April 12, 2014 12:00 AM

Boone / Blowing Rock

The lofty burgs of Boone and Blowing Rock are where staying cool in the North Carolina mountains may be easier than anywhere else. The Blue Ridge Parkway soars past resort towns, wineries, spas, Main Street shopping districts, and spectacular hiking trails lead to waterfalls, wildflowers, and rocky, alpine-like summits.

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