Hotel at a Glance: Hillwinds Inn
On the covered porch at Hillwinds Inn, you can sip cups of gourmet coffee and kick back in a rocking chair after a busy day exploring the artsy mountain town of Blowing Rock. The art galleries and restaurants along Main Street are within easy walking distance of the inn.
- Complimentary continental breakfast served each morning
- Evening reception featuring wine and cheese
- In-room amenities: country-style decor, 30-inch flat-screen TVs, refrigerators, and coffeemakers
- Within walking distance: downtown attractions such as the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum
- Go outside: There are plenty of places nearby where you can go hiking and fishing in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Blowing Rock, North Carolina: Art and Adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Blowing Rock is located on the edge of the 500,000-acre Pisgah National Forest in northeastern North Carolina. The town, named for a rock formation, is a home base for outdoor recreation in the Blue Ridge Mountains—especially hiking, whitewater rafting, fly-fishing, and horseback riding. Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, a historic estate on 3,600 acres of forests and meadows, has 26 miles of carriage roads designated for walking and horseback riding. To see the sights from a car, head to the Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic motorway through the Appalachians.
Aside from the parkway, there’s plenty to do year-round here, from whitewater rafting and fly-fishing in the summer to cross-country and downhill skiing in the cooler months. About 25 miles northwest of Blowing Rock is Beech Mountain Resort, a popular ski spot with 15 trails for all skill levels. According to Fodor’s, it’s the highest ski area in the eastern United States, at 5,500 feet above sea level.
Back in town, Blowing Rock’s Main Street is lined with antique shops, boutiques, and upscale bistros. Bargain hunters might want to stop by Tanger Outlets, home to Banana Republic, Loft, and Polo Ralph Lauren outlet stores.