I grew up in Asheville, NC and went to college in Boone, NC. We don’t travel back to Boone as much as I would like, so we decided to add a few days on a recent vacation and travel further into the mountains. We left Asheville and made the two hour drive to Blowing Rock, NC to stay the Chetola Resort. We timed this trip perfectly, with a recent snow and the annual Christmas light display, Blowing Rock was a magical Christmas vacation.
Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock is a 78-acre resort within walking distance of the quaint mountain village of Blowing Rock and adjacent to a 3,600-acre National Park nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. The resort offers accommodations in Chetola Lodge, 1 to 4-bedroom luxury Condominiums or the private Bob Timberlake Inn, fine dining at Timberlake’s Restaurant, relaxation in the Spa at Chetola Resort, and a variety of recreational activities and amenities across the resort.
Arriving to Chetola
When entering the lobby, we were greeted by the kind staff working safely behind plexiglass. Immediately upon entering, there was a cozy ambiance with a fire and the cutest gift shop with anything you might need, from local gifts to apparel and basic necessities. We stayed in the main inn at Chetola, with a ground level room and views of the lake. In 2019, the lodge’s first floor was completely renovated. I loved the special details and modern lodge designs, with fur furniture and accents. There was a nice chair for lounging and outdoor balcony with seating and beautiful views. I was able to sit at the spacious desk and get some work done while Scott napped. We also had a small kitchen area with a microwave, coffee maker, sink, and small fridge. The bathroom was spacious with a warm shower and soaking tub.
The resort had several amenities like laundry, exercise rooms, an indoor heated pool, and more. The resort is following safety procedures to keep their amenities clean with immaculate cleaning and safe distance practices. We were allowed to use the gym facilities with a two person limit at a time. Most of our time was spent outdoors exploring the trails and walking to the nearby Blowing Rock shops.
Chetola Sporting Reserve
The highlight of this trip was just a short and scenic drive away. One of the hotel amenities includes the Chetola Sporting Reserve, with an array of outdoor sportsman activities including gun, rifle and pistol ranges, sporting clay course, 5-stand clay station, archery range, and Orvis® fly fishing excursions. All levels of experience are welcomed. Scott and I selected the Level 1 NSCA Shotgun Instruction with Grayson, and he provided a basic instruction for shooting clays. We also moved out to the 5-stand sporting course for more challenging shots. We had a blast and felt very safe while receiving instruction. I can honestly say, this was a highlight of the trip and we will definitely do it again. We hope to try the Orvis® fly fishing excursion when we return for another trip.
Dining at Chetola and Blowing Rock
For our first night in Blowing Rock, we were tired from driving and exploring the nearby mountain towns so we opted to relax then dine at the Timberlake’s Restaurant at the Chetola Resort. We started with a Charcuterie Platter and Spring Berry Salad. For our entrees, we ordered the Korean Barbecue Boneless Short Ribs and Grilled Canadian Salmon. Both meals were substantial and delicious and we finished the night with a warm drink by the outdoor fire pits to admire the Christmas lights. The following morning, we ate breakfast at the resort as well, and it was great!
For our second night in Blowing Rock, we started at Blowing Rock Brewing Company. We snacked on the most delicious hummus with warm flatbread chips and celery. We enjoyed a few of their beers while sitting in front of a cozy fire and watching the snow flurries. My favorite was the Cloud Rise IPA, with the perfect amount of hops! Scott went with the Big Chocolate Porter and loved the roasted malt flavor.
That evening, we dined at Bistro Roca and oh my goodness, we experienced one of our favorite meals to date! We started with Mama Phan’s Spring Rolls, which we learned are a special family recipe. They were fantastic! Then, we had Roasted Figs that were wrapped in prosciutto ham with manchego and sourwood honey. Dinner was quickly served with Scott ordering the NC Mountain Trout and myself the Fungi Pie. I absolutely love mushroom and white pizza and this hit the spot! It was honestly so delicious and I cannot wait to return!
Things to do when visiting Blowing Rock
There are several things to do while visiting Blowing Rock. You can access the Blue Ridge Parkway (seasonal) with several waterfalls and hiking trails a short distance away. You can drive over to Linville and see amazing caves. While in town, take a drive to Grandfather Mountain to walk the mile high swinging bridge and visit the nature museum and wildlife exhibits. There are numerous ski resorts, with Appalachian Ski Mtn. right down the road from Chetola Resort. Head over to Banner Elk to check out Beech Ski Mtn. or Sugar Ski Mtn. There is also a new alpine coaster located in Banner Elk.
Visit Boone and admire the beautiful college campus, Appalachian State University. Take a stroll through Boone and stop for a bite to eat at Macado’s or have a beer at Lost Province Brewing Co. All three of the small towns have several shopping options as well. Take the kids to Tweetsie Railroad, which hosts several events throughout the year, like the Tweetsie Christmas and the Ghost Train. Nearby, visit Mystery Hill, a natural gravitational anomaly. Finally, go check out the actual Blowing Rock and majestic views!
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves while visiting Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock. We cannot wait to return and visit the area again! What’s next? We’re planning a trip to Florida!