Blowing Rock has been a famous travel destination since the late 1800s when lowland Carolinians first started summering in the cool of the North Carolina High Country. With the opening of guest houses and hotels, including the classic, 1892 Green Park Inn that still tempts travelers with its "grande dame" status, the name "Blowing Rock" became synonymous with sophistication and scenic splendor. From "North Carolina's first travel attraction," the rocky crag of The Blowing Rock, views still stretch to Grandfather Mountain and Mount Mitchell.
More Than a Century of Mountain HospitalityRail travel easily reached Lenoir, where stagecoaches quickly ascended a top-notch turnpike to "The Crown of the Blue Ridge." Cars eventually climbed the grade, and the "noted resort," as one early travel writer called it, became a Blue Ridge Parkway town noted for the expansive forests, meadows, hiking and horseback trails of Julian Price and Moses Cone Memorial Parks. The stroll around colorful Bass Lake in Moses Cone Park is a Blowing Rock ritual. The Blowing Rock Charity Horseshow is the nation's longest-running event of its kind.
"The Rock" today is known for the award-winning quaintness of its downtown-it's often called one of North Carolina's most scenic villages. There's diverse and distinctive shopping-and specialty shops galore. Whether you are searching for crafts, jewelry, clothing, or collectibles, there is a shop on Main or nearby in Blowing Rock that will interest you. And when it's time to head to Boone, Blowing Rock's Shoppes on the Parkway is a comprehensive outlet mall. Check out the Boone Area Buyer's Guide for more.
Great downtown dining and lodging still invite a leisurely evening stroll-or a hike. The Glen Burney Trail leaves directly from downtown and explores a wild gorge. It's still a draw from the early days-be sure to bring a picnic. Check out our trail guide. Not up for that? Stroll around the town's lake, try the municipal swimming pool, or just sit in the breezy park on Main Street and watch the world go by.
Summer theater, monthly Art in the Park shows (May to October), and the exhibits of the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum are all part of the appeal of one of the High Country's choicest spots to revel in the cool and beauty of the Blue Ridge.