Tuesday, November 23, 2021

High Country Weekend

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Hey y'all! I hope your week is off to a great start! Last weekend, we celebrated my 36th birthday in the High Country! We have been to this area many times for weekend trips and even day trips since it's only about two hours from where we live. This area of the North Carolina mountains is so beautiful! The towns are charming, there's lots of great places to eat, and so many fun things to do.

When planning this trip, I really wanted to stay in downtown Blowing Rock. I wanted the place to be budget friendly and within walking distance to our favorite spots downtown. We stayed at the Boxwood Lodge and it checked off all of the things I was looking for. It's a simple place but it was very clean and located in such a great spot plus it was very affordable! Our room had two queen sized beds, which was perfect for our family of four. After we got settled into our room, we walked down the street for dinner at Mellow Mushroom. It was only a five minute walk!

On Saturday morning, we slept in and woke up to snowflakes! We started our day with brunch at Famous Toastery. This spot was within walking distance from the Boxwood Lodge. The food was great and I would highly recommend it but be prepared to wait for a table. It gets busy!

Our second stop on Saturday was to my very favorite winery, Grandfather Vineyard! We have made a visit to this vineyard every year since we discovered it. There's so many things that I love about it! The mountain view is incredible. You can also sit right along the water, which is my girls' favorite spot to play. I am a big fan of sparkling wines and I love that this vineyard has some but you can't go wrong with any of their delicious wines. Pro-tip: if you are going on the weekend, get there right when they open (12pm on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday) to claim the best seating. It gets very busy, very fast! During the warmer seasons, grab a seat by the river but when it's cold, run to the seating closest to the building that has propane heaters and fire pits. It was freezing the day we went and we were very grateful for the warmth of a propane heater!

After visiting the vineyard, we warmed up with hot drinks from Blue Deer Cookies. They have great hot chocolate and coffees but the real star of the show here is the cookies. You have to go here and get an ice cream sandwich (even if it's 30 degrees outside). I'm gluten free so I love going here because they have a great GF chocolate chip cookie that I got with pumpkin pie ice cream! So good! After we warmed up, we went back out to walk downtown and visit the park. It's such a great park! My kids ask to come to Blowing Rock just for the park because it's so much fun and there's so much to do. For dinner, we walked down to Blocking Rock Ale House Restaurant. It was a pretty short wait and the food is always delicious!

To get my birthday started off right on Sunday, we went to Dan'l Boone Inn for an incredible family style breakfast! All you can eat scrambled egg, bacon, country ham, sausage, pancakes, grits, fresh stewed apples, buttermilk biscuits, redeye gravy, cream gravy, glazed cinnamon biscuits, strawberry preserves, and drinks. Pro-tip: don't wear high waisted jeans like I did. Stretchy pants are the way to go for this food experience!

After breakfast, we headed to Banner Elk for our next adventure: Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster! It  was so much fun! Before you go, make reservations via their website. We arrived about 30 minutes early for our reservation to get our coaster tickets and get in line. I would definitely recommend purchasing the three rides bundle for the ultimate experience. I think it got even more fun by the third ride that Olivia and I did because we knew what to expect and enjoyed it more. The first ride was a little scary, lol! I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves trying something new!

After our coaster adventure, we drove to Linville Falls Winery. This is also a gorgeous winery in the High Country! There's a Christmas tree farm on the property so it makes for some cute photo opportunities. I would also recommend it for a family friendly winery experience because there is so much outdoor space for the kids to run and explore. The wine is also great, too!

I can't come to the High Country without visiting Linville Falls. I absolutely love waterfalls! It's an easy and short hike to get to the beautiful falls so it's a great family experience. Afterwards, we headed back to Boone for one last meal before heading home. We ate at The Cardinal, which is another spot that we go to almost every time we are in the area. They have great food and drinks!

Bookmark this post for your High Country travel planning and definitely let me know if you have any questions about the area. Thanks so much for visiting! Happy travels!

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