The CSI5* competition is underway at the Tryon International Equestrian Center. Warm weather greeted horses, riders, and spectators, although slightly more fall-like temperatures will make an appearance through the weekend. For those planning to visit this week or next, before the circuit moves further south to Florida, we tapped local B&B owner, Katherine Pfaff, to reveal her favorite places in town and in the surrounding areas.

When Katherine moved to North Carolina from the San Francisco Bay Area, she bought a farm because she couldn’t find a place to board her horse. A dressage rider, she has three horses on her property, the Cross Creek Bed, Barn and Breakfast, in addition to hosting dressage trainer, Hokan Thorn.

“First, you should know that the town of Tryon is not the closest town to the Tryon Equestrian park,” Katherine said. “TIEC is actually located in Mill Spring, which doesn’t have much of a town. There are three larger neighboring towns, Tryon and Columbus, both in North Carolina, and Landrum, South Carolina. These towns are known as the string of pearls by some. We are pretty much on a state boundary and as you drive around you’ll be passing through one state to another. People here are used to hopping in the car and driving a bit for a good meal and fun.”

Read on to discover exactly where the local business woman and rider is willing to drive to and visit.

Cross Creek Bed, Barn & Breakfast

Cross Creek Bed, Barn & Breakfast


  • Cross Creek B&B: Enjoy a stay on a beautiful, historic horse farm, in the heart of the renowned Tryon Horse Country. The 1860’s farm house with its fireplaces and wood paneled rooms combines country luxury and hospitality to provide warm yet friendly accommodations.
  • The Red Horse Inn: A 30-minute drive, and across the state line into South Carolina, is the very best inn that’s not well enough known.


  • Stone Soup: For good, fresh, innovative menus and fun equestrian decor with lots of photos of local equestrians from all disciplines.
  • Soulisa: The restaurant describes itself as Japanese/Thai fusion. My faves are soft spring rolls as well as the lettuce wraps. The spicing seems to be quite authentic and good.
  • Blue Ginger Sushi & Noodles: This is at the horse park, which is fun. Also at TIEC, Roger’s Diner is a good, mid priced option.
  • Purple Onion in Saluda: If you drive a little further afield on I-26, this is a really charming spot that’s good for locavores and has live music and local art. It’s also in a fun town to browse around.
  • Never Blue: In Hendersonville, this is great for amazing tapas and unique cocktails.
  • Umi Sushi: Also in Hendersonville, this is the real deal and has wonderful decor. Umi serves authentic Japanese cuisine.
  • The 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa: Lake Lure is where both Dirty Dancing and the Last of the Mohicans were filmed. Try Sunday Brunch at the historic inn with lots of atmosphere, good food, and great views.


  • Farm House Tack: My favorite tack store in the world. An astonishing and beautiful collection of clothing, tack, and all needful things. The owner has incredible taste. It’s worth a pilgrimage, for sure.
  • Getfitted Boutique: In Landrum, SC, this is a one-of-a-kind dress specialty shop. It’s worth a look in just to see all the sparkly things.
  • Horse and Home: Another really cute shop that has some interesting equestrian themed items that cannot be found elsewhere.
  • There are many antique malls in our area, especially in Landrum and Tryon. They’re great for browsing and for affordable finds.