Leslie Eason Real Estate Blog:

Looking for information about the NC High Country?  Follow my blog to get area information about events, things to do, and real estate.

July 9, 2018

Golfing in the NC High Country

The High Country has award-winning private and public golf courses so that you can tee off in cool temperatures with picturesque views.  These courses boast prime real estate in their communities, as well as many other amenities.  Click on the titles for more information.

Private Courses & Communities

Blowing Rock Country Club

Tucked quietly into one of the most coveted resort communities in the southeastern United States, Blowing Rock Country Club calls the vast and wondrous Blue Ridge Mountains its home. At the heart of the Club property sits the only Seth Raynor golf course you’ll find in North Carolina, to which golfers from across the country have been flocking since 1915 — a truly classic mountain golf experience.

Members of the private club also enjoy beautiful amenities, excellent dining services, comprehensive fitness and recreation programs, an active social calendar, and a community of fellowship that feels like family. Learn more about our Club today and find out why our members feel right at home in Blowing Rock.

Diamond Creek

Diamond Creek GC hole 7 and Hanging Rock Mountain

The man most responsible for defying private-club convention—while running a first-class operation—is John McNeely, who partnered with Wayne Huizenga to found Diamond Creek in 2003. (Huizenga also owns Frederica, on St. Simons Island, Georgia.) In his previous life, McNeely was a golf professional at a number of top private clubs, including New York’s Winged Foot (where he was tutored by the legendary Claude Harmon), Thunderbird in the California desert, The Floridian, River Oaks in Houston, and Grandfather Golf and Country Club, just a few miles from Diamond Creek in the verdant mountains of western North Carolina.

Elk River Club

Nothing quite compares to the quietness of a cool evening spent gazing out across the majestic mountain landscape, set aglow by golden rays peering down upon the signature Jack Nicklaus golf course. The evening presents itself amidst the rising smoke of a crackling fire and the familiar sounds of friends and family gathered round to laugh and share stories late into the starry night. This is Elk River. And for many, it just feels like home.

Grandfather Golf & Country Club

Image result for grandfather golf & countryGrandfather’s breathtaking location, diverse amenities, and core values continue to elevate their family experience.  Designed by Ellis Maples and considered his architectural masterpiece, Grandfather Golf and Country Club offers a renowned Championship Golf Course that has been ranked by the North Carolina Golf Panel as the second best course in North Carolina after Pinehurst #2. 

Linville Ridge

An unrivaled golf experience with panoramic views of Blue Ridge Mountains, golf at Linville Ridge elevates the game to an art form. At 4,949 feet above sea level, the golf course is the highest elevation golf course east of the Mississippi River. The bragging rights extend far beyond mere altitude.   

In 2007, Bobby Weed added his special magic to the look and playability of the course with a scenic ruggedness that truly enhances your enjoyment of each and every round. Golfweek Magazine is among the many publications that have ranked Linville Ridge highly and placed this course among their favorites. With the course renovation by Bobby Weed, Golf, Inc. Magazine honored the Linville Ridge golf course with a Renovation of the Year Competition award.  


Public Courses

Boone Golf Club

Designed in 1959 by Ellis Maples, Boone Golf Club is one of the top rated public courses in the area. Our course utilizes the High Country’s beautiful landscape and spectacular scenery. Ranked #46 of The top 50 you can play in North Carolina! – North Carolina Golf Panel   Ranked #4 in Hidden gems of the North Carolina Mountains – North Carolina Golf Panel.   Ranked #2 by Derbyshire in Best Public Courses to Play in North Carolina Mountains!   

Jefferson Landing

Related imageDesigned by US Open and two-time PGA Champion, Larry Nelson, Jefferson Landing's award-winning 7,110-yard, par 72 Course has a reputation of being challenging yet fair. Since its opening in 1991, the course is best known for its superb conditioning, outstanding playability for players of all levels, comprehensive practice facilities, and of course, its spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Master the course and hone skills with expert instruction from Jefferson Landing's golf professional, Dean Spainhour. These one-on-one lessons focus on any aspect of the game and are typically one hour in duration. Sign up for one lesson or develop a comprehensive instruction program designed to build skills and enhance performance through a series of sessions.

Linville Land Harbor

The beautiful, semi-private, member-owned mountain golf course boasts 18 challenging holes of tree-lined fairways, manicured greens, and several streams and ponds. The course layout follows the natural contours of the land, which creates a perfect setting for a challenging golf course with breathtaking views.

Mountain Aire

18-hole (Public) Mountain Aire Golf Club is continuously involved in making your golf experience the best that it can be. Offering a newly remodeled 18 hole championship golf course with spectacular views and reasonable rates. The Club features a challenging round of golf for all skill levels and every hole presents the golfer with awe-inspiring beauty. This mountain course’s main challenge is the wind, although the many sand bunkers can present equal problems at times. Overall, water hazards come into play on eight holes. The small greens are undulating, and the fairways are tree lined. 

Looking to find great homes for sale in any of our golfing communities?  Leslie Eason is an expert realtor in the NC High Country, and can search for the perfect place to call home.  Contact Leslie at 828-406-0828 or LEason@Boone.net.


Posted in Area Information
June 25, 2018

June Blowing Rock Real Estate Information

Real Estate in Blowing Rock

Blowing Rock: One of the Most Desirable Home Towns in the Southeast

Do you love to visit Blowing Rock?  Are you curious about making Blowing Rock your new home or your second home? If so, here is some Real Estate information for you! Blowing Rock offers a wide variety of beautiful properties. Home options vary from condos in the $150,000 range to luxurious homes with multi-million dollar values. The pricing for freestanding homes is understandably higher in-town and for those with extraordinary views. 

Versus the rest of the USA where inventory is extremely tight, the average time on market in the Blowing Rock area is about 130 days, which is typical of most resort and second home markets. This gives buyers a little breathing space when looking for homes or planning a visit, although homes under $400,000 with views sell very quickly.

There are many neighborhoods and pockets of homes that might not be obvious when driving or walking around town. Several of them are noted below. If you are interested in learning more about the Blowing Rock homes for sale or seeing some properties, be sure to check with a local REALTOR®.  


Blowing Rock is enjoying a very healthy Real Estate market with sustainable growth (see chart below).  In Real Estate terms, it is a balanced market, with benefits for both buyers and sellers. Versus 2017, inventory has tightened somewhat (-16.2%), which has modestly driven prices up. However, there are currently twice as many listings available than have sold so far this year, indicating a substantial inventory for buyers.

While Blowing Rock is the highest priced Real Estate area in the NC High Country, prices are just now approaching pre-recession levels and have not been inflated as they have in other areas of the country.  The median single family sales price is $349,000 and the average sold price this year is $402,417. This is still somewhat lower than the average pricing back in 2008.

Condominiums are seeing considerable  gains, with volume up 24.9% over last year.  The majority of the current available inventory is in Chetola Resort as well as new condo inventory in Blue Ridge Mountain Club.

Fortunately, there is limited new construction in Blowing Rock and the High Country.  The area does not offer large developments with similar homes or large construction companies. This unique factor is part of what makes the High Country so charming. Versus 2017, data shows there are even more new custom homes available, which is another sign of a healthy market.



Luxury Homes

Blowing Rock is perhaps best known for its gorgeous mountain homes, both new and historic. Blowing Rock homes have graced the covers of magazines and attracted buyers from all over the world.  These esteemed homes in-town can be found in the Mayview and Laurel Park neighborhoods, as well as in nearby gated neighborhoods, such as Timber Creek and Firethorn.

For buyers looking to build a custom home, this area boasts some excellent builders and offers many options for land purchases.


Condos generally offer a less expensive way to enter the market while relieving the owner of home maintenance worries. For in-town Blowing Rock, some of the condo developments offer the ability to rent the condos to vacationers, making them great investment opportunities.  Condo developments include Royal Oaks, Glen Burney, Village on the Green, and Chetola Resort. In fact, Chetola Resort boasts a hotel, fine dining restaurant, and spa for your enjoyment. There are also nice condos with views in the Mayview area of Blowing Rock, as well as in the Blue Ridge Mountain Club (noted below).

Coming soon are 23 luxury condos called Chestnut at Blowing Rock, with great views of Moses Cone and Grandfather Mountain. These condos will include 2 car garages below.

Second Homes

Well over half of the homes sold in Blowing Rock are second homes.  Buyers look here to escape the summer heat or even live here in the mountains for half of the year. With Charlotte just a two hour drive away and Raleigh/Durham about three hours away, the High Country is a convenient escape for buyers from North Carolina, as well as a season destination for buyers from Florida. Many buyers purchase a second (or third) home in Blowing Rock with plans to make it their retirement home. As Forbes stated, the mountainous environment makes the Boone/Blowing rock area one of the top retirement locations in 2018.

A strong and growing segment of the Blowing Rock Real Estate market is second homes that can also be used as vacation rentals to help pay for the cost of owning and maintaining the home. There are several excellent vacation rental management companies in the area that can manage the entire process.  

Note that vacation/short term rentals under 30 days are not allowed within town limits and in some subdivisions.  If you are looking for a home that can also be used as a vacation rental, be sure to ask your REALTOR® whether vacation rentals are allowed in that location.



In Town Blowing Rock: The town of Blowing Rock is known for its grand homes along Main Street and in historic Mayview and Laurel Park, as well as cottages around Ransom Street.  There are also condominium developments such as Royal Oaks, Glen Burney, and Chetola Resort.

In Town Across 321: Cross Highway 321 (Blowing Rock Blvd) to Echo Park, Green Hill Road, Wonderland Woods and areas surrounding the Blowing Rock Country Club and Golf Course.  There is a wide variety of home styles and sizes in these quiet neighborhoods.

Highway 221 South: There are several neighborhoods on either side of Highway 221 headed south, some offering great Grandfather Mountain and St. Johns River Gorge views. These include Misty Mountain, Fair Mountain Acres, Saddle Hills and Sweetgrass, a newer development with trails and a lake.

321 north (toward Boone):  One of the largest residential areas in this direction is Appalachian Ski Mountain, with many mountain and log homes close to skiing. This is a popular location for vacation rentals.  Also along 321 are the luxury gated communities of Firethorn and Timber Creek, as well as the log home community Friendly Mountain Acres.

Blue Ridge Parkway North: There are several established neighborhoods with mid-range to high end homes along this route. This general area is referred to on maps as the Aho area and includes the neighborhoods of Sorrento, Greystone, Blackberry, Goshen, Summit Park, and Brown Stone Ridge, to name a few.  Some of these neighborhoods are in the Boone zip code but are considered the Blowing Rock area from a Real Estate standpoint.

Also in this direction is the Blue Ridge Mountain Club (BRMC), a newer and impressive development with timber frame homes and many lots available.  BRMC offers trails and amenities and just broke ground on their new clubhouse and gym.


When you are visiting, think about also making Blowing Rock your home!


For the Roster of Local REALTORS®, go to: www.highcountryrealtors.org


June 5, 2018

Summer Festivals in the NC High Country

Summer is a wonderful time of year to enjoy everything that the High Country has to offer.  There are great events and festivals going on throughout the summer in many of our small towns and communities to enjoy with the whole family.  Click on the titles for more information and tickets.

Singing on the Mountain, Linville - June 24

The "Singing" is a day-long gathering held outdoors in MacRae Meadows at the base of Grandfather Mountain. Music begins at 8:30 a.m. and continues throughout the day, with a break around 1 p.m. for the sermon. Many families bring lawn chairs and picnics to make a day of seeing old friends and enjoying performances by top Southern gospel groups.

An Appalachian Summer Festival: June 30- August 4

No automatic alt text available.Presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, this annual celebration of the performing and visual arts is held every July in venues across the university campus, and features an eclectic, diverse mix of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film programming.

In recent years, the festival has been selected as one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society. For many years, The New York Times has included An Appalachian Summer Festival in its “Summer Stages” issue, which profiles the nation’s most prominent and interesting summer arts festivals.

Fourth of July Celebrations

Town of Boone 4th of July Celebration: July 4

Enjoy a small town parade, free watermelon, and music in Downtown Boone. Fireworks will take place 30 minutes after dark at Clawson-Burnley Park.

47th Annual Beech Mountain Roasting of the Hog: June 30

Image may contain: fireworks and nightEnjoy pork, smoked turkey and all the fixin’s along with music & fireworks in Eastern America's Highest Town.

Blowing Rock 4th of July Weekend: June 30- July 1

Enjoy games such as horseshoe throwing, watermelon eating, music, clogging, and much more family fun!  Plus, the best small-town Main Street parade is at 3pm!

Christmas in July: July 7

The Christmas in July Festival is one of the best, old fashioned summer festivals in the South drawing thousands to historic West Jefferson, NC each July! The Festival began in 1987 as a celebration of the Christmas Tree Industry, which thrives in Ashe County, NC. In 2015, Ashe County, NC was named the #1 Christmas Tree producer in the United States. The Festival is a free-admission event held in Downtown West Jefferson and features the very best traditional mountain music, handmade arts & crafts vendors throughout the region while still celebrating the Christmas Tree industry.

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games: July 12-15

The Grandfather Games are considered America’s grandest Games because of the spectacular mountain setting that is so reminiscent of Scotland. The deep blue peaks of 6,000-Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, child, closeup and outdoorft. Grandfather Mountain tower above a grassy green meadow ringed by 170 colorful tents. Thousands of Scots are dressed in tartan plaids, and the energy is amplified by the sounds of bagpipes and kettledrums echoing.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are filled with competition in heavy-weight Scottish athletic events; highland dancing competition; bagpipe band parades; piping, drumming and harp competitions; sheep herding demonstrations by Scottish border collies and concerts featuring a wide variety of Celtic music.

Symphony by the Lake: July 27

Join us Friday, July 27, 2018 for Symphony by the Lake at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.  This year's theme is "Colors of the Mountains" and promises to be the social event of the season.

Experience a moving performance by the Symphony of the Mountains, conducted by Cornelia Ornish. Surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge landscape, take your seat under the evening sky by Chetola Lake.

Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show: June 7-10

The 93rd annual Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is one of the oldest horse show events in the country- a Blowing Rock tradition since 1923! Enjoy the Saddlebred, Hunter-Jumper I, and Hunter-Jumper II division shows each year. View the spectacle and excitement of amateur and high-performance competitors. The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is a US Equestrian Federation Heritage Competition.


Excited about everything going on in the High Country?  Leslie Eason can help you call this place your home with real estate expertise to find the home that is right for you.  Contact Leslie for a custom consultation at 828-406-0828 or LEason@Boone.net


May 24, 2018

NC High Country Farmers Markets

It is spring in the High Country, which means our local farmers' markets are back in full swing.  Here in the North Carolina mountains, the Farmers Market network is very strong. Visitors can buy local fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, and even artisan crafts and baked goods. Visiting a market is one of the best ways to get to know the local people and flavors.  With a market almost every day of the week throughout the High Country, there are many options for spending a few hours strolling through quaint booths and even enjoying local entertainment for free.

Banner Elk, Beech Mtn Area

Avery County Farmers Market in Newland

Guests can pick up local products like syrups, artisan breads, flowers and more from their farmer and craftsmen neighbors for a great Friday evening outing.

170 Linville St, Newland, 828-733-8274
June-Oct: Fri: 4-6pm

Avery County Farmers Market in Banner Elk

Dedicated to serving the needs of the farms and farmers throughout Avery County, encouraging the growth and well-being of local farms, and educating the public in Avery County the benefits of supporting local farms. 

Azalea Circle, Banner Elk
May-Oct: Thurs: 4:30-7pm

Spruce Pine Farmers Market

Customers and vendors alike always have a good time at this weekly Wednesday market.  Featuring vendors from Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey counties with organic and naturally grown produce, fresh eggs, artisan breads, baked goods, honey, goat cheeses, grassfed beef, pork, artisan crafts, handmade baskets, and more

Upper St, Spruce Pine, 800-227-3912
May-Oct, Wed: 2-5pm

Boone, Blowing Rock Area

Blowing Rock Fresh Market

The Blowing Rock Farmers Market offers a great mid-week selection of local produce and goods from area farmers. Located on Park Avenue, right in downtown Blowing Rock, it’s a convenient stop!

Wallingford Road Parking Area, 828-295-7851
May-Oct, Thurs: 4-6pm

Freedom Market

In addition to offering fresh good eats, healthy plants, flowers, honey, and an array of artisan goods, the Freedom Market will be collecting funds for local charities. Visitors are encouraged to cast a vote for their favorite, as well as make a donation.

178 W King St (by Earthfare), Boone
April -Sept, Sundays: 11-3

Watauga County Farmers Market

Features a wide array of vendors offering fresh produce, meats, cheeses, pastries, crafts, potted plants, fresh cut flowers and more! 

Horn Ave, Boone, 828-355-4918
May 4-Oct, Sat: 8-12pm May 3-Sept 29, Wed: 8-12pm


West Jefferson, Sparta Area

Alleghany County Farmers Market

Vendors will have fresh vegetables, pastured meats and cheeses, gourmet baked goods, artisan crafts and more.

Crouse Park, 60 Cherry St, Sparta 
May 11-Oct 12, Sat: 9-1pm June- Aug, Thurs: 4-6pm

Ashe County Farmers Market

A covered open-air market located on the Backstreet in West Jefferson. Fresh, locally grown produce, nursery plants, homemade baked goods and handmade crafts.

108 Backstreet, West Jefferson, 366-877-4141
April 14- Oct, Sat: 8-1pm July- Sept, Wed: 8-1pm

Lansing Farmers Market

Features a rich selection of vegetables and fruits, the market also offers jams, jellies, meats, cheese and bedding plants.

Lansing Fire Dept, 336-384-1603
May 1- Sept 11, Thurs: 1-6pm


For more information about the NC High Country, visit our blog.  Contact Leslie Eason for all of your real estate needs: 828-406-0828 or LEason@Boone.net

May 18, 2018

Keller Williams High Country Supports Habitat for Humanity on RED Day

Keller Williams Annual RED Day of Service Supporting Multiple Habitat for Humanity Efforts
High Country Realtors ‘Give where they live’

(Keller Williams RED Day volunteers work with Habitat for Humanity Director Alex Hooker in the Build of a home in the Greenwood Community)

On Thursday, May 10, Keller Williams High Country Realty, an agency of over sixty realtors in Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties, closed their offices and spent the day working at Hospitality House as part of Keller Williams International RED Day.  Four crews worked at the local ReStore and the Habitat for Humanity Greenwood community.  Much was accomplished, including floor installation, cabinet building, landscaping for the Greenwood Community and organization at the ReStore.

RED Day, which stands for Renew, Energize and Donate, is Keller Williams Realty's annual day of service dedicated to celebrating Keller Williams Realty’s year-round commitment to improving local communities. Each year on the second Thursday of May, Keller Williams associates worldwide celebrate the day away from their businesses serving worthy organizations and causes in their communities. This year there were over 150,000 agents working on the same day.  

"It is so important to ‘Give where we live’ and contribute to the communities we serve,” Keller Williams REALTOR and local RED Day organizer Carolyn Bond. “The Habitat for Humanity embodies the type of organization we want to support, serving people in each of our counties and providing housing for those who otherwise could not afford it.”

Keller Williams High Country has been an enthusiastic office in support of RED Days in the past, sometimes working for months in the planning of these events. Past organizations supported have included the Hospitality House, the local Humane Societies and the Hunger and Health Coalition.  Additionally, most Keller Williams agents donate funds from each Real Estate closing to the KW Cares Fund, which provides a fund for disaster relief and grants for agents and families in need as well as funds to help our local residents.

Since the Keller Williams office opened in late 2010, agents have donated and raised tens of thousands of dollars to assist local residents and organizations and have contributed thousands of hours of service through RED Day efforts.

Several local service providers assisted with donations, time and food for the agents during RED Day.  They include Home Scan Home Inspections, Clean & Dry Environmental Solutions, Movement Mortgage, Geeks at Work - The Computer Tamers, America's Preferred Home Warranty, and Attorney Rob Angle.

More about The Greenwood Community

In the spring of 2011, Habitat for Humanity broke ground on the first of 20 homes that will be built in the Greenwood neighborhood, a quiet neighborhood in the High County on 20 acres near Green Valley School.

If you are familiar at all with housing prices in the area, then you know how difficult it can be to find an affordable home - especially one that doesn't need any additional renovations. Habitat strongly believes that housing can and should be beautiful and affordable for all. Each of the homes in the community is energy-efficient and sustainable.  Greenwood is an example of what’s possible in the green building industry, beautifully demonstrating that efficient, ecological building practices can ensure lasting affordability for our hardworking partner families. 

To learn more about Keller Williams RED Day visit www.kw.com/kw/redday. To connect with a Keller Williams High Country realtor, please visit www.kwhighcountry.com

To learn more about the Watauga County Habitat for Humanity visit www.wataugahabitat.org/home.

For additional information, please contact Leslie Eason at Leslie@Easonteam.com or 828-406-0828.


Posted in Area Information
March 18, 2018

Savor Blowing Rock - Wine & Food Festival

One of the High Country's premier wine and food festivals is returning to Blowing Rock in a new month, and will be Thursday May 3 through Sunday May 6, moving from it's usual time frame in April.  The multi-day festival is hosted by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, one of the most accredited Chamber's in North Carolina. The 2018 edition of SAVOR Blowing Rock includes an expanded range of demonstrations, seminars, and events that feature regional culture, music, craft beers from local breweries and across the state, beverage tastings and dinners that showcase area culinary artistry.

Kick the weekend off in style with TASTE!, a Blowing Rock restaurant showcase.  Enjoy live music, small plate portions, and beer and wine tasting options.

The festival has events for everyone, including those athletically inclined.  On Saturday, May 5th, hit the pavement with the 30 or 47 mile Globe Gravel Road Cycling Challenge.  Or, if you prefer to run/walk, enter the Corkscrew and Brew 5k, and enjoy libations along the course.

The main tasting event is split into time frames on Saturday, both at 12pm and 3pm.  There will be 12-15 wines from international, national and local wineries. The Reserve Wine Tasting is held on the lawn of The Inn at Ragged Gardens.  Afterwards, get dressed up for the Kentucky Derby themed "Horses, Hats, and Hooch" to commemorate Blowing Rocks' Charity Horse Show.

Wrap up the festival with Gospel, Grits, and Gravy.  Enjoy a soulful gospel choir, delectable meats, and of course, the southern favorite, biscuits and gravy!

Tickets are now available for all of the events, and some are sure to sell out so act quickly!  Click here for tickets and more information.


March 14, 2018

2018 High Country Spring Events

While some think that it slows down in the High Country after winter sports wind down, there are tons of things to do in the Spring as the flowers start to bloom.  Click on the titles of the events for more information.

Peaks & Stories - April 1

Head to Grandfather Mountain to hear about the unique microsystem of one of the tallest peaks in the High Country.  Learn about the unique flora, fauna, and climate with experts on the mountain.  Designed with children in mind, this is a great event for the whole family.

Tweetsie Grand Opening - April 6

The oldest attraction in North Carolina will be hosting its grand opening for the season the first full weekend of April.  One of the more iconic places to visit, you can ride the last surviving steam engine that traveled the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Rail Road.  Enjoy a western themed show or enjoy one of the rides they have.

First Friday Art Crawl - April 6

A favorite for locals, the First Friday Art Crawl returns on April 6.  Shop, mingle and meet local artists from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at downtown shops and galleries. Enjoy fresh art, lively street performers, and complimentary refreshments. Stay late for music, food, and drinks at one of our many fine restaurants.

39th Annual Blowing Rock Trout Derby - April 7

Blowing Rock hosting its annual trout derby is a signal that spring is in the air and fishing is now open for the season.  Broyhill Lake in downtown Blowing Rock will be stocked with hundreds of fish in the days leading up to the derby, and other local bodies of water are stocked for the season as well. Kids are especially invited to fish at Broyhill Lake, where some of the stocked fish are tagged for special prizes!

Sweeny Todd the Musical - April 14 &15

This tasty, thrilling, theatrical treat by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler has simultaneously shocked, awed and delighted audiences across the world. The show’s Broadway premiere received eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Feb. 28, 2018

Rainy Day Activities in the High Country

Just because it's raining doesn't mean there isn't still plenty to do in the NC High Country!  Enjoy a morning shopping and an afternoon at one of our award winning spas.  Or take the kids out to Linville Caverns, a museum, or gem mining!  For more information, click the titles below.


There are plenty of areas in the High Country to enjoy shopping of all types.  

Downtown Boone

There are several eateries and great shopping. The shopping in downtown Boone ranges from art galleries and local crafts stores to consignment shops.  Be sure to stop by the Mast General Store and visit their candy barrel.  Peruse art from many different artists at art walk.  Every first Friday of the month, enjoy Art Crawl, where shops open their doors for wine tastings and deals on purchases.

Downtown Blowing Rock

In downtown Blowing Rock, you’ll find streets filled with unique boutiques, art, jewelry, antiques and home decor shops. It’s a great place to shop with friends or to do some serious holiday shopping. You’ll also find some great restaurants that provide the perfect opportunity to rest and rejuvenate for…more shopping!

Boone Mall

At the Boone Mall, you are sure to have a great time whether grabbing a bite to eat, or meeting with friends. Fully indoors, you can shop and dine at any of the 26 different stores.

Tanger Outlets on the Parkway

A great outlet shopping area where you can find great deals.  Buy direct from more than 30 brand name manufacturer and designer outlet stores. Shop for bargains among nationally known brands like Banana Republic, Coach, J Crew, and G.H.Bass.

Gem Mining

With several options to choose from in the High Country, gem mining is always an enjoyable family friendly activity.  Pan as they did in the olden days and perhaps even take home something valuable with you!

The Greater Foscoe Company 

The area’s largest and most established gem mine featuring over 24 different types of gemstones.  With indoor and outdoor flumes, your visit will be enjoyable rain or shine. When you've finished mining, they will identify your gemstones and place them on a keepsake gemstone calendar to take with you. If you're interested in having any of your stones cut, you can visit the jewelry store and gallery, Facets, where experienced gem cutters can cut and polish your stones.

Foggy Mountain

Emeralds, sapphires, rubies, aquamarine, tourmaline, garnet, amethyst, citrine, smoky quartz, topaz, and many others are waiting to be discovered! The finest in colored gems from around the world, museum-quality mineral specimens and unique gifts. GIA Certified Graduate Gemologist on staff, appraisal service available. View stones being cut and enjoy indoor winter gem mining. 

Sugar Creek

You will have the chance to choose a bucket of rough stones and with the aid of the expert staff the mine has on hand you and your mining buddies will quickly learn the tricks to prospecting for precious gemstones in a practical and traditional way. The aim of this mining experience is to find a number of gems you feel will be perfectly suited to being cut into shape and used for making your very own piece of jewelry under the roof of the Sugar Creek Gem mine.

Mystery Hill

At Mystery Hill in Blowing Rock, the forces of gravity and popular physics are a little off! You can watch a ball roll uphill or experience water flowing up instead of down! Dating back 50 years, Mystery Hill is a nostalgic High Country attraction that families flock to for its unusual appeal.

The "Mystery House" is where gravity doesn't quite work the way it should. The "Hall of Mystery" gives children the opportunity to try hands-on puzzles and experiments. And Mystery Hill's Appalachian Heritage Museum is a noteworthy, historic 1898 home featuring authentic insight into 19th century life in the mountains.

Visit a Museum or Gallery

Whether you would enjoy viewing great art or learning about our history, there are several museums and galleries to visit.

Blowing Rock Art & History Museum

Experience art and discover history at BRAHM. Located in downtown Blowing Rock, the Museum features year-round exhibits, cultural programs, art workshops, lectures and is home to the annual Art & Antiques Show. Current exhibitions are Romantic Spirits, 19th century paintings of the South from the Johnson Collection; The Sculptor's Voice; and The Picture Man, photographs by Paul Buchanan.

Turchin Center

The largest visual arts center in northwestern North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and southwestern Virginia, the Turchin Center’s exhibits focus on a blend of new and historically important art work. Featured are works of nationally and internationally renowned artists, as well as many of the finest artists of the region.

Visit a Winery

With a great wine trail to guide your way, you can visit several wineries with tastings rooms and enjoy an afternoon tasting.

Grandfather Vineyard 

The terraced mountain vineyard and winery is nestled right on the Watauga River at the base of Grandfather Mountain. They are the first producing winery in Watauga County. Warm breezes during the day and cool, crisp nights help develop the flavors and balance of our wine. With unique wines, enjoy and share with friends.

Banner Elk Winery

Banner Elk Winery is the most acclaimed commercial winery in North Carolina's High Country. Awards received to date in 2013 include two Gold Medals at the 2013 International Eastern Wine Competition for the 2011 Banner Elk Red and 2011 Marechal Foch.  Whether you are interested in a wine tasting, learning more about the art and science of winemaking, or just relaxing with a glass of wine, you can do it all at Banner Elk Winery & Villa.

Linville Falls Winery

This 40 acre vineyard and farm is situated just north of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Linville Gorge in a fertile valley between hills filled with rows of lush, green vines. Our grape varieties include Seyval Blanc, Noiret, Marquette, Petit Verdot, Marechal Foch, and our flagship grape, Riesling, but you'll also find blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, heirloom apples, pumpkins, and Christmas Trees throughout our farm. At an elevation of 3,200 feet, the vines thrive in our mountain climate. Cool nights and low humidity allow our grapes to ripen slow, all the while developing fresh, vibrant flavors, giving way to wonderful wines.

Linville Caverns

Deep inside of Humpback Mountain lie the Linville Caverns, North Carolina's only caverns open for tours. These natural limestone caverns feature stalactite and stalagmite formations and an underground stream. Guided tours (30-40 minutes long) begin at regular intervals. The temperature stays a comfortable 52 degrees F all year, so it's definitely one of our Favorite Spots to Beat the Heat.

Since that time many upgrades to the pathways and lighting system have enhanced the safe touring experience that now exists. Courteous and experienced guides take you into the subterranean world, giving you the history of the caverns and allowing you to view the grand work of nature.

Enjoy a Spa Day

With award wining spa's, treat yourself to a relaxing day of massages and other treatments.

Chetola Resort & Spa

The Spa, which opened in Fall 2009, features a Mission motif with furnishings and décor by Bob Timberlake, Charleston Forge and local artists. Natural sea stones are accent the fireplace and inlays in the maple hardwood floors. The relaxation room invokes an aura of calm as a wall fountain cascades nearby. The Spa offers five treatment rooms (one for couples), a relaxation room, nail treatment area, the Swan Bar with complimentary teas, coffees and housemade granola, and women’s and men’s locker rooms. Adjoining the Spa is the resort's heated

The Spa features a wide variety of services including massage therapies, facials, nail treatments, cosmetic applications and a hair boutique. Whether you are visiting the resort or you live in the area, Chetola’s goal is to assure you of a wonderfully memorable and exhilarating spa experience.

Westglow Resort & Spa

The natural beauty and the crisp clean air of the Blue Ridge Mountains invite you to escape everyday tensions and find yourself refreshed. At Westglow, you may do as much or as little as you like, but you will find it difficult to do anything but relax. The historic manor house and grounds create an atmosphere of comfort and elegance, where our friendly and expert staff will help you unwind from the worries of the world and revive your inner spirit. With a staff to guest ratio of three to one, we attend to every detail to create a memorable stay for each guest. At Westglow, pampering extends beyond our luxury spa treatments to a level of service that turns the spa experience into an art form. 

Westglow has earned numerous accolades including Travel & Leisure Destination Spa, Conde Nest Traveler, and Spa Finder.

Posted in Area Information
Dec. 8, 2017

Elevate Your Winter with High Country Ski & Tube Resorts

Winter is upon us again in the NC High Country, which means it's time to break out the skis/snowboards and hit the snow!  With several resorts to choose from, it can be difficult to decide where to spend the day, so we've picked out a few things about each resort that make them unique.  Click on the titles to visit their websites.

Appalachian Ski Mountain - Most Family Friendly

Appalachian touts its family-friendly vibe, taking pride in its lack of alcohol sales and abundance of ski lessons.  The French Swiss Ski College is one of the best in the state and has taught over a million people how to ski. For beginners, they offer a magic carpet moving sidewalk to take you to the top of the bunny slope.  The slopes themselves are not as steep as other resorts, so it’s perfect for a beginner to get in a longer run without being intimidated.

Beech Mountain Resort - Best Apres Ski Events

Beech Mountain Resort has one of the highest average snowfalls of any of the High Country Resorts, and is a great place to enjoy Apres Ski events such as live music and even a Beer Festival.  Beech Mountain Ski Resort officially opened its doors fifty years ago, ushering in a new era of snow sports activity on one of the highest mountains east of the Mississippi River. As part of this Golden Jubilee year celebration, an exceptional run of shows will be hosted by the resort.  

Take a break from skiing and stop at the state of the art 5,506' Umbrella Bar at the summit of the mountain to enjoy sweeping views of three states.  Enjoy a beer brewed in the village below at the Beech Mountain Brewing Company, or check out the equipment and see beer brewing first hand.

Hawksnest Snowtubing - Largest Snow tubing area on the East Coast

While Sugar and Beech Mountain also have snow tubing available, Hawksnest takes the cake.  The 20-lane snow tubing park features two conveyor lifts and four areas to tube. The lanes are between 400 to 1,000 feet long, and recently Hawksnest invested $200,000 to add more lighting, new snowmaking equipment and a new lane groomer machine.<

Also, don’t forget about the zipline course that runs year round and features 20 cables, four of which are super or mega zips. In all, the zipline course has four miles of riding, reaching more than 200 feet in height and speeds of up to 50 mph.

Sugar Mountain Resort - Most Skiiable Acres & Newest Lift

With 21 trails and 125 skiable acres, Sugar Mountain Resort is the largest of all of the High Country Ski & Tube Resorts.  They also boast the most amount of advanced trails. One of the trails, Whoopdeedoo, holds double black diamond status. It’s possible to ski 1.5 miles on an uninterrupted downhill run at Sugar, a rare find in the region.  Their newest slope, Gunther’s Way, provides challenges for both blue and black level skiers. It’s 150 wide and 2,900 feet long and includes a 700-foot vertical.  With a new state of the art 6 person high speed lift, you can get more runs in on their varied terrain.

Sugar also offers some nice wintry alternatives, such as snowshoeing and ice skating.

Looking to enjoy winter sports in the High Country all winter?  Many residents can see exceptional returns on purchasing a home that can be used for vacation rentals.  For more information about homes available, contact Leslie Eason at 828-406-0828 or LEason@Boone.net.  Feel free to peruse homes for sale in the Appalachian Ski Community, and the towns of Beech Mountain, and Sugar Mountain.  (click titles)

Posted in Area Information
Nov. 29, 2017

2017 High Country Holiday Events

Winter season is one of the most magical times in the NC High Country.  With our small towns draped in lights with the flurries in the air, any one is sure to get into the spirit.  There are light displays, themed markets, events to provide entertainment for those of all ages.  Here are some High Country happenings through out the winter months.  Click the titles for more information.

Festival of Lights at Chetola Resort - Until January 28th
Every year throughout the months of December and January, Chetola Resort hosts a spectacular display of lights winding throughout the resort.  Chetola opens their doors to the public for this free activity.  As you drive or stroll around Chetola Lake, view glittering ice skaters, “Rudolph” reeling in a big fish, strolling carolers and many more captivating holiday scenes.  

Christmas at Tweetsie Railroad - Weekends Throughout December

Visit Santa and ride the only remaining engine from the Eastern Tennessee & Western NC Railroad to enjoy a display of lights. Meet Santa in his own home -- made of gingerbread filled with candied furnishings.  Roast smores over an outdoor fire pit and enjoy freshly baked cookies, warm funnel cakes, and other handmade items from Tweetsie Railroad’s famous Fudge Shop.  Complete your family’s holiday experience by picking out your very own Christmas tree

Holiday Stroll in Blowing Rock - December 8

On Friday, December 8 from 5 to 8pm, local businesses and organizations present an evening of fun surrounded by the twinkling lights of the season.   The Watauga Community Band will be performing in Memorial Park.  Santa will be strolling around town and will be in the Gazebo from 7 pm – 8 pm.  Catch a show by the dancing Snow Belles, or enjoy a showing of Polar Express.  With many participating businesses, it's a great holiday themed event for the whole family.

Yule Log Bonfire & Hayride - December 22

Gather 'round the Ol' Yule Log as we roast marshmallows over an open fire, sip hot cocoa & tour the Top of the Beech by hayride. Dress warm & layer up, it gets chilly up here! Festivities will be held at the Famous Brick Oven Pizzeria's firepit, just across the street from Beech Mountain's Town Hall from 5-6 pm.

Blowing Rock Winterfest - January 25-28

Don't hibernate, Celebrate!  Come celebrate Winter in Blowing Rock with many winter activities to get you in the snow spirit.  Scheduled daily events include WinterFeast on Thursday; the WinterFashion show at lunchtime on Friday; the Polar Plunge, The Speckled Trout Beer Garden at The Inn at Ragged Gardens, Charity Chili Cookoff, Wine Tasting and Auction, ice carving demonstrations, and kids’ activities on Saturday; and the WinterPaws dog show and brunches on Sunday. The new ice skating rink will be open Friday and Saturday.