If you’re looking for a mountain getaway, you may want to consider a popular North Carolina destination named one of the best in the South: Boone.
The area was recently recognized in Southern Living magazine as one of the 50 best small towns in 2023 for its galleries and arts centers, notable music scene and breathtaking mountain views.
If you’re looking for a fun spring or summer trip to an East Coast destination, this is a good place to add to your travel bucket list that won’t break the bank.
Whether you want a relaxing trip to unplug in nature or an adventurous excursion, there’s a lot to do in the area, no matter when you’re visiting.
Here’s our guide for an affordable weekend trip around Boone:
Where to stay
Location: 171 Flintlock Campground Drive, Boone, NC 28607
Cost: $32+ per night for tents, pop-ups, and vans with water and electricity. Extra fees may apply for additional amenities. The campground is located in the center of North Carolina’s High Country, right on a mountainside stream. Each cabin comes complete with a full-size bed and twin bunk beds, free wifi and private hot showers.
Location: 300 Rendezvous Ln, Fleetwood, NC 28626
Cost: $96+ per night. Sleep under the stars while still having access to lighting, a private toilet and a charcoal grill. The campground has six properties -- five of which are on AirBnb: Tree House Dome, Starry Night Dome, Family Dome, Getaway Dome, Tiny “AF” (A-Frame) and Original Dome.
Highland Hills Motel and Cabins
Location: 2748 NC-105, Boone, NC 28607
Cost: $53+ per night. Whether you have a small group or large party, there are several motel rooms, cabins and condos available to rent that sleep up to 12 people. The property is located among multiple ski slopes, golf courses and hiking trails.
The Horton Hotel Location
611 W King St, Boone, NC 28607
Cost: $199+ per night. Prices vary depending on room availability and day. Book a stay in Boone’s only downtown boutique hotel. There are 15 uniquely decorated guest rooms overlooking King Street plus a rooftop lounge. You can find more information on how to book a stay at these glamping spots and other cabins around the state here.
Blowing Rock Art & History Museum
Location: 159 Ginny Stevens Ln, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
Cost: free. Stroll through the local art museum and see permanent and rotating exhibits. You can also sign up for a guided tour, community workshops and programs.
Lauren Armbrust Center 45 Climbing & Fitness
Location: 200 Den Mac Dr, Boone, NC 28607
Cost: $12+. Get active indoors and experience bouldering, a popular form of ropeless climbing. The walls at the family-friendly center are all 14 feet high, with varied terrain.
Julian Garcia Greater Foscoe Mining Co.
Location: 8998 NC-105 S, Banner Elk, NC 28604
Cost: free admission. Costs for buckets are $16+. Find hidden treasure to take home at one of the most popular gem mines in the area. There are over 24 gemstones to select that you can have cut and polished into jewelry for a keepsake.
Let’s be Artsy!
Location: 2348 Hwy. 105, Heritage Ct, Suite 8, Boone, NC 28607
Cost: $35+. Get crafty and sign up for an instructor-led arts class. Each class includes step-by-step instruction and supplies. From paint-and-sip-style classes to craft workshops, a wide variety of art activities are offered.
Mysterium Escape Adventure
Location: 737 W King St, Boone, NC 28607
Cost: $20+. Put your detective skills to the test and try out the town’s local escape room. Up to eight people are allowed in each room with less than an hour to escape.
Location: 174 Evergreen Ln, Boone, NC 28607
Cost: free. Explore a 26-acre botanical garden with more than 14,000 species of trees, shrubs, perennials, ground covers and bulbs. Wander yourself or sign up for a guided group tour through the gardens open year-round.
Banner Elk Winery
Location: 60 Deer Run, Banner Elk, NC 28604
Cost: Free entry. Tastings vary. Pack some snacks and grab a drink at one of the most popular wineries. You can enjoy a single glass, a wine flight or a tasting of preselected wines that comes with a souvenir glass to take home.
Blue Ridge Parkway
Location: Milepost 291.9 - 294
Cost: free. Additional activities may cost The Blue Ridge Parkway is packed with dozens of hiking trails, overlooks, waterfalls and spring blooms. Whether you’re driving through or stopping along the way, there’s a lot to do while taking in the mountain views.
High Gravity Adventures Zip Line & Aerial Park
Location: 215 Tweetsie Railroad Ln, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
Cost: $19+ depending on activity. Zip, climb and swing through the local aerial park. There are more than 65 aerial courses, a zipline and more at the family-friendly adventure park.
High Gravity Adventures Linville Caverns
Location: 19929 US-221, Marion, NC 28752
Cost: $10+. Take a guided tour inside the only open caverns in North Carolina. It’s been open for public tours since 1937 for visitors to see the subterranean world inside a mountain.
Mile High Swinging Bridge
Location: 2050 Blowing Rock Hwy, Linville, NC 28646
Cost: $10+. Take in the mountain views from America’s highest suspension footbridge atop Grandfather Mountain’s Linville Peak at 5,305 feet. Walking across the 228-foot suspension bridge is included in your Grandfather Mountain admission ticket that includes other things to do.
Location: 300 Tweetsie Railroad Ln, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
Cost: $40+. Experience one of North Carolina’s oldest amusement parks. Tweetsie Railroad, a wild west theme park, has several rides, trains, live entertainment, activities, a zoo and more. Plus, there are three new rides coming to the park this year: a mini swing, a spring ride drop tower, and a spinning coaster.
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