A Tale of Two Towns’ Adventures: Boone and Blowing Rock

A Tale of Two Towns’ Adventures: Boone and Blowing Rock

Price Lake offers a scenic escape on the water and surrounding mountain trails

Welcome to this installment of the Summer of Now series: Your guide to some of the incredible mountain towns, urban cities and coastal beaches in North Carolina. Get to know Boone and Blowing Rock below.

A mountain vacation to North Carolina’s High Country promises stunning vistas, ancient charm, fresh air and locally sourced food that incorporate the region’s agricultural gems. Get to know Boone and Blowing Rock, neighboring mountain towns where you'll enjoy outdoor fun by day; and by night, kick back with local brews and sunset views.

Choose your place to stay based on the type of mountain charm you’re going for. Find plenty of cabin rentals in Boone, from rustic to amenity-filled. Or stay at Blowing Rock’s Westglow Resort and Spa’s manor, named by Travel + Leisure as one of the top spa resorts in the world. Or choose a private cottage or guest room in the farmhouse at Mast Farm Inn in nearby Banner Elk.

Only eight miles separate Boone and Blowing Rock, and situated smack dab between the two sits High Gravity Adventures, an aerial adventure park with a 30-minute ground course and two aerial courses that take two to three hours to complete. Add on a 45-foot-high, giant swing – three people can ride it at once – for an extra thrill that starts with you pulling the ripcord. You can’t miss what’s next to High Gravity Adventures: Tweetsie Railroad, a Wild West-themed amusement park that’s one of the most popular attractions in the state.

Since the Blue Ridge Parkway cuts between Blowing Rock and Boone, consider booking a guided horseback ride on the miles of bridle trails along this iconic roadway. Sky Valley Zip Tour is also central to both mountain towns and comes with the added bonus of an ATV ride to and from the course.

Hiking on Rough Ridge at Grandfather Mountain

Hike the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Tanawha Trail to the top of Grandfather Mountain’s Rough Ridge

Continue your exploration with Wahoo’s Adventures, which offers tubing, canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding on the New River, and all the equipment you’ll need is available for rent. For a more serene experience, spend time at Price Lake, where the water activities are rivaled by the hiking trails. Hiking opportunities abound in the area, whether you opt for the renowned Linville Gorge or Otter Falls Trail, which debuted in 2015.

Because you worked up an appetite, order dinner with a side of live music at Woodlands Barbeque, in Blowing Rock, featuring local musicians every night and barbecue plates that come with three sides and hush puppies. Not in the mood for ’que? Nearby Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub offers cheesesteaks, funky burgers like blackberry habanero, and naans (Indian flatbreads). Blowing Rock Brewing Company is a popular stop downtown, where its Ale House Restaurant serves award-winning craft beer, and all items on the food menu are made fresh daily.

Diners at Lost Province Brewing

Lost Province brews craft beer, serves wood-fired pizza and features live music

Craft beer is also a centerpiece of evenings in Boone, led by Appalachian Mountain Brewery and Lost Province Brewing Co. Each pays homage to the High Country, both in name and through commitment to sustainable practices and supporting the mountain community and its causes. AMB also brews ciders, while Lost Province pairs its suds with wood-fired pretzels, pizzas, and even wood-fired mac and cheese.

You’d be remiss if you didn’t encounter the folklore of the area’s most iconic figure: Daniel Boone. Dine at Dan’l Boone Inn, a staple of Southern food for more than a half-century. Then watch his story come to life in the outdoor drama Horn in the West, showing six nights a week during the summer season (closed Mondays). Learn how Boone and fellow settlers survived in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the years before the Revolutionary War and helped shape the region’s destiny.

Shawndra Russell is a travel writer and novelist based in Asheville and has written for Forbes Travel Guide, BeerAdvocate and Travel + Leisure.

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