After spending the past year staying safe, socially distancing, and only travelling when necessary, the anticipation of leisure vacationing is at an all-time high! No one wants to leave their beloved pet behind on family vacations, so we thought we would highlight some of the best pet-friendly places to go in and around Boone.
Make sure to stock up on any essentials before venturing out, whether you’re hitting the trails or making stops on the High Country Wine Trail. Animal basics can be found at The Pet Place, a locally owned pet store with any last-minute trip necessities like bags, raincoats, leashes and treats. The Mast General Store in downtown Boone can also supply dog toys and outdoor gear, in addition to human treats, clothes and supplies. Also downtown is Footsloggers, a dog-friendly outfitter with shoes and essential outdoor equipment.
The Blue Ridge Parkway
Adventurous canines won’t want to miss out on a stay in Boone, where waterfalls, mountain streams, lakes, and vistas are all around. They’ll experience the true joy of sticking their heads out of the window on the Blue Ridge Parkway and exploring overlooks, hiking trails and fishing spots along the way.
A stop at Julian Price Lake at milepost 297 on the Blue Ridge Parkway could allow for a 1.9-mile loop around the lake or an afternoon catching trout, surrounded by colorful rhododendron blooms from May to July. Price Lake Boat Rentals offers canoe and kayak rentals by the hour, and dogs are welcome to hop in the boat and join you. Moses H. Cone Memorial Park at milepost 294 features miles of carriage trails perfect for a stroll with the pooch through apple orchards and fields, around one of the stocked lakes, or to the Flat Top Manor house (currently under renovation in 2021).
Further south on the Blue Ridge Parkway, at milepost 316.4, is Linville Falls. The largest waterfall by volume of water on the Parkway, this thunderous landmark can be viewed from easy or strenuous trails all the way to the basin. Dogs are welcome to accompany their companions, on a leash, to either of these overlooks, or all the way down to the base of the falls.
The Blue Ridge Parkway isn’t the only place to enjoy incredible views, water features and the fresh mountain air with your furry friends. The Boone Greenway is a great place to get outside and see nature, right in Boone’s town limits. The path follows the headwaters of the New River, weaves around meadows and wetlands, historic hydroelectric station ruins, picnic tables, and through covered bridges. To the northwest of Boone is Elk Knob State Park, where dogs and their owners can climb to the top to view 360 degrees of incredible mountain vistas.
Tour an Historic Valley Town
Valle Crucis is a small scenic town that should not be missed by anyone visiting the High Country, but especially those with friendly dogs. The Original Mast General Store is a wonderful place to get provisions for both people and pups. From outdoor gear to the old-timey sweets found at the candy barrel, the Mast General Store has a lot of great merchandise to explore, including hiking gear and toys for man's best friend! Just across the street in a farmhouse built in 1816 with a wrap-around porch for pups to enjoy, is Over Yonder Restaurant and Fresh Market. Nearby, Valle Crucis Community Park has playgrounds, covered picnic shelters, and river access for fly fishing, playing, paddling, and floating, everything the family - including the pets - could want. The park does instate a small parking fee during the peak summer months, and operates on donations for the rest of the year.
Always remember to use Leave No Trace skills when enjoying the outdoors with pets. Plan out your adventure ahead of time and go prepared, pick up and pack out your pup's poop, and keep your dog on a leash wherever it is required. Learn more about "How to be a Responsible Pet Owner" outside from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics (LNT.org).
Trying out the waters of the New River at Boone Greenway
Boone Area Restaurants with Pet-Friendly Patios
- Boone Bagelry (Downtown Boone)
- Melanie’s Food Fantasy (Downtown Boone)
- Stick Boy Kitchen
- Famous Toastery in Blowing Rock
- Local Lion Doughnuts and Coffee
Lunch and Dinner
- Ransom Pub (Downtown Boone)
- The Local (Downtown Boone)
- Wild Craft Eatery (Downtown Boone)
- Café Portofino (Downtown Boone)
- Proper (Downtown Boone)
- Pedalin’ Pig (Boone and Banner Elk locations)
- Coyote Kitchen
- Red Onion Café
- Lily’s Snack Bar
- Tapp Room
- The Cardinal
- Basil’s Pasta
- Come Back Shack
- Willie Brooks BBQ
- Over Yonder
- The Speckled Trout Café in Blowing Rock
Beverages & Bites
- Appalachian Mountain Brewery
- Booneshine Brewing Company and Beer Garden
- Lost Province Brewing Company
- Blowing Rock Brewery and Ale House in Blowing Rock
- Grandfather Vineyard and Winery
- Linville Falls Vineyard and Winery
- Banner Elk Winery