Banner Elk vacation rentals
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Your guide to Banner Elk
All About Banner Elk
The small mountain town of Banner Elk is situated within the Blue Mountains of North Carolina. Here you’ll be greeted by lodge-style homes, scores of restaurants featuring farm-to-table options and fresh seafood delicacies, several breweries, and wineries that use locally sourced varieties of grapes. The area has several award-winning wines and specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon and Seyval Blanc.
In the outer region, visitors can dive into an array of outdoor activities — hiking, bike riding, and ziplining included. Winter sees an influx of skiers to Banner Elk to traverse the mountain ranges, with slopes suitable for all skill levels. Snowboarding and tubing are also popular undertakings, and there are a variety of activities within a 15-minute drive or less from the town center, such as taking a dip in the stunning Wildcat Lake or checking out the Banner House Museum for the town’s historical rundown.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Banner Elk
At 3,701 feet above sea level, Banner Elk has mild weather during the spring and summer months, making it a popular destination for spring break and summer holidays, as other areas in the South can get quite hot. It’s during this time that the local parks are most lively, with visitors enjoying canoeing on the water or rock climbing along one of the many hiking trails around the mountainous area.
Despite being a small town, Banner Elk hosts a wide range of all-ages events each year, such as the Golden Easter Egg Hunt, when you can hunt for golden eggs hidden at Tate-Evans Town Park the Saturday before Easter, or the Trunk or Treat event in October for trick-or-treating out of car trunks. As the weather starts to cool in the fall, the town celebrates its biggest festival of the year — the Woolly Worm Festival. Crowds gather on the third weekend of October to watch races between woolly worms, a type of fuzzy caterpillar, with the winning wriggler earning the honor of forecasting the severity of the coming winter. Despite what the worm predicts, you can count on winters bringing snowfall and chilly winds.
Top things to do in Banner Elk
Grandfather Mountain State Park
This state park covers almost 2,500 mountainous acres, providing hiking opportunities for all experience levels. Throughout the park, pristine rivers and lakes allow you to kayak, canoe, or fish. There are designated areas in the park where you may even spot cougars, black bears, bald eagles, and river otters. For a break from the outdoors, visit the Grandfather Mountain Nature Museum, home to more than a dozen exhibitions about the local flora and fauna, local emeralds and rubies, and what is said to be the largest amethyst discovered in North America on display.
Linville Caverns allow visitors the unique opportunity to explore the inside of a mountain. You can view the natural limestone deposits that form the walls, and spot trout in an underground stream as well as sometimes hibernating bats here. The caverns are a cool 52 degrees Fahrenheit year-round and can be quite dark upon entry, but warm guiding lights ensure a cozy visit. The experience is also largely wheelchair accessible.
This beloved mountain swimming hole is covered in white sandy beaches hugged by Fraser fir. You can easily spend summer days at Wildcat Lake fishing for trout, kayaking and paddleboarding, or hopping into the blue water from the wooden dock. The 13-acre lake is walkable from downtown Banner Elk and offers picnic tables, perfect for days when you want to hang by the water without having to take a break for lunch.