If "roughing it" is more your taste, there are classic "swimming holes" in nearby national forests. One of the best and more easily accessible "swimming holes" is Wildcat Lake in Banner Elk (see the slideshow photos above). It's a scenic jewel and a family-friendly place for swimming and sunbathing on a white sand beach, summer picnicking, boating and fishing for brook, rainbow, and brown trout, bluegill and bass. Life guards are on duty-and admission is free. The lake is open from June to August-the warmest part of the cool summer in the Boone Area.
The Boone Area also has a wide variety of hotels, motels, and resorts with excellent swimming pool facilities. There are also swimming complexes open to the public in Boone and Blowing Rock, with lifeguards on duty.