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Beech Mountain Resort. At about 5,500 feet above sea level, Beech Mountain Resort is the highest ski area in the eastern United States. Full-day weekday lift/slopes tickets are around $30 on weekdays and $60 on weekends. Beech also offers snowboarding and ice skating. In warm weather, the resort switches to mountain biking and yoga. Chalet rentals are available. 1007 Beech Mountain Pkwy., Beech Mountain, NC, 28604. 828/387–2011; 800/438–2093 reservations. www.beachmountainresort.com.
Hawksnest. You can no longer ski here but you can try snowtubing on any of 20 tubing lanes, at what is claimed to be the largest snowtubing resort in the East. Rates are around $25 for a 1-hour 45-minute session on weekdays, $30 on weekends. Children must be at least 3 to snowtube. In snow or summer heat, Hawksnest also offers zip lining with 20 zip lines that total 4 miles in length. 2058 Skyland Dr., Seven Devils, NC, 28604. 828/963–6561 or 800/822–4295. www.hawksnesttubing.com.
Sugar Mountain. One of the larger ski resorts in the High Country, Sugar Mountain has an equipment shop and lessons, along with snowboarding, tubing, and ice skating. Full-day weekday ski rates are around $40, weekends $70. Sugar also offers summer rides on the ski lifts, golf, tennis, and vacation rentals. 1009 Sugar Mountain Dr., Off NC Rte. 184, Banner Elk, NC, 28604. 828/898–4521 or 800/784-2768. www.skisugar.com. Snow skiing usually late Nov.-Mar.