The 10 Best Things to Do in Banner Elk NC

Banner Elk, NC

Located in the North Carolina High Country, less than 20 miles from Boone and Blowing Rock, Banner Elk is one of the most beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain towns we’ve ever visited. Once used by the Cherokee people for hunting and fishing, the area surrounding the Elk River was settled by Martin L. Banner from Wales … Read more

Things to Do at Grandfather Mountain State Park in Banner Elk NC

View from the Swinging Bridge on Grandfather Mountain

For me, the monolithic majesty of Grandfather Mountain preceded itself. On a few occasions in the past, my wife Emma and I visited friends who had a distant view of it from their mountain cabin. They were always thrilled to point the iconic summit out as a centerpiece of the High Country landscape. In a … Read more

How to Get to Otter Falls Near Banner Elk NC

Otter Falls Trail near Banner Elk and Boone NC

[Updated August 12, 2021] A relatively new tourist attraction in the Western North Carolina mountains, Otter Falls isn’t anywhere near the biggest of the waterfalls in North Carolina’s High Country. The waterfall doesn’t have a huge volume of water running through per second, or an especially impressive drop. It doesn’t even require an epic hike … Read more

Things to Do in Elk Knob State Park Near Boone NC

Scenery in Elk Knob State Park in Boone NC

There is no shortage of stunning state parks in the North Carolina mountains. We’ve been fortunate to visit a good number of them, staring up at wondrous waterfalls and conquering skyscraping climbs to mountain summits with panoramic views. Nevertheless, our trip to the oft-overlooked 4,400-acre Elk Knob State Park last week proved to be another unique … Read more