67 Things to do in Boone and Blowing Rock, NC
1. Have a tall margarita on the deck at Canyons 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 Kilwin's.
3. Grab some local produce and sundries at Blowing Rock Produce and Provisions. They also have hot Bald Guy Brew Coffee and an area for kids to play out back!
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 Todd 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. Grab some coffee at Bald Guy Brew in Blowing Rock over Footsloggers on Main Street in Blowing Rock. They have a Train Table, are really kid friendly and always know what’s going on in town.
10. 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 Gamekeeper, 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.
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.
15. "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, we do have a TJ Maxx in Boone now (behind the mall). 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).
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. Take the Parkway North towards Sparta and tour the Omni Cattle farm located between mile markers 264 and 265. I don't particularly love cows but these Highland Cattle are so awesome. Go to their site and click on their pictures. They would be more than happy to give you a tour if you call ahead.
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 April (with someone who lives here) it's only two dollars.
21. Walk dogs at the Watauga County Humane Society. Fun for the kids, fun for the dogs. They have a wonderful new facility that just opened recently. You can access it off of old Hwy 421.
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.
26. Boone Bowling
27. Bo's right down the mountain in Lenoir 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).
29. 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 Sugar, Beech or Appalachian Ski Mountain. If you're clumsy like me you might be better off snow tubing at Hawksnest snow tubing park in Seven Devils. 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 Toweroutside 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. My favorite place for lunch in Boone – Melanies. It's a small, intimate restaurant with local/organic fare. It's reasonably priced and they have great vegetarian selections. Located on King Street in Boone.
36. 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.
38. Horn in the West - (an outdoor drama put on by locals and equity talent in the summer).
39. 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!
40. 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. I hear the Tapas bar (Zudza's) in Banner Elk is absolutely amazing but I can't get my husband to go with me. He's just not a mini servings kind of guy.
42. Another 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 included in the dishes (at least the last time I went).
43. The Lee's McRae Performing Arts Department does fantastic summer stock musicals. Check their site to see what's coming up.
44. Canoeing or Kayaking is a great way to spend a day in the summer. Wahoo's and River and Earth Adventures do guided tours for this as well as white water rafting.
45. Boone Saloon and Canyons 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 tacos and a great beer selection. I hear the Tapp Room in Boone have awesome Tacos on Wednesday as well.
47. Go caving. I'm too scared to so let me know how it is.
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... lol.
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 link for directions to both.
53. I almost forgot, my favorite place for gifts and fun home accessories is Neaco's 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. Grab a sandwich at the new Jakes Great Food Fast on Main Street before you head out.
55. Jimmy Smith Park in Boone...watch this video on it.
56. 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.
57. Julian Price Park has trails, camping and canoeing and it's just outside of Blowing Rock down hwy 221.
58. 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 Rockalso 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. My wedding planning business The Whole Shebang is proud to be planning their first wedding ever in the facility in October of 2012!
67. Aside from being a High Country Housewife, I’m also a Wedding and Special Event Planner so if you have any further questions about the area - or need someone to help plan your NC Mountain Wedding, Event or Get Together, give me a call or check out my website and email me!!!
Thanks for reading,
Wedding Planner – The Whole Shebang
828.719.9171 – firstname.lastname@example.org