Blowing Rock and the surrounding area is a winter wonderland, with snowy views, warm places offering cozy respite, and great winter sports. There’s still plenty to do while social distancing, too. Spend a day with this suggested itinerary for a truly memorable winter experience!
–Appalachian Ski Mountain is located in Blowing Rock, and offers 9 slopes and 3 terrain parks. With incredible snow-making capacity, you can be sure App Ski has great slope conditions all season. Not a skier or snowboarder? App Ski is home to the French Swiss Ski College, and is known for excellence in teaching the sport. Or, spend some time at the outdoor ice skating rink. The resort has invested in touchless technology and other safety features for the 2020-2021 season, and they have also switched to an online-only reservations system. appskimtn.com
-Enjoy lunch at one of nearly 2 dozen restaurants in Blowing Rock. All of our restaurants offer take-out if you’d like to head back to your room or rental. Be sure to call ahead to confirm operation hours, as they are subject to change more frequently as the pandemic continues.
-Warm up with a leisurely stroll through Blowing Rock Art & History Museum. Admission is free! Featuring rotating exhibits that showcase the rich culture, visual and musical art, and history of the Southern Appalachians, there is always something beautiful and interesting to see at the museum. Past exhibits are incredibly varied, and included displays of antique Appalachian toys, 19th Century Romantic paintings, the Bruce Barclay Cameron Duck Decoy Collection, traditional Appalachian musical instruments, and photography by Margaret Morley. See hours and current exhibits on the museum’s website. blowingrockmuseum.org
-Duck in and out of quaint and funky shops as you explore downtown Blowing Rock. With an array of galleries, gifts, apparel, and one-of-a-kind spots, you will find plenty of things to entertain. Stop in Kilwin’s to watch candy or fudge being made, and try a fudge sample to decide which kind to take home. Peek into neaco, the hippest shop on Main Street. You might see artists at work in some of the shops, like Gaines Kiker Silversmith and Mountain Thread Company. Grab some mountain decor or a campfire-scented candle at Cabin Fever. And, if you visit between Thanksgiving and the end of February, the whole town is aglow with twinkle lights as evening sets in. See Blowing Rock Shops.
-Grab dinner by a cozy fire (or heater). Town Tavern on Main Street offers casual food in a fun atmosphere, plus some outdoor dining under a tent. Bistro Roca’s fireplace is a focal point in the front dining room, where a rustic warmth is a main theme. The Speckled Trout offers porch dining near tower heaters, and has just launched a delicious new winter menu!
-After dinner, enjoy the display at Chetola Resort’s Festival of Lights, on display from Thanksgiving to the end of January. If it happens to be a Friday or Saturday night, enjoy the lights fireside at Chetola’s Bonfire Night. S’mores kits are available! chetola.com
Before visiting, please check out our Covid-19 Operations page to learn about safety precautions, attractions operations, and state regulations.
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Spa day! Enjoy treatments and indulgent amenities at Chetola Resort or Westglow Spa. Crestwood Inn is also nearby. Day packages available at all.
Shop all the deals at Tanger Outlets Shoppes on the Parkway. You’ll find big name-brand outlet stores, along with a handful of local shops, too.
Hot coffee or tea– Blowing Rock has two coffee shops and a tea shop, all within walking distance of each other. Camp Coffee is on the north end of Main Street and Bald Guy Brew is located at the Martin House on Main Street, and both featured their own locally-roasted coffee. Marmalade specializes in hand-mixed herbal, green, and black teas. You can even smell each of the varieties that interest you before ordering a hot cuppa.
Brewery tour– The High Country is home to several great breweries, including Blowing Rock Brewery in downtown Blowing Rock. For the greatest number in closest proximity, head to Boone for Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Lost Province, and Booneshine Brewers.
Sledding Hill at Beech Mountain– The town has a snow machine, and keeps the free sledding hill ready all winter, weather permitting.
Linville Caverns– The caves stay 52 degrees all year- down right balmy in February!
Winter hikes– the views are clearer in the cold air and more open without foliage, and the trails are blissfully uncrowded. Enjoy a waterfall hike to see the beautiful natural ice sculptures that form on falls.
Tubing at Hawksnest– So you don’t ski or ice skate- try a tubing run for a speedy thrill.
More museums– The Turchin Center, Appalachian Heritage Museum, and the Appalachian Fossil Museum are all open year round.
Cross-country skiing– If you have the equipment and we have the natural snowfall, both Moses Cone Carriage trails and Elk Knob Park trails are open to cross-country skiing.