A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

[caption id="attachment_137392" align="alignright" width="300"] Fresh strawberries in North Carolina, like this basket from Rudd Farm in Greensboro, are usually ripe for picking from late April to early June.[/caption] Pick Fresh

Madison County Championship Rodeo

[caption id="attachment_137392" align="alignright" width="300"] Fresh strawberries in North Carolina, like this basket from Rudd Farm in Greensboro, are usually ripe for picking from late April to early June.[/caption] Pick Fresh

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

[caption id="attachment_137392" align="alignright" width="300"] Fresh strawberries in North Carolina, like this basket from Rudd Farm in Greensboro, are usually ripe for picking from late April to early June.[/caption] Pick Fresh

4 Items for Your May To-Do List

Strawberry shortcake
Fresh strawberries in basket.

Fresh strawberries in North Carolina, like this basket from Rudd Farm in Greensboro, are usually ripe for picking from late April to early June. photograph by Stacey Van Berkel

Pick Fresh Strawberries

Grab a bucket or a basket: It’s strawberry season. In May, farmers across our state prepare for a flurry of visitors with sticky, red fingers and smiles to match.

Bernie’s Berries, Greensboro

James and Bernice Kenan planted a small strawberry patch when they started farming in 1982. Today, Bernie’s Berries grows seven acres of strawberries in addition to watermelons, zucchini, and many other crops.

Don’t miss: Grab the recipe for “Bernie’s Dip” — a mixture of cream cheese and marshmallow creme that’s perfect for berry dipping.

(336) 852-1594, berniesberries.com

Darnell Farms, Bryson City

Nathaniel Darnell and his sister, Afton Roberts, have made their family farm a destination. Pick strawberries, shop for other fresh produce, and listen to live music.

Don’t miss: The strawberry and goat cheese empanadas sold at the on-site food truck.

(828) 488-2376, darnellfarms.com

Deans Farm Market, Wilson

Jim Warenda, president of the North Carolina Strawberry Association, grows true “North Carolina strawberries,” Warenda says. His 30 acres of Chandler strawberries are juicy and “full red all the way through.”

Don’t miss: Prepared goodies like strawberry honey.

(252) 237-0967, deansfarmmarket.com

— Chloe Klingstedt

To find more North Carolina strawberry farms, visit ncstrawberry.com.


Two people having brunch outside on porch of Louise's Kitchen.

Have brunch on the porch at Louise’s Kitchen in Black Mountain to celebrate Mother’s Day. photograph by Emily Chaplin and Chris Council

Celebrate Moms

This Mother’s Day, May 9, treat the special women in your life to brunch at some of our favorite restaurants across the state. Oh, and maybe have a mimosa or two.

Jester’s Café, Wilmington

This bistro, in the Castle Street Arts District, makes its dishes — like homemade tuna salad on thick-sliced wheat bread and black bean Benedict — with the freshest ingredients and a healthy dash of love.

You have to try: The French toast casserole.

(910) 763-6555, jesterscafe.com

Louise’s Kitchen, Black Mountain

The historic Stepp House was reimagined into a restaurant that serves breakfast all day. George W. Stepp, the home’s namesake, was a cabinetmaker who worked at the Biltmore Estate and served as mayor of Black Mountain from 1908 to 1911 and from 1915 to 1917.

You have to try: The huevos rancheros.

(828) 357-5446, louisesblackmtn.com

Press Coffee + Crepe, Graham

Press is more than just a coffeehouse: Here, customers can indulge in made-to-order sweet and savory crepes prepared with locally sourced ingredients.

You have to try: The berries-and-cream crepe.

(336) 395-3645, presscc.com

— Rebecca Woltz

To find more Mother’s Day brunch spots, click here.


Bake Our Strawberry Shortcake

Slice up your farm-fresh berries, dust them in sugar, and sandwich a spoonful between a homemade biscuit and a blanket of whipped cream. This sweet treat will capture your heart — and leave a stain on your plate.

Find the recipe at ourstate.com/strawberry-shortcake.


1956 Jaguar XK140

At Hickory’s Autolawn Party, classic cars, like the 1956 Jaguar XK140, will be displayed. photograph by R.B. KNAUF

Check Out Fun Events

BBQ Fest on the Neuse, Kinston

May 7-8: Pig out at the largest whole-hog cook-off in the world. Forty teams will compete for awards during this weekend event at Pearson Park.

(252) 523-2500, kinstonbbq.com

The Autolawn Party, Hickory

May 15: View a variety of German, Italian, British, and other European cars and motorcycles, and enjoy good food and a cold beer on the SALT Block Lawn during this eighth annual event. Attendees can cast a vote to help decide which vehicle should win the People’s Choice Award.

theautolawn.com

Online Spring Pottery Sale, Durham

May 1-2: Shop for beautiful ceramic jewelry, garden art, functional wares, and other items that display a variety of glaze techniques and firing methods, all from the comfort of your home.

durhamcountypotterytour.com

This story was published on Apr 27, 2021

Our State Staff

Our State Staff

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.