20 + things to do in Boone, NC
Nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, the town of Boone is coined the “Heart of the High Country” and offers a unique quality of life throughout every season.
This lively Appalachian college town, resort spot, and fun-for-the-whole-family destination has everything you need for your perfect getaway.
Things to do in Boone, NC
Whether you’re looking to take on an outdoor adventure or simply relax with breathtaking views of the mountains, there are tons of things to do in Boone, NC.
What is there to do in Downtown Boone?
Although there is plenty to do around Boone, you will not want to miss out on visiting Downtown. Boone’s King Street is a favorite for both residents and out-of-town visitors.
Lined with local speciality stores, coffee shops, antique shops, art galleries, ice cream parlors, boutiques, and restaurants, King Street brings the college community and the locals together and gives the mountain town it’s charm.
Local favorites include Mast General Store, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, and Lost Province Brewing Company.
King Street is also home to many Mountaineer football tailgates, holiday parades and university events that happen throughout the year.
With Appalachian State University right around the corner, King Street remains a lively place at all times and is sure to welcome you into the heart of Boone, encourage you to wonder freely, and invite you to soak up the Appalachian air.
Outdoor activities in Boone, NC
Get some fresh air when you step outside and enjoy the many outdoor activities Boone has to offer. From nature reserves to hiking and even skiing, outdoor enthusiasts won’t be bored in Boone!
Spend some time on the water at Price Lake
If you’re looking for the perfect place to fish, canoe, kayak, or paddle-boat, Price Lake makes it easy with their on-site rental facility that provides all equipment, supplies, and even bait for fisherman. Located at milepost 297 on the Parkway, Price Lake has it’s own lot where visitors can park and spend their day hiking along the provided trails or even pitch a tent and sleep under the stars.
Discover new plants at the Daniel Boone Native Gardens
Fall is the perfect time to take a walk through nature, and the Daniel Boone Native Gardens provides a lovely landscape to do so. Located on three acres, this magnificently landscaped garden contains more than 200 species of plant varieties, including a collection of native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers.
The garden was created to represent a conservation and education effort, as a kind of laboratory where clubs, botanists, and schools can grow rare or endangered species. Fun fact—the wrought iron gates at the entrance were built by the descendants of Daniel Boone!
During the winter months, local ski and snowboard resorts throughout the High Country are a must. A little outside of Boone are the South’s two largest ski resorts: Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain. Beech Mountain is named Eastern America’s Highest Town, and the resort houses 17 slopes with 98 skiable acres.
The resort also features a vertical drop of over 830 feet and has North Carolina’s only mountaintop skybar. Sugar Mountain has North Carolina’s only double black diamond slope and also offers ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and snowshoeing.
Take an adventure through Rocky Knob Park
If you’re looking for a little adventure in the mountains, check out the Rocky Knob Park. This beautiful park is free and open until dusk. There are five trails, each of varying difficulty so you are sure to find the right one for you. Whether you choose to walk, run, or bike, you can always wind down afterwards at the site’s large picnic pavilion and playground.
Things to do with kids in Boone, NC
With the multitude of things to do in Boone, your kids will have a blast visiting this mountain town. Here’s tons of ideas that are sure to provide excitement for the whole family.
Cheer on the Mountaineers at Kidd Brewer Stadium
The Appalachian State Football team finished their 2019 season as Sun Belt Champions for the second year in a row. Nicknamed “The Rock”, Kidd Brewer Stadium sits at an elevation of 3,280 feet and is known as one of the most picturesque settings for college football. With a blue ridge backdrop and a seating capacity of 30,000; students, alumni, fans, and visitors all flock to The Rock to cheer on the Mountaineers.
Go back in time at the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum
Ever wonder what it was like to live during the Revolutionary War? Lead it to the educators and tour guides of the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum to take you back in time! Since 1980, the museum has been recreating the atmosphere of a small mountain community when furnishings were sparse but the community was diverse with its religion, humor, and self-sufficiency.
Staffed with interpreters in period clothing, this museum gives you an authentic glimpse into cooking, spinning, candle making, and blacksmithing. This is sure to be a unique and educational opportunity for people of all ages.
Immerse yourself in the arts
The university offers plenty of experiences for art and music lovers. With multiple venues of all sizes packed into the small town, you can expect a lovely mix of performances ranging from Broadway stars to local bluegrass musicians to emerging student artists. Enjoy a summer full of music, gallery crawls, films, and theater at the Appalachian Summer Festival.
Hunt for gems at the Foggy Mountain Gem Mine
This family-owned site invites you to satisfy your craving for a gem mine adventure and experience the thrill of discovery as you pan for gems. Here, you will sift through dirt and rock using water flumes to find your treasure. The staff is highly trained and knowledgeable, and is excited to assist you in this fun and educational experience. You can even purchase a gem bucket to take home all of your riches!
Places to eat in Boone, NC
You won’t go hungry while spending time in Boone. Most restaurants are locally owned and use only the freshest ingredients. Regardless of where you choose to eat, you’ll be delighted with the dining options in Boone, NC.
Eat at the F.A.R.M. Cafe
F.A.R.M. Cafe is a non-profit, pay-what-you-can community kitchen with the mission of building a healthy and inclusive community. The F.A.R.M. Cafe works to eliminate hunger in the High Country, and is a restaurant where everyone can eat, regardless of means. Here you will find high quality, delicious meals produced from local sources and a wonderful staff that is dedicated to serving the community.
Dine at the Pedalin’ Pig
North Carolina is infamous for its BBQ, and The Pedalin’ Pig ensures you get a taste of the western style! From BBQ and fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs to savory pork belly tacos, The Pedalin’ Pig’s menu offers a wide variety of choices to all lovers of pork!
Have brunch at Melanies
If you’re looking for the best brunch in Boone, you’ve come to the right place. Melanie’s menu is filled with local produce, farm-fresh ingredients, organic coffee, made-to-order juices, and fresh fruits. With an outdoor patio on King Street facing downtown Boone, you will experience what it’s like to be a local in this mountain town.
Have a bite at Proper
A menu that will rival your grandmother’s best cooking, Proper offers a modern and seasonal spin on all your home-cooked, southern favorites. Almost everything is made from scratch and in-house including their dipping sauces and condiments. Served in a cozy, bistro-style atmosphere, Proper is definitely a hidden gem and the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal and a glass of wine.
Eat at Our Daily Bread
Located on King Street, Our Daily Bread is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat or to try a local brew. The restaurant’s casual, warm-hued environment is sure to invite you in away from the cold and allow you to recharge. Using fresh and local ingredients, Our Daily Bread has been dedicated to making the best comfort food in the heart of Downtown Boone since 1984.
Enjoy fresh seafood at Café Portofino
Located in a 100-year-old building on Rivers Street, this maintenance station-turned-restaurant is a favorite of Boone locals. Here, you can enjoy 5-star dining in a renovated, open kitchen and cozy dining room. The restaurant features daily culinary specials and fresh seafood, as well as a diverse menu of sandwiches and pastas.
Dine at Casa Rustica
Discover the bold flavors of Italy at Casa Rustica, one of Boone’s most beloved restaurants since 1981. The restaurant fuses old-world Italian cuisine with the fresh flavors of the High Country, complete with intimate fireside dining.
Have beer and pizza at Appalachian Mountain Brewery
Appalachian Mountain Brewery is the perfect place is explore an abundance of North Carolina beers and ciders. Each beer is brewed and served at their taproom and several other locations in North Carolina. Enjoy your drink in the tasting room, which features plenty of outdoor seating, a 120 foot long outdoor bar that borders Boone Creek, and a covered heated porch.
Appalachian Mountain Brewery strives to sustainably brew high quality beer, support local nonprofits, and help the Boone community prosper. Food trucks serving wood-fired pizzas and other local fare are stationed at the brewery should you be in the mood for some good eats!
Hotels and Places to stay in Boone, NC
Lovill House Inn
If you’re looking for a quiet getaway with historic touches, look no further than the Lovill House Inn. Located on 11 wooded acres just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, this quaint bed and breakfast is renowned for its award-winning hospitality, great location, and elegant lodging accommodations in a relaxed setting.
The Lovill House Inn has five large and airy guest rooms, each with a private bath, Wi-Fi services, an in-room fireplace, and other amenities that are catered to your needs. Whether on a romantic getaway, a business trip, or a leisurely vacation, this bed and breakfast is sure to help you unwind and relax in a beautiful, comfortable setting.
The Inn at Crestwood
Guests of The Inn at Crestwood can expect nothing short of elegance. Here, you can enjoy extraordinary panoramic views, calming spa venues, and distinctive dining. At this premier inn of the High Country, there are options to stay in a room, a suite, or choose from one of the 3-story villas and cottages at Crestwood.
The Spa at Crestwood offers a variety of treatments and amenities, including a lap pool and a fitness center that comes with the spa package. After a long day, sit down and relax at The Table Restaurant where you can enjoy southern inspired dishes that are always fresh in season.
The Horton Hotel and Rooftop Lounge
For those who prefer modern lodging with a social atmosphere, check out Boone’s only boutique hotel and rooftop bar, The Horton. Each of the 15 rooms includes personal touches such as custom wood slab furniture and bedding.
If you choose to stay in one of the luxury suites, your room will overlook Boone’s historic King Street. During your stay, make sure to head up to the rooftop bar, which serves curated cocktails, local brews, and unique wines under the open sky, complete with a warm fire and soft blankets.
Courtyard by Marriott Boone
Larger parties may enjoy their stay in Boone at the Courtyard, which provides great flexibility and choices for their guests. Conveniently located right outside of Appalachian State University, the Courtyard is a place where you can grab a bite to eat at The Bistro, refresh yourself in the indoor pool, or get in an exercise at the fitness center.
With plenty of open spaces and up-to-date technology services, the Courtyard is the perfect place to be comfortable, productive, and everything in between!
What is Boone, NC famous for?
The town of Boone was founded in 1872 and was named after the famous pioneer, Daniel Boone, who explored, hunted, and camped in the region in the 1760s. Appalachian State University was originally titled Watauga Academy when it opened in 1899.
It later went on to become a teacher’s college and by the 1970s, the school had instituted a four-year curriculum for a wide range of majors and became part of the University of North Carolina school system.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles long and connects Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. The route provides stunning views through North Carolina and includes over 50 hiking trails and more than 20 overlooks. The Linn Cove Viaduct is one of the most photographed spots on the Parkway and is beautiful year-round.
Tweetsie Railroad is a famous Wild West theme park located between Boone and Blowing Rock, Best known for the 3-mile ride on a train pulled by Tweetsie Railroad’s historic narrow-gauge steam locomotive. Tweetsie also offers live entertainment, amusement rides, gold panning, and even a zoo.
The windy cliffs of Blowing Rock were home to the Cherokee and the Catawba Indian tribes before 1752. These tribes, who were adversaries, are the basis of the famous story of “The Blowing Rock: Two star-crossed lovers, one from each tribe, were walking near The Rock when the reddening sky signaled to the brave that he must return to his tribal duty, and the maiden urged him to stay with her.
His desperation in choosing between duty and love caused him to leap from the edge of the gorge toward the rocks below, while the maiden beseeched the Great Spirit to bring him back to her. The famous winds of the John’s River Gorge blew her lover back into her arms, and this legend about The Blowing Rock is still told today.”
How far is Boone from Blowing Rock?
Boone is approximately 8.0 miles (15-20 minutes) from Blowing Rock.
In Blowing Rock you will find an array of scenic peaks and gorges, hiking trails, orchards and wineries, and fun activities for all ages. Visit Tweetsie Railroad, Mystery Hill & Gem Mining, High Gravity Adventures, or Grandfather Mountain Wildlife Habitats. For the adults, visit Linville Falls Winery or Grandfather Mountain Winery or head to the spa at Chetola Resort for a day of relaxation. Blowing Rock also offers a vibrant art scene with museums and historical family entertainment.