The Blue Ridge Mountains and Banner Elk area in North Carolina offers a variety of indoor and outdoor activities for families, including hiking, backing, skiing, and horseback riding. No matter the time of year, this area teems with fun and adventures. A variety of vacation rentals awaits in the surrounding areas, from trendy condos and family homes to mountain retreats with stunning views. Here’s a short list of the best places to look for a Banner Elk vacation rental as you plan your trip.

1. Banner Elk, North Carolina

colorful view inside the cave

Nestled in the Blue Mountains, Banner Elk sits in the northwestern area of North Carolina. Choose a vacation rental in the downtown area, or select a rustic cabin a little further out and wake up each morning to breathtaking, natural beauty. Depending on the time of year you visit, you and your family can enjoy skiing at one of the two ski resorts located just minutes away. In warmer weather months, make the short drive to the Linville Caverns for some underground exploring.

2. Sugar Mountain, North Carolina

white fur

Vacation rentals in this small town come with mountain views. Choose from modest mountain cabins or luxury homes nestled in the hills. During the winter months, skiing is the biggest activity in the area, and during summer, your family can enjoy a zip line tour, hiking, swimming, and a trip to Apple Hill Farm to check out the alpacas.

3. Beech Mountain, North Carolina

man skiing on the snow

Beech Mountain is a popular ski area that offers plenty to do all year long. Your family can settle into an authentic log cabin or choose a smaller property with views of the morning sunrise. After a day of skiing or snowboarding, return to your vacation rental to start a fire to warm up. Beech Mountain Resort features trails for all ski levels and a quad chairlift to get your family up the mountain quickly.

4. Elk Valley, North Carolina

beer glass

Just a few minutes west of downtown Banner Elk, the Elk Valley area features a variety of rustic cabins and log homes perfect for almost any size family or group. Enjoy the quiet of this more secluded area while still experiencing everything that Banner Elk offers, including shopping, hiking, and tasty restaurants. Take the family to Flat Top Brewing Company to learn all about craft beer.

5. Seven Devils, North Carolina

winter tree

Although demonic sounding, Seven Devils is truly a slice of heaven. In this little burg, your family can play in the snow without skis at Hawksnest Snow Tubing and Zipline. While the more adventurous members of your clan enjoy zip line rides, the rest of the family can get out on tubes and enjoy the snow.

6. Linville, North Caroline

hanging bridge

A few minutes south of Banner Elk, the town of Linville rests along the edges of Cherokee National Forest and Pisgah National Forest. Hiking, caving, and biking are some of the most popular activities in the area, and many vacation rentals include a bike or two for your family to use. Pack the family in the car for a trip to Grandfather Mountain. With more than 12 miles of hiking trails, this mountain has a lot to explore and a mile-high swinging bridge.

7. Blowing Rock, North Carolina

train ride through the mountains

To the east of Banner Elk lies the popular resort town of Blowing Rock. Make your family’s vacation home base a condo in the center of town or a more rustic or luxury option in the nearby area. Pack the family in the car and head to the Tweetsie Railroad, a Wild West adventure park that offers a train ride through the mountains.

8. Flat Springs, North Carolina

abandoned amusement park

Situated near the line between North Carolina and Tennessee, the town of Flat Springs boasts a small town feel and quaint shopping. For a unique experience, drive by the defunct Land Of Oz. Inspired by “The Wizard of Oz,” this abandoned theme park closed operation in 1980, but many of the rides are still standing.

9. Boone, North Carolina

people along the street

Drive a little north of Banner Elk to the bustling college town of Boone to find family homes, condos, and tucked-away cabins. Home to Appalachian State College, this town offers one-of-a-kind shopping, restaurants, and bars. In the summer, take the family to see an outdoor theatrical production of “The Horn in the West.”

10. Sugar Grove, North Carolina

falling water

Sugar Grove offers everything you expect out of a trip to the mountains, from beautiful scenery to a hometown feel. You can enjoy picturesque views from your rented log cabin or a larger luxury home. While staying in the area, load the family in the car and hop on the Blue Mountain Parkway. Stop at mile marker 271.9 for a mile hike along a loop that includes signage about the area and a gorgeous waterfall.

11. Cranberry, North Carolina

straight long tree trunks

Located west of Highway 194, the town of Cranberry surrounds you with breathtaking natural beauty. Choose between log cabins and mountain retreats for your vacation home. Spend your days hiking, biking, and enjoying the scenic outdoor environment.

12. Valle Crucis, North Carolina

zip line adventure

Located northeast of Banner Elk, Valle Crucis welcomes your family for a week or a long weekend of laid-back fun. For a little adventure, head to Sky Valley Zip Tours. If you’re feeling lucky, spend a day panning for gold at Foggy Mountain Gem Mine.