Summer is the perfect time to be in Sugar Mountain, NC. While temperatures where you are may be scorching, our average temperatures are a cool 70 degrees. And Summer adventure is all around us. From hiking and biking the Sugar Mountain trails, to whitewater rafting, rock climbing and so much more nearby. In Summer our arts come alive! Enjoy performances at Lees-McRae College or stroll through our art galleries and antique shops. Below are some great activities for summer:
Over 25 years of experience. Guided trips including Nolichucky River rafting, Watauga River rafting, Wilson Creek rafting, New River tubing, Hiking and Caving. Family friendly and safety conscious.
The Replay Hot Dog Bar & Arcade is a modern arcade in downtown Banner Elk. This is a perfect place to host a party, have a corporate event, and even just hang out. There is a wide variety of games with many new and maybe even an old school one from back in the day. There is a hot dog bar with a menu of all different varieties and famous pizza from Sorrento’s. We strive to create the perfect atmosphere for your night out.
From early May through mid October, enjoy the beautiful views on the diverse and challenging trail system that winds through the Village of Sugar Mountain on bikes or on foot. Valid trail access/lift ticket required at all times to enter the trail system.
The tennis at Sugar is spectacular. Six courts, meticulously maintained of fast-dry, Har-tru clay, are wildly popular from May through October. Mens, womens, and mixed play “friendlys’’ can be found every day of the week. And like the golf, the tennis facilities are open to everyone, either on a pay as you go basis, or economical season pass options.
Sugar Mountain Golf Club may be the best kept secret in mountain golf, but not for long. Located just minutes from Boone, Banner Elk and the Blue Ridge Parkway, the 18-hole municipal course is “Everyman’s Golf Course” in a region home to some of the world’s premiere private country club communities. The fabulous Par 64 golf course opened for play in 1974, the design of Frank Duane, previously the senior project manager for more than two decades for Robert Trent Jones, the undisputed dean of golf course architecture. Visitors will find golf at Sugar Mountain affordable and accessible. Rates vary during the season which opens early April and concludes the end of October. Walk specials are available every afternoon after 3 o’clock, as are twilight rates with cart.
Every Saturday and Sunday, and Labor Day Monday chairlift rides aboard the Summit Express lift run from 10:00am until 5:30pm
The original Mast General Store is not only a great place to shop, it’s a trip back in time. The original store hosts the Post Office and still offers 5 cent-a-cup coffee. In the store you’ll find gourmet country food, cast iron cookware, old-fashioned toys and more. Just 2/10 of a mile down the road, you’ll find the Mast General Store Annex, featuring an eclectic collection of clothing and outdoor gear and the old fashioned Candy Barrel.
Located directly across from the entrance to Sugar Mountain, Serenity Day Spa offers a heavenly experience. Relax by the fire in the winter and on our patio during warmer months. Enjoy massages, facials, microdermabrasion, body treatments and more.
Mine your own North Carolina gemstones! Grab a bucket and our expert staff will set you up on our flume line, then our staff will help you sort your gemstones and identify them. If desired, our expert gem cutters can cut your rough gemstones and set it into a piece of jewelry. Located across from the entrance to Sugar Mountain.
Indoor pool, XArcade active gaming experience, exercise classes including pilates, interval training, spinning, yoga and zumba.
Guided whitewater rafting, whitewater kayaking, rappelling and rock climbing for the whole family. Trips include a delicious home cooked lunch. Enjoy rock climbing and rappelling in the beautiful Wilson Creek Wilderness with three phases of instruction. Whitewater rafting includes the Anaconda rapid, and since we lease the property where the rapid is located, you can re-run the Anaconda as many times as you like.
Sugar Mountain is conveniently located just 15 minutes from Grandfather Mountain. Offering 11 trails varying in difficulty from a gentle walk in the woods to a rigorous trek along the peaks, Grandfather Mountain’s trails offer a range of views and challenges. In the backcountry of Grandfather Mountain, you’ll encounter even more challenging terrain including trails navigated by ladders and cables. For more information and trail maps, visit: www.grandfather.com/things-to-do/walking-hiking
Just minutes from Sugar Mountain, you’ll find The Blue Ridge Parkway, “America’s Favorite Drive.” Some of the most scenic, most photographed parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway are located near Sugar Mountain with abundant opportunity for hiking, picnicking, leaf-looking, wildflower-watching and birding.
Trails close to Sugar Mountain include:
MP 304.4: Linn Cove Viaduct Access Trail | .16 mi EASY
MP 305.2: Beacon Heights Trail | (10 minutes to view) .22 mi MODERATE
MP 305.5: Tanawha Trail | 13.5 mi EASY/MODERATE
MP 308.2: Flat Rock Trail | .63 mi EASY
MP 316.4: Linville Falls Trail (view of upper Falls) | .8 mi MODERATE
MP 316.5: Linville Falls Trail (view of lower falls) | .5 mi STRENUOUS
Sugar Mountain offers some of the closest lodging options for Grandfather Mountain. Located only 15 minutes away, Grandfather Mountain is home to the famous “Mile High Swinging Bridge,” the Nature Museum, Wildlife Habitat featuring bears, cougars, otters and more. Fun for all ages. Groups welcome. Open year-round, weather permitting.
Linville Caverns offers splendor and wonders that nature created inside a mountain. Experienced guides take you into the subterranean world, giving you a history of the caverns and allowing you to view the stalactites, stalagmites and underground stream. Open year round, but only on weekends December-February. Please visit the website for hours. Groups welcome.
Mountaintop alpaca farm and store. Guided walking tours let you get up close and personal with the alpacas, llamas, angora goats, guardian donkeys, dogs and other animals. Open year-round, weather permitting. Please call or visit our website for more information.
Terraced mountain vineyard and winery nestled on the Watauga River at the base of Grandfather Mountain. Warm breezes during the day and cool, crisp nights help develop the flavor and balance of our wine.
The Sugar Mountain area offers many art galleries with a range of talented artists. Our galleries include:
Alta Vista Gallery – Valle Crucis | www.altavistagallery.com
Art Cellar Gallery – Banner Elk | www.artcellaronline.com
Carlton Gallery – Banner Elk | www.carltongallery.com
Sally Nooney Gallery – Banner Elk | www.sallynooney.com
Southern Highland Craft Guild – Blue Ridge Parkway | www.southernhighlandguild.org
Lees-McRae College offers professional performances during summer months as part of their Summer Theatre Performances. The 2016 line-up includes Mary Poppins, Always…Patsy Cline, and The Pajama Game. Check their website for tickets, dates and times.
A series of cultural programs including performances, lectures and more. The 2016 line-up includes Bria Skonberg Quintet, Four Freshmen, Western Piedmont Symphony, Daniel Rodriguez, Presidio Brass, Atlantic City Boys, Dunlap & Pennington, and Live From Nashville. Visit the website for tickets, dates and times.
See what life was like in the NC mountains during the 1800s. The Banner House was built in 1865 by one of Banner Elk’s founding fathers, Samuel Henry Banner. The museum displays artifacts including period furnishings, farm tools, hand-stitched quilts, vintage clothing, photographs and paintings. Open June-September.
Zipline year-round! Hawksnest currently has 20 ziplines including 4 mega zips, 2 over 2000 feet long and 2 over 1500 feet long. With 4 miles of zipline riding with heights over 200 feet and speeds up to 50 mph. Ziplines are over trees, through trees, over lakes and creeks with panoramic views on almost every ride. Huge observation deck at mountaintop lodge for after your zipping sessions!
Just a few minutes from Sugar Mountain, Wildcat Lake offers an old-fashioned swimming hole complete with white sand beach, swimming pier and fishing dock. This 13-acre lake is a popular venue for non-motorized boating and kayak and canoe rentals are available seasonally. The NC Wildlife Resource Commission stocks the lake with three varieties of trout, bluegill and largemouth bass. Fishing is open from dawn to dusk, seven days per week. NC fishing licenses are required. Tufts Memorial Park, located next door, provides a bath house, picnic tables and shelters. The park and lake are owned and maintained by Grandfather Home for Children. There is no charge to use the facilities, although donations are appreciated. To reserve the picnic shelters, call 828-898-5465.
The Banner Elk Winery & Villa is the jewel of the High Country. Nestled in the awe-inspiring majestic Blue Ridge Mountains stands the High Country’s original winery.Banner Elk Winery has set the standard for crafting wines in the High Country that stand among the finest in the country. Our vineyards offer engaging Wine Tastings and a glimpse into what the storied High Country Wine Region is truly made of. Stop in and enjoy a unique wine experience. The scenic grounds offer guests a chance to relax, enjoy the day, and experience some of the best wine in North Carolina’s High Country.
Flat Top Brewing Company is Banner Elk’s Craft Brewery. We specialize in Refreshingly Elevated beers that are of the highest quality while being easily drinkable. Flat Top Brewing Company is committed to bringing the best beer possible to the marketplace. This commitment begins with the pure mountain water we use in each and every batch of beer we craft. As any brewer can tell you, great water makes great beer and Flat Top Brewing Company embraces this ideal. Our formally trained team of brewers is not afraid to experiment with new techniques and different ingredients in order to bring exceptional beers to the High Country and beyond!