Janine Davis

Middays Weekdays 10:00AM-3:00PM

Alpaca farm

I think this may be one of North Carolina’s best-kept secrets. The town of Banner Elk has earned its place as one of the nation’s top small towns to visit.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, the mountain town has the best entertainment, natural settings, and other qualities that attract tourists interested in more intimate locations. The magazine says Banner Elk is a compelling place to visit in 2022 because of its small population of 25,000 or less, high density of cultural offerings and its natural beauty.

Out of the destinations across the country that were recognized, Banner Elk was the only place in North Carolina to make the list. Here are a few highlights as to why:

  • Population of 1,000
  • Tourist attraction: Grandfather Mountain
  • Skiing (known as the ‘ski capital of the South’)
  • Hiking trails
  • Ski resorts
  • Family fun that includes the Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster (two-person car visitors can drive along a 2,390-foot track at 27 miles per hour)
  • Apple Hill farm
  • a working Alpaca farm
  • Woolly Worm Festival (highlights black and red caterpillars in October)
  • Wineries and acclaimed restaurants
  • Reknown treehouse (most desired place to stay on Airbnb)