North Carolina: Boone, Family Vacations with Snowy Downhill Thrills—No Skill Needed.
The idea that Mother Nature’s snow is not just meant for skiing and boarding but also for a slew of high-energy fun plays well for multiple generations enjoying a winter vacation together. And no place is the snow fun easier to find than in North Carolina’s High Country. Skiing, boarding, ice skating, ziplinging, snow tubing and free-range sledding are all part of the winter family vacation mix of things to do with kids. Here’s the scoop.
East of the Mississippi one of the hottest (or maybe the coolest is more accurate) spots to enjoy tubing or sledding is in North Carolina’s High Country – think Boone at its heart. Organized venues for tubing provide timed tickets, marked lanes, and return ropes. While there are some age, height and weight requirements to be met, it remains a delightful multi generational day adventure because gravity matters much more than skill. Zip and slide.
Hawksnest Resort is perhaps the largest snow tubing area in the eastern US. The state-of-the-art snow adventure facility offers participants a choice of twenty tubing channels spanning from 400 to 1,000 feet in length with a thrilling vertical descent of more than 100 feet. Once the gravity induced thrill is over the return to the top is effortless with the use of a conveyor system. To avoid waiting or disappointments it is best to purchase tickets in advance online to secure the ideal time of your tubing session. Wait for it!
To add to the fun checkout Hawksnest Zipline perhaps the East’s largest zipline network including a suspension bridge and 19 separate cables and four mega cables with linking routes spanning four and one half miles. (Hawksnest Resort 2058 Skyland Drive, Seven Devils NC 28604. (828) 963-6561 or toll-free 1-800-822-4295 or www.hawksnesttubing.com/
).Ski, board, tube or skate.
Sugar Mountain Resort offers choices so no one will be left out. The multi-lane tubing facility features 700-foot runs in tandem with a conveyor lift return open for tubing both day and night with snow making equipment ready when needed. The resort complex spans 115 acres of ski and snowboard terrain with a 1,200-foot vertical drop. Bonus points:
Additional winter activities include ice skating and snowshoeing. (Sugar Mountain Resort 1009 Sugar Mountain Drive, Village of Sugar Mountain, Avery County, NC. (828) 898-452, toll-free 1-800-SUGARMT or http://skisugar.com/tubing/
).Pint-sized snow fun day or night.
Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing Park is six miles south of Linville on NC 181. The family-friendly complex offers riders six tubing lanes day and night. Its small size provides parents or grandparents with an alternative to the popular and sometimes crowded spots at Sugar Mountain Resort and Hawk's Nest near Banner Elk. Anchoring the facility is a family –friendly lodge with space to rest and revive or watch the tubing action on the nearby slopes. Bonus points:
Jonas Ridge has snow guns designed to blast man-made snow whenever Mother Nature is too busy to cover the High Country. Family benefit:
No need to waste time and effort trying to capture the fun on film because there’s an onsite photographer busy capturing the action and making the images available to families at a reasonable price. Need to know:
Best bet for hearty food will be in Morganton or Boone (depending on your route) because there are no restaurants near to the tubing park. (Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing Park NC Highway 181 South Jonas Ridge NC 28641. (828) 733-4155 or www.jonasridgesnowtube.com
)Select a table with a view.
Ski Beech has a snow tubing run behind the View Haus Cafeteria. The two lanes are groomed periodically to ensure the best possible slide. Tubing tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis. In addition, there’s and family-friendly, free sledding hill in Beech Mountain located just as you crest the top of Beech Mountain Parkway above Banner Elk. Bonus points:
In addition to snow tubing there is a 7000-square-foot outdoor skating rink at the center of Beech Tree Village where children 4 years of age or younger may and under skate free for with paying adult. (Beech Mountain Resort 1007 Beech Mountain Parkway, Beech Mountain, NC 28604. Toll-free 1-800-438-2093, (828) 387-2011 or www.beechmountainresort.com
).Have sled will slide in Boone.
Free-range sledding, the most traditional form of sledding, is possible at dozens of spots throughout the Boone area. One popular spot is the hill at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock at junction with the Parkway and Shull’s Mill Road. (Boone Convention & Visitors Bureau 208 Howard Street Boone, North Carolina 28607. (828) 262-3516 or ExploreBooneArea.com
). Make it happen.
For family winter vacation in North Carolina’s High Country that includes plenty of fun in the snow, the planning is easy. Toll-free 1-800-852-9506 or ExploreBooneArea.com
.Content researched and presented by FTF staff. Images provided by Sugar Mountain Resort and Hawksnest Resort. Copyright 2014.