Things To Do in Banner Elk, NC
Valle Crucis & The High Country
The Mast Farm Inn is situated in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. Valle Crucis is pronounced Valley-Crew-Sis and in Latin means Valley Of The Cross, so named for the rivers and streams which cross our valley. We are on the Watauga River in a beautiful mountain valley a little under a mile long, by about a quarter mile wide, surrounded by mountains, forests, rivers and streams, and our population is eight hundred.
Our location, history, geography, climate, and authentically friendly people, all contribute to making it quite simply a treasure… a natural sanctuary & haven of peaceful calm. It is a great place to live, and a great place to spend a few precious days. While you have the impression you stepped back in time and are in the middle of rural nowhere, in fact some of the most vital, diverse and attractive small mountain villages in the United States are within 10 miles, as is the Blue Ridge Parkway, the second most visited National Park in America.
Scenic towns less than 20 minutes away
Boone & Blowing Rock
Boone is a modern University town, with all that implies in activities, food, sports, art and culture. It is a cultural and social hub which maintains a welcoming, safe and friendly small town feel.
Some could say Blowing Rock is down home Beverly Hills in the Mountains, chic, but natural, and minus the slightest pretense… “just us folks, but we dress nice, we like art and good food, beer and wine.” The main street is a treat and there is an abundance of restaurants, boutiques, shops, art and craft galleries. Think casual comfy fancy.
Linville & Banner Elk
Linville is the glorious home of Grandfather Mountain, an Official United Nations biosphere, and Linville Falls. The breathtaking nature in our area is magical. Rugged mountain terrain, rendered accessible in eco-friendly ways.
Banner Elk, home of Lees-McRae college could just as well be situated in the alps; a mountain village where half the population is composed of students, and which is surrounded by two ski resorts. Short of the Swiss-Italian border near Villa D’Este, or Geneva, we know of no place on earth like the western high country, which tucks that much into the folds of majestic mountains and valleys.
Explore Valle Crucis
Some of Our Favorite Attractions in the Area
Located 20 minutes from The Inn, Grandfather Mountain‘s lofty heights offer guests opportunities for rejuvenation, excitement and family memories in a natural haven that will endure forever. Marvel at 360-degree views from the Mile High Swinging Bridge, stand eye-to-eye with native wildlife in natural habitats and interact with Grandfather Mountain’s friendly & knowledgeable staff. The views are ancient. The experiences are all brand new.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Parkway drive is a relaxing 45 mph route providing visitors the opportunity to explore the Boone Area in many different ways. Boone Area hallmarks of the Blue Ridge Parkway experience include over 50 hiking trails, more than 20 overlooks, electric autumn color, and explosive spring blooms making the Parkway a “must see” on the itinerary. It is impossible to take a bad photograph on “America’s favorite drive!”
The Mast General Store
Quality goods at a fair price since 1883. Listed on the National Historic Register as one of the best remaining examples of an old country store. This historic landmark, in the heart of North Carolina’s first rural historic district, has featured quality goods and traditional clothing since 1883. The Original Mast Store location features mercantile items that you may remember from your grandma’s house like jams and jellies, real maple syrup, stoneground cornmeal, comfortable rocking chairs, sturdy hiking boots, comfortable casual shoes, and sandals.
The Moses Cone Manor
The Moses Cone Manor house is an impressive piece of period architecture popping out of the mountain landscape. The walk down the steps provides a breathtaking view of Bass Lake below and the surrounding mountains accented by the always changing sky. The combination of the architecture, landscape and the beauty of the regional crafts available at Parkway Craft Center offer something for everyone. As one of the most prevalent historic attractions on the Blue Ridge Parkway, The Moses H. Cone Memorial Park is “historic splendor at its finest”.
Apple Hill Farm
Magnificent mountain views, wooded footpaths, and landscaped gardens are the visual backdrop for the barns and animals, providing the ultimate picturesque setting for Apple Hill Farm’s animals and visitors.
Apple Hill Farm is an Alpaca Farm that sits atop Valle Mountain on the site of a 45-year-old apple orchard. The remaining apple trees serve as the focal point for the property which is now home to alpacas, cats, chickens, dogs, donkeys, goats, horses, llamas and miniature donkeys.
Linville Falls is the most popular waterfall in the Blue Ridge Mountains because of its accessibility to the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is a spectacular three-tiered waterfall plunging into Linville Gorge, the “Grand Canyon of the Southern Appalachians.” The Falls Trail distance is 1.6 miles round trip and easy. The Gorge Trail distance is 1.4 miles round trip and strenuous. The Plunge Basin Trail is 1 mile round trip and moderate. Pets are welcome but must be on a leash.
Beech Mountain is a town in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s known for the Beech Mountain Resort, with ski trails, a summit deck with panoramic views and a terrain park. Numerous mountain trails include the creekside Falls Trail, which leads to a waterfall. The Emerald Outback at Beech Mountain is an all-season trail park. The 1970s amusement park Land of Oz opens for special events each year.
Located at the southern gateway to western NC’s High Country region, Linville Caverns is an ideal destination for visitors of all ages. The beauty of our mountains is echoed within Humpback Mountain and visitors are invited to explore the splendor and wonders nature created “inside a mountain”. Courteous and experienced guides will take you into the subterranean world, giving you the history of the caverns and allowing you to view the grand work of nature. We invite you to visit often and experience the beauty of these age-old mountains from the inside!
Tweetsie Railroad is a family-oriented Wild West theme park located between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina. The centerpiece of the park is a 3-mile (4.8 km) ride on a train pulled by one of Tweetsie Railroad’s two historic narrow-gauge steam locomotives. The park also features a variety of amusement rides, live shows, a zoo and other attractions geared towards families with children. The park also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year including Halloween and Christmas themed events.