A round up of my favorite restaurants and things to do in Boone and Blowing Rock!
My husband grew up in Boone and before we met, I loved visiting Boone and Blowing Rock, probably because it reminds me a lot of home. (I grew up in Utah but have lived in North Carolina for 10 years.) We visit Boone every couple of months, and sometimes more often. Tommy’s parents still live in Boone, which is a great excuse to visit, and we also have a second home in Boone.
We rent it out through VRBO and AirBNB and to family friends, but whenever it’s open on the weekend, we try to take advantage of it for a quick getaway. I came up with my friends visiting from CA for a few days and it’s been heavenly!
Things to do in Boone NC
I often get asked by friends and from renters what Boone restaurants (and Blowing Rock restaurants) are good and ideas of fun things to do in the area. So, I’ve included a round up of all the places we like to hit when we visit. And I’d love to hear from you what you love when you visit! Leave a comment and share your good finds!
Activities in the Boone & Blowing Rock area
While I LOVE the outdoors, Boone weather can be finicky. The mornings can be cold, even if the afternoons warm up. So pack layers and be prepared for some wind in the fall and winter months!
- Grandfather Mountain – hike the profile trail for an active day, or head to the state park with the swinging bridge. They start at different places so be sure to make sure you go to the right spot.
- The Blowing Rock
- Driving range/play some holes at Boone Golf Club
- Wineries (Banner Elk Winery, Grandfather Winery, Linville Falls Winery)
- Music on the Lawn
- Bass Lake – it’s a gravel trail but very flat and pretty. It’s a great place to take the pup or kids. There are great trails that run above the lake for longer hikes or runs too. You’ll often see the Zap Fitness elite runners out there too!
- Moses Cone Manor – amazing views. I like to run up there from Bass Lake, but you can park at the top too.
- West Jefferson – this place is stuck in time and charming. There’s a cheese factory too. It’s a bit of a drive from Boone (30-45 minutes, depending on where you’re staying).
- Crossfit Postal – if anyone wants a sweatfest, this is one of the friendliest Crossfit gyms I’ve ever visited.
- Hiking, running & walking – there are so many options, but here are a few worth checking out.
- Tweetsie Railroad – great for kids! I believe they have limited hours in the fall and winter so be sure to check that.
- Fishing – google this for good options since I can’t personally recommend any!
- Skiiing – Appalachian Ski Mountain, Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain
There are SO many good options and it’s really hard to go wrong. Below are some of my favorites, but I’m sure I forgot some staples!
- CoBo – Known for their sushi but the crispy pork belly tacos with kimchi are amazing too.
- Coyote Kitchen – all sorts of Southwest and Caribbean deliciousness. Don’t skip the fried plantains. Their tempeh is shockingly good too.
- Proper – don’t miss the collards.
- The Cardinal – amazing burgers. The vegetarian beet burger is out of this world, even if you’re a hardcore carnivore. But, if you’re a carnivore their beef burgers are amazing too, and they often have bison or elk burgers. See pictures below! They also offer gluten-free buns.
- Todd’s – great breakfast, diner style. simple but solid
- Come Back Shack – shockingly solid fast food. Great fries and house made sweet potato chips.
- Cha Da Thai
- Juice Boone – amazing smoothies, juices, salads. Great for vegan and gluten-free diets.
- Kindly kitchen
- Appalachian Mountain Brewery – fun spot for a beer
- Lost Province Brewery
- Stickboy Kitchen – soups, sandwiches and salads. I think they have a smaller selection
- of pastries and bread than their bakery location (listed below).
- Melanie’s – great breakfast; get there early or expect a wait
- Boone Bagelry – rumor has it they ship their dough from New York because they like the water there better. Not sure if that’s a verified fact. They have gluten free bagels too.
Blowing Rock Restaurants
You really can’t go wrong with any restaurants in Blowing Rock either. I’ve yet to go to one I didn’t like but these are ones I like to frequent.
- The Best Cellar
- Village Cafe
- Foggy Rock – big menu, solid food. I love their blackened salmon on any salad.
- Sunny Rock – sister restaurant next door with a huge breakfast menu. Come hungry.
- Bistro Boca
- Village Cafe – charming location, breakfast and lunch only.
- The Speckled Trout
Banner Elk Restaurants
- Louisiana Purchase – great wine list!
- Artisanal – great date night spot with an incredible ambiance. If it’s warm out, request a table on the patio overlooking the river.
- Eric’s Wine & Cheese Shop
- Banner Elk Cafe – casual spot for breakfast and lunch.
- Mountain Grounds – great coffee and huge tea selection.
Coffee & Dessert
- Stickboy Bakery — Just get one of everything. 😉 You really can’t go wrong but their red pepper sourdough is incredible ,as are their ginger cookies and oatmeal cookies. They recently started offering a gluten free cookie option, but I’m not sure if it’s there everyday yet. It’s not a good sit-down/hang out place since there isn’t seating other than a few benches outside, but definitely take it to-go!
- Local Lion – locally made doughnuts (including gluten-free ones – call to find out which days they offer it)
- Appalachian Cookie Company – Cookie lovers, don’t miss this. They also have amazing gluten-free/vegan cookies (I had these are our wedding.)
- Blue Deer Cookies – ice cream sandwiches (they also have a gluten-free option)
- Espresso News
- Hatchet Coffee
- Camp Coffee – don’t miss the homemade lavender syrup!
If you’ve visited Boone, Blowing Rock, Grandfather Mountain, Linville or Banner Elk, what are your favorite things to do? What is your favorite restaurant?