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A Complete Guide to Exploring Boone, NC

Boone is a quintessential mountain town nestled in the North Carolina High Country, close to Blowing Rock and Banner Elk. Its picturesque scenery, encompassed by the Blue Ridge Mountains, attracts travelers from near and far. The charm of the town lies not just in its natural beauty but also in its rich history, local eateries, area attractions, and a plethora of outdoor things to do in Boone, NC. Each season unveils a new facet of Boone, making it a year-round destination.

Things to do in Boone, NC:

  • Blue Ridge Parkway: Known as "America's Favorite Drive," the Blue Ridge Parkway offers an unforgettable journey through the Appalachian Highlands. The section near Boone is one of the most scenic, with every turn offering awe-inspiring vistas and access to trails and historic sites. Check out Julian Memorial Price Park at milepost 297, with easy access to Green Knob, Price Lake, and Boone Fork trails.
  • Tweetsie Railroad & Mystery Hill: A nostalgic journey awaits at two of the High Country's most historic attractions. Visit Tweetsie Railroad, where the rhythmic chug of the locomotive and the picturesque landscape transport you to the Wild West fun of yesteryears. At Mystery Hill, prepare to have your curiosity piqued with optical illusions and gravity-defying phenomena that provide a blend of fun and intrigue, and don't forget to stop by the Appalachian Heritage Museum and experience a snapshot of life in the Appalachians during the early 1900s.
  • Daniel Boone Native Gardens & Hickory Ridge Living History Museum: Immerse yourself in the botanical and historical essence of Boone with a visit to Daniel Boone Native Gardens and Hickory Ridge Living History Museum. The Gardens offer a serene retreat with a myriad of native plant species and tranquil pathways, while Hickory Ridge brings the 18th century to life with its historical re-enactments, traditional crafts, and authentic homesteads, painting a vivid picture of Boone's rich heritage.
  • Mast General Store: Step into a timeless shopping experience at Mast General Store. The creaking wooden floors and old-fashioned merchandise transport visitors to a bygone era, while the array of modern-day casual wear and outdoor gear caters to adventurous spirits. Check out the original Mast Store in Valle Crucis, where locals still pick up their mail and coffee is sold on the honor system.

 

Boone, NC

Seasonal Attractions in Boone

Winter

Hit the slopes at Appalachian Ski Mountain for a thrilling day of skiing or snowboarding, check out Winterfest in Blowing Rock, and enjoy cultural events and special movie screenings at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country.

Spring

Hit up Merlefest in Wilkesboro at the end of April and experience one of the largest Americana-roots-based music festivals in the country, fishing area streams and rivers for local trout, and explore Downtown Boone Art Crawl bringing the town alive with art, music, and more.

Summer

There's way too much to list here, as boundless adventures await summer visitors to the High Country. Take a hike on Grandfather Mountain, scale the vertical walls in Linville Gorge, paddle the rapids on the Watauga River, float the ripples on the New River, and zip, climb, and swing at High Gravity Adventures.

Fall

Take in nature's grand show and cheer for the home team at a Mountaineers football game at The Rock, pick the perfect pumpkin and get lost in a corn maze at one of several area pumpkin patches, experience spooky attractions and ghostly performances at Tweetsie Railroad's family-friendly Ghost Train, and raise your stien at Oktoberfest celebrated at many of the Boone's local breweries.

Dining in Boone

Boone offers eclectic restaurants, cafes, breweries, and coffee shops. Whether you are looking for fine dining or a local farm-to-table experience, there is something to please even the most selective palates. Here are a few of our favorites:

Things to do in Boone, NC - Hatchet Coffee Roasters

Hatchet Coffee Roasters: More than a local coffee haven, Hatchet embraces the transformative power of great coffee, where a warm community vibe meets serious coffee culture. With its roasting lab, slow bar, and cozy lounge near Center 45 Climbing Gym, Hatchet Coffee invites both coffee aficionados and the casually caffeinated to experience their special brand of coffee, foods, crafts, and community​.

Things to do in Boone, NC - Melanie's Food Fantasy

Melanie's Food Fantasy: Melanie's Food Fantasy is a beloved spot in the heart of downtown Boone, known for its incredible breakfast and lunch. Melanie's quaint charm is accented by their unique food creations deeply rooted in the local culinary culture. Expect fresh, local ingredients in every dish. Whether you dine on their outdoor patio amidst the downtown bustle or inside with decor celebrating local adventures, you're in for a meal that's as comforting as it is extraordinary.

Things to do in Boone, NC - Gideon Ridge Inn

Gideon Ridge Inn: Looking to take things up a notch? Perched atop the serene overlooks of Blowing Rock, Gideon Ridge is where elegance meets the rustic charm of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The dining experience at Gideon Ridge marries the intimate elegance of a European-styled dining room with the breathtaking long-range mountain vistas seen from the terrace. The daily-changing menu showcases the bounty of local farms and small-batch purveyors, ensuring a fresh and unique culinary adventure.

Things to do in Boone, NC - Booneshine Brewing Company

Booneshine Brewing Company: With a rich community atmosphere and expansive outdoor beer garden, Booneshine Brewing ​is a top destination for beer aficionados. It's not only about the beer at Boonshine. They also feature a full-service restaurant crafting savory American fare with options ranging from snacks to dinner entrees. The servers and bartenders are informative and enthusiastic, making Booneshine a great spot for a gathering of family or friends.

Tips for Parents while Traveling to Boone:

Traveling with children to Boone is a delightful adventure that will create lifelong memories. We've put together some tips to aid in the overall experience for both parents and kids. 

Ensure you're well-prepared for the diverse mountain weather with adaptable clothing – from breathable layers for sunny days to cozy winter essentials. Delight your children with kid-centric things to do in Boone, including the excitement of Tweetsie Railroad and the wonder of Mystery Hill. For older kids and teens, High Gravity Adventures offers thrilling zip lines and obstacle courses. Don't let rain hinder your plans; explore indoor options like Boone Bowling Center and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. Remember to pack snacks, water, and entertainment for the little ones. Dive into our full list of Tips For Parents While Traveling to Boone.

Boone, NC, is not just a destination. It's an experience that creates beautiful memories with every visit. The blend of natural beauty, historic charm, and family-friendly activities makes Boone a treasured getaway. Whether you're traversing the scenic trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway or delving into the past at Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, Boone promises a wholesome adventure for every family. So pack your bags, start exploring the myriad of things to do in Boone, and embark on a journey you and your family will cherish for a lifetime.

Andrew Miller