Exploring Blowing Rock and Grandfather Mountain

  • Spring in the High Country
  • The Inn at Ragged Gardens
  • Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Valle Crucis
  • Moses Cone Estate


June 4 – 6, 2025


  • Two nights at the Inn at Ragged Gardens; launching pad for fun walks in Blowing Rock
  • The charms of idyllic Blowing Rock: Main Street’s historic facades, native stone and chestnut churches, and cozy eateries; and parkside rocking chairs to watch it all unfold
  • Iconic mountain architecture: the Moses Cone estate home; driving tours of Blowing Rock and Linville residential neighborhoods; the Crossnore weaving cottage and chapel; and more
  • Grandfather Mountain; Valle Crucis (home of the original Mast Store); the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Small group exploration of mountain stories that will surprise you; organic adventure

Trip Description

When June arrives, it just feels like a trip to Blowing Rock is in order! That’s because the temperatures at 3600’ feel like a repeat of spring in the lowlands . . . with a “mountain spring” bloom to prove it. One element that makes this trip great is The Inn at Ragged Gardens – comfortable, garden-esque, convenient to Blowing Rock’s quaint-yet-bustling Main Street, and home to The Best Cellar Restaurant.

One goal is to enjoy charming Blowing Rock itself. So, we’ll build in time to enter the historic churches and Artist-in-Residence House on the lower end of Main Street; to enjoy lunch “in town;” and to drive the lovely residential neighborhoods, skirting the stunning Appalachian escarpment. And we’ll also build in down time for our travelers to set their own pace, and explore as they wish.

Besides savoring Blowing Rock’s charms, we’ll enjoy lovely places and fascinating stories in the slightly wider area. Our drives will take us along the Blue Ridge Parkway; through part of the Watauga Valley known as Valle Crucis; to the lovely home and grounds of the Moses Cone estate; and to the villages of Linville and Crossnore, NC. All aboard for a High Country “second spring!”

What's Included

  • Comfortable van transportation
  • Accommodation for 2 nights
  • Breakfast, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners
  • All touring per the itinerary
  • Guide and concierge service throughout the trip

Trip Price

$2,105 / person (double occupancy; single supplement, $325)

What's Not Included

Price does not include alcohol, other meals, or optional trip insurance.

..well-planned, from interesting and fun excursions planned each day, to comfortable lodging and transportation. Our trip leaders, Chumley and Khal, were impressive with their knowledge of each area we explored and gracious in their planning of every aspect of our trips.

Trip insurance safeguards your travel investment, your belongings, and most importantly, you. Though trip insurance is optional, we strongly encourage travelers to purchase trip insurance in the event you have to cancel or leave a trip for any reason. Please note, all trip participants should wait for confirmation from Explore Up Close that the trip has the minimum sign-up required to be a “go” before purchasing travel insurance. Please confirm with Explore Up Close before making any additional travel arrangements.

Once you have received confirmation from Explore Up Close, we recommend contacting a travel insurance provider directly to request a quote and compare pricing and features. You can find other providers that may fit your needs at www.insuremytrip.com, or we can gladly connect you with our travel agent.

This trip departs from Greenville / Spartanburg, South Carolina and Asheville, North Carolina. If you live elsewhere, please contact us to discuss travel arrangements, and we will look forward to assisting you!

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