Published by Carl Hedinger. Last Updated on January 13, 2024.
Besides being the highest town in the Eastern United States and having one of the best ski resorts, there are plenty of things to do in Beech Mountain, North Carolina. The 5,506-foot mountain town is one of our favorite places in the High Country, thanks to fun annual events, great food, and more!
It’s one of our favorite winter getaways, but we love visiting Beech Mountain’s attractions yearly. Our guide will share our favorite things to do in Beech Mountain, whether you’re here to ski, explore the Land of Oz, or enjoy any other time in this beautiful place.
- Where is Beech Mountain?
- Annual Events
- Things to Do in Beech Mountain NC This Weekend (and All Year!)
- Things to Do Near Beech Mountain
You can skip ahead to any of these sections or continue reading about how to find Beech Mountain. Don’t forget that you can also visually plan your Beech Mountain vacation with our North Carolina travel map.
Whether you’re a new resident, a frequent visitor, or a local, we’re leaving no detail behind. If you live in the Beech Mountain area and are wondering, “What are the best things to do near me?” we think this NC travel guide will help you out!
Where is Beech Mountain?
Beech Mountain is a Western North Carolina town that sits high in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Beech Mountain is unique because, at 5,506 feet, it is the highest town east of the Rockies.
The town is within a short drive from many of North Carolina’s best-known destinations, including:
- Banner Elk (15 minutes)
- Sugar Mountain (25 minutes)
- Boone (45 minutes)
- Blowing Rock (50 minutes)
- Asheville (2 hours)
Banner Elk is the closest town to Beech Mountain and the last one you’ll pass through before heading up the windy Beech Mountain Parkway. If you’re driving to Beech Mountain in the winter, please keep an eye on weather conditions.
Some roads require all-wheel-drive or snow tires if the roads are icy.
The resident population of Beech Mountain is less than 1,000, but the winter ski season and summer tourist season bring this number up to 10,000 and 5,000, respectively.
Beech Mountain also hosts several annual events that draw in thousands of visitors. The first two are among everyone’s favorite things to do in Beech Mountain.
Beech Mountain Ski Resort
Address: 1007 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain, NC
Due to its elevation, Beech Mountain is known for its winter activities, namely skiing. The Beech Mountain Ski Resort welcomes thousands of guests in the winter season who come to take full advantage of the area’s rich snowfall.
All skill levels are accommodated at the resort; there are slopes for beginning, intermediate, and advanced skiers.
Beech Mountain Vs. Sugar Mountain
The biggest difference between Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain is trail difficulty. Sugar Mountain is generally considered a better resort for beginners, while Beech Mountain has steeper runs and a better terrain park for advanced skiers/snowboarders.
As for their similarities, both resorts are very close to Banner Elk, have similar ticket prices, and stay open for the summer months for visitors to enjoy mountain biking, hiking, and scenic rides on the ski lifts.
What Can You Do at Beech Mountain if You Can’t Ski?
If you can’t ski, there are still plenty of things to do in Beech Mountain during the winter. You can go snow tubing at the resort or head to the free sledding hill back in town.
The Emerald Outback Trails (which we’ll mention later) are another fun winter activity.
The resort stays open in the summer, gearing it’s activities toward warmer weather. Summer attracts mountain bikers, hikers, disc golfers, and more.
The ski lifts also operate during the summer, offering scenic views of the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains. No matter what season you visit, Beech Mountain Ski Resort simmers with fun and adventure.
Read More: 18 Unique Luxury Resorts in North Carolina
Land of Oz
Address: 2669 Beech Mountain Parkway, Beech Mountain, NC
Follow the yellow brick road into the Land of Oz, one of Beech Mountain’s top attractions! Initially a fully functioning theme park in the 1970s/80s, Land of Oz now operates as an annual event known as the “Autumn at Oz Festival.”
Land of Oz typically opens for three weekends in September. Explore the glamorous Emerald City and meet Dorothy, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, and the Great Oz himself!
Much of the theme park was demolished in the 1980s, but the remaining structures have been restored for the annual festival.
Keep your eyes peeled for the Wicked Witch and browse the gift shops for souvenirs. Land of Oz is a magical adventure you can’t miss!
More Beech Mountain Events
Aside from Land of Oz, Beech Mountain offers many other events yearly. Here is a list of some you should check out while you’re visiting:
- Beech Mountain Resort Summer Concert Series: Beech Mountain Resort hosts several ticketed concerts in the summer. Enjoy the performances of some big names while relaxing at the base of the mountains.
- Annual Roasting of the Hog (Independence Day Weekend): This Beech Mountain event features live music, games, scenic lift rides, a fireworks display, and more. The highlight and namesake of this festival is the freshly cooked BBQ hog, which is on display the whole day.
- Mile High Kite Festival (Labor Day): Colorful kites dot the skies during the first weekend in September when children gather to fly kites in the town meadow. The 5,000-foot elevation makes it perfect for flying kites, and the festival promises kite sales, food vendors, and more.
- Crafts on the Green (August): As the name suggests, this event celebrates local artists and their work. On the first weekend in August, come out to Gazebo Park and browse an expansive selection of fine jewelry, pottery, photography, and more.
- Totally ’80s Retro Ski Weekend (February): Travel back in time to an era of big hair, neon colors, and retro vibes. This overnight event is guaranteed to be a fantastic night for fans of the 80s!
Things to Do in Beech Mountain NC This Weekend (and All Year!)
Aside from the annual events, Beech Mountain is known for a variety of activities and adventures that you can enjoy year-round!
Beech Mountain Brewing
Address: 1007 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain, NC
Located at the Ski Resort near the Ski Lift (taproom) and the top of the mountain (5506′ Skybar), Beech Mountain Brewing Company is the perfect place to sit and relax after a long day of skiing or biking.
Beech Mountain Brewing strives to cultivate a unique and inviting atmosphere for both resort guests and the general public. So sip their tasty beers and enjoy the views!
During winter, the ski lift will only take you up to the taproom (barring emergencies), so you’ll have to ski back down. Please drink responsibly and be safe on the slopes!
Emerald Outback Trails
Address: 328 N Pinnacle Ridge Rd, Beech Mountain, NC
Emerald Outback Trails is yet another win for nature lovers! This network of seven miles of trails means excellent mountain biking, hiking, and trail running opportunities.
The Emerald Outback Trailhead is located at 5,400 feet elevation in the Blue Ridge Mountains and features stunning views 50 miles away.
The trailhead for this trail network is at Summit Lot, which can be found via the Beech Mountain Parkway to North Pinnacle Ridge Road. You can use the ski lift from the Beech Mountain Ski Resort in the summer months to reach the Emerald Outback Trailhead.
Beech Mountain History Museum
Address: 503 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain, NC
If you’re interested in the rich history of the mountain, the Beech Mountain History Museum is the place for you. The Beech Mountain Historical Society operates the museum and seeks to preserve mountain history.
While the museum is on the smaller side, there is no shortage of exhibits to be found here.
The exhibits cover many topics, from the Beech Mountain community before the ski resort, the Cherokee population, when the Carolina Caribbean Corporation owned the area in the 1960s-80s, and so much more.
Buckeye Recreation Center
Address: 1330 Pine Ridge Rd, Beech Mountain, NC
For anything fitness-related in Beech Mountain, Buckeye Recreation Center is the way to go. All sorts of indoor and outdoor activities can be found here, including pickleball and tennis courts, Zumba and spin classes, and guided hikes.
As if this place couldn’t get any better, add fishing from its two lakes and many streams to your list of things to do in Beech Mountain.
- Lake Coffey and Buckeye Lake are stocked annually with brown, rainbow, and brook trout.
- Two streams (Buckeye Creek and Pond Creek) are also popular fishing spots. Both are part of the High-Country Mountain Heritage Trout Waters Trail.
Fishing licenses are required in Beech Mountain. You can get one at Fred’s General Mercantile Store.
In addition to the outdoor sporting activities, Beech Mountain visitors can enjoy an afternoon of shopping.
- Fred’s General Mercantile Store (501 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain, NC): “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it” has been Fred’s slogan since its opening in 1979, and it rings true! The store has everything from local fruits and veggies, frozen food, wines, hardware supplies, apparel, and crafts. That list doesn’t even begin to cover what the store offers!
- The Gift Shop at White Wolf Lodge (3363 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain, NC): This local shop offers seasonal apparel, souvenirs, and unique “Beech” teddy bears. The Gift Shop also has a rental program for skis, snowboarding gear, bikes, and other gear.
- Beech Meadows Ski Shop (405 Beech Mountain Pkwy C, Beech Mountain, NC): This is the one-stop shop for all things skiing! This shop has high-quality ski gear, including brands like Columbia and White Sierra, for great prices.
Avery County Quilt Trail
Soak in the beauty and culture of the Appalachians with the Avery County Quilt Trail. Barn quilts are a unique art style, historically and culturally significant.
Western North Carolina and Beech Mountain have one of the largest communities of barn quilt blocks in the nation.
The blocks found along this Quilt Trail are inspired by everyday mountain life. Some blocks have traditional styles, while others are whimsical and fun, but each block tells the story of Appalachian culture in some way.
Eat at These Beech Mountain Restaurants
Eating is one of our favorite things to do in Beech Mountain. Here are two great places to grab a bite:
- Mile High Tavern (1003 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain, NC): Open five days a week during the winter and summer weekends, Mile High Tavern is a spot with a great pub feel. Wash down a classic menu of burgers, wings, and salads with one of the 29 beers and cocktails on tap.
- Famous Brick Oven Pizza (402 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain, NC): This pizza joint is a restaurant, arcade, and golf course in one. Enjoy a delicious pizza after playing at the arcade with the kids, a round of golf, or even after one of their movie nights.
What are Your Favorite Beech Mountain Attractions?
As you see, there are plenty of things to do in Beech Mountain, no matter when you visit. We keep returning for more and can’t wait for our next trip there.
Are you familiar with this great mountain town? If so, we’d love to know about your favorite Beech Mountain attractions.
Things to Do Near Beech Mountain NC (Attractions and Towns)
Beech Mountain is surrounded by some of our favorite places to spend a weekend or longer. Here are a few spots within a short drive.
Banner Elk is just a 15-minute drive from Beech Mountain via the Beech Mountain Parkway. Once you reach Main Street, you’ll be left breathless by the beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, visible everywhere in this town.
Banner Elk is well-known for a few things, including:
- The annual Woolly Worm Festival in October
- Grandfather Vineyard and Winery
- Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster
- Apple Hill Farm
You’ll pass Sugar Mountain on the way to Beech Mountain. This small village nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains is best known for Sugar Mountain Resort, equipped with ski slopes, trails, and ice skating rinks.
The resort is also fun during the warmer months. You can take a ski lift up to the top of the mountain throughout the year.
During the summer, you can either go back down via the same ski lift or your mountain bike.
Like its neighbors, Boone is also near some of our favorite Blue Ridge Parkway stops and hikes. A few include Rough Ridge Trail (a fantastic fall hike), the epic Linn Cove Viaduct, and the short and sweet Beacon Heights.
There are also quite a few waterfalls near Boone, including Laurel Creek Falls (aka Trashcan Falls) and the Cascades at EB Jeffress Park.
Another charming nearby small town is Blowing Rock. We recommend staying at the historic Green Park Inn or the elegant Chetola Resort. Some of the best things to do here are Tweetsie Railroad, the iconic Blowing Rock, and the excellent Moses Cone Memorial Park.
Don’t forget to dine at one of Blowing Rock’s restaurants, which are among the best in Western NC!
More Things to Do in Beech Mountain NC and Nearby (Travel Guides)
These North Carolina travel guides mention and cover Beech Mountain attractions and nearby places in more detail.