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Boone, North Carolina - The Heart of the High Country

Updated on September 23, 2007
Appalachian State Mountaineers : Back-to-Back Division 1-AA National Champions
Appalachian State Mountaineers : Back-to-Back Division 1-AA National Champions

Located atop the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, Boone serves as the county seat of Watauga County. The town was named for the famous pioneer and explorer Daniel Boone, who on many occasions, camped at a site that is believed to be within the current city limits.

The Town of Boone was incorporated in 1872. It has the highest elevation (3,300 feet) of any town with a population over 10,000 east of the Mississippi River. During the summer, the average high temperatures in Boone are normally in the mid-70s or below, which is considerably cooler than most areas of the state. Winters can be very cold. It is not uncommon for Boone to experience snow, while towns no farther away than an hour to the east have sunny skies.

Until the flood of 1940, Boone was on the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (nicknamed "Tweetsie") line. Every summer since 1952, Horn in the West, a drama about the life and times of Daniel Boone, has been performed here in an outdoor amphitheatre. Many bluegrass musicians and Appalachian storytellers are natives of this area.

Boone is the home of Appalachian State University, a member of the University of North Carolina system. Appalachian State is the fifth largest university in the sixteen campus system. Also located in Boone is a satellite campus of Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute.

Since the 1980s, development in the Boone area has increased at an unprecedented rate. Growth has been triggered by the expansion of Appalachian State University and an influx of newcomers from New England and Florida. Development is taking place not only in the city, but in the outlying, more rural areas as well.

Located near the Blue Ridge Parkway, Boone offers residents and visitors four seasons of sports and outdoor activities. Travel writers heap favor upon the area when reviewing outdoor destinations in the Southeast.

Area Attractions / Things To See & Do

This area, know as "The High Country," has a long tradition for some of the best in music, dance, theatre and the arts. From world-renown guitarist and seven-time Grammy winner Doc Watson to the Broadway-quality productions to the Moscow Festival Ballet, entertainment is at a premium.

  • The Blowing Rock (Blowing Rock, NC) - North Carolina's Oldest Travel Attraction. Beautiful Short Scenic Walk With a Garden Waterfall, Gardens, Observation Tower.
  • Grandfather Mountain (Linville, NC) - Features Mile High Swinging Bridge, Animals, Museum, and More.
  • Greater Foscoe Mining Company (Foscoe, NC) - Features Daily Mining with the Opportunity to Find Emeralds, Sapphires, Rubies, Topaz, Amethyst, Aquamarine, Citrine, Green Tourmaline and More. Gem Cutting on the Premises.
  • Mystery Hill (Blowing Rock, NC) - Area Attraction That Defies Gravity!
  • Horn in the West/Hickory Ridge Homestead (Boone, NC) - Outdoor Historical Drama & 18th Century Living History.
  • Lees-McRae Summer Theatre (Banner Elk, NC) - Music and Memories for the Whole Family.
  • Linville Caverns (Marion, NC) - North Carolina's Only Caverns.
  • Orchard at Altapass (Little Switzerland, NC) - Historic Apple Orchard on the Blue Ridge Parkway Offering a Large Selection of Family Activities.
  • River Girl Fishing Co./New River Adventures (Todd, NC) - Fly Fishing Supplies, Lessons and Guiding, Bait and Tackle for Conventional Fishing, Fishing/Hunting Licenses, Fishing Kayak and Pontoon Rentals, Kayak, Canoe, Tube and Bicycle Rentals. Fishing on the Oldest River in North America.
  • Rock Dimensions Climbing Guides (Boone, NC) - North Carolina Rock Climbing Guides and Instructors. Climbing and Rappelling in the NC Mountains; Caving/Spelunking in Virginia and Tennessee. Adventures for Families, Friends, Groups, and Individuals Looking for Specialized Guiding and Instruction. Outdoor Climbing Tower.
  • Todd Community Preservation Organization (Todd, NC) - Non-profit Organization/Preserving the Todd Community.
  • Tweetsie Railroad (Blowing Rock, NC) - A Wild West Theme Park Featuring a 3-Mile Train Ride on an Authentic Steam Engine Known as Tweetsie. Live Entertainment Throughout the Park, Crafts, Rides, Deer Park, and Panning for Gold.

Four of the best ski resorts in the Southeast are in the immediate vicinity of Boone. All offer night skiing and instruction.

  1. Appalachian Ski Mountain (Blowing Rock, NC)
  2. Ski Beech (Beech Mountain, NC)
  3. Sugar Mountain (Banner Elk, NC)
  4. Hawksnest (Banner Elk, NC)


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