High Country Weekend Winter Trips

Appalachian Mountains NC

Winter in NC is in full swing, making it the perfect time to pack your bags for a nice weekend getaway. Luckily, there’s plenty of fun activities, beautiful sights and great adventure in the High Country. We’ve put together three weekend trip ideas highlighting the best of the area to jump start your weekend trip to the NC mountains.

1. Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip

Winter on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is beautiful in all seasons, and the winter is no exception. Gather the whole family and cruise down America’s most scenic drive for unbelievable views, historical landmarks, and stunning national parks. The parkway is also dotted with unique cultural centers, craft shops, and wineries and vineyards to fill your day.

You can either do a day trip to the surrounding NC areas like the Smoky Mountains National Park for some great hikes, views, and eats, or make an entire weekend out of it by cruising all the way up to the parkway’s end in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. Check out the Skyline Drive, a 105-mile scenic road that cuts through the park and provides views of Virginia’s vistas. You’ll be packing on the mileage during this trip, but it’s worth it for “America’s favorite drive.”

Before you plan your weekend, be sure to check ahead for road closings announcements. Parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway may be closed off depending on the severity of a NC winter storm.

2. Ski and Snowboard Excursion

Beech Mountain NC

No High Country weekend trip list would be complete without mentioning its three famed NC ski resorts: Sugar Mountain, Beech Mountain, and Appalachian Ski Mountain. Each of these resorts can easily fill up a weekend, and offer not only an array of traditional winter activities and sports  (check out Appalachian Ski Mountain’s night ice skating!) but also shopping, dining, and resort lodging. Everyone in the family will love the cozy ski villages and fun outdoor activities – a weekend might not be even enough.

All three resorts are great options for a weekend getaway, but it can be difficult choosing which one’s the best pick for you. If you need help with your decision, check out our guide for an in-depth look at each of the resorts and what makes them special.

3. Grandfather Mountain

Mile-High Bridge Winter

Just outside of Linville, Grandfather Mountain is a must see for anyone visiting the High Country. An iconic staple in North Carolina’s landscape, the mountain is the highest peak in the Blue Ridge mountain range and is also an international biosphere reserve. The state park is perfect for a one-day weekend trip: start your day hiking the beautiful mountain scenery and exploring various environmental habitats, pay a visit to the nature museum and participate in other naturalist programs, and end the night at the Mile-High Swinging Bridge for a sunset view you won’t soon forget.

Grandfather Mountain is a great trip not only for exploring the High Country’s natural beauty, but also for learning the history of the area. Children and adults alike will appreciate the park’s ecological and cultural significance, all while enjoying a jam-packed day outside.


There’s no better way to enjoy the winter time than by discovering the great NC outdoors with the people you love. There’s no reason to get cabin fever this winter – here in the High Country, there’s always more to explore.