6.04.2012

Why Picturesque Blowing Rock, N.C. Is a Must-Visit Town

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, a quick exit off the Blue Ridge Parkway, is one of my state’s most charming and quaint towns. At least that is my opinion.

Picturesque Blowing Rock, N.C.
Blowing Rock, North Carolina 

Aside from the snow in the winter, I think I could live here.  A lot of people feel as I do. The town’s population swells from 1,500 to 8,000 in the summer months.   When we visited in May, the town was bustling with activity.

There’s a lot for city folks to love about this affluent mountain town without the pretense.
Dogs can walk with their owners, and children can play in an awesome park right in the middle of the town square.
My children loved this park right in the middle of town. 

Eating homemade ice cream is a must-do on Main Street.  It’s fun to people watch and enjoy the atmosphere.

ice cream on main street in Blowing Rock, N.C.


charming shops in Blowing Rock, N.C.
Shopping is grand in Blowing Rock

The upscale boutique shopping is grand, and so is the outlet shopping. It is shop after shop.Your credit card will certainly get a workout if you are a shopper. But carrying those unique shopping bags is when life gets good.  Right?

Life is good.


Blowing Rock is also a haven for art galleries and artists. From May to October, the town hosts six shows called “Art in the Park.”  One hundred exhibitors showcase works of art from paintings to jewelry to pottery for one Saturday each month.  Well-known North Carolina artist and craftsman Bob Timberlake also has a gallery on Main Street in his typical arts-and-craftsman style.


Enjoying the beautiful area outside the Bob Timberlake Gallery


For foodies, Blowing Rock is an epicurean adventure. It has some of the best restaurants in North Carolina, from five-star delights like Crippen’s Country Inn to down-home favorites like Woodlands BBQ.

On this trip, I met up with blogger Mandi McClure’s family and had dinner at the locally owned Woodlands.  And just a quick note: If you are a fried-okra fan, order it.  It’s delicious.

We ate at Woodlands BBQ for dinner

Blowing Rock is also home to the Relais and Chateaux Inn, TheWestGlow Resort and Spa, which was named by Travel and Leisure Magazine as the “Number 2 Destination Spa in the World.”  That’s quite an honor.  With kids in tow, I didn’t get a chance to visit the Inn this time, but you can bet it’s on my list for another time.

And, of course, kids who come to Blowing Rock, North Carolina, love to visit Tweetsie Railroad, a scenic Wild West theme park featuring a three-mile, steam-powered train ride through the North Carolina mountains.



My kids loved Tweetsie, and I’ll share that fun adventure on another day.  But I want to show you one more photo to showcase this town’s beauty.  The churches are gorgeous.  This is the Episcopal church in town.  Can’t you just imagine a wedding here?


Church in Blowing Rock, N.C.
Visit http://www.blowingrock.com/ to learn more about this town. 


Where We Stayed on Our Trip:

While exploring Watauga County, my family was a guest of The Mast Farm Inn in Valle Crucis, North Carolina, which is an easy, 30-minute drive to Blowing Rock.  You can learn more about this exceptional and luxurious Inn in my “Pack Your Bags” post for this month.  

Mast Farm in Valle Crucis, N.C.
Interior of our cabin at The Mast Farm Inn 


The Mast Farm Inn, being quite popular on weekends, was booked on one of the nights we were in town. After reading many reviews, I felt the brand new Courtyard Marriott in Boone, North Carolina, about three miles from Tweetsie Railroad, was an excellent family choice.  Built this January, it gives guests a modern luxury, boutique-type stay.  My kids loved the pool, and I think the outdoor fire pit area of the hotel is a great amenity.

Courtyard marriott in Boone, N.C.
The Courtyard Marriott is located in Boone, NC 






My thanks to The Mast Farm Inn, located in Valle Crucis, for being the main sponsor for my trip to Watauga County.  The Courtyard Marriott Boone also helped sponsor my trip and gave my family a discount on our lodging.






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