We want you to have a safe and relaxing visit on your next trip to Blowing Rock! Here are 10 tips for for less stress:
- Visit on a weekday if you can. The leaves are just as beautiful on a Tuesday, and the traffic is less dense.
- Plan early morning excursions for outdoor sites, especially along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Trails and viewing areas get busiest closer to mid-day, and parking becomes scarce as the day progresses.
- Have a backup plan for that hike or viewing area. If you arrive at a selected spot and can’t find a parking space or it’s just too busy for your comfort, you won’t have to stress over finding a different trail or view.
- Make reservations! Both lodging and restaurants get very busy in fall. Restaurants in particular are currently seating fewer people to allow for safe distancing, so get a reservation if you’d like to dine in, and be prepared for possible delays.
- Remember this rule of thumb for fall color: Leaves at higher elevations tend to change first. If you arrive in Blowing Rock for fall foliage when most nearby trees are still green, head toward Grandfather Mountain (south on the Blue Ridge Parkway). If the leaves in Blowing Rock are just past peak, look for color at overlooks like The Blowing Rock and in lower-elevation locations like Valle Crucis.
- Enjoy take-away meals at one of our picnic shelters. If you’d rather get takeaway, you don’t have to take it back to your hotel room. There are three great picnic shelters in Blowing Rock: one by Memorial Park, one by Davant Field behind Broyhill Park, and one by the playground at Robbins Community Pool. Or, bring a picnic blanket to enjoy the lawns in our parks, or check out an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
- Bring light layers. Mornings can be chilly, with temperatures getting more comfortable in the afternoon.
- If you forget a mask, stop by the Chamber of Commerce on Park Avenue. They have disposable masks available for free. Their comfy reusable “Love Blowing Rock” masks are just $1.
- Practice Leave no Trace principles in the outdoors. This includes planning ahead for unexpected changes which will make your experience more enjoyable. Plus, if we all do our part, outdoor locations will remain beautiful and encounters with others will be more pleasant!
- Check ahead to confirm operations and hours so you know what to expect at attractions you want to visit. Some safety protocols will require your participation. In addition, unexpected changes to staff availability can affect hours, so keep this in mind when making plans, and bring that kind understanding with you! This page about local operations and safety protocols might help!
And, one more additional tip: Contact us if you have any questions ahead of a visit!