Are you planning a trip to Grandfather Mountain? We’ve listed everything you need to know to make the best of your visit: hikes near Grandfather Mountain, the best BBQ place on the way, and more. So when you’re there, you can simply focus on making everlasting memories.
Staying near Grandfather Mountain is special
Grandfather Mountain is a not-to-miss destination when you’re visiting the high country. Not only is it a beautiful scenic spot, it’s also a globally recognized nature preserve and the highest peak in the Blue Ridge mountains (with an impressive elevation of 5,946 feet). The Horton Hotel is conveniently located in downtown Boone, and from the hotel it is only about a 30-minute drive to Grandfather Mountain. Once you’re there, you probably can’t wait to walk over the famous swinging bridge, soak up the broad vistas of the mountains, or look at the wildlife habitats and catch a glimpse of a mountain lion or a black bear. But the staff of the Horton Hotel have a few more recommendations for you, so before you take off make sure to read our tips below.
Profile Trail: the oldest trail on the mountain
This is an all-time favorite of our hotel staff: the Profile Trail. This is the oldest trail on the mountain (20 years old) and definitely one that requires some work! So gear up and tighten up your laces because you will be rewarded with breathtaking views and a memorable experience from start to finish. You can read more about this trail (how to access it, length, etc) and other trails in our area in our blog about trails with amazing views.
Linville: historic 1920s general store and BBQ
When you’re near Grandfather Mountain, it’s worth it to venture out to the small town of Linville, NC. There’s a good chance you’ll be hungry after a day well spent exploring Grandfather Mountain, and the smell of authentic BBQ is hard to resist. Old Hampton Store and Grist Mill is located in a historic general store, which served as a train stop for the Tweetsie railroad. This authentic country store features a popular BBQ restaurant serving hand pulled hickory smoked pork barbeque, with homemade sourdough rolls (yum!). If you’re lucky, there may be live music! On your way out, you can stock up on local goodies like regional pottery, crafts, cheeses, pickles, jams, jellies, country ham, and gristmill products. There are several other shops next door to the Old Hampton Store. Explore those and enjoy local art, crafts, and a unique collection of Appalachian literature (fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, and more).
Discover Banner Elk
Banner Elk is a small town close to Grandfather Mountain, and definitely worth exploring year-round. Not only does the town boast a beautiful pallet of autumn colors around the third week of October, but it also hosts the famous Woolly Worm Festival during that weekend as well. During cold winter months you can easily access Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain ski-resorts from Banner Elk. In the spring and summer Banner Elk offers a laid back, small town feel and is a pleasant place to stroll around, grab a good coffee, or get a New York style deli sandwich. There are many great places to have dinner in Banner Elk too, but make sure you come back to our rooftop lounge to end your evening with a nightcap…
Let’s make this official…
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Author: Sanny Visser