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Dining and Lodging in the High Country

If you are going to the High Country, the hubs for lodging and dining are Boone, Blowing Rock, and Banner Elk. You’ll also find that the rates for most accommodations are less expensive on weekdays. There are many excellent dining opportunities, but I’ve just listed some of my favorites. I also try to list restaurants that won’t overload your Visa. If money is no object, there are many fine dining establishments, especially in Blowing Rock. Below I listed the lodging first, followed by the dining for each community.

Courtyard by Marriott (Boone)

Boone has all the major motel franchises, so I haven’t really listed any specific locations in Boone except one because it just opened on January 10.

Coyote Kitchen (Boone)

Located next to Wal-Mart, 200 Southgate Drive, this restaurant bills its food as “Southwest and Caribbean Soul Food.”

Melanie’s Food Fantasy (Boone)

Located at the corner of King and Depot streets, Melanie’s serves breakfasts with an eclectic assortment of egg dishes and pancakes.

Mast Farm Inn (Valle Crucis)

Its history is described in the Valle Crucis Tour. It’s now a B&B and restaurant.

Taylor House Inn (Valle Crucis)

Its history is described in the Valle Crucis Tour. It’s now a B&B.

Hard Taylor House/ 1861 Farmhouse (Valle Crucis)

Its history is described in the Valle Crucis Tour. It now houses a restaurant and gift shop.

Pineola Inn (Pineola)

This mom-and-pop motel might be off the major radar. It’s located near the communities of Linville and Newland.

The Italian Restaurant (Pineola)

(no website). Located on U.S. 221 near N.C. 181 in a building that used to house a Tastee Freez. Diners find themselves pleasantly surprised by the sandwiches, pasta, pizza, calzones, beer, and wine.

Hidden Valley Motel  (Foscoe)

Another locally owned motel that doesn’t make all the tourist guides but provides good value. It’s located in Foscoe, near the turnoff to Valle Crucis.

4 Seasons at Beech (Beech Mountain)

The Inns at Beech Mountain (Beech Mountain)

These two inns are located next to each other and are run by the same company. Beech Alpen Inn and Top of the Beech .

Pinnacle Inn (Beech Mountain)

Azalea Inn (Banner Elk)

Sorrento’s World Famous Bistro (Banner Elk)

 Located in the Village Shops, this restaurant bills itself as “a touch of Italy in the mountains.”

Bella’s Neighborhood Italian Restaurant (Banner Elk)

(no website but reviews are online). Located on N.C. 184 in the shopping center with the Food Lion, this spot can be deceptive because you don’t expect good food.

The Village Inns of Blowing Rock include the next three inns, which have the same owner.

Hillwinds Inn. Located on the corner of Ransom Street, 315 Sunset Drive
Ridgeway Inn. Located near the intersection of U.S. 321 and U.S. 221
Village Inn. Located on the corner of Sunset Drive and U.S. 321 Bypass.

Azalea Garden Inn (Blowing Rock)

Hemlock Inn (Blowing Rock)

Gideon Ridge Inn. (Blowing Rock)

Located near The Blowing Rock 

Maple Lodge Bed-and-Breakfast (Blowing Rock)

Bistro Roca & Antlers Bar (Blowing Rock)

If you were a student at Appalachian State sometime from the 1960s to the 1980s, you’ll probably remember this location as Antlers Bar. The wood-fired pizzas are terrific, and the artistic photographs of patrons' pets hanging on the walls of the bar are a must-see.

Storie Street Grille (Blowing Rock)

Located on the corner of Main and Storie Streets. For a great meal at a reasonable price, Storie Street Grille can’t be beat.

Knight’s on Main (Blowing Rock)

870 Main Street. Knight’s has been the place where the locals dine for decades.

Resources for a trip to Hot Springs:

Madison County website

The best place to start

Hot Springs Resort & Spa

This is the place to get information about partaking of the hot mineral springs. They are open year-round. Here you can book spa treatments, a luxury suite with a private tub; cabins, campsite or RV sites

Mountain Magnolia Inn

Luxury lodging, casual fine dining, evening weddings

Springbrook Cottages

One-bedroom cottages, some with kitchenettes

Restaurants in Hot Springs

Good link to all restaurants in Hot Springs, complete with photos

Iron Horse Station Inn & Restaurant

Restaurant and tavern with inn above, located in historic downtown building


Planning a trip to western North Carolina this fall? Here are some links that will help you get the most out of the autumn foliage.

Ray's Weather Center

Weather for western North Carolina.

Fall Foliage in the North Carolina Mountains

In Asheville, we kick fall up a notch. You can get aerial views of fall foliage, or let our local experts teach you how to make your own fall crafts. Use our insider fall travel tips to help your travel planning, such as finding the best deals on a budget friendly fall getaway to the Asheville area mountains.

The Fall Color Guy

The Fall Color Guy  predicts the quality and timing of fall colors in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Fall Color

This new blog is available to those who would like to comment on any aspect of fall color display by trees, anywhere in the world.