Blowing Rock was our last camping stop of the trip. While we had mixed feelings about the adventure coming to a close (a regular-sized bed! and a regular-sized bathroom! and our friends back home! –versus– excitement! and exploration! and new experiences!), we were especially happy to arrive in Blowing Rock to spend a couple days with dear friends who live part-time in the area. Blowing Rock is a charming little mountain town, full of upscale shops and restaurants and surrounded by the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, with outdoor activity options aplenty.
We stayed in the National Park Service-managed Julian Price Memorial Park, at milepost 297 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We could walk to hiking, and it was a short drive into either Blowing Rock or Boone, home of Appalachian State University and a fun and funky little downtown area. Our campsite, despite being a shallow pull-off along the (pretty hairy to negotiate with a trailer) campground road, was quiet and spacious. Our friends set up their tent in the grass, and we had a big picnic area with a table and a fire pit for our communal yard.
Over our two day stay, we did two hikes in Julian Price. The afternoon of our first day we stretched our legs on the 2.7-mile Price Lake Trail, which, as you may have guessed, circles the peaceful Price Lake. It’s a pretty, flat hike through the woods with plenty of doggie swimming opportunities, and it connects directly to the campground.
On day two we checked out our friends’ favorite hike in the area, Green Knob Trail. This 2.3-mile hike is tougher as it climbs through forests and meadows to vistas of nearby mountains and Price Lake. The ever-changing ecosystem along the trail makes this hike unique.
Eating and Drinking
We did a fair amount of eating and drinking at our campsite, but also got to tour some of our friends’ favorite spots in Boone and Blowing Rock. Of course we hit a couple breweries, and J wrote his thoughts here.
When we first got to town, we dropped the trailer and popped down the hill into Blowing Rock for some sandwiches to take back to the campsite. Blowing Rock Market has a little deli and convenience store items for a quick meal and restocking.
For dinner, and to get in at least one brewery while in the area, we had pizza and beer at Lost Province Brewing Co. in Boone. The service was friendly, if slow, and the beer and pizza were tasty. Why are so many breweries also pizza joints?
Heading back to the campground, we stopped at Peabody’s Wine & Beer Merchants in Boone for some beer to go. The store has a huge selection of local beer, wine, and treats like chocolate and popcorn. It’s also a tasting room with several taps, and they will fill growlers. J got as many bottles of his favorite from Asheville, Wicked Weed’s Pernicious IPA, as he (or rather, our refrigerator, as that is the limiting factor) could manage.
On day 2 we had a nice post-hike lunch at Bistro Roca in Blowing Rock. The food was delicious, and we enjoyed local beer and fancy cocktails.
Finally, on our way out of town we parked the Airstream at the Boone Walmart (had to pick up a few items), parked Bugsy in the Airstream, and rode a few blocks down the road in our friends’ car to Local Lion for lattes and fresh gourmet doughnuts. We got pretty much every flavor of doughnut and shared them all. It was a glorious way to wrap up a fun visit.