Destination Guides

Explore Boone, NC: A Hidden Gem in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Nestled amidst the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, Boone, North Carolina, beckons with its enchanting charm and rich history. Discover the secrets of this little gem—a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, art lovers, and food connoisseurs alike. Join us as we unveil the hidden treasures of Boone, your ultimate small-town escape.

Welcome to Boone, North Carolina!

blue ridge parkway, boone, north carolina
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Boone, North Carolina, is a hidden gem in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains. This small town offers visitors a unique blend of outdoor adventures, rich history, and charming local culture. So, grab your hiking boots, put on your explorer hat, and prepare for an unforgettable journey to Boone!

Getting There and Getting Around

blue ridge parkway, fall leaves, autumn
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Getting to Boone is a breeze! You can hop on a direct flight to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, just a few hours away. If you prefer a scenic road trip, take the Blue Ridge Parkway and soak in the breathtaking views. Once you’ve arrived, the easiest way to get around Boone is by car. Rental cars are available at the airport, or you can explore the town by bike or on foot if you’re feeling adventurous. Just pack some comfortable shoes – you’re in for a lot of exploration!

Outdoor Adventures

Sunset over the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains from
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Get ready to unleash your inner adventurer in Boone! With its proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains, this town is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking, biking, and kayaking are heart-pumping activities waiting for you. Hit the iconic Grandfather Mountain trails for breathtaking views and challenging hikes. If you’re daring, try crossing the Mile High Swinging Bridge – trust us, it’s not for the faint of heart! For a more leisurely outdoor experience, head to the Daniel Boone Native Gardens. This botanical garden showcases the region’s diverse flora and fauna, making it a perfect spot for a peaceful stroll.

A Taste of Local Flavor

Boone’s food scene is as delightful as its landscapes. When hunger strikes, go to The Gamekeeper, a rustic restaurant known for its game-inspired dishes. This eatery even serves exotic meats like bison and elk – perfect for adventurous foodies! If you want a laid-back vibe, swing by Macado’s and enjoy their famous overstuffed sandwiches. With names like “Dixie Chicken” and “The Picoso,” these sandwiches are delicious and come with a side of quirky humor. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a scoop (or two) at the Boone Drug and Ice Cream Soda Fountain. This old-fashioned pharmacy-turned-ice cream parlor is a local favorite, serving sweet treats for over 100 years.

Quirky and Unique

Boone, North Carolina, USA campus and town skyline
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Boone is full of charming quirks that you won’t find anywhere else. Start exploring at the Mast General Store, where you can step back in time and browse through an eclectic mix of goods. From candy and clothing to outdoor gear, this store has it all! Stop by the Appalachian State University campus, where you’ll find the famous “Turchin Center for the Visual Arts.” This contemporary art museum will leave you inspired and intrigued. If you enjoy all things strange and unusual, visit the Mystery Hill. This gravity-defying attraction will have you scratching your head as you witness water flowing uphill and experience mind-boggling optical illusions.

Fun for All Seasons

Banner Elk, USA - June 23, 2021: Downtown Banner Elk road street in North Carolina city town sign direction to famous Beech Mountain ski resort
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No matter the time of year, Boone always has something exciting happening. In the winter, hit the slopes at Appalachian Ski Mountain, where you can channel your inner Olympic skier or snowboarder. If you prefer a laid-back winter experience, grab a hot cocoa and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown Boone. During the warmer months, make sure to attend the Boone Heritage Festival. This celebration of local traditions features live music, craft vendors, and mouthwatering food that will leave you with a smile.

A Breath of History

Cacti and succulents in a greenhouse
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Boone is deeply rooted in history, and plenty of historical sites exist to explore. Pay a visit to the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, where you can return to the 18th century and experience life as an early pioneer. Make your way to the Appalachian Cultural Museum for a dose of Appalachian culture. This museum showcases the region’s rich heritage through exhibits on traditional crafts, music, and storytelling. And, of course, no trip to Boone would be complete without a visit to the Daniel Boone Native Gardens. Named after the famous explorer himself, this botanical garden offers stunning landscapes and showcases the plants that early settlers used for food, medicine, and shelter.

Shop ‘Til You Drop

Photo of women s clothing
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Boone’s local boutiques and shops are a treasure trove for unique finds. Start your shopping spree at the Boone Mall, which houses a variety of stores ranging from national chains to charming local boutiques. For an artistic twist on shopping, head to Doe Ridge Pottery. This local pottery studio showcases beautifully handcrafted pieces made by talented local artists. Bring home a one-of-a-kind souvenir as a reminder of your Boone adventure.

Where to Stay

sunset in the mountains
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Regarding accommodations, Boone offers something for every taste and budget. If you want a rustic experience, book a cozy cabin nestled in the woods. Wake up to the sounds of nature and enjoy a cup of coffee on your private porch – pure bliss! For a more luxurious stay, check out the posh mountain resorts that offer spa treatments and breathtaking views. Dip in the infinity pool overlooking the mountains and let your worries disappear.

For the Art Lover

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Art enthusiasts will find themselves captivated by Boone’s vibrant art scene. Start your artistic journey at the BRAHM (Blowing Rock Art & History Museum). This museum showcases Appalachian art, history, and culture collections. If you enjoy strolling through art galleries, visit the Jones House Community Center. This historic house has been transformed into a vibrant hub for local artists, showcasing rotating exhibits and hosting art classes for all ages.

A Town Worth Exploring

View from the Lump Overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Boone, North Carolina
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Boone, North Carolina, maybe a small town, but it’s brimming with charm, adventure, and hidden treasures. Whether you seek an outdoor escapade, a taste of local flavor, or a dose of Appalachian culture, Boone has something for everyone. So, pack your sense of adventure and embark on a journey to this enchanting mountain town – you won’t be disappointed!

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