Looking for the best things to do in Blowing Rock NC? Then you’ve come to the right place!
“The only heaven on Earth where snow falls upside down…” Yes, Blowing Rock is the exact place that furnishes and provides a unique experience of anti-gravity adventures!
This place has been one of North Carolina’s most-visited travel attractions, existing gloriously since 1933.
From the top of Blowing Rock’s astonishing position, you not only witness the picturesque landscape and the prosperous greenery beneath, but you can also savor Table Rock’s outlook and the Hawksbill Mountain from up here.
Blowing Rock is positioned 4000 feet above sea level. Just imagine the panorama you observe upon reaching the elevation. Also, just 3000 ft. below, a deep, narrow valley provides space for the James River to flow.
Table of Contents
It’s a Kind of Magic
My first experience inside the mystery hill was bewildering. Defying the gravitational pull and watching things resurface upwards was scientifically magical.
Due to the natural geological architecture, air current flows strongly to the upper side of this place. This upside current throws some of the light-weighted stuff back when tossed downside; thus, bestowing magic to this place.
Blowing Rock town is a genie; whatever you wish for, you will get it then and there. The diversity of shopping hubs and markets stand with pride, selling beautiful handcrafted clothes, authentic art, delicious foods, jewelry, shoes, boutiques, and so much more.
On a breezy evening, you can stroll around the classic High Country Wine trails, Downtown, and enjoy feasting with your people in local restaurants with an old-school ambiance.
Not only will Blowing Rock blow your mind, but it will also give you a lifetime’s worth of experience. Here are some of the places to visit in the town and things to do in Blowing Rock that I go for!
Moses H. Cone Memorial Park
Blue Ridge Parkway // +18282953782
Moses H. Cone Memorial Park was built in 1901 by Moses H. Cone and his wife, Bertha. The avenue houses around 3500 acres of country estates and exquisite panoramas. Flat Top Manor, aka the Moses Manor, has a grand Colonial Revival style architecture consisting of about 23 king-size rooms.
You might be lost exploring this beauty, both literally and metaphorically.
The mansion’s owner, Moses Cone, was a great entrepreneur and a conservationist. He dedicated his life to developing beautiful natural lakes and planting millions of apple orchards and other trees.
During my visit, I also came across handmade crafts and local arts in this Manor. You can purchase souvenirs from the local store. They are exquisite.
MHCM park leads to various trails with beautiful scenic surroundings. Don’t forget to explore the mansion and the nearby locality through horseback riding, horseback carriage, hiking, or just strolling around with your pets.
Trails in Blowing Rock
- China Creek Trail: It’s a longer route, traveling 8.4 kilometers of the path. China Creek is quite a meditative place when hiking alone – nature heals and talks to you through birds, wind, trees, rivers, etc.
Don’t be surprised by the breathtaking view that runs along the trail – waterfall, forest, wildlife, and wild fauna. The track doesn’t witness much traffic, so feel free to explore. And heal.
- Trout Lake Loop Trail: This trail is famous for morning walks and jogging sessions early in the dawn. It’s a small hike covering one mile of twisted turns and a massive lake at the end. As a rookie fishing enthusiast, I enjoyed fishing for quite a while at the destination.
- Rich Mountain Carriage Trail: It broadly extends to ten kilometers. Rich Mountain CarriageTtrail is moderately popular, but the crowd is often cheerful, and the scenery is always breathtaking. The hike is famous for horse riding, hiking, and cross-country skiing.
- Bass Lake to Maze is a loop trail of about 8.1 kilometers; hiking is easy and lushly occupied in this area. It’s a pleasant trip to spend time with your pet.
300 Tweetsie Railroad Ln. // +18282649061
This railroad is a massive amusement park situated between Blowing Rock and Boone offering various vintage rides, flights, ghost tours, and events. Tweetsie railroad covers 200 acres of fun space where you explore history and events.
While in the park, take the popular 3.5 miles railroad trip in an old-generation steam locomotive – the ride will take you back to older, historical times. Not only the railroad trips, but this place also offers a zoo, live shows, and classic leisure rides.
Oh, wait! I almost forgot – test how brave and what a daredevil you are with the spooky ride in the Ghost Train (Halloween-themed train ride).
Tweetsie Railroad offers various amusement rides, including a Ferris Wheel and Chairlift to Miner’s Mountain. These two beautiful rides present the soothing scenery of the park, the limitless greenery beneath, and the fierce mountains.
Other rides that I dearly enjoyed were Tilt-a-Wheel, Tornado, Round-up, and Free-Fall.
Things to Do in Blowing Rock NC In Winter
Appalachian Ski Mountain
940 Ski Mountain Rd // +18282957828
Skiing is a dance, and the mountain always leads – Unknown
Initially started in the winter of 1962, Appalachian Ski Mountain is now one of the most popular locations in Blowing Rock.
ASM’s the first-ever ski region in the town and provides a massive 46000 sq. ft. lodging area for skiing, chair lifting, sightseeing, and lodging.
As an intermediate skier, my experience was surreal. You fly with the wind and reach a speed that calls upon freedom, exhilaration, and healing.
Whether you are a beginner, an intermediate, or a pro, the high hills have skiing slopes and run for every individual. This place provides twelve bumpy trails to ski away on your vacation.
There are many reasons why I enjoyed my visit to Appalachian Ski Mountain. The unique method of producing artificial snow was bewildering and, of course, a night blast!
Not many facilities/cities will provide a night skiing experience, but if you want to encounter snow, speed, and skiing at night, ASM’s in Blowing Rock is your answer.
I have always been a night enthusiast and admirer. The night blast at Appalachian Ski Mountain was a soothing experience. To witness snow-capped mountains at such an elevation was everything! If you are an adventurous traveler, you must encounter night skiing once in your lifetime!
While snowmaking is not a new concept, watching it come to life was a unique experience for me.
Appalachian Ski Mountain also offers rental shops, restaurants, ski marts, and an outdoor ice skating hall.
With such a place situated between the mountains, landscapes, and fauna, skiing here is a must-do thing.
The locals have celebrated Winterfest since 1998 in the town.
Winterfest is an annual event in Blowing Rock. It is one of the most popular fiestas for the residents and tourists.
Around 3,500 visitors attend this fest every single year. It is a four-day event that holds various local stores for shopping, exhibitions, live music sessions, and games to enjoy.
Beautiful and funny Ice statues decorate the city at every corner. Once the sun takes a dip, all these sculptures glow with beautiful fairy lights. During the winter (January), the four-day event blossoms with live music, food booths, wine tasting stalls, games, and much more.
Some popular shows that I witnessed at Blowing Rock’s Winterfest were the Winter Fashion Show, snow and ice carving structures, and my personal favorite, the Polar Bear Plunge. This fest is a perfect chance to enjoy Blowing Rock’s culture and the city as a whole.
Blowing Rock Art and History Museum
159 Ginny Stevens Ln, Blowing Rock // +18282959099
There is no place better than a museum to learn about the region’s specific history, culture, and art. BRAHM is a museum nestled in the Appalachian Mountains and has been public since 2011.
It’s a cultural community hub that supports the art of local artists. Visit the destination to get acquainted with Blowing Rock’s extensive history and learn about its rich culture, lifestyle, ancestors, and heritage.
This place also offers various workshops, events, and exhibitions for people keen to learn about art and the ancestry of things.
The Blowing Rock History and Art Museum costs nothing; it is free for guests. BRAHM’s sole aim is to connect more people to art and history through pottery, paintings, unique artifacts, and educational events.
Top Kid-Friendly Things To Do In Blowing Rock NC
129 Mystery Hill Ln // +18282642792
“Hang in there!” That’s what people say after exiting Mystery Hill in Blowing Rocks.
Mystery Hill is a vast facility rendering various fun activities, anti-gravity experiences, a cozy art museum, outdoor activities, a hall of mystery, bull-riding, etc.
The Natural Gravitational Anomaly room will have you forget gravity and enjoy being so light. Not just the anti-gravity effects, this place stocks multiple things to do with science, too, including the bubblerama, gem mining, optical illusions, and other fun stuff.
Mystery Hill is a family-oriented place serving a memorable time to visitors for the last 70 years. The gravity vortex is the most famous attraction for visitors, myself included.
My day at Mystery Hill was filled with fun and science, as if reliving childhood. Whether riding the bull, crossing the river barefoot, or simply defying gravity, everything screamed entertainment!
- Natural Gravitational Anomaly: It’s no surprise that I wanted to defy gravity and feel what it feels. It was surreal! The anomaly attracts around 70,000 visitors every year.
You will witness water flowing in an upward direction or balls rolling upwards. I was naturally positioned at a 45 degrees angle in the room without any external force, like a Michael Jackson “Dangerous” move.
- Hall of Mystery: The room offers mind-blowing optical illusions. It can also make shadows disappear. You can fly in this room, too. So, make sure to visit Mystery Hill and Blowing Rock to have a nature-bending experience.
- Professor Finnegan’s Old-Time Photos: Head back in time without a time machine. How? Well, Mr. Finnegan will help you with it. Just grab any old costume, choose a backdrop or a green screen, and click the most memorable photos with your family/friends/partners.
Also, this place provides other outdoor activities too. It’s a must-go treat in North Carolina.
High Gravity Adventures – Ziplines
215 Tweetsie Railroad Ln. // +18283838823
Fact Alert: North Carolina holds ”the most significant number of zip lines in the world” record.
High Gravity Adventures will indeed conform to significant courageous tasks that will give you an adrenaline rush and thrill to the spine. Enjoy the different obstacles, including zip lines, sky swings, and climbing puzzles at the avenue.
After zip-lining, I also enjoyed climbing at the Blue Ridge Course with over 65+ rope directions. The whole set-up stands tall in the Aerial Adventure Park.
Their automatic brakes will allow you to enjoy the scenery at around 1700 ft. without any difficulties. Once high in the sky, vouch for Blowing Rock’s beauty and panoramic nature for two hours straight.
High Gravity Adventures in Blowing Rock also has a unique 70 ft. tall endzone to provide safer landing. The HGA also serves mountain climbing with the newest and safest technology, so what are you waiting for? Let’s plan a mission!
Cheap Things To Do In Blowing Rock In Summer
Glen Burney Trail
Glen Burney Trail is situated in the center of Blowing Rock and is called the city’s heart. The trail covers 33 acres of land on foot. It is famous among individuals who enjoy hiking and early morning walks. The locals also call Glen Burney Trail a gem of the High Country.
“The danger of adventure is worth a thousand days of ease and comfort.” ― Paulo Coelho
The Glen Burney Trail covers a whopping distance of 3.4 miles. The overall ruins, 600 ft. highland elevation gain, and slippery tracks add a dangerous twist to this trail. With adventure at every curve, make sure you are fully prepared for this slick and edgy hike.
Despite the scary route, the Glen Burney trail presents amazing flora and fauna throughout the journey. The strenuous hike finishes with three glorious waterfalls. They looked divine during the rainy season.
Start your journey from the Annie Cannon Gardens, a path blessed with beautiful flowers and downhill steps. This garden is a perfect space for an early morning breakfast or a quick picnic break after returning from the strenuous hike.
Broyhill Park is situated downtown in Blowing Rock. A beautiful haven surrounded by vibrant flowers, an intoxicating aroma, and an antic gazebo. Broyhill Park is the perfect destination for family picnics and romantic date nights.
Spend the night at Broyhill Park with your partner, beside the lake, and under a romantic gazebo.
This park provides a sidewalk to the lake, paved paths with scenic beauty, and a fishing dock to enjoy sunny fishing sessions. You can feed the ducks and relax near the lake.
Once your Blowing Rock trip comes to an end, visit Broyhill Park to embrace the town’s beauty and essence. It’s a soothing and healing spot to visit before you go back home.
Winding Up Top Things To Try In Blowing Rock NC
In conclusion, I would say that Blowing Rock is undoubtedly one of those places where you can fulfill your adventures’ bucket list. If you mostly enjoy a happy crowd, the busiest months to go to Blowing Rock would be October, June, and February.
Whether you visit the town in December or January, fun and joy never seem to cease. It’s a year-round party in the city.
While touring the city, don’t forget to choose small souvenirs for your family and friends. There are multiple shops for handmade jewelry and local handcrafted arts. Along with unique attractions, Blowing Rock also has a fantastic dining scene with classic restaurants and street food.
The dramatic outline of this place invites people to organize their vibrant weddings and other occasions.
Here are all the things to do in Blowing Rock that I dearly enjoyed. Add the destination to your traveling list, and you’ll enjoy it just as much as I did! If I get the chance, I’ll revisit the town with my family.
Visiting other cities in North Carolina? Check out our foodie guides to the following cities:
- 13 Must-Try Restaurants In Mooresville
- 9 Best Blowing Rock Restaurants
- 8 Must-Try Outer Banks NC Restaurants
- The Best Chapel Hill Restaurants NC
- 11 Best Things To Do In Chapel Hill
- 10 Must-Try Manteo Restaurants, North Carolina
Which of these Blowing Rock NC things to do most interest you? Let us know in the comments section below!
Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever