The Ultimate Guide to a Day in Banner Elk

The town of Banner Elk, North Carolina, is a place that everyone should visit. Nestled in the beautiful mountains of northwestern North Carolina, Banner Elk is a great place to buy a vacation property or live year-round! Here’s our ultimate guide to a day in Banner Elk.

About the Town of Banner Elk

The Town of Banner Elk is located in Avery County. The historic town has a rich history and local flair.

The Cherokee were the first group of people to live in this area. It is believed that the Cherokee used the forests, creeks, and rivers of this location as hunting grounds.

In the mid-1800s, white settlers started moving into the area. In 1848, Martin L. Banner established the first permanent settlement.

Local folklore believes that the name Banner Elk comes from one of Martin’s family members who killed one of the last elk in the area. That’s how the town became known as Banner’s Elk.

When is the Best Time to Visit?

Banner Elk is truly a four-season destination. The spring and summer are wonderful times to visit.

Many people like to plan their vacation during this time of year to escape the heat and humidity and enjoy the cool mountain breezes and fresh air! Autumn is one of the most popular seasons, as people come from all over to take in the beauty of fall foliage.

Recommended Activities in Banner Elk

Visitors of Banner Elk recommend a wide variety of activities that will please the whole family, no matter what time of year.

If you are a cold-weather sports enthusiast you would love to visit during the winter months. Banner Elk is between the best skiing and snowboarding in North Carolina. Sugar Mountain Ski Resort and Beech Mountain Ski Resort are only minutes away and provide for lots of fun outdoor sports.

Banner Elk provides opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, bouldering, fly-fishing, mountain biking, and cycling. Lees-McRae College is located in the heart of downtown Banner Elk. The college is home to one of the most successful college cycling teams in the Nation.

Banner Elk is home to one of the High Country’s most popular fall events, The Woolly Worm Festival. This fall festival takes place in the third week of October. The Woolly Worm celebrated its 44th season this year.

Where to Eat, Drink, & Stay

When you plan your trip, book a room at the Banner Elk Winery and Villa. The Lodge at River Run is a lovely bed and breakfast, and Best Western is another great choice! Make sure to reserve a table at Artisanal, Louisiana Purchase, or Stonewalls.

If you have picky eaters grab a table at Banner Elk Cafe and Tavern, they have something for everyone. The Blind Elk Tap Room is a great choice to enjoy a local craft beer and cider.

Visit Banner Elk

Plan your trip to Banner Elk – you will be a fan for life! Once you’ve visited Banner Elk, you will want to stay forever. Our second home, vacation, and resort property specialists at 828 Real Estate are ready to help you find that special place.

If you’re in the market for a new home, view these active listings of homes for sale in Banner Elk, NC.

About the Author

Susan is proud to be a native Tarheel, but as a military brat she also spent many years growing up in Kodiak, Alaska. Her father was a helicopter pilot in the Marines and then the U.S. Coast Guard, which allowed her to experience and appreciate both the South East and the Pacific NorthWest. After spending most of her High School years in Kodiak, her family was stationed back to Elizabeth City, NC. When the time came to choose a college to attend, Susan longed for something that reminded her a bit of the beautiful mossy forests of Alaska and the mountain culture that she had grown to love. Upon arrival in Boone in 2002 she immediately felt like she had come home. Although Susan is not a “true Wataugan,” she now considers the High Country of North Carolina her home. Susan loves to travel and even spent a semester abroad in County Cork, Ireland. Susan graduated from Appalachian State University in 2006 with a Bachelors degree in History, Secondary Education. Susan met her husband, David Stelling, while attending ASU. David is a Professional Fly Fishing Guide and Outfitter in North Carolina, Tennessee and Alaska. Susan spent 10 years dedicated to teaching High School Social Studies and also helped create the award winning alternative education program, Blue Ridge Academy, located in Avery County. Susan and David had their first child in 2015. Sophronia Woods Stelling and welcomed Hardiman Hill Stelling in 2019. Susan and David feel fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places and supportive communities on earth. The High Country is a wonderful place to not only vacation, but also to raise a family. Susan has been with 828 Real Estate since its creation in 2018 and has enjoyed every moment of working for a locally owned and operated firm. The last couple years have been very exciting and Susan looks forward to working with more people looking to either buy or sell in the High Country.