Located high in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the western side of North Carolina, the town of Boone offers the culture of a small college town and is an absolute haven for outdoors enthusiasts of all kinds. Even those who aren’t necessarily enthusiasts have a hard time avoiding being inspired by the absolutely gorgeous scenery available to the public here in Boone.
But scenery is just one aspect of the Boone lifestyle. As the home of Appalachian State University, Boone is also filled with tons of cultural attractions, outstanding local restaurants, and plenty of unique shopping experiences. Let’s dive in a little deeper and explore everything that there is to see and do in Boone!
Boone, North Carolina was named after the famous pioneer Daniel Boone. That’s right, the guy who made the coonskin hat famous. Local legends say that Daniel Boone made camp in the Boone area on multiple occasions, and two of his nephews are credited with starting the first church in Boone.
The town has always been known as a home for bluegrass musicians, with many great performers hailing from Boone. It has also made headlines over the years for being extremely cautious of any type of proposed developments that might endanger the local scenery.
As of the 2000 census, there were a total of 13,472 people living in Boone. That number grew to 17,122 in 2010 and was estimated to be just over 18,000 people in 2014. There are also more than 17,000 students that call Appalachian State University home during the school year.
Because of the presence of the university, the age distribution in Boone definitely skews younger, with 65.9% of the population listed between the ages of 18 and 24. Only 7.1% of the population is over the age of 65, which makes Boone the perfect place for active boomers looking to be surrounded by youthful energy.
From hiking and camping to skiing and white water rafting, everything about the lifestyle in Boone revolves around the mountains. You can start by exploring the stunning beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and then follow that up with places like Grandfather Mountain, Linville Caverns, or one of the many state parks located nearby.
During the winter months, there are five different ski resorts to keep you busy. And if you aren’t keen on skiing or snowboarding, there is always tubing! In the warmer months, there are activities like white water rafting, zip lines, and even an outdoor drama to keep you busy.
Because it is a college town, there is always an abundance of cultural activities happening in and around Boone. If you are looking to explore this side of the town, the best place to start is The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. This is one of the largest museums of any kind in the area and features constantly changing exhibits.
There are also many unique galleries and studios located both in Boone and in nearby Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Whether your passion is fine art, handmade crafts, pottery, or even photography, there is a never-ending supply of cultural experiences here in Boone.
As you might expect from a college town, there are plenty of Appalachian State University souvenirs available at all of these stores. And since this is a college town, you can also find all of the necessary modern stores that the kids want at the nearby Boone Mall.
One of the most popular restaurants in Boone is Coyote Kitchen, although they definitely don’t serve the type of food you would expect to find in the mountains. They specialize in western Caribbean soul food, which basically means they sell mind-blowingly good burritos, tacos, and bowls that use ingredients like jerk chicken, blackened salmon, pineapple, and plantains.
Another great dining option is Proper, which focuses their menu on southern food like fried chicken and pulled pork. The menu is different depending on which day of the week you visit, so you will definitely want to plan your first trip accordingly, but don’t worry…everything here is fantastic.
For a truly unique dinner experience, you can’t beat F.A.R.M. Cafe. This restaurant is actually more of a community kitchen. Volunteer serve delicious, locally sourced meals and simply ask patrons to pay whatever amount they can afford. But the kicker here is the the food is gourmet quality deliciousness.
Boone Area Developments
If you are looking for a fantastic master-planned community near Boone, The Coves Mountain River Club is going to be the perfect fit for you. 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. The Coves Mountain River Club offers all of these qualities in a single 3,600 acre gated community.
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.
Few places will keep you feeling young well into your retirement the way a small college town will. Here in Boone, North Carolina, you will find the perfect small college town that just happens to be located in one of the most scenic places on the planet. Between the outdoor beauty, the arts and culture, and the delicious food, Boone is a truly amazing place to call home.