Boone, North Carolina, USA, is a town located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with a humble population of just over 17 thousand. Interestingly, the town was named after one of the first folk heroes of the United States, the American pioneer Daniel Boone. There are several other places in the USA that were named after him too, including the Daniel Boone National Forest and the Sheltowee Trace Trail, and he has also had seven counties named after him, including Boone County, Illinois, Boone County, Indiana, and Boone County, Nebraska.
Boone is known for its laid-back and cultural vibe. Indeed, it was named by the US News as one of the 10 best places to retire in the US. Planning a visit? Here are the best things to do in Boone:
1. Enjoy the views from Grandfather Mountain
Grandfather Mountain is a North Carolina state park located in Linville, and it has been one of the city’s well-known and frequently visited landscapes for many years. With its stunning scenery and vast geological and ecological diversity, this place has been a favourite place to go for many locals and travellers.
Grandfather Mountain is the tallest mountain in Blue Ridge and also the world’s only privately owned International Biosphere Reserve. The mountain is also wheelchair accessible and leads to the very famous Mile High Swinging Bridge, which will offer you breathtaking 360-degree views of mountain ridges while being thousands of feet above the Carolina Piedmont.
Accompanying the mountain is the 2,456-acre (994-hectare) backcountry that offers amazing hiking and backpacking opportunities. However, Grandfather Mountain is known for its severe weather and challenging terrain that might make it difficult for beginners. The weather can also be considered as some of the most severe experienced in the South.
Address: 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646
Opening Hours: Daily, except for Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day
Duration: around 3 hours required
Access: Entrance to Grandfather Mountain is located on U.S. 221, two miles (3.2 kilometres) north of Linville, North Carolina, and one mile (1.6 kilometres) south of the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 305
Website: Grandfather Mountain
2. Visit the 19th-century Linville Caverns
Linville Caverns was founded in 1822 and is the only privately owned limestone cavern system in North Carolina that is open to the public. It is located near the village of Linville Falls and guided tours are held for the public all year round. In fact, it has been organising tours since the 1930s! Visitors can enter the caverns and learn more about the Humpback Mountains and the wonders and creations within.
It was founded by a group of fishermen who saw that there were fish swimming in and out of what appeared to be a solid rock. There was then a small opening made in the mountainous terrain that allowed them to enter the cave. Since the first tour was held, there have been many upgrades and lighting fixtures to improve the safe touring experience. It is suitable for people of all ages.
Also, during the fall and winter months, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the eastern pipistrelle and little brown bats, who hibernate in the cave from late fall to early spring. Join a tour to see the unique formations and breathtaking colours for yourself!
Address: 19929 US Hwy. 221 N. Marion, NC 28752
Price: from 8 USD
Contact: (828) 756-4171
Website: Linville Caverns
3. Take a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway
Running for 469 miles (755 kilometres), the Blue Ridge Parkway is known for being America’s longest linear park and for boasting very scenic beauty. It was built to connect Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Although it is not a national park, the parkway has been the most visited road in the National Park System since 1946. Also, the land on each side of the road is owned and maintained by the National Park Service. Additionally, in 2015 it was named as North Carolina’s version for the quarter (25-cent) coins in the programme of America the Beautiful.
During the spring, the parkway is filled with flowering shrubs and wildflowers that include rhododendrons and dogwoods. It is also known for its gorgeous autumn foliage during the months of September and October. In fact, every single season can be easily noted by just looking down to the valleys from the parkway.
Driving along the parkway would be perfect for someone that is looking to having a scenic drive during their trip, to experience some of nature’s finest. Enjoy views of the rugged mountains, as well as the Appalachian Highlands, without even leaving your car. There are several hiking opportunities available on the parkway, and there are also varied concerts along the route throughout the year as well.
Blue Ridge Parkway
Address: Milepost 384 Asheville, NC 28803
Website: Blue Ridge Parkway
4. Unleash your inner adventurer at High Gravity Adventures
How about getting your adrenaline pumping by going for an aerial park adventure? At High Gravity Adventures, there are over 75 aerial obstacles that are 100% safety ensured, so as long as you’re above the age of 5, you’ll be able to enjoy exploring and climbing through the park while testing your physical and mental stamina from about 15 to 50 feet (4.6 to 15.2 metres) above the ground!
The park takes its safety procedures very seriously. Even before you enter the park, you’ll be given a full body harness, complete with helmet and safety tethers. You’ll also attend an on-ground orientation that will provide you with detailed information for you to get around the park. You will then choose an element to challenge yourself with and also how high you want to be off the ground. There is also a huge observation deck available for those who just want to be there for peer support!
There is a kid’s course that will keep the experience low to the ground with easier to navigate challenges, meaning that no member of the family needs to miss out.
High Gravity Adventures
Address: 215 Tweetsie Railroad Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605, United States
Price: from 10 USD
Opening Hours: Friday: 3 pm - 10 pm, Saturday: 10 am - 10 pm, Sunday: 10 am - 8 pm
Website: High Gravity Adventures
5. Shop in a 19th-century company!
No “Things to Do” list would ever be complete without a shopping option, right? At Mast General Store, you can shop for all kinds of fashion-related goods as well as cookbooks, tents, and more. This shopping destination goes way back, with its original store opening its doors back in 1883! They were originally located in Valle Crucis, North Carolina, selling everything that the local community needed, from food to caskets.
And, they really do sell just about everything! Toys, candies, sweaters, gift ideas, books … you name it, they have it. They even sell items for pets! Also, they carry well-known brands as well, such as Birkenstock, Kuhl, The North Face, and Sperry, to name just a few. They have an online store too, so you can shop from the comfort of your fingertips without having to deal with the crowds and carrying heavy shopping bags.
Mast General Store
Address: 630 West King Street Boone, NC 28607
Opening Hours: Monday - Thursday: 10 am - 6 pm, Friday - Saturday: 10 am - 8 pm, Sunday: 11 am - 6 pm
Website: Mast General Store
A little bit of everything
With these great things to do in Boone, you’ll notice that Boone offers something for everyone. From historical tours to adrenaline-pumping adventures, you’re sure to have a good time here!
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