5 must-visit mountain towns within 4 hours of Raleigh

5 must-visit mountain towns within 4 hours of Raleigh
downtown boone north carolina

Downtown Boone. Photo: Emma Way/Axios

No matter whether you’re hoping to soak up the previous colours of tumble or usher in the holiday getaway spirit, it truly is a fantastic time to make the vacation from Raleigh up to the mountains.

Get oriented: The Blue Ridge Mountains and the Fantastic Smoky Mountains minimize as a result of the western element of North Carolina. Numerous of our mountain towns are around two populations hubs: Asheville and Boone. But you will find a large amount extra out there on the western entrance.

When to visit: Every time provides a little something new to do — from wildflower-recognizing in spring, to festival-going in summer time, to apple-selecting in slide, to snowboarding and Polar Convey-ing in winter season.

  • Use this guidebook to decide a location and a time for you.
1. Asheville

The king of great and group preferred mountain city, Asheville is a ceremony of passage for weekend vacation from Raleigh. The city of almost 100,000 has supreme foodie spots, art galleries galore, dozens of breweries and a handful of nearby hikes.

Length from Raleigh: 4 hrs

Excellent for: Good friends who like to bash.

When to go: November-December to see the Biltmore decorated for the holidays.

Ought to-see: Tour the breathtaking Biltmore Estate, go for a brewery crawl, and conclude a working day with dancing and drinks at the open up-air bar, Ben’s Tune Up.

ben's tune up asheville nc
Will not skip Ben’s Tune Up. Photo: Emma Way/Axios
2. Mount Airy

If you shrunk Asheville, you’d get some thing like Mount Ethereal, a small city of 10,000 surrounded by point out parks and house to a expanding beer and wine scene.

Length from Raleigh: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Great for: A trip on a finances.

When to go: Fall for prime winery hopping.

Must-see: Examine the downtown space that impressed the “Andy Griffith Show” and quit at Thirsty Souls Brewing for pizza and craft beer.

Stop for a flight of beer at Thirsty Souls. Photo: Emma Way/Axios
Halt for a flight of beer at Thirsty Souls. Picture: Emma Way/Axios
3. Blowing Rock

Blowing Rock is an upscale vacation resort town with a lot of mountain charm. It truly is best for a laid-back again weekend stuffed with hiking and window searching.

Distance from Raleigh: 3 hrs, 15 minutes

Ideal for: Relaxation — whether or not that is with family, your lover or on your own is up to you.

When to go: Fall, specifically if you are a hiker.

Ought to-see: Take a look at The Blowing Rock for vista stage views, or enterprise on to 1 of the most gorgeous stretches of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Just outside of town you will uncover the scenic Bass Lake and Moses H. Cone Memorial Park.

the blowing rock in blowing rock nc
THE Blowing Rock. Photograph: Brianna Crane/Axios
4. Banner Elk

Banner Elk is North Carolina’s ski town, suitable among Beech and Sugar mountains. But in the warmer months, you can commence your working day with a hike or an alpine roller coaster, and end it with a glass of wine from Banner Elk Winery.

Distance from Raleigh: 3 several hours, 30 minutes

Ideal for: Skiers and snowboarders.

When to go: Winter season, a.k.a. ski period.

Need to-see: Strike the slopes at Beech Mountain or Sugar Mountain.

Exciting truth: The “Wizard of Oz” theme park is just a couple of minutes away. It’s a small unusual but also a magical ought to-see if you’re in the space even though it is happening.

beech mountain slopes and beer
Check out and brews at Beech Mountain. Photograph: Matt Hill/Axios
5. Boone

This quintessential university town in the mountains has close by hikes to fill the times, and effortlessly exciting bars to round out your nights.

Length from Charlotte: 3 hours

Ideal for: Faculty sweethearts.

When to go: Fall. Primary time for leaf peeping and school soccer.

  • If you want to chop down your individual Christmas tree, go in late November/early December.

Ought to-see: Get a street-vacation to the Mile Significant Swinging Bridge on Grandfather Mountain, just outside of Boone. It is value it even if you are a little scared of heights.

beer from booneshine brewing
Get a drink or snack and sit by the fireplace at Booneshine Brewing. Picture: Brianna Crane/Axios