Summer 2020 Things to Do & Events

Summer Stays on Sugar Mountain

Get away to the village of Sugar Mountain high in the Blue Ridge Mountains (elevation ranges from 4,100 to 5,236 feet) for cooler temperatures, big views and plenty of things to do. Stay in a vacation rental on Sugar Mountain and fill many summer days with sweet fun – from adventurous explorations to relaxation in the cool breezes. We offer plenty of places for social distancing. (See the latest COVID-19 local update.)

As one of the highest peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Sugar Mountain is one of the coolest places in the South (in many ways)! Sugar Mountain’s average high in July is 75 degrees, compared to 90 in Charlotte and 85 in the lower mountains around Asheville.

Whether you are looking for a Blue Ridge Mountain getaway with your spouse or a big family, we have a large variety of vacation rentals – condos to cabins – to fit your lodging needs and dreams. See our many places to stay.

Below, find our Top 20 Things to Do within a 20-mile radius of Sugar Mountain during the summer months:

Top 10 Outdoors Adventure

Whitewater Rafting Sugar Mountain

Looking for thrills and excitement in the great outdoors of our Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina?

  • Golf: Play on one of the best 18-hole public courses in Western North Carolina right here in Sugar Mountain. The par-64 layout maximizes every view and mountain brook. Green fees start at just $15. Read more.
  • Tennis: Located adjacent to our Golf Shop are our six tennis courts meticulously maintained of fast-dry, Har-tru clay. No membership required! Reserve a court for as low as $5/person. Read more.
  • Mountain Biking: Each summer, the ski slopes at Sugar Mountain Resort are adapted to one of the most thrilling Bike Parks in the South. Ride the lift to the 5,236-foot summit and ride down 1,200 vertical feet on a network of trails. Read more.
  • Alpine Coaster: New for summer 2020! Take an exhilarating ride down the first coaster in the North Carolina mountains. No experience necessary. Read more.
  • Grandfather Mountain: Our famous next door neighbor is the ultimate place to hike, see wildlife and walk across the Mile High Bridge. The trailhead to the famous Profile Trail is just two miles from the main Sugar entrance. Read more.
  • Whitewater Rafting: At the base of Sugar Mountain, find High Mountain Expeditions for rafting and kayaking trips on the Nolichucky River, Watauga River and Wilson Creek. Or go tubing on the New River. Read more.
  • Hiking: So many great trails for all skill and fitness levels in the surrounding Pisgah National Forest and along the Blue Ridge Parkway – including Flat Top Trail and trails of Moses Cone Park.
  • Waterfalls: Find some of the most beautiful waterfalls in our area of the Blue Ridge Mountains, including Linville Falls and Elk River Falls. See our Crab Orchard Falls Guide.
  • Ziplines: Ride 20 ziplines at Hawksnest at speeds up to 50 MPH. They are just 8 miles from the Sugar Mountain main entrance. Read more.
  • UTV: With High Country UTV Tours, drive a Utility Terrain Vehicle or electric Outrider 3-wheel scooter during a guided tour of a scenic mountain.
  • Rock Climbing: Learn from the pros from Edge of the World with climbing and rappelling in Little Lost Cove Cliffs in the Wilson Creek Wilderness Area. Read more.

Top 10 Relaxation

Winery Sugar Mountain NC

If you are looking to unwind, rest and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the mountains, here are some ideas for you:

  • Do Nothing: Our homey vacation rentals make it very easy just to sit on your deck or balcony all day with a good book. Soak in the views, rock your cares away and enjoy our fresh mountain air. Find a vacation rental.
  • Scenic Drives: Cruise the famous Blue Ridge Parkway or lesser traveled country roads for plenty of mountain scenery from your car. Stop along the way at overlooks and attractions. The drive to Valle Crucis takes you to the famous Mast General Store. See our Blue Ridge Parkway Trip Guide.
  • Wineries & Breweries: Sample wines at three wineries near Sugar Mountain in beautiful mountain settings with plenty of outdoor space and live music: Banner Elk Winery, Grandfather Vineyard and Linville Falls Winery. For local beer, head to Kettell Beerworks in Banner Elk with a dozen brews on tap. See our Winery Guide.
  • Lift Rides: On summer weekends, ride the ski lift up to the top of Sugar Mountain. Take a picnic to enjoy the big views and hike out to the rocky summit. Read more.
  • Art & Antiques: Stroll through some outstanding galleries and antique shops along NC Highway 184 (Tynecastle Highway) between Sugar Mountain and Banner Elk, plus NC 105 heading to the Foscoe / Boone area.
  • Picnics: Pick up picnic goodies at one of our many restaurants or a grocery store, then head to the Blue Ridge Parkway, to Tate Park in Banner Elk or ride the lift to the top of Sugar.
  • Restaurants: Find dozens of delicious local dining options – including Italian, Mexican, Asian, bar & grills, barbecue, steaks, seafood and farm-to-table. Most have outdoor dining and take-out. See our restaurant guide.
  • Farm Tour: At Apple Hill Farm, take a guided walking tour to see a variety of farm animals and take home some Alpaca yarn, socks and more. Read more.
  • Gem Mining: At Sugar Creek Mining Company at the main entrance to Sugar Mountain, grab a bucket and head to the flume line. Their staff helps you sort your gemstones, identify them and even create a piece of jewelry. Read more.
  • Art Festivals & Live Music: See our list below!

Events & Festivals

Free Weekly Concerts
Gather at the Golf & Tennis Club at Sugar Mountain every Wednesday night during the summer for free live music on the big deck – complete with dancing and inexpensive dinner option. See our calendar. Find plenty of other options for live music at wineries, restaurants and nearby towns.

July 4th Weekend
While many of the area 4th of July events have been cancelled for 2020, we will still have the morning Summit Crawl & Fireworks that night. Read more!

Fine Art & Master Crafts Festivals
July 17-19, 2020
August 14-16, 2020
New in 2020! This longtime favorite event has moved to Sugar Mountain for two weekends. These juried art festivals feature an eclectic gathering of unique hand-crafted wares from fine artists and master crafters. Read much more!

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
July 9-12, 2020 (Canceled, but will return in 2021!)
The biggest event of the summer near Sugar Mountain is America’s grandest Scottish Games, held in a spectacular mountain setting reminiscent of Scotland. This very unique festival brings bagpipes, tartan plaids, multiple stages of live music, crafts, food and traditional wares. Watch continuous athletic competitions, dancing, piping parades, sheep dog demonstrations and much more.