Home to Appalachian State University, Boone is far more than a college town; it’s a perfect getaway to enjoy winter weather and activities with the whole family. Named for pioneer Daniel Boone, who once encamped there, the picturesque town offers a quaint historic center with plenty of restaurants, cafes and shops to explore. Nearby, you can visit various family-friendly activities, including the gravity-defying Mystery Hill’s Appalachian Heritage Museum and the Foggy Mountain Gem Mine.
Beyond the city limits, however, visitors can enjoy a myriad of outdoor experiences: skiing or snow tubing at one of the nearby resorts, taking a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, visiting Grandfather Mountain or exploring Elk Knob State Park, one of North Carolina’s
state parks. Ultimately, the gorgeous mountain setting and cozy town offer an opportunity to make memories for years to come.
Blue Ridge Vacation Cabins For those seeking more room and more upscale accommodations, a cabin rental may be the best way to go. Choose from dozens of vacation rentals, big and small, offering various amenities including pool tables, hot tubs, fire pits and more.
This historic bed and breakfast offers a romantic, private escape just one mile outside of the city yet located on 11 acres of woods. Each of the six well-appointed rooms features comfortable amenities, a full breakfast and more.
This mom and pop lodge is one of the best bargains you’ll find. With a homey décor, the rooms are clean and comfortable, and the innkeepers are happy to offer dining suggestions or help with requests.
Grab a tasty bite at this great lunch spot offering homemade soups, fresh salads, hearty sandwiches and more. Also open for dinner; great beer selection.
This cozy bistro-style restaurant features upscale contemporary American cuisine, such as crispy duck wings, pork cheeks with high mountain grits and more. The restaurant uses local, seasonal produce in its rotating menu, offers an extensive wine list and a newly designed screened-in porch.
For half a century, this popular Boone restaurant has served delicious home cooked, family-style Southern meals. Make sure you get there early or you’re bound to have a long wait. Just don’t miss it!
This non-profit community kitchen with a social conscience stands for Feeding All Regardless of Means. Visitors pay-what-they-can to eat from a hearty and locally-sourced menu that changes daily. Vegan options available; open only for lunch.
Situated on the banks of Boone Creek, this brewery offers an inviting spot to sample their menu of more than 20 craft beers and ciders (made from North Carolina apples). The Farm 2 Flame food truck offers a selection of wood-fired pizzas for a quick bite.
This gastropub and microbrewery offers delicious food, great beer and live music in historic Boone. The family owned business prides itself on its gracious hospitality and authentic, high quality beers.
Coffee lovers can wake up with a great cup of coffee or espresso made from organic, locally roasted beans. The cozy café has a rustic charm, free WiFi and baked goods.
PIT STOP WORTHY
No trip to Boone is complete without a visit to the historic Mast General Store. Though now a chain, the old-fashioned shop offers a candy store and plenty of fun souvenirs to bring home. The Boone location is housed in the 1913 People’s Bank building. Several local boutiques offer creative ideas for holiday gifts: browse vinyl at 641 Rpm, discover unique, vintage finds at the Appalachian Antique Mall, pick up gourmet olive oil for your foodie friends at Art of Oil, or support emerging artists at the Hands Gallery Co-op.
Skiing & Tubing
You’ll find three ski resorts within 30 minutes of town, including Appalachian Ski Mountain, Beech Mountain Resort and Sugar Mountain Resort. Appalachian, the first ski resort in the area, has 10 slopes, night skiing and an outdoor ice arena. Sugar Mountain, the largest, features beginner to expert runs and plenty of fun activities to do off the slopes. Sugar Fest (Dec. 10-11) celebrates the holiday season with food and fireworks, bluegrass music and more. Those who don’t ski but love the snow can enjoy a visit to Hawksnest, the largest snow tubing park on the East coast.
Visitors to this peak, about half an hour from Boone, can enjoy more than just beautiful scenery. Walk across the highest suspension bridge in the U.S., known as the Mile High Swinging bridge, that spans an 80-foot chasm, stroll through wildlife habitats (cougars, deer, black bears, bald eagles and more), or learn more about the entire area at the Nature Museum. Mildred’s Grill, a casual restaurant, offers a tasty spot to take a break and refresh, and don’t miss a visit to The Fudge Shop. The sweet treat will boost energy to hike one of the 11 trails, at varying difficulties, from a leisurely walk to more rugged terrain.
Cut Your Own Tree
Bring home more than memories from your trip to Boone. Fraser Firs are indigenous to the High Country of Northwestern N.C. and adjacent summits. This year, choose your own Christmas tree from one of several tree farms in the area. Family-owned C and J Christmas Trees is just five minutes from downtown, while Circle C Tree Farms offers hayrides (weather permitting), hot chocolate, and garlands, wreaths and centerpieces for sale.