Boone, North Carolina is the perfect town for a weekend getaway! This little mountain town holds a special place in my heart because it’s actually where my husband and I got engaged in 2018. Since then, we’ve been back a handful of times and never get tired of everything Boone has to offer. From the large university presence to the number of local breweries and restaurants to support, Boone is just straight up fun. With its location in the Appalachian mountains, it is an outdoor adventurers paradise. Hike one of the many trails or kayak on the Watauga River then cozy up at the Chetola Resort in nearby Blowing Rock. In this post, you’ll see why Boone is the best weekend getaway and discover the best places to stay, to eat, and what to do on your visit. From here, you’ll be able to craft the perfect Boone weekend itinerary.
Let’s jump in!
Table of Contents
Boone is a quaint, cozy mountain-slash-college town located in western North Carolina. The town has a population of about 18,000. But Boone also has a decent sized university that brings about 20,000 students during the academic year. Located just 30 minutes from Grandfather Mountain State Park, Boone hosts several thousand visitors each year that come to enjoy the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and adorable town.
While it is a small town, what it lacks in size, Boone makes up for with lots and lots of character. In the downtown, you can find amazing antique shops, boutiques, craft breweries, and amazing restaurants. For the outdoor adventurers, head just outside of town to find some of the best hiking in NC, white water rafting, or skiing. There’s truly something for everyone to enjoy!
When to visit Boone
Boone enjoys a moderate climate with a true distinction of all four seasons. Due to its elevation, you may find a few more snow showers than you will in the piedmont area of North Carolina and more mild summers with *slightly* less humidity than the eastern part of the state. When you visit depends on what you’re looking to experience.
Ready to enjoy the Watauga River and do some hiking? Summers are hot and sticky but certainly bearable. You’ll see Blue Ridge Mountains in full bright-green display and meet lots of other hikers looking to find adventure during the summer. During spring, the weather is cool and the higher elevation hikes might still be thawing out. See the trees and flowers in bloom and spend plenty of time in the sunshine!
Fall is really where Boone and the Blue Ridge Mountains shine! Come during peak leaf season to marvel at the bright oranges, reds, and yellows of the trees. Hiking is at its best during the fall and everyone is soaking up the last bit of warmth before winter! In the winter, people head to Boone to cozy up in a cabin and enjoy a hot tub. There’s even a few ski mountains in the area. Don’t be fooled–Boone definitely doesn’t get as much snow as Colorado or Vermont, but you can expect a few snow storms. If you choose to go skiing, much of the snow will be artificial but still enjoyable!
Where to stay in Boone
Being a college town, there is no shortage of Hiltons and Marriott Courtyards but you know that’s just not my style! I love to stay somewhere unique and support local when I can if I’m visiting a new place. I searched high and low for some of the best unique hotels and stays in Boone, North Carolina. Here are a few of my favorites.
The Horton: the best (and only!) boutique hotel in downtown Boone
Chetola Resort: located just outside of the town itself, you’ll enjoy secluded mountainside luxury here
Book with me to receive daily breakfast for 2, a room upgrade, a hotel credit, and early check in/late check out (if available). Inquire here and choose Ashley Rice as your advisor.
Banner Elk Winery: stay ON a winery?! Don’t mind if I do!
Wooded Wanderlust Cabin: a short term rental best for groups of up to 10 located just 25 minutes from downtown Boone
Read more about the best places to stay in Boone in this post.
Need help with your Boone weekend itinerary?!
Hi, I’m Ashley and I’m a professional travel advisor. I LOVE planning trips for the young professional that is just too busy but wants to get away. Whether you want to go on a week long tropical getaway or just create your own Boone weekend itinerary… I got your back! I’ll plan your whole trip and get you perks you can’t get by doing it yourself. Take the stress of travel away and book with me. Enter your email below to get started.
What to eat in Boone
Maybe not known for its food scene, but Boone definitely doesn’t lack in the food department! From Southern cooking to fine dining, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Boone.
CoBo Sushi Bistro & Bar: Some of the best sushi I’ve had… and I’ve had plenty! While many sushi restaurants don’t stick out in my mind, I have a strong memory of how much I enjoyed CoBo!
Boone Bagelry: Who doesn’t love a breakfast bagel? Located just across the street from App State, Boone Bagelry serves up classic breakfast sandwiches on fresh bagels. Perfect after a night on the town!
The Lost Province Brewery: The Lost Province Brewery is located in Boone’s downtown, making it a popular spot. You may have to wait for a table but the delicious pizza and beer is absolutely worth it.
The Local: In Boone’s downtown, check out The Local for a wide variety of New American food and craft cocktails. We loved the nachos and the seasonal warm cocktails during the winter!
Proper: Check out Proper for some proper upscale Southern food (see what I did there?).
Wild Craft Eatery: Wild Craft Eatery is a small restaurant serving Farm to table dining with touches from all different cultures.
Troy’s 105 Diner: Troy’s 105 Diner is perfect for breakfast or a casual lunch. It’s classic diner food in a very classic setting which sometimes just hits the spot… right?
What to do in Boone
Grandfather Mountain State Park
One of the most popular state parks in North Carolina, Grandfather Mountain is a must-see at least once when visiting Boone! There are miles and miles of trails as well as the famous mile high bridge. Visiting is pretty pricey at $24 per person but definitely worth it for your first trip to Boone. Be sure you also view the mountain from the town so you can see where it gets its name from!
Boone’s location lends it to no shortage of amazing hikes within the area. Whether you hike inside Grandfather Mountain State Park or just outside, there’s something for everyone. Some of our favorites include Rough Ridge via Tanawha Trail, Black Rock Trail, Timber Ridge Loop Trail.
I recommend using AllTrails to find the perfect hike for your trip. Search your location and it will show you hundreds of hikes near you with difficulty, length, and any other important information you need to know!
No Boone weekend itinerary is complete without some beer! Boone is crawling with some amazing breweries to check out. Pick 3 or 4 and make a day of it! Just remember to drink responsibly and designate a driver. We love Appalachian Mountain Brewing, Booneshine, Blowing Rock Brewing, and Lost Province Brewing Co just to name a few!
The Yadkin Valley and area surrounding Boone is rich with wineries… who knew?! There’s a great collection of wonderful wineries right in the area. You can either DIY a tour (make sure you have a DD!) or select a tour where all you have to worry about is what wine to try next.
Appalachian Ski Mountain & Sugar Mountain
If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, Appalachian Ski Mountain is perfect whether you’re visiting in winter or summer. Obviously, in the winter you can ski but in the summer there’s plenty of trails to explore without snow on the ground!
What to pack for a weekend in Boone
Boone experiences all four seasons. So, what you pack depends on when you go!
In the spring and fall, layers are key! The weather changes on a dime and can be hot and sunny one minute and cold and rainy the next. A good rain jacket, pullover, and breathable leggings are great for hiking during these seasons.
The winter can be cold and rainy or even snowy! Pack that cute beanie and cozy jacket along with your coziest snow boots!
No matter the season, you definitely need a solid pair of hiking boots when you hit the trails around Boone. And always have a hat and sunscreen for sunny days! For adventuring, I’m a huge fan of the Brevite backpack for my camera and other gear I need while out and about.
Final thoughts/recommendations on a weekend in Boone
Boone makes for the perfect weekend getaway tucked in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Though Boone is a small town, you will definitely not be bored with the plethora of things to do here. Whether you want to adventure on the mountains or spend some time drinking local beers, you’ll find it in Boone. The hotels are quaint and reflect the culture of Boone and you can support so many local restaurants downtown. Boone, North Carolina is one of our go-tos for so many reasons… we’ve been back a handful of times and still have more to explore! This post will help you plan your Boone weekend itinerary from the best places to stay, what to do, where to eat, and what to pack.