Quite often, the only draw necessary for a drive in the mountains is the beautiful, awe-inspiring views. Blowing Rock, where alluring scenic views are plentiful, more than lives up to this ideal. This little mountain town has big appeal. Brimming with quintessential charm, Main Street is filled with quaint shops and restaurants. So come on up to enjoy North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, a little culture, and a lot of fun.
Moses Cone Memorial Park
Along the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 294, explore the country estate that once belonged to Moses Cone, known as the Denim King. The historic mansion is now the home of the Parkway Craft Center, which houses homemade crafts by Southern Appalachian craftspeople. You might get to observe a local artist demonstrating their craft on the front porch of the Manor. Don’t miss the impressive view of the surrounding countryside from the back porch. On foot, you can meander along carriage trails to get closer to nature.
Julian Price Park
Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 297, Julian Price Park is an ideal spot for a relaxing picnic by a bubbling mountain stream. Set in gently rolling hills, there are 100 picnic sites among hemlock, white pine, and birch trees. It’s a popular place, so come early to claim your spot. After lunch, take a walk along one of the trails or hike around Price Lake.
The Blowing Rock
Stop by North Carolina’s oldest travel attraction, The Blowing Rock – an immense cliff overhanging Johns River Gorge 3,000 feet below. It’s a vast, breathtaking view that will make you stare for a while. A self-guided walk along the trail will take you by The Blowing Rock Formation, observation tower, and a small garden waterfall. A family can complete the trail within 20 – 30 minutes or longer, depending on how much you want to admire the beautiful surroundings.
In the center of downtown Blowing Rock, Memorial Park is a gathering place for many to enjoy a beautiful green space. It’s a great outlet for kids to burn off some energy while parents can relax on a park bench shaded by towering trees. Numerous swings, play sets, and a low climbing wall are among the kids’ favorites. An ice cream shop can be found just steps away on Main Street.
Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM)
Opened in 2011, BRAHM celebrates local art and culture throughout six galleries, a theater, and education center. BRAHM offers 30-minute art tours, which is a perfect amount of time for kids’ attention spans. Don’t forget to take a walk through the outdoor sculpture garden.
A must-do family favorite attraction is Tweetsie Railroad. A Wild West theme park filled with a must-ride train adventure, live shows, and classic rides, gem mining, and more. Take a ride on a historic coal-fired steam locomotive. On the three mile journey, you will be transported back into time through an action-packed adventure. Gun-slinging outlaws encounter Indians and the local sheriff. Inside Tweetsie Palace Saloon, Diamond Lil’s Can-Can Revue showcases Can-Can dancers with high kick dance moves and amusing antics. Get your toes tapping to Tweetsie Country Clogging Jamboree or watch Tweetsie’s mascots, Hooper and Porter on their own stage show.
Art In The Park
A series of juried art shows from local and regional artists take over Wallingford Street one Saturday each month from May to October. Art in the Park is an annual event which draws many people, but shuttle buses run on a 30 minute round trip from Food Lion Shopping Center and Tanger Outlet to Wallingford Street. Upcoming dates are May 17, June 14, July 19, Aug 16, Sept 6, and Oct 4.
For more information, go to blowingrock.com.