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Blowing Rock is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway and along the Eastern Continental Divide. Often called “the village” by locals and visitors, it’s situated along ridges overlooking the Pisgah National Forest, with large homes skirting the views that are enjoyed from the town’s namesake natural formation: The Blowing Rock. The town is small, encompassing just three square miles. But with a history of hospitality rooted in summer getaways and health-centered escapes, Blowing Rock is home to a surprising array of lodging, dining, and entertainment establishments. The laid-back, resort community culture has grown from a combination of enterprising entrepreneurs, creative makers, and vacation-home owners seeking the wide views, inspiration, summer breezes, and active pursuits available here. Blowing Rock tends to feel like a bit of a throw-back to yesteryear Americana, with rare features like a downtown elementary school where students finish their afternoons with a short walk to the central Memorial Park. Holiday parades down Main Street feel like festivals, flowers fill planters and beds all over town, and large, old churches anchor downtown corners. Today, Blowing Rock is noted as a welcoming and active mountain town with lots of events and activities, unique shopping, one-of-a-kind inns & restaurants, and beautiful downtown spaces.
Facts & Trivia
- Blowing Rock was incorporated in March of 1889.
- About two-dozen inns and hotels are locally owned and operated in town. Many are within walking distance of shopping and dining in downtown.
- There are nearly 30 restaurants inside the three square miles of Blowing Rock, with very few franchises or chains.
- Annie Oakley taught marksmanship classes in Blowing Rock at Mayview Manor, a resort that once overlooked the John’s River Gorge.
- Margaret Mitchell penned part of Gone with the Wind during her stay at the Green Park Inn, a beautiful hotel on the National Register of Historic Places.
- The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is the oldest outdoor show of its kind, continuing even through the Great Depression and WWII.
- The best-selling Mitford books by Jan Karon started as serial stories in the town’s paper, The Blowing Rocket.
- Elliott Daingerfield, an notable artist, built several homes in Blowing Rock. He taught ladies’ painting classes at his downtown cottage, Edgewood, and his estate home, now the location of a world-renowned resort & spa, still maintains the name he gave it: Westglow.
- R. Getty Browning, Chief Locating Engineer for Blue Ridge Parkway, was instrumental in convincing project leaders to route the Parkway through NC rather than TN. He spent a lot of time in the local area hiking the route on foot, and his daughter, Harriet Browning Davant, made her home in Blowing Rock. He died in Blowing Rock at the age of 82.
- Moses Cone, known as the “Denim King” for his textile mills that helped shape NC industry, built his summer home overlooking Blowing Rock.
- Moses Cone’s sisters, Claribel and Etta, were friends with artists such as Matisse and Picasso. The bulk of their impressive art collection is a cornerstone of the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Cone Wing contains over 3000 works.
- Chetola Resort was originally built as a private estate and was once owned by Luther Snyder, the “Coca-Cola King of the Carolinas.”
-Tweetsie Railroad, NC’s first theme park, features historic steam locomotives. The name comes from the local nickname of engine No. 12, when it ran the rails in northwestern NC. After the demise of local railroads, the engine was purchased from movie cowboy and musician Gene Autry.
- During summer months Blowing Rock has a population of about 8,000
- During winter months the population is around 1,300.
- Median Age: 58.9
- Median Household Salary: $52,813. Median Family Salary: $80,682
- Median Home Value for Owner-Occupied Homes: $453,900