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Blowing Rock, NC isn’t just the home to North Carolina’s oldest travel attraction (by the same name), it’s also a beautiful town full of award-winning restaurants, quaint shops, and scenic hiking trails. Referred to as the “Crown of the Blue Ridge,” the town’s adorable main street looks like a scene straight out of a storybook, although the fun extends way beyond just one street.
Tweetsie Railroad is an amusement park like you’ve never seen. Based on a Wild West theme, the park’s main attraction is a three mile long train ride led by a historic steam locomotive. But keep your eyes peeled, because you may run into a few bandits along the way. Afterwards, you can take a spin on the carousel, the Tilt-A-Whirl or one of the park’s other rides, catch a can-can or clogging show, or feed the animals at the Deer Park Zoo.
A visit to Blowing Rock wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Bass Lake – a beautiful, scenic lake that looks like it came right off of a postcard. Located just a short drive from Main Street, Bass Lake features a circular walking trail that rounds the lake, with plenty of benches and places for resting and taking in the views. You’re sure to run into lots of other walkers, bikers and maybe even a dog or a horse, because everyone knows this is the place to go for a relaxing stroll (or ride). If you want to up the ante and get a little more exercise, you can also hike one of the many trails that connects to the path.
Tanger Outlet Mall
Downtown Blowing Rock has plenty of cute shops to explore for everything from Brazilian handcrafts and cabin décor, to Christmas ornaments, baskets and candles. But if you’re looking for a bargain, you’ll want to check out the Tanger Outlet Mall, located just down the road from downtown Blowing Rock. The scenic shopping center has over 40 stores, including favorites like Banana Republic, Gap and Ralph Lauren.
Blowing Rock Art and History Museum
Located just off of Chestnut Street, is the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum – a family friendly attraction that showcases a wide variety of paintings, photography, glassworks and more. In addition, the museum offers workshops, lectures and art classes for both kids and adults, and hosts concerts in the museums’ atrium during the summer months.
The Blowing Rock
In addition to being North Carolina’s oldest travel attraction, the Blowing Rock is also one of the state’s most underrated and overlooked. Tucked away down a small side street, the Rock provides breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Johns River Gorge at 4,000 feet above sea level. But the most interesting reason to visit is the strange phenomenon that takes place here. The unique rock formation that juts out over the gorge below has a peculiar current of air that blows upward from it, as opposed to downward. That means, you can stand on the rock and toss something light into the air, only to have it blow right back to you. In fact, Ripley’s Believe it or Not deemed it, “the only place in the world where snow falls upside down!”