Located about two hours north of Charlotte, Blowing Rock offers a fresh-air, mountain experience that is unlike anything you will find in a major city. Known as the “Crown of the Blue Ridge,” this is the type of place that allows residents and visitors to appreciate the natural beauty that exists all around them.
Blowing Rock is a small town packed with gorgeous views, eclectic shopping, and a wide range of great dining experiences. That combination has also made it a popular retirement destination for Boomers looking to enjoy a more permanent mountain getaway.
Blowing Rock History
Originally home to the Cherokee and Catawba Native American Tribes, the town of Blowing Rock first came to prominence during the Civil War. The mountains of North Carolina were a treacherous place to be at that time, and many of the local men fighting in the war sent their families to live in Blowing Rock, where they would be safe from the violence.
Following the war, many of those soldiers reunited with their families in Blowing Rock and either lived there permanently or continued to visit to enjoy the crisp mountain air during the summer months. The town’s reputation as a tourist destination has been growing ever since, and today people come from all over the south to enjoy the natural beauty they find here.
Blowing Rock Lifestyle
The lifestyle you will find in Blowing Rock revolves around getting outdoors and enjoying the rolling hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here you will find almost endless options for hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, rock climbing, and enjoying some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in all of the Carolinas.
Known as “North Carolina’s First Tourist Attraction,” The Blowing Rock is the most popular place for enjoying the beautiful outdoors, but Memorial Park, Julian Price Park, and Moses H. Cone Memorial Park all offer attractive ways to explore the rolling hills as well.
Children who visit Blowing Rock always enjoy a trip on the Tweetsie Railroad or a trip to Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine.
Blowing Rock Culture
The lifestyle in Blowing Rock is focused on the outdoors, but the beauty of those scenic vistas tends to attract people who are also interested in a wide range of culture. Over the years, that has lead to a surprising number of successful art galleries popping up all over town.
In addition to local artists, there is also a thriving scene for the performing arts that revolves around the nearby Barter Theatre. And you haven’t really experienced Blowing Rock until you have listened to a performance by the High Country Jazz Society.
Blowing Rock Shopping
Like any mountain community tourist attraction, Blowing Rock features a downtown district that is packed full of shops and boutique stores offering a wide range of shopping experiences. Antiques and home furnishings are popular items here, and you can also find some interesting apparel and jewelry shops as well.
In addition to quaint little mountain town shops, Blowing Rock is also home to some first-class outlet shopping thanks to the Shops at Martin House, Southmarke, and Tanger Outlets at Blowing Rock.
Blowing Rock Dining
Because it is such a popular tourist destination, Blowing Rock is home to some of the most outstanding restaurants you will find anywhere in North Carolina. One of the most popular stops for locals and visitors is The New Public House & Hotel, which offers American cuisine for lunch and dinner menus, as well as one of the best brunches in town.
Craft beer enthusiasts love frequenting Blowing Rock Brewing, which started as a local brewery and has since grown into a popular local restaurant and inn. The IPAs and seasonal ales will always take center stage here, but don’t sleep on just how good the Grilled Bison Burger is here either!
There are also plenty of fine dining options available around Blowing Rock, and Gideon Ridge Inn is one of our favorites. This adorable bed and breakfast features one of the best high-end restaurants in town, and their menu changes daily, so there is always a new experience waiting for you.
Blowing Rock Area Developments
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Lenoir and Blowing Rock, The Coves Mountain River Club is a spectacular master-planned and gated community. Vacationing families and active retirees have found Western North Carolina to be ideal for thriving cultural locales, year-round enjoyable climate and a multitude of recreational opportunities.
Far from being a resort community or weekend getaway, The Coves is loaded with built-out amenities designed for 365 days of activities and events. Active adults can take advantage of the beautiful natural environment while enjoying a full social calendar of gatherings with other like-minded residents. Walk along gentle mountain paths, challenge yourself with a high-country hike or Kayak 5 miles of the Johns River without ever leaving the community. Spend a morning in the garden and then attend a community barbecue or concert that evening. Rejuvenate yourself in our state of the art fitness center. While away a winter afternoon in our library, or spend lazy summer days on horseback. With such a wide array of homesites to choose from, it’s easy to pick your perfect getaway.
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Between the stunning natural scenery, the thriving cultural scene, the excellent shopping, and the world-class dining options, Blowing Rock is a small town that offers a little bit of everything that Boomers are looking for in a mountain community. The only thing missing is you!