April 6, 2018

48 FUN Things to do in the NC High Country

Our office pup Finn loves to have fun. Perhaps you have seen his “Fun with Finn” section of our monthly newsletter. Although most of Finn’s favorite things to do are of the outdoor adventure persuasion, he knows all the fun things to do in the NC High Country. So whether you are coming up to the area for a visit or live here and just looking to do something different -we have come up with 48 things to do in Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk, Valle Crucis, Linville, and West Jefferson–all within 50 miles of each other!



48 Fun Things to do in the NC High Country

  1. Stroll along Main Street in Downtown Blowing Rock visit local shops and stop by the famous Kilwin’s for chocolates, ice cream, handmade fudge & gift baskets!
  2. Defy gravity at Mystery Hill on Highway 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock. This natural anomaly is certainly a mystery you have to experience to believe!
  3. Next door, visit Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine to sift through a bucket of mine ore in running fresh water and find your own treasures! Afterwards, the friendly staff will sort through your findings to help you understand what you have found!
  4. You can’t come up the mountain without visiting Tweetsie Railroad, a wild west theme park featuring the classic train adventure, various entertainment acts, and kid-friendly park rides!
  5. Head on over to the Grandfather Mountain Trout Farm which has three pond sizes, each fully stocked with trout! Free equipment, tackle, and bait–you only pay for what you catch! No fishing license required and fun for all ages.
  6. If it’s a hot Summer day in the High Country, head on over to The Robbin’s Pool at Broyhill Park in Blowing Rock! This is the only outdoor, public-use swimming pool in Watauga County. Day passes are $5 and there is a concession area for snacks and drinks.
  7. “Experience America’s favorite drive” as you cruise along the Blue Ridge Parkway! Along the way, discover overlook stops, hiking trails, lakes, and maybe even some local wildlife!
  8. Take a tour of the 13,000 square foot Moses Cone Manor Estate right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. While you’re there, visit the Parkway Craft Center to view and purchase high quality handmade crafts!
  9. Explore Grandfather Mountain’s famous mile high swinging bridge, see a variety of animals in the wildlife habitat, learn at the nature museum, and spoil your sweet tooth at the Fudge Shop! Don’t come up the mountain without visiting this billion year old site.
  10. Visit the original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, which opened way back in 1883! “Traversing its creaking floorboards, you’ll find country gourmet foods, cast iron cookware, speckleware, old-fashioned toys, footwear for all walks of life, hardware, and even a pair of galluses, if you need them.”
  11. Get your adrenaline flowing and experience a canopy adventure with Sky Valley Zip Tours as you zipline through the trees in Boone!
  12. As “North Carolina’s Oldest Travel Attraction,” visit The Blowing Rock for only $7! Learn about how it got its name and visit the observation deck for a phenomenal view!
  13. If you’re in the mood for some shopping, head on over to Blowing Rock’s own Tanger Outlet Mall, Shoppes on the Parkway. This outlet features a variety of brand-name and designer stores which are always having sales!
  14. If it’s college football season, head over to Kidd Brewer Stadium to catch an Appalachian State University football game! As Sun Belt Conference champions for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, you don’t want to miss watching the Mountaineers play at home.
  15. Experience the High Country’s beautiful landscape at the Boone Golf Course, a public golf course that caters to the experienced golfer and beginners alike!
  16. Get a birds eye view of downtown Boone from the top of the Rock Dimensions Climbing Tower at Footsloggers! Standing at about 40 feet, the tower has over 4000 square feet of varying climbing terrain and offers opportunities for beginners or seasoned veterans.
  17. Located on the grounds of Tweetsie, discover High Gravity Adventures, an obstacle course where you can climb and swing through 75 different challenges at heights ranging from 15 to 50 feet off the ground!
  18. Be entertained at the Horn in the West Revolutionary War Outdoor Drama right in the heart of Boone! The beautiful outdoor theater has shows almost everyday in the Summer months and go back in time at the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum on the grounds!
  19. Looking for a river adventure? Wahoo’s is the High Country’s oldest rafting, kayaking, canoeing, and tubing adventure company, located off of Highway 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock!
  20. Feelin’ cheesy? Head over to the Ashe County Cheese Factory and Store in West Jefferson, North Carolina’s oldest and largest cheese manufacturer! Watch cheese being made in the factory viewing room and then shop cheese, fresh country butter, fudge, wine, and hand dipped ice cream at the store!
  21. See inside a mountain at Linville Caverns, the only show cavern in North Carolina! Experienced guides take you into the subterranean world, giving you the history of the caverns and allowing you to view the grand work of nature, suitable for all ages!
  22. Just a short drive from Downtown Boone, discover Howard Knob, a mountain overlook where you can look down at Boone and Appalachian State! There are many picnic tables at the top to enjoy lunch with a view!
  23. Calling all wine lovers! Grandfather Mountain Vineyard and Winery has a tasting room where you can choose to sample 8 Dry Wines, 4 Dry Reds, 4 Dry Whites or 4 Sweet Wines! After tasting, share a bottle of your favorite and walk through the vineyards or sit and relax by the creek while viewing the profile of Grandfather Mountain.
  24. Drink like a local at the Blowing Rock Brewery! Enjoy award winning rotating beers as well as a seasonal food menu for lunch and dinner!
  25. The Banner Elk Winery is another crowd favorite! Taste several of their wines in their beautiful tasting room for only $10! If you feel like you never want to leave, book a stay in The Villa, a private retreat with luxury accommodations and beautiful scenery.
  26. A popular destination off the Blue Ridge Parkway is Julian Price Memorial Park. Comprising more than 4,300 acres, including a small lake, the park offers many activities including hiking, fishing, canoeing, camping, guided walks, and evening campfire programs. The grounds include 100 picnic sites, so pack a lunch!
  27. The Boone Greenway right in town is the perfect place to go for an easy walk or bike ride alongside the Southfork of the New River. Along the way there are many parks, fields, and stops with picnic tables and access to the river!
  28. Head over to Sunrise Mountain Mini Golf on the hillside of Highway 105 right in town in Boone for some fun family competition!
  29. The High Country Grizzlies are our very own professional indoor football team and a member of the American Arena League (AAL). Catch a game at the Holmes Convocation Center in Boone!
  30. Looking for things to do with the kids? The Children’s Playhouse in Boone offers flexible hours for open creative indoor/outdoor play as well as great classes for kids and adults!
  31. During the winter months, go skiing or snowboarding at App Ski Mountain! This mountain offers 9 slopes at beginner, intermediate, and expert levels plus an outdoor ice skating rink! Also, check out the App Terrain Park which features rails, boxes, and ramps to practice your stunts!
  32. With 17 trails, Beech Mountain Resort offers more skiing and snowboarding with tubing and ice skating as well! When you get tired, head over the Beech Mountain Brewing Company for a cold one. Even in the summer months, Beech Mountain’s 5506’ Skybar is open! Ride the lift up to the top and enjoy a cocktail and an incredible view.
  33. Visit the Turchin Center For the Visual Arts in Downtown Boone on King Street for a taste of local art. Admission to the center is free, though donations are graciously accepted. The center features two wings and six galleries which are often changing!
  34. Looking for an interesting challenge? Visit the Mysterium Escape Adventure in Downtown Boone and solve puzzles, seek out clues, and solve riddles to find your way out of these fun themed escape rooms!
  35. You can’t come to the High Country without stopping by Appalachian Mountain Brewery and Cidery! Now packaged and distributed all over the state, there is a beer or cider here for everyone. Enjoy live music inside, a covered and heated porch, an outdoor bar, and cornhole and picnic tables! Furry friendly!
  36. Only 45 minutes from Boone, discover Watauga Lake. With a variety of Cherokee National Forest facilities, including boat launches, picnicking, camping, swimming, and fishing for bluegill and bass, walleye, brown and rainbow trout, you can surely make a day of it!
  37. Visit the The Daniel Boone Native Gardens, located near downtown Boone. The beautiful gardens contain an outstanding collection of native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. Hundreds of plant varieties provide a progression of blooms throughout the growing season!
  38. Who doesn’t love to go bowling? Visit Boone’s own 10 High Country Lanes! While you bowl, enjoy great food and drinks in a fun atmosphere.
  39. Can you tell we love beer up here? Visit Flat Top Brewery in Banner Elk! Enjoy rotating craft brews while you play games like pool, giant Connect Four, shuffleboard, classic board games, and a pinball machine!
  40. If you’re looking to relax outdoors, visit Broyhill Park in Blowing Rock! The park is a tranquil space with a fishing dock, a waterfront gazebo & a walking trail around Mayview Lake.
  41. Want to channel your inner cowboy or cowgirl? Dutch Creek Trails offers guided Horseback Riding Tours in Valle Crucis and Vx3 Trail Rides offers tours in the beautiful Moses Cone Park!
  42. Located in Historic Valle Crucis, visit the Jerky Outpost! Jerky selections include exotics such as Venison, Buffalo, Alligator and Elk just to name a few. Also check out their great selection of hot sauces, barbecue sauces and rubs, and popcorn.
  43. To learn about the High Country’s history and appreciate American artists, visit the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum in Downtown Blowing Rock! Admission is only $7 for adults (FREE during the month of April) and exhibits frequently change!
  44. June through December, the Ensemble Stage in Banner Elk, a 99-seat professional theater, presents plays that involve mystery, comedy, and drama!
  45. If you need some furry therapy, head over the Watauga Humane Society to play with the High Country’s cutest puppies, dogs, kittens, cats, and bunnies!
  46. The High Country is home to many talented artists. One Saturday each month May through October, Blowing Rock hosts Art in the Park. Discover handcrafted jewelry, pottery, fiber, glass, photography, painting and more.
  47. Another local art event worth checking out is the Downtown Boone Art Crawl, which happens the first Friday of every month. The art crawl is a wonderful opportunity to visit downtown galleries and businesses and enjoy art showings, refreshments, and live entertainment.
  48. Finish off your day of fun at Booneshine Brewing Company in Boone. Connected to Basil’s Fresh Pasta and Deli, enjoy one of their craft brews and some pretzels and beer cheese or spaghetti and meatballs!


This list should keep you occupied all summer long, but if you find yourself lacking in social entertainment be sure to sign up for our Monthly Newsletter to see what local events Finn has found in “Fun with Finn”! The sign up is located at the bottom of this page! You can also see plenty of fun things to do in the NC High Country by visiting our High Country Life section of our website!

What is your favorite adventure or activity to do in the mountains? We would love to hear from you, please send us your ideas at Shalamar.Vincentproperties@gmail.com!

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