Boone/Blowing Rock/Banner Elk

Aug 10th, 2006, 06:37 AM
  #1  
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Boone/Blowing Rock/Banner Elk

Can anyone give me information about the 3B's area, ie. good restaurants, cafe's, hangout spots, (aside from any chains), shops, etc. (I've heard there's a great bagel shop in Boone?)

I'm heading down there for the first time for a girlfriends weekend and will appreciate any area info you can share.

Thank you!
VaMtnGirl is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 08:43 AM
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Banner Elk is the smallest of the three. There is a nice small shoppping area and a few restaurants.

Boone is a college town cluttered by a lot of franchises. I've never understood the draw of Boone itself, but areas outside the town are very pretty. There is a small cool area near the university with some interesting shops. Daniel Boone Inn is usually recommended for dining, but it is currently closed for renovations.

Blowing Rock has a lot of interesting shops, cute motels, and restaurants.

Hope someone can chime in with specifics for you!
xrae is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 09:10 AM
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For my taste the cutest shops are in Blowing Rock and Banner Elk (just walk down the main street, you will find them easily).
Restaurants in Blowing Rock: Twigs, The Blowing Rock Cafe, Crippens, The Best Cellar. At all costs avoid Ira's Dockside...
cmcfong is online now  
Aug 10th, 2006, 09:28 AM
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I would agree with the descriptions xrae gave you and expand a bit more with:
Banner Elk - is primarily a ski resort area so on off seasons there is not much going on there. There is a small jr college in town Lees McCrae - I think that's right. I've stayed at a B&B pretty close to the town and eaten at one of the restaurants in town which was intensely mediocre - but for the life of me can't recall the name.
Blowing Rock is sort of a historic mtn resort type destination - similar to Highlands I think. Beautiful homes, nice, mostly pricey shops and galleries, a cute little town square and lots of small inns, rentals and B&B's to choose from. I enjoyed a really good meal at Crippen's but that's been a couple of years ago. I've stopped more recently at the coffee/sandwich/pastry shop on the main street and it is ALWAYS good.
Boone is a college town in the mtns. I go up there for business occasionally. Last time had lunch at Coyote Kitchen which was REALLY tasty - neat mixture of carribbean/mexican food that reminded me of Salsa's in Asheville.
leahinsc is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 11:54 AM
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Agree - don't bother driving all the way out to Banner Elk unless you're staying out that way. Boone and BR have plenty to see.

In Boone, I like hanging out in the downtown area which is nicer than the strip of suburbia xrae mentions just south of downtown. The Boone Bagelry (sp?) right downtown on King Street is good for a real cheap breakfast and across the street is my favorite bar to hang out in - the Boone Saloon.

In BR, we like Twigs (pricey though) and Storie Street Grill but Crippens and Best Cellar have seen better days. Did I hear that the Best Cellar burned down recently? Woodlands BBQ up the street from Twigs is deservedly very, very popular.

And Docside Ira's closed last year and has been renovated and replaced by a fantastic place called Bistro Roca.

The Six Pence Pub downtown is very popular, though I find their bar a little smoky.

We like both BR and Boone but sometimes find BR a little precious and often overrun by tourists. We actually prefer the more rough around the edges Boone (we're in our 30s). You can get mixed drinks in BR but only beer/wine in Boone.

Have a great time - it's a great area.

Brian_in_Charlotte is online now  
Aug 10th, 2006, 12:33 PM
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brian - have you tried Coyote Kitchen? It's in an odd little strip mall - sounds like it would be right up your alley.
leahinsc is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 12:38 PM
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I have and I like it alot. I think they've opened another place (different name) downtown in the Old Jailhouse.
Brian_in_Charlotte is online now  
Aug 10th, 2006, 01:04 PM
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Glad to hear Ira's is gone. I was tempted to burn it down after my meal there.
Best Cellar did burn down, but is being rebuilt. It is in a temporary place during the construction. I have not been disappointed by a meal there or at Crippens.
cmcfong is online now  
Aug 10th, 2006, 01:13 PM
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Gosh, all this writing about Boone but esp Blowing Rock makes me want to take a drive up there. that's where we went after we were married - just for one snowy, foggy nite in February.
leahinsc is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 01:31 PM
  #10  
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Thanks for the quick responses. I'm really looking forward to spending some time in the area and really appreciate your tips.
VaMtnGirl is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 02:49 PM
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I've been to Blowing Rock a few times and I think it was the Blowing Rock Cafe that we ate dinner. I thought the food was good. I cannot think of specific shops but it is a very quaint and clean little town. We spent the night at Gideon Ridge Inn and it was so beautiful and relaxing. If you don't have a place to stay it would be perfect for a girl's getaway. Don't forget about Grandfather Mountain which is about a 20-30 minute drive from Blowing rock. Beautiful views and a mile high bridge. Worth the drive if there isn't fog obstructing the view.
ilovetulips is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 05:21 PM
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For anyone going to Banner Elk, Beech Mountain is very close and worth the drive. Beech is the highest town in the Eastern US. If you know what you're looking for and the gates are open, you can find the location of the old Land of Oz theme park up there. The yellow brick road still exists, but the place has been turned into a housing development (would LOVE to have a house there! Spectacular views). You can see photos at http://imageevent.com/xrae/landofoz

And don't forget to stop at the original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, sorta between Banner Elk and Boone.

(I know about all the area attractions but none of the restaurants or accommodations, lol).
xrae is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 06:29 PM
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xrae,

When I was a little girl, my parents took me to the Land of Oz. I had forgotten about it until you mentioned it. Thanks for the memory.
ilovetulips is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 06:34 PM
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xrae,

What time of year were you there>? My husband and I want to take our son to visit in the fall. We were thinking mid-Oct. You seemed to have some nice fall foliage.
ilovetulips is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 08:26 PM
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tulips -- it was mid-October I believe. The Wooly Worm Festival was going on in Banner Elk that day. The Wooly Worm races were great!

Somewhere my dad has 8mm home movies of me at Land of Oz theme park when I was about five years old. I remember being terrifed by the Wicked Witch.
xrae is offline  
Aug 14th, 2006, 09:59 AM
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Wondering if anyone in the Boone area can tell me what the weather has been like so far this year.

I am booked in Little Switzerland NC for three nights and I am hoping that you have had alot of rain so the fall foliage is still beautiful around the 20th of October.

I am hoping that I haven't booked too late. I usually head into the Mountains during the 3rd week of October and usually find pretty awesome colors.

Any thoughts?
tampabay1 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2006, 05:06 AM
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I can't tell you much about coloring, but the area has had its fair share of afternoon storms and when we were up there last weekend, we had a heavy rain from midnight Friday to about 8:00 AM Sat morning. It was almost hard to sleep through. I'd guess it's been an average or wetter than average summer after a somewhat dry spring.
Brian_in_Charlotte is online now  
Aug 10th, 2007, 02:36 PM
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At the end of August hubby and I are spending our anniversary at Blue Ridge Village resort between Linville, Focsoe, and Banner Elk. Are there any new restaurants to recommend? What would be a nice anniversary type place? We could do Boone, Blowing Rock, Beech Mtn, Linville, etc.
xrae is offline  
Aug 13th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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Louisiana Purchase is a great restaurant in Banner Elk.
sbarra is offline  
Aug 13th, 2007, 12:59 PM
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HKP
 
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For fine dining, we had an outstanding meal (with great view) at Gideon's Ridge restaurant.

We stayed at the Chetola Inn/resort and particularly liked the brunch there (dinner's not bad, either) -- they talk about a view, but it's limited. However, the grounds are lovely and the accommodations might work well for a group of girlfriends traveling together.

A bit of a hike will take you to Gamekeeper's, which only serves game -- I discovered I liked ostrich there, but venison and partridge didn't interest me, and you may or may not like the idea of the place.
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