Heading Northeast on U.S. Route
19 and 19E
Mount Mitchell State Park
At 6,684 feet of elevation, the peak of Mount
Mitchell is the highest point in America east of
the Rocky Mountains. An observation deck offers unmatched views of the park, complemented by an interpretive museum and a series of
both modest and more challenging hiking trails.
Penland School of Crafts
Penland School is an international center for
craft education that embodies the centuries-old tradition of western North Carolina artisan
excellence. Offering classes in mediums from
textiles and glass to clay and metals, the school
hums with world-class creativity. The on-site
Penland Gallery runs tours of the campus on
Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning in mid-April.
It’s a perfect side trip, located just minutes off
Highway 19E leading to Mount Mitchell.
Dellinger Grist Mill
Established in 1867, the Dellinger Grist Mill is
on the National Register of Historic Places and
continues to grind corn into cornmeal and grits
using the original 150-year-old waterwheel and
granite millstone. Open Friday and Saturday
beginning May 19.
Heading Northeast on U.S. Route 221
Regarded as the most photographed falls in
North Carolina, Linville Falls drop through the
Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. The falls are accessed via 1.5-mile hiking trails.
Grandfather Mountain, whose peak towers
at 5,945 feet of elevation, is part N.C. State
Park and part privately owned educational
nature park. Its Mile-High Swinging Bridge
is a centerpiece of the park, stretching
between two mountain peaks 1,000 feet
above the valley floor.
As a side trip from Boone, you can always
head up Hwy 421 North to Watauga Lake,
the TVA’s highest elevated reservoir with
some of the best trout fishing in Tennessee.
The Appalachian Trail crosses Watauga
Lake, and there is golf at the nearby Red
Tail Mountain Golf Club.
Tweetsie Railroad is a magical theme park
with a Wild West vibe and adventurous
rides on historic narrow gauge steam
locomotives between Boone and Blowing
Rock. A myriad of other rides, magic
shows, and a petting zoo are geared
toward kids and grandkids. Open
weekends starting in mid-April and daily
after Memorial Day.
Appalachian Mountains from Mount Mitchell, the highest point
Linville Falls from Overlook
TRAVEL ROUTES: SOUTHEAST MOUNTAINS