational opportunities.

24. When the summer temperatures get too hot to bear, there’s nothing like a creek walk to cool down. There’s no shortage of chilly creeks streaming out of the mountains of Caldwell County, but some of the most accessible and family-friendly ones are found at community parks in Buffalo Cove (on Buffalo Cove Road, which is off N.C. 268) and Oak Hill (take Taylorsville Road, turn onto Oak Hill Park Circle).

25. Get a taste of old-timey mountain heritage at Bolick and Traditions Pottery in the Blackberry Community, just south of Blowing Rock. The farm features an old-timey village, two handmade pottery shops and a mountain stream flowing through the property. The family hosts several events throughout the year, including kiln openings in the late spring and late fall, as well as live mountain music and dancing on Sundays during the summer.

26. Visit Todd’s Country Store in Buffalo Cove. In addition to a unique collection of local antiques and historic artifacts, the general store offers a glimpse into the past – before big box stores and drive-through fast-food became the norm. Favorites among visitors include the glass bottle sodas and hand-made sandwiches. Todd’s Country’s Store is located at 6353 Buffalo Cove Road and is open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

27. Tee off at one of five world-class Caldwell County golf courses. Some notable facts about the local courses include: Cedar Rock Country Club hosts the National Lefty-Righty Tournament annually; Lenoir Golf Club was designed by Donald Ross; The Coves Golf Course recently announced its affiliation with PGA Senior Pro Hale Irwin; Orchard Hills Golf Club, which offers a very hilly course with water hazards; and Granada Farms, which was designed by Tom Jackson. With its mild climate, Caldwell County boasts year-round golfing.

28. Take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, known as "America’s Favorite Drive." Even though only a small portion falls within Caldwell County’s borders, the Parkway offers some of the most spectacular views of Caldwell County’s Globe, Blackberry, Richlands and other northern communities. Caldwell County’s section of the Parkway also is close to the Linncove Viaduct, the most recognizable section of the 469-mile scenic roadway (252 miles are in N.C.). The Parkway’s 75th anniversary will be celebrated in 2010.

29. Take me out the ballgame with the Caldwell County American Legion Post 29 at M.S. Deal Stadium or the Hickory Crawdads at L.P. Frans Stadium. With its concrete bleachers and great atmosphere, Deal Stadium is recognized as one of the top venues in the area to take in a game. Frans Stadium in Hickory gives fans a chance to catch the future stars of the Major Leagues. Current standouts who began their careers in Hickory include Detroit Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordonez, Chicago White Sox third baseman Joe Crede and Houston Astros slugger Carlos Lee.

30. Find some deals on furniture as Caldwell County is home to some of the best known manufacturers in the world, as well as dozens of furniture outlet stores. Many of the stores feature discontinued items, samples or other discounted furniture, which draws shoppers from across the United States looking for a bargain. Most of the stores are located along U.S. 321 between Lenoir and Hickory. Wear comfortable shoes as there is literally miles of showroom space to cover along the 20-mile furniture shopping strip. Before your trip, contact the furniture hotline at 1-800-737-0782 to get assistance on finding the right stores that carry your particular furniture brand.

31. Craft vendors, live music, food and children’s activities await at Hudson’s annual Butterfly Festival, each May in the downtown.

32. Try a new restaurant every week, just because. Caldwell County is home to a wide variety of culinary delights, from fresh seafood and gourmet fare to casual restaurants and nostalgic drive-in dining.

33. Stroll through J.E. Broyhill Park during the annual Sculpture Festival, the first Saturday of September. The festival features eclectic sculptures by local artists, live music and other vendors. A favorite each year is the Judge’s Tour of the winning pieces at 3:30 p.m.

34. Walk across the swinging bridge at Grandfather Mountain. Also, a nature museum, access to some of the region’s best hiking trails and some of the best views in all of North Carolina. There is a charge for admission. For more information, visit www.grandfather.com.

35. Get your kicks at one of the Cruise-Ins, held in downtown Lenoir every first and third Saturday night from May until October (except September). Hundreds of antique cars line the streets, oldies tunes fill the air and families stroll the sidewalks visiting with one another. In addition, the Carolina Cruisers provide two cruise-ins each month in front of the Belk and Tractor Supply parking lot on U.S. 321 on the second and fourth Saturdays, from May until September.

36. Tap your foot at the Historic Happy Valley Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention, each Labor Day weekend on the Jones Farm on N.C. 268 near the Wilkes County line. Music’s not the only entertainment that awaits; join in the Ducky Derby, corn shucking contest or take a tractor ride around the farm.

37. Watch a movie under the stars in downtown Lenoir on a two-story inflatable movie screen. See the Lenoir Parks and Recreation page at www.cityoflenoir.com for a complete schedule of movies.

38. Take a class at the Harper School of Performing Arts. Guitar, harp, violin, piano and voice lessons are just a few of the possibilities.

39. Attend one of the Happy Valley Ruritan Gospel singings, the first Friday of every month at the Happy Valley Ruritan Club. Enjoy home-cooked food and entertainment starting at 7 p.m.

40. Visit the grave of Laura Foster in Happy Valley and the historic mystery of her death, made famous by the Kingston Trio in the 1960s. It’s located on the Jones Farm property.

41. See one of the finest collections of antique soda vending machines in the world. Antiquities Vending showcases one of the world’s largest vintage soda machine collections. This expanding museum has more than 1,000 soda machines dating back to the 1920s. Open by appointment only, visitors can browse the museum while listening to the jukebox and enjoying a cold bottled soda dispensed from one of the machines on display. Adjoining the museum is Club Cola, a banquet hall that can be rented out for parties with all the bottled soda you can drink. The museum is at 24 South Main Street, Granite Falls. For more info, visit www.antiquevending.com

42. Take painting lessons at Foothills Art Gallery in the Lenoir Mall. The gallery also features beautiful local art for sale. The Lenoir Mall is located on Morganton Boulevard.

43. Spend the night in a teepee at Betsey’s Ole Country Store, 8396 N.C. 90, Mortimer Even though it is an outdoor camping experience, it’s not quite roughing it as there’s a wooden floor, beds and electricity inside the teepee, which is available for rental all year

44. Adopt a new pet at the Caldwell County Animal Shelter. There are always animals that need a loving home. The Animal Shelter is open Monday through Friday and is located at 829 Fairview Dr., Lenoir. Cat and dog adoptions include rabies vaccine and spaying/neutering.

45. Organize your own historical tour of the area by doing a little research and picking some prime spots. The Caldwell Visitor’s Center in Lenoir is a good place to start, but it’s not hard to find historic sites. There are several roadside markers located throughout the county, including new Civil War markers in downtown Lenoir and Happy Valley.

46. Family Pioneer Day is in October at Anita Alta 4-H Outpost Camp. Attendees participate with homesteading skills, weaving, crafts, candle dipping, and blacksmithing. Camp Anita Alta is located off Mulberry Creek Road, just a few miles away from Boone Fork Campground.

47. The Arts Council in Lenoir offers amazing to exposure to the cultural arts. Exhibits change monthly and there’s an opening reception the first Friday evening of each month. The Arts Council operates two galleries: The main gallery is located at the corner of College Avenue and Norwood Street. The Art In Healing gallery is located at Caldwell Memorial Hospital.

48. Join the Pickin’ in the Park performance series at Hudson Windmill Park during the first Friday of each month from June through September. Local bands perform on an outdoor stage ranging from bluegrass to jazz. The park also is home of the famous Hudson Bench Gang.

49. Take a Sunday drive through historic Happy Valley or Buffalo Cove, and other scenic areas of Caldwell County. There are countless country roads, and if possible, take the drive in a convertible for an added sense of adventure.

50. Join the action-packed excitement at Tough Enough Rodeo, which brings clowns, horses, tie-down roping and bull riding. Rodeos, Barrel Racing, and special events can be found every week from March until October. Tough Enough Rodeo is located at 3205 Oran Yount Lane.

51. Sample some Caldwell County barbecue. Many local restaurants serve both eastern and western style, and others offer non-North Carolina barbecue. Some local favorite barbecue spots include Hannah’s on U.S. 321 in Lenoir, Hog Wild on Connelly Springs Road in Baton and The Barbecue Man on U.S. 321 in Hudson. Don’t forget the bib, it could get messy.

52. Take part in one of the many summer activities the local 4-H chapter has to offer. Horse camp, adventure camp, science and craft sessions are some of the opportunities available to children in the area throughout the year. For more information, contact 4-H Agent, Jeanette Schuszler, call 757-1257 or e-mail jeanette_schuszler@ncsu.edu.

53. Visit the Caldwell County Courthouse or the Genealogy section of the public library and trace your family’s roots. You might be surprised by what you find.

54. Hike to Harper Falls. Being one of the more popular hikes in the area, you get double waterfalls at Harper Creek starting at 40 feet. This walk is a moderate hike with a steep incline at the beginning and a rope-assisted climb at the end of the falls. The hike takes about an hour. The trailhead is about 1.9 miles north of the Wilson Creek Visitor Center on Brown Mountain Beach Road. Follow the creek until you get to the waterfall. The trail is blazed in orange. There is a parking area at the trailhead.

55. Walk laps while enjoying the indoor comfort of the Lenoir Mall. Though only a few stores remain, those that are still open feature a unique variety of merchandise. The mall is currently in the midst of redevelopment and plans are under way to attract new business to the structure, which is located on Morganton Boulevard in Lenoir.

56. Visit one of the three branches of the Caldwell County Library. There are branches in Lenoir at 120 Hospital Ave., in Hudson at 530 Central St., and Granite Falls at 24 South Main St.

57. The Family Resource Center, located at the corner of Harper Avenue and Norwood Street in Lenoir, provides a variety of activities for children and their families. The center is open throughout the week for drop-in play in their spacious playroom. The center also offers parent education and support, as well as group activities for children.

58. Spend the night in one of three bed and breakfasts located in Caldwell County: Irish Rose Bed and Breakfast in Lenoir, Thistle House Bed & Breakfast in Granite Falls, and Gideon Ridge Inn in Blowing Rock. All three are in different parts of the county and have different amenities. Sounds like a great way to spend a three-day weekend.

59. Go tubing at Wilson Creek from the Wilson Creek Visitor Center to the bridge. Tubes can be rented from several local stores.

60. Volunteer at a local school. The Communities In Schools program offers several opportunities to mentor local students, including the Lunch Buddies Program. For more information, contact Communities In Schools at 759-2852 or 759-2853.

61. Visit a lonely senior citizen at a local nursing home.

62. Hudson-based Foothills Performing Arts, located on the campus of CCC&TI, presents quality theatre productions for all ages and interests. For more information, and a schedule, visit www.foothillsperformingarts.org.

63. Watch tomorrow’s basketball stars play today as The Patterson School’s high school and prep teams put some of the most sought after men’s and women’s basketball recruits in the country on the court. The Bulldogs have drawn national notoriety for recruiting some of the top basketball talent in the country to Caldwell County, and their schedule often sends them all across the country to play some of the nation’s elite prep programs.

64. Shape up with a recreation center membership or join a health club and get fit! The Lenoir Aquatic and Fitness Center, Quest 4 Life, Never Too Old, Curves, Martin Luther King Center, McCreary Recreation and Fitness Center in Hudson, and the William B. Shuford Recreation Center in Granite Falls offer fitness classes and equipment.

65. Sample some fine wines by attending a wine tasting at the Wine Cellar and Bistro or Carolina Mist Winery located in downtown Lenoir.

66. Take a class at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. As one of the finest colleges in the state, CCC&TI has a broad variety of offerings as well as specialty courses that can be the first step to a new career or hobby. Some of the favorites include massage therapy, the culinary program and computers. There are also activities for children during the summer months. For more information, visit www.cccti.edu.

67. Rent a boat and enjoy Lake Hickory or Lake Rhodhiss.

68. Read a Jan Karon novel. The popular Mitford series draws inspiration from the Town of Blowing Rock, plus Karon once lived and attended public schools in Caldwell County.

69. Hike to the top of Hibriten Mountain and enjoy the view of Lenoir. The road to the top of the mountain is accessible from Starcross Road in Lenoir. During the Christmas and Easter seasons, the mountain is lit up with an enormous star and cross in honor of the seasons. The hike is about three miles round-trip, but is worth the effort. The highest point in Lenoir offers a spectacular view of the city, as well as the surrounding Blue Ridge and Brushy mountains.

70. Grind the rails at Mulberry Recreation Center’s skateboard park in Lenoir. It’s a favorite hangout for local teens as well. For more information, visit the city’s Web site at www.cityoflenoir.com

71. See a championship team in action by attending a football game at Appalachian State in Boone. Caldwell County is home to a satellite ASU campus, as well as a huge Mountaineer fan base. Watch for heavy traffic on game day as U.S. 321 is one of two main thoroughfares taking ASU fans into Boone.

72. Get a taste of "Caldwell Cuisine" at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. Students at the Culinary Institute prepare delectable dishes from a variety of cultures and styles. Visit www.cccti.edu for more information or a schedule.

73. Attend all four major Caldwell Christmas parades, which typically fall on the same Saturday in December. The town of Granite Falls, Hudson, Lenoir and Sawmills each host an entertaining event, complete with marching bands, dancers, floats and other entertainment. Don’t make any other plans for the day as each parade lasts approximately 30 to 90 minutes.

74. Lenoir is host to two Hmong festivals each year at the Caldwell County Fairgrounds, one of which celebrates the Hmong New Year. The Catawba Valley is home to a large concentration of Hmong, who originally hail from Southeast Asia and came to the United States after the Vietnam War. The cultural celebration features a variety of Hmong foods, music, sports and activities. For more information, visit www.uhanc.org.

75. Try your hand at geocaching, a high-tech worldwide scavenger hunt. Enthusiast use handheld GPS devices to locate hidden containers (also called a cache) that others have left behind. There are dozens of hidden caches in Caldwell County from Wilson Creek to downtown Lenoir. To find a hidden cache in your area, visit www.geocaching.com. Think of it as a modern-day treasure hunt.

76. Make keepsakes such as a painted pottery bowl at Mine By Design, or a plush puppy dog at Allie’s Animal Workshop, both located in downtown Lenoir.

77. Try off-road driving at the Brown Mountain Off Highway Vehicle area. This is the only trail system within Pisgah National Forest that allows all-terrain vehicles (ATV) and 4x4 off-road driving. Thirty-four miles of trails are open to dirt bikes, and more than 14 miles are open to ATVs, jeeps, and other 4-wheel-drive vehicles. Most trails are not wide enough for two-way traffic, thus a one-way system is used. Trail numbers can only be seen in one direction, but riders should be cautious of others who get turned around and head in the wrong direction. There is a daily usage fee of $5.

78. Enjoy some of Caldwell County’s nightlife at one of several hot spots, including Steelhorses in Whitnel, Buzzard’s in downtown Lenoir, and Renaissance Falls in Granite Falls.

79. Get a taste of true Caldwell County cooking by ordering a livermush biscuit for breakfast. It tastes much better than it sounds – trust us. They are available at most all of the mom and pop restaurants that serve breakfast.

80. Go house hunting in the multitude of neighborhoods. There is a weekly real estate guide available in every Saturday edition of the News-Topic, and a Web directory of local Realtors is available at the Caldwell Economic Development Web site www.caldwelledc.org

81. Drive Globe Mountain Road for a scenic afternoon outing. Be sure to use the bathroom before you leave. It’s a very rough, and long, ride.

82. Every April, the Yadkin Valley Plow Day provides a glimpse into early farm life with horse-drive plows on the Jones Farm on N.C. 268. The valley also occasionally hosts a Mow Day when it’s time to harvest.

83. Attend the annual Molasses Festival at Sims Country BBQ in Dudley Shoals on the second Saturday in October. This festival features bluegrass entertainment, jam sessions, clogging, molasses making, apple butter, hayrides, food, crafts, games, antique tractors, and hay rides.

84. Register to vote and participate in the next election, or sign up to be an election worker. This election is one to go down in history! Contact the Caldwell County Board of Elections at 757-1326 for more information.

85. Volunteer for a worthy cause. There are plenty of opportunities in the area. Caldwell Friends, The Women’s Shelter, The Soup Kitchen, Room at the Inn, Kwanza Inn and South Caldwell Christian Ministries are but a few. Call the local United Way office at 758-9300 for more information.

86. Join in the fun at the Caldwell Senior Center. The center offers a variety of activities, including fitness programs, basket weaving, quilting and other hobbies. The Senior Center is located at 650-A Pennton Ave., Lenoir. For more information, call 758-2883.

87. Come to the Lenoir Art and Antique Celebration in October. The Lenoir Uptown Business Association puts on this event with a day of fine arts and crafts, antiques, live music, children’s activities, food, artisan demonstrations, and more.

88. Stop by the Caldwell County Visitors Center and you’re sure to learn something new about Caldwell County. The Visitor’s Center is located at the Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce, 1909 Hickory Blvd., Lenoir.

89. History buffs will love the Civil War reenactments at the Caldwell Heritage Museum in August and Wilson Creek in September.

90. Attend a Caldwell County Fourth of July celebration. Collettsville hosts a big event at Hard and Flossie Park in Collettsville, which includes a dazzling fireworks display; Hudson celebrates Independence with its annual Kiddie Car Parade, which includes pint-sized patriots decorating their bikes and trikes for a ride through town; and the annual Fourth of July Celebration at the Mulberry Recreation Center in Lenoir includes a huge fireworks show plus live music and activities for children. The Lenoir Mall is a popular place to watch the fireworks, but get your spot early as the parking lot fills up quickly.

91. Worship at the church of your choice this Sunday.

92. Get a cup of coffee at one of the local coffee shops. At Blue Moose you don’t even have to leave your car! Java Joe’s in downtown Lenoir offers plenty of beverage choices in a relaxing atmosphere.

93. Spend an afternoon at a local playground. Mulberry Recreation Center in Lenoir, Oak Hill Park in Oak Hill, Redwood Park in Hudson, Buffalo Cove Park in Buffalo all are popular.

94. Attend Lenoir’s Harambee Festival Aug. 2-Aug. 8. This year’s schedule, which is available at www.cityoflenoir.com, includes live music, a dance, a block party and plenty of daily activities for children.

95. Start your own household recycling program. You’d be surprised at the amount of trash you can cut down on! Examples of items that can be recycled are: aluminum cans, cardboard, plastic bottles and containers (with a #1 or #2 on the bottom), newspaper and other paper. Most Caldwell towns offer recycling programs, and recycling is available at the county’s various convenience sites.

96. Go on a treasure hunt at local consignment and thrift stores. There are endless opportunities to find a stylish piece of clothing, a great deal on something for the home or a 50-cent book for an afternoon of reading under a shady tree. Also, Saturdays during the warmer months offer a plethora of garage and yard sales, which offer a whole new level of bargain hunting and socialization.

97. Enjoy the fall and spring fairs at the Caldwell County Fairgrounds.

98. Enjoy bird watching at the Lenoir Greenway. Designated as a North Carolina Birding Site, this is a great placed for beginning birders to see everything from blue jays and morning doves to yellow-rumped warblers. From Labor Day weekend until the end of September, birders can observe the annual raptor migration through the Brushy Mountains on their way to Central and South America. The Parkway Bank parking lot in Lenoir provides a public access point to observe the Brushy Mountains.

99. Attend a local high school or college sporting event. Caldwell County is home to several successful prep and college programs and athletes. The Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute men’s and women’s hoops teams that have made a splash in recent years with appearances in the national junior college tournaments, each posting top-four finishes. The volleyball team for women continues to lay its foundation, and both sports offer post-secondary sporting opportunities for students.

100. Develop your own adventure ideas, as Caldwell County offers countless opportunities. And don’t forget to invite a friend.