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Beech Mountain sets among the beautiful Blue Ridge range, and also features one of the best ski resorts on the east coast. While being a complete winter wonderland, the slopes are bustling with hikers, bikers, foodies and beer enthusiasts in the summer. With Banner Elk just minutes away, Beech Mountain is an ultimate mountain getaway for the family. Skiing isn’t the only thing this place has to offer.
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The name of this mountain top yurt bar comes from the elevation of Beech. Panoramic views and killer brews can be accessed via the chair lift. In the summer, you can ride the lift back down, but in the winter, you’ll have to hit the slopes. Meter the booze!
At the bottom of the slopes, in Beech Mountain Resort’s Alpine Village, is their own brewing company, which offers incredible craft creations. The mountain top bar, 5506’, also sells the beer, but it’s good to know you can hit up the actually brewery in the winter, without having to fumble down the slopes! It’s a cozy environment with great vibes—perfect for just hanging out or winding down after a day of skiing.
Beech Mountain Resort is for everyone, including families and kids. A nice sledding hill is available to children under 12, and it’s completely free.
Tubing is a level up from sledding, and is available to all ages. Thrill seekers can fly down the 700 foot long hills, and be effortlessly toted back up via a conveyer belt know as the Magic Carpet. Tickets go on sale two hours before each session, and have to be bought in person; they can go pretty quick. Weekday tickets are $27–weekends will set you back $32.
Eight miles of mountaintop trails comprise the Emerald Outback; it’s a quite scenic and relaxing place to escape. Biking is popular along the stretch, but walking allows one to really soak it all in.
USA Cycling’s Mountain Bike Gravity National Championships have been held on the Beech Mountain slopes twice, because of the fantastically versatile down hill biking routes. While some of the paths look INSANE, there are beginner trails, so don’t be afraid to give it a go.
While the winery is a short drive down from Beech Mountain, it’s worth a visit. Not only is the vineyard landscape completely gorgeous, their award winning wines are cultivated from onsite grapes, as well as French American varieties from local farmers. Tastings include pairings with local artisan chocolate from Trosley Farms, which is truly the best in the world; it can be ordered online, and the raspberry bar is amazing. Banner Elk Winery’s Blueberry Ice Wine is a super sweet standout that tastes like blueberry pie, and seasonal summer treats such as berry and jalapeño sangrias are “musts” as well.
Nothing beats munching on warm pizza after spending a day in the snow. Brick Oven’s crust is thick, soft on the center and slightly crisp on the outside, making for a hearty meal. A variation of cheeses, like feta, ricotta and provolone are used in the pies, giving them an authentic flavor. Definitely try the cheesy bread with marinara; it’s too good.
Also nestled a few miles away in Banner Elk, Stonewall’s is an elegant American dining experience with tender, juicy prime rib. Seriously, you have to try the prime rib, it’s their specialty. Fried deviled eggs are an interesting take on the classic appetizer, and have a perfect crispy exterior with heavenly candied bacon garnish.
Set center stage in Beech Mountain Resort’s cozy Alpine Village is the enormous 7000 square foot ice skating rink. It’s a huge mood setter and is completely picturesque will cute buildings and slopes in the background. On the weekends $15 will get you a two hour session with a skate rental. On the weekend you’ll pay $20, but kids under four are always free with a paying adult.
Flat Top is located in Banner Elk as well, and they have a slew of unique brews made from fresh mountain spring water. In fact, the pristine waters of the area are what convinced the owners that this was the place for their brewery. Games fill the main area of the brewery, and snacks are available. Outside food is also welcome!