Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster

Banner Elk

Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster is North Carolina’s first alpine roller coaster, providing thrilling outdoor adventure in Banner Elk.

Wilderness Run is built by Germany’s top alpine coaster company and modeled after popular coasters in Europe. The track’s length of 3,160 feet includes three circular loops, a series of waves and several twists and turns for plenty of excitement.

Guests navigate the track in individual carts that are designed to accommodate up t... Read More

Wildcat Lake

Banner Elk

Wildcat Lake is a premier attraction in Banner Elk, particularly in warmer months. The 13-acre lake is the centerpiece of a public-access facility that includes a white sand beach, swimming pier and fishing dock.

The most popular activities at Wildcat Lake are swimming, sun bathing, fishing and boating. Lifeguards are on duty during summer hours. Boating is limited to non-motorized boats along with canoes and kayaks.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission stocks the ... Read More

Tweetsie Railroad

Blowing Rock

Trains are the stars of this Wild West theme park. Located between Boone and Blowing Rock, Tweetsie Railroad has entertained families with old-fashioned fun since 1957.

The park operates two vintage steam locomotives: No. 12 “Tweetsie” and No. 190 the “Yukon Queen.” As you ride the rails, keep an eye out for train-robbing bandits. Then, head to the Tweetsie Palace Saloon to watch Diamond Lil’s renowned can-can dancers, or tap your toes along with the country cloggers in the Pavilion... Read More

Grandfather Mountain


Grandfather Mountain is a popular tourist attraction located atop one of the highest peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Each year, it attracts about 250,000 tourists who spend the day hiking, viewing animals, visiting the nature museum and picnicking.

One of the mountain’s best-known pastimes is a walk across the Mile High Swinging Bridge. At one mile above sea level, the bridge is the highest suspension footbridge in the country. A journey to the end offers 360-degree views of the ... Read More

Beech Mountain Bike Park

Beech Mountain

From early June through late September, ski slopes become downhill mountain biking trails at Beech Mountain Resort.

The Beech Mountain Bike Park provides chairlift service to the top of the 5,506 peak, allowing riders to choose from a variety of trails back down to the resort village.

There are 10 trails in total, ranging from easy to intermediate to advanced to expert only. Read More

Mast General Store

Valle Crucis

What was once a community necessity in rural Valle Crucis is now a popular stop for tourists to journey back in time. Folks come to play checkers by the pot-bellied stove, listen to bluegrass music on the back porch or just enjoy a Moon Pie and RC Cola.

Mast General Store opened as The Taylor General Store in 1883 before W.W. Mast purchased the store in 1913 and tried to stock everything local residents need from cloth and plow points to cradles and caskets. The store earned the mot... Read More

Apple Hill Farm

Banner Elk

Advanced tickets required for tours

One of the best kept secrets in the North Carolina High Country is the Apple Hill Farm, located just outside Banner Elk.

Apple Hill is a working alpaca and llama farm, with a popular gift store, that offers tours year-round to visitors.

The tours are guided, educational walking tours that generally last about 45 to 60 minutes. On ... Read More

Banner Elk Stables

Banner Elk

View the Blue Ridge Mountains via horseback at Banner Elk Stables. This Banner Elk attraction offers one-hour guided rides on rustic trails perched along the mountain ridges.

Rides are available year-round, weather permitting to people of all ages. The farm has a large stable of horses suitable for a variety of riding abilities.

Some guests get to ride atop movie stars. Horses from Banner Elk Stables have appeared on the big screen in “For Richer or Poorer,” “Shallow Hal,” “C... Read More

Linville Caverns


Step inside Humpback Mountain with a guided tour through Linville Caverns. The active caverns reveal stalactite and stalagmite formations — points hanging from the ceiling or rising from the floor formed by the minerals in dripping water.

The caverns were first discovered in the early 1800s when fishermen from eastern North Carolina spotted trout that appeared to be swimming in and out of a rock. Their investigation led them to the caverns and an underground stream.

Linville ... Read More

Elk River Falls

Elk Park

Just a short drive from Banner Elk is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the NC mountains.

Elk River Falls, also known as Big Falls, features large volumes of water dropping 50 feet over a rock cliff into a picturesque oval pool.

The trail to the falls is an easy-to-follow trail, but there are ample rocks and roots along the way. It is about a third of a mile to get to the falls (0.6 miles roundtrip).

The falls can be viewed from an area near the top of the falls... Read More

Foscoe Fishing Company


Foscoe Fishing Co. provides expert outfitting and fly fishing guide service for everybody from first-timers to experienced anglers. It is the only Orvis endorsed fly fishing outfitter and guide service in North Carolina’s High Country

Foscoe Fishing operates a full-service fly shop in the community of Foscoe, located between Banner Elk and Boone. Their experienced and knowledgeable guides take guests to some of the best spots for fly fishing on the Watauga, Linville, Toe, Elk and Ne... Read More

Hawksnest Ziplines

Seven Devils

Hawksnest features four miles of zip-line cables for riders to cruise over trees, lakes and creeks, taking in panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The attraction is located just off of Highway 105 South between Boone and Banner Elk, high atop Seven Devils.

Whether you are a first-time zip-liner or you have several rides under your belt, Hawksnest is a fun place to experience the thrill of a zip line while surrounded by mountain scenery.

The most popular option is the ... Read More