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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Weekend Getaway: Morganton

Posted February 16, 2007 8:24 a.m. EST

I'm going home this week. Home to Morganton in Burke County. It's a great place for a weekend getaway even in the dead of winter. I'll be playing with my band Lorica in a special concert at the city's municipal auditorium Saturday night.

I grew up in Morganton which has been described many times as "one of the prettiest places in NC." It is especially when you look up and see Table Rock in the distance. It is when you hike the trails of South Mountain State Park, the largest state park in NC. It is when you visit Quaker Meadows, my restored ancestral home where the successful plan to beat the British at Kings Mountain was hatched in 1780. It is when you take a boat ride at sunset on Lake James. And I have yet to find a more beautiful sanctuary than Grace Episcopal Church on King Street.

Morganton is also the home of one of the 20th century's greatest constitutional experts. Senator Sam J. Ervin became an international folk hero as chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee during the turbulent 1970's. His Morganton library is on display at Western Piedmont Community Colllege.

You will also enjoy a tour of the historic Burke County Courthouse on the square in Morganton.

And if you have a little extra time you can hit the slopes just up the road on Highway 181.