If i had to describe our trip to Blowing Rock in one word it would be serene. Everything from the home we stayed in to the town – it was just so beautiful and peaceful. I didn’t know how much I needed this trip until we were there.
It wasn’t our first trip to Blowing Rock. A few years ago, Brendan and I went on a 10-day camping trip through part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We did stumble upon Boone and Blowing Rock at one point.
But we were childless and camping back then (which was a blast). This time we got to experience staying in a beautiful home and relaxing with family.
I thought I would share our experience from this trip, along with additional activities you could do with your family that we did not.
I wish I had gotten some pictures of the house itself, but oh my goodness. We were so blessed to snag this home from Airbnb.
It was located on Misty Ridge Mountain, just a few miles from downtown Blowing Rock. A gigantic, one level home with every accommodation you can think of. Fully stocked kitchen, plenty of linens and towels, and most importantly – a bar with lots of wine glasses! 🙂
But the best part about this house were the views. We would wake up every morning to watch the sunrise, and let me tell you…it was worth it.
The backyard had a deck with a row of 10 lounge chairs where you could sip your coffee or wine and look out into the beautiful garden with the backdrop of mountains.
We watched as the hummingbirds sipped nectar from the flowers and the clouds moved over the mountain ranges. Truly amazing.
Hikes + Scenery
We did not go into Grandfather Mountain this trip, but a few years ago Brendan and I did. It is definitely a must-do when you are in Blowing Rock or Boone.
The current pricing is $22 per adult, and it is worth it. There are several hikes at different difficulty levels, a zoo, museum, the sky bridge and a beautiful overlook everywhere you turn.
You can read more about the different hiking/walking trails here.
Also, a fun fact about this mountain…it is where a scene from Forrest Gump was recorded! One of the bends driving up to the mountain is featured during the scene when Forrest runs across the country!
Popular hiking trails
We didn’t get to hike much on this trip, but there are several popular trails to explore in Blowing Rock.
There are varying hikes from easy to strenuous with short to lengthy distances.
Check out this article on the 5 Most Popular Hikes in Blowing Rock.
The Boone and Blowing Rock area are also known for their waterfalls. This area has some of the highest peaks in the East coast mountains, so waterfalls are bound to be frequent and beautiful.
Check out this article for more details on where to find these beautiful, cascading waterfalls.
Blowing Rock overlook
Blowing Rock is known as the oldest travel attraction in North Carolina. The history of the rock is very interesting. You can read more about that here.
To enter the Blowing Rock overlook and museum it is a $7 fee per adult. There is a short trail if you want to do a small hike, or you can enjoy the scenery right as you exit out of the gift shop and pay area.
The views are absolutely breathtaking. You can see miles and miles of mountain ranges and high mountain peaks.
There is a cool museum with old pictures filled with history about the area. In the center is a small garden with a waterfall and pond. Hadleigh’s favorite part were the turtles and playing with the gravel rocks of course 😂
Definitely a must-see if you are in the area.
Other things to do
Downtown Blowing Rock
I fell in love with the quaint downtown area of Blowing Rock. It has a small town, historic charm, with gorgeous flowers lined along the sidewalks and in front of the stores.
There are several art, thrift, antique and gift shops. Restaurants, coffee and ice cream are also in abundance downtown.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was definitely the Grandfather Vineyards. If you want to relax after a hike or you just want to take it easy for a day, I would recommend this vineyard!
It is seated on the edge of a creek, with plenty of seating, tables and umbrellas for shade. It isn’t on Grandfather Mountain, but just a few minutes outside of it.
The Chardonnay and Rose´ were huge hits. Also, their butter cheese and Rosemary crackers were delicious!
Blue Ridge Parkway
Honestly, you could just spend a day driving through parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are overlooks almost every mile that are absolutely stunning.
There are also trails along the parkway you could do.
This is an activity for families with small children. We will definitely be checking this out next year when Hadleigh is a little older.
It is a western theme park that has rides, a zoo, live events, places to eat and other fun activities.
There is a rich history surrounding the theme park and the railroad. You can learn more about that here.
Scottish Highland Games
The first day we arrived into town we went to the Highland Games. This is a four day Scottish festival located at MacRae Meadows. We went on the last day when the festivities were starting to calm down, but it was still awesome!
There were bagpipe competitions, live music, tug-of-war competitions, Scottish food, and stands for each clan showcasing their history. It was so much fun. The festival usually takes place in July.
Moses H. Cone Memorial Park
Moses and his brother were known for establishing one of North Carolina’s largest textile companies. Moses and his wife built a large estate right off of the Blue Ridge Parkway in late 1890’s.
Today, the park is known for it’s hiking, horse trail riding and skiing. We pulled off of the parkway to check out some of the cows along the trail. You could make an entire day out of visiting the park, family cemetery, estate and barn.
Places to eat
Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub
There are a TON of places to eat in the Blowing Rock and Boone areas. One of the places we ate for dinner was the Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub – a casual restaurant with a good selection of southern eats.
My favorites on the menu were the avocado egg rolls (SO good) and the bang bang shrimp.
Town Tavern Blowing Rock
Located in the beautiful downtown of Blowing Rock, the Town Tavern was another hit for us. There is outdoor seating with a perfect view of the town.
Unfortunately, Hadleigh got attacked by a small dog on the patio, however, the manager was very apologetic and comped our meal. Hadleigh wasn’t injured and everything was fine, but I thought it was very tasteful for her to do that.
I highly recommend the chicken enchilada tacos and the grilled buffalo chicken salad. The house Pinot Grigio was delicious as well.
Kilwin’s Chocolate and Ice Cream
We were extremely full from lunch, but we obviously couldn’t pass up an ice cream shop.
Kilwin’s is actually a chain, but I had never been before. They make fudge and ice cream in house – and the fudge is made in front of people to see.
I got the cake batter ice cream and it was delicious!
It was a short 3 day trip, but Blowing Rock is an amazing place to visit with your family. We will definitely be going back, especially since it’s only two hours away from us!
Related post: Black Mountain, NC Travel Guide