The Blowing Rock

50+ Great Things to Do in Blowing Rock NC & Nearby

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Blowing Rock, North Carolina is one of the most spectacular mountain towns nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Boarded by the Pisgah National Forest and surrounded by some of the most epic views, waterfalls, and hiking, Blowing Rock makes for one of the most picturesque mountain escapes in the state.

Blowing Rock was made famous for the popular attraction, “the Blowing Rock,” a rock structure phenomenon whose rocky walls form a flume that causes the wind to sweep upwards. Cherokee and Catawba Native Americans fought over the sacred land until Scottish-Irish began to settle in the area in 1752. Then, in 1790, the Greenes came to town as the first family to settle in what is now known as Blowing Rock, NC. 

Welcome to Blowing Rock NC Sign

By 1889, Blowing Rock was fully incorporated and grew quickly as the town became a popular tourist destination. Hotels, inns, and restaurants popped up quickly, and visitors came from all over to see the famed Blowing Rock and visit the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Today, Blowing Rock remains a small town, though it has only grown in popularity as a tourist destination. The charm that comes from the small town is unlike any other and provides visitors with a taste of what life is like in the mountains of North Carolina. 

Things to Do in Blowing Rock NC

If you are curious to learn more about the wonderful town of Blowing Rock and everything there is in and around the land. In the article below, we’ve put together all the best sights, attractions, restaurants, and some places you can stay on your next trip to Blowing Rock.

1. The Blowing Rock

Address: 432 The Rock Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Blowing Rock is what made Blowing Rock the town it is today. The popular attraction is a unique rock formation in which the rock walls form a flume that causes wind gusts to sweep upwards. Considered to be North Carolina’s oldest attraction, thousands of people visit the rock each year. 

The Blowing Rock Entrance

The Blowing Rock attraction is open year-round (weather permitting) and has a small fee to enter. There are also lovely trails, photo galleries, shops, restrooms, and an observation tower on-site for visitors to enjoy. Pets are welcome as long as they are on a leash. 

The Blowing Rock

2. Moses H. Cone Memorial

Address: Blue Ridge Parkway, Milepost 294, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Moses H. Cone Memorial is a public park that can be found at milepost 294 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The land includes a historic manor and its grounds, donated to the National Park Service by Moses H. Cone, a leading industrialist during the late 1800s. 

Moses H Cone Memorial Park View

Guests can explore the mansion, carriage trails, family cemeteries, hiking trails, and America’s National Park Store. Admission is free, including tours of the estate.

Flat Top Manor

3. Flat Top Lookout Tower 

Address: The Flat Top Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Located in the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park is the fascinating 40-foot tall Flat Top Lookout Tower. There is a relatively easy 2.6-mile hike that takes visitors to the base of the tower. The tower can be climbed for a jaw-dropping view of the many mountain ranges in the area. This hike can be done any time of year, but it is an excellent fall hike for a spectacular view of the fall foliage. 

4. Blowing Rock Art & History Museum

Address: 159 Ginny Stevens Ln, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, or BRAHM, opened in 2011 to act as a community cultural center and to teach locals and visitors the rich history and artistic nature of Blowing Rock. There are rotating and permanent exhibits, including workshops, some interactive exhibits, and lots of useful information about the community. 

Admission to the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum is always free to everyone.

Blowing Rock NC Museum of Art & History

5. Tweetsie Railroad  

Address: 300 Tweetsie Railroad Ln, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Tweetsie Railroad is a thrilling, family-fun, Wild West-themed amusement park that is one of Blowing Rock’s biggest attractions. The park has tons of games, live shows, music, rides for kids of all ages, a petting zoo, a deer park, hands-on activities, and the main event, a three-mile train ride pulled by one of Tweetsie Railroad’s historic narrow-gauge steam locomotives. 

Tweetsie Railroad

Tweetsie Railroad does special holiday events like ghost train rides during the fall and lots of Christmas activities such as the Polar Express, so if you are interested in feeling festive, these are great activities to do with the family. 

Read More: Things to Do in Boone NC during the Winter

6. Glen Burney Falls Trail

Address: 243 Laurel Ln, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Glen Burney Falls is a gorgeous 50-foot waterfall that can actually be found just a block away from downtown Blowing Rock.

Glen Burney Trail in Blowing Rock NC

The trail to reach the falls is a 2.3-mile, out-and-back trail that is considered moderate to challenging for steep elevation gain and slippery surfaces, though the view of the falls makes the hike well worth it.  This is not a hike recommended for families, especially those with small toddlers. 

Glen Burney Falls

7. Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine

Address: 100 Shoppes on the Parkway Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine is a fun and educational rock and mineral museum, store, and panning area. Visitors can pan for their own gold while also learning about the geology of the Appalachian mountains and how things were formed, preserved, and found. The staff is highly educated and helps make the best experience for the whole family.

Besides the museum, store, and good panning, visitors can also play VR laser tag, nerf battle zone arena, and paleo putt-putt, a dinosaur-themed mini golf area. 

8. Appalachian Ski Mountain

Address: 940 Ski Mountain Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Appalachian Ski Mountain was the first ski mountain to open in North Carolina’s High Country over 50 years ago. While it isn’t the largest or grandest ski mountain, it is known for its top-notch ski classes and lessons for people of all ages. They offer ski rentals, an ice skating rink, and activities during the summer.

Top of Appalachian Ski Mountain during summer

9. Mystery Hill 

Address: 129 Mystery Hill Ln, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Mystery Hill is one of North Carolina’s High Country’s most unique and interesting attractions. This wacky, hands-on science and exploration museum is full of optical illusions, science experiments, mind-bending rooms, natural mysteries, and more.

Mystery Hill is also home to the world’s largest privately owned collection of Native American artifacts and the Native American Museum. 

Mystery Hill

10. Julian Price Memorial Park 

Address: Milepost 297, Blue Rdg Pkwy, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Julian Price Memorial Park is a 4,200-acre park that includes a 47-acre lake at milepost 297 of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Julian Price Lake

The park boosts some fantastic hiking trails, lake activities, picnic areas, and camping at the Julian Price Campground (more information in the Where to Stay section below.) This is a popular stop off the Blue Ridge Parkway and one you don’t want to miss.

Julian Price Memorial Park

11. Bass Lake

Address: 1 Bass Lake Dr, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Bass Lake is a 22-acre manmade lake that sits below the Moses H. Cone estate. The Bass Lake Trail is a beautiful 0.9 trail that is very easy and suitable for people of all ages to enjoy. At about halfway around the loop, there is an off-shoot path that takes you directly to the historic apple barn that is tucked within the apple orchards of the Moses H. Cone property. 

Bass Lake

12. Broyhill Park 

Address: 173 Lakeside Dr, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Broyhill Park is a lovely town park with a small loop trail, waterfront gazebo, and a pond dock. There is bench seating scattered around the park and great picnic spots. If you are looking for a nice place to bring the family and take a relaxing walk, this is a trusty and easy spot.

Broyhill Park in Blowing Rock NC

13. The Blue Ridge Parkway

Address: Rockfish Gap, VA to Cherokee, NC 

The Blue Ridge Parkway is probably the most famous stretch of land in Western North Carolina. The parkway is 469 miles long and stretches between Rockfish Gap, VA, and Cherokee, NC.

The drive takes about 13 hours without any stops, though along the way, there are hundreds of mileposts and gorgeous places to stop and explore. We won’t list them all here, but here are some spectacular lookouts you should definitely consider. 

  • Raven Rock Overlook | Milepost 289.5 | It is a lovely area that offers great sunrise and sunset views. There are boulders and nice, grassy areas for a picnic. 
  • Thunder Hill Overlook | Milepost 290 | The Thunder Hill Overlook is one of the most famous overlooks along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is one of the best spots along the parkway to view the sunrise. 
The Blueridge Parkway Thunder Hill Overlook
  • Yadkin Valley Overlook | Milepost 289.8 | A large pull-off that provides 180-degree views of Yadkin Valley. This is a gorgeous stop during fall.
  • Rough Ridge Trail | Milepost 302.8 | The Rough Ridge Trail begins at the Rough Ridge Overlook off of milepost 302. The trail is a small part of the Tanawha Trail that goes for just 0.8 miles. The trail is steep but leads hikers to amazing views of Grandfather Mountain.
Rough Ridge overlooking the Linn Cove Viaduct
  • Linn Cove Viaduct | Milepost 304 | The Linn Cove Viaduct is a famous part of the road that hugs Grandfather Mountain. The road was made famous for its engineering genius and construction technique. The milepost includes photo opportunities of the viaduct, a bridge museum, and a visitor center.
Linn Cove Viaduct along the Blueridge Parkway Waterfalls route
  • Beacon Heights Overlook Trail | Milepost 305.2 | The Beacon Heights Overlook Trail is used largely as a beautiful parking area but also leads to the Beacon Heights Trail, a small section of the Tanawha Trail. There are stunning views of Grandfather Mountain. 

14. Boone Fork Trail

Address: Boone Fork Trail, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Boone Fork Trail is a popular 5-mile loop in Julian Price Memorial Park. The trail is slightly challenging and not recommended for small children, but it offers gorgeous views of meadows, brooks, waterfalls, and mountains. Most hikers take about two hours to complete the hike and say that it is a must-do while you’re visiting the area. 

Boone Fork Trail Sign

15. Hebron Falls Trailhead

Address: State Rd 1552, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Hebron Falls Trail is another very popular hike within Julian Price Memorial Park, with the trailhead found at the park’s picnic area. The hike is just over 3 miles and brings hikers to Hebron Falls approximately halfway through the hike. Hebron Falls is a lovely 25-foot waterfall that you can sit under and swim around. 

16. NC High Country Host Regional Visitor Center

Address: 6370 US-321, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

If you are looking for any information about the area whatsoever, the NC High Country Host Regional Visitors Center will hold any answers you are looking for. The center has informational pamphlets, trail maps, road maps, vacation planners, and more of Blowing Rock, Boone, Banner Elk, Beech Mountain, West Jefferson, and Wilkesboro, NC. 

17. The Mustard Seed Market

Address: 5589 US-321, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Mustard Seed Market has been a garden center staple of Blowing Rock since 1992. They offer hundreds of seasonal plant starts, seeds, flower arrangements, home decor, and local art. 

The Mustard Seed Market with mums outside

18. Blowing Rock 1888 Museum

Address: 1094 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Blowing Rock 1888 Museum can be found on the south side of Memorial Park. The museum is in a small cottage that was built in 1888 and was once used for a two-room hotel. It is now managed by the Blowing Rock Historical Society. It was completely renovated in 2021 and now holds interesting artifacts and pictures from Blowing Rock’s past. 

Blowing Rock NC Museum

19. Middle Fork Greenway – 321 Access

Address: 3679 US-321, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Middle Fork Greenway is a multi-use trail that was built to connect Blowing Rock and Boone.

Middle Fork Greenway Sign

The paved walkway is right around six and a half miles long and offers nice shaded rest spots and views along the way. It is an easy path to walk on with small kids, strollers, and dogs.

Middle Fork Greenway Bridge

20. Tanawha Trail

Address: Holloway Mtn Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

If you are looking for a heftier hike, then the Tanawha Trail might be right up your alley. The Tanawha Trail stretches 13.5 miles from Julian Price Memorial Park to Beacon Heights on Grandfather Mountain. This point-to-point trail is not for beginner hikers and usually takes all day to complete. The views are spectacular, and it is generally a very peaceful hike.

Julian Price Memorial Park Trail System

21. Green Knob Trail

Address: Blue Rdg Pkwy, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Green Knob Trail, also located in Julian Price Memorial Park, is a 2.2-mile loop that offers lovely views of Grandfather Mountain and brings hikers to Sims Creek and Sims Pond. The hike includes rocky terrain but is overall a pleasant hike. 

22. Sky Valley Zip Tours 

Address: 634 Sky Ranch Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Welcome to the county’s highest-rated zipline adventure facility with ten zip lines, a 45-foot vertical descent, a 120-foot cable bridge over a waterfall, and a younger kids’ adventure area as well. The Whistle Pig Adventure Park offers seven ziplines for kids ages four and up. 

23. High Gravity Adventures

Address: 215 Tweetsie Railroad Ln, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

High Gravity Adventures is an obstacle course and zip line adventure park tucked away in the mountains between Blowing Rock and Boone. The main attraction of the park is the giant three-person swing that lifts guests 45 feet into the air, above the treetops, and swings down. Zip lines and courses are family-friendly for ages seven and up.

High Gravity Adventures

24. Shopping and Exploring in Downtown Blowing Rock

Historic downtown Blowing Rock may be smaller than a large city downtown, but is packed with small-town mountain charm and includes some quaint little shops that are exploding with Blowing Rock’s personality. We won’t include every shop, but here are a few to look out for.

✅ Footsloggers | Address: 921 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
An outdoor gear store that provides sustainable, quality camping, travel, and backpacking gear.

Footloggers Outfitters

✅ Rustic | Address: 915 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
A warm boutique store with locally made pottery, jewelry, art, and home goods. 

Rustic Shop

✅ Neaco | Address: 1053 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
A hip novelty shop with great gifts, souvenirs, and locally made items. 


✅ ArtWalk  | Address: 1087 Main St #1, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
ArtWalk has the best selection of locally crafted goods and art by artists in the community. Visitors can view and purchase paintings, jewelry, clothing, pottery, and more. 

ArtWalk Shop in Dowtown Blowing Rock NC

Drinks and Restaurants in Blowing Rock NC

✅ Sunset & Vine
Address: 150 Sunset Dr, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Sunset and Vine is a wine and cheese shop in the heart of downtown Blowing Rock. The shop is always stocked with brilliant wines and cheeses sourced locally and from around the world. 

Sunset & Vine Wine

✅ Blowing Rock Brewing Company
Address: 152 Sunset Dr, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Blowing Rock Brewing Company is a downtown local brewery that is also attached to a five-guest room inn. There are 12 fresh taps available, along with some great food, outdoor seating areas, and a comfortable environment.

Blowing Rock Brewing Company

✅ Bistro Roca
Address: 143 Wonderland Trail, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Bistro Roca is an upscale wood-fired pizza restaurant with a nice variety of pizzas and other American dishes. Bistro Roca is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

✅ Say Cheese – A Gourmet Sandwich Cafe
Address: 1179 Main St #6, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Say Cheese is a pop-up-style outdoor sandwich shop in downtown Blowing Rock. They serve a variety of homemade soups and sandwiches that can be enjoyed at picnic tables outside. 

✅ The Best Cellar
Address: 203 Sunset Dr, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Best Cellar brings in the small-town mountain feel at their rustic log cabin-style restaurant. They serve a great variety of American dishes, including seafood and a full bar. 

Best Cellar

✅ Birdies Coffee & Treats
Address: 3737 US-321, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Birdies is a great little community coffee shop that serves locally sourced coffees, teas, and small bites. Visitors can walk up or take the drive-thru to enjoy their drinks and treats on the go.

Birdies Coffee, cute little trailer

✅ Blue Deer Cookies & Blue Deer on Main
Address: 3551 US HWY 321 S, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
Address: 960 Main St Ste 3, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Blue Deer Cookies is a unique, cool ice cream and cookie shop that operates from a renovated camper that sits right along Highway 321. The shop has mouthwatering homemade cookies with tons of flavors and homemade ice cream brought in locally from Julian, NC. Everything is baked fresh daily. 

Blue Deer Cookies

This popular spot has since opened two additional locations, the first in nearby downtown Boone and the second on Main Street in Blowing Rock.

Blue Deer Cookie Sandwich with pumpkin pie ice cream and snickerdoodle cookie

✅ The Moon at Blowing Rock
Address: 7179 Valley Blvd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Moon is the best Thai/Japanese restaurant in Blowing Rock. They have a great variety of dishes, including a sushi bar. You can enjoy your meal from their serene outdoor seating area or from inside this quaint local hotspot.

Moon Thai

✅ The Pedalin’ Pig BBQ
Address: 8304 Valley Blvd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Pedalin’ Pig is a local favorite barbecue and Mexican restaurant. They have tons of indoor and outdoor seating, and live music plays almost every night. 

✅ Six Pence Pub
Address: 1121 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Six Pence Pub is a British-inspired bar and grill that serves some of the best food and ale in the High Country. 

They have all the favorites such as Fish and Chips, Shepards Pie, Bangers and Mash, and so much more. If you are looking for a great beer and some British comfort food, you’ll love Six Pence Pub.

Six Pence Restaurant and Pub

✅ The Speckled Trout Restaurant and Bottle Shop
Address: 922 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Speckled Trout is a popular, casual, upscale restaurant that serves foods based on the heritage of the Appalachians and the High Country. There are also a variety of regional dishes, locally brewed beers, local wines, and creative cocktails. Reservations are highly recommended. 

The Speckled Trout

✅ Hellbender Bed & Beverage
Address: 239 Sunset Dr, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Hellbender Bed & Beverage is a trifecta of everything you need out of a great vacation. This restaurant, bar, and inn is located in downtown Blowing Rock and provides top-of-the-line meals, a full bar, and a spectacular breakfast with made-to-order biscuits. 

Hellbender Bed & Beverage

✅ Café Violette
Address: 1132 Main St #102, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Café Violette is a French-inspired restaurant with a variety of Mediterranean dishes and classy cocktails. Café Violette is only open for dinner and is located in a small space, so it is asked to keep party sizes to a maximum of six guests. Reservations are recommended.  

✅ The Town Tavern
Address: 1182 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Town Tavern is where most locals like to hang out. This lively sports bar has great drinks, wonderful meals, a huge outdoor patio, and TVs. This is one of the best spots in town to catch live music.

✅ Storie Street Grille
Address: 1167 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Storie Street Grill is a micropub that also serves American dishes and locally made wine.

Storie Street Grille

✅ Mellow Mushroom
Address: 946 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Mellow Mushroom is a fun, art-fueled restaurant with stone-baked pizzas, calzones, hoagies, burgers, and more. The restaurant is filled with funky art, great vibes, and some of the best pizzas around.

Mellow Mushroom Pizza

✅ Camp Coffee Roasters
Address: 921 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Camp Coffee Roasters is a great local coffee shop with a nice variety of freshly ground beans. They also serve small-bite breakfast foods, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches.

Camp Coffee Roasters

✅ Taqueria El Paso
Address: 2693 NC-105, Boone, NC 28607

Taqueria El Paso serves authentic, counter-service Mexican dishes. They have lots of seating and a quality kids’ menu.

✅ The Penny Path
Address: 278 Shoppes on the Parkway Rd #35, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Penny Path is a cute little crepe and coffee shop near downtown Blowing Rock. Grab sweet or savory crepes to go along with any of your favorite caffeinated beverages.

Crepe at the Penny Path

✅ Timberlake’s Restaurant
Address: Chetola Resort

Timberlake’s Restaurant is a casual eatery that can be found at the Chetola Resort. The restaurant is open to both guests and to the public. They serve a great selection of American-style dishes, a buffet breakfast, and a full bar, and they often host live music. 

Timberlake's Restaurant at Chetola Resort

✅ Kilwins Chocolate
Address: 1103 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
Address: 278 Shoppes on the Parkway Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Kilwins is an old-fashioned, traditional chocolate shop that makes homemade chocolates, fudge, and ice cream. Kilwins has been around since 1947, bringing visitors only the best sweet treats around.

✅ Egg Rollin’
Address: 310 Shoppes on the Parkway Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Egg Rollin’ is a classic family-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner spot famous for their amazing egg rolls. The restaurant is very spacious, with indoor and outdoor seating, and they are dog-friendly.

Egg Rollin'

✅ The Chestnut Grille
Address: 9239 Valley Blvd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Chestnut Grille is open only on Fridays and Saturdays for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This upscale, family-owned and operated business is a favorite amongst locals and has some of the best breakfasts in town. They have ballroom seating and a beautiful garden patio seating outside. Reservations are highly recommended. 

The Chestnut Grille is temporarily closed for renovations and will be reopening soon. 

Chestnut Grille

✅ Bald Guy Brew Blowing Rock
Address: 1116-2 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Bald Guy Brew is an eco-friendly artisanal coffee roaster and shop in downtown Blowing Rock. 

Bald Guy Brew in Downtown Blowing Rock NC

✅ Restaurant at Gideon Ridge
Address: 202 Gideon Ridge Ln, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The restaurant at Gideon Ridge is a fancy, upscale restaurant with a European-style dining room and stunning mountain views from the outside terrace. The seasonal menu is made with only the finest, freshest local ingredients from farms right in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This elegant dining experience is perfect for a romantic date night. Reservations are recommended. 

✅ Myers Kitchen and Pantry | Fabled Pizza
Address: 8146 Valley Blvd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Established in 2023, Myers Kitchen and Pantry and its companion, Fabled Pizza, are both located in the same building. Myers Kitchen provides fresh food market items, a pantry with kitchen staples, gift items, and more available for take-out. 

Its companion business, Fabled Pizza, offers pizzas, salads, and other menu items also available for take-out. Together, the two businesses provide fresh, high-quality food and convenient grab-and-go meal options.

Myers Kitchen and Pantry

Things To Do Near Blowing Rock NC

The wonderful thing about the location of Blowing Rock is that there is so much to explore, not far from the town itself. Here are some of our favorite activities and places to go just beyond Blowing Rock city limits.

✅ Grandfather Mountain State Park
Address: 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646

Grandfather Mountain is an old, famous mountain that has the highest elevation within the Blue Ridge Mountains. The state park includes over 5,000 acres of land that include some of the best hiking in the area, camping areas, kayaking, fishing, canoeing, and lots of sightseeing.

The most popular attraction at Grandfather Mountain State Park is the Mile High Swinging Bridge, America’s tallest suspension bridge, which is 228 feet tall and 80 feet across. From the bridge, visitors have the chance to see some of the most spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains that you can find.

Grandfather Mountain Mile-High Swinging Brige near Little Switzerland NC

✅ T.H. Broyhill Walking Park
Address: 945 Lakewood Cir SW5, Lenoir, NC 28645

Just 30 minutes outside of Blowing Rock is the T.H. Broyhill Walking Park in Lenoir, NC. This 20-acre park includes botanical gardens, a wildlife sanctuary, paved walkways, lakes, and more. It is a beautiful, tranquil place to explore and have a quiet picnic. 

T.H. Broyhill Walking Park Lake

✅ Day Trip to Banner Elk

Banner Elk is a very small mountain town about 18 miles west of Blowing Rock. While you are in the Blowing Rock area, Banner Elk is an amazing little day trip destination to check out and explore. There are some very popular attractions in Banner Elk that draw in thousands of visitors every year.

  • Apple Hill Farm | Apple Hill Farm is a family-friendly working alpaca farm. Guests can book tours to meet the animals, learn about the working fiber farm, and stop by the gift shop for gifts and treats.
  • Crab Orchard Falls | Crab Orchard Falls is a popular and very beautiful waterfall that can be found in the forest, just nine miles from Sugar Mountain Resort. The hiking trail to get to the base of the falls is an easy 1.5-mile roundtrip that is well-maintained and perfect for families and kids. 
  • Banner Elk Winery | Banner Elk Winery is just a short drive from downtown Banner Elk, and the elegant villa boasts classic vista views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Tucked away in the High Country, the property is the perfect place to grow the best-tasting grapes for premium local wines. Guests can visit anytime to enjoy a wine tasting and some light snacks or visit during an event, where there is live music, lawn games, food trucks, and more.
  • Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster | The Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster is North Carolina’s first alpine roller coaster. Open year-round, guests have the chance to fly down 3,000 feet of track through the mountains, reaching speeds up to 27 miles per hour. The ride is unlike any other and perfect for families! Ages 3 and up can ride the coaster.

✅ Beech Mountain Resort
Address: 1007 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain, NC 28604

Beech Mountain is the highest ski resort on the East Coast and has all of the amenities of a great snow adventure resort. Beech Mountain Resort has hundreds of ski trail miles, snowboarding, a terrain park, classes, rentals, ice skating, a sky bar, a brewery, and a restaurant. During the summer, the resort opens for scenic lift rides, disc golf, yoga, mountain biking, and more.

Skybar at Beech Mountain Resort

✅ Sugar Mountain Resort
Address: 1009 Sugar Mountain Dr, Sugar Mountain, NC 28604

The Sugar Mountain Resort is one of North Carolina’s most popular ski resorts, with over 125 acres of skiable land, ski classes, rentals, terrain, and snow tubing parks. The resort is also open during the summer for several festivals, mountain biking, sightseeing, and more. 

✅ Day Trip to Boone

Boone is one of the more popular western mountain towns in North Carolina. Although it’s still a small town, Boone is the home of Appalachian State University and has plenty of restaurants, shops, and attractions. A few of the most famous attractions in Boone include the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, Daniel Boone Native Gardens, and several breweries

Lost Province Beer Flight

✅ Day Trip to Valle Crucis

Valle Crucis is an unincorporated community just a short 20-minute drive from Blowing Rock.  The small mountain town provides some humble Appalachian-style stores, kids’ activities, ski slopes, Christmas tree farms, and the original Mast General Store location.

Christmas Tree Farm

✅ Linville Gorge Wilderness 
Address: Marion, NC

The Linville Gorge Wilderness is the third largest wilderness area in North Carolina that spans over 11,000 acres of raw, beautiful natural forest around the Pisgah National Forest and Linville River. The Linville Gorge Wilderness has hundreds of miles of hiking trails, beautiful waterfalls, and camping opportunities. 

  • Hawksbill | Hawksbill is a 2.1-mile out-and-back trail right near Jonas Ridge. The trail leads hikers over a 700-foot craggy summit with panoramic views of the Linville Gorge and Pisgah National Forest. If you are there on a clear day, you may even be able to see Charlotte, the largest NC city that is over 90 miles away. 
  • Table Rock Mountain | Table Rock Mountain is a very distinct summit that sticks out clearly over the treetops and can be seen for many miles. The mountain is popular for its quick, easy hike to the top, where hikers have great views. Table Rock Mountain is also popular for rock climbing.
  • Linville Falls | Linville Falls is arguably the most famous waterfall in North Carolina. Many call Linville Falls the “Grand Canyon of the Appalachians,” and the falls attract thousands of visitors year-round. The falls are broken into the upper and lower falls that drop 90 feet into the Linville River. 

There are a couple of different trails that lead you to the base of the waterfall or to the mid-section to see a different perspective. Swimming is strictly prohibited at the base of the falls (and would be very dangerous); however, there are some beautiful swimming holes all along the Linville River. 

✅ Roan Mountain State Park
Address: 527 TN-143, Roan Mountain, TN 37687

Roan Mountain State Park is a great little day trip from Blowing Rock. The drive is just under an hour and brings you to the beautiful 2,000-acre state park. The park is known for having state-of-the-art campgrounds, hundreds of miles of supreme hiking trails, and gorgeous mountain views. 

Annual Events in Blowing Rock NC 

✅ Art in the Park | October 7, 2023

Art is the Park was created in 1962 to showcase local artists and all their talents. The event takes place in downtown Blowing Rock every year and has about 90 local artists at each event. Guests can view or purchase all kinds of art, from pottery to paintings, jewelry, fiber arts, glass art, and more. The event is free to attend.

✅ Blowing Rock Halloween Fest | Saturday, October 28, 2023

The Blowing Rock Halloween Festival is a beloved annual event that is family-friendly and a great way to celebrate the spooky season. The Saturday before Halloween, the town gets together at Memorial Park in downtown Blowing Rock for a day full of downtown trick-or-treating, the famous Monster March, Halloween games, live music, and food. This event is free.

✅ Blowing Rock WinterFest | January 25-28, 2024

WinterFest is the biggest event in Blowing Rock that brings the whole community and visitors from all over together to celebrate the season. The famous Polar Plunge and chili cookoff take place at the event. There is also dog sledding, ice sculptures, a beer garden, games, food, and live entertainment for the whole family. 

Blowing Rock Mural

Annual Events Near Blowing Rock NC

✅ Autumn at Oz | September 2024 TBD

The theme park is entirely based on the Wizard of Oz and is the only thing of its kind in the world. After being shuttered for years, the Land of Oz theme park is now open only for a seasonal event called the Autumn in Oz festival that takes place every September. Tickets typically sell out months in advance, so you’ll need to plan your visit well in advance, but it’s absolutely worth it. 

As you walk through Oz along the Yellow Brick Road, you will see wonderful performances of the most iconic moments of the story. There are also many opportunities to take photos with all of your favorite Wizard of Oz characters. This is the only time of year that the Land of Oz brings in a temporary Emerald City area complete with stage shows, more food vendors, and shopping. 

Land of Oz Dorothy and the Tin Man

✅ HawkWatch | September 1-30, 2024

Birders and naturalists come together every year in September to watch the great hawk fall migration at Grandfather Mountain. The best viewpoints are anywhere along the Mile High Swinging Bridge, and guests can witness the birds in all their beauty.

✅ Buskers Fest | October 6, 2023 

Buskers Fest is an eccentric festival of local artists and performers that takes place in downtown Boone. Local vendors will be displaying all their local goods, such as art, pottery, and photographs, and there will be lots of live music, singing, dancing, and beer and food vendors at the Jones House. This is a free, family-friendly event.

✅ Oktoberfest at Sugar Mountain Resort | October 7-8, 2023

Oktoberfest is an age-old tradition and a fabulous event that takes place at the Sugar Mountain Resort every year. This family-friendly event will have lots of kids’ games and activities, locally crafted beers, live music, and delicious food. 

✅ Woolly Worm Festival | October 21-22, 2023

For 46 years, the Woolly Worm Festival has been bringing joy to families every 3rd weekend of October in Banner Elk. It is one of the largest festivals in the area and is estimated to bring in over 20,000 attendees each year. 

The unique festival was created to celebrate the woolly bear caterpillar, whose bands represent the 13 weeks of winter. There is a massive woolly bear caterpillar race, along with over 170 local vendors, food trucks, crafts, live music, entertainment, rides, and kids’ games.

✅ Valle Country Fair | October 21, 2023 

The Valle Country Fair is a beloved community tradition with all the exciting, cozy fair activities. There are lots of home-cooked meals, including barbecue, live music, arts and craft vendors, and family-friendly games like pumpkin bowling, face painting, and an alpaca petting zoo.

✅ Christmas at Apple Hill Farm | November 17-December 31, 2023

Apple Hill Farm is a working alpaca farm that gets all dressed up for the holidays. During Christmas, tours are given of the farm so guests can meet the animals and learn about how a fiber farm works. There are holiday lights, music, light seasonal snacks, and beverages. Tours last just under an hour. 

​​Where To Stay in Blowing Rock, NC

📍Julian Price Campground – The Julian Price Campground is a large campground at the base of the Julian Price Lake. The campground holds 119 tent sites and 78 RV sites with hookups. Camping is inexpensive and a great way to wind down and soak in the fresh mountain air. If you are interested in joining any lake activities during your camping stay, there are boat rentals nearby that have boats, paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes that can be rented by the hour.

📍Chetola Resort – The Chetola Resort is a beautiful rustic log mountain lodge with gorgeous views and a romantic atmosphere. Guests can enjoy the indoor pool, sauna, spa, children’s play area, fitness center, family rooms, and elegant restaurant and bar. A stay at the Chetola Resort will be your mountain vacation dream come true.

Chetola Resort Lake

📍Blowing Rock Inn -The Blowing Rock Inn is a classic, rustic-style motel/inn that provides an easy and convenient stay for any traveler. Rooms include simple accommodations, and suites include small kitchenettes, seating areas, and log fireplaces. The Blowing Rock Inn is not only clean and comfortable but has a great central location as well. 

Blowing Rock Inn

📍The Manor – The Manor is a gorgeous boutique hotel located downtown Blowing Rock and is just 15 miles from Sugar Mountain Resort. The spacious family-style rooms will be perfect for your extended vacation during any time of year. Accommodations at The Manor include a fitness center, balcony room options, free toiletries, and private bathrooms.

📍Holiday Inn Express Blowing Rock South – You can never go wrong with a stay at the Holiday Inn Express, especially the gorgeous rustic-style Holiday Inn in Blowing Rock. The Holiday Inn has all the comfortable qualities you are looking for in a hotel at a reasonable price. All guests have access to family rooms, the outdoor swimming pool, continental breakfast, the fitness center, and 24-hour room service. The Holiday Inn Express is so close to lots of Blowing Rock sights, and they are also pet-friendly. 

Blowing Rock, NC: FAQs

📌 Is Blowing Rock, NC, worth visiting?
Blowing Rock may not be as popular as other larger cities, but it is worth visiting, especially if you are interested in beautiful outdoor activities.

📌 What is Blowing Rock, NC, known for?
Blowing Rock is most known for the popular attraction called the Blowing Rock, a unique geological formation that attracts thousands of visitors every year.

📌 How far apart are Boone and Blowing Rock?
Boone and Blowing Rock are just eight miles apart. It is about a 15-minute drive. 

📌 Is it better to stay in Boone or Blowing Rock?
Boone is more of a college town with more going on and more places to stay. However, Blowing Rock still has an excellent variety of lodging options and is closer to different outdoor attractions in the area. 

📌 Does Blowing Rock have waterfalls?
There are plenty of waterfalls in the areas surrounding Blowing Rock. Some of the most popular waterfalls in the area are Glen Burney Falls, Laurel Creek Falls, and Linville Falls.

📌 Is Banner Elk or Blowing Rock better?
Blowing Rock is certainly smaller than Banner Elk, but both towns have the beautiful mountain charm most visitors want. 

📌 Which is better, Asheville or Blowing Rock?
Asheville is a much larger city than Blowing Rock. If you are looking for more of a city feel, with the mountains in the background, Asheville would be a better option. Blowing Rock is a much more quaint mountain town with easier access to more outdoor adventures. 

📌 When should I visit Blowing Rock?
While most visit Blowing Rock during the summer, locals will recommend visiting during the spring or fall, when flowers are blooming, or when the fall foliage is at its peak. These times are spectacular for quiet hikes and gorgeous nature settings.

Final Thoughts

Exploring North Carolina’s mountain towns is such a fun and unique way to explore Western North Carolina. Blowing Rock offers the perfect taste of mountain living, mountain charm, and the complete mountain feel. From interesting historical museums to fun children’s activities and all of the outdoor adventures, Blowing Rock makes for the perfect outdoor family vacation. 

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