Activities in Banner Elk during the Winter Season

North Carolina is a popular tourist destination year-round, known for its natural beauty, grand estates, scenic beaches and historic sites, and a thriving arts and culinary scene. Our state parks and recreation areas encompass more than 250,000 acres and drew a record 19.8 million visitors in 2020. Elk River Club is perfectly situated in North Carolina’s High Country, where residents soak in the views and seek out all that the region has to offer. 

“Escape. Unwind. Indulge.” in Banner Elk, NC

The Banner Elk website highlights what makes our area such a delight: “Within 25 minutes (or less) of Banner Elk’s lone stoplight, visitors can enjoy attractions, outdoor adventure, family fun, winter sports, shopping, museums, wineries & breweries, spas and much more.” In today’s post, we’re sharing a sampling of winter activities our members love. 

Outdoor Thrills and Family Fun
Just minutes from Elk River Club, two large ski resorts—Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain—delight outdoor enthusiasts with skiing, snowboarding, tubing and ice skating. SugarFest promises to be a “Weekend of Winter Fun” with a pre-season ski clinic, after ski party and a SugarFeast. At the base of Sugar Mountain and making its debut in the winter of 2021-2022, the Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster is the state’s first alpine roller coaster, running 3,160 feet long. Riders speed through “three circular loops, a series of waves and several twists and turns” in carts that can fit two people. A Small Town Christmas Weekend in Banner Elk is full of holiday magic and activities for the whole family; check the town website for all the cheerful details! Grandfather Mountain is another popular outdoor destination with its mile high swinging bridge, nature museum and special events.    

Art Collectors 

If an afternoon visiting art galleries makes for an inspiring day, several galleries in the area showcase regional and national artists. The Banner Elk Artists Gallery is a cooperative run by local artists that includes mixed media, jewelry, pottery, wood carvings and more. Wander through Art Cellar Gallery’s three floors of exhibits or browse older American works at Clark Gallery. The Sugar Mountain Resort website has a helpful directory of galleries as you plan your art outing. 

Savory Meals
As “the culinary hot spot of the High Country,” there are ample dining options with everything from family-friendly casual fare to fine dining. A few member favorites include the farm-to-table offerings at Chef’s Table, the Texas-Louisiana-inspired dishes at the Bayou Smokehouse, authentic Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine at Cam Ranh Bay and the “recognizable dishes with a twist” at the Painted Fish Cafe.

Relax and Imbibe

Resident wine aficionados and craft beer mavens sample the region’s spirits at Kettell Beerworks and Banner Elk Winery. Take a brewery tour and admire the Kettell Beerworks 20 barrel steam-driven system. Taste award-winning wines at Banner Elk’s original winery—ask about their Banner Elk Blueberry and Ice Wines. Traveling just a bit further (another 20 or so miles) opens up still more wineries and craft breweries. 

Elk River Club is a private mountain golf community in Western North Carolina with the first Signature Jack Nicklaus golf course in the state. Residents and guests enjoy surrounding views of Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain and Grandfather Mountain. Amenities include an Equestrian Center, a private, on-premise airport, Har-Tru tennis courts, a pool complex, spa services, Clubhouse, casual and fine dining, fishing, events and more.