Tuesday, October 8, 2019

A Relaxing 48 Hours in the North Carolina Mountains

This past weekend, we decided to take a spontaneous trip to the mountains for a couple of days. One of the things I love most about North Carolina is that you can see the Carolina coast and the Carolina mountains all in one day. When we left Wilmington on Friday afternoon, it was 95 degrees and I honestly couldn't figure out to pack because it was so hot at home. When we pulled into Boone around 10pm Friday night, it was noticeably cooler and a good change to the heat wave. 

One of the things I loved about this weekend trip is that we had no specific plans. If we had another day or two, we would've definitely done more exploring but both Steve and I as well as our friends who joined us have been to the mountains on various occasions in the past, so we wanted to use this weekend to just go with the flow and enjoy relaxing. I also did a puzzle for the first time in awhile and forgot how relaxing that is!

What We Did:

Friday: Road trip to the mountains
  • Quick grocery store pit stop
  • Arrived at house in Hound Ears Club
  • Wine and a puzzle until our friends arrived - and stayed up too late working on said puzzle

  • Coffee and relaxing at home
  • Ventured down the mountain into Boone
  • Quick breakfast at Boone Bagelry - very good! We wanted to go to Melanie's but our wait time was an hour and 45 minutes. We eventually got tired of waiting and just grabbed bagels and biscuits instead. 
  • Shopping in Boone
  • Drove into Blowing Rock
  • Shopping and exploring
  • Late lunch and drinks at Blowing Rock Brewery 
  • Back up to the house to relax
  • Late night reservation at the Gamekeeper 
  • Coffee and relaxing at home
  • Late breakfast at Dan'l Boone Inn
  • Back to the house to pack up and head home 

Where We Ate:

  • Boone Bagelry - while they do have indoor and outdoor seating for those eating in and a menu that includes more than just bagels and biscuits, it's perfect for a quick breakfast on the go!
    • What we ordered: Bacon and Cheese Biscuit and various bagel sandwiches
  • Blowing Rock Ale House - we planned on just grabbing drinks at the brewery here but when we realized how late it was, we decided to just grab a light lunch. 
    • What we ordered: White Cheddar Poblano, Ale House Burger, Cheese Fries
  • The Gamekeeper - this restaurant came highly recommended by so many people! It's tucked int the mountains between Boone and Blowing Rock in a charming and expansive cottage. This restaurant is known for its wild game, and while our crowd isn't a group of super adventurous eaters, we all loved it. Our reservation wasn't until 9:30 so by the time we got there, I honestly wasn't all that hungry so I ordered light, but the next time I plan on trying the beef tenderloin. 
    • What we ordered: 
      • For the tame: the potato soup (so incredibly good, especially in the chilly weather) and a salad
      • For the more adventurous: the Mixed Game Grill and the Rabbit Pot Pie
  • Dan'l Boone Inn - the Dan'l Boone Inn is located in one of the oldest and most historic buildings in Boone. It's a family style restaurant, featuring an assortment of Southern favorites. Our original wait time was close to an hour but we ended up being seated within 20 minutes. While we were there for breakfast, each of us has also been there for lunch or dinner and can say it's just as good. If you love good Southern cooking, this is a great place to try. 
    • What we ate: pancakes, biscuits and gravy, breakfast sausage, ham and bacon, eggs, grits and more!
There were some other restaurants that we wanted to try but based on the fact that we only had one full day there or the wait times were too long, we ended up passing over them. They include:
  • Melanie's for brunch - Boone
  • Storie Street Grill for lunch - Blowing Rock 
  • Sunrise Grill for breakfast - Boone 
  • Proper for brunch - Boone
  • Bistro Roca for lunch - Blowing Rock 
  • Bella's for dinner - Boone
  • Woodland's BBQ for easy lunch - Blowing Rock 
  • The Ham Shoppe for lunch - Banner Elk 
  • Casa Rustica for dinner - Boone
  • Our Daily Bread for lunch - Boone 
  • Cafe Portofino for dinner - Boone
The weather was also not ideal for a lot of outdoor things - it drizzled off and on all day Saturday so while we thought about checking out the rooftop bar at the Horton Hotel, it wasn't the best weather. If we had more time, we would've also loved to do more walking/hiking through the mountains - but that's why there's next time!
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