Shopping in the High Country
Find Everything You Need Right Around the Corner
In the High Country, you’ll find it’s easy to shop a century-old general store and chic new boutique in the same trip. From the vibrant downtown shops of Boone to antiques in Blowing Rock and beyond, a getaway in the High Country is not complete without a keepsake from your travels.
Get designer looks for less at the Tanger Outlets in Blowing Rock. Or, shop local at one of the many stylish shops in the region. Strolling down Main Street in Blowing Rock, you’re sure to find boutiques offering a distinctive style for any generation. Don’t let the mountain setting fool you; upscale men’s and women’s fashion flourishes in this region. For more eclectic shopping, head to Boone. There, you’ll find anything from traditional western wear like fur coats, boots and belts, to outdoor apparel perfect for hiking or skiing.
A shimmering piece of handmade jewelry can make a great souvenir or gift from your vacation in the High Country. You or someone you love will surely treasure a one-of-a-kind accessory from one of the many local jewelers. While silver and gemstones are the most popular, there’s no shortage of traditional, vintage and contemporary jewelry designs as well.
North Carolina is well-known for its woodwork. There are several home décor and furniture stores that will give your home the rustic-feel of the High Country once you leave. Find an amazing selection of dressers, tables, chairs, bed frames and more that were handcrafted from unique woods. Create a personal rustic elegance by purchasing bedding, dinnerware, wall décor, lamps and ceramics with a mountain motif.
Arts & Crafts
The natural and scenic beauty of the High Country has inspired local artists and craftsmen. They share their works of art with shoppers through local arts and crafts shops and public markets. Save the date for Art in the Park, the Blowing Rock Art and Antiques show, Crafts on the Green and the Fine Arts and Master Crafts Festival. These free events are a great opportunity to browse hundreds of local vendors, specializing in woodwork, jewelry, weaving, pottery, glass painting and more.
Sip & Savor Shops
What’s better than a tasty treat you can share with family and friends once you return from your vacation in the High Country? Stop by an area farmer’s market on Saturday and purchase the freshest vegetables, meats and cheeses, as well as gourmet baked goods from local farmers and food artisans.
Drop into a local wine or spirits shop and sip a glass of red or a cold beer while you browse the selection. Several wine shops have tasting events throughout the week. Stop by and immerse yourself in these award-winning libations. The friendly staff will be able to suggest an assortment of cheese and chocolates that will pair perfectly with your new purchase.
Tips for Antiquing in the High Country
Those who crave the thrill of the hunt will love browsing through the many antique malls and stores located in High Country. Antiquing is now a popular trend enjoyed by people of all ages, styles and backgrounds. What was once “old” is now new again, and this trend is coming back stronger than ever. Here are some helpful hints to finding the best, most valuable pieces:
- Generally, an item is considered “antique” if it is at least 100 years old. (This doesn’t apply to antique cars, which become “antique” after 25 years. “Vintage” refers to the highest quality of a past era. “Collectibles” are generally less than 100 years old and could be considered possible antiques of the future.
- Stay clear of tags stating that an item is “in the style of” or “of the same period as” a certain age. This usually means the item is a reproduction.
- Antique stores change their inventory constantly. If you’re looking for a specific item, pick up a business card while you’re at the store so that you can check back to see if they’ve gotten your specialty item.
- Talk to the dealer. Ask how old a piece is, inquire how he or she came across it, and see if they know any history behind the item. This is a great way to test how well the owner knows the antiquing business as well as a fun way to learn more about your future purchase.
- Take your time. Often antique stores have so much merchandise on display, it’s easy to miss something, so browse slowly and look closely. There could be something spectacular hiding behind that retro sewing machine.