By Amanda Lugenbell

Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, snug against Pisgah National Forest, Blowing Rock is a Norman Rockwell-esque town with untouched nature in its backyard. Long cherished as a summer escape from the heat of the lowlands, the town has been welcoming visitors since its incorporation and growing to feature distinctive shops, galleries, restaurants, and inns.

Blowing Rock - Town Hall

Now, year-round events entertain and delight, many of them part of long-standing traditions. All of this, plus a laid-back mountain attitude, makes Blowing Rock a pretty town worth visiting in any season. It’s close to an array of attractions and activities from Grandfather Mountain to Moses Cone Manor and from fine dining to fishing.

Blowing Rock - Moses Cone Manor

Each fall, the Blue Ridge presents an incredible foliage display which visitors drive hundreds of miles to view. Varying elevations mean a long color season as leaves change first at higher elevations before lighting up at the lower levels.

Great hiking trails, overlooks, and lodging options make Blowing Rock a favored destination for leaf peeping. Weekend trips are popular, but a weekday stay is preferable if you can manage it. Traffic is less congested and attractions are less crowded. Peak color for Blowing Rock’s elevation is usually near mid-October.

Blowing Rock - Blue Ridge Mountains

For Thanksgiving weekend, Blowing Rock presents its Christmas in the Park. The celebration highlights small-town charm with games for kids, live music, hot chocolate & cider, and visits with Santa. The town’s Christmas Parade might be one of the best parades you’ll see nowadays.

Blowing Rock - Christmas Parade

Blowing Rock - Main Street

Blowing Rock is near some of the finest Christmas tree farms in the south,enabling you to choose the perfect tree which is cut for you on site. Don’t forget to grab a few items to go under the tree at some of the unique shops. There’s a gift for every personality on your list, including gourmand, sports fan, and fashionista!

Ski season gets underway around Thanksgiving. Blowing Rock is home to Appalachian Ski Mountain and close to Sugar and Beech mountains as well. Snow sports are a major High Country winter pastime. All of the local resorts have incredible snow-making equipment, so even when there’s no natural snowfall, slope conditions remain ideal.

Blowing Rock is located about three hours from Raleigh. For visitor information, see