Theater Packages Provide a Romantic Escape

Theater Packages Provide a Romantic Escape

Looking for a romantic getaway? Book a Banner Elk theater package and escape to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

A pair of Banner Elk accommodations have teamed up with Ensemble Stage to offer theater packages that start at just $119. Each package includes one night of lodging for two, a pair of tickets to an Ensemble Stage performance, discount dining coupons for Banner Elk Café & Lodge, and breakfast at your lodging the next morning.

The packages are centered around Ensemble Stage, a professional theater group that performs year-round in an intimate setting in the renovated auditorium of the Historic Banner Elk School in the heart of town. Shows range from comedies to dramas to murder mysteries.

Lodging options for the packages are the Best Western Mountain Lodge and Perry House Bed & Breakfast. The Perry House is walking distance to the theater and restaurants. The Best Western is located just 1.3 miles from the theater.

Booking a package involves two easy steps. First, go to the theater package page to pick the date of the show you wish to attend. Then, contact your choice from the lodging options and request a Banner Elk Theater Package. Once the package is booked, your accommodation will set aside two show tickets to be presented to you at check-in. Your hosts prefer at least a week’s advance notice, but will make every effort to accommodate shorter lead times.

All package info is available here.

Fall for Banner Elk this Autumn

Fall for Banner Elk this Autumn

Late day light enhances the fall color and a christmas tree farm in the rural North Carolina mountains.

Few places in the North Carolina mountains have the variety of leaf-viewing options that Banner Elk offers. Nestled at 3,701 feet above sea level, Banner Elk normally reaches peak color around the third or fourth weekend of October. Leaves typically begin changing in late September or early October, followed by a vivid progression that now often stretches into early November.

Fall color in NC mountains Banner Elk leaf lookingBanner Elk is surrounded by scenic peaks and native hardwoods, with many vantage points to view autumn’s splendor. One of the best vantage points is the famous Mile-High Swinging Bridge atop Grandfather Mountain. People from all over the East Coast visit in fall to take in the panoramic view from Grandfather.

There are many different ways to view fall color in Banner Elk. Some prefer to take in the splendor from kayaks and canoes on Wildcat Lake, while others take to the hiking trails in and around the town limits. The Profile Trail at Grandfather Mountain State Park offers great views and has its trail head on the outskirts of Banner Elk. Another popular place is the high-altitude Emerald Outback trail park.

Adventure seekers hit the local rivers for whitewater rafting from Edge of the World Outfitters or High Mountain Expeditions. Or, let the vehicle do the work with a meandering drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Even a simple stroll along the Banner Elk Greenway yields spectacular viewing options.

Another nice thing about a fall visit to Banner Elk is the close proximity to peak fall color from early October to early November. A quick 15-minute drive in early October up to Beech Mountain puts you at peak color because of its 5,506-foot elevation. Or, you can drive about 30 minutes in early November down to the Linville Caverns area and view peak colors there.

When the autumnal day is done, settle into comfortable lodging and indulge in a delicious cuisine from a number of eateries. A bountiful food selection gives Banner Elk its nickname of “the Culinary Hot Spot of the NC High Country.”

For a list of lodging options, click here.

Banner Elk is a Top 15 Summer Cabin Destination

Banner Elk is a Top 15 Summer Cabin Destination

Looking for fun and affordable summer cabin vacation? Look no further than a Banner Elk cabin says one of the world’s largest travel websites.

TripAdvisor.com, with more than 375 million unique visitors monthly, named Banner Elk to its list of 15 Affordable Summer Cabin Getaways Across America. Trip Advisor analyzed user ratings for all U.S. towns that have rental properties available on its website. It then calculated the average cost of a one-week stay in July in a two-bedroom cabin rental in those cities and towns.

Banner Elk made the top five for having an average weekly cabin rental of $768, while offering “no shortage of challenging hikes and spectacular overlooks.”

TripAdvisor further commented on Banner Elk’s convenient location: “This Blue Ridge Mountain getaway is close to major attractions like Grandfather Mountain, Blowing Rock, and the Appalachian Trail.” It also noted, “the wine and beer scene won’t disappoint, either, with Banner Elk Winery, Grandfather Vineyard, and Flat Top Brewing Company offering delicious grapes and suds.”

“Trip Advisor is the top website in the U.S. for consumer-rated travel. It’s a big deal when a site of that magnitude recognizes Banner Elk,” says Nancy Owen, representative of the Banner Elk Tourism Development Authority. “This exposes Banner Elk to millions of people throughout North America and paints us in a very positive light. It also lets people know that, even though we have very nice accommodations, we are also reasonably priced.”

For more info on Banner Elk lodging options, go to the lodging section of this website. To read the full TripAdvisor article, click here.

Banner Elk Choose & Cut Christmas Tree Packages

Banner Elk Choose & Cut Christmas Tree Packages

Create a new tradition this holiday season with the Banner Elk Choose & Cut Christmas Tree Packages. These packages take advantage of Banner Elk’s location in the NC High Country. The High Country is considered the Christmas Tree Capital for its abundance of tree farms growing high-quality Fraser fir trees. And, it is common for one of the farms in our region to provide the White House Christmas tree in Washington, D.C.

For one price, starting at $139 weekdays and $159 weekends (plus tax), our choose & cut packages include: one night’s lodging at your choice of accommodations, a full breakfast, 15% off dining at Banner Elk Cafe, and a voucher for one 7-foot tall choose & cut Christmas tree at Elk River Evergreens.

Elk River Evergreens is a perennial favorite in the NC mountains with lots of on-site activities and a great variety of trees.

The packages are available Nov. 16-Dec. 8, 2019. Booking them is easy. Just contact you choice of lodging options below to ask for the choose & cut package and book your stay. Upon check-in, you will receive a voucher good for one 7-foot Christmas tree at Elk River Evergreens. You will also receive a coupon for 15% off dining at Banner Elk Cafe, a popular restaurant in Banner Elk with a wide-ranging menu.

For an extra dose of holiday cheer, be sure to visit the weekend of Dec. 6-8 for Banner Elk’s annual A Small Town Christmas celebration. More details about that special weekend are available by clicking here.

Lodging Options – Packages are available at the lodging partners below. Please contact them directly and mention the Banner Elk Choose & Cut Christmas Tree Packages:

> Best Western Mountain Lodge
Click here or call 828-898-4571
> Perry House Bed & Breakfast Click here or call 828-898-3535
> Banner Elk Mountain Cabins** – $25-$50 off per night on cabins that sleep 4-8. Click here or call 828-387-1209
**- Breakfast not included at Banner Elk Mountain Cabins

 

Banner Elk North Carolina ski resort town

A Small Town Christmas in Banner Elk

A Small Town Christmas in Banner Elk


Soak up a season of holiday cheer with “A Small Town Christmas in Banner Elk” the first full weekend in December. Escape the rush and enjoy an authentic small town holiday Dec. 6-8 in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Festivities start Friday evening and run through Sunday. Most events take place within walking distance in the downtown area of Banner Elk, and the 2019 schedule is listed at the bottom of this page. For out-of-town visitors, weekend lodging packages are available that include a choose & cut Christmas tree from Elk River Evergreens.

Get in the mood for the weekend on Friday evening with caroling, hot chocolate and the lighting of the official town tree in the Corner On Main Park at 6:30 p.m. After the tree lighting, Ensemble Stage presents “A Banner Elk Christmas” at 7 p.m. just a short walk away at the Historic Banner Elk School. The holiday musical variety show is one of the most popular shows each year by the local professional theater group.

Saturday’s schedule starts early with the 5K Reindeer Run at 8:30 a.m. in Tate-Evans Park and concludes back at the park around 6:30 p.m. following the Parade of Lights. The parade, which starts at 6 p.m., finishes in the park with a synchronized Christmas light snow, train rides through luminary lights, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a DJ with karaoke and the Avery County High School Band’s Christmas music recital.

During the day Saturday, events include a pancake breakfast with Santa at Dunn’s Deli, holiday market at Lees-McRae College, and a new event in 2019, the Banner Elk Polar Plunge at Wildcat Lake. Local businesses are also involved Saturday with events like ornament making and cookie decorating (see schedule below).

As the sun sets Saturday, the Banner Elk Parade of Lights kicks off at 6 p.m. at Lees-McRae College. The parade includes the traditional marching bands, cars and floats, but also features surprises, such as dogs dressed in lights and Santa arriving on a fire truck.

“People decorate their cars, their kids, their pets with lights, and they’re all in the parade,” says festival organizer Jo-Ann McMurray of the Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce.

Visitors can put a bow on their holiday experience Sunday with a visit to one of many Christmas tree farms in the area, or they can opt for a 2 p.m. performance of “A Banner Elk Christmas” at Historic Banner Elk School.

“The whole town gets involved with A Small Town Christmas,” says organizer Jo-Ann McMurray of the Banner Elk Chamber. “We love seeing families and couples get away from the hustle and bustle to enjoy a simpler celebration in a small town. And what better way to end the weekend than visiting a tree farm and driving home with a hand-picked tree on top of the car?”

Also available all three days are Christmas-themed walking tours of Apple Hill Alpaca Farm. Tours are hourly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each. Cost is $12 for adults and $7 for children ages 4-10. Children 3 and under admitted free.

An added bonus is the Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas Tree Contest. Town businesses try to out-do each another with decorated outdoor Christmas trees. The trees must be real trees from Avery County Christmas tree farms. Everyone is encouraged to vote for their favorite at the Visitors Center and the winner is announced Saturday evening as everyone gathers among the lights in Tate-Evans Park.

Great Lodging Options Available

Because it is a resort town, Banner Elk has many accommodations that allow families and couples to find the idea lodging option for this special weekend. Seek out your perfect accommodations by clicking here. Or, check our special Choose & Cut Christmas tree lodging packages by clicking here.

Schedule of Events for 2019

Friday, Dec. 6
6:30 p.m. –
Christmas Tree Lighting & Caroling at Corner on Main Park
7:00 p.m. A Banner Elk Christmas musical variety show at Historic Banner Elk School

Saturday, Dec. 7
8:30 a.m. –
5K YMCA Reindeer Run in Tate-Evans Park
9:00 a.m. – Pancake Breakfast with Santa at Dunn’s Deli (through 10:30 a.m.)
9:00 a.m. – Holiday Market at Evans Auditorium at Lees-McRae College (through 5 p.m.)
10:00 a.m. – Christmas at Apple Hill Alpaca Farm (through 4 p.m.; tour purchase required)
11-Noon – Christmas card and bookmark making at the Book Exchange at Historic School
11-3 p.m. Pet photos with Santa at Banner Elk Chamber sponsored by Avery Co. Humane Society
1-3 p.m. – Christmas ornament decorating at Bayou Smokehouse and Grill
2:00 p.m. – Banner Elk Polar Plunge at Wildcat Lake (plungers need to arrive at 1 p.m.)
3:30-4:30 p.m. – Cookie decorating at Banner Elk Cafe and Lodge
6:00 p.m. – Parade of Lights on Main Street (ending with festivities in Tate-Evans Park)
All day – Special treats for humans and pets at My Best Friend’s Barkery

Sunday, Dec. 8
 All Day – Choose & Cut Christmas Trees at Avery County tree farms (get a free tree with Choose & Cut lodging package)
10:00 a.m. – Christmas at Apple Hill Alpaca Farm (through 4 p.m.; tour purchase required)
 2:00 p.m. A Banner Elk Christmas musical variety show at Historic Banner Elk School

For additional info about A Small Town Christmas in Banner Elk, call the Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce at 828-898-8395.

Grandfather Mtn After Dark: Creatures of the Night & Bonfire Delight, Sept. 29

Grandfather Mtn After Dark: Creatures of the Night & Bonfire Delight, Sept. 29

Visitors are familiar with Grandfather Mountain’s resident animals, including black bears, bald eagles, cougars, river otters and elk. But what do they do after dark?

Find out Saturday, Sept. 29, at Grandfather Mountain’s annual Creatures of the Night & Bonfire Delight, a nighttime event featuring fun and spooky stories told by firelight, along with rare after-dark tours.

From 6 to 9:30 p.m., guests of all ages can enjoy hot chocolate and warm apple cider by the glow of a bonfire. The event is BYOS (Bring Your Own S’mores), but the park will provide marshmallow roasting sticks, cider, hot chocolate and seating.

From there, join Grandfather staff members on a nocturnal trek to the top of the mountain (via shuttle) and the environmental wildlife habitats.

“It’s a whole different way to experience the animals,” said Jenny Condron, habitat keeper at Grandfather Mountain. “When you see them in the daytime, it’s all just a visual experience. But at night, you hear their unique noises and rustling around way before you actually see them, and it can be quite exciting and eerie.”

An “Owl Prowl” will take participants on a search for the mountain’s feathered denizens of the night, during which guides will attempt to communicate with the birds through recorded owl calls.

“On our last Owl Prowl, the barred owls were very, very responsive, talking back a lot,” chief habitats curator Christie Tipton said. “By the time we take the last tour, it’s pitch black, and you can’t see anything. Although the owls can see you.”

In fact, the event casts Grandfather Mountain in a whole new light — or lack thereof.

“Creatures of the Night is an amazing opportunity to see the new world that is Grandfather Mountain after the sun goes down,” Tipton added. “The mountain comes alive with inhabitants not seen during daylight hours, and experiencing the majesty of this in complete darkness, with no outside lights, is an awe-inspiring experience.”

Planning to Attend?

Cost is $20 per person, and participants must be at least eight years old to attend. Space is limited and registration is required by visiting https://bit.ly/2PaBpXk.

Guests are encouraged to dress warmly and bring blankets, flashlights and s’mores ingredients to enjoy around the fire. For more info, call 828-733-2013, or visit www.Grandfather.com.

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