Stuff to Do
What is there to do in the area, you ask? Great question…the answer is SO MUCH! If you are going to make a vacation out of the trip, or even if you want to go off and do something fun on your own Saturday afternoon or Sunday, here are some things you might want to check out.
The Original Mast General Store is located in Valle Crucis, NC– just a hop, skip, and a jump away from our cabin. The shop has everything from slingshots to wool socks. Our favorite thing to do is grab an RC Cola and a Moonpie and hit up the porch swing out back. Just about 30 seconds down the road from the General store is the Mast Annex and Candy Barrel, another one of our favorite places. If you have a sweet tooth, this is a must. They carry almost every candy you can think of, and most of its sold by the pound. There’s an ice cream store out back, and a beautiful park with a walking/running route, playground, and open fields…perfect for a good frisbee throw.
Original Mast General Store & Annex
Historic Valle Crucis, NC 28691
Original Store Hours:
Monday – Saturday 7 am – 6:30 pm; Sunday Noon – 6 pm
Annex Store Hours:
Monday – Saturday 10 am – 6 pm; Sunday Noon – 6 pm
If you love the great outdoors, you will LOVE Linville Falls National Park. With plenty of amazing photo opps, this hike/breathtaking waterfall will leave you feeling incredibly refreshed. According to their website, “you can hike to five viewpoints on two trails that leave the Visitors Center (1.5 miles from the Parkway) that offers restrooms, picnic area and an information center (open May-October and weekends in April). Only one of the trails is strenuous and you can hike to all five viewpoints with a four mile hike.” Happy hiking!
This quaint little downtown area located about 30 minutes from Banner Elk has great shops, boutiques and dining, and a beautiful hiking trail, too! Grab a cone from Kilwin’s and a swing or a zip down the slide in the park. The park is complete with tennis and basketball courts and even a climbing wall, too! Woohoo!
The Glen Burney Trail is just a short walk from Main Street, and a great way to distract the non-shoppers in the group while the retail-oriented get the job done. “Descending 800 feet into the John’s River Gorge, the trail follows New Year’s Creek with views of three waterfalls. About a 2-hour round trip, this 1.6 mile trail ends at Glen Mary Falls.” Click here to download a map of this trail.
A flirtatious Chickasaw maiden, a brave Cherokee, and a mysterious gust of wind? Sounds like romance novel material to me. Take a walk down the Blowing Rock trail and read about the legend of the Blowing Rock and why the wind just moves differently there.
“Grandfather Mountain has 11 trails varying in difficulty from a gentle walk in the woods to a rigorous trek across rugged peaks. It is in the backcountry of Grandfather Mountain State Park that you come up against the more challenging hikes.” Getting tired of hikes? Want more of a thrill? Be careful, this is NOT for the acrophobic (fear of heights). Check out the mile high swinging bridge, just don’t try anything funny!
“Take a walk on Grandfather Mountain, and you’re likely to spot squirrels, songbirds and other forest animals. But what about the more elusive wildlife? It only takes a visit to our seven environmental habitats to see cougars (which no longer live in the wild on Grandfather Mountain), white-tailed deer, black bears, river otters and a golden eagle. Observing these animals up close in their native settings, it’s easy to imagine what it would be like to come face to face in the wild.” Cougars? Although we will have a real live Cougar attending the wedding– seeing them in their natural habitat is a whole different ballgame. Thats right, I’m talking about you, John “Cougar Mellencamp” King.
One of the best ways to see this country is on horseback! There are a couple of stables in the area that are just a few minutes away from the cabin, so why not?! Call to make reservations soon, they fill up quick that time of year!
The Virginia Creeper Trail is only about an hour away from the cabin, and is SO MUCH FUN! You can reserve bikes and ride them down the trail, and stop along the way to get some yummy, greasy food! Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a train-every-day athlete to ride the trail, you don’t even have to be a train-once-in-a-while athlete– just go get a bike and have a good time. I mean, if I can do it…
“The Virginia Creeper is a shared-use trail (mountain biking, hiking, equine) connecting Abingdon, Virginia, with the Virginia-North Carolina border 1.1 miles east of Whitetop Station, Virginia. The total length of the trail is 33.4 miles.”
To rent bikes, click here
Click to view the map
Toot toot!!! We’ve been going to Tweetsie since we were tiny! I guess you could say its the High Country version of a theme park? Us Orlandoans feel right at home! Totally cheesy and kind of underwhelming, Tweetsie is definitely an experience. I had a second thought about putting this up here since most of our guests are adults, but I always have such a good time here posing behind fake jail cell bars I felt like it would be wrong not to include it. So tease up your hair, put your cowboy boots on, and get over to Tweetsie Railroad. All abbooooarrrdddddd!
On the lovely, windy drive towards Valle Crucis from the cabin, you’ll notice a really adorable stone church with a bright red door, right across from a field of cows. Behind this church, there is a really small, beautiful hike to a waterfall. The hike probably takes around 20 minutes each way, but is totally worth the trip. Sometimes you can even hear the bagpipes from the nearby Apple Barn from the trail!
The quaint town surrounding Appalachian State University, Boone has some great coffee shops (check out Higher Grounds), antiques, beads, and healthy foods. Along with another Mast Store location, there is a historic Southern, family-style restaurant called the Dan’l Boone Inn that has (more than) your fill of soul food, just get ready to wait in line for a table!
Hand-picked apples? Yes, please! I haven’t been to this orchard, but it might be worth checking out!
Moretz’s Mountain Apples
2820 Big Hill Road, Boone, NC 28607.
Phone: 828-264-3424. Over 90 Variety of Apples Available. Call for appointment.
Every Saturday at 2pm, through October 8, they will be giving tours of their alpaca farm. Only a few minutes from the cabin, the Apple Hill Farm is a beautiful property full of vegetables and farm animals run by some really great people. Oh! And if you ever lose Nick Slavens and need to find him, you could check there. They employ some of the cutest girls in Banner Elk, NC.