Updated September 24, 2020, 4:10 pm.
Blowing Rock’s businesses are open
and excited to welcome responsible travelers! The safety of our community and visitors is a top priority.
What we’re doing help to keep you safe:
- Restaurants are seating at a reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing. Extra sanitizing protocols further ensure diners’ safety. Take-out is still encouraged as a safe alternative, and is available from all of our restaurants.
- Hotels, inns, and rentals have increased sanitizing practices, and many have implemented protocols that reduce contact between guests and others.
- Local shops are welcoming shoppers with limits on capacity inside the store to help with distancing, and are implementing increased sanitizing practices.
- Attractions and recreation providers have created additional safety measures relative to the activity. Nearly all are open and operational; see some of those details in the attractions section below.
- Hand sanitizer stations are available at the downtown public information kiosks, and extra disposable masks are available at the Chamber of Commerce if you forget one or need an extra. Low-cost reusable masks are also available at the Chamber for just $1. Many shops have some unique designs available for sale, too!
- Many businesses have taken extra steps to become certified through the official NC COVID-19 safety program: Count on Me NC. Look for the Count on Me NC logo on business listings on this site to see which ones have completed the program.
What we ask you to do to help:
- If anyone in your group has been feeling unwell or had flu-like symptoms for the past week, reschedule your trip.
- Remember and practice the three Ws: WEAR a face mask, WAIT 6 feet from others, and WASH your hands or use hand sanitizer often. People are required to wear face coverings in public spaces in NC: inside all buildings, and outdoors where physical distancing of six feet is not possible.
- Reserve your activities in advance to allow our accommodations, restaurants, and attractions to prepare for your visit. It’s a good idea to call ahead to confirm services and/or operating hours at any business. For attractions and recreation activities in particular, check on any new protocols ahead of time so you know what to expect.
- Bring your own personal protective equipment such as hand sanitizer and masks.
- Leave no trace. With more visitors seeking respite and distance in our natural spaces, the impact to these places is growing. Plan ahead for your trip into nature, respect the wild, physically distance from others, and pack out all trash.
- Be patient and kind. Our locals are doing everything possible to welcome you safely this season. Check ins and preparations may take slightly longer than usual, so account for that in your plans.
- Support local businesses. We are eager to welcome you back and your support is needed more than ever! Consider buying a lodging voucher or gift card from your favorite business if you are not currently traveling.
Operations at Blowing Rock Attractions:
- The Blowing Rock– Open daily. Social distancing is encouraged between groups, and you’ll see some new safety measures in the gift shop. Indoor spaces (the gift shop and snack bar) have occupancy limits.
- Robbins Pool at Broyhill Park – The pool is closed for the season.
- Blowing Rock Art & History Museum– Open with masking requirements and posted capacity limits for gallery spaces. Hours of operation are Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 4pm.
- Blue Ridge Parkway: Local areas are open to vehicles, and trails are available to hikers. Some seasonal facilities remain closed at this time. Beginning July 31, 2020, the Blue Ridge Parkway will reopen access to four campgrounds, including the two closest to Blowing Rock: Price Park Campground and Linville Falls Campground. Park officials encourage visitors to pack out trash, avoid crowds, avoid high-risk outdoor activities, and practice Leave-No-Trace principles. Please see official facility closure information here when planning a trip along the Parkway.
- Moses Cone Manor– The Southern Highland Craft Guild is open, but upstairs tours are not currently available. The number of shoppers admitted at one time is limited due to narrow aisles and small spaces. Visitors are asked to wear masks. Craft center hours are Thursday-Sunday 10a-4p in September and November, and Wednesday-Sunday 10a-4p in October.
- Mystery Hill– Open daily. All attractions open with some modifications for social distancing. Group tour sizes limited.
- Doc’s Rocks– Open daily with normal operations. Social distancing and personal safety encouraged.
- Tweetsie Railroad- Currently closed, and special events are cancelled for the 2020 season, including K-9s in Flight, Railroad Heritage Weekend, and Ghost Train. When parks like Tweetsie are cleared to open in North Carolina, the staff will reevaluate the possibility of welcoming guests back to Tweetsie Railroad and hosting Tweetsie Christmas. Special offer: 2020 Season Passes are also good for the 2021 season! More information here.
- High Gravity Adventures– Reservations available! The park has reduced high-touch surfaces, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and implemented changes to guest traffic to ensure distancing. Group sizes are limited, and a modified operating schedule will allow adequate time for increased cleaning. See more about enhanced policies here.
- Sky Valley Zip Tours– Reservations available! Implementing sanitation and personal protection equipment protocols, as well as touchless payment options and smaller tour sizes. All employees and guests are required to wear face coverings while at Sky Valley Zip Tours and throughout their zip line tour. See more about enhanced policies here.
- Wahoo’s– Reservations available! Shuttle groups are separated so different parties don’t ride in vans together, and masks are required in vans and while inside outpost buildings. Employees will wear masks when in contact with guests, and work to rotate and sanitize equipment. See more about enhanced policies here.
- Vx3 Trail Rides– Reservations available! This outdoor activity is naturally socially distanced. All equipment is cleaned after each rider. Only small groups of 5 or less riders.
- Grandfather Mountain– Open by reserved tickets to limit crowding. Simply select the time of your visit and purchase the corresponding tickets (online only) prior to your visit.
- Hawksnest Ziplines– Reservations available! Face masks or buff must be worn by guests and staff during zip tours. Routine sanitizing of equipment and limited occupancy on the tours help keep everyone safe, and staff temperatures are checked daily. See more about enhanced policies here.
About NC’s Response
In North Carolina, we are currently in Phase 2.5 of the state re-opening plan, with a Safer at Home recommendation. Phase 2.5 was announced on September 1.
During Phase 2.5:
- People are required to wear face coverings in public spaces; inside all buildings, and outdoors where physical distancing of six feet is not possible.
- NC restaurants are required to keep a reduced dining capacity, necessary to allow for continued physical distancing. Extra sanitizing protocols further ensure diners’ safety. As of July 31, the sale of alcoholic beverages in restaurants, breweries, wineries, and distilleries in NC is not allowed after 11pm.
- Retail businesses are required to allow for enough physical distance between shoppers, so capacity is limited to 50% occupancy. If you still prefer to shop at home, several stores have online shopping options.
- Lodging is open, and you can enjoy a stay at your favorite Blowing Rock hotel, inn, or rental now.
- Groups of more than 25 people in indoor settings is prohibited. Groups of more than 50 people in outdoor settings is prohibited.
- People are encouraged to get outdoors for exercise. Parks and picnic shelters in our town and county are open, including playgrounds.
Phase 3 will follow at a later time, and will reduce restrictions further as monitoring continues.
Please contact us if you have any questions ahead of a visit.
Blowing Rock is located in Watauga County.
The County recognizes the need for testing, tracing and trends to move in a leveling or
downward trajectory for each of the County phases to move forward. In the event there is a spike, the
County will follow recommendations from the Governor’s team, AppHealthCare and all of our
partners to determine if additional temporary County restrictions are necessary.