Living in Boone
Welcome to the hub of the High Country!
What a difference a few years makes. Northerner Margaret Morley visited in 1913 and wrote, "That first visit to Boone" with its "pretty snuggle of houses running along a single street" where the surroundings look "for all the world like a summer meadow in the New England hills."
Boone had gone from the dismal site of a famous Civil War skirmish to a desirable mountain getaway renowned for its cool summer climate.
With the founding of Appalachian State University in 1899, Boone became an educational center in Western North Carolina. Noted for its athletic as well as academic distinctions, App State is one of the most sought-after campuses in the University of North Carolina system.
But Boone is more than a cool college town. It has emerged as the hub of commerce in the North Carolina High Country.
The main street, King Street, still offers the nostalgic feel of small town America. Its restored post office circa 1930s is a classic, complete with a Depression-era Works Progress Administration painting of Daniel Boone. A statue of iconic mountain musician and local favorite Arthel "Doc" Watson picks a guitar on a downtown bench as he once did on his way to fame in the early 1960s.
Diverse businesses, great restaurants, shops and boutiques line the streets, and App State's buildings provide a modern backdrop for this mountain town including the Turchin Center for the Performing Arts, a museum space at the heart of the town's First Friday Art Crawls where galleries and local artists and exhibitions take center stage. The university's Appalachian Summer Festival has become a landmark cultural event for summer residents and locals alike.
Nationally significant travel attractions draw visitors from around the country, among them Grandfather Mountain, Tweetsie Railroad, and the long-popular, mid-summer heritage drama Horn in the West. Boone and surrounding communities wrap those offerings in world-class outdoor recreation on the trails, rocky summits, whitewater streams and rivers that provide some of the most spectacular natural settings in Eastern America.
The Blue Ridge Parkway traverses the High Country and is the most popular section of the national park system.
Boone's vibrant culture emphasizes local arts and agriculture. The latter can be sampled from April to November at the Watauga County Farmer's Market and local eateries, food trucks, and craft breweries.
Modern conveniences include the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, a landmark medical network that provides comprehensive services for the entire region. Boone's free AppalCart bus system is another plus and one reason why Forbes magazine recently named it a top place to retire.
Boone's High Country is elevated by nature and renowned for a four-season recreational lifestyle that makes it the jewel of Eastern America's highest mountains.
Visit www.exploreboone.com to learn more.
Real Estate and Childcare
Looking for a cabin in the woods, property with a stream, or a charming bungalow within walking distance of downtown and the university?
This family-friendly community has a number of excellent childcare options and schools as well.
Photo credits: King Street by Jeremy Mikkola, Doc Watson by Joe Giordano, Engineer by Shaggy Paul, Grandfather Mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway by Smart Destinations, and Goshen Branch by Peter Mueller. All photos licensed CC BY 2.0.