Embrace the Beauty of North Carolina With a 3-day Itinerary in Boone

The sounds of the river as it flows downstream—the fresh smell of pine in the air. The charming and elegant downtown transports you from the hustle and bustle of the city  — and the mountains, oh the mountains. The panoramic vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains will take your breath away.

Boone, nestled in the heart of North Carolina’s jaw-dropping Blue Ridge Mountains, is the perfect place to unwind and find your Zen. Boone offers a plethora of activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and camping for outdoor enthusiasts. And for those who enjoy a more low-key vacation, simply strolling around downtown and taking in the sights and sounds of this historic town is an experience in itself.

No matter what your interests are, Boone has something for everyone. And to help you make the most of your time in this beautiful destination, we’ve put together a three-day itinerary packed with activities for every type of traveler. So, whether you’re looking to explore the great outdoors or relax and take in the sights, this itinerary is for you.

Day #1 Hit the Biking Trails

First and foremost, you need to decide where you’re going to rest your head at night. Boone offers a variety of lodging options, from hotels and motels to bed and breakfasts and cabins, cottages, and condos. Regardless of where you stay, you’re sure to enjoy the town’s Southern hospitality.

Rocky Knob Bike Park Photo Courtesy of Explore Boone

After settling into your lodging, it’s time to start exploring. For the mountain biking enthusiasts out there, we recommend heading to Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park for a day of adventure. There’s something for everyone with eight and a half miles of thrilling trails to choose from, ranging from intermediate to expert. If you don’t have your bike, no worries — Magic Cycles nearby rents bikes and racks.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head into town for some dinner, Boone is home to various delicious restaurants, from barbecue and burgers to fine dining and international cuisine. Some of the local’s favorites include Basil’s Fresh Pasta and Deli, The Beacon Butcher Bar, and Capone’s Pizza. But there are plenty more eateries to choose from, so take your pick.

End your day with a leisurely stroll around downtown, popping into some of the unique shops Boone has to offer. While you’re there, you need to check out Boone’s excellent breweries. This mountain paradise is quickly becoming known for its craft beer, and for good reason. It’s delicious! Some of the must-try breweries include Booneshine Brewing, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, and Blowing Rock Brewing Company.

When you’re ready to call it a night, head back to your lodging for a good night’s sleep — you have a big day ahead tomorrow.

Day 2: Waterfall Chasing

Wake up early and head to one of the many coffee shops in town for a quick caffeine fix. We recommend the Local Lion or Boone Bagelry, both of which have excellent coffee, bagels, and sweet and savory pastries.

Once you’re fueled up and ready to go, it’s time to hit the road — today, you’ll be hiking and exploring some of the area’s stunning waterfalls.

Linville Falls Photo Courtesy of Explore Boone

First on your list should be the majestic Linville Falls. Labeled the “Grand Canyon of the Southern Appalachians,” this mesmerizing waterfall boasts three strenuous and moderate hikes. Each offers a unique and breathtaking perspective of the falls and an opportunity to see some pristine mountain scenery.

Next on the agenda is the more secluded but no less beautiful Elk River Falls. Though it is a bit of a drive from Linville Falls — about 45 minutes — this spectacular cascade is definitely worth the trip. The 50ft falls plunge over a granite cliff into an idyllic pool below, perfect for a refreshing dip on a hot day.

Elk River Falls Photo Courtesy of Explore Boone

Your last waterfall of the day is Crab Orchard Falls, which we’ll visit on the way back to Boone. These falls are on the property of the Valle Crucis Conference Center. Waterfall parking is marked at the rear of the paved lot; it is about a ½ mile moderate hike through the lush Appalachian forest to the falls.

After a long day of waterfall chasing, head back to your lodging for a shower and refresh, then dress up for a night out on the town. Boone has a vibrant nightlife, and as we mentioned earlier, there are plenty of breweries and bars to choose from. For day 2, we recommend Lost Province Brewing Company and Lily’s Snack Bar.

Downtown Boone Photo Courtesy of Explore Boone

Hang out with the locals, try some Boone-brewed beer, and enjoy a fun night out before calling it a night and heading back to your accommodations.

Up and At ‘Em for a Day of Scenic Views and Special Events

Today is all about taking in the sights and sounds of the Blue Ridge Parkway. This iconic road stretches for just under 500 miles, from Virginia through North Carolina, and is renowned for its stunning views. In the Boone area, the Parkway runs from mile marker 276 to 298, with plenty of overlooks and vistas to explore.

Rhododendron along the Blue Ridge Parkway Photo Courtesy of Explore Boone

We set off on our scenic drive straight away, taking the Blue Ridge Parkway to an extraordinary event held on the Grandfather Mountain from May 28th, 2022 – to June 6th, 2022, the Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble. The Rhododendron Ramble is a festival celebrating the blooming of the beautiful four species of flowers. The event features plenty of family-friendly activities and an authentic experience for the senses. If your trip doesn’t coincide with the festival’s dates, Grandfather Mountain, with its extensive animal habitats and famous mile-high swing bridge, is still an absolute must-see attraction. It’s the perfect way to experience Appalachia in the springtime!

Mountain Top Rhododendron Photo Courtesy of Explore Boone

When you’re finished dousing yourself in the pretty Rhododendron flowers, continue your drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Start at the Carriage Trails for an easy and scenic hike or horse ride. This beautiful trail system weaves through meadows and forests, offering some stunning panoramas of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Next on your list should be the Moses Cone Manor, one of the most photographed spots on the Parkway. The house is open for guided visits by the National Park Service seasonally. The tours cover both the Cone family and the home itself, providing historical context and interesting stories about the Manor’s past.

Later on, drive a bit further down the Parkway to explore more of its many overlooks and vistas. Be sure to stop at Beacon Heights for some amazing views just a short walk from the overlook–on a clear day; you can see all the way to Charlotte!

After a day of exploring the Parkway, drive back to Boone for another special event! Depending on the day and time of your visit, you might catch the High Country Jazz Festival. If you miss this festival, check out Explore Boone’s calendar of events for other fabulous summer festivals and music events.

The High Country Jazz Festival is a four-day event featuring some of the best jazz musicians from around the country. The festival takes place from June 8th, 2022 – to June 12th, 2022, and features a wide range of performers, from up-and-coming artists to established legends. If you’re a fan of jazz, this is definitely an event not to be missed.

That’s a Wrap!

That wraps up our three-day itinerary in Boone!

With the abundance of outdoor activities, scenic beauty, and unique experiences only available in the months of May and June, Boone is the perfect spot for an idyllic spring or summertime escape.

Springtime in the Appalachian Mountains Photo Courtesy of Explore Boone

Explore the wonders of the Blue Ridge Mountains, try some delicious local beer, and catch a glimpse of the region’s famous wildflowers in bloom — all while enjoying the charming atmosphere of this quaint mountain town.

Are you ready to immerse yourself in all that Boone has to offer? Start planning your trip today! And be sure to check out the articles below for more itinerary ideas and things to do in the Boone area.


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