Sitting high atop the High Country at 5,506 feet, Beech Mountain is a picture-perfect North Carolinian destination in the wintertime. Its high elevation, abundant snow, and small-town charm draw in families and thrillseekers alike from all parts of the country, making it a staple of High Country skiing. But, there’s more to Beech Mountain than just its slopes – we’ve put together some of our favorite winter activities to fill your next visit, whether you want to grab a bite, have a drink, or explore the local sights.
Beech Mountain Resort – 5506’ Skybar
Worn out from hitting the slopes all day? Take a break and warm up at Beech Mountain Resort’s 5506’ Skybar, named for the mountain’s famed elevation. A perfect destination for the resort’s skiers and snowboarders, the skybar not only has a full-service bar (and snacks!) but also provides a breathtaking, panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains stretching all the way to Tennessee and Virginia. Relax in one of the chairs on the deck or head inside the glass roundhouse for a drink – either way, you’ll be surrounded by the beautiful High Country vista.
So high up on the mountaintop that it’s only accessible by chairlift, 5506’ Skybar is a one-of-a-kind destination perfect for enjoying a winter sunset or simply stretching your legs. Be sure to check out the Beech Mountain Brewing Company beers that are on tap for a true taste of the High Country, brewed right on the mountain itself!
Banner Elk Winery & Villa
If you’re looking for a quiet getaway, the idyllic Banner Elk Winery & Villa might be just what you need. Located deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s touted as the High Country’s original winery and boasts award-winning wines that have won competitions at state, national, and even international levels. Using locally-grown grapes and in-house processing, the winery embodies the natural spirit and energy of the High Country. Come for a tasting, tour, or even a stay in one of their private villas for an experience you won’t soon forget.
Whether you’re interested in local winemaking or just want to enjoy the wintry High Country landscape—glass in hand—Banner Elk Winery, just a town over from Beech Mountain, is the perfect spot to enjoy a luxurious weekend trip amidst the mountains and snow.
Emerald Outlook Hiking Trails
For those milder winter days, ditch the skis and head to the Emerald Outback to hike your way through Beech Mountain. One of the highest trail systems on the East Coast, the Emerald Outback’s challenging trails will reward you with incredible views of the High Country and the Blue Ridge Mountains as far as the eye can see. With plenty of scenic overlooks and beautiful vistas, you’ll quickly fall in love with Beech Mountain in all its wintry glory.
In true Beech Mountain fashion, Emerald Outback trails range from 4,700 to 5,400 feet in elevation – and, for those seeking an extra thrill, mountain biking and winter snowshoeing are also available!
Mountain Grounds Coffee & Tea Co.
Nestled right between Sugar Mountain and Grandfather Mountain is Mountain Grounds Coffee & Tea Co., a hip coffee shop that serves local coffee, freshly brewed teas, and that signature High Country hospitality. If you’re not a coffee or tea fan, don’t worry! The shop serves delicious hot chocolate (a High Country favorite) and other signature drinks, as well.
Warm up by the fireplace after a long day outside, or come laze in an armchair with your favorite drink.With delicious quick bites, TVs, and even occasional live music, Mountain Grounds is a favorite for local coffee fanatics and visitors alike.
Alpen Restaurant & Bar
Voted by its guests as the best dining experience in the High Country, Alpen Restaurant & Bar, located in the historic Beech Alpen Inn, has been a Beech Mountain staple for years. The rustic, European-style building blends effortlessly into the surrounding mountainside, providing endless views of the High Country’s nature and wildlife. Take a seat in the Mountain View room for scenic landscapes and fine dining, or try the Old Fireplace Room for some lighter fare by the bar or open stone fireplace. Beautiful in all seasons, Alpen is especially peaceful in the winter with a blanket of snow casting a haze over the cozy interior of the restaurant.
Eat and drink to your heart’s content with plenty of menu options and the largest selection of draft beers and fine wines, then make the scenic drive back down to Beech Mountain’s charming small town to continue the fun!
We love Beech Mountain in all seasons, but winter is one of our favorites. This winter, enjoy all that the High Country has to offer, 5,506 feet up – indoors, outdoors, or anything in between! Next stop: Grandfather Mountain.