The Best Hotels Near Grandfather Mountain State Park, North Carolina

Take a trip to Grandfather Mountain State Park to hike up endless mountains and bear witness to its iconic peak
Take a trip to Grandfather Mountain State Park to hike up endless mountains and bear witness to its iconic peak | © Robert Harding / Alamy Stock Photo
Jo Fernandez-Corugedo

Grandfather Mountain is known to many as an iconic peak in North Carolina. Part of the state park – offering awe-inspiring scenery and ecological diversity – hikers come for the long network of alpine trails. Book a stay nearby on Culture Trip.

Included in Grandfather Mountain State Park is the ‘Forrest Gump Curve’ – named after the scene where Tom Hanks’ character runs in the film. Whether you’re an avid hiker or are simply looking to soak up some nature, enjoy our favorite picks of these stunningly scenic places to stay near Grandfather Mountain State Park – that you certainly won’t be running from.

1. The Pineola


The Pineola
Courtesy of the Pineola /

Almost every part of this rustic country motel – on a large green plot in Newland – is clad in wood. Fans of mountain-style cabins will swoon at the all-wood interiors with cherry red fabrics and hot tubs to hop in after a day’s hiking the wooded terrain of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. Rooms in the main lodge are more traditional, sleeping two to four – with painted walls, red fabrics and smart wooden beds. Socialize on the wooded deck of the Tap Room bar over a craft beer or two.

2. The Highlands at Sugar


The Highlands at Sugar
Courtesy of the Highlands at Sugar /

Just 0.6mi (1km) from the Sugar Mountain Resort ski area – in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains – this one is for lovers of the great outdoors. Cozy up by the stone fireplace in your one-bedroom cabin with sleek kitchens and whirlpool tubs – not to mention balconies for taking in the scenic view. Bigger groups pick the two-bedroom cabins – some of which spread across two floors – and add traditional dining areas. After a day’s skiing or hiking, relax your muscles in the indoor heated pool and redwood sauna before a beer on the balcony as the sun goes down.

3. The Lodge at River Run

Hotel, Lodge

Courtesy of the Lodge at River Run /

Tucked away in 10-acres (4ha) of serene scenery rolling down to the River Elk, just 2mi (3.2km) from downtown Banner Elk. Romantics will love the outdoor fireplace and a fire pit by the river. Five intimate rooms cocoon you with sink-into log-style or metal beds, gable-window views, outside hot tubs, hammocks and a hanging bed for soaking up the scenery – where you can sink into an Adirondack chair while you spot local wildlife. Ready to mingle? Compare travel notes at the complimentary cheese and wine party. Loosen your belt for breakfast – which may take all day – including homemade pastries, eggs, quiches, soufflés, sausage, bacon, hash browns, waffles and French toast.

4. Chetola Resort

Resort, Inn, Lodge

Courtesy of Chetola Resort /

Within easy walking distance of Blowing Rock village, nature lovers will go wild for the lodge element of this all-things-to-everyone resort among 87-acres (35ha) of pine tree-clad woodland. Balconied rooms – many overlooking the fish-filled lake – are less rustic and more old-fashioned with a blend of browns and patterned fabrics. Families love the large indoor pool housed in a curved wooden building complete with a pore-opening sauna and relaxing hot tub here. Dine on classic American burgers and fries in the rustic-meets-ski-lodge style restaurant by the stone fireplace – surrounded by vintage ski poles and mounted deer antlers.

5. Meadowbrook Inn


Courtesy of Meadowbrook Inn /

Hugged by the Blue Ridge Mountains in scenic Blowing Rock, North Carolina, enjoy the rural feel while being just a block from the upscale shops, restaurants and galleries on Main Street. Grown-up grand rooms feature stone fireplaces you can cozy up to, wooden floors and countryside views. Fans of swimming will love the Pool Suite, which adds a private pool and whirlpool tub to the shared features – there’s also a pool and gym for every health-conscious guest to use. Eat al fresco with a picnic packed up by the kitchen for a day out soaking up the scenery in Blue Ridge Parkway, just five minutes away.

6. Green Park Inn


Green Park Inn
Courtesy of Green Park Inn /

From standard to suites, rooms at this 1891-built white clapboard manor share a graceful period style with polished half tester beds and prettily patterned wallpaper. Go full-on turn-of-the-century in the Victorian Suite with a surprisingly modern-day spa tub in the room. Eat well on well-executed, refined country fare: from roasted beet salad with butternut squash, spiced pistachios, chevre cheese and apple vinaigrette to cast-iron cornbread with pickled jalapeno and honey butter. At the gateway to the Blue Ridge National Parkway – 3mi (4.8km) from Blowing Rock – skiers are just a couple more from the Appalachian Ski Mountain.

7. Smoketree Lodge


Smoketree Lodge
Courtesy of Smoketree Lodge /

Fitness fans will love the numerous opportunities for exercise at this hillside rural retreat in Banner Elk, set among the hiking trails of the Blue Ridge Mountains. For skiing, you’ve got Sugar Mountain, Hawksnest, or Beech Mountain – all within 2-8mi (3.2-12.8km) away. When heading back to the lodge, swim lengths in the indoor pool or a enjoy spin in the gym before kicking back in the sauna. This low-key, low-rise lodge keeps you comfortable in one and two-bedroom suites with full-on flowery fabrics and cute kitchenettes for creating your favorite dishes. Buy a bottle of something nice at the Grandfather Vineyard and Winery, just a five-minute drive away.

8. The Inn at Crestwood


Courtesy of the Inn at Crestwood /

This romantic resort near Boone is a popular wedding spot for the tree-lined setting and collection of attractively furnished rooms, suites, villas and cottages – and the short 14-minute drive from the Grandfather Vineyard and Winery. The Grandfather suite has a tree-top terrace for sipping your wine on as the sun dips down behind the mountains – and smooch over the elegant à la carte menu with mussels and whiskey mushroom soup. Oh, and you’ll love a length or two in the indoor pool, finished with grand white columns and surrounding leafy forest views.

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