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blowing rock. Photo by Todd Bush Photography

Destination: Blowing Rock

Vibrant Downtown & Beautiful Views

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

The streets of Blowing Rock are vibrant with boutiques, independent restaurants, parks & gardens, art galleries and attractions all tucked into a small mountain town. Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway and against the Pisgah National Forest, Blowing Rock enjoys a wild back yard, central to outdoor adventures and attractions. Readers of Southern Living Magazine have voted Blowing Rock the Best Small Town in NC—come find out why!

Spending time downtown among the shops and eateries is a perfect pastime. Blowing Rock shops are known for their friendly service and special finds—get the perfect accessory, outfit, or gifts. 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 leather works, see the process of how they’re made. As you wander between boutiques, get fresh-made croissants, locally roasted coffee, artisan jerky and other delicious snacks from independent purveyors. When it’s time for a full meal, the dining scene is second to none in the High Country! Enjoy a wide variety of delectable options within a small radius, from Thai to Southern cuisine, fine dining to hometown sports bar.   

Visitors can also explore arts & culture downtown. The Blowing Rock Art & History Museum features rotating exhibits that showcase Southern Appalachian art, heritage and themes, and admission is always free. The 1888 Museum and Edgewood Cottage present more intimate exhibits on our local history. Live music can be found nearly every night of the week and ramps up in the summer with several concert series. Arts events abound too, like the highly-acclaimed Blowing Rock Art in the Park, the Artists in Residence series at Edgewood Cottage, and the Blowing Rock Plein Air Festival. Try the outdoor art trail or the accessible Blowing Rock History Walk any time of year.

There are many more attractions just a stone’s throw from Main Street. 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. 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. Experience more family entertainment nearby at Sky Valley Zip Tours, Mystery Hill, Doc’s Rocks, High Gravity Adventures, and more. For winter visits, Appalachian Ski Mountain is a must-do. As the High Country’s first ski area, the resort is a seasoned pro at keeping snow sports enthusiasts happy. 

No matter the season, natural spaces surrounding the town beckon visitors to explore. 

Blowing Rock is home to Moses Cone Memorial Park, comprised of the recently-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! Try the Boone Fork Trail and some canoeing at Julian Price Memorial Park. The town is an excellent base for exploring nearby wild places like Grandfather Mountain State Park and Linville Gorge. Not a hiker? Enjoy a drive along the local section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which features some of the most iconic views and scenes to be found on the road’s entire 469-mile length. Take in the incredible views from the overlooks—you can see the Charlotte skyline from Thunder Hill Overlook on a clear day!

Visit Blowing Rock any time of year, and you’ll likely find a fun celebration! Downtown holiday festivities 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, like Art in the Park and Symphony by the Lake at Chetola.  The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is the oldest show of its kind in the country and is celebrating more than a century of competitions. The show is presented for three weeks each summer.

Blowing Rock has been a tourist destination for more than 130 years, springing up as a summer resort location. As one may expect, there are plenty of lodging options! Choose from resorts like Chetola Resort & Spa, charming motor inns like Hemlock Inn, historic gems like the Green Park Inn, or new hotels like The Manor and Embers Hotel. Cottages and vacation rentals are available in and around downtown. The town’s long-standing vacation culture has bred a comfortable, laid-back atmosphere, so even the luxury options never feel stuffy or pretentious. Stay and play in Blowing Rock for your next High Country adventure!


BLOWING ROCK EVENTS NOT TO MISS

Blowing Rock Art in the Park
May 18, June 15, July 13, August 17, September 7, October 5
Park Avenue in Blowing Rock
828-295-7851
blowingrock.com/artinthepark

Artists in Residence at Edgewood Cottage
May 25-September 2 (Daily)
Corner of Main and Ginny Stevens Lane, Blowing Rock
828-295-4636
artistsatedgewood.org

Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, 100th Anniversary
June 6-9 and July 23-August 4
Broyhill Equestrian Preserve Blowing Rock
828-295-4700
brchs.org

Heritage Day & Wood Kiln Opening
June 29
Bolick & Traditions Pottery Studio
828-295-6128
bolickandtraditionspottery.com

Blowing Rock 4th of July Festival
July 6
Downtown Blowing Rock
828-295-5222
blowingrock.com/july4th

Symphony by the Lake at Chetola
July 19
Chetola Resort
828-295-7851
symphonybythelake.com

Blowing Rock Plein Air Festival
August 20-24
In and around Blowing Rock Wet Paint Sale at BRAHM
828-295-9099
blowingrockmuseum.org

Tweetsie Ghost Train
September 20-October 26 (Friday & Saturday nights)
Tweetsie Railroad
1-877-893-3874
tweetsie.com

Blowing Rock Halloween Festival
October 26
Downtown Blowing Rock
828-295-5222
blowingrock.com/halloween

Tweetsie Christmas
Select evenings in Nov. & Dec.
Tweetsie Railroad
1-877-893-3874
tweetsie.com

Blowing Rock Christmas in the Park
November 29-30
Downtown Blowing Rock
828-295-5222
blowingrock.com/christmas-park

Thanksgiving Wood Kiln Opening
November 30
Bolick & Traditions Pottery Studio
828-295-6128
bolickandtraditionspottery.com

New Year’s Eve Fireworks & Torchlight Skiing
December 31
Appalachian Ski Mountain
828-295-7828
appskimtn.com

– 2025 Events –

Blowing Rock WinterFest
January 23-26 (2025)
Various locations in Blowing Rock
828-295-7851
blowingrockwinterfest.com

Blowing Rock Trout Derby
April 6 (2025)
In and around Blowing Rock
828-295-4636
blowingrock.com/troutderby


high country visitors guide cover 2024

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