Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 11/13/23
Fall is the best time to head to the mountains. Being only 4.5 hours from Atlanta, we traveled up to Awe inspiring Boone, NC. It was a blustery, clear weekend and the rolling hills and mountains were changing to red, orange, and brown all around us. Plus, the temperature was brisk just like you’d want it on a mountain weekend getaway. Beyond the beautiful views and weather, Boone boasts a lively downtown, all types of food and brew options, stellar hotel accommodations, as well as a skiing destination in the winter. Some of our favorite places that we will explore are the Graystone Lodge just 3 miles from downtown, Lost Provience downtown and Hardin Creek just outside town, Boonshine, Dan’l Boone Inn & Restaurant, and The Beacon Boone!
Stay: Graystone Lodge
The recently renovated Graystone Lodge, Ascend Hotel Collection, is a cozy lodge inspired hotel where the minute you walk in you feel at home. You’re greeted with a large inviting stone fireplace to welcome guests, seating area with TV, and breakfast area where they serve the best complimentary hot breakfast buffet. Beyond that they’re close to shopping, restaurants, and only about 3 miles to downtown and 2 miles to App State.
We got a large king room with a large comfy bed and plenty of room to lounge. One of the highlights of the room is the beautiful light-up Blue Ridge Mountains mural in the headboard. It looks just like the mountains blue and purple! In the bathroom, they’ve upgraded to beautiful floating vanity, upgraded shower and mirrors, as well as shiplap walls!
The amenities abound as well at Graystone Lodge! In the lobby, there is a cozy fireplace with a reading area. The Lodge offers a hot buffet for breakfast with waffles, eggs, their own egg casserole bake, and even Dan’l Boone ham! They have a small market area for late night snacks and a large indoor pool great for swimming all year.
Dan’l Boone Inn & Restaurant
Dan’l Boone Inn & Restaurant is as southern as banana pudding. Dan’l Boone Inn & Restaurant located in the heart of Boone is near App State and the essential family style spot for all your country cooking favorites. It is nestled in a beautiful white home with lush grounds and epic mountain views. Inside, after waiting in line on the porch, you’ll start out with cool salads and drinks followed by a smorgasbord of tasty fried chicken, warm, buttery biscuits filled with Dan’l Boone’s signature cured, salty, meaty ham (must try), and savory sirloin steak in gravy! Then, paired with a slew of trimmings like creamy, dreamy, mashed potatoes, ham drenched green beans, buttery corn, creamy coleslaw, and the best, sweet baked apples (must try)! For dessert choose between their must try creamy perfect banana pudding, rich chocolate cake or strawberry shortcake!
Everything is included in the price, that is adults are $23.95 before tax and tip and kids vary by age. Breakfast has its own pricing, and they don’t take credit cards, so you’ll need to bring cash, check, or use their ATM. Don’t forget to check out the store for preserves and that epic Dan’l Boone ham so you can take home a slice of Boone with you! And whatever you do, plan some time to get into the restaurant! There WILL be a long line during peak hours especially on the weekend.
Lost Provience Gastropub – Downtown Boone
On our first night, we went Downtown Boone to indulge in Lost Province Brewing co.’s gastro pub! In an old brick building on the corner, this spot has a large bar, ample seating, a large woodfire pizza oven, and a large patio. From a plethora of beers on tap, to fun shared plates, to wonderful handhelds, and even pizza, this is a spot you could hang out and relax for a spell! We’d recommend heading out back to the patio for mountain views!
For you beer lovers, you’ll really enjoy their wide variety of brews like The Great Pumpkin Ale, a light malted ale filled with fall spices, yet drinkable. John really loved the sweet, slightly hopped and light Bless Your Heart Blonde Ale. On our flight, we sampled: Awww Puddin, a banana pudding ale, light and refreshing with some banana flavor and sweet, the tangy and tart Up Schitt’s Creek fruited sour, a robust and toasted London Porter, and an earthy herbaceous blackberry sour, Word to the Wise.
Don’t only go for some suds, you must stay for their wonderful food like the favorite dish of the night, Hot Fried Chicken Sandwich that is crispy yet juicy chicken in a sweet apricot and spicy jalapeño glaze on fresh bread. It is topped with spicy pickled jalapeños, cool slaw, and a tasty aioli! John opted for the Wood fired pizza. It is Napoleon style with very fresh mozzarella and fresh tossed dough, tangy sauce, and spicy pepperoni! He was happy!
For our starters we got the Apple burrata salad that is creamy cool burrata atop a bed of poached apple, sweet, toasty pecans, earthy greens, raisins, and a sweet maple vinaigrette
The best appetizer was the Jalapeño hushpuppies are spicy and rich inside and oh so crispy out. They are paired with hot pimento cheese that is warm, spicy, creamy and sharp. These are a must try with pimento cheese. Finally, we got the Wood fired pretzel. It is tender inside, crispy outside pizza bread with a light char and marinara for dipping.
The Beacon Boone
On our second night, we visited the wonderful The Beacon Boone. Located just outside downtown Boone and just a half mile from our hotel, The Beacon is an upscale eatery with cozy-lodge style vibes, sweeping vaulted ceilings, large stone fireplace, lounge area, and beautiful bar. On the menu is an array of seafood, meats, shareable charcuterie and salads, a whole butcher menu, and some of the best cocktails in the whole area!
If we had to pick one food and drink pairing, we had, it has to be the stunning peppered beef carpaccio. It is meaty and savory rare beef, earthy mushroom, tangy radish and a little bit of balsamic to round it out. It even comes with a cheesy, crunchy Parmesan dome on top for crunch! Then, pair it with Heaven Wept gin cocktail with egg white, Thai Basil, and earthy lemongrass. It’s sweet yet earthy, creamy, and has a hint of spice!
If you’re looking at their butcher bar, we’d highly recommend the New Zealand Lamb Chop. This set of chips are tender and juicy with a spicy, bright, herbaceous chimichurri on top. It is matched with Brussels sprouts underneath with a Ceasar dressing that’s tangy and creamy to juxtapose the earthiness of the sprout. Plus, a sweet yet hearty cast iron corn bread that is warm and soft inside, crunchy out. We paired this entree with the A shot in the Foot, a boozy bourbon cocktail with hot honey that’s spicy, plus, vanilla up front and the peach purée on the back for a bit of sweetness. A flavor train for sure!
Some other highlights include their Spinach and brie salad is earthy and tangy, bright dressing, and crunchy, earthy brie. As well as the Charcuterie board has it ALL! Raisins, pickled veggies, assorted meats and cheese and a spicy spread, plus honeycomb and some herbaceous crackers! It’s loaded.
Just down the road from our hotel, we stopped by Boonehine Brew, a modern yet rustic brewery with a huge outdoor space. Sweeping mountain views and right next to a park, it doesn’t feel like you’re anywhere near a city. It’s the perfect spot to relax and take in the Boone air.
They were having their annual Oktoberfest, so the first beer we tried was the malty and balanced Overlook Oktoberfest! Some of our other beer recommendations at Boonshine are the smooth and light East Boone Pils, a sweet and chocolatey Let Them Drink Cake Coffee Cake Blonde Stout, as well as the juicy Space Pegasus Hazy IPA!
Lost Province at Hardin Creek
Nestled in a small industrial area, Lost Province Hardin Creek is a hidden gem. Relaxed and chill vibes permeate this laid-back small brewery with a beautiful mural wall and cozy bar. Outside, they have a small patio that opens to the bar so you can sit and take in the scenery.
Of the beers we tried our favorites were the coffee forward “The Walker” coffee Porter stuffed with Anchor Coffee, as well as the Friend of the Devil spicy habanero and earthy pepper cream ale. John adored the Kiss My Grits cornbread tasting lager, sweet, yet mellow. Everything we had there was delicious and recommended.