Tucked inside the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside the Tennessee border, Boone is a small mountain town in North Carolina that sits at an elevation of 3,333 feet. Just under 20,000 people call Boone home, including many that are connected to Appalachian State University and the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. Boone is famously named after American explorer and pioneer Daniel Boone, "the rippin'est, roarin'est, fightin'est man the frontier ever knew!"
One of the very best things about visiting Boone in the summer is the weather. Exchange high temperatures and muggy, humid days for the crisp, cool mountain air of Boone. Even in the dead of the summer (June, July, and August), highs almost never cross the 80-degree mark. With daily summer temperatures between 55 and 75 degrees, it's no wonder that people choose Boone for a getaway from seasonal heat.
Driving around Boone is a breeze, but note that some roads are steep and curvy (such as those that take you up to Grandfather Mountain).
First, to clear up a bit of confusion... Grandfather Mountain, as you have probably seen it most commonly advertised, is a 700-acre attraction with a $10-$24/person ticket cost that includes the Mile High Swinging Bridge, Wilson Center for Nature Discovery, hiking trails, and Wildlife Habitats. Grandfather Mountain State Park is a series of hiking trails and backpacking sites, which you will see on the way up to the paid attraction. It's rather perplexing that the areas share the same name and much of the same property, but they are, in fact, two different attractions.
If you just want to take a hike or enjoy a leisurely picnic with your family, you can do so for free in Grandfather Mountain State Park. Hiking permits are mandatory, but free.
If you are determined to see or walk across the Mile High Swinging Bridge, however, you will need to drive through the entrance kiosks and pay the associated fees for access to Grandfather Mountain.
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GENERAL INFORMATION FOR GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN:
If you like quirky attractions with small town appeal, Mystery Hill will be your cup of tea. The eclectic mix of attractions includes an old home from the 1900s, a large arrowhead collection, axe-throwing, old-fashioned photos, bull riding, gem-mining, a miniature farm area with chickens and rabbits, and an anti-gravity room.
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Boone has a surprisingly modern, well-lit, sparkling clean, and well-stocked Publix grocery store. In fact, we visited seventeen states this summer and Public was one of our favorite grocers.
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We stayed in our RV at the Boone KOA, "the highest KOA east of the Mississippi River." See our full Campground Spotlight for details.
If we return to Boone, North Carolina in the future, we plan to:
Watch this page for continued updates and top tips for planning your next trip to Boone, North Carolina.