Blowing Rock is a pleasant, if touristy, resort just south of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The "Blowing Rock" itself, a high cliff from which light objects thrown over the side will simply blow back up, is nowhere near as impressive as photos suggest.
Blowing Rock's visitor center (Mon– Sat 9am–5pm; Tel:828/295-4636; Web: www.blowingrock.com ) is on Valley Boulevard. On Main Street you'll find hotels such as the Boxwood Lodge at no. 671 (Tel:828/295-9984, Web: www.boxwoodlodge.com ; Price: $76-100). At Woodlands (Tel:828/295-3651), on the Hwy-321 bypass, the pork barbecue is excellent; it's also a good spot to drink beer, as is the comfy back porch of The Canyons, Hwy-321 (Tel:828/295-7661), which dishes up contemporary Southwestern and regional cuisine.