So, it’s true. While Boone may not be receiving the crown of Best Town in America by Outdoor Magazine, it’s still one of the best towns in America, no doubt about it. The High Country and its army of locals from near and far fell to the likes of Chattanooga, Tennessee, a city of over 170,000 residents located on the Tennessee River in southeastern Tennessee.
While Boone may not have taken the crown this time around, it is common knowledge around these parts that Boone is a one-of-a-kind town that is unrivaled by any other in the south, let alone the nation. So, this is to you, Chattanooga: you may have won the battle, but you aren’t even close to winning the war.
To prove it to you, here are 3 reasons why Boone and the High Country are still better than Chattanooga:
Location, location, location:
Sitting at a whopping 680 feet above sea level, Chattanooga is not the “mountain town” it claims to be. When one compares Boone and Chattanooga, the overall size of the two developments are drastically different, but one similar feature is a large mountain overlooking each area. For us in the High Country, we refer to our mountain as Howards Knob. Chattanoogans have their own “Howards Knob”, which they call Lookout Mountain. Lookout Mountain is a commercialized mountain that charges admittance to three separate attractions on the mountain which overlook the lovely city of Chattanooga. Chattanooga has one large mountain in their backyard. Boone and the High Country have an entire mountain range in theirs. On a good day, it would take a Chattanoogan approximately 50 minutes to reach the mountain range which is visible to them along the horizon, while one can step outside in any part of Boone, Blowing Rock, or Banner Elk and be surrounded by the beauty that is the Appalachian Mountains. Boone and the High County sit in one of the most beautiful areas in the world, with access to so many hidden treasures via the Blue Ridge Parkway, winding backroads, and streams that seem to be endless. In addition to our breathtaking location, Boone’s placement along the eastern edge of the Appalachian Mountains allows us to experience every season to the fullest. From comfortable and breezy conditions in the spring and summer to perfect sledding conditions in the winter, the High Country offers something for every person to love, no matter what time of year it is.
What’s on your list of things to do tonight? How about catching an Appalachian State football game? Or maybe watching the sunset over the horizon of the Blue Ridge Mountains? If any of these things catch your attention, then Boone and the High Country is the right destination for any person at any time. When we say that this area offers world-class everything, we mean it. Boone is one of the top destinations in the state of North Carolina, and for good reason. The Boone-Blowing Rock-Banner Elk area attracts tourists from all around the world to many of our local attractions, be that Beech Mountain in Banner Elk, Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock, or King Street in Boone. With some of the highest quality snow resorts east of the Mississippi River, you will never be alone in your quest for fun when it comes to winter in the High Country. We have not one, not two, but three world-class ski resorts within a thirty minute radius of us, with those being Appalachian Ski Mountain, Sugar Mountain, and Beech Mountain. The fun doesn’t stop in the winter, though. Into the spring and summer, you can find many strolling through the local businesses of Boone’s popular King Street, which offers restaurants and stores that suit the style of all visitors and locals alike. Wanting something a bit more adventurous? Grandfather Mountain, a North Carolina State Park, offers breathtaking views year-round in the Banner Elk-Linville area. Grandfather offers easy-to-strenuous hikes, live animal exhibits, and even the Mile High Swinging Bridge. Can Chattanooga claim a bridge that high as their own? I think not. So, regardless of the time of day or time of year, the High Country will always have something to offer you to make your day a little brighter.
Not just locals, but family:
You’ve likely heard it before: Boone isn’t just a town, but it’s a community. It sounds so cliché when it comes out of your mouth, but it’s beyond true for so many reasons. This idea doesn’t just apply to Boone, though, as it applies to all throughout the High Country. This is a region that prides itself on care, respect, and love. If there is one thing the Boone-Blowing Rock-Banner Elk area will never be in short supply of, it is pride. We love this community and these mountains as if they were our own. The support this community throws behind others and itself is remarkable and cannot often be found in smaller regions, such as our own. While we may not have won the honor of being named the Best Town in America, we fought hard until the very last second. We nearly defeated a city that is approximately nine times bigger than Boone alone, all with the help of those who believe in this area and what it represents. People, be they locals, tourists, students, or any of the above, backed Boone because Boone represents a family that sticks together and pushes through both the good and the bad. On any given day, smiles will seem to be in an unlimited supply throughout this town, as people enjoy what it means to be here and be a part of this community, if not for more than just an hour. Boone and the High Country represent what makes us so proud to breathe in another breath of that crisp mountain air every morning. We may not always be a part of the High Country, but the High Country will always be a part of us.
So, no, we didn’t win. We won’t be on the front cover of Outdoor Magazine, but life will not only go on here, but it will thrive here. Boone, Blowing Rock, and Banner Elk have been growing and thriving for decades now and we will continue to do just that. We will continue to build better and more daring futures for locals and visitors alike, as if there is one thing we know how to do here in the High Country, it’s making life an adventure.