Sugar Mountain, North Carolina is a popular year-round getaway spot for families with children. Many families head to Sugar Mountain during the winter months to take advantage of the powdery slopes at the Sugar Mountain Resort, which is open to the public for skiing and recreation. During the summer season, visitors can look forward to activities ranging from fishing and kayaking in Wildcat Lake, to visiting fascinating animals at the Apple Hill Farm. Book a stay at a Sugar Mountain vacation rental today. Accommodations are situated both on and around the mountain in nearby neighboring towns such as Boone and Linville. Check out the top 10 family-friendly things to do in the Sugar Mountain area.

1. Visit Alpacas at Apple Hill Farm

For a fun day with some of the most beautiful animals in the world, head a few miles away from your vacation rental into neighboring Banner Elk, and visit the Apple Hill Farm. Take a walking tour of the grounds, and get up close and personal with sweet and gentle alpacas, horses, llamas, and angora goats. Then, pop into the local farm store and buy some tasty homemade jelly.

2. Check Out the Views Along Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway sits just a few minutes away from Sugar Mountain, and it’s often referred to as “America’s Favorite Drive,” due to the beautiful surrounding scenery. Drive along the parkway and gaze at the magnificent views. Then, pull over to the overlook near Milepost 154, also referred to as “Warbler Theater,” for a close-up look at some beautiful local birds.

3. Go Kayaking

If you’re visiting Sugar Mountain during the summer months and want to do a little exploring, rent some kayaks at Wildcat Lake, and make your way around its 13 acres of water. The lake also offers picnic shelters, so pack a large lunch for the entire family, and spend the entire day at the lake.

4. Tour the Linville Caverns

For a unique underground experience, take a tour of the Linville Caverns. Located a few miles outside of Sugar Mountain in North Marion, the Linville Cavern sits inside Humpback Mountain and houses an underground stream. Take the family on this amazing subterranean tour, and check out the unique rock formations, stalactites, and stalagmites that cover the cavern walls. The cavern is open daily during the summer and only on weekends during the winter months.

Find the perfect Sugar Mountain vacation rental on is the world's #1 vacation rental search engine with over 10 million properties!

5. Learn About Natural History at the Grandfather Mountain Nature Museum

For a fun day learning about local natural history, visit Grandfather Mountain Nature Museum in neighboring Linville. Take a guided tour through over two dozen exhibits that feature early explorers such as Daniel Boone, unique gemstones, birds, and scale models. When you’re finished looking around, head over to the museum’s auditorium to view an amazing nature-themed movie, filmed entirely at Grandfather Mountain.

6. Go Skiing or Snowboarding

If you’re visiting during the winter months, head to the Sugar Mountain slopes to enjoy plenty of outdoor fun. Sign up for a family snowboarding or skiing lesson, or brave the mountain on your own if you’re experienced. At the end of the day, warm up in the Sugar Mountain Resort lodge with some hot cocoa and sweet treats. The resort also has a 10,000-square-foot ice skating rink where your kids can engage in a little figure skating or practice their hockey moves.

7. Visit the Original Mast General Store

For a fun trip back in time, stop by the Original Mast General Store in Boone, just a few miles outside of Sugar Mountain. Mast General Stores can be found today throughout the south, but the original store was built in 1883, making it one of the most popular attractions in the area. Stop in for some groceries, then take your time looking around and admiring the original architecture and old-fashioned signs. Stick around for some live music, and be sure to pick up some classic sweet treats, such as Moon Pies or penny candy, before you head back to the mountain.

8. Go Fishing

If you want to cook up some freshly-caught fish at your vacation rental, pack up your fishing gear or pick up some new rods and reels at Highland Outfitters in Linville, and head out to the Linville River. Linville is about 5 miles away from Sugar Mountain, so you won’t have to travel far to catch some tasty trout.

9. Take a Weekend Chairlift Ride

If you’re visiting during the summer months, you can still enjoy the exhilarating feeling of riding the chairlift up the mountain by taking a weekend chairlift ride at the Sugar Mountain Resort. Each car seats six people, making it a great family activity. Ride over Sugar Mountain and take in the views, and imagine skiing down the snowy slopes during the winter.

10. Mine for Gemstones

If your kids enjoy hunting for treasures, spend the day at the Sugar Creek Mining Company, located across from Sugar Mountain’s entrance. Visitors are provided buckets, and they use them to collect gemstones from a flume line. Staff members provide guidance on identifying precious gems. If you find a stone you like, on-site gem cutters can cut it down and create a piece of jewelry on the spot.

Ready to go? Check out these amazing Sugar Mountain vacation rentals on