Situated 190 mi/306 km west of Raleigh, Boone, North Carolina, was named for Daniel Boone, who blazed a wilderness trail through the area in the late 1700s.
Located just north of the resort town of Blowing Rock, Boone is a bustling place. It's the largest town in the area and is home to Appalachian State University—and it can get tied up in major traffic jams in the peak travel season (summer and during the fall-color season).
The area is great for families, with attractions such as Tweetsie Railroad in nearby Blowing Rock, hiking at Howard Knob Park, and mining for gemstones at Foggy Mountain Gem Mine (http://www.foggymountaingems.com).
The region's history (especially the exploits of Boone) is the subject of The Horn in the West, an outdoor drama staged late June to mid-August.
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