Boone and the surrounding areas have become quite the hotspot for tourists from the States and around the world. Tourism has continuously grown as the economy continues to gain momentum. Many folks head to the mountains to escape the busy pace of life and experience beautiful tranquility among a peaceful setting and eclectic people. The thriving art scene, world-class dining options, and heart-racing adventures enhance the stunningly beautiful scene as Boone offers a memorable vacation destination, fitting for many types of retreaters. The High Country is a region ruled by the seasons. As the weather changes, it seems as if the community shifts too.
My first year in Boone, I finally understood the metaphoric and awe-inspiring meaning of spring. The kind of weather change that causes a physical reaction. It had been a long, biting winter, filled with final exams, winter weather advisories, and too many hot chai lattes to count. The wind chill had been harsh and the cold, at times, relentless. I was exasperated as I descended the mountain for ‘spring break’ in early March, and a snowstorm threatened to delay my departure. However, by the time I returned to Boone with a Central American spring break suntan, one of the first sunny Boone days finally graced us with her arrival. I think I may have shed a tear. Yes, there was still snow on the ground. But the spring was coming, we could feel it.
Seemingly all at once, the barren trees which I had learned to be gray and cold, had been illuminated with the brightest green my eyes had seen. The flowers around bloomed at once with pinks, and whites, and blues. The mountains came alive with a lively glow, the Blue Ridge Parkway banished their gates and welcomed us once again to the green mountains that had originally called me to this place. “Oh”, I sighed with deep relief, “so this is what spring feels like”. That first spring made me eager for each subsequent winter I would learn to love in Boone. Only because of this deep winter did I understand and fully appreciate the renewal and rejuvenation the spring would bring.
Many locals who have been here and stayed, proudly proclaim their love for the seasons. Here in the High Country, we have all four (which can sometimes feel like 17 with the hectic weather patterns). Four full-fledged seasons that people really feel. This is a curious draw for our visitors – as each season creates a different realm, each with its own beauty and grandeur to experience. Because of this, there is a consistent influx of visitors who have come to feel and explore all of the pure intensity that particular season may offer.
The summer season sees guests coming to enjoy the cooler mountain weather, and explore all that the outdoors have to offer. Summer is actually my absolute favorite time to be in Boone. Most students of the University are away for summer break, opening up some of the King Street spots and favorite coffee shops – especially on weekdays, to typically be enjoyed without the wait. As a myriad of events are stirring all throughout the High Country, summer is a time to explore. Whether it be that Parkway hike, a sunset picnic, or an outdoor concert, the comfortable temperatures typically hovering around the low 70’s F, bring in the visitors and bring out the locals! Another summertime favorite includes relaxing at an area winery on a Sunday afternoon (are we in Tuscany?) or spending a day sunbathing on the rocks of Hebron Rock Colony. I live for the Watauga County Farmer’s Market and fully intend on trying fly-fishing this summer.
The Fall comes with the onset of leaf-lookers and football fans, eager to see the Mountaineers battle it out at The Rock or catch the view during the highly anticipated “Peak week”. Beginning as early as September, the summer breeze picks up a chill and the trees begin to turn. Red, orange, yellow, sometimes even appearing a purple shade – the sight is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. The Parkway becomes a parking lot and the pumpkin patches hoist their signs. People pour into the High Country – spirited Appalachian alumni (perhaps even country singer, Eric Church!) make their way to River’s Street for the home football games, as the Mountaineers have had quite the record in the past (remember that one time we beat Michigan?!). Many of these football fans are looking to rent out an area cabin for their weekend getaway, making it near impossible to secure a last minute rental during the season yet ensuring a busy season for rental owners. The leaf lookers are earnest in their ventures to the mountain and continue to pour in for weeks or months, depending on the color schedule – which is documented in detail with scientific predictions based off of weather patterns!
The colder months beckon folks from all over to visit the slopes and enjoy the scenery. A top export of the state hails from this mountain region, and no it’s not mountain moonshine. Rather, Christmas Tree’s are the region’s top export as many folks visit the High Country to choose and cut their own. My family and I like to play a seasonal car game. On Highway 321 between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we count the Christmas Trees so delicately tied to the tops of SUVs (bonus points if it’s a small sedan!) commuting between the High Country and Charlotte, or perhaps even farther. The Choose-and-Cut Tree farms are abundant in the High Country – and draw crowds from all over the surrounding area to spend a weekend in the mountains right during the festivities of the Holiday season. Several ski slopes mark the region, with Beech Ski Mountain Resort and Sugar Mountain, along with Boone’s own Appalachian Ski Mountain, the slopes bring a crowd hoping to enjoy their winter mountain getaway.
Since that first cold winter, I have learned to love the seasons – especially the winter. The snow brings with it a sense of peace and the promise of evergreen resilience. The seasons each offer their own adventure of beauty in the High Country, and they remind me of the power of change and the wonder of resilience in each of us.
Each season in the High Country offers a unique experience for visitors – making a vacation home in the High Country not only an incredible adventure for you and yours, but an unmatched opportunity to invest in a property that will be highly desired year round. We are lucky to list some of the most luxurious, unique, and sought-after properties in the High Country. Each with strong rental histories and incredible reviews from visitors, these homes provide you the opportunity to love the seasons (or at least your favorite one!) and share your mountain escape with visitors who will surely fall in love as well.