Tuesday, April 16, 2024
DestinationsHotels & ResortsNorth CarolinaTravel InterestUnited StatesWinter Travel

Winter Getaway in Boone – The Ski Capital of the South

We told you about the LGBTQ+-friendly vibe of Boone, North Carolina, but what you may not know is that the town is also known as the “Ski Capital of the South” because of its proximity to three major ski resorts – Appalachian Ski Mountain, Sugar Mountain, and Beech Mountain. 

Boone and the surrounding area attract hundreds of skiers and snowboarders, but several outdoor enthusiasts also enjoy unique winter activities such as cold-weather ziplining and snow tubing at Hawknest Snow Tubing and Zipline, the largest snow-tubing park on the East Coast with more than 30 lanes stretching from 400 to 1000 feet long. It’s just a 25-minute drive southwest of Boone!

So, if you enjoy and embrace the winter season, you may want to plan a fun getaway in Boone and check into the three nearby resorts – all within a 15 to 40-minute drive away from town – for guests to enjoy all the winter activities they have to offer. We’re sure skiers will quickly realize why Boone is touted as having the best snow skiing in the Southeast.


Appalachian Ski Mountain

Drive From Boone: 15 minutes
Winter Season: Friday before Thanksgiving through the first Sunday in April

North Carolina High Country’s first ski area, Appalachian Ski Mountain has offered locals and out-of-towners skiing since 1962. It’s open seven days a week and features an outdoor ice arena, and onsite rental for skis, snowboards, clothing, and helmets! And for skiers who light to ski under the stars, you can go night skiing starting the first Friday in December. 

This ski resort is also home to the French Swiss Ski College, the Southeast’s largest independent ski school that offers daily group and private lessons as well as the SKIwee Children’s Program. Other onsite amenities include a 46,000-square-foot Bavarian-style base lodge with Wi-Fi, a restaurant, a ski shop, a gift shop, a video game room, a nursery (ages 1-4), and a 200-foot observation deck. And in addition to slope-side lodging and ski-and-stay packages, Appalachian Ski Mountain also has special rates for groups as well as early and late season rates.


Sugar Mountain Resort

Drive from Boone: 26 minutes
Winter Season: November through March 

If you’re looking for winter fun – look no further than Sugar Mountain Resort! In the winter, guests indulge in some of the regular activities such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and snowshoeing. In addition to its accommodations, the resort has 125 skiable acres with the highest verticle drop at 1,200 feet, a mile-and-a-half-long run, and 20 slopes and trails that range from the Double Black Diamond Whoopdeedoo slope to eight beginner slopes or trails.  Fourteen of the trails have lights for night skiing or riding. And much like the other two major ski spots near Boone, this resort also provides guests with rentals for skis, clothing, snowboards, boots, and more. And for families with children who want to learn how to snowboard and ski – you’re in luck! Sugar Bear Ski School (ages 5-10) and Polar Bear Snowboard School (ages 7-14) are also cool options. Click here for more information.

Other onsite facilities and amenities here include a 10,000-square-foot outdoor ice rink, the Sugar Mountain Sports Shop, the Last Run Lounge, and dining options that serve diverse cuisines, including Cajun, Italian, Chinese, Mexican, seafood, steaks, and fast food. And Sugar Mountain lodging ranges from rooms to condos and homes located throughout the Village of Sugar Mountain. Visit http://www.skisugar.com/lodging/ for a list of the agencies handling loading on Sugar Mountain. 


Beech Mountain Ski Resort

Drive from Boone: 43 minutes
Winter Season: Usually runs mid-November to mid-March

At 5,506 feet, Beech Mountain Ski Resort is the highest ski area on the East Coast. It has 95 skiable acres, 15 slopes, 17 trails, eight lifts, and a vertical drop of 830 feet! Guests flock here partly because the resort has two terrain parks built for beginners, intermediate, and advanced skiers, and riders.  Test your freestyle skills on Lower – Powder Bowl and Upper – Powder Park, just off the main run, provide guests with a place to hone their skills and build confidence before moving to The Park. Beech Mountain offers skiing and snowboarding lessons for ages 4 and older, including a Snow Kamp Childcare for first-skiers who are 3 to 5 years old. 

If skiing isn’t your thing, then you can go tubing. The resort constructed a state-of-the-art tubing park adjacent to the Resort Village at the base of the slopes. It’s the perfect location for long tubing runs (chutes up to 700 feet) with access to Beech Mountain Brewing Company, shopping, and dining in the Resort Village. The regular season starts Friday, December 9 at 5 pm and runs through Saturday, March at 5 pm. Tickets are sold online.

You can’t leave the resort by grabbing a drink at the 5506’ Skybar, accessible during the winter months to skiers and snowboarders that have a valid lift ticket. The 2800-square-foot deck is home to the full-service bar that serves wine, top-shelf liquors, cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks, and of course, Beech Mountain Brewing Company beers. Adirondack chairs, picnic tables, and a snack bar that serves chips, candy bars, and other snacks are also available to patrons. 


Plan your winter getaway to Boone, North Carolina now! For more travel inspiration and information, visit Explore Boone’s website.

Vacationer Staff

Vacationer Magazine's writing staff works hard to bring you all the latest LGBTQ travel articles to help inspire and inform.

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