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24 Hours In Boone, NC: Sites, Sounds And Attractions For Visiting UM Fans

Boone, NC is a small mountain town situated in Northwestern North Carolina. It is also home to the Appalachian State Mountaineers, who will be playing the Hurricanes this Saturday.

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NCAA Football: Miami at Duke Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

If you decided to make the trip to Boone, NC for Miami’s showdown with App State, know one thing: If you’re behind the wheel of a car, drive slow and steady throughout the winding Blue Ridge Mountains. Don’t drive too fast. You may miss some of the natural wonders this little town has to offer.

I’ve been to Boone, NC twice. The first time I visited with a friend from nearby Hickory, NC. We went on a crisp November day around Thanksgiving. The air was chilly, but comforting. The sites were breath taking, and Appalachian State looked like your quintessential small town school. The town was fiercely proud of their Mountaineers, and rightfully so. The team won three straight Division I FCS titles (2005-07).

The second time I went to Boone, my father and I were running off Pilot Gas Station coffee on our 24-hour-long road trip from Alabama to New Jersey. We ate some of the best Carolina BBQ at Woodlands, in nearby Blowing Rock. The fog was so thick in the mountains you could cut it with a knife.

If you are going, or have the chance to go to Boone for this game, go. It’s landscape is vastly different from the flat, tropical, lush surroundings of South Florida. I’ll offer some game day tips, program insight on App State, places to eat and stay. Think of me as the Anthony Bourdain of college football.

Getting To Boone

Your best bet if you’re pinched on time is to fly to Charlotte, and rent a car. The drive from the airport to Boone is about two hours, but that beats a 12 hour drive from Miami up I-95. Driving around Boone can be tricky, especially on game day. Expect it to be hectic. This will be the biggest home game in program history.

Where To Stay

If you’re feeling adventurous and have deep pockets, trying renting one of the many cabins situated in the mountains. There is no better way to start off a game day than opening your balcony doors, whiffing in that Blue Ridge Mountain air, sipping a cold one and making your way down to the stadium.

If you’re on a budget there’s plenty of chain hotels. Prices range from about $75 to the hundreds depending on where you stay. If you’re a student just do it the old fashioned way: couch surf. I swear. If you’re brave enough there’s enough folks with Southern hospitality who will spare you a spot on a love seat for a night.

What To Eat & Drink

As I mentioned, check out Woodlands BBQ for some of the best Carolina BBQ. It’s in Blowing Rock, which isn’t far at all. I have had BBQ from every corner of the South, and Woodlands is right up there with some of the best from Memphis to Alabama.

If you’re looking to knock back a few, or just have a casual drink, go to Lost Province Brewing Co. They’ll offer a wide selection of hand-crafted, brewed beers that will please anyone’s pallet.

If you’re looking for a rowdier scene, don’t worry. Niche rated App State’s party scene an A-.

What To Expect On Game Day

App State doesn’t have the biggest stadium in the world, but fans will make sure it’s filled. You’ll get a nice mix of young and old students. The Mountaineers have been an FBS program since there transition in 2013.

Mountaineer fans will hang their hats on the fact they upset Michigan. Remember that blocked field goal? Let’s not let that happen Canes!


Go to Boone if you have the chance. Walk down King Street, stop in small artisan shops, eat good BBQ, grab a cold craft beer and take in nature. Oh, and try to go to this game Miami fans! It’s going to be the biggest game in school history, so you’ll be sure to be treated to a good time.