Destination: Boone

tubing near boone nc

Destination: Boone

Images by Sam Dean. Editorial supplied by Explore Boone

Recognized as an Ultimate Outdoor Adventure Destination in the Southeast

Situated within the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, Boone invites visitors to embrace the area’s small-town feel, laid-back attitude and endless activities. With its mountain flair, Boone is affectionately known as the “Heart of the High Country.”

Home to Appalachian State University (App State), named one of the top 15 public universities in the South since 1986, Boone benefits year-round from the college’s dynamic student population, exciting events, state-of-the-art performances and overall youthful energy. The quaint downtown has an exciting atmosphere with art galleries, restaurants, boutiques and antique shops dotting the scenic streets, with modern hotels and shopping areas close by.

On the Appalachian State campus, you will find several historical landmarks representing the state of North Carolina and its unique history. The “Daniel Boone and his Hunting Dogs” statue depicts the companionship of Daniel Boone and his hunting dogs during their exploration of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The sculpture was installed at the site where Daniel’s hunting cabin is believed to have been.

dan'l boone
Daniel Boone and his Hunting Dogs

Boone is so much more than a mountain college town. From adrenaline-pumping outdoor recreation to festivals and art galleries, Boone is where thrill seekers and leisure lovers gather for the perfect getaway year-round.

Boone comes alive in spring with lush greenery and vibrant flower blooms. The average daytime high in Boone is only 78 degrees during the summertime, with cool breezes in the evening. During fall, the Boone area is brightly blazing with spectacular display of colors for leaf peeping. Winter brings a host of top-notch winter sports at highly rated ski resorts. Boone is considered the “Ski Capital of the South.”

The arts truly abound in Boone. A stroll downtown reveals galleries and craft shops, featuring local artists inspired by the beauty of the region. Hit the downtown galleries and shops on the First Friday Art Crawl, or stop by the renowned Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. Local craft co-ops feature handcrafted items, one-of-a-kind works of art and collections of unique products you can’t find anywhere else but Boone.

Mast General Store shopping
Inside View of Mast General Store

Besides the arts, there are dozens of unique, locally owned shops selling everything from clothing to antiques and western wear to pottery. Shopping in Boone offers a chance to peruse products as distinctive and unique as the shops themselves. Find a broad selection of just about everything at the Mast General Store. The historic mercantile originated in nearby Valle Crucis, but the Boone location is just as charming.

It’s easy to browse a century-old store and modern outlet mall in the same day. Be sure to visit a farmer’s market to support local agriculture. From cozy coffee shops and bookstores to cutting edge outdoor sports shops, retail therapy in Boone is sure to make for a memorable day.

Of course, shopping is probably the second-most popular activity, right behind anything outdoors. Boone has the highest elevation of any town its size east of the Mississippi, which makes its climate more temperate than other parts of the state. The summers are cooler and provide the perfect environment to explore the area’s natural beauty. Perhaps that is why Boone was recognized as the ultimate outdoor adventure destination in the Southeast by Adventure Sports Magazine. With several nearby ski mountains, hundreds of miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking, mountain streams for fly fishing, golf courses and the incredible Blue Ridge Mountains, Boone is the ultimate outdoor getaway.

hiking in Boone
Hiking in Boone

A day spent in Boone could entail hiking, shopping, taking in a theater performance, browsing art galleries or learning about local history. No matter how your day in Boone begins, it can end at one of the many cozy restaurants in the downtown area and beyond, and it will certainly offer an enjoyable look into one of the most scenic areas in the country.

Boone’s classic resort town and eye-catching setting have been enticing vacationers for decades. Along with adventure, food is another key part of that appeal. Indulge in down-home, family-style fare, modern mountain cuisine and game, as well as barbecue and fine dining. Several area restaurants also showcase locally grown produce, cheese, meat, wine and more. No matter what your taste or budget may be, plenty of award-winning restaurants offer a delicious menu—breakfast, lunch or dinner. Get a taste of Boone’s finest fare through area farmers’ markets, restaurants, festivals, wineries and breweries.

Bison Short Ribs, Gamekeeper Restaurant

Experience a romantic stay at a cozy bed and breakfast, a secluded mountain cabin or an amenity-filled, modern hotel. If you’re bringing the whole family or a group of friends, live like locals in one of Boone’s spacious mountain cabins, cottages and condos that provide all of the comforts of home while immersing you in these scenic surroundings.

The cool spring temperatures, mild summers, vibrant falls and snowy winters guarantee an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages and interests. Enjoy downtown Boone’s nostalgic feel of the town’s early days, as the architecture and environment serve as a modern backdrop for this popular mountain playground.

Elk Knob State Park