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I’m Chris Bainbridge, inviting you to take a ride with me. This is an amazing place to find adventure in all shapes and sizes. Ingles has sent me on a mission to bring you the very best of what our beautiful home has to offer – food, fun, nature, music, and more, all affordable, and all out of the ordinary. This is The Ingles Open Road.
They say you can’t go home again, but today I feel like I’m doing just that. Welcome to Marion, North Carolina. Our family moved here from Chicago when I was three years old, and it was a great place to grow up. Even though we moved away when I was nine, it left an indelible mark on my soul. And today I’m thrilled to be back and explore how this little foothills town is still going strong.
I remember doing canned food drives at the courthouse with cub scouts… getting my hair cut at the barber shop down the street… and discovering awesome new GI Joes at the hardware store. Things have changed a bit since then, but today we’re discovering some gems that make this town shine.
We’re starting off at Mr. Bobs Donuts, home of the Ugly Apple, hand-made donuts every morning, and a great cup of coffee. This is the perfect first stop on your day of exploring Marion.
With my coffee in hand, I’m heading up the street to Vintage Market. Filled with home goods, cooking supplies, and a vast supply of intriguing odds and ends, this is the perfect place to get lost for a little while.
And then once you’ve found yourself – along with a few things you can’t live without – take a walk down the street to Aria Rose.
Now I gotta admit, this place was not designed for yours truly. BUT, when shopping for my daughter Cate and for anyone else interested in women’s fashion, this custom boutique shop is a must-stop.
Up next, it’s time for lunch, and we’re headed to my favorite restaurant in North Carolina – Bruce’s Fabulous Foods.
This place just celebrated its 20th anniversary, and owners Bruce and Barbara Brown are still going strong – turning out mouth-watering favorites and famous cheesecakes that draw customers from all over the world. To be honest, Chef Bruce is a friend (and an Ingles Table Allstar). But the friendly vibes here make everyone feel like part of the family.
If the cheesecakes and banana cake at Bruce’s aren’t enough to satisfy your post-lunch sweet tooth, you can always finish things off at Artesana Ice Cream – scooping happiness for three generations. There’s so much to experience here in Marion and we’ve barely scratched the surface. To learn more and plan your visit, check out MarionNC.org. Your weekend is waiting, on the Ingles Open Road.