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Family Attractions

High Country NC Mountain Attractions

In the High Country you can find a large assortment of attractions to please the whole family. This mountainous area has been hosting visitors for over a century,
and today includes such popular attractions as Grandfather Mountain, the original Mast General Store, Mystery Hill and many others. In addition, you’ll find unique farms, wineries and orchards to tour and sample.

NC High Country Attractions

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Ashe County Cheese

Ashe County Cheese is North Carolina's largest and oldest cheese factory! Come see cheese made in our factory viewing room. Then, visit our factory store to purchase free cheese curds, a variety of cheese, snacks, wines, and candy (even ice cream!)

Open Monday-Saturday 8:30a.m. to 5:00p.m.


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Grandfather Mountain

One of the highest peaks in the Blue Ridge. Inspirational views, Mile High Swinging Bridge, native wildlife, picnicking, hiking. Open all year, weather permitting.


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Doc's Rocks Gem Mine & Fossil Museum

NC's premier educational mining experience! Geologist on staff. Open 7 days a week year round. Heated indoor mining for winter/rainy summer days! Special tours available during the summer.


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Original Mast General Store

Established in 1883, The Original Mast Store in Valle Crucis NC carries most everything you'd need for life in the past century and most of this one. On the National Register of Historic Places.

Next door, The Mast Store Annex, built in 1909, blends casual clothing with a mountain outfitters shop, and the original Candy Barrel.


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Emerald Village

Discover real fun in real mines! Gem mining, mine tours, gold panning, museums, gift shops and more! Just 3 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway in Little Switzerland. Open daily April-October.


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"The Schaefer Center Presents..." Performance Series at Appalachian State

Presented by Appalachian State University's Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, this annual performing arts series features the finest in touring performances from September-April.
World-class jazz, theatre, film, dance, world music and more, designed to enrich the cultural landscape of our region.


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The Blowing Rock

North Carolina's Oldest Tourist Attraction Since 1933! The Blowing Rock is an immense cliff 4,000 feet above sea level, overhanging Johns River Gorge 3,000 feet below.

The current of air flowing upward from The Rock prompted the Ripley's "Believe-it-or-Not" cartoon about "the only place in the world where snow falls upside down."

Obtain amazing views of peaks in the region from the Rock and the observation tower, stroll the nature trail and enjoy a snack in the gardens by the waterfall!


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The Children's Playhouse

Enjoy family together time at this intimate, friendly children's museum packed with indoor-outdoor fun for kids from birth to age eight.

Closed Sundays and Mondays. Admission is $6 per person.


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Gem Mountain

Gem mine at covered, comfortable flume lines rain or shine. Mine trips available by reservation. As seen on The Learning Channel and The Travel Channel.


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Linville Caverns

See inside a mountain...NC's only show cave. Half-hour guided tours into a natural limestone cavern featuring stalactite and stalagmite formations and an underground stream. Open daily from March through November and open weekends from December through February.


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Hawksnest Zipline

Come visit one of the largest ziplines in the country! With 20 zipline cables we have over 4 miles of zipline fun. Zip over trees, through the trees, over creeks, and lakes all with incredible views. Open year round. Ages 5 and up.


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High Gravity Adventures Zip Line & Aerial Park

"Welcome to the newest adventure experience in the High Country! Race your friends across ground-based elements to see who makes the best ninja. Plunge 45 feet on a Three-Person Giant Swing. Explore one of the aerial courses with 75 different challenges at heights ranging from 15 to 50 feet off the ground. Soar through the trees on a Zip Line Tour culminating in a 1,000 foot zip over the Tweetsie Railroad tracks. Free Fall 70 feet down through the center of the Blue Ridge Course. Whatever adventure you're ready for, High Gravity Adventures is ready to lead the way! Adventure options available for ages 4+."


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Sky Valley Zip Tours

Setting the bar high since 2012, Sky Valley Zip Tours is rated the #1 Outdoor Activity in Blowing Rock on TripAdvisor (February 2018).

Experience a canopy tour and zip line adventure like no other! An exhilarating half-mile ATV ride leads you to 10 zip lines, including the famous "BIG MOMMA," and over a mile of cable, elevations up to 300 feet, a cliff jump, and 120-foot long swinging bridge.

GOT KIDS? Our Whistle Pig Adventure Park is designed for ages 4 and up! Cheer them on as they master the 7 zips, bridge, and 20-foot slide out of the trees.


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The Historic Orchard at Altapass

Unspoiled family fun! Enjoy free live mountain music Wednesday through Sunday (May 1-November 1), hiking trails (open year-round), storytelling hayrides and guided walks, children's programs, craft demos, butterfly exhibit and garden, heritage apples in season, fudge, country store, breathtaking views, and more!


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Hawksnest Snow Tubing

With over 20 lanes of snow tubing, Hawksnest is the largest snow tubing park on the east coast with 4 different areas of snow tubing. Lanes are 400-100 feet long!


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Horn In The West

Premiering in 1952, Horn in the West is considered one of three legacy outdoor dramas in America. The play tells the story of the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution, including historic characters such as Daniel Boone, Governor Tryon, Nancy Ward of the Cherokee, Dragging Canoe and Attakullakulla. Open at 8 p.m. nightly except Mondays from late-June through mid-August. On-site Hickory Ridge Living History Museum opens at 5:30 p.m. during the Horn in the West season, as well as Saturday mornings, May-Oct.


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Mystery Hill

Fun! Mystery Hill explores the relationship of science, optical illusion and natural phenomena in a hands-on entertainment center. Mystery House * Appalachian Heritage Museum * Native American Artifacts Museum * Log cabins available for rent.


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Hickory Ridge Living History Museum

18th-century Carolina backcountry living, demonstrated by docents in period attire. Open Tues.-Fri., 9AM-3PM, April-November. Guided tours, 10AM and 2PM. Also open on summer evenings before Horn in the West.


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