The little town of Blowing Rock is surrounded by undeveloped lands, like a giant backyard to explore. This one-day itinerary takes in the views and the environment for a true Blue Ridge experience.
Morning: Blue Ridge Parkway Trails
Start your day with an invigorating hike! Mornings are best on the Blue Ridge Parkway in busier seasons like summer and fall, as visitation gets heavier in the afternoons. If you are looking for an easier trail, try the Flat Top trail in Moses Cone Memorial Park. The Cone trails are all wide and well-maintained, with a gravel surface. From Flat Top Manor, it’s about 1.5 easy miles to a meadow with a wide view, where the Cone family cemetery is located. You can turn around from there, or continue another 1.5 miles to a fire tower at the top. It has a great view!
If you prefer a more intermediate trail, the Boone Fork Trail is a 5-mile loop that follows Boone Fork Creek. Expect varied terrain, some steep steps/ladders, and several stream crossings. Rhododendron thickets, giant boulders, and cascading waterfalls are features of this trail.
Popular with locals, Foggy Rock features a menu with twists on the ordinary. Their large salads and Philly sandwiches are delicious. Or for a downtown location with a great outdoor patio on Main Street, have lunch at Six Pence Pub. British dishes like fish & chips and bangers & mash are their specialty.
Afternoon: Another Perspective
Spring thru Fall: See the forest from the trees with a canopy tour with Sky Valley Zip Tours! Experience the views from 300 feet above the valley as you fly across their exhilarating 1600 foot line, Big Mama! They have a kid’s zip line, too, so it’s great for families. Plus, their Night Flight is the High Country’s only night time zip.
Winter: Rush down the slopes on skis or a snowboard at Appalachian Ski Mountain! The resort has 12 slopes with a nice range of skill levels, and an impressive snow-making capacity for keeping great conditions all season long. Three terrain parks offer areas for improving skills. Rentals for all equipment are available.
After a day in the wide expanses of nature, dinner in a cozy restaurant is an ideal way to wrap up your visit. Twigs Restaurant has a rustic ambiance, with lots of soft light and comfortable corners. They serve a sophisticated selection of dishes like crab cakes and venison, and their Shrimp and Grits is the best in the area. If you’re in the mood for bistro fare, head to Bistro Roca. The club chairs and fireplace encourage relaxation. The wood-fired oven is put to excellent use for their signature thin-crust pizzas and prosciutto-wrapped figs. Both restaurants are well-established favorites in Blowing Rock.