Blowing Rock was recently named Prettiest Town in North Carolina by a group of in-state journalists and writers. With a grand setting, quaint village atmosphere, and friendly locals, it’s easy to see why.
The lovely backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains inspires artists of all kinds here in Blowing Rock. Galleries overflowing with unique creations can be found sprinkled throughout downtown. Everything from pottery to painting, jewelry to woodwork, and much more can be found here!
Central Location for Family Fun
Blowing Rock is the perfect base for a sight-seeing family adventure. Numerous attractions await! Grandfather Mountain, Tweetsie Railroad, the Blowing Rock, Mystery Hill, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Falls and more are all just minutes away. Plus, families will be charmed by the quaint, safe village atmosphere. Walk from your lodging room to Memorial Park, the community pool, and various dining and entertainment opportunities.
Girlfriend Getaways to Resorts and Spas
Blowing Rock is home to several world-class resorts and getaways. Try Yonahlossee, Crestwood, or Chetola Resort for enchanting locations, accomodations, and spa amenities. Or maybe Westglow Resort & Spa, rated among the top 10 destination spas in the world by Travel & Leisure.
Art in the Park
A series of art and fine handcraft shows featuring juried artisans. Now in its 45th year, Art in the Park features 100 exhibitors in each of six shows May through October. Work includes: painting (oil, watercolor and acrylic), etching, stained and blown glass, basketry, wood carving and turning, clay, photography, fiber, jewelry and more. One of the biggest events of the year, the shows are anticipated by locals and visitors alike. It takes lots of planning, too, and it would be worth taking a look behind the scenes.
Complete with a Chili Cook-off and the Polar Plunge in Chetola Lake, Blowing Rock's Winterfest is one of the largest winter events in the High Country. Hot chocolate tastes better at the end of a fun, activity filled winter day!
Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival
Recently named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society, the Blue Ridge Wine and Food festival delights visitors each year. The festival features wines from several North Carolina vineyards, as well as an impressive domestic and international collection. Tastings, seminars, winemaker dinners and more are part of the offerings. The Fire on the Rock Chef Challenge also wraps up during the festival.
Fire on the Rock
The Fire on the Rock Chef Challenge is a competition that tests the culinary prowess of local chefs to see who deserves the title of 'Best Chef.' The Fire on the Rock Preliminaries run through February and March. Diners rate dishes from competing chefs in a blind six-course meal, and the top competitors go on to compete during the Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival. It has become the ultimate spectator sport for local foodies, and chefs relish the chance to compete and win!
Small-Town Festivals and Annual Events
Blowing Rock hosts an impressive array of gatherings, performances, and festivals each year. With such summer staples as Concerts in the Park, the Monday Night Concert Series, and Art in the Park, visitors and locals alike can always find something to do. Holidays are celebrated in style here as well, with a 4th of July Festival & Parade, the Monster March for Halloween, and Christmas in the Park & Lighting of the Town. Locals make these holiday festivals great, taking part in parades and celebration.
Location is everything when it comes to the variety of outdoor adventure Blowing Rock offers. The spring, summer, and fall seasons bring athletes of all kinds to our spot in the Blue Ridge. Hiking comes to mind, of course, but it really is in our backyard: Glen Burney Trail is a stone's throw from Main Street, descending 800 feet into John's River Gorge, following the course of New Year's Creek and three substantial waterfalls. And one can't forget the Blue Ridge Parkway, offering scenic parks, more beautiful trails and amazing views. The Parkway is also a favorite route for road bikers. Blowing Rock Boulders is a favorite for rock climbers. Caving expeditions can be arranged with one of the many area adventure guide companies. Whitewater rafting and kayaking are available, too, on the Watauga River, Nolichucky River, and Wilson's Creek. If rafting isn't your thing, try tubing, a favorite on some of the gentler sections of the New and Watauga Rivers. The fishing is great, too! Winter in Blowing Rock brings fantastic skiing and snowboarding. Take your pick of four area ski and winter sport resorts, each possessing its own personality and approach to winter fun. Opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating and snow tubing abound as well.
Plenty of slopes can be found here, offering skiing and snowboarding, as well as lessons for both. Appalachian Ski Mountain is less than 5 miles from Blowing Rock, with Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain nearby.
Tweetsie is North Carolina's first theme park. Offering rides, shows, and fun, the park is home to engine number 12, a locomotive that used to run the narrow-gauge rail lines from Johnson City, TN, to Cranberry, NC. No. 190 is the park's second antique steam engine, from Alaska. The park also operates its own Steam Locomotive Shop, which maintains and restores other vintage engines from around the country, as well as the two found in the park.
At Home in Mitford
Jan Karon once called Blowing Rock home, at the time she began writing the "Mitford" series of best-selling books. There are many landmarks and places within the village of Blowing Rock that personify descriptions in Karon's stories. This leads many to believe that Blowing Rock is Mitford. Mitford Days was a one-time festival that celebrated this conviction. Jan Karon made several appearances, and visitors were able to tour the town in a search for Mitford locations (which were noted for them, of course). This festival evoked a huge response from Karon's fans. Blowing Rock continues to inspire fans of the Mitford series today.
Blowing Rock is home to many unique restaurants, offering everything from noisy, fun barbeque havens to amazing 5-star dining. Area chefs have been noted countless times for their cuisine. Awards like Best Dish in NC 2006 are testament to the skill and creativity of our culinary experts (and we have more finalists for Best Dish this year).