High Country Wedding Guide showcases the top venues and vendors in the stunning northwestern corner of North Carolina, where couples flock for all things weddings, whether that’s popping the question, participating in a engagement photo session, a bachelor or bachelorette party, a bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, or, of course, the Big Day. These inspired locations—from epic mountains to fairy tale valleys—span the Blue Ridge Parkway, and include towns like Banner Elk, Blowing Rock, Boone, Linville, Grandfather Mountain, Valle Crucis, Jefferson, and more. (The region spans Allegheny County to Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey counties, and also includes Mountain City, Tennessee.) For a map of the area, click here.
Banner Elk is located in Avery County and is known for its popular ski resort, Sugar Mountain; arts and crafts festivals such as the Wooly Worm Festival; Lees McCrae College; and exclusive private golf communities, Diamond Creek and Elk River. Banner Elk is about 30 minutes west of Boone and a playground for vacationers year-round. Eagle’s Nest offers a spectacular wedding venue in the area.
Beach Mountain is one of the highest peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountain range at an elevation of 5,506 feet and is located near Banner Elk in Avery County. While Beech Mountain is a popular summer destination, it is most known for Beech Mountain Ski Resort.
The storybook town of Blowing Rock is named after a rock formation that juts out over 1,500 feet above the Johns River Gorge. The town’s population increases tenfold in the summer when folks return to their summer homes to escape the heat. Blowing Rock offers unique boutiques, shops, and incredible restaurants. It also boasts a range of accommodation from charming inns to Chetola Resort, to vacation rentals. There are many venues ready to host weddings from Westglow Resort and Spa, Camp Sky Ranch, and Blowing Rock Conference Center on the outskirts of town to Chetola Resort, Meadowbrook Inn, and the new Blowing Rock Art and History museum downtown.
Boone is home of Appalachian State University (ASU) and named after the American pioneer Daniel Boone. King Street dissects downtown and hosts unique local fare, Boone Drug with its soda fountain, Mast General Store, and many shops featuring local goods. ASU campus offers two popular wedding venues, the Broyhill Inn and Summit Trail Solarium. Stop in and check out the brand new (and first!) boutique hotel, The Horton Hotel. Say hello to Denise and Fulton, the owners, while you are at it.
The Linville community is located in Avery County and about 17 miles Southwest of Boone. Grandfather Mountain hovers above and the Blue Ridge Parkway is just minutes away from this charming area once a stop of the “Tweetsie.” “Linville is home to private golf and country clubs. Linville Golf Club, Grandfather Golf and Country Club, and Linville Ridge are all open Spring to early Fall. Eseeola Lodge is a popular wedding destination in the area.
The most popular unincorporated town in the High Country and home of the original Mast General Store, sits in a valley on NC 194 between Banner Elk and Boone along the Watauga River. Valle Crucis is Latin for “Vale of the Cross,” a name chosen because of the three streams that converge to form a shape similar to an archbishop’s cross. Popular wedding venues include the Apple Barn and Mast Farm Inn.
Other Locations of Interest
Other premium spots in-between and beyond those mentioned above include Jefferson and West Jefferson; Lenoir; Ferguson; Foscoe and Seven Devils; Mountain City, Tennessee; Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro.