67 Things to do in Boone and Blowing Rock North Carolina

December 1, 2011

1. Have a tall margarita on the deck at


and watch the sunset – best view in the “High Country”.

2. Walk downtown Blowing Rock and check out all of the unique shops. While you’re there spring for some ice cream at




Bald Guy Brew

for Coffee!!! Check out the outdoorsy sundries at Footsloggers below.

4. Go fishing at

Grandfather Trout Farm

. Rods are provided and bait and tackle are free! You only pay for what you catch… and they’ll even clean ’em for ya. Can’t beat that!

5. Go tubing. There are several

local outfitters

that will set you up, drop you off and pick you up. It’s a great way to relax on a sunny day. We always put in on the New River in


but there are several other runs as well…depending on how high the water is.

6. Hike around

Bass Lake

. There’s a nice flat walking loop around the lake that’s .8 miles. There are also other trails to take once you get there.

7. If you want to make it a nice half day trip. Hike from Bass lake up to

Moses Cone Manor

. You can tour the 13,000 square foot estate and check out the

Parkway Craft Center

that has found its home there. (Moses Cone was a “prosperous textile entrepreneur, conservationist, and philanthropist”…in a nutshell). If you want to drive up to the home instead of walking it’s mile post 194.1 off of the Parkway.

8. Go to the original

Mast General Store

in Valle Crucis.

9. Music on the Lawn at the Inn at Ragged Gardens on Fridays from May-October.


Tweetsie Railroad

– If you have kids it’s a no brainer. What’s more fun than a “wild west” theme park. Tweetsie is open May-October.

11. After that, you’ll want someone to watch the kids while you go out to eat at the


, a local and visitor favorite tucked away between Boone and Blowing Rock on Shulls Mill road. The eclectic mountain cuisine on their seasonal menu has just about any kind of wild game you can think of. There are vegetarian selections as well. It’s sure to be a dining experience that you will remember.


Sky Valley Zip Tours!!!

13. Go

gem mining


14. Check out

Mystery Hill

if you have kids…it’s hard to explain so just go and see for yourself what the mystery is.

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“The Blowing Rock”

is definitely worth seeing. You pay six dollars for adults and one dollar for kids. They have trails and an observation deck…the view is really something to behold; I don’t know where a better one is except maybe the top of

Mt. Mitchell

(highest peak east of the Mississippi).

16. Blowing Rock has a

nice new pool

open Memorial Day till Labor Day. It is heated and it’s typically pretty crowed during mid day so after 4 is your best bet for peace and quiet. They do have a shallow end for the little ones and a slide.

17. If you’re really getting desperate and it’s a rainy day you could browse around there for deals or hit up

Shoppes on the Parkway

outlet mall located on 321 as you’re coming into Blowing Rock (from Boone). There is great shopping to be had in Downtown Blowing Rock and King Street in Boone.

18. On the other hand if it’s a nice day just cruise the

Blue Ridge Parkway

. There are plenty of places to pull off and have a picnic. Go to the

Blowing Rock Market

for a deli sandwich and a bottle of wine.

19. The Blue Ridge High Country is home to lots of unique wineries and vineyards. Check out our favorites –

Grandfather Vineyard


Banner Elk Winery


20. Another no brainer is

Grandfather Mountain

. The famous Mile High Bridge, Hiking Trails, and small zoo make this a perfect way to spend a day. If you go in


(with someone who lives here) it’s only two dollars.

21. If it’s raining and you have kids under 8 or so, the

Fun Factory

in Boone will keep them entertained for hours!

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22. Buy a cheap fishing rod and go throw a line in one of our many streams. You can also plan a

guided tour

. Make sure you check the regulations on the

NC Wildlife Website

and have a current fishing license.

23. Appalachian State University always has

cultural events

going on; from student concerts and plays to acts that they bring in like symphony’s and dance concerts.

24. If it’s football season, definitely go see a

football game

. ASU has an amazing team. There were 3 years in recent history that they were were the National champs!

25. If you want to play golf, the

Boone Golf Club

is open to the public.


Boone Bowling



right down the mountain in


has food, an arcade, bowling, pool…and drinks. It’s a nice clean facility and they are not crowded at all during the day, I highly recommend it. (20 or 25 minutes from

Blowing Rock


28. The


and the

Children’s Playhouse

in Boone always have fun things to do with kids.


Art in the Park

in the summers is always fun in Blowing Rock if you don’t mind the crowd.

30. I know I’m writing a lot about food and drinks, but my absolute favorite place to eat in Blowing Rock is

Bistro Roca

. It’s tucked away on a side street…get directions, but you can’t beat the atmosphere. They have a unique menu with a wide range of selections and pricing. You can go all out with their unique entrees or just get a personal wood fired oven pizza and a salad. Whatever is on special is always good.

31. There’s a

disc golf course

in West Jefferson. If you don’t have discs of your own, you really just need a putter, mid-range and driver to get started.

32. In the winter go skiing or snowboarding at





Appalachian Ski Mountain

. If you’re clumsy like me you might be better off snow tubing at


snow tubing park in Seven Devils. Ps. They do Zip Tours in the summer. Also in the summer, Sugar Mountain lets you go up the Ski Lift and check out the view.

33. Go

horseback riding


34. If you aren’t scared of heights climb the

Footsloggers Tower

outside of their store in Boone. If you don’t like heights, get some coffee at

Espresso News

next door and watch your friends climb…best coffee in town in my opinion.

35. Feeling adventurous? Try out your mountain biking skills at

Beech Mountain

. In the summers you can ride downhill via bike and then take the chair lift back up to the top. They have everything there you need to rent. If you have all of your own gear,

Rocky Knob Park

on 421 is free and open to the public.


Watauga Lake

is located about 40 minutes from Boone just over the Tennessee line. There are a wide range of water activities to choose from at one of their many marinas.

37. In the summer’s there’s tons of free music in the High Country. My favorites are Friday nights at the Valle Crucis Park or on the Lawn of the Best Cellar in Blowing Rock. BYOB for Valle Crucis and there’s a full outdoor bar at the Best Cellar.


Horn in the West

– (an outdoor drama put on by locals and equity talent in the summer).


Daniel Boone Inn

… It’s like dinner at your Grandma’s house on a Sunday. I’m not going to say any more about it, just go eat there!


Woodlands BBQ

. Picnic tables, live music, good BBQ also a kids menu. Try the house wings! For an entree I never get anything other than the chop pork plate with double slaw, fries and fried okra. (Full bar as well).

41. Browse through


or their sister store downtown Boone –

Benchmark Provisions

, for an eclectic Beer and Wine selection. They also offer tastings.

42. For fine dining option in Banner Elk is the

Louisiana Purchase

. Cajun/Americana theme dishes and one of the largest wine lists in North Carolina. Seasonal menu and lots of local food. The


is another great option.

43. The Lee’s McRae Performing Arts Department does fantastic summer stock musicals. Check their


to see what’s coming up.

44. Canoeing or Kayaking is a great way to spend a day in the summer.



River and Earth Adventures

do guided tours for this as well as white water rafting.


Boone Saloon




The Local


Appalachian Mountain Brewery


Lost Province Brewery

 are great places to see live music on the weekends. Stick to Canyons if you want a slightly older crowd.

46. Can’t forget to mention “

Taco Tuesdays

” at Boone Saloon. $1.25 beef, chicken or veggie burger taco’s and a great beer selection. I hear the

Tapp Room

in Boone have fantastic Tacos on Wednesday as well.

47. Go


. I’m too scared to so let me know how it is.


Westglow spa




The Inn at Crestwood

if you want to relax treat yourself.

49. Drive up to

Howard’s Knob

in Boone. (If you go past Earthfare on King Street make a right onto Cherry Street and you should see signs. Amazing view of the city.

50. Browse around at the local

Subaru dealership

on 105 extension to find your mountain dream car…everybody has one…

51. The general store in Todd (out hwy 194 from Boone) has

live Bluegrass music

on Saturdays in the summer.

52. On a hot day, jump in a swimming hole. There are two good ones, the first is down from the 105 Dam and the other is called “Snake Pit” out towards Tennessee. Click on this


for directions to both.

53. I almost forgot, my favorite place for gifts and fun home accessories is


in Downtown Blowing Rock.

54. The

Glen Burney Fall’s trail

is definitely a moderate to strenuous but there’s a big payoff at the end. The trail starts downtown Blowing Rock.


Jimmy Smith Park

in Boone…watch this video on it.


The Wellness Center

in Boone offers guest membership. Included in the price are indoor basketball and racquetball courts, a pool, shower and locker facilities, child care for children over 6 months old, work out equipment and fitness classes.


Julian Price Park

has trails, camping and canoeing and it’s just outside of Blowing Rock down hwy 221.

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Linville Gorge

has mountain biking, camping, hiking and backpacking trails and waterfalls.

60. Grandfather mountain

profile trail

. From what I understand if you do the whole trail it’s moderate to strenuous and takes about 5 hours but you can also just do the beginning section if you want a more leisurely hike.

61. If you don’t mind getting really far off the beaten path there’s a state

off roading park

in Collettesville.

62. There are several

farmers markets

in the area. Boone has one at Horn in the West on Wednesday and Saturday mornings and Blowing rock has one downtown from 4-6pm in the summers.

63. Boone has several different

city parks

each with different amenities.

64. See a concert at the

Convocation Center

at ASU. They bring in big names such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Willie Nelson and Charlie Daniels.

65.The park in Downtown

Blowing Rock

also has tennis and basketball courts and a mini rock wall, jungle gym and swing sets for the kids.

66. Blowing Rock has a new

Art and History Museum

Downtown check out their website for Exhibits and Special Programs. Sometimes they have activities for kids.

67. Aside from being a Blowing Rock Resident, Outdoor Enthusiast, Mom, Blogger and

Musician , my actual job is as a

Wedding and Special Event Planner

Tfor reading,

Meris Gantt

Wedding Planner –The Whole Shebang

828.719.9171 – hello@wholeshebangevents.com

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