The Boone & Blowing Rock area of North Carolina, known as the High Country, offers so many wonderful activities for all ages year-round. We know lots of folks think “BEACH!” when Spring Break rolls around, but did you know the High Country offers just as many fun options- and you won’t get sand all over your clothes! Here are our 10 Fun-Tastic Reasons to Visit the High Country in Spring!
1. Tweetsie Railroad opens for the season on April 6
The whole family is sure to have a rootin’ tootin’ good time at this famous Wild West themed park! Ride around the mountain in vintage open-air cars pulled by authentic century-old steam locomotives “#12 Tweetsie” and “#190 Yukon Queen”. Catch a show at the Silver Palace, take a spin on the Ferris wheel in the County Fair, go underground in the Mouse Mine, and take a stroll through the Petting Zoo! Fun fact- our Assistant GM, Casey, learned to count 1-40 by watching the numbered chairlift cars go by as a toddler!
Be sure to ask one of our friendly Reservation Specialists about discount regular daytime tickets to Tweetsie for the whole family! For more information, please visit www.tweetsie.com.
2. Spring is the perfect season for fly fishing
The pristine New River and Watauga River both wind their ways through Watauga County, providing ample opportunities for anglers to cast their flies. Some of our waters are stocked and some are wild. Hatchery-supported stocked waters are open for fishing starting April 7, and the same day, Blowing Rock has their Annual Trout Derby! Delayed harvest waters can be fished anytime. Be sure to follow posted guidelines for the waters you’re fishing, and if you need further information there are several great guide shops here that can help. BRMR’s resident anglers highly recommend Due South Outfitters, 828-355-9109.
BRMR’s own Jimmy L. fishing in the New River
3. Blowing Rock’s SAVOR wine & food festival arrives May 3-6
If you love a fine wine and delicious food, the SAVOR Blowing Rock festival is for you! There will be wine and craft beer tastings, demonstrations and seminars, charity fundraisers, a restaurant showcase, and events all weekend long. Many of our homes are within 10 minutes of the Town of Blowing Rock! For more information, please visit www.savorblowingrock.com.
4. The animals are out and about on Grandfather Mountain
Grandfather Mountain doesn’t just have the Mile High Swinging Bridge, a nture museum, and delicious homemade fudge, it also features a nature preserve and habitats for beautiful animals native to this area. Black bears, cougars, white tailed deer, otters, and more await. Be sure to ask one of our friendly Reservation Specialists about discount tickets to Grandfather Mountain for the whole family! For more information, please visit www.grandfather.com.
Bears should be out of hibernation by April!
5. Hiking trails will be full of flowers and will be less crowded
Imagine a hike to a mountaintop to watch the sun rise on Easter morning! In Spring, before the leaves fully return to the trees, the air is crisp enough to often see for miles. There are trails suitable for all ages around this area. Bass Lake in Blowing Rock offers a flat gravel path around a manmade lake while more advanced trails such as Flat Rock, Rough Ridge, Cascades, and Glen Burney are just a short drive away. Beautiful wildflowers carpet the region in Spring. For a short window, as new ferns emerge from the earth, their tips are curled up and the plant is known as a Fiddlehead before it fully blossoms. White and Pink Trillium can be found all over Moses Cone Park in very early spring, and there are many more beautiful flowers just waiting to be seen. For more information, please visit www.nps.gov/blri/learn/nature/wildflowers.htm.
Fiddlehead ferns seen on the Figure 8 Trail near Moses Cone Manor
6. Many homes are less than an hour to Merlefest
Wilkesboro, just 45 minutes south of Boone, is home to the annual Merlefest event in late April, a celebration paying homage to bluegrass music and its deep roots in our region. Named for the son of bluegrass legend Doc Watson, this festival draws music lovers from across America together for the last weekend of April. 2018’s festival will be held from the 26th-29th. For more information, please visit www.merlefest.org.
7. Easter fun for everyone!
Bring the whole family to the High Country for Easter! The towns of Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk, and Beech Mountain are all holding Easter events on the weekend of the 24th. Visit with the Easter bunny, have fun with egg hunts, visit petting zoos, and more!
8. Local musicians make sweet music in several places each week
Can’t make it to Merlefest but love live music? You’ve got to come to the High Country! Blowing Rock’s historic Green Park Inn hosts Music On the Veranda each Sunday; the Crouse House Pickers play on Mondays in Sparta; Chetola Resort offers a swing band each week on Thursdays during Oyster nights; and The Jones House in downtown Boone hosts a free concert every Thursday. For information about Easter events and weekly music, please visit www.exploreboone.com/things-to-do/events.
9. Chase barn quilts
Ever noticed those bright squares of color adorning old barns in this area? Those are barn quilts, and there’s usually a meaning behind them. Watauga County has 18 beautiful barn quilts, and our neighbor to the north, Ashe County, has over 150! A beautiful Spring day in the High Country is the perfect time to hop in the car, turn on some local tunes, and drive our beautiful back roads in search of these pops of color. For more information, the Watauga County Arts Council has a downloadable PDF brochure.
Barn quilt on Hwy 221
10. Go gem mining
Western North Carolina is renowned for its deposits of precious and semi-precious gemstones. We’re known for emeralds, tourmalines, rubies, sapphires, and feldspar. You don’t have to wade out into the rivers with a pan to look, though – simply visit any of our four wonderful gem mines to look for your treasures! Blowing Rock, Boone, and Banner Elk all have wonderful gem mining spots, fun for the whole family. They’ll identify your stones and if you’d like, you can have some cut into gems and set into jewelry. Several of BRMR’s staff members have cherished pieces of jewelry made with gemstones they personally found at a local gem mine. For more information, please visit www.exploreboone.com/things-to-do/gem-mines.
A bucket full of treasures found at Doc’s Rocks!
With so many great reasons to visit the area, you’re sure to need a great place to stay while you explore! Call one of our friendly Reservation Specialists at 800-237-7975 or reserve your home online today! We look forward to seeing you soon!