Category: News

TripAdvisor Affiliate Names Beech #1 for Affordability!

O#1We’re #1. Really, we are!

According to FlipKey.com, a TripAdvisor company, Beech Mountain ranks tops on the list for Most Affordable Vacation Rental Destination in North Carolina.

Hey, I wouldn’t pull your leg.

But if you still don’t believe this blogging squirrel, see for yourself by reading FlipKey’s article: 50 States: Most Affordable Vacation Rental Destinations.

So, how did Beech Mountain get to be No. 1 in North Carolina? Winners were chosen based on TripAdvisor data collected over the past 18 months from locations with at least five listings that had the lowest average weekly rates for two-bedroom accommodations.

If you’ve ever visited Beech, you probably already know this. It’s easy breezy to take advantage of off-season rates during warmer months in this ski resort locale. There are great places to stay right in the heart of town, and plenty of things to do, too!

A perfect example of Beech’s affordability is the $169 Hike and Wine package. Couples pay just $169 for two nights of weekend lodging, two wine tastings at Banner Elk Winery, hiking trail maps and guest passes to the Buckeye Recreation Center.

PrintCome up to Eastern America’s Highest Town to see the fall foliage this autumn, and save a lot of green in the process. And if you happen to see any extra acorns along the trails, please save them for me!

Yours truly,
Boomer the Squirrel

My Favorite Summer Event? The Labor Day Kite Festival!

PrintVisitors to Beech Mountain often ask what’s my favorite summertime event. And the answer is easy breezy – the Mile High Kite & Craft Festival.

Every Labor Day weekend families from all over the Southeast come to Beech Mountain to fly kites a mile high in our town meadow. I love going to the meadow and watching the kids run around with their kites.

If you ever want to see pure joy, watch a bunch of kids flying kites!

The festival expands to two days this year – Saturday, Sept. 5, and Sunday, Sept. 6 – and the nice ladies at the Chamber of Commerce have added craft vendors, food vendors and a children’s play area.

On Sunday, they will have contests for the biggest, smallest and best-decorated kites. I’m planning to win the contest for the smallest. I have to, because a regular kite would take me up, up and away with it! I might wind up somewhere over the rainbow.

Speaking of “somewhere over the rainbow,” there will be a drawing each day for four free tickets to the sold-out Autumn at Oz celebration in Beech Mountain in early October.

My cousin Darryl in Raleigh, and my other cousin Darryl in Charlotte, usually come up to Beech for the kite festival weekend. Raleigh Darryl likes to eat the hotdogs served by the Famous Brick Oven Pizzeria, which is adjacent to the kite field. Charlotte Darryl is more of a pie guy and he loves the pizza slices.Kite_Festival_weekend

Personally, I think they should put acorns on pizzas. But humans never take my suggestion on that!

Oh yeah, there’s one thing I forgot to mention. If you come to the Mile High Kite & Craft Festival, make sure to bring your boogie shoes. The town of Beech Mountain hosts a free all-ages street dance Saturday night in the parking lot of town hall. The lot is covered with sand and a deejay plays a variety of fun dance music.

So, come join me, Darryl and Darryl for this fun weekend. All you have to do is navigate on over to our kite festival page by clicking here, then find a great place to stay that weekend by clicking here.

Did I mention it’s my favorite summer event on Beech??

Beatin’ the Heat at My Favorite Beech

Hey everybody!Print

It’s Boomer, the happiest squirrel blogger on the web. 🙂

One of the reasons I’m so happy is getting to enjoy pleasant summer weather up here in Beech Mountain, the highest town in all of Eastern America!

You might be surprised that during July the warmest it got in Beech Mountain was 76.1° on July 20 (the next day’s high was 67.3°). So far in August, it has not been hotter than 76.6°.

My cousin Darryl in Raleigh, and my other cousin Darryl in Charlotte, have been chirping about the heat all summer. In fact, Darryl says it reached 99° twice this week in Charlotte. Holy jeepers!

Darryl and Darryl don’t believe me when I tell them about Beech Mountain temperatures – they say I’m nuts! I prove them wrong with a little help from my human buddy, Ray, of RaysWeather.com. Click this link to see all high temps this summer in Beech: http://www.averyweather.com/Archive/Beech+Mountain

Cool_Summer_BeechNow that you know I’m not nuts, why not come for a cool visit? Think of all the fun things you and your family (or your sweetie) can do during a weekend getaway to Beech Mountain.

The good folks in the Beech Mountain tourism office have $169 weekend packages that include hiking, mountain biking, wine tastings and craft beer samplings. See for yourself by clicking here.

Families always have a blast on Beech. I see kids running, jumping and playing all over this mountain. There are playground galore, including a neat ropes playground at the Buckeye Recreation Center.

Other family fun includes hiking, mountain biking lessons, scenic chairlift rides, disc golf, mini golf, canoeing on Buckeye Lake, fishing in Lake Coffey and the 13th annual Mile High Kite Festival during Labor Day weekend.

I hear a lot of kiddos talking about going to nearby places like Tweetsie Railroad, Grandfather Mountain, Linville Caverns (52° year round), Hawksnest Zip Lines and whitewater rafting.

And those people who like to ride around in motorized trolleys and swat at golf balls with titanium clubs have their own special stay-and-play package. It’s called the Summer of 79° golf package and guarantees the temperature will not exceed 79 the day you play. If it does, they give a certificate for a free round!

With cool temps and so much fun stuff to do, I say you’re nuts if you don’t come to Beech Mountain soon!

Boomer’s Top 7 Summer Activities at Beech Mountain Resort

PrintHey gang, I’m Boomer. A happy squirrel who enjoys living in the highest town in all of Eastern America! That town is Beech Mountain, North Carolina. It sits at an altitude of 5,506 feet in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

I have lots of friends – humans and animals – and I want to share the fun and adventure that can be had on this great mountain.

Just the other day, I was hanging out in the trees at Beech Mountain Resort. I saw the cutest baby fawn. She was light brown with lots of spots, and following her mother along the edge of parking lot No. 1.

You might think the resort closes in summer because there’s no skiing. That’s definitely not the case! The resort is open Friday-Sunday from early June through late September.

I love watching people enjoy all the things to do there. In between gathering acorns, I made this list of the Top 7 Summer Activities at Beech Mountain Resort …

No. 7: Mountain Bike Lessons – Just go to Ski Beech Sports in the village at the base of the slopes. The resort staff provides lessons for folks of all ages and abilities. You can also rent a bike and safety equipment at Magic Cycles in the village. And after your lesson, be sure to take the bike up the mountain on the chairlift and ride the downhill trails. Wheeeee!

No. 6: Scenic Chairlift Rides – For just $10 in human money, you can ride the chairlift to the top and back. Check out beautiful scenery along the way and a cool observation deck at the top. The resort says you have to be 36 inches tall to ride the lift, so I can’t ride it, but I bet you can. It’s a neat experience each Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the warmer months.

No. 5: Skybar 5,506’ – Two winters ago, the resort built a really cool skybar at the top of the slopes. It’s called 5,506’ in honor of the mountain’s signature elevation. People of all ages can ride the chairlift to the skybar and enjoy food and beverages. It’s particularly beautiful in evenings as the sun begins to set over the NC High Country.

Bottoms Up Yoga

Bottoms Up Yoga

No. 4: Bottoms Up Yoga – A lot of really cool women and men ride the chairlift to the top on select Saturday mornings and do yoga on the observation deck at the skybar. Lift rides start at 10 a.m. and the yoga classes begin at 10:30 a.m. It’s a neat way to elevate your downward dog. And, you have the option of enjoying a craft beer afterwards. The beer is made at the resort. Which brings me to …

No. 3: Beech Mountain Brewing Co. – One of the newest things available at Beech Mountain Resort is a craft brewery. Beech Mountain Brewing Co. is located in the village at the base of the slopes (they also sell the beer at other places throughout the resort, including the skybar). Billy is the brewmaster and he’s one of the coolest dudes in the High Country. He has worked several jobs on the mountain and everybody comments on how friendly he is, and how good his beers taste 🙂

No. 2: Disc Golf – Disc golf is much like regular golf. The object is to throw what I call a “frisbee” into 18 receptacles that serve as holes. BMR’s course plays downhill from the mountaintop. It costs $10 in human money to ride the chairlift to the first tee. Plus, the resort has discs for rent/sale if you don’t have one. Interesting fact: the man widely credited with inventing disc golf in the 1970s in California now lives in North Carolina. His name is George Sappenfield and he has a human house in Mount Airy.

Mountain-biking-downhill

Downhill biking!

No. 1: Downhill Mountain Biking – Wanna catch some air? They have, like, totally radical downhill trails at the resort. Bring your mountain bike (or rent one at Magic Cycles), ride the lift, tighten the straps on your helmet and peddle down 11 trails named after Led Zeppelin songs. Sometimes the really good bikers let me ride on their handlebars. I have a “Whole Lotta Love” for this adventure!

To get more info on these activities, use your fancy human fingers to navigate over to www.BeechMountainResort.com!

 

 

January 24, 2013

The Tennessean – Beech Mountain Appeals to Novice Skiers, Families

-Written by Tracy Teo

bildeOn a recent trip to Beech Mountain Resort, deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, I imagined myself swooshing down Shawneehaw Run’s glistening slopes, a graceful snow bunny who had conquered her fear and was the envy of all the other “joeys” (as newbie skiers are called).

But before I took off exploring the resort’s 95 skiable acres, I had to figure out how to stay upright on the awkward appendages strapped to my feet. So, I signed up for a lesson at the Snow Sports Learning Center.

I stood in a semicircle on relatively flat terrain with the other beginners, awaiting instructions from a burly instructor named Phil Hyer. He had such a military bearing, I almost felt the need to stand at attention and shout, “Yes, sir!” when he asked questions about my ski experience, or more accurately, the lack thereof.

I soon learned that despite his commanding presence, he was a kind, patient man, eager to give us the confidence we needed to enjoy our time on the slopes.

“Everybody seen snow before?” Phil asked. I thought it was a facetious question until I remembered many Beech Mountain guests are from parts of the South where snow falls about once a century.

The previous evening I had a brief exchange with an 8-year-old from Florida. She had only seen snow on TV and described her day sledding down the youth hill near the Beech Mountain visitors center as “awesome.”

We began our lesson by learning to bring the tips of the skis together and fan out the tails to form a wedge, a move Phil called the “pizza.” Basically, this is how to put on the brakes, so it’s not hard to figure out why it’s the first thing a skier needs to know.

402225_10150512111599826_107324634825_8562860_1756227221_nWe set off individually to practice our moves. Preschoolers from another class zipped past me on their skis and snowboards, much quicker to execute their instructor’s tips than I was. They toppled over occasionally but quickly picked themselves up and moved on unfazed — a stark contrast to the beginning adults.

Phil glided over to rescue a young woman who had wiped out and was flailing her arms like a beetle stranded on its back. It was a comical sight, but when I found myself in the same position five minutes later, I failed to see the humor. From the vantage point of the ski lift, we must have looked like we were enrolled in the class that taught guests how to lie flat on their backs and make snow angels.

The beauty of family-friendly Beech Mountain is that, while it attracts plenty of experienced skiers and snowboarders, novices of any age can learn in a fun environment. Unlike some resorts out West, nobody gives rookies impatient, sidelong glances.

After returning my ski equipment, I headed down to the Alpine Village for some hot chocolate. I sipped it by the ice rink, where young skaters twirled and jumped like willowy ballerinas.  Glittering hoar frost clinging to the trees gives the North Carolina High Country the ephemeral beauty of an enchanted winter wonderland, like one of those breathtaking scenes from the film “Dr. Zhivago.” I noted with disappointment that it was starting to melt.

At an elevation of 5,506 feet, Beech Mountain is the highest town in the Eastern U.S. It has an average annual snowfall of 84.6 inches, but nobody can predict the weather on Southern ski slopes. If fickle Mother Nature doesn’t bless the resort with enough snow, there are 30 Super PoleCat automated snow guns that will.

Après-ski

Alpen Restaurant and Bar is a favorite après-ski hangout. Those who have worked up mountain-size appetites after a day on the slopes dig into hearty comfort food served in an elegant dining room that’s more Swiss Alps than Blue Ridge Mountains.

No new age cuisine here. Classic steak and seafood dishes are prepared simply, but perfectly. Pecan-encrusted trout topped with a surprising dollop of honey butter is a customer favorite.

Banner Elk Winery

There’s nothing like a wine tasting with friends to warm you up after a day on the slopes. Tucked into the bucolic mountain hamlet of Banner Elk is Banner Elk Winery, just a 15-minute drive from Beech Mountain.

During the warmer months, visitors tour the picturesque vineyards, but at this time of the year, there’s nothing more welcoming than the cavernous fireplace surrounded by comfy chairs.  The owners have found several varietals thrive in these mountains, and my friends and I were eager to quite literally enjoy the fruits of their labor.

We started with a crisp, citrusy Seyval Blanc, which I personally think would be the perfect complement to Carolina barbecue. After a couple more whites, we were introduced to Marechal Foch, the top-selling red, appreciated for its hints of blackberry and cherry.  We swirled and sipped our way through the evening as we discussed tomorrow’s ski plans. I decided I might make better progress with a private lesson.

The truth is, I never did make it past the bunny slope, but the natural beauty of the region and the fun post-slope activities already have me eager to try again next year.

For the original article, click here