THE BLOWING ROCK (Tel: 828-295-7111)
Located just outside Blowing Rock, this attraction gives the town its name. According to a romantic Indian legend, the constant updraft from the gorge 3000 ft below blew an Indian brave back into his lover’s arms after he had jumped off the rock.
GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN (Tel: 828-733-4337) www.grandfather.com
Enjoy nature on a whole different level atop the highest peak in the Blue Ridge range (Mt. Mitchell is in the Black Mountain range). Mile High Swinging Bridge; native animal habitats; nature museum; picnicking; hiking. Open all year, weather permitting.
LINVILLE CAVERNS (828-419-0540) www.linvillecaverns,com
See inside a mountain…NC’s only show cave. Half-hour guided tours into a natural limestone cavern featuring stalactite and stalagmite formations, and an underground stream. Open daily April – November, and weekends December – February.
MAST GENERAL STORE AND ANNEX (828-963-6511) www.mastgeneral.com
Once known for selling everything from cradles to caskets, this National Historic landmark still carries nearly everything you’d need for life in the past century and most of this one. Established in 1883, the Original Mast Store is located along 194 in Valle Crucis. The Mast Annex featuring clothing and candy is located a few hundred yards to the left on Broadstone Road.
MOSES CONE MANOR AND CRAFT CENTER
Located just outside Blowing Rock off the Blue Ridge Parkway (mile 293), this former 3600-acre estate of textile giant Moses Cone was donated to the National Park Service in the 1950’s. It is now home to a craft shop. Lake, trout ponds and hiking trails are also on the property.
MOUNT MITCHELL STATE PARK
Located at mile marker 355.4, off the Blue Ridge Parkway, this state park features the highest peak east of the Mississippi at 6684ft. There is a restaurant, many hiking trails and beautiful scenery although there is frequent fog. There is an observation post at the peak of the mountain with a 70-mile view on a clear day.
MYSTERY HILL (828-264-2792)
A family oriented entertainment complex. Includes the Mystery House, the Hall of Mystery, the Appalachian Heritage Museum, and the Native American Artifacts Museum, Open 7 days a week, year round. 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock.
TWEETSIE RAILROAD (828-264-9061) www.tweetsie.com
Family theme park with a three-mile train ride, crafts, live entertainment, County Fair rides and a petting zoo. Open May – October. Located between Boone and Blowing Rock on 321.
Carlton Gallery in Valle Crucis (828-963-4288)
Gallery 9 in Foscoe (828-963-6068)
Catherine Smith Gallery in Boone at Appalachian State University Farthing Auditorium
Alta Vista Gallery in Valle Crucis (828-963-5247)
Mark Read Studio in Valle Crucis (828-963-8191)
Antonaccio Fine Art in Foscoe (828-963-5611)
Tatum Galleries in Foscoe (828-963-6466)
The Jones House Gallery in Boone (828-262-4576)
There are some great biking trails and road rides in Watauga and Ashe Counties. Bikes are available for rent at the following locations:
Boone Bike and Touring (828-262-5750)
Appalachian Adventures (336-877-8800)
Beech Mountain Sports (828-387-2795)
Boats are available for rent at Watuaga Lake Lake Shore Marina at Watauga Lake (423-725-2223)
The original Mast Store in Valle Crucis sells all appropriate Fishing and Hunting Licenses. Check with them as well for the best places for fishing on the Watauga River, depending on current water levels. The Watauga River in Valle Crucis is a stocked river.
Foscoe Fly Fishing Orvis Dealer in Tynecastle has guided fly fishing tours (828-898-7555)|
Grandfather Trout Ponds are great for younger fisherman with very little patience. All equipment supplied. You must keep what you catch. We strongly recommend trying the fish smoked. (828-963-5098)
Appalachian Angler (828-963-5050)
The high country area is considered one of the most beautiful areas for mountain golf courses. Call for seasonal hours and tee times.
Boone Golf Club (828-264-8760)
Hawksnest Golf in Seven Devils (828-963-6561)
Sugar Mountain Golf (828-898-9292)
Willow Creek Golf Course in Vilas (828-963-6865)
There are many hiking trails in the area. Some require hiking permits. There are many beautiful trails off the Blue Ridge Parkway, where free trail listings are available at the Parkway Visitor Center. For information on Grandfather trails, call (828) 733-2013.
There is hardly a better more peaceful way to see the mountain trails than by horseback.
Dutch Creek Trails in Valle Crucis (828-297-7117)
Banner Elk Stables (828-898-5424)
Blowing Rock Stables (828-295-7847)
Smith Quarter Horse Farm (828-773-2192)
There are many small gift and antique stores in the area. Travel along 105 and there are several small stores that feature items unique to the area. Many of the furnishings and accessories in the cabin came from Wolf Creek Traders, located on the left between Foscoe and Tynecastle. Boone Mall in located in Boone on 321, where there is a Belk department store (828-264-7286). For outlet stores, the Tanger Brand Name Outlet Center is located in the Shoppes on the Parkway on 321 just before getting to Blowing Rock (828-295-4444). Wilcox Emporium located between Tynecastle and Banner Elk has booths with a multitude of local vendors and artisans (828-262-1221). And for everything else, the Mast General Store in Valle Crucis has nearly everything you could need or want (828-963-6561).
Sanctuary Day Spa in Boone (828-268-0003)
Westglow Spa in Blowing Rock (828-295-4493)
We strongly recommend calling before heading for the local ski resorts to check conditions. Updates are also available at mountaintimes.com.
Appalachian Ski Mountain has skiing and ice skating. Located between Boone and Blowing Rock (828-295-7828
Beech Mountain features skiing and ice skating. Located past Banner Elk (828-387-2011)
Hawknest at Seven Devils has skiing and tubing. Located in Seven Devils off 105 (828-963-6561)
Sugar Mountain Ski is located between Banner Elk and Tynecastle (828-898-4521)
Edge of the World in Banner Elk (828-898-9550)
High Mountain Expedition in Blowing Rock (828-295-4200)
Appalachian Challenge in Banner Elk (828-898-6484)