Banner Elk is the only town in North Carolina featuring two ski resorts. This unique location — between the state’s two largest ski resorts — makes Banner Elk the top ski town in North Carolina. So, book a stay in Banner Elk to be near the slopes and closest to all the best restaurants, coffee shops, breweries and nightlife.
Visitors can head a few miles south to the slopes at Sugar Mountain Resort or a few miles north to the slopes at Beech Mountain Resort. Together, those two ski areas provide Banner Elk visitors a total of 38 slopes, 17 lifts, 16 tubing lanes, two terrain parks, two ski schools and two ice skating rinks.
Beech Mountain (5,506 feet) is the highest ski resort in Eastern America and has NC’s only mountain top ski bar, while Sugar Mountain (5,300 feet) has the most skiable acres (125) in North Carolina and the state’s only double black diamond slope. Banner Elk is also home to North Carolina’s only alpine coaster. Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster provides another winter downhill experience, reaching speeds of up to 27 miles per hour.
[Related content: Ski Well, Be Well COVID-safe skiing in Banner Elk]
When it’s time for aprés ski, North Carolina’s ski town takes center stage with upscale lodging, dining, shopping and nightlife. Banner Elk has an impressive collection of restaurants from down home to fine dining to everything in between. In fact, Banner Elk is referred to as the “Culinary Hot Spot of the High Country” for its culinary scene.
Kettell Beerworks is a warm and inviting craft brewery on Main Street in Banner Elk and carries anywhere from eight to 12 styles of beer on tap year-round.
Just a few miles down the road from Kettell Beerworks is Banner Elk Winery, an award-winning winery and vineyard that was the first winery to establish itself in the North Carolina High Country and is now part of the High Country Wine Trail. Also nearby is Grandfather Vineyard & Winery, with a welcoming tasting room beside the Watauga River in the shadows of Grandfather Mountain.
Part of the fun of a Blue Ridge Mountain ski vacation is selecting the perfect lodging. Whether you seek a cozy cabin, upscale vacation home, bed-and-breakfast inn or a national chain hotel, you can find the right fit. Check out our lodging page to locate the option that is best for you. Most places have fireplaces and/or hot tubs!
Banner Elk’s walkabout downtown is full of shops and boutiques for those who seek a little retail therapy away from the slopes.
And yes, even in winter, you can visit nearby Grandfather Mountain, one of North Carolina’s most popular attractions. Grandfather Mountain stays open throughout winter as long as there is not too much snow and temperatures aren’t too chilly. The mountain’s hiking trails provide nice options for winter hikes with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. More about winter fun at Grandfather Mountain is available in this news post.
This winter, don’t miss out on the best skiing destination in North Carolina. Click the graphic below to learn about COVID safety measures at Banner Elk ski resorts.