Blowing Rock was first settled in the 1800s and has retained its historic charm; it is often regarded as a quaint village brimming with period buildings and historic sights. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains amidst 6,000 square miles of peaks and valleys, the village is hailed as one of the best outdoor regions in North Carolina.
Throughout most of the year, the population in Blowing Rock is just 1,500, but in the summer months the number swells to in excess of 10,000 due to the temperate climate and scenic beauty of the region. In recent years, Blowing Rock has also become known as a world-class arts destination and is home to a number of artists and art galleries.
One of the major draws to the area is the Blue Ridge Parkway, the most popular spot in the national park system.
There are few other areas in the state where it’s possible to spend the morning wandering through art galleries, the afternoon blazing down the side of a mountain, and the evening sleeping in a historic inn.
Blowing Rock fits the cliché “something for everyone.”
The Blowing Rock Visitor Center (7738 Valley Blvd., 828/295-4636, www.visitblowingrock.com, Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.) has maps, brochures, and information about Blowing Rock and the surrounding areas.
High Country Host (1700 Blowing Rock Rd., Boone, 828/264-1299, www.mountainsofnc.com, Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.–6 p.m.) is also a great resource for travelers, especially for information about attractions outside Blowing Rock.
Getting to Blowing Rock
Blowing Rock is located 95 miles north of Charlotte in the heart of the Blue Ridge mountain range. It can be reached via U.S. Highway 321 and U.S. Highway 221 in just under two hours.
The town itself covers just three square miles and can be explored on foot. Outside of downtown, a car is needed to reach area attractions like Tweetsie Railroad, the Blowing Rock, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
© Jodi Helmer from Moon Charlotte, 1st Edition