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Visiting Hickory Ridge Living History Museum with Kids

May 21, 2024

Photo Credit: Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division For families, educators, and anyone passionate about experiencing history, Hickory Ridge Living History Museum and Horn in the West Outdoor Drama in Boone, North Carolina, offer a treasure trove of…

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Local’s Choice: Top 5 Best Hiking Trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Apr 29, 2024

The Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina’s High Country is a premier hiking and outdoor exploration destination. The region caters to adventurers of all skill levels, offering diverse trails, from serene walks along the Blue Ridge Parkway to challenging hikes up rugged mountains. The area is renowned for its stunning…

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Affordable Spring Break Day Trips for Families Near Charlotte, NC

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Scenic Road Trip From Charlotte to Boone

Feb 13, 2024

Are you planning a trip from Charlotte to Boone, North Carolina? Buckle up as we take you on a picturesque adventure full of awe-inspiring sights and some of our favorite stops that will make your road trip to the North Carolina High Country an unforgettable experience. Recommended Stops at a…

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Exploring the Legacy of Mast General Store: Valle Crucis to Downtown Boone

Mast General Store - storefront
Photo Credit: Michael Barera (CC BY_SA4.0 Deed) cropped to 1200X600 px

No adventure to the High Country is complete without a visit to the historic Mast General Store. Since its beginning in 1883, Mast General Store has been a beacon of Appalachian culture and community, from the 19th-century charm of the original store in picturesque Valle Crucis to the vibrant and bustling downtown Boone location.

Valle Crucis: Where It All Began

Henry Taylor founded the original Valle Crucis store in 1883, and W.W. Mast bought into the business in 1897, eventually taking over. Nestled amidst rolling hills and the pastoral beauty of Valle Crucis, the original store retains its 19th-century charm, serving locals and tourists alike. 


The original Mast Store in Valle Crucis offers a more traditional general store experience with plenty of provisions, a working post office, a pot-bellied stove, and a back porch perfect for enjoying an ice-cold drink.

General store candy barrels

Boone's Downtown Gem

Known as the Old Boone Mercantile, The Mast General Store in Boone, has an intriguing history that complements its sister store in Valle Crucis. Originally opened in 1988 in the old Hunt's Department Store building, the Boone location marked a significant expansion of the Mast General Store family. The building itself, a red-brick structure, was constructed back in 1922, adding a historical charm to the store. The opening of Mast General Store in downtown Boone was part of a broader trend of revitalizing King St. and the downtown area, and Mast quickly became a vital part of Boone's community.  


While distinct in their atmospheres, both locations share a commitment to community, sustainability, and preserving the High Country's unique culture. They serve as gateways to the region's adventures, offering everything from outdoor gear to local crafts.


Whether you visit the historic Valle Crucis store or the bustling downtown Boone location, the Mast General Store promises an unforgettable journey through the High Country's history and culture. Experience the legacy and charm of both stores on your next adventure in Boone. 

Looking for more while in town? High Gravity Adventures is a great North Carolina adventure park for all ages. Our zip line between Boone and Blowing Rock offers unforgettable memories but is yet to top the screams of excitement offered by the thrill of the giant swing drop. Rather climb? Take on our aerial adventure park for children and adults alike. 

Andrew Miller