Day Trip to Banner Elk
July 24, 2021
Asheville is located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. First thing, start with breakfast at Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast. Then you are ready to explore all the area has to offer. By all means head north to Banner Elk for a day of hikes, wine, and coasters!
While GPS shows numerous routes north, we recommend heading west on I-26. Then take 19E past Burnsville and Spruce Pine. Enjoy the mountain views on the 90 minute drive. Plenty of time for breakfast to settle before the first stop of the day: Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster for a thrilling adventure. The track is 3,160 feet with 3 circular loops and plenty of twists and turns. The gravity fed ride takes about 5 minutes and reach speeds of 27 mph but each rider controls their brakes if slower is your speed.
Registered check-in is required for all guests so book online at their website. Purchase tickets when you arrive. We opted for the Adult Bundle, 3 rides–because once is not enough!
Check out my ride: Coaster Fun 2021
Second stop of the day is one of the most photographed waterfall in North Carolina. Just a short half hour drive from the coaster is Linville Falls which drops 90 feet into the gorge with cliffs towering above the river. Park at the Visitors Center (MP 316.4) on the Blue Ridge Parkway. With two main trails, options abound from easy to strenuous of varying lengths from the Upper Falls to the Plunge Basin.
By now, you’ve surely worked up a thirst and appetite. Minutes away from the falls is Linville Falls Winery (check for updates on the BRP as bridge repairs may require a detour.) With table service on the patio, order wines by the glass, bottle, or flight. Choose from light refreshments of local cheese, crackers and jams from the Tasting Room.
If you’ve planned ahead and ordered our “Take a Hike” picnic, find a spot in the lawn for your picnic blanket and enjoy. On weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October) there are food trucks and live music. Just a wonderful environment to while away the afternoon.
There are options to return to Asheville. If you need to soak up more mountain views, make the drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, approximately 2 hours at a top speed of 45 mph. Otherwise, head south on US 221, to US 70 then I-40 back to the city in little over 1 hour.
There is nothing better after a day in the mountains than returning to Pinecrest for some downtime. Our Bed and Breakfast is in the heart of the Montford Historic District and only a short walk from downtown Asheville. After an adventure-filled day, you can return to one of our comfortable and spacious rooms for some much-needed rest and relaxation. Check our availability and book today! We look forward to having you.