A couple of weeks ago, DG and I headed out for Blowing Rock for a little spring break getaway. This is the first year that I did not have a traditional spring break, so it was a bit of a weird feeling to take the time off to go on vacation. We could not have planned for a better experience in Blowing Rock and we really lucked out with the weather while we were in town. I am so excited to share our Blowing Rock Travel Guide and definitely recommend a visit in the spring when it’s not quite as busy as the fall during leaf season or during the skiing season.
Blowing Rock: What to Do
There are so many shops in downtown Blowing Rock to spend the afternoon exploring. Our favorites were Monkee’s of Blowing Rock, Finley House Couture (okay, those two were some of my favorites), Rustic, A Christmas in Blowing Rock, and Neaco. It was so easy to just wander through the stores and take our time truly taking in the products in the shops. The shop owners are so kind and helpful, and we found ourselves doing this each afternoon.
A trip to Grandfather Mountain is a great experience! If you followed along on Instastories, you may have seen that I conquered my fear of heights by crossing the swinging bridge. I didn’t really pause to look out because I would have frozen on the spot, but I am glad to say that I have been a mile above sea level in North Carolina. Grandfather Mountain has a great set up. When you check in, you get a map and a CD to listen to on the way up the mountain. We really enjoyed learning more about the mountain and its history. There is a nature preserve, a museum, trails, and of course the swinging bridge.
Bass Lake Park and Cone Manor provide gorgeous trails and a different perspective on Blowing Rock. We had the prettiest morning walking around the lake. The day we left, it was windy and chilly, so we decided not to make the 2 mile trek to Cone Manor, but the view from Bass Lake was stunning.
Explore the breweries in the area. Right across from our hotel was Blowing Rock Ale House which has a great restaurant and the Blowing Rock Brewing Company is right in the back of the building.
Blowing Rock Art & History Museum is a great way to spend an afternoon as well. It was such a great experience watching a 15 minute documentary on the history of Blowing Rock and Watauga County, and there are seasonal exhibits available for viewing. When we visited, there was a history on Black Mountain College and a Smithsonian Institute traveling exhibit called The Way We Worked about the history of the American workforce. Upstairs in the museum is an ongoing exhibit of the history of Blowing Rock, which was really interesting. I would definitely recommend spending some time here and check out talks, movies, or special events at the museum.
Blowing Rock: Where to Eat
On our way in, we stopped at the Cardinal in Boone to have lunch. I ordered the fried chicken sandwich with Duke’s mayo, lettuce, and tomato. DG ordered The Cardinal burger.
We loved supper at The Speckled Trout Restaurant & Bottle Shop. The aesthetics of the restaurant are beautiful, but I also love that there is a market in the front of the restaurant as well. We ordered the hoecakes with sorghum butter for an appetizer. I ordered the farm burger with hoop cheese and DG ordered the fried chicken sandwich.
Our hotel served breakfast each morning and was included in our stay, but it is also open to the public. Their French toast with berries was absolutely delicious! DG loved their pancakes, too.
For lunch, coming back from Grandfather Mountain, we stopped at Bella’s in Banner Elk. Their pizza special for lunch is not only a great deal, but also really good pizza. DG is a bit of a pizza snob, and even he was impressed.
Our last supper was at Six Pence Pub. The few times I have been to Blowing Rock for a day trip, I’ve stopped at Six Pence Pub for lunch, but this was my first time for supper. I ordered their fish and chips on the recommendation of the bartender, and I am so glad I did. It was a really great meal.
On our way out of town, we had lunch at Macado’s in Boone because when we went to Boone for a day trip, DG was obsessed with this place! DG ordered a cup of chili and Macado’s club while I ordered a Speakeasy.
Blowing Rock: Where to Stay
We loved our stay at the New Public House & Hotel in Blowing Rock. It was such a cute hotel and we loved that the restaurant was on the first floor and the second and third floors were the hotel. It was such a great experience. You can see more here. We also loved how the hotel was in walking distance of downtown, which was really great for walking off all that we ate and drank while on vacation. It was perfect for our getaway and we truly felt like we were able to relax.
If you are looking for more of a resort feel, check out Chetola Resort.
Here is our itinerary from Blowing Rock:
10:00AM – Began our Road Trip
12:30PM – Arrived in Boone to have lunch at the Cardinal
2:00PM – Checked in at New Public House & Hotel
2:30PM – Stretched our legs by walking through downtown Blowing Rock
3:30PM – An Early Happy Hour at Blowing Rock Ale House (order a Blowing Rock High Country Ale)
5:30PM – Pit Stop at Sunset & Vine for wine & cheese
6:30PM – Supper at The Speckled Trout Restaurant & Bottle Shop
8:00PM – Dessert at Kilwin’s in downtown Blowing Rock
8:30PM – Walk through downtown Blowing Rock
8:30AM – Breakfast at New Public House
9:30AM – Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway
10:30AM – Grandfather Mountain
1:00PM – Lunch at Bella’s (order the pizza lunch special)
3:00PM – Blowing Rock Art & History Museum Tour
5:00PM – Happy Hour at Six Pence Pub (order Booneshine IPA)
6:00PM – Appetizers & Happy Hour #2 at New Public House
7:30PM – Dinner at Six Pence Pub (order Fish & Chips)
P.S. Looking to plan your own trip? Check out all the amazing resources here.
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