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10 Reasons to Fall in Love with Boone

This is your sign to take a road trip to Boone, NC!

Less than 5 hours from Atlanta and with an average summer temp in the high 70s (!!!), Boone makes the perfect "coolcation" summer road trip destination. Make sure to download my Ultimate 3-Day Itinerary at the bottom of this post and check out the Explore Boone website which is what I used to plan my trip!


Disclosure: This trip was sponsored but all the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write a blog post but I had such a great time that I wanted to share it with you.


Left to right: Downtown Boone, walking the greenway trail and the adorable Birdies Coffee!


1. The Great Outdoors

Waterfalls, hiking, nature trails and incredible views

Boone is an outdoor lover's paradise! There are so many different options for every level of nature enthusiast. My favorite experiences included the nature trails at Julian Price Park -- especially the Boone Fork Loop which leads to Hebron Falls. It was raining so I did not get a chance to finish this walk, but it will be the FIRST thing I do when I return.


My favorite hiking experience was the 2 mile trail to Rough Ridge on the Tanawha Trail starting from the Wilson Creek Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. As a solo traveler, I liked that this trail was near the road so it felt very safe incase I got lost (which I did not!).


Left to right: Julian Price/Boone Fork Loop, Rough Ridge and my elated face when I made it to the top of Rough Ridge (it's not a super long hike but it was my first time hiking in the rain)!


2. The Blue Ridge Parkway

Easy access to one of America's most beautiful roads

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway is an absolute must if you haven't done it already. This alone makes the trip worth it. You could spend an entire day just pulling off at the overlooks, eating a picnic and enjoying the view.


And that's exactly what I did! My favorite spots were the gorgeous manor at Moses Cone Memorial Park, an overlook near Price Lake to enjoy my sticky bun from Stick Boy Bakery (don't miss this place) and the Yonahlossee Overlook with the most iconic view of the parkway (and most epic views in general!!)


Left to right: Flat Top Manor at Moses Cone Park, Stick Boy bun with a view and Yonahlossee Overlook


3. Mystery Hill

Experience this roadside attraction and gravitational anomaly

I saw Mystery Hill go viral on social media and I knew I had to check it out for myself. I read reviews that said this is an optical illusion but it left my head spinning! I honestly don't know what to make of it but it definitely felt strange like a force was pulling me and I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard!



4. The Blowing Rock

North Carolina's oldest travel attraction and most quintessential photo op

So many stories and legends surround this beautiful park. It's a relatively small park but the overlooks are gorgeous and at just $9 entrance fee, it's well worth a visit on your way into town!



5. The Vineyards

Essence magazine just called Boone a US wine destinations that should be on your radar

With a climate similar to northern California and scenery that is absolutely breathtaking, Boone's wine scene is definitely one to pay attention to! I followed the Boone Area Wine Trail which took me to Grandfather Mountain Vineyard, Linville Falls Winery and Banner Elk Winery.


My favorite experience was probably sitting by the river at Grandfather Winery and enjoying a picnic lunch from Wildwood Market (get the pimento cheese club or try the popular vegan Chic-Fil-Ain't sandwich). I also absolutely adored the staff and atmosphere at Linville Falls Winery. Not to mention, this winery is located right down the road from the most beautiful waterfall (Linville Falls). This is a must to visit (see below)!


Left to right: Banner Elk Winery, Grandfather Mountain Vineyard and Linville Falls Winery


6. Waterfalls

So many waterfalls to choose from!

The weather was rainy during my visit but I believe I saved the absolute best waterfall hike for my sunny day! Linville Falls is absolutely STUNNING. Located right down the road from Linville Falls Vineyard, make sure you add this one to your list. The walk is a gradual incline with several different viewpoints to enjoy the falls. I absolutely loved it here and highly recommend visiting this spot!


Fun tip -- there were fighter jets training in the area and they flew right overhead! I've never been so close to such a powerful force (and sound). Some hikers told me that this is in a training flight zone so if you get lucky you might see them!



7. Grandfather Mountain

Walk across a mile-high swinging bridge, walk trails and more

Where do I even start!?! This park has it all -- countless trails for all different levels, a wildlife habitat, incredible overlooks, picnic areas, a road made famous by Forest Gump and of course no visit to Grandfather Mountain is complete without crossing the Mile-High Swinging Bridge.


Tip: The last section of road to the visitor's center/bridge is pretty steep and windy. If you want to skip this section of the drive, you can park in the Black Rock parking lot at the bottom of the hill and take the .4 mile bridge trail to the top.



8. Quaint Downtown

Shopping, art, breweries and more!

I had some rainy moments on my trip to Boone -- but luckily there were plenty of ways to stay occupied in the cute downtown area. My favorite things were sitting in the cozy Hole Lotta Doughnuts (try the baklava doughnut), visiting the Turchin Art Center, dancing for a discount at Anna Bananas (so funny), and rooftop drinks at The Horton Hotel (a spot highly recommend by the locals and you'll know why when you see the view!).


Left to right: Hole Lotta Doughnuts, Turchin Art Center and Rooftop at The Horton Hotel


9. Unique Places to Stay

Calling all mid-century modern lovers!

Boone has not one, but 2 completely refurbished mid-century modern hotels. The Rhodes Motor Lodge was my favorite because of the amenities like a patio with fire pits, restaurant (sadly it was closed during my visit) and bar (tip: make sure to ask for a room with a view as not all of them have one). The Blue Ridge Tourist Court was adorable with it's brightly colored doors and comfortable rooms with vintage decorations.


Please Note: There is no on-site staff at Blue Ridge Tourist Court. The owners have security cameras and provide a welcome book including contact information if you need anything during your stay.


Top: Rhodes Motor Lodge and Bottom: Blue Ridge Tourist Court


10. Food

So many option for all diets (and your sweet tooth)!

The thing that stood out the most to me during my trip to Boone was how many vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options there were around town. I especially loved Wildcraft Eatery! It felt very progressive and I enjoyed having so much variety. Don't get me wrong, carnivores will be equally satisfied at places like The Cardinal and The Local!


And while there were lots of healthy options, there were also plenty of places to satisfy your sweet tooth. My favorites were Stick Boy (also try the sourdough bread), the ice cream sandwich at Blue Deer and the brownie and wine from Venture Chocolate (just about everyone I met told me to go here).


Left to Right: Blue Deer, Wildcraft Eatery and The Cardinal.


Thank you to Explore Boone for sponsoring my trip. I loved it so much! Make sure to download my itinerary below with hike suggestions, hotel options and more!

BOONE ITINERARY - MAINSTREETBACKROADS
.pdf
Download PDF • 2.83MB

Wishing you a happy road trip season!


xoKerry

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FA316BAD-A6DE-439F-8C64-652F6EB84D06 2.jpg

Hi, thanks for stopping by!

Hi, I'm Kerry!

 

I have lived in Georgia for over 10 years and love to share local spots, art, history, nature and more within 3 hours of Atlanta (and easy getaways from the Peach State). 

I am glad you're here and I am looking forward to growing our backyard bucketlist together!

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