Top Things to do in Boone, NC in the Rain
The High Country weather can be unpredictable at times. What makes it so exciting is you often get days where you have several weather patterns all in one day. Did you know that Boone, NC is truly in a temperate rainforest? On average, Boone can get about 4.4 inches of rain per month. It is set 3,333 feet above sea level and that coupled with its rainforest surroundings make it a magnet for fog. The beauty of this dewy damp weather is something Boone locals grow to love and look forward to. So long as you have the right gear and the know where to play “in the rain” you’ll do just fine. Luckily, there are plenty of things to do in Boone, NC in the rain.
Pack your Bags for Rain: The Must Haves in Rain Gear
For starters, you’ll need to bring a waterproof hooded rain jacket. Light weight jackets are great so you can layer underneath. The Boone Mast General Store, sometimes referred to as the Old Boone Mercantile, is the perfect place to find durable rain jackets for all ages. It’s also just across the street from The Horton Hotel. You’ll find other cold-weather and rain gear items at local’s favorite Footsloggers – just around the corner from the hotel. This outdoor and travel outfitter has long been recognized as the region’s premier source for all-weather gear and travel needs.
The 4 Essentials you’ll want to either pack or buy when you get to Boone to keep you warm and dry include:
- Lightweight Hardshell (like a hooded rain jacket)
- Waterproof Shoes
- Wool Socks
- Waterproof Phone Case
When it’s raining the best thing to do is…EAT!
Make a reservation at one of the High Country’s premier fine dining or upscale restaurants, sit back, and enjoy. Turn dinner into an experience and order just about everything on the menu…maybe not everything. But take your time with it, start with appetizers and cocktails and slowlyadd on entrees and pair them with wine. Wining and dining is truly a favorite thing to do in Boone, NC in the rain. With COVID-19 regulations in place restricting capacities, it is highly recommended that dinner reservations are made to ensure your spot and safe seating.
Top 3 Dining Establishments you’ll want to make dinner reservations for:
- Reid’s Cafe & Catering At the base of Grandfather Mountain, Reid’s is centrally located between Banner Elk, Linville, Foscoe, and all the gorgeous Grandfather communities. In the evenings you can expect to see an emphasis on natural wines, sustainable and traditional that compliment the Chefs’ choice of cured meats and cheeses to start the meal. Ultimately, you’ll find that Reid’s places value the handmade no matter how small the detail. You could certainly spend a few hours savoring the food and ambiance in this hidden gem.
- The Gamekeeper Located right between Boone and Blowing Rock NC, and well known for interesting interpretations of Southern classics. Their menu changes seasonally and focuses on exotic meats, while also creating creative veggie lover dishes too. Their knowledgeable staff make the experience one-of-a-kind. It is the ultimate marriage of fine dining and comfort, and there really isn’t a cozier dinner spot on a rainy evening.
- Cafe Violette Can be found in a cozy space set in Blowing Rock. They feature a menu inspired by the Mediterranean coast of France. Their dishes are rooted in the tradition of French cuisine, and you can tell they want to wine and dine their guests right upon entry. This is the place to go if you want to indulge in dishes like Saltimbocca, yum!
2 Indoor Activities to do in Boone, NC in the rain
I admit sometimes you have to get a little creative, and why not give something a try you may of never considered before. You’re never too old for a little kid-like fun and exploration right? Visit Mystery Hill, North Carolina’s natural gravitational anomaly. It’s puzzling and delightful all at the same time. Another indoor activity that is tried and true is bowling…yes, Boone has a bowling alley. 10 High Country Lanes offers a full bar, outdoor seating with fire pit, bar food, and 16 bowling lanes for you to enjoy. Both of these attractions are located less than 15 minutes away from The Horton Hotel.
Take a Scenic Drive in the Rain…and use caution
If conditions are not too foggy and wet, you can really enjoy the sights that the High Country has to offer even in the rain. Turn on a Rainy Day playlist, buckle up and hit the pavement. Cruise through the mountains and bring your waterproof phone along to capture a few rainy shots and videos. You might catch a break in the showers…the High Country is notorious for changing weather patterns. Check out Ray’s Weather, Boone’s all-time-fave weather guru and resource, for all things weather.
5 Mellow Songs to add to your Rainy Day Playlist:
- Riders on the Storm by The Doors
- Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson
- Cold Coffee by Ed Sheeran
- This City by Sam Fischer
- Big Jet Plane by Angus & Julia Stone
The Blue Ridge Parkway winds through the Boone NC area, and includes the world-famous Linn Cove Viaduct bridge. The Parkway is especially scenic, and many overlooks great for stunning nature photography. It’s a perfect relaxing drive if conditions are not too foggy, rainy, or snowy. Keep in mind, the parkway can be closed during the winter season if conditions are unsafe.
Another beautiful scenic route you can take to go from Boone, NC to Beech Mountain starts out on Hwy 421/321 heading towards Tennessee. Make a left to follow Hwy 321 when they split and be sure to turn onto Buckeye Road. Make a right onto Pinnacle Ridge Road and follow the backroad through the valley of Sugar Grove. It ends atop Beech Mountain, one of the High Country’s best ski mountains and it is the highest town on the East Coast. When you get to the top of Beech Mountain stop in at Fred’s General Mercantile, a favorite that claims to be open 365 days (no matter the weather). Please use caution when driving in the rain, and know that some routes are not safe in icy weather patterns.
Sleep in and Stay in at The Horton in the Rain
Saving the best rainy stay ideas for last…Sleep in and call front desk to deliver a French press-style coffee to your hotel room. Order in a late breakfast feast from Melanie’s, a staple for breakfast in Boone since 1991. Don’t pass up the opportunity to try their Stuffed French Toast (it’s got raspberries, strawberries, bananas, and cream cheese…must I go on?). After a relaxing shower with Beekman shower products, wrap up in a Horton soft and luxurious robe. Then call down for round two…have mimosas brought to the rooftop and request the awnings be stretched out so you can take in the downtown 360 degree sights. If it’s not too rainy out, stroll King Street for a few hours for boutique-style shopping.
5 Must Shop Small Shops
- Lucky Penny Women’s boutique filled with handpicked inventory on trend
- Lililu Ladies boutique specializing in quality brands and looks
- Common Goods Co. Housewares and artisan pieces all handcrafted and created from the heart, specializing in sustainable wares
- Watsonatta Western World Legendary boots and more…more inventory than you could ever imagine
- Hands Gallery Co-op of artists and local crafts-people
If you’re checking the forecast and see rain, no need to worry! There are a number of great ways to enjoy the beauty of dewy wet weather days in Boone, NC. Our Horton Hotel Front Desk Associates are equipped with all the info you’ll need for a rainy stay. They are just a phone call away to help book your getaway and plan things to do in Boone, NC in the rain. Call (828) 832 8060 or book online at thehorton.com.
Written by Andrea Morton, Director of Operations