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Boone-Mt. Airy-Blacksburg (High Country Higher Ed)






Summary:

This route runs from Boone, NC through the mountains into Mt. Airy (Mayberry) and up to Blacksburg, VA.

This route offers a nice enjoyable ride with plenty to do and see along the way with a challenge or two (which can be avoided if you want a smoother ride) depending on your preferred level of difficulty.


Attractions:

Boone, NC:

Home to Appalachian State, this small college town is nestled in a valley surrounded by beautiful scenery and landscapes. A mountain lover's destination there are plenty of national parks, rivers, and swimming holes to enjoy on a warm summer's day.

Word to the wise, if you don't like the weather just wait 5 mins and it'll change.


Black Cat Burrito:




Just off the main strip of King Street, Black Cat Burrito is worth making the trip to Boone for. I've gone up for the day just to stop in and grab lunch.

Most burrito shops are "bad for the eyes", too much strain looking for any actual meat in the burrito. Every time I've been there I've had chunks of juicy steak falling out onto my plate.


Boone Saloon





Located on King Street the Boone Saloon offers an assortment of drinks, food, games, and music. A personal favorite and frequent day trip destination its a great place to stop in to cool off and rest your heels.

Along the Parkway:

Almost the entire 1st half of this route follows the Blue Ridge Parkway, although the turns, curves, and overlooks offer plenty of entertainment it's also nice to stop along the way at an actual destination or biker haven to make the day more eventful.

Below are two suggestions, one before Mayberry and One after to help add some more memories to your trip.

Almost the entire 1st half of this route follows the Blue Ridge Parkway, although the turns and curves offer plenty of entertainment the overlooks and side stops are also a great source of entertainment.

Station Inn & Freeborne's Eatery and Lodge:

All though across the street from each other common knowledge says they have the same owner so I lumped them together.




Located just off the parkway these two are a great stop and biker haven. Good food and drinks as well as a constant flow of bikers means plenty of good times. You're never short of a good conversation when there's a congregation.

Riders of all levels and styles welcome, although it's mostly cruisers you won't feel out of place on another style.

This spot is not far from home for me so over the numerous time's I've been I've always found a welcoming crowd. (I used to ride a BMW before my Indian and the reception was all the same)

The Mabry Mill



This is the most visited point of the Blue Ridge Parkway and deservedly so. This mill is a feat of Mountaineer Engineering and served a pivotal role in the lives of many through the area.

The Mill also has a restaurant and gift shop (not seen here) with a great southern breakfast and grits milled on site. Curators and guides are frequently there and are more than happy to tell you more about the mill and technology of the era.

One of our riders, Will Mabry, is actually related to the original builder and owner.



Mayberry (Mount Airy)

The hometown of Andy Griffith and inspiration for the show that defined an era. Mayberry is alive and well today and has many offerings for tourists who commonly pass through to enjoy America's Hometown.

Accomodations:

Mayberry Motor Inn

Depending on how may pit stops, dives, and parks you may have gone to you could stay overnight to see more in town. In this case I would recommend a proper family owned motel to stay in.




This motel has been owned and operated by the same family since the '60's and is biker friendly. They have an outdoor pool and gazebo (not shown here) that make for a great place to relax and shoot the breeze after a day of riding.

They're also one of our partners, mention the blog to receive a discount.


Mayberry Attractions:

My personal suggestion if you're a fan of the show is to head down to main street, there are a number of stores that offer Mayberry Memorabilia.

Down at the end of Main Street is a replica Service Station and Jail house from which they provide tours in 1960's Ford Squad Cars which remain a popular option.




Non-Mayberry Stops:

Although a small town Mayberry has several options to get something to drink along the way depending on what you're looking for.

Thirsty Souls Community Brewing



In addition to drinks and music they also have excellent pizza that's actually made in house (I'm pretty sure I've been served Red Baron at other places).

The owners are exceptionally friendly and the husband is on the fence about getting a bike, he obviously wants one so if you see him help me push him into the light.

The White Elephant


Click Here For Link , Yes that's my bike again, lets move on.



Located across the street from Thirsty Souls, just off of Main Street Mount Airy.


White Elephant offers a good variety of beer, games, and large seating areas and tables that are great for groups.


On top of this they frequently host live bands and events, this strip of downtown property is quite lively on warm nights and there are few strangers.

Round Peak Vineyard




As you come down off the parkway you'll pass by another great spot to visit if vineyards are more your scene. They also have food and other drinks so don't fret.

Not shown above but the vineyard has a large covered patio overlooking the nearby mountains. Set between Round Peak and Skull Camp Mountains (who gave their names to the vineyard and sister company Skull Camp Brewery) this is a great spot to hangout and grab a nice drink.

Also some of their wines are canned making them saddle bag friendly.

The Snappy Lunch



The Snappy Lunch is a great hometown spot known for its Pork Tenderloin Sandwich. My personal recommendation, get up with the birds and get one of their amazing made from scratch biscuits (eat your heart out every mediocre fast food chain that makes the same claim).

The Snappy Lunch is a slice of what small town life is about, everyone knows your name, what you like to eat, and who you're kin to.


Blacksburg


Fatback Soul Shack (Technically in Christiansburg)




My friends and I discovered this joint the night before a Virginia Tech tailgate. If the lights and signs don't give it away they've got what you need, including literal buckets of house made pork rinds.

They won't make a fat boy thin, but they'll make you not care.

Hokie House



A regular stop when I head to Hokie Country, they have 2 floors of fun but it is your traditional college dive bar. Pool tables, darts, beer by the pitcher, and wings make for an evening.

In the summer time the campus is a little calmer but still holds all the Hokie Pride it always does. People are friendly and welcoming, but leave your other college colors in your bag.


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