Need plans for Friday night? We’ve got you covered with the weekly concert series Music on the Lawn at Ragged Garden in Blowing Rock.
Music on the Lawn at Ragged Garden in Blowing Rock, NC.
“Music on the Lawn” at The Inn at Ragged Gardens has become Blowing Rock’s favorite outdoor concert series. Held each Friday from May through October (weather permitting), the event draws locals and visitors alike. The event has grown in popularity over the years and attendance in the hundreds can be expected. A different band is featured every week and performances are from 5:30 until 8:30. A cash bar and lawn menu are available. There is no charge for the concerts and we encourage guests to bring a lawn chair and arrive early to secure a spot on the lawn. As much as we love them, please no pets, coolers or outside food and beverage. Each week a private non-profit organization is featured to educate and inform the public about their cause. We encourage you to come and enjoy music, food and drink on the beautifully landscaped grounds at The Inn at Ragged Gardens. See you on Fridays!
The Inn at Ragged Garden, 203 Sunset Dr. in Blowing Rock
The Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual Mile High Kite Festival as part of the town’s Labor Day Weekend festivities. The party starts the night before with a street dance outside the Beech Mountain Town Hall. Why “Mile High”? Because Beech Mountain is 5,506 feet above sea level. It is the highest incorporated town east of the Mississippi which makes it the perfect place to fly a kite. The elevation almost guarantees great breezes and when the temperatures are still in the mid to high 90’s in most of the Carolinas and Virginia, Beech Mountain remains cool with temperatures rarely exceeding 80 degrees. Two recognized kite clubs, one from Charlotte, N.C. and one from Richmond, Va., will be on hand to demonstrate flying techniques, staff kite clinics and help folks build their own kites. Free kites will be given to the first 150 children under the age of 13. Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce Prizes are given to novice flyers for the biggest kite flown, the most original handmade kite flown, the kite to fly the highest, and whatever other categories the organizers can dream up.
The spirit of America is alive and well in the mountains of North Carolina
Come experience July 4th in the mountains! Welcome to the High Country.
Throughout the High Country, from Blowing Rock to Banner Elk, communities are pulling out all the stops to celebrate our nation’s independence. If you’re planning a visit to these locations this Fourth of July, here are some amazing events you and your family will love. Parades, activities for kids, live music and, of course, incredible fireworks. So come down to the High Country for the July 4th Weekend.
4th of July Celebrations- June 30- July 4 2018 Boone Blowing Rock High Country NC
The NC High Country is the perfect play for visitors to celebrate the birth of the United States! The cool mountain temperatures, free family events and outdoor activities make the High Country a popular summer vacation location. Here is a list of 4th of July celebrations, festivals and events in the High Country of North Carolina:
TOWN of BOONE NC 4th of JULY CELEBRATION
July 4 2018
Enjoy a small town parade, free watermelon and music in Downtown Boone. Fireworks will take place 3o minutes after dark at Clawson-Burnley Park.
For more information, click to: www.downtownboonenc.com
47th ANNUAL BEECH MOUNTAIN NC ROASTING of the HOG
June 30 2018
Enjoy pork, smoked turkey and all the fixin’s along with music & fireworks.
For more information, click to: www.beechmtn.com
BLOWING ROCK NC 4th of July Weekend
June 30- July 1 2018
Enjoy games such as horseshoe throwing & watermelon eating, music & clogging and much more family fun ! Plus the best small-town Main Street parade at 3pm!
For more information, click to: www.blowingrock.com
BANNER ELK NC ANNUAL FOURTH OF JULY PARADE
June 30 2018
Enjoy a small town parade at 11am, followed by a “Party in the Park” at Tate Evans Park. The party included food, games, and the “Great American Duck Races”
For more information, click to: www.bannerelk.org
BLUEGRASS & BRASS- A FOURTH OF JULY DAZZLE
July 4 2017
Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music hosts The Mountain Home Music Bluegrass Boys & King Street Brass for an indoor patriotic concert at Blowing Rock School Auditorium.
For more information, click to: www.mountainhomemusic.org
BURNING IN EFFIGY OF KING GEORGE III
July 4 2018
Visit the 1700’s with a live reading of the Declaration of Independence, drinking of apple cider and burning King George III’s effigy. The event takes place from 5:30-6:30pm at the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum in Boone.
For more information, click to: www.horninthewest.com
Most people plan their special occasions with care, choosing the perfect location. A special night out should have great atmosphere, amazing service and superb food. If you’re in Blowing Rock, in the High Country of North Carolina, you never have to wonder where this special restaurant is. The answer is always the Gamekeeper Restaurant and Bar.
A seemingly rustic cabin but fine dining within. Photo Credit: Gamekeeper
A vacation to the High Country is for those with a sense of adventure. You may be thinking that down-home, southern food is the only type of dining you’ll be doing. But the Gamekeeper is the perfect combination of rustic game cuisine and fine dining. Driving up the curvy, rural road that leads to the restaurant, you may start to question what kind of fine dining experience could possibly be this far off the beaten path. But that’s just a part of the adventure!
But the real adventure at Gamekeeper is opening the menu and realizing that the name of the represents the menu choices. Game meat is the specialty and highlight.
Gamekeeper – The Vegetarian Restaurant That Wasn’t to Be
Photo Credit: Gamekeeper
Ken Gordon and his wife Wendy are the ones who have made Gamekeeper a go-to location for the best of High Country cuisine. But believe it or not, Gamekeeper was not their original dream. From the day they were married, the Gordons knew they would someday open a restaurant. But their original concept was a vegetarian diner.
Then they discovered a little restaurant with an interesting name. When purchasing the property, the landlord encouraged them to keep the name, because Gamekeeper was already established in the community. But the Gordons were terrified that people would be scared of eating “game” meat, and wouldn’t come.
But keeping the name was the best thing they could have done. They became known as the place to get game. This forces them to keep game meat on the menu, and sets them apart from other restaurants.
The Menu — Crazy, Wild and Wonderful
A dish with wild boar. Photo Credit: Gamekeeper
The meals offered at the Gamekeeper are everything you could want from a mountain vacation. Fifty percent of the menu is game meat. Meats most people have never tried, like boar, buffalo, rabbit, ostrich, emu, elk, venison and more! And all meat is either locally sourced or indigenous to the region. But you may ask, ostrich and emu, indigenous…? These are sourced from a local farm that raises these animals.
The meats are roasted in a wood fire grill that uses cherry and apple wood. This adds a distinct flavor that works perfectly with the game. They also make sure that all food is seasonably appropriate.
Photo Credit: Gamekeeper
But the Gordons always return to their roots—or root vegetables, to be more precise. Their desire is to keep deliciously cooked vegetables front and center. Most restaurants serve two or three as sad little side dishes. But if you order the vegetable plate, expect to receive over 50 nuts, leaves, roots or flowers that can be foraged in season, paired perfectly with a delectable sauce.
Don’t forget to order Wendy’s Bread Pudding. Since its inception it has risen as the dish the Gamekeeper is most known for. She got so sick of making it, it was pulled from the menu for a short time. There was such a public outcry for it that it is now back permanently. Maybe the whole bottle of Jim Bean is the secret?
The Main Specialty — Fun, Laughter & A Great Time
Even though the Gamekeeper definitely operated at a high, fine dining level, when you are there it feels like one big party. The amazing servers and staff treat you like a friend, whether you are a visitor or a local. There is always lots of laughter and an amazing ambience. By the time you leave, you will feel like a member of the family, because the Gordons know that it’s less about the food and more about the people.
Wendy Gordon with a diner. Photo Credit: Gamekeeper
The High Country in North Carolina is beautiful all year round! From Blowing Rock to Boone, a trip to the to this region is filled with the wonder and beauty of creation. Not to mention the small-town, friendly atmosphere. But something special happens when winter comes along. The mountains of the High Country are blanketed with snow, ready and waiting for adventure.
Recess Skate & Snow, in Boone, North Carolina, has everything you need from top brands to get you out on the mountain and having a great time. Whether you are renting snowboards, purchasing your first board or buying your fourth. They also know that riders can’t just wait for winter to come along. That’s why they are open all year round, selling a variety of products like skateboards, footwear and apparel.
Photo Credit: Drew Fuller
What sets Recess apart?
Recess is a rider owned and driven store. That means they know what skateboarders and snowboarders are looking for. Before Recess, there was a void in the High Country for a year round store that catered to everyday riders or first timers.
They don’t just talk about skateboarding or snowboarding, they know these activities firsthand! Their whole staff actively participates in these on a regular basis. So when they recommend a product, they’re not just trying to make a sale, they want customers to receive the best possible service and put them into the right product that will work best for them. Knowledge is key. The best way to know how a product works is to use it. This is what sets their staff apart.
But it’s not just riders they want to help. Anyone interested in snowboarding and skateboarding is welcome. They help customers on all levels, whether local or visitor.
What are the products at Recess?
Since Recess is rider owned and driven, the staff loves skateboarding and snowboarding. This type of personal involvement makes them care about the brands they carry. They want to get customers to feel like they have come to the right place for quality goods. They pride themselves on carrying only brands that they are willing to stand behind.
Recess carries recognizable top brands that you may not be able to find anywhere else in the High Country: Vans, Capita, Nike SB, Rome, Union and more! They also carry a lot of smaller, up-and-coming brands that you can’t find at your everyday retail store. They love introducing customers to cool brands they haven’t even heard of.
Photo Credit: Drew Fuller
Some of things you’ll find at recess are:
•winter accessories (gloves, goggles, beanies, etc.)
•apparel for men and women
•accessories (hats, sunglasses, belts, etc.)
•so much more!
Recess loves being a part of the High Country community. As they say, “The High Country is definitely one of the best parts of North Carolina you can be in!” Because of that, rather than just being another retail store, they try to stay involved. To be a part of what’s going on. Whether it’s welcoming guests to their on-site skate ramp, hosting snowboard and skateboard events, or even just being on a first name basis with their customers.
If you’re ever in the High Country during the winter, be sure to check out their biggest event of the year—wRECklESS RAIL JAM at Beech Mtn. CLICK HERE to check it out.
Recess is about community—the rider community and the High country community.
Doe Ridge Pottery has been a presence in the High Country of North Carolina for 40 years. 40 years of bringing beauty, art and whimsy to the people of Boone, NC and the visitors who are fortunate enough to visit. Located on King Street, the storefront has drawn people through its doors since it opened in 1988. Doe Ridge works to bring High Country art to popular attention.
Pottery has historically been an important part of North Carolina culture. Not only did it improve life in the mountains in a practical, utilitarian way, but it also brought fun and beauty into the home. Doe Ridge strives to continue this amazing tradition in its pottery.
History of Doe Ridge Pottery
Photo Credit: Doe Ridge Pottery
Doe Ridge is the signature name of owner and master potter Bob Meier. After a tour of duty with the Marine Corps, Meier attended Appalachian State University studying in the Tech Department. It was there that he stumbled into pottery making. He discovered a natural talent for throwing and creating beautiful pottery. He never looked back!
Since then, he’s been a teacher to many sharing his craft and artistry. He has given instruction to artists and those who just want to try their hand at pottery. From elementary aged students to adults, he has taught at locations throughout the High Country.
The Doe Ridge Pottery store opened its doors on King Street in 1988, and is now one of the oldest storefronts in the area. They sell pieces by 18 local potters, including Meier. They also have a working studio as part of their shop where visitors can see how and where their pottery is made.
High Country Pottery: Beauty, Practicality & Whimsy
Photo Credit: Doe Ridge Pottery
If you are looking for a gift or item that represents your trip to the High Country, look no further. The pottery at Doe Ridge draws from local flora, fauna and vistas so typical to this region for inspiration. There is a strong connection to the grassroots of local work and local craft.
At Doe Ridge you can find whimsical pieces that kids will love, fine art for collectors and functional pieces to use in your home. Every piece, from the practical to the precious, is handmade. Egg separators, lamps, humorous face jugs and hand carved art—every item is vivid with local flavor.
So welcome to Doe Ridge Pottery! Come support local art and artists in the High Country! You will feel immediately welcomed and at home. You’ll also find items that you can treasure for years to come.
And while there, be sure to ask Bob Meier how he’s doing, and wait for his usual reply, “Fine as frog hair!”
Banner Elk to Boone,
Blowing Rock to North Wilkesboro
A trip to the High Country will be an unforgettable experience!
Imagine majestic mountaintops, small-town hospitality, running rivers and a vacation that includes all of the above. Actually, stop imagining and start planning a vacation to North Carolina’s High Country! In this one place you will find extreme sports that test your spirit of adventure, vistas of grandeur and southern hospitality from area businesses and locals.
There are tons of activities in the High Country
Great hiking year-round. Shopping at local businesses for goods distinctive to this region. There are excellent bars and restaurants with food you’ll only find here. And each season holds its own highlight!
Many businesses re-open after a winter hiatus! Look around, and the countryside comes to life with rhododendron and mountain laurel. What a perfect time to take advantage of great biking opportunities and hiking as everything is bursting forth with color. This is also the best time for adventurers to go whitewater rafting, canoeing and kayaking. Melting snow makes rapids the fastest they’ll be all year.
In the mountains, one can find a respite from the scorching heat of summer by enjoying the high altitude cool. Or simmer down with a relaxing tube ride down the New River. Sit outside on your deck, and take in the beauty of the mountains or the uninhibited view of the stars. Summer events are fun, exciting and happening for the entire season.
A mountain autumn is not to be missed! If you’ve never seen a mountainside speckled with vivid colors of changing leaves, then this is a must for your bucket list. The colors, in red, orange and yellow, are so vivid, it feels other worldly. There are also tons of fall events to celebrate the region’s culture and heritage—apple picking, Oktoberfest, craft fairs and more!
Winter in the mountains is generally quiet. But before many places close for the season, they go out with a bang at Christmastime. Tons of festivals run from the end of Thanksgiving through New Year’s! You can even choose and cut your own Christmas tree. And once the snow begins to fall, the High Country becomes the ski capital of the South. Skiers, snowboarders and tubers hit the slopes for family friendly fun!
It doesn’t matter when you come, from Blowing Rock to Boone, your family will love your High Country vacation!
Grandfather Mountain is the gem of the High Country.
Grandfather Mountainis situated in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As the highest peak in this chain, the beauty of the North Carolina High Country comes alive as you take in the wonder of countless trees, rocky terrain and rustic wildlife. This is a must see spot when visiting the High Country. And there is so much to do!
Depends on the time of year, but generally the park closes around sunset.
Ticket Sales end one hour before the park closes
Adults (13+): $20
Seniors (60+): $18
Children (4-12): $9
Children under 4: FREE
***You can visit Grandfather Mountain State Park for FREE is you use trails on N.C. 1065 or the Blue Ridge Parkway.
What to Wear
It depends on the time of year. The park can be 8–10 degrees cooler. It may be wise to bring a light jacket, even in the summer. In the winter, dress very warmly. Avoid slick soled shoes.
What is There to Do?
•High altitude views
•Beautiful flora and fauna
•The popular Mile High Swinging Bridge
•Native Habitats, you can see: black bears, cougars, bald eagles and more!
•Amazing hiking opportunities ranging from nature walks to rugged, backcountry trails
•Activities, events & programs
•Watch local artisan at the Woodcarvers Workshop
April 2016: Dollar Days
If you are a resident or employee in a local county (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga & Wilkes), entrance to Grandfather Mountain is only $3/person throughout the month of April. Proof of residency/employment required.
2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC Off of US 221
The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts is a gem of art and culture in the High Country. Photo Credit: tcva.org
Located at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts serves a gateway to the art world. Because it is the largest facility of its kind in the region, visitors and residents alike come, free of charge, to experience both new and historical artwork. The Turchin Center seeks to be a place of beauty, but also a place where one’s world view is challenged by impactful pieces. Not only can you see the works of internationally known artists, but you will also see the distinct work of Appalachian artists, artwork that defines the region and culture of the High Country in North Carolina.
Make the Turchin Center a part of your High Country vacation, and add a touch of beauty and education into your time.
Special Exhibits for 2016
Wisteria by Julia Barello Photo Credit: tcva.org
2016 brings some very original exhibits to the Turchin Center—exhibits that thrill, haunt and educate. Come see Strange Gardens by Julia Barello, an instillation of flora created from MRI and x-ray film. Or come see the 13th Annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Contest, a glimpse into the culture of Appalachia. There is also the hauntingly beautiful The Waterworks by Jennifer Hecker, which shows the loveliness of water, but also the showcases the fact that it is a limited resource.
One of my favorite shows on HGTV is Fixer Upper. Joanna, my home improvement guru, has a style that mixes a little bit of country with a refinement that’s associated with modern décor. This new trend that is emerging all over style guides, Pinterest and Instagram is called Rustic Elegance. Usually rustic décor is known for its simplicity and rough textured appearance, but the elegant aspect brings a sophistication to the rusticated look. Think natural wood mixed with sparkly chandeliers. Rough stone combined with modern, clean detailing. Rustic elegance embraces vintage or antique furniture and décor but combines it with the sleek design ideals of modernism.
Elegant details are not hard to find. Most home and furniture stores have nods to this style. But the rustic element is a little trickier. Unless you live in a rural area, you may not be able to find decorations to fit this theme. Lucky for you, if you visit the High Country in North Carolina, there are tons of stores where you can find the perfect pieces to fit your new Rustic Elegant style. From the local artists who produce beautiful pottery and glassware, to the antique stores filled with vintage wood furniture. You will find that perfect piece for your home in the High Country. Be sure to make these shops apart of your High Country vacation plans.
Home Décor Shops
Photo Credits: 1-mastgeneralstore.com; 2-doeridgepottery.com; 3-mastgeneralstore.com; 4-doeridgepottery.com; 5-keycityantiques.com; 6-thecabinfeversite.com; 7-Carolina Treasures on Main; 8-mastgeneralstore.com; 9-mastgeneralstore.com; 10-thecabinfeversite.com; 11-Carolina Treasures on Main
The High Country is full of quaint local stores that have furniture, tchotchkes and decorations that will add a touch of country to any living space. At Mast General Store, there is a wide selection of items— cast iron décor, vintage style kitchen items, hand woven rugs, well-crafted, wood furniture and even handmade pottery. Cabin Fever also has a little bit of everything. You can find countrified lighting, beautiful, rustic furniture, quilts and other bedding and small details like iron hardware.
But maybe you’re in the market for rustic art pieces, like pottery, prints, glassware and one of a kind pieces. The High Country has many stores where you can find beautiful conversation pieces for your home. Doe Ridge Pottery not only sells incredible, handcrafted pottery, but also unique stoneware and house goods that will remind you of this little neck of North Carolina. At Taupe Gallery, see the best of blue ridge artistry. Prints, jewelry and stunning pottery are just a few of things on offer.
Photo Credit: 1-keycityantiques.com; 2-mastgeneralstore.com; 3-Wilkes Country Corner; 4-mastgeneralstore.com; 5-Carolina Treasures on Main; 6-doeridgepottery.com; 7-mastgeneralstore.com; 8-doeridgepottery.com; 9-mastgeneralstore.com
An antique store speaks about the region in which it’s located. Coastal states reflect the ocean and the history of early colonialism. Western states proudly display their pioneer spirit. In the High Country, the antique stores you encounter will speak of rustic design details, and the beauty of the natural surroundings—mountains, trees and wildlife. There are tons of places you can go, and each store will have its own character and it’s hard to say what will be in stock. But what you are sure to find is unique vintage furniture, historical items that will add character to your space and things that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world because they are distinct to the High Country!