Top 20 Things To Do In Blowing Rock, North Carolina - Updated 2021

things to do in blowing rock north carolina

Blowing Rock is dubbed with many names: “North Carolina’s oldest attraction”, “the only place where snow falls down”, and “the crown of the Blue Ridge”. All of these names allude to the beauty of the town, a place that has been a tourist attraction since just after the Civil War. The mountainside community is picturesque, resembling villages from fairy tales. Its Main Street is also known for its historic value, also features a number of shops. There are plenty of festivals throughout the year that you can participate in as well. Check out this list of things to do in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.

1. Take in the panoramic views atop The Blowing Rock

Blowing Rock North Carolina
Source: Photo by user Fjmustak used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Blowing Rock is best known for its fantastic views, which include those of Grandfather Mountain, Table Rock, and Hawksbill. At the top of the list, however, is the one that gave its name to the town ‘Blowing Rock’. It lies just above the John’s River Gorge. You can take a bike, a moped, a 4x4 vehicle, or go horseback riding to visiting one of the lookout points where you can enjoy such gorgeous views.

The Blowing Rock

Address: 432 The Rock Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605, USA

Website: The Blowing Rock

Opening hours: 8:30am - 7pm (daily)

2. Enjoy a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway-27527
Source: Photo by user Ken Thomas used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

It might seem strange to have a road included in a list of attractions, but not if you know that traverses an area that gives commuters fantastic views of the mountains of the Appalachian Highlands. In fact, Blue Ridge Parkway has more than earned its moniker “America’s Favorite Scenic Drive” for this very reason. If you want a closer look at the beauty of the mountains, there are hiking trails that you can explore.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Address: Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina, USA

Website: Blue Ridge Parkway

3. Spend a quiet afternoon fishing at Bass Lake

Bass Lake, NC - panoramio (1)
Source: Photo by user Hieu used under CC BY 3.0

If you’re a budding angler, head on over to Bass Lake to spend a few hours fishing at the 54-acre (21.8 hectares) lake. As the name suggests, you can catch bass here, along with other fish such as catfish, bream, and crappie. If you didn’t pack your trusty pole, don’t worry, because you can borrow one from here. Aside from fishing, you can also try out other activities such as canoeing, hiking, and boating here.

Bass Lake Park

Address: Bass Lake Loop Drive, Blowing Rock, NC

Website: Bass Lake Park

Opening hours: 8am - 8pm (daily)

Price: Free entry

4. Embark on an aerial adventure at High Gravity Adventures

If you’re a daredevil raring for an adventure, this is a must for you. Ziplines, a sky bridge, and an obstacle course, that takes you several feet off the ground, await you at High Gravity Adventures. If you’re traveling with children, do note that there is an age and weight requirement, depending on the attraction in the park.

High Gravity Adventures Zip Line & Aerial Park

Address: 215 Tweetsie Railroad Ln, Blowing Rock, NC

Website: High Gravity Adventures Zip Line & Aerial Park

Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 19 USD onwards

5. Cross the Swinging Bridge at the Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain Bridge-27527
Source: Photo by user Ken Thomas used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

This destination is another option that allows you to enjoy the attractions of Blowing Rock from up high. The Swinging Bridge at Blowing Rock, so called because it is elevated a mile high (1.6 km) above sea level, is the highest suspension bridge in the country, provides visitors with 360-degree panoramic views of the surrounding area. There’s a souvenir shop here if you want to pick up something to remind you of your adventure here.

Grandfather Mountain

Address: 2050 Blowing Rock Hwy, Linville, NC

Website: Grandfather Mountain

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 6pm; Sat - Sun: 9am - 7pm

Price: Free entry

6. Explore the historic Moses Cone Manor

The Moses Cone Manor is a 20-room mansion that was built in 1901. The house, however, is not the only thing that you can see there. You can go on a carriage ride or horseback riding while there, and there are also hiking trails that you can explore if you want to check out the area on foot. If you’re looking for souvenirs, there are handcrafted items that you can buy on site.

Moses Cone Manor

Address: 294 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Southern Highland Craft Guild, Blowing Rock, NC

Website: Moses Cone Manor

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 5pm; Sun: 10am - 5pm

Price: Free entry

7. Check out local art pieces at the Main Street Gallery

Posted by Alan Gordon on Monday, 11 March 2019

If you’re a fan of the arts, make sure to drop by Main Street Gallery, which features works of art by local artists, including but not limited to paintings, pottery, jewelry, woodcrafts, basketry, photography, and handpainted crafts. This is a store where you’re sure to bring something home when you drop by.

Main Street Gallery

Address: 960 Main Street, Blowing Rock NC

Website: Main Street Gallery

Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)

8. Get adventourous by going on a white water rafting trip

If it’s an adventure you’re after, get your adrenaline pumping by going on a white water rafting trip with Wahoo’s Adventures, the oldest rafting company in the area. There are able guides who are ready and willing to give assistance even for kids, so this can be a family adventure if you wish it to be. Besides rafting, you can also go for canoeing, kayaking, tubing, biking, and camping with Wahoo’s Adventures.

Wahoo's Adventures

Address: 3385 US Highway 321 S, Blowing Rock, NC

Website: Wahoo’s Adventures

Opening hours: 8am - 8pm (daily)

Price: 85 USD onwards

9. Learn skiing at the Appalachian Ski Mountain

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

2 weeks of FREE skiing/riding! That’s right. Simply purchase your 21-22 membership on our online membership platform to...

Posted by App Ski Mtn. on Monday, March 15, 2021

No trip to the Appalachian Mountains would be complete without trying out its slopes. If you’re a beginner who has never tried skiing before, don’t worry, because Appalachian Ski Mountain offers lessons. You can opt to join group lessons or invest in private lessons to get more instructions on how to hit the slopes. This is a family-friendly facility, so you can bring your children with you here.

Appalachian Ski Mountain

Address: 940 Ski Mountain Rd, Blowing Rock, NC

Website: Appalachian Ski Mountain

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 9am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 9am - 12am

Price: 20 USD onwards

10. Set off on a Wild West adventure at Tweetsie Railroad

Tweetsie Railroad
Source: Photo by Flickr user Smart Destinations used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Tweetsie Railroad is a Wild West-themed amusement park in Blowing Rock. Its main attraction without a doubt is the train ride pulled by steam locomotives, although there are also a number of rides around the park that your family can check out. If your child is a fan of Thomas the Tank Engine, there are days throughout the year when he makes an appearance. There are also special events held here during Halloween and Christmas. All aboard!

Tweetsie Railroad

Address: 300 Tweetsie Railroad Ln, Blowing Rock, NC

Website: Tweetsie Railroad

Opening hours: Fri - Sun: 9am - 6pm (closed from Mon to Thu)

Price: 50 USD (13 years old and up); 32 USD (3 - 12 years old); free for children below 3

11. Go hiking on the Glen Burney Falls Trail

Once you’re done exploring the sky and the rapids, why not chase some waterfalls as well? Traversing the Glen Burney Falls Trail rewards you with fantastic scenery that you would not be able to enjoy anywhere else. Do note that while the 3-mi (4 km) trail is relatively child-friendly, there are some areas that are narrow and slippery, so it’s advisable that only those who are physically fit take on this challenge.

Glen Burney Falls Trailhead

Address: Annie Cannon Gardens on Laurel Lane, Blowing Rock, NC

Website: Glen Burney Falls Trailhead

12. Hunt for treasure at Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine

Fancy yourself a treasure hunter? Bring your family here so you can enjoy finding hidden gems (literally) at Doc’s Rock Gem Mine, where you can also learn more about your finds. You can even let them cut the gems that you found here if you wish, although you may need to wait for a few days before you can claim your cut gem. Besides gemstones, you can also let your kids search for arrowheads, fossils, and shark teeth.

Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine

Address: 111 Mystery Hill Ln, Blowing Rock, NC

Website: Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine

Opening hours: 9:30am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 8 USD onwards

13. Shop your heart out at Tanger Outlets Blowing Rock

Looking to do some shopping while in Blowing Rock? Head over to Tanger Outlets, where you can get some good discounts from your favorite retail stores. While relatively small, this branch is nonetheless clean and well-maintained, and there are restaurants nearby where you can get a bite to eat. The downtown area is also relatively near here, so you can simply head over there once you’re done shopping.

Tanger Outlets Blowing Rock

Address: 278 Shoppes on the Parkway Road, Suite 33, Blowing Rock, NC

Website: Tanger Outlets Blowing Rock

Opening hours: 9am - 9pm (daily), but schedule may change during holidays

14. Awaken the musical soul in you at the High Country Jazz Society

Posted by High Country Jazz Society on Sunday, 8 May 2016

If you’re a fan of jazz music, don’t miss out on this activity. Concerts are held at the Meadowbrook Inn every second Sunday of the month from May to October. Make sure to check their calendar to see what acts will be performing during your visit there. Dinner seating starts at 6pm, while the actual concert starts at 7pm.

High Country Jazz Society

Address: 711 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC

Facebook page: High Country Jazz Society

Opening hours: 6pm - 7pm, every second Sunday of the month from May to October

Price: 20 USD (adults); 5 USD for (students)

15. Get some fresh produce at Blowing Rock Farmers Market

If you’re a fan of healthy eating, make sure that you don’t miss out on dropping by Park Avenue, which is right at the downtown area, to get your hands on fresh produce and other goods from local farmers. Make sure to bring reusable bags with you so you have somewhere to put your purchases.

Blowing Rock Farmers Market

Address: 132 Park Ave, Blowing Rock, NC

Website: Blowing Rock Farmers Market

Opening hours: Thu: 3pm - 6pm (from May to September)

16. Look for unique souvenirs at Take Heart

If you want mementos that go beyond the usual items, check out Take Heart, a store that sells unique specialty items, as well as religious souvenirs. Choices include clothes, lotions, jewelry, and perfumes. Items here are well thought of, and the store itself is cozy and makes you feel right at home.

Take Heart

Address: 1009 Main St, Blowing Rock

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm (closed on Sun)

17. Pamper your taste buds at The Restaurant at Gideon Ridge Inn

Dining at this restaurant does not just mean guaranteeing food that will delight your palate, it also means giving your eyes the opportunity to feast on the gorgeous surroundings. The menu changes practically daily, so you get to enjoy a different experience every time you visit here. The chef regularly makes his rounds to check up on guests’ dining experience. The ingredients are sourced locally, ensuring that diners enjoy meals made from only the freshest ingredients.

The Restaurant at Gideon Ridge Inn

Address: 202 Gideon Ridge Rd, Blowing Rock, NC

Website: The Restaurant at Gideon Ridge Inn

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 5:30am - 8pm (closed on Sun & Mon)

18. Enjoy the Monday Night Concert Series at Broyhill Park

The Monday night concert series in Blowing Rock at Broyhill Park continues tonight at 7:30 with The Walker Family Band. Bands play in the famous gazebo on the lake.

Posted by HighCountry365 on Monday, 23 July 2012

If you’re looking to enjoy free musical performances, look no further than the Monday Night Concert Series at Broyhill Park. For the month of July, you can listen to the sounds of the local musical artists. All you need to do is to bring a blanket or lawn chair and some snacks and drinks to Broyhill Park to enjoy the performance. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be held at the American Legion Building off of Park Avenue.

Monday Night Concert Series

Address: 73 Lakeside Dr. Blowing Rock, NC

Website: Monday Night Concert Series

Opening hours: Mon: 7pm - 8:15pm (July)

Price: Free entry

19. Go horseback riding with Vx3 Trail Rides

If you’ve ever wanted to try going horseback riding, your visit to Blowing Rock gives you the opportunity to do just that. Vx3 Trail Rides offers riding lessons to its guests. It also offers custom 2.5-hour rides that will take you around Moses Cone Park, where you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Reservations need to be made at least a day before the planned ride.

Vx3 Trail Rides

Address: 1 Bass Lake Drive / Moses Cone Park, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Website: Vx3 Trail Rides

Opening hours: 10am & 2pm (daily)

Price: 100 USD

20. Sink in the nightlife vibes at Six Pence Pub

You don’t have to travel to the UK to get your taste of what a British pub is like, because there’s one right in Blowing Rock. Six Pence Club does not just offer several drinks - including a variety of beers and wines - it also has an extensive food menu. Must-tries include the shepherd’s pie, the fish and chips, and the fried pickles.

Six Pence Pub

Address: 1121 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC

Website: Six Pence Pub

Opening hours: 11am - 2am (daily)

Price: 11 - 30 USD

Unlimited attractions in Blowing Rock

These 20 activities are only some of what Blowing Rock offers, and serve as proof why the town is the oldest attraction of North Carolina. These may draw you into this mountain community, but its other hidden attractions will tempt you into staying longer there.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Melanie is a freelance travel writer. She considers freelancing for Trip 101 to be a combination of two of the things she loves: writing and traveling.

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