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Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Perched on the crown of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, is located in Watauga County and is considered part of the “High Country” of Western North Carolina. The town gets its name from a jutting rock formation that overlooks the Johns River Gorge. It was incorporated in 1889 and quickly attracted many visitors to the area. The town soon became a must-see mountain town in the High Country.

Downtown Blowing Rock is about as charming as you would imagine a small mountain town could be! Main Street offers plenty to do, including restaurants, galleries, gift shops with local pottery, and other shops with crafted art from local artisans, boutiques, and more.

Memorial Park is in downtown Blowing Rock with green space, a playground, and home to many events for the small town. Top events include WinterFest, Christmas Parade and Town Lighting, Art in the Park, Concerts in the Park, and the 4th of July Parade Farmer’s Market.

History in Tourism

Watauga Hotel was Blowing Rock’s first hotel built in 1888, and it built several cottages to house tourists to the area. One of the original cottages still stands today and is a museum emphasizing Blowing Rock’s long history of supporting tourism. You can visit the 188 Museum on the south end of Memorial Park.

In 1891, the historic Green Park Inn opened, featuring 60 guest rooms furnished with fireplaces, running water, and electric bell alarms. Notable past guests include John B. Rockefeller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Mitchell, and many more. You can stay at the Green Park Inn today!

You’ll find lots to do nearby, including hiking trails, waterfalls, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian Ski Mountain for skiing and snowboarding. Blowing Rock is a great place for a weekend getaway or day trip.

Blowing Rock

The Blowing Rock

The town of Blowing Rock gets its name from a jutting rock formation that overlooks the Johns River Gorge. The actual Blowing Rock is located in the southern portion of the town in Caldwell County. Wind currents from the gorge can carry a vertical shoot upward and have been known to “float” light objects upward. The legend behind the Blowing Rock tells the story of two lovers from opposing tribes (Cherokee and Catawba Native American tribes) fighting over the area. 

The man was called to battle to fight his lover’s tribe. The woman did not want him to go into battle, and the man became so conflicted that he threw himself off the rock. The woman prayed for her lover to be returned, and legend has it that a gust of wind blew the man back up to the rock. Today, the Blowing Rock is an attraction for visitors and offers incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Other small towns near Blowing Rock include Boone, Banner Elk, Valle Crucis, and Linville. The visitor center is located at 132 Park Avenue, Blowing Rock, NC 28605.

Blowing Rock Art and History Museum

Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM)

BRAHM features an impressive exhibit featuring the art and heritage of Blowing Rock, as well as rotating contemporary art exhibits. From the simple idea of creating a community museum that celebrated the life and work of a single famous local artist, Elliott Daingerfield, the idea behind BRAHM expanded into exciting the imaginations of all who have allowed themselves to be caught up in it. October 2021 marked 10 years of BRAHM serving the High Country! Visit their website for more information.
 

Places To Stay

  • Blowing Rock Hotel
  • Green Park Inn
  • Chetola Resort


Food & Drink

  • Bistro Roca and Antler Bar
  • The Speckled Trout
  • High Country Wine Trail
  • Blowing Rock Brewery and Ale House Restaurant 
  • Best Cellar 
  • Bistro Roca and Antler Bar
  • The Speckled Trout

Rough Ridge

(1.5 to 8 miles round-trip, moderate to strenuous) This unique hike offers plenty of breathtaking viewpoints and a wooden boardwalk over fragile vegetation. The Tanawha Trail features many rock… read more

(1.5 to 8 miles round-trip, moderate to strenuous) This unique hike offers plenty of breathtaking viewpoints and a wooden boardwalk over fragile vegetation. The Tanawha Trail features many rock outcrops to enjoy sweeping mountain panoramas. Turn around at any time or continue the trail to Beacon Heights (4 miles). Milepost 302.8 Blue Ridge Parkway.

Elk River Falls

Located near Beech Mountain and Banner Elk is a 50-ft. waterfall that cascades over a rock cliff into a picturesque oval pool. Just below the pool is a popular summer spot for swimming and sunning… read more

Located near Beech Mountain and Banner Elk is a 50-ft. waterfall that cascades over a rock cliff into a picturesque oval pool. Just below the pool is a popular summer spot for swimming and sunning on the rocks. Formerly called Big Falls, it's in Pisgah National Forest and reached via a short walk.

Grandfather Mountain

Don’t miss the views that can be seen from Grandfather Mountain, which at 5,946 ft’ is one of the highest peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountain range. Grandfather Mountain State Park encompasses 2,456-… read more

Don’t miss the views that can be seen from Grandfather Mountain, which at 5,946 ft’ is one of the highest peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountain range. Grandfather Mountain State Park encompasses 2,456-acres of wilderness to explore. If you are staying in Asheville, 70 miles from Asheville, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

 

Tweetsie Railroad, Boone

Tweetsie Railroad has been the High Country's premier family fun park for over 70 years! This Wild West family theme park features a three-mile, steam-powered train ride through the mountains,… read more

Tweetsie Railroad has been the High Country's premier family fun park for over 70 years! This Wild West family theme park features a three-mile, steam-powered train ride through the mountains, along with shopping, live entertainment, amusement rides, and a petting zoo. Tweetsie also features seasonal favorites like the Ghost Train Halloween Festival and Tweetsie Christmas. The steam engine #12…

The Blowing Rock

The Blowing Rock's dramatic views have been enjoyed from this cliffside perch since 1933 as North Carolina's oldest travel attraction. An immense cliff 4,000 feet above sea level, the Blowing Rock… read more

The Blowing Rock's dramatic views have been enjoyed from this cliffside perch since 1933 as North Carolina's oldest travel attraction. An immense cliff 4,000 feet above sea level, the Blowing Rock gets its name due to a flume where the wind blows through, which is formed by the overhanging Johns River Gorge 3,000 feet below.

Free

Blowing Rock WinterFest

Jan 25, 2024 - Jan 28, 2024

Blowing Rock WinterFest debuted in January 1998. Since then, events have been added, including wine tasting, ice carving demonstrations, live music, and an adorable dog show called WinterPaws. Not… read more

Blowing Rock WinterFest debuted in January 1998. Since then, events have been added, including wine tasting, ice carving demonstrations, live music, and an adorable dog show called WinterPaws. Not only is WinterFest a blast, it has raised thousands of dollars to help various charitable causes. Don’t hibernate. Celebrate winter in Blowing Rock! 

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Spring Art in the Park, Blowing Rock

May 20, 2023 - Jun 10, 2023 - Aug 12, 2023 - Sep 09, 2023 - Oct 07, 2023

Art in the Park in Blowing Rock, NC, hosts dozens of fine art and handcraft vendors at each show. Some of the best local and regional artists and craftspeople showcase their handcrafted jewelry,… read more

Art in the Park in Blowing Rock, NC, hosts dozens of fine art and handcraft vendors at each show. Some of the best local and regional artists and craftspeople showcase their handcrafted jewelry, pottery, fiber, glass, photography, painting, and more. 10 AM – 5 PM

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Fireworks Extravaganza at Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock

Jul 04, 2023

Enjoy this top fireworks show in the High Country of Boone, NC! The Wild West theme park will be open for extended hours on July 4 from 10 AM to 9 PM. Fireworks are at 9:30 PM.

Enjoy this top fireworks show in the High Country of Boone, NC! The Wild West theme park will be open for extended hours on July 4 from 10 AM to 9 PM. Fireworks are at 9:30 PM.

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