Fun NC Destinations to Celebrate with your College Grad!
A college graduation calls for a big celebration together. Hats off to you grads! Celebrate the achievements, the journey it took to get there, and most of all the optimism for the adventures that are still ahead. Grad parties are traditional and a fine way to seize the moment and cheers with friends, but family getaways and road trips are even more special. So maybe instead of a big bash, or perhaps in addition to the shindig, plan a vacation to one of NC’s top fun destinations to celebrate with your college graduate as a family!
Recent college seniors have faced many disappointments and altered plans during their college careers due to the pandemic. From annual social gatherings and in-class meetings to sports events and more, current students have missed out on tons of experiences their predecessors had. Let’s face it, they made the best of it and now graduation is just around the corner. Parents and families are thinking outside of the box on just how to commemorate and celebrate the adversity and resiliency their soon-to-be-grads have shown us all.
Turns out post-graduation getaways are the ticket! And places like the NC mountains offer families exactly what they need after the hustle and bustle of graduation..a setting for rest and recharge. So pack your backpacks, throw in some hiking shoes, and head towards the Appalachian Mountains with your grad in tow.
#1 Fun NC Destinations to Celebrate with your College Graduate
Yes, Boone is a “college town” in itself, but if your grad is not graduating from Appalachian State University, it just might be the perfect place to getaway. This small mountain town has a youthful vibrancy rolling through it that your grad will appreciate. It is often described as North Carolina’s “hidden gem” and taking the trip to uncover it is worth every mile! Boone offers a true escape along with refreshing activities to try: from fly fishing to skiing and more.
Post graduation can certainly be a stressful time for many; applications and interviews are top of mind. However, some physical time spent in nature proves to be a highly effective way to relieve stress. Consider booking a fly fishing excursion with a local pro. Take your minds off of your grad’s next steps for just a day, slip into a canoe, and cast a line. The pro will provide everything you need for the trip, even lunch if you upgrade. Bring a waterproof phone pouch, you’ll want to capture your catches along the way! Visit Footsloggers in downtown Boone for any outdoor gear you may need.
What makes Boone one of NC’s top fun destinations for you and your college grad is not only its intrinsic value of nature but because it’s home to APP STATE the creativity and college vibes give the downtown area a fun buzz. There are delicious dining options, breweries big and small, chill coffee spots, and local shopping with one-of-a-kind finds. The Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts is home to cultural shows, mainstream concerts, and art focused events. Click HERE to see their updated calendar of events.
Stay in the heart of it all at The Appalachian House or The Downtown Boone House. Both vacation rentals are fully outfitted with everything you’d need to celebrate with your college graduate and best of all they’re within walking distance to the town’s best foodie spots!
#2 Fun NC Destinations to Celebrate with your College Graduate
Banner Elk, NC
For an even quieter destination that still offers tons of fun, families shouldn’t overlook Banner Elk. Small town with adventure waiting for you. Banner Elk is nestled just beyond Boone by about 20 minutes, and it’s home to two of the South’s largest ski resorts.
Beech Mountain Resort, known for its full service skiing, actually remains open from early June through late September converting its ski slopes into downhill mountain biking trails. The resort’s chairlift services take you to the top of the 5,506 peak, allowing riders to choose from a variety of trails along the way. The chairlift alone is worth the trek because the views are killer! Every level of rider can find a bike path that will suit them. Take your grad on an actual outdoor adventure. You’ll make memories pushing yourselves to get physical outdoors. Wear your protective gear and go for it!
But wait! Leisure time is also key for this type of getaway. So ride by day and sip by afternoon…Slip into the world of wine making at Banner Elk Winery. It is the best spot to sit back in an adirondack chair and breath in the fresh valley air. The winery is generally open daily 12pm to 6pm. Secret tip: bring a bag of marshmallows and roasting sticks to use on the property’s fire pits.
#3 Fun NC Destinations to Celebrate with your College Graduate
Blowing Rock, NC
And to round out the list, visit one of NC’s top fun destinations: Blowing Rock. This mountain side town boasts a historic heritage that touches every corner. The downtown feels established, cozy and charming in an elevated way. While it is true, this town doesn’t typically draw a college-aged crowd, that’s what makes it a great spot for post graduation celebrations! Its sophisticated and luxurious offerings mean you and your grad can truly indulge in the celebrating activities. Splurge a little, and show your grad a grand ole time with spas and fine dining.
At Westglow Resort and Spa, they say, “come to the top of the mountain, leave on top of the world.” What better way to send your college grad into their next phase? The spa sits on a 42-acre property with mountain views all around, and it offers rejuvenating spa packages that will leave the whole crew feeling ready to face the world. Book your specialty service ahead of time!
A fancy dining experience in one of Blowing Rock’s premier restaurants will be the cherry on top! The foodie scene is outstanding and your college grad will love the special attention. There are many to choose from, try a new one each night of your stay. Start with Best Cellar, a local’s favorite enchanting spot, and then you must give Gideon Ridge Inn a try as well. The true fine dining service and treatment your family will receive will leave a lasting impression. Make your reservations in advance!
Written by Andrea Morton, Creative Blogging + Marketing Strategies