A nice little trip to Blowing Rock, NC

Princess Gail and I just spent a couple of days in and around Blowing Rock, NC. It is a less than 2 hour drive northeast of us from Winston, up into the Blue Ridge Mountains. In fact, Blowing Rock is at one of the exits off The Blue Ridge Parkway.

We found Blowing Rock to be a really pretty, quaint little town. The walkable main street is full of very nice shops (not the cheap touristy stuff) and excellent restaurants. We enjoyed nice meals at The Village Café, Twigg’s, and the Storie Street Grille. My favorite was the Village Café, with an upscale menu, a beautiful, secluded outside patio, and reasonable prices.

We stayed at the Chetola Resort only because we got a Groupon for over a hundred bucks off. Otherwise it would not be worth the price to stay, at least not for me. If I’m in the mountains I want a mountain view, and though the grounds are lovely, there is no mountain view. We saw many little motel-type places right in town that were really done nicely! If we ever go back we’ll stay at one of those.

The town of Blowing Rock has a lot of local activities all summer long. Just stop at the Visitor Center as you come into town and get a list. We weren’t there for the good shopping or eating, though. We love the great outdoors. Right in town, we can suggest the Glen Burney Trail. The rough trail follows a little stream for 1.6 downhill miles, with three waterfalls along the way. It is an excellent spot for birding. Just remember you then have to walk the 1.6 uphill miles! This little Carolina Wren came out from the underbrush to pose for us:

Right outside of town is the town’s namesake, The Blowing Rock. The rock itself is nothing at all to speak of and wouldn’t be worth the price of admission if not for the views. The views are pretty cool. It was a bit overcast, but here is an example. Princess Gail with Grandfather Mountain in the distance.

We spent a morning at Grandfather Mountain. It is one of the highest peaks in the Blue Ridge, and famous for numerous wildlife habitats at the different altitudes as well as some dramatic (and dangerous) weather. We were hoping to spot a Peregrine Falcon but were unlucky. Here are a few pictures at the Mile High Swinging Bridge where winds have been measured at over 100 mph.

Can you tell how she feels about heights and howling winds? ;-)

The short span of The Blue Ridge Parkway between Grandfather Mountain and the town of Blowing Rock is full of activity. That includes The Moses Cone Memorial Park, the Julian Price Memorial Park, and the Tanawha Trail. There are numerous scenic overlooks as well. You can spend days just in that tiny bit of the Parkway.

We had fun! Life is good! :D

Smile!

Leave me a comment
  • sharkbytes September 3, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    Nice place! I didn’t know there were Mts that high in NC

    • Ferd September 3, 2011 at 8:59 PM

      Hi Joan!
      One of the really great things about NC is that it has so much geographic diversity: mountains to the west, the Piedmont in the central area (where we live) and the ocean to the east.
      As far as the mountains are concerned, Mount Mitchell, close to Asheville, is the highest peak in the eastern US at 6,684 feet.

  • Berryvox September 3, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    Those mountains are surreal. They look like a watercolor painting!

    Ha, I think 100mph winds on a rickety bridge would give me the creeps too.

    • Ferd September 3, 2011 at 11:12 PM

      They’re real, though. I promise they’re not a backdrop! LOL

      I had to tighten my hat and hold on to it so it wouldn’t blow off. And it was a “nice” day up there! Pretty impressive!

  • Linda September 3, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    Ohhh… what a magical place! You guys have a real knack for finding the best spots to visit. The bird and the bridge get an A++. ; )

    • Ferd September 3, 2011 at 11:27 PM

      Thanks, Linda! I’m just grateful that Gail is so adventuresome. We do have a really great time together!

  • Gail September 3, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    It was a beautiful trip and I had a lot of fun with you!

    • Ferd September 3, 2011 at 11:28 PM

      It is always great being with you! :D

  • Elliot September 4, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    I don’t think I’ve ever stopped off in that particular town, but I’ve been all through the Blue Ridge Mountains and it’s one of my favorite places in the U.S.

    • Ferd September 4, 2011 at 6:56 PM

      There are so many places along the Parkway! I doubt we’ll ever get to all of them, especially up towards Shenandoah. But we want to see as much of it as we can in our home state, NC.
      If you do get to the Blowing Rock area, I would recommend it as a brief stop.

  • meleah rebeccah September 6, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    Wow! What a beautiful place. But, there isn’t enough money in the world to get me to walk across that bridge. HELL NO! She’s a VERY brave woman!!

    • Ferd September 6, 2011 at 11:55 PM

      Hi, Meleah!
      Yeah, Gail’s pretty tough. It made her nervous as hell, but she did it! Now I have to talk her into zip lining! :-)

  • Katherine September 8, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    Tell Gail I am VERY impressed… I am extremely adventuresome, but put me on a windy swaying bridge and I would be hyperventilating. I would go, but I would not look as poised as she does!!!!

    • Ferd September 8, 2011 at 8:51 AM

      That’s not a poised look, that’s scared shitless! LOL :D

      I’m glad you’re adventuresome, too!

  • […] Hwy 421, and 80 short miles later we were on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, close to Boone and Blowing Rock, NC! We headed south, with an open-ended plan, intending to take a few days to travel to the south […]

  • Jane February 25, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Hi Ferd,
    My name is Jane and I’m with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Blowing Rock to share on our site and I came across your post…If you’re open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!
    Jane

    • Ferd February 28, 2013 at 6:12 PM

      Hi Jane,
      Thank you for the interest. I like the Dwellable idea, so I did add the link at the bottom of the post. I hope some of your clients find the post helpful and decide to visit our great state of North Carolina! :D