Skip to content Sitemap


Flying High

~ Flying High ~

“For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will long to return.”  -Leonardo da Vinci

Flying isn’t for everyone but if you have never flown, you’ll never know the joy you are missing.  My husband is a private pilot and he loves to fly.  He works at the local airport with our featured business owner, Andy Ernst of Smokey Mountain Flyers.  Andy is the flight instructor at the Western Carolina Regional Airport here in Cherokee County, NC.  He has been in business since May of 2011 and has lived in the Murphy area since 2004.  He has been in aviation his whole life and flight instructed part time before retiring from his full time job as an air traffic controller.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  Andy enjoys flying and meeting the people here in Murphy, North Carolina and his favorite thing about having a business here is the mountains and lakes.

According to Andy’s website, “Smoky Mountain Flyers believes in offering quality service at a great price. Safety and satisfaction propel a passion to share the love of flight with a new generation of airmen.  Come fly with Instructor Andy Ernst, a retired air traffic controller and professional aviator of nearly 40 years’ experience! Andy has held a pilot’s certificate since 1973, and has been a flight instructor since 1993. He is a member of the National Association of Flight Instructors, and a consummate professional in the skies.”

Andy would like to offer a half hour flight for $55 for anyone who tells him that they saw this on the ERA Carolina Mountain Homes blog!  And you can check out his website HERE for all his contact information and to learn more about flying!

Flying High over Western Carolina Regional Airport Flying with Andy Ernst Flying at the Western Carolina Regional Airport

Spring time in the Mountains

Spring is here!  The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and folks around Murphy, NC are buzzing about all the wonderful things this area has to offer.  Over the last few weeks, we’ve been telling you about different business owners and their shops.  This week I’d like to tell you about all the great businesses and attractions in Cherokee County, NC.  We have so much to be thankful for here in our beautiful mountain towns and communities.  And spring is such a wonderful time of the year to get out and explore.  So let’s just jump right in and start learning about our area.  If you’re like me, you’ll probably learn something new, even if you’ve lived here your whole life!  First, our location is very central.  Murphy, North Carolina sits just 2 hours from Asheville, NC, Knoxville, TN, Atlanta, GA and Chattanooga, TN.  We are a premium get-a-way spot for people, both far and near.  We have whitewater rafting located approximately thirty minutes from downtown; the Ocoee River to the west and the Nantahala River to the east.  There’s zip lining, kayaking, canoeing, & hiking (and we’re not far from the Appalachian Trail either.)   Or maybe you’re more into horseback riding, hiking to a waterfall, playing a round of golf or maybe just playing putt-putt.  There’s birdwatching on the Murphy River Walk, relaxing at one of the local eateries while listening to some live music, touring a vineyard or sampling some local wine.  Still not convinced?  Ok, well let’s see…there’s museums and cinemas, speedways and spas, restaurants, a casino, tours of all kinds, and adventures near and far!  Spring is a great time to rent a cabin and just relax by a creek or river.  Or you could go shopping, fishing, camping or mountain biking.  You can see this beautiful area by foot, car, bike, boat or even take a plane ride and see it by air. (If you are wondering how to find out more about all these great activities and shops, visit this website for more information) And once you’ve visited, you might even want to call this place home.  Don’t let this spring season get away without visiting Cherokee County, North Carolina.  Your adventure awaits – right here in the mountains!

spring in town spring in the vineyard spring time waterfall

Getting Raised and The Artists’ Common

When I was growing up here in Cherokee County, NC, there was a saying that went something like this: You don’t just grow up around here, you get raised!  Now, I don’t exactly know the difference myself but I’m sure some of the ol’ timers around here would. What I do know is that either way, growing up or getting raised, you didn’t do it alone- you did it with all the neighbors. Neighbors were important to us and in this week’s blog, I’m going to introduce you to a childhood neighbor of mine. His name is (or was) Nicky Guthrie but he goes by Nick now. Nick and I, along with our sisters and all the other children in this community, had known each other since we were at least 4 or 5 years old. We became like siblings because we spent nearly every day with each other. As is common, we grew up and drifted apart. As I have recently moved back to the Murphy area, I am thrilled to be able to reconnect with long-lost friends. Nick is one such neighbor and I’m honored to call him FRIEND!  Nick is one of the business owners in downtown Murphy and this week, I’m going to let him tell his story about his business, The Artists’ Common.
“The Artists’ Common was established in 1996 and has been in business 20 years this coming August.
Originally there were 4 of us that started the Artists’ Common. Myself, along with Betsy Henn Bailey, Tim Schewe and Christy Dockery. Me, Tim and Christy had all been former art students of Betsy’s and still would work at her studio from time to time, and had thrown around the idea of having a gallery. When this building became available, we thought we would give it a try. We were not thinking of it as a business, but as more of a place for local artists to exhibit and sell their works. That’s where the name came from. The Artists’ Common, meant a meeting place for artists. At that time, we were the only gallery in Murphy. Over the years we have also become a frame shop and Betsy has moved her workshop and classes into the gallery as well.
Since opening in 1996 Tim and Christy have relocated and are no longer active with the gallery. The daily operations are handled by my mom, Barbara Guthrie and Betsy Henn Bailey still has classes there and does on site art work. I do the matting and framing.
The best thing about having The Artists’ Common is meeting and working with the artist’s. We have had many different artists show and sell their works at the gallery. They have ranged from well known individuals that have had works in large galleries, and one that even had work in The White House to first timers that have never shown their work anywhere else. It’s always a great feeling to see when someone sells their first piece of work. We have also allowed school students to present there and have had demonstrations from representatives at Enesco.
We think we offer something that gives back to the community and have been recognized for this by being the Favorite Gallery in the Cherokee Scout on several occasions and have also been recognized for window displays during the Christmas season and participate in the yearly Art Walk.
We have a broad range of art work and a full line of frames and mats. We try to keep our prices very reasonable to accommodate the local economy as well as tourists. We would like everyone to stop by anytime for a visit.”

The Artists' Common Store front The Artists' Common outside Inside The Artists' Common

Friends Old and New

Friends are an integral part of any move. I know this from experience, since my husband and I have moved numerous times. And this latest move back to my hometown of Murphy, North Carolina is no different. Moving to a new town means leaving old friends behind but also making new ones. For us, moving back to our hometown has given us an opportunity to renew old friendships as well as given us a chance to make new ones. It has been an honor and privilege for me to be able to do both, right here in our ERA Carolina Mountain Home office. While Joan Posey-Neumann, owner of ERA Carolina Mountain Homes, is a long-time friend, I have loved getting to know the rest of the team here. Mick and Jane Goebel are two of the ERA team that my husband and I have recently gotten to know a little better. They have been in Murphy, NC for nearly 20 years. They say it’s the best move they ever made! They became licensed Realtors in 2004 and have been Lifetime Members of the Million Dollar Club since 2009. I’m excited to introduce you to them and I can honestly say, I am thrilled to have made new friends with two such wonderful people. Mick and Jane Goebel are kind and generous and hard working –and their clients will tell you that they are great at what they do! So, here, in their own words, are Mick and Jane Goebel, my NEW friends….
“We love our career in Real Estate. As a team, we work diligently helping people make their dreams come true! Your satisfaction is always our top priority! Our mission is to consistently exceed the expectations of our clients, customers and colleagues by always conducting ourselves and our business in a professional and ethical manor, while providing the most informed real estate services possible.”
You can visit us at our website!
We are most easily reached on our cell phones: 828-361-9443/828-361-9442
Call us today, so together we can begin working on your dream!!
Associate Brokers – Licensed in NC & GA
Members of 2 Multiple Listing Services
Lifetime Member of Million Dollar Club
Chamber of Commerce Members since 2012

Our friends, Mick and Jane Goebel ERA Carolina Mountain Homes


Community….it’s what we’re here for. Are you looking for a community to belong to? Here in the mountains, we know what it means to be a community. We are a close knit family here in the Murphy and Cherokee County area. We work together, worship together, play sports, hang out, and eat together. Family functions are a regular thing and family doesn’t just mean your relatives. Here, neighbors become like family, co-workers become like family, the people in our churches become like family. We know how to care for each other and we know how to give people their space. A trip to the grocery store or to Walmart becomes a meet & greet and a time to catch up with those you’ve not seen in a while. If you need a helping hand, someone in your circle has got your back. The shop keepers, business owners and store clerks smile when you enter their store. They ask about your family and say a friendly, “Come again!” and “Have a nice day!” as you leave. Are you looking for something different? Maybe a slower pace of life? Then maybe Murphy, North Carolina is the place for you! We are proud of what we have to offer and we’re not ashamed to tell you so. To us, it’s important to slow down and take time for our neighbors, friends and family. And it’s important to us to take time to get to know those that are new in our area. I know from experience, you just can’t put a price tag on some things; having good neighbors is one of them! Our neighbors took the time to get to know us when we moved in to the area and for that, I am grateful –I love my neighbors! They are friendly and kind and are glad to have us in their community. I wouldn’t trade it for the world –community is important and our neighbors are special here in the mountains of this wonderful little Western North Carolina town!

Arieal view of Murphy, country roads facebook_1459215989579 Country roads in the community

Getting to know Downtown Murphy

In our current series, we want to introduce our downtown and around neighbors. A few weeks ago we introduced you to one of our agents and last week you met Darcy Bristol from Infinity Salon and Spa. This week we’d like to introduce you to another friend of ours- Nancy Lane. Nancy has been in business for 26 years in various roles here in Murphy. She’s been in banking, real estate and with the Chamber of Commerce. For the last two years, she’s been the manager of the Murphy and Andrews Visitor’s Center. Her background in real estate gave her the perfect opportunity to promote Cherokee County when she was fortunate enough to be chosen as manager of the Murphy Visitor’s Center. Her realtor experience helped her greatly in welcoming visitors and providing area information. And now at the Murphy Visitor’s Center, not only does she meet and greet visitors, but she also promotes the area with a terrific website, Facebook page, Trip Advisor and other social media. Nancy says the favorite part of her job is watching people fall in love with both of our unique towns and hearing them talk about all of the fun things to do here and especially, seeing how friendly the people are. Nancy and her husband Dannie, came to Murphy from Florida and as they drove through and stopped to check their motor home, they had three people stop to see if they needed help. In Nancy’s own words, “Everyone was so friendly, the area is breathtakingly beautiful and we ended up buying the 3rd piece of property we looked at. Took a few years to move permanently but we absolutely love this area and can’t imagine living anywhere else.” Her favorite part of Murphy is her farm, the friends they’ve made over the years and the absolute beauty of the area.” She says that “…while we don’t have shopping malls, we do have everything you could possibly need so come check out Cherokee County, North Carolina and while you’re at it, check out our website and Like us on Facebook!”

FB_IMG_145857492692120160318_160124 index

Getting to know you…

Do you ever have trouble finding a hair stylist when you’ve just moved into a new area? I always struggle with that. After moving back to Murphy and, after a few bad haircuts, my husband suggested I try Infinity the Salon and Spa at 308 Hill St. in Murphy because he thought it looked like a place I would like. And boy was he right! Let me introduce you to her… or better yet, I’ll let her introduce herself. So here, in her own words, I give you Darcy Bristol!
How long have you been in business in Murphy?
We have been in business for nine years. I was involved in another salon here in Murphy, when I stumbled on the beautiful gem that is now known as Infinity. It was a lonely brick home in need of some serious love and TLC. After a few months and an extensive renovation, we opened for business in April of 2007.

Why did you choose this line of work and what background/education do you have?
After I was graduated from high school I moved to Gainesville, Florida and completed a cosmetology program at Santa Fe Community College in 1996. I worked at an amazing salon in Gainesville for a year under the tutelage of an educator for Rusk, Toni and Guy, and Paul Mitchell. My mentor, Carl Galombos, gave me the confidence and skills to succeed. He helped me to be able to create any vision my clients desired. There is no feeling better than the happiness that can be brought to someone by making them look AND feel good. I did try various jobs and career paths for a few years; construction, the food industry, car sales, none of which filled in me the desire to help people. In 2006 I decided to expand my breadth of knowledge and went to massage therapy school in Cleveland, Tennessee. I completed the program with high honors and a love for bodywork. Again, making people feel good has become my passion. It has been said if you truly love what you do, you never work a day in your life!

What brought you to Murphy?
I came to Murphy to visit in 1996. My parents had purchased a home here after leaving the Florida Keys. My original impression was the beauty. I’ll never forget the time I stepped out onto their deck and took in the view. The lake nestled into the backdrop of the mountains with the mist lifting into the air after a rainstorm took my breath away. This place is absolutely gorgeous. It is small and quaint and peaceful. It is this that I took back to Gainesville after my first visit. I couldn’t escape the fact that these mountains were “calling” to me. I moved here permanently a year later.

Do you have any other information you wish to share with the public?
At Infinity we strive to provide you with a service you will truly remember. We offer spa services including; Eminence Organic Skin Care facials, massages, body treatments, manicures, pedicures, airbrush tanning, eyelash and eyebrow extensions, and body and facial hair removal. We also offer a full salon menu including; expert haircuts, hair color, permanent waves and straighteners. Our staff is truly passionate about the work they do, which comes through in how you look and feel leaving our facility.

We would like to offer to anyone viewing this post 20% off any service with us. We guarantee you will not be disappointed!

There you have it – Please visit their website and get to know them.   And by the way, tell them you saw it here!


Downton Abbey

Who’s a Downton Abbey fan? I’m a huge Downton Abbey fan! As I watched, not only the final episode of season 6, but also the very last “final episode” of Downton Abbey ever, I was saddened that it had come to an end. But I was also happy that it ended on such a positive note. It was your typical “Fairy tale happy ending.” While Murphy, North Carolina isn’t Downton Abbey, it is however, a picturesque and quaint town. The people are friendly and kind and helpful; all terms I hear from those I come in contact with during my work week. Other terms I hear describing my hometown are: charming, positive energy, quiet, beautiful, caring community and lovely. Sounds “fairy tale” like to me and some would even say, unbelievable. But it’s true – just ask anyone you meet on the street or in the shops around here. People are happy with their decision to either move here, vacation here or stay here, if they were born and raised here. And some, like me, move away for one reason or another and then move back home the first chance they get. Murphy, NC has so much to offer, so much we want to share with you. So whether you’re looking for a vacation spot or new hometown, Murphy may just be the perfect place for you! And here’s just a small list of what makes Murphy so great:
• Beautiful scenery
• Picturesque landscape
• Rivers, lakes and streams
• Boating
• Canoeing
• Mountain hiking and Mountain biking
• Horseback riding
• Golfing
• Backpacking
• Camping
• Antique shopping
• Museums
• Walking tours
• Quiet living
• Food, food and more food
We may not be Downton Abbey but you may just find your very own fairy tale here –So come to the mountains and enjoy ALL that Murphy has to offer!

New Doc 21_1


The People and Places of Murphy

In our last blog, we talked about how everyone has a story. In the weeks to come, we’d like to introduce members of our office, as well as, members of our community and tell their stories. This week we’ll introduce Paula Bryan, one of the many Realtor’s that make up the ERA Carolina Mountain Homes team.
Paula is an Auburn University business graduate and has been in this business for 12 years here in Murphy. She comes from an HR management and Economic development background. She moved to Murphy because of the beauty and peace of the mountains and the charming downtown area. Her favorite part of being in realty is helping her clients solve issues that arise in the home-buying process. Her favorite thing about Murphy is the downtown area with its many shops, restaurants and farmer’s markets, and as she puts it, “and best of all, the Murphy River Walk!” Paula is proud to be with Carolina Mountain Homes, a real estate office that puts character, integrity and care for customers and clients first!  To read more about Paula, visit the “About, Our Team” page on our website
And since she mentioned it, I’ll discuss the Murphy River Walk in greater detail. The Murphy River Walk and Canoe Trail is a three mile walking trail that follows the Hiwassee and Valley Rivers, which meet to form the back waters of Lake Hiwassee and surround the historic town center. The trail is situated between the Konehete Park and the L&N Depot. All along the way, you’ll encounter the natural beauty of the native plant life and various bird and fish species. The River Walk is just one of many ways to enjoy the natural beauty this area has to offer. For more information about the Murphy River Walk and Canoe Trail, check out their site here

Until next week!


The Journey Home

The longing of seasons, with the vibrant greens and yellows of spring, the sounds of children splashing in a lake, and the brilliant hues of autumn all call us home.  Or at least, call us to the mountains.  It may not be a return to your childhood home like it has been for me.  But maybe it has still been a calling, just the same.  Murphy, North Carolina is a great place to vacation or a great place to live.  It has been called “The Gateway to the Smoky Mountains.”  The area is filled with numerous outdoor activities;  lakes, streams, trails, and all with breathtaking scenery.  Whether you are here in Murphy, North Carolina now or long to be here, we all have our reasons for coming and they are as varied as the kinds of fish in the lakes or birds in the sky.  This sleepy little Western North Carolina town of Murphy is where I was born and raised and now I’ve come home.  What about you?  What brings you to Murphy, NC?  Or what makes you want to be here?  We all have a story – What’s yours?  Are you here for a visit, as a part-time resident or here full time?  In the next few weeks and months, we here at ERA Carolina Mountain Homes would like to hear from you.  Let us feature your business or just tell your story.  I have lots of great memories of growing up in Murphy, North Carolina and now that I’m home, I look forward to making lots more memories.  Won’t you come to the mountains of this wonderful Western North Carolina town and make your own memories – come home to the mountains, come home to Murphy, NC!

« Previous Page

Next Page »