What to Eat, See, & Do in Boone, NC

February, 2020

The Mountains are calling. I must go.

Located in the high country mountains of northeastern North Carolina, Boone, NC is an ideal location for outdoor activities.

The colder winters of the Blue Ridge Mountains provide some great snow skiing opportunities.

The region is full of day hike trails like Rough Ridge and Beacon Heights on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

What’s in a name

Incorporated in 1872, Boone gets its name from Daniel Boone, the famous American pioneer and explorer, who had occasionally camped in a spot that is considered within the city limits.

An overhead view of Appalachian State University in Boone.

If you’re planning on a visit to Boone it may be because you are visiting Appalachian State University, a college in the University of North Carolina system.

ASU has over 19,000 students and their Mountaineer athletic programs compete in the NCAA Division 1 Sun Belt Conference.

“I love the hikes and my favorite restaurant is the red onion. Also visiting King Street is a must”

Whether it’s visiting the mountains for outdoor activities or you’re hanging out around Boone while you wait for a Saturday afternoon football game you may be looking for something new to do…something unique.

Finding something fun around Boone? That’s easy.

But what? Where? Does it have a website?

The 828 has many towns that each have their own “must-do” lists.

We’ve gathered a nice list of “must do while you’re in town” from those who visit Boone regularly – students and their parents from Appalachian State.

Some told us where/what and why they love this town. A couple of locations may be mentioned more than once to include the reason the contributor suggested it.

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Boone’s To-do Lists

Allison M., an ASU mom said, “I love the hikes and my favorite restaurant is the red onion. Also visiting King Street is a must! Shops, App State gear, the Mellow Mushroom and more…it’s all adjacent to ASU and a favorite for all.”

Her two ASU daughters, Lexi and Maci B. shared, “the Coyote Kitchen is amazing. https://coyotekitchen.com I eat there a lot! For Mexican, I like Puerto Nuevo and then the best Japanese restaurant is https://www.makotos-boone.com. Melanie’s is a favorite for breakfast and lunch and everyone loves it!!! http://melaniesfoodfantasy.com. Also, Troys and Sunrise Grill are both awesome too!”

Another ASU student who is in her Senior year loves the hikes available in the area.

Whitney B., “My favorite trail is Rough Ridge but if you head out to the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway you can choose from the many trails that it has to offer. There are a couple ziplines in the area but I love ziplining at Sky Valley Zip Tours

The Eats

The Tap Room “Best Tacos EVER”

River Street Ale House has the best wings EVER $.25 on Thursdays + karaoke night

If you are looking for something different Coyote Kitchen is so good

Must hit Danielle Boone Inn for breakfast

Booneshine Brewing Company – they have a weekly trivia night

AMB (Appalachian Mountain Brewery)

Macado’s located on King Street. Huge menu offering all types of foods, famous for their HUGE cinnamon rolls

Come Back Shack big local favorite, great burgers!

Dan’l Boone Inn is a restaurant, not an inn. Located at the end of King Street its a great location for southern comfort food.

Woodlands BBQ is located just outside of Boone in Blowing Rock. This is our family’s favorite. It has great BBQ cooked daily plus live music. It’s well worth the 10-minute drive from Boone.

F.A.R.M. Cafe located on King St. You pay what you can afford, no set prices on food. All food is locally sourced.

Troy’s 105 Diner is a 50s themed restaurant, I’ve only ever eaten breakfast there but they also serve burgers and more. It has a really cool atmosphere.

Melanies is located on King Street and offers outdoor patio seating in the warm months and a great breakfast)

Shop Til You Drop

Walking down King Street you can find many great restaurants and little stores that house outdoor related gear, arts, and Mountaineer gear! This street is a “small town street”, two lanes with stores lining both sides. There are some antique looking stores and “old timey” movie theaters.
Mast General Store has outdoorsy gear and an old fashioned candy shop. Just a 10 minute drive from Boone Drive is the site of the Original Mast General Store located in Valle Crucis. It’s still in operation today!

Get Outside

Rough Ridge is an awesome lookout spot because you can drive or hike there
Rough Ridge
Moses H Cone Memorial Park
Beacon Heights

Appalachian Ski Mtn
Beech Mountain Ski Resort
Sugar Mountain Resort

Sight Seeing
Take a trip out to Grandfather Mountain State Park and walk across the Mile High Swinging Bridge. This bridge is located one mile above sea level. While on Grandfather, stop at the animal and plant exhibits. Learn about local plants and visit different animal exhibits such as the black bear exhibit, a bald eagle preserve, areas for otters, cougars, and elk.

Tweetsie Railroad – This is a great place for family fun. Changes as the seasons change. Haunted train ride near Halloween/ Christmas decor near Christmas

Autumn C., another frequent visitor to the area
“My advice to anyone visiting Boone would be to not leave until you’ve visited Grandfather Mountain. It is truly a national treasure. Another bit of advice; don’t speed! Boone is a fun town and a ASU home football can pack it quickly. Because of this parking can be horrible in Boone and minimal especially on King Street.”

She continues with, “Come Back Shack has the absolute best burger. Head to Macado’s on King Street for wings and beer. They have really good sandwiches also. And you can’t leave without getting a dinner plate-sized cinnamon roll.
There is a little bar called Lily’s that makes adult juice pouches. You choose your flavor of juices and your choice of alcohol. Super good!”

More of her list of To-Dos is listed:
Tanger outlets are in Blowing Rock.
There is the Tweetsie Railroad
Axe Throwing just opened nearby in Blowing Rock, NC.
For fun, there is a bowling alley, movie theater, App State sports, or hiking.
Get up to Beech Mtn and Sugar Mtn for skiing and snowboarding.
A few of the local IPA bars include Boone Salon, Lost Province, Appalachian Brewery Appalachian Cookie company for the best cookies on earth.

Fall Saturdays
Visit the Appalachian State Campus and enjoy the beautiful scenery that it has to offer. While on campus jump into some of the activities that are always happening. If you’re here in the fall join the Mountaineers at a tailgate and then follow everyone to Kidd Brewer Stadium to watch some football.

Put Boone On Your To-do List

When you’re planning your trip to the 828 make sure to add Boone, NC to your list. Don’t forget to bring your hiking shoes and a big appetite.

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