Playground at the Valle Crucis Park. Photo by Ken Ketchie
The Daniel Boone Cabin at Daniel Boone Native Gardens. Photo by Ken Ketchie
The view from Howard's Knob Park overlooking Boone. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Playround facilities at the Blowing Rock Town Park right on Main Street. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Park, playground, and picnic areas at the Banner Elk Park. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Playground facilities at the Blowing Rock Town Park. Photo by Ken Ketchie
The beautiful setting of the Valle Crucis Park on the banks of the Watauga River. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Children's playground and and picnic area right near the Daniel Boone Native Gardens. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Playground facilities at the children's playground at Cannon Hospital in Avery County. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Playground equipment at the Banner Elk Park. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Playing in the creek at the Banner Elk Park. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Wildcat Lake near Banner Elk has a swimming area, picnic tables and a playground area. Photo by Todd Bush
The view from the top of Elk Knob, a newly established State Park. Photo by Frederica Georgia
Green Valley Park is on the banks of the New River near Todd. Photo byKen Ketchie
Price Park Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway has picnic tables, streams, hiking trails and large fields to play in. Photo by Ken Ketchie

▶ OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

Playgrounds, Parks
and Picnic Areas

On a summer day, nothing beats stuffing a basket full of snacks and refreshments and heading out to the local park for a romantic picnic or a just fun day at the playground with family and friends alike. Just about every village or town in the area has a public park – each with its own personality. For example, Valle Crucis Community Park has a huge field for sports, a walking track, little playhouses and a creek running through the property, meanwhile the fenced-in Tot Lot in the Watauga County Recreation Complex in Boone has multiple playing areas for toddlers and older children and a mini track for tricycles and strollers. Check out the listing of playgrounds, parks and picnic areas below.

Howard's Knob Park

Address: 604 Howards Knob Rd, Boone, NC

BOONE

Located on top of the mountain overlooking Boone, it can be a little hard to find as you drive through neighborhoods. The starting point is at Earth Fare Grocery on King St. But the scenic views of Boone and the ASU campus are awesome. Hiking trails and cover shelters for picnics. Closes at sunset.

Memorial Park

Address: Park View Cir, Blowing Rock, NC

BLOWING ROCK

Right on Main Street in the middle of downtown, this park provides playground equipment, a climbing wall and tennis, basketball and volleyball courts—all for free. A covered gazebo and plenty of benches makes this park popular for all ages.

Tate-Evans Park

Address: 210 Park Ave, Banner Elk, NC

BANNER ELK

Tucked away on Park Avenue behind Nations Bank, Tate-Evans Park features playground equipment, picnic tables, a picturesque paved walking trail and a mountain stream for wading. Plenty of parking is located on site.

Tot Lot

Address: 231 Complex Dr, Boone, NC

BOONE

Located at the Watauga County Recreation Complex, the Tot Lot features state-of-art playground equipment and separate play areas for 2 to 5-year-olds and 6 to 11-year-olds. The complex, which is located off Hunting Hills Drive in Boone, also features baseball/softball fields and an indoor swimming pool.

Daniel Boone Park

Address: 134 Doctors Dr, Boone, NC

BOONE

Horn In The West Outdoor Drama: The third oldest outdoor drama in North Carolina, “Horn in the West” has been showcasing our country’s rich heritage since 1952. Performed in a beautiful amphitheater, “Horn in the West” follows the story of a group of settlers who came to the Blue Ridge Mountains in 1771 to seek freedom from British rule, led by Dr. Geoffrey Stuart who battles the British Army for freedom. This show is entertaining, exciting, educational and a one-of-a-kind experience for the entire family.

Watauga County Farmers' Market: On summer Saturday mornings, the parking lot of Horn in the West bustles with visitors and residents strolling the farmers market, enjoying what local farmers have to offer. Since 1974, the Watauga County Farmers’ Market has brought local food and crafts to the heart of Boone. Down the aisles, you can find local meats, fresh vegetables, just-baked breads, rich, local honey and sweet jams, local handmade crafts, goods and so much more. There is even a kids market on specific Saturdays! Come early, it ends at noon.

Daniel Boone Native Gardens: The Daniel Boone Native Gardens is celebrating 50 years in Boone. Wander down the cobblestone paths and explore the gardens filled with local native plants found only in out-of-the-way places in these mountains. The gardens are open to the public for strolls, picnics, visits and much more. Delve into some history at Squire Cabin, which is a representation of a frontier homestead. Wander behind the trees to the meditation maze, and visit the “Pickin’ Porch” which represents the hospitality of Boone. Perfect for an outing for the family, or for a short, relaxing walk to get back to nature and learn about exotic native plants.

Hickory Ridge Living History Museum: The Hickory Ridge Living History museum was created in 1980 to give visitors a glimpse of life in the 1700s. Staffed by interpreters dressed in period-style clothing, the outdoor living museum gives visitors insight into the daily life of early settlers, showcasing skills like cooking, candlemaking, fiber spinning, weaving, blacksmithing and much more. This is a great educational and cultural experience for the entire family. Also, it’s an interesting place for a walk about.