Whether you’ve lived in Boone your whole life or are visiting our little mountain town for the first time, chances are you woke up in a similar fashion this morning; half-lidded eyes, a mountain of blankets, and the burning desire to skip class and stay home all day. Winter has officially made it to the High Country, besties — and with it comes longer nights, lower temperatures, and stronger winds. But just because the heat is leaving, it doesn’t mean the fun has to go with it! As everyone starts to scramble for the middle ground between fighting the cold and fighting boredom, here are some fun and creative ways to enjoy Boone in the winter season!
- If you like holiday cheer, you’ll LOVE Tweetsie Christmas!
Every year, on select days throughout November and December, Tweetsie Railroad transforms themselves into the Winter Wonderland of your wildest dreams! Purchasing a ticket unlocks a variety of family friendly activities such as a nighttime train ride through Christmas lights, a chance to meet Santa in his life-size gingerbread house, amusement rides and more. Located all in one place, Tweetsie Christmas is a great way to spend time with family, make memories with friends and get into the holiday spirit!
- If you like staying indoors, you’ll LOVE the Festival of Lights at Chetola Resort!
This free, immersive experience allows you to come out and explore the resort, which gets decorated to the max with bright lights and classic holiday characters and scenes. You can either stroll around Chetola Lake or watch from the comfort of your car, but the views will be dazzling nonetheless. The Festival of Lights will open to the public on Friday, November 25, 2022 and closes on Sunday, January 29, 2023.
- If you like snow and sports, you’ll LOVE all the skiing, snowboarding and ice skating options!
Being in Boone means you’re also spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a location, though the most popular places to go are Appalachian Ski Mountain, Sugar Mountain Resort and Beech Mountain Resort. All three options offer snowboarding, skiing and ice skating, and both of the resorts additionally offer snow tubing opportunities. Guests are able to rent equipment on site, plan lessons in advance and can take advantage of a variety of special deals and passes! After all, if you can’t beat the cold, you might as well go all in… right?
- If you like fun festivals, you’ll LOVE the Blowing Rock WinterFest!
WinterFest is an annual, four day festival held at the end of January that includes activities for everyone to enjoy. Some notable events include an organized Polar Plunge into Chetola Lake (you know, the one you just saw the Festival of Lights at?), making ice sculptures, live music and even a cute dog show called WinterPaws! No matter the weather, guests can expect to walk away with a smile, and the event is a great way to get together with loved ones and the community as you kick off the new year. This coming WinterFest is currently scheduled to take place from January 26 to January 29, 2023.
- If you like to be on the go, you’ll LOVE Boone’s impressive amount of nature hikes!
For those who are into sightseeing, Boone has an extensive list of hikes that’ll make you feel like you walked onto a Hallmark movie set. There’s a hike for everyone, regardless of how much experience you have, what kind of scenery you’re looking for, or how much time you’re willing to spend. Some of the best highlights of Boone are found in observing its diverse landscape, and the views only get better as the snow accentuates them. Make sure to bundle up and bring snacks, cameras and smiles as you explore the real-life winter wonderland of the Appalachian mountains.
- If you like a friendly challenge, you’ll LOVE going gem mining!
One of my favorite things about Boone is that its hidden gems aren’t so hidden at all; in fact, as long as you know what you’re looking for, they’re right in front of you! Much of Boone’s history has been defined by the area’s abundance of gems and minerals, and with so many gem mines to choose from it’s a guaranteed way to make some memories while doing something unique. No personal tools are needed in order to participate at one of the gem mines, and participants have the option to mine for as long or as little as they see fit. While others brave the cold winter weather, consider the fact that you could be collecting buckets of gemstones to take as souvenirs and keep for a lifetime!
- If you like seeking out unique experiences, you’ll LOVE the Linville Caverns!
In the winter, I find myself wishing I could crawl into a cave and spend the season in my own state of hibernation (Netflix and hot chocolate, anyone?). Though the hot chocolate isn’t included, Boone offers a fairly similar experience at the Linville Caverns; the only caverns in North Carolina open to visitors, and a great way to appreciate the history of the area and the beauty of nature. Guided 35-minute tours are offered throughout the year, but going in the colder months may increase your chances of seeing some of the cute critters who call the caverns home. These beautiful limestone caverns are the perfect way to beat the weather, check an item off your bucket list and view the High Country through a new perspective!