©Photo by Todd Bush Blowing Rock, NC

Destination: Blowing Rock

Walkable Village Surrounded by Miles of Trails

Images by Todd Bush Photography and Amanda Lugenbell. Editorial supplied by Blowing Rock TDA

The streets of Blowing Rock are storybook sweet, with quaint boutiques, independent restaurants, art galleries and antique stores tucked into a small mountain village. 

Parks, lush gardens and sweeping views give the town an almost magical feel. And with a location against the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Pisgah National Forest, Blowing Rock enjoys a wild back yard, central to outdoor adventures and attractions. 

Blowing Rock is the perfect place to Celebrate NC’s Year of the Trail in 2023!

Exploring the outdoors is one of the primary reasons people visit Blowing Rock. Natural spaces surrounding the town beckon visitors to explore. Start at North Carolina’s oldest travel attraction and the town’s namesake, The Blowing Rock, a unique formation with extraordinary views and near-constant winds. 

Blowing Rock is also home to Moses Cone Memorial Park, home of the newly-restored, historic Flat Top Manor and 25 miles of National Park Service carriage trails. The paths wander through forests, along lakes and streams, and up to peaks. They are one of the best ways to enjoy local scenery. Access to the Mountains to Sea trail also can be found in Blowing Rock, and countless rugged paths await along nearby portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

For winter visits, Appalachian Ski Mountain is a must-see. As the High Country’s first ski area, the resort is a seasoned pro at keeping skiers and snowboarders entertained. With nine slopes, three terrain parks, rentals, a ski school, shops and more, Appalachian Ski Mountain is one of the most popular ski mountains in the region. 

Other adventurous attractions are open spring through fall. Sky Valley Zip Tours features canopy ziplines through local forest, and High Gravity Adventures offers exhilarating climbing and zipline experiences! Tweetsie Railroad presents old-fashioned amusements and a nostalgic atmosphere with historic, steam-powered locomotives. Ghost Train and Tweetsie Christmas transform the theme park with holiday magic each year.

Several family attractions are open year-round. Mystery Hill offers a unique mix of science, history, optical illusion, natural phenomena, and exciting activities. Find the Appalachian Heritage Museum and Native American Artifacts Museum on-site, along with Tomahawk Hill and a Bull-riding Challenge. Doc’s Rocks Gem Mining features expansive indoor flumes and an education-based approach that entertains and teaches kids and adults alike. And, the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) invites all to experience art and discover history at their downtown location. Exhibitions rotate often, so there’s always something new and admission is free. Engaging programming supplements the exhibits, bringing exciting depth to their presentation of the heritage of the southern Appalachians.

Spending time down-town among the shops and eateries is a perfect pastime. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet several artisans that create work right on Main Street, in studios inside their shops. From jewelry and hand-carved candles to rope baskets and paintings, watch the process of how it’s made. One-of-a-kind boutiques fill the spaces between. Blowing Rock shops are known for their friendly service and special finds.

Photo by Todd Bush

Blowing Rock loves to celebrate the holidays as well, with downtown celebrations that include the 4th of July festival, a family Halloween festival, and Christmas in the Park & Lighting of the Town. The town makes its own holidays too: the town-wide Blowing Rock WinterFest celebrates winter in January each year. Many events go back multiple decades. Art in the Park, a summer series of juried art shows, is now over 60 years old. The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is the oldest show of its kind in the country and is celebrating a century of shows. Since 1923, the show has been presented annually and now runs for three weeks each summer.

Blowing Rock has been a tourist destination for more than 130 years, springing up as a summer resort location. This long-standing vacation culture has bred a comfortable, laid-back atmosphere. Southern Living Magazine has called Blowing Rock “the Perfect Mountain Town Escape.” Blowing Rock invites you to experience its unique combination of small-town charm and outdoor adventure!


Art in the Park: May 20, June 10, July 15, August 12, September 9, October 7
Park Avenue in Blowing Rock

Artists in Residence at Edgewood Cottage: May 27-September 4 (Daily)
Corner of Main and Ginny Stevens Lane, Blowing Rock

Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, 100th Anniversary: June 8-11 AND July 25-August 6
Broyhill Equestrian Preserve, Blowing Rock

Heritage Day & Wood Kiln Opening: June 24
Bolick & Traditions Pottery Studio

Blowing Rock 4th of July Festival: July 1
Downtown Blowing Rock

Blowing Rock Plein Air Festival: August 15-19
In and around Blowing Rock

Tweetsie Ghost Train: September 22-October 28 
(Friday & Saturday nights)
Tweetsie Railroad
1-877-893-3874 • tweetsie.com

Blowing Rock Halloween Festival: October 28
Downtown Blowing Rock

Tweetsie Christmas: November 24-December 30 (select evenings)
Tweetsie Railroad
1-877-893-3874 • tweetsie.com

Blowing Rock Christmas in the Park: November 24-25
Downtown Blowing Rock

Thanksgiving Wood Kiln Opening: November 25
Bolick & Traditions Pottery Studio

New Year’s Eve Fireworks & Torchlight Skiing: December 31
Appalachian Ski Mountain