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- Blowing Rock Winterfest, four-day event in late January each year. Since 1999.
- Art in the Park, one Saturday show per month from May through October each year. Since 1962.
- Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, three weeks of outdoor shows in June, July, and August each year. Since 1923.
- 4th of July Festival, on the Saturday closest to July 4th each year.
- Symphony by the Lake at Chetola Resort, late July each year. Since 1987.
- Blowing Rock Tour of Homes, late July each year. Fundraiser for St. Mary’s of the Hills charities, since 1958.
- Blue Ridge Conservancy 5k, late September each year. Since 2000.
- Halloween Festival, held downtown on the Saturday closes to Halloween each year.
- Christmas in the Park & Lighting of the Town, held downtown on Friday & Saturday after Thanksgiving each year.
New Around Town
Lodging: Newly built properties include Main & Pine and Blowing Rock Manor. Chetola Resort now pet friendly.
Restaurants: Extensive renovations at Blowing Rock Brewery. Expanded outdoor dining at Speckled Trout. Famous Toastery, Egg Rollin’ open. Moon Thai Sushi might be Blowing Rock’s first sushi restaurant.
Attractions: Middle Fork Greenway trailhead park complete; work continues on Greenway. Mystery Hill added Tomahawk Hill, and continues additions and expansions.
Accessibility: With the expansion of US 321 complete through Blowing Rock, new sidewalks and crossings open up new portions of town to pedestrians. Sidewalk from downtown to Bass Lake coming soon.
Girlfriend Getaways to Resorts and Spas
Blowing Rock is home to world-class resorts and getaways. Westglow Resort & Spa is rated among the top 10 destination spas in the world by Travel & Leisure. Or try Chetola Resort or Inn at Crestwood for enchanting locations, accommodations, and spa amenities. Natural splendor, outdoor activities, and a schedule on “mountain time” will all help you reconnect!
Outdoor Adventure Hub
Location is everything when it comes to the variety of outdoor adventure Blowing Rock offers: on the Blue Ridge Parkway and adjacent to Pisgah National Forest, with the resources of multiple outfitters and nearby local communities, Blowing Rock is an ideal hub. Each season brings athletes of all kinds to our spot in the Blue Ridge. Hiking, cycling, climbing, kayaking, fishing, skiing- you name it. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers scenic parks, beautiful trails, and amazing views. The Parkway is also a favorite route for road cyclists. Blowing Rock Boulders is a prime spot for rock climbers, though some may be there practicing for bigger challenges like Ship Rock. Caving expeditions can be arranged with one of the many area adventure guide companies. Whitewater rafting and kayaking are available, too, on the Watauga River, Nolichucky River, and Wilson’s Creek. If rafting isn’t your thing, try tubing, a favorite on some of the gentler sections of the New and Watauga Rivers. The fishing is great, too! Winter in Blowing Rock brings fantastic skiing and snowboarding. Take your pick of four area ski and winter sport resorts, each possessing its own personality and approach to winter fun. Opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating and snow tubing abound as well.
The lovely backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains inspires artists of all kinds here in Blowing Rock, and artists have traditionally made their home in the Blue Ridge for just that reason. Galleries overflowing with unique creations can be found sprinkled throughout downtown. Everything from pottery to painting, jewelry to woodwork, and much more can be found here! The Blowing Rock Art & History Museum is another resource for notable local work, and Edgewood Cottage (the former home of artist Elliott Daingerfield) hosts Artists in Residence each summer.
Central Location for Family Fun
Blowing Rock is the perfect base for a sight-seeing family adventure. Numerous attractions await! Grandfather Mountain, Tweetsie Railroad, the Blowing Rock, Mystery Hill, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Falls and more are all just minutes away. Plus, families will be charmed by the quaint, safe village atmosphere. Walk from your lodging room to Memorial Park, the community pool, and various dining and entertainment opportunities.
Art in the Park
2021 will be the show’s 59th year. Art in the Park features nearly 100 exhibitors in a series of art and fine handcraft shows from May through October. Work includes: painting (oil, watercolor and acrylic), etching, stained and blown glass, basketry, wood carving and turning, clay, photography, fiber, jewelry and more. One of the biggest events of the year, the shows are anticipated by locals and visitors alike. It takes lots of planning, too, and it is worth taking a look behind the scenes.
20th year in 2018! Complete with a Chili Cook-off and the Polar Plunge in Chetola Lake, Blowing Rock’s Winterfest is one of the largest winter events in the High Country. Hot chocolate tastes better at the end of a fun, activity filled winter day!
Small-Town Festivals and Annual Events
Blowing Rock hosts an impressive array of gatherings, performances, and festivals each year. With such summer staples as Concerts in the Park, the Monday Night Concert Series, and Art in the Park, visitors and locals alike can always find something to do. Holidays are celebrated in style here as well, with a 4th of July Festival & Parade, the Monster March for Halloween, and Christmas in the Park & Lighting of the Town. Locals make these holiday festivals great, taking part in parades and celebration.
Area Skiing and Snowsports
A collection of slopes can be found here, offering skiing and snowboarding, as well as lessons for both. Appalachian Ski Mountain is less than 5 miles from downtown Blowing Rock, and is home to the French Swiss Ski College. Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain are also nearby. Hawksnest features snowtubing and ziplining. With special character and features found at each resort, a tour of the set would make a memorable winter getaway.
Tweetsie is North Carolina’s first theme park. Offering rides, shows, and fun, the Wild West theme park is home to engine Number 12, a steam locomotive that used to run the narrow-gauge rail lines from Johnson City, TN, to Cranberry, NC. Number 190 is the park’s second antique steam engine, from Alaska, known as the “Yukon Queen.” The park also operates its own Steam Locomotive Shop, which maintains and restores other vintage engines from around the country, as well as the two found in the park.
Fans of Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series know that NC is heavily featured in the later books. In fact, Jamie and Claire’s mountain homestead would be located near Blowing Rock, according to the author herself! There are several activities and numerous vistas that would remind Outlander readers of passages in the books, and would be excellent additions to a themed itinerary. See details at blowingrock.com/finding-frasers-ridge
At Home in Mitford
Jan Karon once called Blowing Rock home, at the time she began writing the “Mitford” series of best-selling books. There are many landmarks and places within the village of Blowing Rock that personify descriptions in Karon’s stories. This leads many to believe that Blowing Rock is Mitford. See more details and history at blowingrock.com/mitford