The Perfect High Country Itinerary Starts Here
Creating the perfect Boone NC fall itinerary is so tough. There’s so much to do in the North Carolina High Country. We reckon it would begin and end on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but this region really does have so much more to offer. That’s why we have tailor-made the quintessential weekend guide for the best fall activities in Boone NC.
You’ll find everything from where to stay, what to do, and where to eat in Boone, Blowing Rock, and the NC High Country. We hope this will both motivate you to go experience the most colorful season in the Blue Ridge Mountains plus truly help you make the most of your exploration of the charm and allure of the Appalachian autumn.
What To Do On Your Arrival Friday Night – Boone NC Fall Itinerary
Finding the perfect place to unwind is essential to every good adventure. What Boone NC fall itinerary would be complete without mentioning where to stay. Luckily, we have lived in and visited this area so many times and have narrowed the best choices down for you. Below you’ll find our favorite local lodgings!
Our Top Four Favorite High Country Accommodations
Chetola is a rustic-chic resort tucked into the wilderness, boasting on-site activities for all ages and easy access to Boone and Blowing Rock.
What we love about it: It’s perfectly located in the middle of the High Country and a couple minutes walk from downtown Blowing Rock.
What room do we stay: The Bob Timberlake Inn which is a totally unique concept, a luxury bed and breakfast located within Chetola Resort.
2. Horton Hotel
Horton Hotel is a historic hotel in the heart of downtown Boone within walking distance from eclectic shops and restaurants. From its rooftop it also offers stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
What we love about it: Literally the perfect location in downtown Boone close to everything. The rooftop is such a great added bonus as well.
What room do we stay: The Luxury Suites are really nice and have great views of Howards Knob.
3. Glamping Unplugged
Feel like staying somewhere a little more rustic? Then checkout our favorite geodesic dome, Glamping Unplugged. This place is beautiful and soooo Instagrammable. This place is nestled on a river that you can fly fish just minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Does it get better if you’re trying to get away? This ones hard to beat.
What we love about it: You might think this is crazy, but the combination of being immersed in nature next to a river without internet is a huge plus.
4. Appalachian A Frame
Lastly, the Appalachian A Frame airbnb offers the perfect private cabin rental. It features all the comforts of home without leaving the forested mountainside. There’s a hot tub to relax in. Guests also have a fire pit area. Kids have the basement to play in featuring an arcade machine. The adults have several beautiful bedrooms to retreat to including the upstairs loft complete with a Bohemian flair.
What we love about it: Pretty much everything. When it comes to Airbnbs this one is one of our favorites we’ve stayed in anywhere in The Carolinas. It’s a great size perfect for several families, has a hot tub, place for a fire, grill, is close to the Watauga River, and is great for kids with the arcade games. Plus it is so boho chic.
Other great options if these are booked are:
Friday Night Dinner and Drinks
Once you have settled in to whichever place you have chosen, enjoy your first night’s dinner at Bistro Roca. This beautiful restaurant is located on the outskirts of downtown Blowing Rock. It’s a charming tavern specializing in contemporary American cuisine. The bar is wonderful, adorned with photos of guests’ pups.
What to order at Bistro Roca: The trout, the crab cakes, and the wood-fired pizzas are excellent choices. They have a delicious Sunday brunch too. Their bourbon collection is fairly substantial and the cocktails are truly crafted. My favorites have been The Murph Manhattan and the Thai Rye Old Fashioned.
Finally if you do end up staying at Chetola, a great way to end the first night is to share a bottle of wine and wind down by the crackling fireplace at Timberlake’s.
What To Do All Day Saturday – Boone NC Fall Itinerary
The second day of your Boone NC Fall itinerary has plenty to do.
First we breakfast…
First things first…breakfast. No matter whether you wake before sunrise or allow yourself to hit snooze a few times, you will want to fuel up with a country-style meal at Sunny Rock Eggs and Things.
What to order at Sunny Rock: We’ve had several great meals here. If you want something truly Southern then the Livermush biscuit or the country fried steak biscuit will start your day off strong. If you’re into more healthy options, both the California Sweetie and Sow Your Oats bowls are go-tos.
Make the most of your morning by following the Blue Ridge Parkway straight to one of the best fall activities in Boone NC, Grandfather Mountain State Park. There you can visit the Mile High Swinging Bridge which is one of our favorite spots. The Grandfather Trail is a classic. You get to hike to the three peaks on the mountain and even climb ladders along the way. For those that have a little more time in the mountains, the Profile Trail is an all day affair, but it is such a good trail on Grandfather. There’s also a wildlife habitat for the kids!
Blue Ridge Overlooks
Other great short hikes include Rough Ridge and the Beacon Heights trail. Also, we have always loved the Boone Fork Trail behind Price Park. If you go down far enough you will arrive at Hebron Rock Colony, which is a local favorite. But if you don’t feel like hiking anymore, just pull off on one of these amazing overlooks
- Yadkin Valley Overlook
- Price Lake
- Wilson Creek Overlook
- Linn Cove Viaduct Access Trail
- Grandfather Mountain Overlook
- Tompkins Knob Overlook
- Raven Rocks Overlook
After you’ve conquered the trails (or overlooks), you’ll want to head back into Boone NC for lunch. Rest your feet at The Pedalin’ Pig and lift your spirits with some true-blue Carolina BBQ.
What to order at The Pedaling Pig: I mean, you gotta start with the chiccarrones and then really impress the fam and order the Heavy Hitter, a mix of all the meats. Mac and Cheese and okra on the side please.
See A Video Of Jefferson Overlook Below:
Off The Beaten Path Beauty
Enjoy some more nature in the afternoon. Head to West Jefferson to avoid the sightseeing crowds. There’s three things we recommend. 1. Wander around the up-and-coming downtown of West Jefferson. 2. Visit nearby Elk Knob for a great hike at the state park. 3. Visit Mt. Jefferson and drive to the two overlooks — one named sunrise, and one named sunset — for amazing fall views.
Saturday Night Supper
Now it’s time to head back and experience the “wildest” dinner you’ve ever had at The Gamekeeper restaurant, where fresh menu concepts feature unique meats and vegetarian offerings for all to enjoy.
What to order at The Gamekeeper: If you are truly open to trying something a little different I would get the bison or the emu and for sides, the bleu Mac.
What To Do On Sunday Before You Head Home – Fall Activities In Boone NC
It may be your last day here in the High Country, but that doesn’t mean your Boone NC fall itinerary is over just yet. Have a nostalgic (for us :))breakfast at the Boone Bagelry.
What to order at Boone Bagelry: One word: Bagelicious.
Then, go enjoy a little bit more nature.
Some of our favorite short hikes:
(We’ll keep ’em short since you are after all headed out of town).
- Boone Fork Trail – the perfect trail if you like rivers
- Moses Cone Carriage Trails – if you own horses or like balds and wide open views, this is a good one
- The Greenway Trail – a convenient, urban greenway right next to Boone
- Glen Burney Falls Trail – a short, easy trail to a beautiful waterfall
- Bass Lake Trail – gorgeous lake views from this loop
- Sims Pond Trail – enjoy both views of a beautiful pond and if you’re interested you can also head to Green Knob
- Beacon Heights – an easy hike if you want to see stellar views and have a little more time, because this is a further drive.
You can’t go wrong with any of them though in our opinion.
See A Video Of Beacon Heights Below:
See Photos Of Bass Lake, Sims Pond, and Beacon Heights Fall Views Below:
The Final Stop On Your Boone NC Fall Itinerary
1. If you take Hwy. 421 out of Boone stop at…
Cascades at milepost 272. On your way out of town, if you take Hwy. 421 down the mountain, we recommend one last stop. Head North for a quick drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway and one last opportunity to catch the incredible autumn hues at the Cascades (photo below) trail or Elk Mountain Overlook. This has always been one of our favorite fall activities in Boone, NC because it’s an easy walk to a big payoff, a waterfall that cascades over 100 feet in height.
2. If you take Hwy 321 out of Blowing Rock stop at…
Price Lake or Thunder Hill Overlook on the Parkway are amazing ways to end your Boone NC / Blue Ridge Parkway fall leaf peeping trip.