Sugar Mountain, NC

Sugar Mountain, NC

Things to do - general

A four-seasons vacation spot, the Blue Ridge Mountains offer some of the most spectacular views in the country, not to mention some excellent opportunities for outdoor sports. Hiking, skiing, ziplining, rafting, tubing, golfing and other outdoor activities can be enjoyed in this area. The towns that are nestled among the mountains offer some great experiences, as well such as Linville Caverns, gem mining, Tweetsie Railroad, a variety of festivals and events and more. Whatever season you come to visit and whatever activities you choose to do you can’t miss the green leaves and beautiful wildflowers in summer, the changing of the leaves in fall and the rolling hills of snow in winter as you travel through this area.

Sugar Mountain and surrounding towns such as Banner Elk, Grandfather, Linville and more also offer unique shopping experiences featuring locally-crafted items in addition to wine, food, apparel, jewelry, home decor and more. Breakfast, lunch or dinner can be found at the wide variety of restaurants in the area. You may want to try award winning High Country Chili at Dunn’s Deli along with sampling some home brew.

Whatever season you decide to visit Sugar Mountain you are sure to find plenty of things to do to keep you and your family busy.


The Highlands at Sugar

The Highlands at Sugar

2173 Sugar Mountain Drive, Sugar Mountain, NC
Located on Sugar Mountain in the Banner Elk area of North Carolina and 20 miles southwest of Boone i More info


Sugar Mountain is calling your name! In addition to skiing in the winter, Sugar Mountain and the surrounding areas, such as Banner Elk, offer plenty of other things to do year-round. Explore the mountains, attend wine tastings, get a relaxing massage, learn the history of the area and much more.


While all the rooms at The Highlands at Sugar Resort feature a fully-equipped kitchen, there may be a few occasions you choose to eat out. If you’re dining right in Banner Elk, you’ll find several unique restaurants and small businesses. There are a few places that should definitely be kept on your radar.

If you are looking for a casual and laid back setting, with a flavorful and varied menu, check out the Bayou Smokehouse & General Store, located walking distance from the resort. Offering a variety of dishes from seafood to Cajun and creole dishes, to burgers and sandwiches, to southern soul food and more, the Bayou Smokehouse offers a menu item for everyone. The family-friendly restaurant provides guests with indoor and outdoor seating, and live music some nights. Stroll on down to the Bayou Smokehouse and enjoy lunch or dinner, and don’t forget to check out the General Store!

Check out Bella’s Italian Restaurant, four miles away from The Highlands resort, for a good authentic Italian meal and a family-friendly environment. Located just between Beech Mountain and High Country Ski Resort of Sugar Mountain, Bella’s a great choice for your post-skiing meal. Choose from pizzas, seafood, salads, sandwiches and a full menu – and don’t forget to leave room for dessert!

If you’ve considered driving to Boone for dinner, a highly recommended, fine dining stop is the Gamekeeper Restaurant & Bar. Known for its exotic menu items and mountain charm, guests can order depending on how adventurous they are feeling. Items like elk, buffalo, rabbit, pheasant, duck and fish can be ordered and cooked to your liking, paired with a selection from the restaurant’s varied wine and beer menu. Salads and vegetarian dishes are also served at the Gamekeeper, and the meal is only complete after a taste of the restaurant’s decadent desserts.

Things to Do

In addition to winter activities such as skiing, Sugar Mountain and surrounding towns also offer plenty of other activities during spring, summer and fall, as well. Explore the beauty of the mountains through scenic drives, horseback rides or hikes, fish for that perfect catch or pick up a bottle of wine while touring local wineries – the possibilities are endless!

Read Things to Do Around Sugar Mountain, NC

Pinterest Vacation Guide

For all of the latest things to do, places to visit, and special events to help plan your Sugar Mountain vacation, check out our Pinterest board:


In the town of Banner Elk, there are an abundance of specialty shops, small boutiques and artisan galleries. You can find art, fine jewelry, consignment furniture and accessories, cheese and wine, and souvenirs to help commemorate your vacation. But if you are more interested in shopping for the latest trends and name brand steals, you may find yourself driving to Boone, NC – less than 20 miles away.

The Boone Mall is only half an hour away from The Highlands resort, and is home to all the major shops you’d expect to find in a mall. Catering to the university crowd, the Boone Mall features the latest trends and hippest stores, as well as some you may not find anywhere else. The mall is also near a number of restaurants for post- or mid-shopping breaks.

Also near the Boone area, in Blowing Rock, NC, are the Tanger Outlets. Boasting high fashions at affordable prices, the Outlets feature the trendiest stores, including Banana Republic, Coach, Gap, White House Black Market, and many others! Shop for apparel, footwear, children or miscellaneous items, the Outlets allow you to enjoy the best in outdoor shopping.

Another fun shopping excursion consists of visiting all the specialty and antique stores the High Country has to offer! Search for unique, one-of-a-kind items, historical art or a homemade piece of jewelry, pottery or original painting. Ask your front desk representative for a list of some recommended shops in the area that can provide the perfect souvenir or gift, and take home a piece of the Blue Ridge Mountain experience.