Boone Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Boone

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    Native American Artifacts Museum

    by Faiza-Ifrah Written Sep 5, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My husband enjoyed going into the details
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    This is the 3rd attraction covered within Mystery Hill Entrance Tickets.

    This is the most colourful museum we have ever visited.

    A primer in history from the website: “During their honeymoon, R.E. "Moon" Mullins and his lovely new bride, Irene, began the collection with three arrowheads found in Cartersville, Georgia. By 1987, when "Moon" passed away, their collection had blossomed in thousands of pieces. Almost every time period of American Indian history is represented in this fascinating exhibit that took over 70 years to collect. From arrowheads and effigy pipes to bowls, Celts and awls, this is one of the largest collections of its kind in North Carolina”.

    The artifacts are displayed along with the tags showing the place from where they were dug out. Some displays included artifacts from Canada too. It holds more than 50,000 Native American relics. Although displayed in small fonts, the description of some known Indian heroes and historical event is worth reading.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel
    • Theme Park Trips

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    What to do at Grandfather Mountain

    by Donna_in_India Updated Jul 14, 2009

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    Bear in Wildlife Habitat, Grandfather Mountain
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    Mile High Swinging Bridge: This is definitely the highlight of a visit to Grandfather Mountain. All the way at the top of the mountain, the 228-foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm at more than one mile in elevation. When you get to the middle of the brige, there is a sign that notes the one mile in elevation. The bridge actually does "swing" - during our last visit it was very windy and we felt it moving. The views are amazing and once you reach the other side you can climb onto some rocks (a little scary!) for an even better view. If at all possible, visit on a clear day! Bring binoculars as well. If you do not want to cross the bridge you can still enjoy amazing views from the parking area.

    Wildlife Habitats: There are 7 environmental habitats for black bears, river otters, bald eagles, cougars, golden eagles, and white-tailed deer. The enclosures are designed so you can get a feel for the way the animals lived 200 years ago when the Cherokee called the mountain Tanawha ("Great Hawk"). There are 2 areas for bears - one for wild bears and one where the bears were used to people and being fed by them You can buy a little cup of food (like large dog pellets) for $1 (only 1 per family) and the bears will sit on their back legs and catch mid-air what you throw. They are very close-up - about 8-10 feet below you. I was quite saddened about this - it seemed very "circusy". The eagles, of course, were beautiful.

    Walking & Hiking: Grandfather Mountain has 11 trails (12 miles of trails) varying in difficulty from a gentle walk in the woods to a rigorous trek across rugged peaks. Be sure to get a trail map and follow all safety rules.

    Have a Picnic: Along the 2 1/2 miles road to the top of the mountain, along with overlooks, there are 4 picnic areas including the "Cliffside Picnic Area" so bring some food and enjoy a break! Over 100 picnic tables and grills are scattered between the picnic areas.

    Visit the Nature Museum: I really enjoyed this museum! It houses more than two dozen excellent exhibits designed to educate guests about the natural history of Grandfather Mountain and the surrounding region. The gems and minerals, along with the largest amethyst ever found in North America, and Tar Heel gold specimens exhibited were really interesting. Other interesting exhibits showcase the birds of North Carolina, early explorers to visit Grandfather Mountain including Daniel Boone, and Native American artifacts found on Grandfather Mountain.

    Birding: With over 200 species of birds Grandfather Mountain is considered one of the finest bird sanctuaries in the Southeast. About 100 of these are documented breeding colonies. Bring your binoculars! Check the website for specific "where to look" information and a bird list. (The Hummingbirds at the feeders outside the Nature Museum Restaurant were fascinating to watch. You can also spot Nuthatches, Tufted-Titmice, Carolina Chickadees and Juncos (all native to the area) at the feeders.

    Nature Museum Restaurant & Shop: I usually avoid museum/attraction restaurants but we had hungry kids with us! Surprisingly this restaurant was good. Soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, chicken, desserts were on the menu. Reasonably priced as well. The gift shop had a wonderful assortment of items including local crafts.

    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Grandfather Mountain: High Country's #1 Must See!

    by Donna_in_India Updated Jul 13, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Grandfather Mountain Mile High Swinging Bridge
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    Grandfather Mountain is a spectacular must see while visiting the area. It is one of the most biologically diverse mountains in the world. It is recognized by the United Nations as an International Biosphere Reserve. (Some other exclusive members of the reserve network include Mt. Olympus in Greece, Canada's Niagara Escarpment, and the African Serengeti!)

    Grandfather Mountain supports 73(!) rare and endangered species, including 32 that are globally imperiled (20 or fewer occurences worldwide!). As many as 200 species of birds have been found here so make sure to bring your binoculars!

    Grandfather Statistics:
    Height: 5,946 feet above sea level
    Age: The mountain itself is 730 million years old. The rock underneath, specifically Wilson Creek Gneiss Formation is 1.2 billion years old.
    Acreage: Total of 3,300 acres, 2,700 of which are protected by the Nature Conservancy.
    Habitat Types: 16 separate communities, defined by altitude, weather, forest, and topography.

    Grandfather Weather Records:
    Average Rainfall: 63.01 inches per year
    Average Snowfall: 55.06 inches per year
    Lowest Temperature: -32 degrees (Jan '85)
    Highest Temperature: 83 degrees (Aug '83)
    Highest Wind: 107 mph (Feb '08)
    Most Snow: 116 inches (winter '95-'96)

    Grandfather Mountain is open year round.

    Hours:
    Spring 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Summer 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    Fall 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Winter 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Amisssion:
    Adult 13-59 $15
    Senior 60+ $13
    Child 4-12 $7
    Children under 4 Free

    Admission includes access to the Nature Museum, Animal Habitats, Hiking Trails, and Mile High Swinging Bridge. There are also a restaurant, fudge shop, and gift shop. See my additional Grandfather Mountain tip for specific information on what to do/see at Grandfather Mountain. Allow at least 2 hours here, longer if you plan to hike.

    Grandfather Mountain and the views from it are spectacular year round, but I think best in fall and winter - October 5-25 is peak fall color. See the website for the (flower) Blooming Schedule (April through November) and Calendar of Events. The Highland Games and Gathering of Scottish Clans is the biggest event celebrated each July (second full weekend).

    Very little walking is absolutely necessary to enjoy your visit. You can do as much or little as you want. Be sure to read and follow all the safety rules (avoid ledges!).

    Because of sharp, hairpin curves near the top of the mountain, jointed vehicles and motor homes more than 28 feet long are not permitted on the 2 mile summit road. Bicycles are also prohibited.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Birdwatching
    • National/State Park

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    The Blowing Rock

    by Donna_in_India Updated Jul 13, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Blowing Rock is a beautiful - and very cool - place to visit on a trip to Boone. The Blowing Rock is actually a cliff that is 4000 feet above sea level. It overhangs Johns River Gorge which is 3000 feet below. "The phenomenon is so called because the rocky walls of the gorge form a flume through which the wind sweeps with such force that it returns light objects cast over the void."

    The views from the overlook or the observation tower are stunning. To the southwest you can see Hawksbill Mountain and Table Rock. To the west you can see Grandfather Mountain (the highest peak in the Blue Ridge chain) and Mount Mitchell (the highest peak east of the Rockies). You can also walk the nature trail and see the garden waterfall while admiring the gardens.

    Legend of the Blowing Rock:

    "It is said that a Chickasaw chieftan, fearful of a white man’s admiration for his lovely daughter, journeyed far from the plains to bring her to The Blowing Rock and the care of a squaw mother. One day the maiden, daydreaming on the craggy cliff, spied a Cherokee brave wandering in the wilderness far below and playfully shot an arrow in his direction. The flirtation worked because soon he appeared before her wigwam, courted her with songs of his land and they became lovers, wandering the pathless woodlands and along the crystal streams.

    One day a strange reddening of the sky brought the brave and the maiden to The Blowing Rock. To him it was a sign of trouble commanding his return to his tribe in the plains. With the maiden’s entreaties not to leave her, the brave, torn by conflict of duty and heart, leaped from The Rock into the wilderness far below. The grief-stricken maiden prayed daily to the Great Spirit until one evening with a reddening sky, a gust of wind blew her lover back onto The Rock and into her arms. From that day a perpetual wind has blown up onto The Rock from the valley below. For people of other days, at least, this was explanation enough for The Blowing Rock’s mysterious winds causing even the snow to fall upside down."

    Admission:
    Adults $6
    Age 60+ $5
    Children 4-11 $1
    Under 4 Free

    January-February: Saturdays & Sundays 9:00am-5:00pm
    March-May: Daily 9:00am-5:00pm, weather permitting, please call.
    Memorial Day Weekend - Labor Day: 8:30am-7:00pm
    September-October: Sunday-Thursday 9:00am-6:00pm, Friday-Saturday 9:00am-7:00pm
    November, December & First Week of January: Daily 9:00am-5:00pm weather permitting, please call ahead.

    Snack shop and gift shop on premises.

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    Skiing, Snowboarding, & Tubing at Hawknest

    by Donna_in_India Updated Jul 11, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When winter arrives, this area gets crowded with skiiers. Hawknest is considered the locals' favorite ski place because of its short lift lines and diverse terrain. There are 3 beginner's slopes, 6 intermediate slopes, 2 advanced slopes, and 1 expert slope.

    Along with a Terrain Park for Snowboarding, Hawknest has the biggest snow tubing operation in the eastern U.S. The tubing resort has 4 different areas to snow tube with 20 lanes. Lanes range from 400 to 1000 feet long. There are 2 moving carpet lifts to take you back to the top.

    NEW!! The new Zipline course has over 2 miles of riding. There are 13 different cables including the SuperZip that is over 2500 feet in length and over 200 feet high. Operates all year round.

    Skis, Snowboards, & Clothing for rent.
    Group and private ski lessons available.

    Check the website for hours, pricing, and specials.
    Book accomodations in advance. Many villas, condos, etc. available in addition to hotels.

    Related to:
    • Skiing and Boarding

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    Family Fun Places

    by Donna_in_India Updated Jul 6, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In addition to Tweetsie Railroad, the following are fun places for kids:

    Fun'N'Wheels: Go Karts, Bumper Cars, etc. www.funandwheels.com
    2788 Highway 105, Boone 828-262-3780

    Skate World: Roller Skating
    6880 US Hwy 421 N, Vilas (just outside Boone) 828-297-3296

    Magic Moutntain Mini Golf: Miniature Golf
    1675 NC Highway 105, Boone 828-265-4653

    Greater Foscoe Mining Co.: Mine for gems in a flume mine, guaranteed find in every bucket! www.facetsoffoscoe.com/
    8998 NC Highway 105, Foscoe (just outside Boone) 828-963-5928

    Family Billiards: Lunch/Dinner & Pool Tables www.family-billiards.com/
    9021 Hwy 105 South, Foscoe (just outside Boone) 828-963-6260

    Mystery Hill: Science, Optical Illusion, & Natural Phenomena in hands-on environment www.mysteryhill-nc.com
    129 Mystery Hill La (NC 321 South), Blowing Rock, 828-264-2792

    Boone Bowling Center: www.bowling2u.com/centers/find_detail.asp?ID=1990
    261 Boone Heights Dr, Boone 828-264-3166

    New Market Regal Cinemas: Multiplex Movie Theater
    210 New Market Center, Boone, 828-262-3800

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    Spend an afternoon at the Park

    by Donna_in_India Updated Jul 5, 2009

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    Valle Crucis Community Park

    Everytime we head to Boone, we spend time at this park. The Valle Crucis Community Park, surrounded by trees and mountains, is twenty three acres big. You can walk or jog the paths, fish in the stream and have a picnic on the tables or on the grass.

    Bring your sporting equipment and play on one of the fields. Swings, slides, jungle gyms and playhouses for the kids.

    Bring your dog on a leash (and clean up after him/her!).

    A great way to spend the afternoon in a beautiful setting!

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    Ski Beech Mountain

    by Donna_in_India Updated Jul 5, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When winter arrives, this area gets crowded with skiiers. Beech Mountain is the highest ski area in Eastern North America. Peak elevation is 5,506 feet with a vertical rise of 830 feet. Lifts include: 1 quad, 6 doubles, 1 j-bar, and 1 handle pull. There are 3 beginner's slopes, 7 intermediate slopes, 4 advanced slopes, and 1 freestyle terrain slope.

    At the base of the slopes is Beech Tree Village with restaurants, shops, ice skating rink, lockers, etc.

    Skis, Snowboards, & Clothing for rent.
    Group and private ski lessons available.
    Nursery is available for children 6 mos. to 3 years.

    Check the website for hours, pricing, and specials.
    Book accomodations in advance. Many villas, condos, etc. available in addition to hotels.

    Related to:
    • Skiing and Boarding
    • Family Travel

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    Kayaking & Tubing

    by Donna_in_India Updated Jul 2, 2009

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    If you get the chance to go white water rafting while you're in NC, I definitely recommend doing that. But another good - more mellow - option if you're in Boone (or the area), is going on a Canoe, Kayak, or Tube tour.

    The New River - 10 minutes from Boone - flows from North Carolina's High Country and runs through Virginia and West Virginia until it meets the Ohio River and ends in the Mississippi River. It is the second oldest river in the world. It is also a great place for swimming and fishing.

    For canoeing and kayaking, you'll have a short lesson on water safety and basic strokes before starting off.

    Related to:
    • Kayaking
    • Water Sports
    • Fishing

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    Fly Fishing

    by Donna_in_India Written Jul 2, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fishing Valle Crucis

    Foscoe Fishing Company offers fly fishing on one of several rivers located in North Carolina or Tennessee where you can catch Brown, Brook, and Rainbow trout. Guided trips offered include NC Full or Half Day Wade Trips, and TN Full Day Wade or Float Trips. If you are a beginner, there's a fly fishing school and fly tying classes. The Fly Shop has a full line of Orvis supplies.

    See the website for a Fishing Report and Local Weather Info.

    You must purchase a fishing license for NC or TN fishing.

    Summer Hours:
    Monday—Saturday: 9am-6pm
    Sunday: 11am-3pm

    Winter Hours:
    Monday—Saturday: 10am-5pm
    Sunday: CLOSED

    Related to:
    • Fishing

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    The Thrill of Whitewater Rafting

    by Donna_in_India Updated Jul 2, 2009

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    This would be my number one recommendation for adventure in the mountains! Whitewater rafting is such a blast! No experience is needed. Lessons and life jackets included. A professional guide is in every raft. Choice of trips range from mild to extreme! Lunch is included.

    Wahoo Adventures offers several trips:

    The Watuaga River trip is ideal for families (minimun age 3) and beginners. Gentle Class II and III rapids.

    The Nolichucky River trip (through Pisgah and Cherokee National Forest) is a very exciting 11 mile trip of Class III and IV rapids. The Nolichucky is ranked as one of the top whitewater runs in the nation. Minimum age for this trip is 7.

    Extreme Class V rafting on Wilson Creek Gorge - 10 foot falls, 18 foot stair step drops, etc. - not for the faint of heart! Minimum age is 12.

    And for the most adventurous, Wahoo offers an X-Stream Team Rafting trip, Russell Fork Gorge Extremely Extreme trip, and Watauga River Gorge The Ultimate trip. See their website for details of these.

    Related to:
    • Water Sports
    • Rafting

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    Boone Drug

    by TimDaoust Written May 2, 2005

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    A favorite shopping spot for many, a neat feature is the cafe inside. Can't vouch much for the food but you can get ice cream cones here to eat as you walk around the store looking for post cards or as you sit outside on the benches on the sidewalk. Stop in and check it out. (So you know there are two locations on King St. I have never been in the one next to the Earth Fare grocery store on the corner of Cherry St. The one I'm referring to is across from the Mast General Store)

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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    Walk (or jog) around Downtown Boone and ASU campus

    by TimDaoust Written May 1, 2005

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    Up King St., left down Water St., left on Rivers St. then back to 321. This loop will take you all the way around campus. If you want you can take a detour through the App State campus to see all of the buildings and the lawn area known as the "Mall". Stop for a break in the ASU student union, where they have just built their new solarium. Inside you can stop for a cuppa at my bro's coffee shop, Crossroads, where they serve counter culture coffee, which is shade grown and mostly organic. Or you can stop in Cascades for a bite to eat and watch student life around you.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • Valle Country Fair in Valle Crucis

    by MandaJ320 Updated Jan 21, 2005
    Valle Country Fair

    Valle Crucis is right around the corner from Boone, and this festival is a wonderful place to go to see a bit of mountain culture. This festival is held annually every third Saturday in October. October is the month the leaves are often their most brilliant in the mountains, so you'll be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery too. At this festival, you'll find mountain crafts, mountain foods (such as Brunswick stew, apple butter, peanut brittle, and kettle corn), and mountain music. It is a great way to spend a Saturday getaway from Boone!!!

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    Blue Ridge Parkway

    by TimDaoust Written Jan 6, 2005

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    The Blue Ridge Parkway from Rough Ridge

    This almost qualifies as an off the beaten path tip, because it's outside of Boone. You will see some of the most serene views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and some of the best hikes for staying fit. It's very peaceful. There is a 15 mile or so stretch of the parkway that I'm very familiar with from outside of Boone all the way to Linville. I think I'll write up a travelogue on all of my favorite hikes pretty soon. Stay tuned.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Backpacking

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