Named after Daniel Boone, the legendary explorer and hunter who maintained a hunting camp in the area, Boone boasts several attractions that play homage to its namesake.. Boone is also home to Appalachian State University, giving the town a college ambiance along with the cultural and community education activities that come with a large university. The University’s “An Appalachian Summer Festival” brings a six-week concert series, featuring such national acts as Lyle Lovett, The Band Perry and Mary Chapin Carpenter.
The summer also brings “Horn in the West,” one of the nation’s oldest outdoor dramas, which depicts pioneers in their struggle against British tyranny during the Revolutionary War. This year marks the drama’s 62nd consecutive season. The adjacent Hickory Ridge Living History Museum features several log cabins and onsite interpreters answer questions about what life was like in the 18th century.
Boone is an outdoor lover’s paradise with activities such as zip-lining, kayaking, river tubing, hiking and fishing. River Girl Fishing Company, in nearby Todd, can hook you up with an inner tube for a leisurely float down the New River and introduce you to Petunia, the family pig and resident oinker. The newly opened Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park provides mountain bikers with two separate trails. Rocky Branch Trail is a 1.6-mile loop and Lower Knob Trail is a 1.0-mile loop; another five miles of trails are expected in the near future. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers great hiking trails, biking and beautiful vistas for a leisurely drive. The Appalachian Trail also traverses the area.
Adrenaline junkies have plenty to keep them busy. At Sky Valley Zip Tours, thrill seekers can traverse 10 zip-lines, jump off a cliff and walk across a 120-foot wobbly rope bridge on the 140-acre property. Big Momma, as one zip-line is nicknamed, is 300 feet above the ground and riders reach speeds up to 40 miles an hour.
But don’t worry; there is plenty for the kids to do, too, with nearby Tweetsie Railroad, a Western-themed amusement park featuring a three-mile ride on a steam-powered train. In nearby Blowing Rock, Grandfather Mountain has a mile-high swinging bridge and mini-zoo and Linville Caverns offers daily tours through the stalagmites and stalactites.
West King Street in Downtown Boone is a shopping paradise with specialty shops, galleries and antique stores. You can enjoy chocolate malts at the old-fashioned soda fountain at Boone Drug Company or stop in at Mast General Store, located in the Old Boone Mercantile building, offering everything from “cradles to graves.” It’s a popular spot to pick-up locally-made goods and candy snatched from the barrel and sold by the pound.
Restaurants in the area offer out-of-the-ordinary dining experiences. Proper, located on Water Street, is a traditional “meat-and-three” home-cooking restaurant, located in what was the old jailhouse. The Daniel Boone Inn and Restaurant has been serving meals family-style with Southern favorites like country steak, ham biscuits and fried chicken since 1959.
When it’s time to rest your head after a long, fun-filled day, Boone has a variety of lodging options ranging from the usual chain hotels and motels to the nearby, five-star Mast Farm Inn. If you need more space, the Yonahlossee Resort offers rental cabins with one to five bedrooms.
“Mountain breezes and cool evening temps make Boone a favorite summer destination. When the temperatures are 95 degrees or higher in most places, our high temperatures are still about 78 degrees,” says L. Wright Tilley, Executive Director of the Boone & Watauga Country Tourism Authority. So when you’ve had enough of the summer heat, head up to Boone and see for yourself why Boone is bursting with summer fun for the whole family.
Watauga County Tourism Development Authority
142 S. Water Street
Boone, NC 28607
U.S. Highway 221 and Blue Ridge Parkway
Linville, NC 28646
Sky Valley Zip Tours
Winklers Creek Road
Blowing Rock, NC
“Horn in the West” and Hickory Ridge Museum
591 Horn in the West Drive
Boone, NC 28607
300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane
Blowing Rock, NC 28605
River Girl Fishing Company
4041 Railroad Grade Road
Todd, NC 28684