The nearest and best spot for our family to vacation in the snow is Boone, North Carolina. There are several ski resorts and mountain lodges in Boone. If you’re looking to save some money and don’t want to spend a premium renting a cabin or staying at the ski resorts, there are many hotels to choose from for every budget and within a short drive to the popular ski mountains.
We found it very affordable during the height of the Christmas season to stay at a La Quinta in Boone, in which the exterior looks like a lodge in the mountains. We were greeted with a huge roaring fire to warm us in the lobby. A fabulous breakfast is included, indoor heated pool, spa, and free wireless made for a great stay. Top all of this off with the large front slope at the front of the hotel – where guests would slide down the hill in the fresh fallen snow – it was a blast and we didn’t even leave the hotel.
You can rent ski equipment at the resorts or the ski shops in town. Lift tickets range from $20-$30, up to $65 on busy weekends and Christmas. If you’re on a budget and just want to play in the snow and go tubing – you’ll be able to find inexpensive plastic sleds at the local big box store. It’s not uncommon to see kids sliding down hills with plastic trash can lids on the slopes of their front yard.
Boone is known as the Heart of the High Country. You can’t help but get excited by seeing the fresh snow covering the pine trees, cars, and your shoes! Here’s some of the popular skiing, snowboarding, and tubing mountains in the Boone, North Carolina area.
Beech Mountain Resort – www.SkiBeech.com, winter activities include skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, ice skating, 15 slopes for all skill levels, and child care available; call for more details. When we visited last Christmas there was two feet of fresh snow the night before we arrived. Beech Mountain has huge snow blowers that keep the snow fresh for skiers. They also have skiing classes, gear for sale, and a large area to gather with friends to have a meal or just to warm up.
Sugar Mountain Resort – www.skisugar.com Sugar Mountain is easily accessible by car, has 20 slopes and trails for all skill levels, and over 115 acres to ski and snowboard. There are skiing and snowboarding schools for children and adults, a 10,000 sq ft outdoor ice skating rink, rental department, 700 foot tubing runs, and evening activities light up the mountain to continue your fun on the slopes, under the stars.
Appalachian Ski Mountain – www.appskimtn.com – You will pass this ski mountain up to the main area of Boone, if you are staying nearer to the downtown area of Boone, the other ski resorts are closer and you may want to hit this mountain as you’re going up or coming down from the other areas. Appalachian had its opening day on December 3, 2010 after 48 hours of snowmaking.
Hawksnest Ski Resort – www.hawksnest-resort.com – Hawksnest is located in Seven Devils, NC, a short distance from Boone – It’s mentioned here because it’s well known for having the largest East Coast snow tubing park. There is nothing but long tubing rides and Zipline courses at this resort, no skiing or snowboarding. This was of interest to us as kids and adults love to go sliding down hills in the snow and tubing lifts are a huge bonus. The tubing park has 20 lanes and two lifts to take you back up for more tubing fun.
Grandfather Mountain – www.grandfather.com – Grandfather Mountain is a nature park open to the public for a fee. There is no skiing, however there are hiking trails. Go to their website or call for more information.
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Sources: Boone Convention and Visitors Bureau