Voyaging through the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina? Make your road trip worthwhile by indulging in all the best things to do in Boone, North Carolina. Blessed with hiking trails, ski-slope restaurants, and Appalachian State University, Boone is one of the Tar Heel State’s most surprising travel destinations.
The seat of Watauga County, Boone stands out as the perfect mountain town for travelers with its enjoyable outdoor adventures and rich history. Treat your eyes to the beauty of Daniel Boone Native Gardens. Find yourself lost in the collection of rare flowers, trees, and shrubs across a bog garden, fern garden, and more. Or if you’re visiting Boone in winter, carve the slopes of Beech Mountain Resort, the highest ski resort in the Eastern USA.
Perplexed about what to do in Boone? Unveil the perfect trip itinerary with this comprehensive guide to the best places to visit in Boone, NC.
Got more travel plans on the horizon? Check out all our other attractions guides and our North Carolina Travel Guide for more ideas on where to go, when to visit & what to do!
Best places to visit in Boone, NC
Daniel Boone Native Gardens
Planning to spend some time close to nature? Immerse yourself in the beauty of Daniel Boone Native Gardens. Spread over a 3-acre area, the landscaped garden features an exquisite collection of rare native plants, wildflowers, and shrubs.
Explore hundreds of species of plants and flowers by taking the walkway and visiting various parks within the main garden. The Daniel Boone Native Gardens treat you with a vine-covered arbor, a fern garden, and a big garden where hundreds of plants bloom and enhance its beauty.
For photogenic travelers, the Squire Boone Log Cabin, next to the pond, is an ideal spot. Enjoy sightseeing while sitting beside calm water, snapping the perfect Instagrammable shots.
Hickory Ridge Living History Museum
Interested in unraveling the history of North Carolina? Brace yourself for a time-traveling journey through the late 1700s and 1800s at Hickory Ridge Living History Museum. For history buffs, it’s one of the coolest places to see in Boone, North Carolina.
The Hickory Ridge Living History Museum houses elegant antique original-period cabins that demonstrate the life of explorers. You’ll also learn about the way this young country was formed.
For those who love plays, Horn in the West will surely delight you. The WPA Cabin, built in 1930, is a relaxing spot to chill out, as it’s currently used as a tavern.
At the popular Boone attraction, you’ll get to know about the lifestyle of the early settlers with the stories told by the museum staff.
Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park
If you’re up for a thrilling mountain biking experience in Boone, North Carolina, race towards Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park. The mountain park features a nine-mile trail, serving as a superb getaway for hikers and cyclists.
If you’re an experienced mountain biker, make sure to take the challenging trails of Rocky Knob Park. If you want something less challenging, take the 1.5-mile trail. To chill after cycling or roaming the hiking trail, head to the community shelter in the park.
You can also engage in more activities in the adventure playground of Rocky Knob Park. To keep the travelers from getting lost in the park, there are interactive signages at each intersection.
Laurel Creek Falls
The love for chilling nearby a waterfall is endless for some of us. If you’re one of them, head to Laurel Creek Falls, also known as Trash Can Falls. The small yet refreshing waterfall area can be a perfect spot for your spare time during your North Carolina road trip.
Located 15 minutes away from Boone, Laurel Creek Falls houses a beautiful swimming hole. Hang out and rejuvenate with your family at the top of the falls, where a pool of calm water rests. A small hike will take you to the top of the falls.
Want to experience weird yet interesting phenomena? Head to the Mystery Hill. With its numerous attractions, Mystery Hill is a must-visit destination while exploring Boone, North Carolina.
Bring your kids to Mystery Hill to experience an interesting and mind-bending room where gravity is out of order. Your kids can witness the gravitational anomalies in a fun way, like water and balls going up rather than down.
Next, treat the kids to the Hall of Mystery, testing their minds with interesting concepts of physics. Engage with your kids in group activities like Bubblerama, bull riding, and more.
History buffs visiting Mystery Hill should also carve out time to visit the onsite Moon Mullins Native American Artifact Museum and Dougherty House.
Turtle Island Preserve
To get a glimpse at how our ancestors made the most from limited resources, check out the Turtle Island Preserve. For history fans, the preserve is one of the most interesting places to go in Boone, NC.
The journey into the past begins on the gravel road leading to the remote, wild, hidden valley. At Turtle Island Preserve, you’ll get to see simple handmade structures, primitive living structures, and old-fashioned tools, once used in everyday tasks.
Looking to add to the adventure? Visitors can even partake in activities like building shelters, harvesting gardens, gathering plants, and more.
Moses H. Cone Memorial Park
Searching for historical attractions along the Blue Ridge Parkway? Set your sights on Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. Located near Blowing Rock, the park centers around Cone Manor, a Neocolonial home once belonging to textile magnate Moses H. Cone.
Also known as Flat Top Manor, the 13,000-square-foot Cone Manor houses the Parkway Craft Center. Visit the craft center to explore the creative work of regional artists and witness weaving, embroidery, and woodcarving demonstrations.
Elsewhere in Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, travelers can enjoy fun outdoor activities, including horseback riding, hiking, walking, or biking.
Howards Knob County Park
Want to go off-track and spend some picnic time with your loved ones? Howards Knob County Park is one of the top places to do it around Boone, NC. With the park’s elevation, you’ll enjoy stunning panoramic views of the mountains and valleys.
If you’re up for a break from driving, Howards Knob County Park is an ideal picnic spot. Take the short walking path to get to the small park where you can relax with your family around picnic tables or at the picnic shelter.
When you’re finished with your picnic, walk off your lunch with a leisurely stroll along the park’s mesmerizing trails.
Beech Mountain Resort
To dazzle at beautiful views from the highest ski resort in eastern North America, turn the wheels towards the Beech Mountain Resort. Resting 5,506 feet above sea level, the resort offers plenty of fun activities no matter while season you’re visiting Boone.
In winter, hit the slopes of Beech Mountain Resort to enjoy North Carolina’s best skiing experience. Take your partner on a walk in the charming alpine village, stopping off at restaurants that serve some of the area’s tasty food.
If you’re traveling during the summer months, you can try out mountain biking, golf, and even yoga at this lavish resort.
Traveling with your family to North Carolina? Hop aboard the Tweetsie Railroad to savor some delightful family fun. Located between Boone and Blowing Rock, the family-friendly amusement park offers a ton of fun attractions for visitors young and old.
The Tweetsie Railroad centers around a three-mile ride on an authentic steam locomotive from the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad. On top of the train ride, the park offers several other rides and attractions for the kids, including a carousel, chair lift, and Ferris well.
Fans of Western movies should save time to catch one of the park’s live Wild West-themed shows, featuring everything from bandits to dancers to magic acts.
Want to experience the wilderness of Boone? Turn the car around and head towards Grandfather Mountain. Centered around the highest peak in the eastern Blue Ridge Mountains, the 2,500-acre park teems with hiking trails, leading to sweeping views over the area.
The signature landmark of the Boone landscape, Grandfather Mountain will let you explore the North Carolina wilderness to the fullest. Experience the thrill of hiking on tough trails that’ll challenge you as you walk alongside cliffs and rocky crags.
Along with admiring the biodiversity around Grandfather Mountain, you can dazzle at beautiful views of the stunning landscape from the mile-high swinging bridge.
If you’re interested in overnight hikes, store your tent in your backpack and set up camp in the backcountry lots. (Permits are available at the park’s main trailheads.)
Appalachian Ski Mountain
Venturing through the mountains of Boone between mid-November and late Marc? Pack your skis, ski poles, goggles, and boots and hit the slope at Appalachian Ski Mountain. Located in Watauga County between Boone and Blowing Rock, the popular mountain resort will give you an adrenaline rush that you won’t forget.
With beautiful mountain views to fame your experience, enjoy skiing or snowboarding on any of the resort’s 11 slopes. Besides careening down the hills, you can also engage in other activities at Appalachian Ski Mountain like ice skating or snow tubing.
Need a break from checking out the outside beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains? Get inside one by checking out the Linville Caverns. Located just south of Linville Falls, the subterranean cave network is among the coolest points of interest in Boone.
Join in on a 30-minute guided tour through Linville Caverns to admire its eye-catching stalactites and stalagmites and an underground stream.
The limestone caves are open daily from March to November, and on weekends during the winter months.
Fond of waterfalls and hiking? Linville Falls need to be on top of your list of what to do in Boone. Blessed with pristine water and a refreshing environment, Linville Falls is one of the most photogenic locations in North Carolina, and a must-see for outdoor adventurers.
Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Falls is accessible via two main hiking trails. Both the trails begin at the Linville Falls Visitor Center, meandering through a virgin hemlock forest peppered with pines, oaks, and birch trees. Follow them through to the end to marvel at the 45-foot-high waterfall crashing into the pool below.
Visiting in spring? Charge up your camera to snap pictures of the colorful wildflowers dotting the hiking trails.
Linville Falls Winery
Got a little thirsty exploring Linville Falls? Make a pit stop at Linville Falls Winery, just a mile’s drive and a short hike away from the falls.
One of the best vineyards in North Carolina, Linville Falls Winery is the perfect place to relax after a day of hiking, offering four different wines to choose from.
Besides premium-quality wine, Linville Falls Winery also serves various food options to pair with their delectable wines. On weekends, the vineyard also hosts live music for your listening pleasure.
Up for some concerts and cultural events in Downtown Boone? Head to King Street and witness the art hidden inside the Jonas House. Built in 1908, the historic house is one of the top tourist attractions in Boone, North Carolina.
Gaze at some of the remarkable artwork in the rotating art gallery, Mazie Jones Gallery. The artwork also extends upstairs, where exhibits on the history of Jones House and Boone are showcased.
On top of its artwork, you can tune into the music of the summer Friday concert series, indoor concert series, and Thursday night music jam sessions.
The Jonas House also hosts a music and dance instruction program for children. Remember to take your camera with you to capture all the historic home’s architectural beauty.
Appalachian Mountain Brewery
Looking to relax after a day of sightseeing in Boone? Enjoy some of North Carolina’s best craft beers and ciders at Appalachian Mountain Brewery. Located on Boone Creek Drive near Boone Mall, the brewery tops the list of what to do in Boone, NC, for craft beer lovers.
The Appalachian Mountain Brewery offers everything from classic beers like lagers to sours and saisons. Besides their drinks, you can also order delicious food from the Farm to Flame food truck parked outside the brewery.
Visit the brewery in the evening to enjoy the sounds of live music as you savor your new favorite suds.