During every season of the year, Valle Crucis and the enchanting towns in western North Carolina invite you to enjoy the picturesque seasons of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway shows off magnificent springs, verdant summers, and fiery autumns painted across valleys and mountains. Summer and autumn offer ideal weather for mountain biking and hiking the many trails in Pisgah National Forest. When the snow arrives, Sugar Mountain invites you to ski, ice skate, and snowboard. Here’s a list of the top 11 Valle Crucis vacation rental locations to help you decide where to book your stay.

1. Valle Crucis, North Carolina

valle crucis

Valle Crucis retains its small-town mountain charm, where finding some privacy is easy to do. If you want a place that is secluded and surrounded by trees, then this is your spot. Cool evenings often give the best excuse for lighting the fireplace and staying indoors to relax. It’s also the perfect locale for long walks in the woods and going horseback riding.

2. Banner Elk, North Carolina

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Just where can you find a town that boasts having only one traffic signal for many years? Banner Elk welcomes visitors with the assurance that the two ski resorts, restaurants, and other amenities lie within 15 minutes of the light. All within easy reach are whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and rappelling at Edge of the World, ideal for your older, active kids. The owners of Apple Hill Farm invite visitors to meet and pet their alpacas, and Valle Crucis Lavender House offers a selection of aromatherapy products as well as massages.

3. Boone, North Carolina

boone
Source: Wikimedia Commons

A hike of the Cascades Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway starts a Boone vacation off right. The one-mile trail meanders along the crest above the Piedmont to Falls Creek. Informational plaques situated along the way describe the trees, including black oak, rhododendron, birches, red maple, and others. If you have a budding geologist, the Foggy Mountain Gem Mine offers opportunities to prospect for some emeralds and other gems.

4. Blowing Rock, North Carolina

blowing rock
Source: Flickr/No4

The name of Blowing Rock originated with the legend of Indian love story, which the locals love to tell. Feel free to ask about it where you stay, dine, or play. Tweetsie Railroad features a ride on an old-time steam train that stops for a gunfight, and a Ferris Wheel with amusement park attractions. Kids of all ages enjoy Mystery Hill, just minutes from the railroad park. Encase your kids in a giant soap bubble and take them to a slanted room that messes with equilibrium.

5. Linville, North Carolina

swinging bridge
Source: Wikimedia Commons

How high can you go? The Mile-High Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain lets you test your theory. The mile-high part spans an 80-foot wide chasm. The trek provides opportunities to photograph local wildlife, which may include owls and deer, within minutes from your vacation rental.

6. Town of Seven Devils, North Carolina

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There’s so much beautiful mountain scenery to take in right from your deck when you vacation in Seven Devils. If you want to participate in the action, Hawksnest Snowtubing and Zip Line Park at the west end of town is the place to go. You don’t need to take anything other than your family and some great expectations. Hawksnest fees cover everything you need. You can head over to Parkway’s Price Lake to rent a boat or take your bikes to Boone’s Rocky Knob bike park.

7. Newland, North Carolina

newland north carolina
Source: Flickr/Don West

Find your personal nirvana in Newland. It’s the ideal place to book your vacation for those days when you just want to relax. The staff at Forage Soaps scour the forests to hand-pick the herbs and plants they use to formulate their organic, vegan soaps. They welcome visitors to observe the daily soap-making process, copied from recipes used by their grandmothers. On your way back to your vacation rental, pick up a bottle or two of local wines at Linville Falls Winery. It’s just off milepost 17 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

8. Jefferson, North Carolina

jefferson
Source: Flickr/Bob Is Traveling

A fishing trip In New River State Park is a great way to start your vacation in Jefferson, where delicious rainbow trout team in the lakes and streams. Introduce your little anglers to the sport and begin a new family tradition. It’s also a great place to get the kids to put their devices down and take them outside for hiking, skating, and learning how to play disc golf along the banks of the New River.

9. Linville Falls, North Carolina

linville falls
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Linville Gorge is called the Grand Canyon of the Southern Appalachians. The hike to the overlook is pretty easy at just over a mile-and-a-half each way. Hike down into the gorge that begins along one of the footpaths, making the trip challenging and strenuous as the trails are steep and not maintained. For some indoor fun, Linville serves up some culture at 87 Ruffin Street, a southern folk art gallery.

10. Beech Mountain, North Carolina

Vacationers typically stay at Beech Mountain for the winter sports: skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating, which includes skate rentals. Raise your ranking to hero status by taking the kids to the Land of Oz. Storybook characters invite visitors to stroll along the yellow brick road and dress up as their favorite characters.

11. Marion, North Carolina

linville caverns
Source: Wikimedia Commons

When you think you’ve seen everything on Earth, you can always go underground in Marion. No matter how warm it is outside, your family needs sweaters for the tour of Linville Caverns to see the Blue Ridge Mountains from the bottom up. It’s possible to see some hibernating bats, too.