High Country Association of REALTORS News

Our State magazine: The best of NC is found in the High Country

Our State MagazineCalling it the “definitive North Carolina to-do list,” Our State magazine recently listed 100 icons unique to the Old North State home. The subtle highlight of the list is the High Country of North Carolina, which nabs four of the top seven choices, and seven of the top 20.

Overall, 10 state icons can be traced to this area. These aren’t just treasures, but neighbors and unique amenities in our area.

Here are the High Country picks listed by Our State magazine, complete with ranking and description.


No. 1. Blue Ridge Parkway. Travel any one of the Parkway’s 252 North Carolina miles and you’re guaranteed a beautiful drive.



The Blue Ridge Parkway weaves throughout the High Country, bringing a variety of overlooks, parks and recreation areas. That includes Julian Price Memorial Park, Linville Falls, Moses Cone Park and E.B. Jeffress Park.


No. 4. Mast General Store - Experience old-fashioned shopping at stores in Asheville, Boone, Hendersonville, Valle Crucis and Waynesville.



The Mast Store is a High Country original. Both the downtown Boone and Valle Crucis locations sponsor or hold community events throughout the year, such as the annual Valle Crucis Punkin Festival.


No. 6. Appalachian Trail - Take a hike. It doesn’t have to be a long one to enjoy the beauty of the AT.



The 2,181-mile trail has about 300 miles of footprints in North Carolina, primarily along the border with Tennessee.  It juts into Avery County.


No. 7. Grandfather Mountain - Experience the view from the Mile-High Swinging Bridge. Oh, and while you’re there, you can also check off number 55 on this list.



The 5,946-foot peak includes hiking trails, animal attractions, concerts, games and spectacular mountain views Oh, and the occasional flash mob.


No. 17. Tweetsie Railroad - See some of the state’s most rugged terrain during a ride on Tweetsie, located between Boone and Blowing Rock.



The theme park also attracts more than one childhood celebrity, including Thomas the Train, Dora and Diego and Bob the Builder. Come Fall the Ghost Train rises for chills and thrills under the moonlight.


No. 18. Linn Cove Viaduct - A scenic drive unlike any other, connecting Icon No. 1 and Icon No. 7 on this list.



A masterpiece of human engineering, the picturesque bridge is also the locale of a great mountain hike.


No. 20. Daniel Boone - Learn more about Daniel Boone and the American Revolution at a performance of Horn in the West, an outdoor drama in Boone.



There’s nothing like an evening of theater featuring gun fights, dancing and playing with fire.


No. 51. Doc Watson - At least once, make a visit to MerleFest, the four-day music festival in Wilkesboro started by Doc more than 25 years ago in memory of his son, Merle.



The Deep Gap native died in May, but his legacy lives on throughout the area. The annual Musicfest 'n Sugar Grove carries on his influence. He’s memorialized with a statue in downtown Boone.


No. 55. Black Bears - Visit the black bears on your next trip to number 7 on this list.



And not just bears. You can also visit or see eagles, otters, deer, hellbenders and a variety of animals – domesticated and wild – throughout the area.


No. 61. Fraser Firs - Make this the year you cut your own Christmas tree. Visit ncchristmastrees.com to search for farms around the state.



When the Biltmore House in Asheville, or the White House in DC, needs a spectacular Christmas tree, they come to the High Country. Of course, those who call the North Carolina mountains home have their dream tree is just a neighbor away!

Join them! Make the High Country your new home! Contact a High Country realtor today!