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Banner Elk and Beech Mountain offer a wealth of summertime activities for visitors in the cool Blue Ridge Mountains of the North Carolina High Country.

Below are a few suggestions for overnight visitors to the Mile High Fourth of July. Additional activities are available by clicking here for Beech Mountain and clicking here for Banner Elk.

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Apple Hill Farm

Apple Hill Alpaca Farm is a working farm open to the public year round. From mid May to mid October, daily tours take place at 2 p.m. Individual tours can be arranged by appointment. Tours typical last between 60-90 minutes.

Visitors get a chance to see and interact with the animals, including alpacas, llamas, angora goats, horses, donkeys, ponies, pigs and chickens.Fiber from the angora goats is made into mohair and sold in the farm store. Also sold in the store is alpaca yarn made individually from each alpaca.

For more info, click here.
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Beech Mountain Resort

Scenic chairlift rides, disc golf, mountain biking, mountain bike lessons and yoga are all options during the summer at eastern America's highest ski resort.

The resort also has a unique food & beverage option, the 5506' Skybar, at the top of the mountain. Accessible via the chairlift, the glass roundhouse skybar and observation deck provide panoramic views of the NC High Country. The resort also features a craft brewery, Beech Mountain Brewing Co.

For more info, click here.
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Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain is a popular tourist attraction, just 15 minutes from Banner Elk. People go to Grandfather Mountain for hiking, observing animals, visiting the nature museum and picnicking.

The mountain’s best-known pastime is a walk across the Mile High Swinging Bridge. At one mile above sea level, the bridge is the highest suspension footbridge in the country. A journey to the end offers 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The mountain has 11 hiking trails, varying in difficulty from an easy stroll in a meadow or woodland to a rugged trek up challenging terrain.

For more info, click here.
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Wildcat Lake

Wildcat Lake in Banner Elk is a 13-acre lake and the centerpiece of a public-access facility that includes a white sand beach, swimming pier and fishing dock.

The most popular activities at Wildcat Lake are swimming, fishing and boating. Lifeguards are on duty during summer hours. Boating is limited to non-motorized boats along with canoes and kayaks. Canoe rentals and paddle board rentals are available at various times of the year. The North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission stocks the lake with bluegill, largemouth bass and three varieties of trout.

For more info, click here.
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