Boone, NC has long been considered one of the best small towns in America, and summer is an excellent time to visit. Book a stay at Graystone Lodge and use the ideas below to create a summer getaway filled with lasting memories. As always, if you need additional recommendations, we love to share our local insights. Come see us!
Escape the Heat
Ready to trade sweltering summer temperatures for cool mountain air and sparkling rivers and lakes? Local Boone outfitters can connect you with guided water activities, rentals and more. Here are a few of our favorite ways to stay cool in Boone in the summer:
- Spend a relaxing afternoon tubing on the New River (which is actually the oldest river in the United States!).
- Visit Price Lake on the Blue Ridge Parkway to rent canoes, kayaks, fishing gear and stand-up paddleboards.
- While there’s no swimming at Price Lake, we suggest taking a dip in the Laurel Creek Falls swimming hole or Wildcat Lake, which has swimming and sandy beaches. Tip: Guests at Graystone Lodge can also enjoy our heated indoor pool year-round!
- Did you know Linville Caverns is always 52 degrees? Take a cool guided tour through natural limestone caverns in the only public show cave in North Carolina.
Enjoy the natural beauty of Boone (and capture some incredible photos while you’re at it):
- Hiking is better when it culminates at a picturesque waterfall. Don’t miss waterfall hikes near Boone like Crabtree Falls or Linville Falls.
- Early risers can enjoy an incredible view of the sunrise from Thunder Hill Overlook or the secret spot at Caldwell Community College. No hiking necessary; you can drive to both.
- The Blue Ridge Parkway provides gorgeous vistas year-round, and the Boone region of the iconic Parkway is photo ready with more than 20 overlooks, blooming rhododendrons and the famous Linn Cove Viaduct.
Education + Culture
Be sure to make time for Boone shopping, culture, and history – it’s the perfect complement to all your outdoor adventures.
- Tour the grounds of the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum to get a feel for 18th century frontier life (and find out whether or not Daniel Boone really wore a coonskin cap).
- Mystery Hill is a family-favorite spot that blends indoor and outdoor activities. It has something educational and fun for everyone.
- Don’t miss King Street in the heart of Downtown Boone. You’ll find all sorts of unique shops offering outdoor gear, antiques, souvenirs, gourmet food shops, and artwork from local artists. Visit The Shoppes at Farmers, Mast General Store, Common Good Co., Venture Chocolate and Wine, and so many more!
- There’s lots going on around these parts, so always check the Boone event schedule to see if your trip coincides with a festival or annual event.
Thrills + Unique Activities
If you’re seeking thrills (big or small), be sure to add a couple of these unique outdoor activities to your itinerary:
- Cross the Mile High Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain for unforgettable views at a heart-pumping height. Tip: Tickets include admission to the Wilson Center for Nature Discovery, which is a delight.
- Visit Tweetsie Railroad family amusement park for live entertainment, classic rides, gem mining and the famous 3-mile, steam-powered train trip through the mountains.
- As you explore Downtown Boone, check out the Rock Dimensions climbing tower outside of Footsloggers (a great shop for all your outdoor and travel needs).
- Book an adventurous excursion like rock climbing and bouldering, ziplining or an ATV tour. Or visit the Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park where you’ll find bike trails for a variety of skill levels.
- The Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster at Sugar Mountain reaches speeds of up to 27 mph (at the control of the rider). It’s more than 3,000 feet of twists, turns, waves and plenty of excitement.