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The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

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The Appalachian

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Best of Boone 2024: Best of Lifestyle

The+sunrise+over+the+Blue+Ridge+Mountains+can+be+seen+from+the+wooded+walkway+a+part+of+the+Rough+Ridge+trail+on+March+11.
Ashton Woodruff
The sunrise over the Blue Ridge Mountains can be seen from the wooded walkway a part of the Rough Ridge trail on March 11.

Best Swimming Spot: Trash Can Falls

By Kolby Shea

In the mountains of Boone, a creek flows into a small gorge, creating a swimming hole surrounded by rocks and trees. On a warm day in the High Country, the spot is crowded with people swimming, relaxing or jumping from heights.

Laurel Creek Falls, popularly known as Trash Can Falls, is the favorite place to swim for App State students and Watauga County locals as it was voted this year’s winner for Best Swimming Spot.  

Located about 15 minutes outside of Boone, Trash Can Falls is a natural waterfall and swimming hole serving  as a cool-down for many during the warm spring and summer days of Boone. The nickname could be deceiving, as the falls are far from trashy. 

Just off of US-321, a dumpster serves as the location marker for travelers to recognize where their journey begins to the water. Between the rocky terrain, the flowing water and the green surroundings, Trash Can Falls stands out amongst the natural beauty of the area.

The lower overlook of Trash Can Falls gives perspective to the scale of the falls on March 3. The meditative rush of water provides a peaceful escape to the community of Boone. (Nicole Evans)

Laurel Creek flows in the area, creating the waterfall and catching in a large hollow between surrounding big rocks, creating a swimmer’s haven. 

Due to its popularity, parking is an issue on more popular days with limited spaces. Over the past decade, once the word got out, Trash Can Falls exploded in trendiness.

The natural landscape can be a safety hazard, with rocky grounds and high cliffs. Outside of that, the area is safe for all ages to go and enjoy without the dangers of a strenuous hike or rushing waters. 

Trash Can Falls has something for all types of adventurers. The falls are a great place for thrill-seekers looking to jump from the top of the falls, swimmers looking to enjoy the natural water or easy-goers just looking to sit and enjoy the scenery.

Best Overlook: Rough Ridge

By Chance Chamberlain

Located at milepost 302.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Rough Ridge Overlook showcases the rolling mountains of the High Country. Featuring a 1.2 mile round-trip trail to witness views of Linville Gorge, Grandfather Mountain and the Linn Cove Viaduct, this overlook was voted Best Overlook in this year’s Best of Boone.

The view of the Blue Ridge Mountains during peak week can be seen from Rough Ridge Overlook on Oct. 20. (Ashton Woodruff)

For visitors, the trail provides well-maintained pathways and boardwalks to safely pass through the rocky and rugged uphill terrain. The moderate difficulty of the trail allows for hikers of all skill levels to be rewarded with marvelous views along their journey. 

Along the trail, wildlife is abundant with several varieties of wildflowers, patches of moss and lichen, birds singing amongst trees and the occasional bear or deer roaming the forest floor. 

At Rough Ridge’s summit, visitors can look out at the towering peaks for as far the eye can see. From the dusting of snow in the winter to the fresh bright greenery of the spring and summer to the warm reds, oranges and yellows of the fall, Rough Ridge offers a unique view for each visitor throughout the year.

With an everlasting blue sky backdrop, the bright skies are painted with a warm golden hue as the sun sets and rises along the overlook’s horizon. 

Rough Ridge features the “Pride Rock,” as it resembles the throne from the 1994 animated film “The Lion King.” The rock’s ledge has been popularly photographed by visitors wanting to display themselves overlooking the High Country across social media. 

Hikers wanting to venture the trail should bring water, snacks, rain gear for sudden weather changes, shoes with good traction and a camera to remember the views.

If visitors feel more adventurous, they can embark on the nearby 13.5-mile Tanawha Trail to explore Grandfather Mountain. 

Whether students, locals or tourists want to explore and visit the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Rough Ridge Overlook offers a distinctive experience for each visitor wanting to survey the Appalachian Mountains.

Best Hiking Trail: Rough Ridge Trail

By Ella Adams

Offering scenic 360 views of the High Country, a variety of active wildlife and an opportunity to connect with nature, the beautiful Rough Ridge Trail is a popular hike for tourists and locals alike.

Located about 35 minutes from Boone, Rough Ridge Trail offers a 1.2 mile out-and-back and was voted Best Hiking Trail in this year’s Best of Boone. The trailhead is located at mile marker 302.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but parking is limited.

A view of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the Rough Ridge trail on Oct. 20. (Ashton Woodruff)

Accessible for both beginner and experienced hikers, the trail has a steady incline to the top, with steep sections. Rough Ridge Trail is a part of the larger Tanawha Trail, which runs about 13.5 miles from Julian Price Lake to Beacon Heights. 

About a third of the way up, hikers will encounter the boardwalk, which marks the Rough Ridge Overlook. The views of the Blue Ridge attract hikers from all around. 

Claire and Andrew McDonald came from Johnson City, Tennessee to take photos at the overlook to celebrate a year and a half of marriage. Claire McDonald, dressed in a white dress, stood on the rocky overlook with Grandfather Mountain towering behind her. 

“My favorite part is just seeing the mountain range,” Andrew Mcdonald said. “Obviously it’s just so beautiful.”

Julia Layman, an App State alumna now living in Raleigh, loves the trail because it is family friendly and everyone can do it. 

“This is probably the 10th time I’ve done it,” Layman said. “It’s one of my favorites.”

Along the trail, hikers experience fragile lichens and protected mountain ecosystems guarded by signs advising hikers to stay on trail. At the right time of year, one might experience breathtaking mountain laurel or rhododendron blooms.  

Rough Ridge Trail offers expansive views of High Country landmarks like Grandfather Mountain, the Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Beacon Heights. 

Some say they can see the Charlotte skyline on a clear day. While a glimpse of the Queen City may be far-fetched, Rough Ridge Trail offers stunning views, beautiful nature and plenty of community along the way.

Best Place to Skate: Greenway Skatepark

By Max Schwanz

On the walk to the end of the Greenway Trail, you can hear the sound of wheels rolling and skateboards smacking onto the concrete. As you get closer, the park becomes visible and you see skaters of all levels practicing their skills in the middle of a bright sunny nature trail.

A skater looks at another skateboarder riding in the Boone Greenway Skatepark, March 2023. (Asher Davidson)

The Greenway Skatepark was voted as the Best Place to Skate in Boone.

The park opened in November 2021 and is located along the Boone Greenway Trail at 201 Casey Lane. Skaters can enjoy a beautiful view as they walk down to the end of the Greenway to find the skatepark or pull straight up into the parking lot. 

 The park has now won Best Place to Skate for three years in a row. This can be attributed to its wide array of obstacles such as halfpipe ramps, rails and boxes that all levels of skateboarders can enjoy from dawn till dusk. 

Skaters can drop into the ramps to gain speed or perform tricks on and off of the boxes. There is ample space to simply ride on the board.

Beginner skaters can fine tune their skills, while more experienced riders can try more daring tricks. 

Despite Boone being famous for its ski slopes, the skatepark garners visitors daily as the weather warms up. Many of the riders include locals and App State students. 

These visitors include freshman computer science major Trafford Hill. His favorite obstacle to skate is the quarter pipe. 

“It gives me enough speed to catch air,” Hill said. 

Hill took some time to become accustomed to the park, but enjoyed the process.

 “The park is definitely fun, but at least for me it was a little awkward to skate at first,” Hill said. 

Another frequent visitor is freshman building sciences major Eric Leviev. 

“My favorite part of the park is the manny pad, but the whole park is really good for learning transition,” Leviev said. 

This obstacle is great for practicing manual skateboarding tricks, which is where one rides with the top wheels off of the ground. 

The park is an ideal option for students as it is close to campus. It’s not only good for skateboarding, but a great place to come together and meet new people who share similar interests.


Best Biking: Greenway

By Spence Smithback

Located off of Martin Luther King Jr. Street on the banks of the South Fork New River, the Greenway Trail offers more than three miles of paved trails for public use and a unique biking experience. For the seventh year straight, the Greenway was voted the Best Place to Bike in Boone. 

The wide, paved paths and mostly flat terrain offer a milder alternative for those looking to exercise outdoors without venturing onto the more intense trails in the area. 

The Greenway is not just open to cyclists. Hikers, rollerbladers, strollers, wheelchairs and leashed pets are all welcome on the trails, according to the Town of Boone

One of the three bridges on the four-mile trail known as the Greenway located right next to the Watauga Recreation Center on March 9. This bridge connects the trail across the river at the Greenway. (Hayden Wittenborn)

Those heading north from the trailhead travel parallel to the river until the trail ends behind Watauga High School for an out-and-back distance of 1.2 miles. 

The route passes by the historic hydroelectric power plant on the river, which was built in 1915 and was the first electricity producer in northwest North Carolina, according to Explore Boone. On this path, bikers can view the dam that once powered the campus of Appalachian Training School— now called App State, along with six houses until it ceased operation in 1924.

The northern half of the Greenway includes numerous benches along the way, providing the opportunity to rest and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

The Don Kennedy Trails run in the same direction as the Greenway, but stray further up the mountain away from the river and are not paved. They serve as the home of the App State men’s and women’s cross country teams in addition to the annual Covered Bridge Open. The main access point is located on Intramural Field Road, north of the Greenway trailhead.

The southern half of the Greenway is more urban, with the trail winding past softball fields and the Leon Levine Hall. After crossing under State Farm Road, cyclists travel along Winkler’s Creek and across Highway 321 before the trail ends at Pride Drive near Walmart.

The connector between the Greenway and the Martin Luther King Jr. Street parking lot takes cyclists past Clawson-Burnley Park, which includes picnic tables, a nearby playground and a manufactured wetland.

In addition to serving as a habitat for numerous plants and animals, the wetland uses a pipe system to keep pollutants out of the adjacent river to ensure that the environment remains clean for cyclists and all other visitors.

Best Ski Mountain: Beech Mountain

By Avin Patel

At an elevation of 5,506 feet, Beech Mountain Resort offers 17 different trails for skiing and snowboarding.

The resort opened in 1967 and is a 40-minute drive from App State’s campus. The energized atmosphere and variety of trails for all skill levels has led to the Beech Mountain Resort winning the award for Best Ski Mountain for the second year in a row.

The sunset view at the top of Beech Mountain Ski Resort next to the Sky Bar on March 6. The elevation at Beech Mountain sits at a whopping 5,506 feet. (Max Sanborn)

With many different trails, rental options and pricing deals, the resort is a place where beginners can comfortably learn to ski and snowboard. Beech Mountain Resort offers  “Student Night” on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., where students can ski at a discounted price under the lights for four hours.

At the mountain top, there is a bar where skiers and snowboarders can relax and refresh before taking on the hardest trails the resort has to offer. The longest trail is a steep one-mile run that weaves down the right side of the mountain. A few trails also offer the opportunity to jump and do tricks with ramps and rails.

Beech Mountain Resort has eight chairlifts, allowing for non-stop flow up the mountain. Even on the busiest days of the year, waiting for lifts will take no more than 30-45 minutes.

Over the winter, the resort is typically open from Thanksgiving week through the second week of March. Normal hours of operation are  9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday. 

One of the more unique options at the resort is its summer activities. During the summer, skiing and snowboarding are replaced with concert venues, yoga classes, disc golf courses and mountain biking. Beech Mountain Resort is located at 1007 Beech Mountain Parkway and has rental houses lining the mountain, and allows for great vacation spots even when the snow is gone. The summer dates range from June 17 through Oct. 7, with hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Aside from the slopes, there is a bar and the resort offers a standard selection of burgers, hot dogs and drinks. There is a seating area that looks up to the mountain for people to sit and eat or simply warm up.

With a diverse and large number of trails, pricing deals for a variety of groups and great resources for food and rentals, Beech Mountain Resort has become a favorite for locals over the past two years. With options all year round, the resort is a staple for beginners, experts, locals and vacationers looking to get away with a unique experience.

Best Thrift: Anna Banana’s

By Jenna Guzman

With its proximity to campus, wide variety of clothes and a 10% discount for dancing at checkout, what’s a better place to do retail therapy than Anna Banana’s?

Described as welcoming, fun, upbeat and unique by its staff, Anna Banana’s is the reigning champion for Best Thrift once again in this year’s Best of Boone.

Assistant manager Rachel Newberry is an online student at App State and has been working at Anna Banana’s since 2021. “I love working in an environment that is so inclusive to everyone from all walks of life,” Newberry said on March 7. (Mayesivy Carlson)

When one enters the store located at 641 W. King St. #2, they are greeted by the friendly staff, the sound of dance music and of course, the sight of colorful clothes, accessories and decor.

“Knowing that we have a lot of different kinds of stuff to offer makes me excited when people find something that really resonates with them,” said Anna Banana’s employee of three years Luci DiNonno.

The store’s curation of items is carefully selected to appeal to all customers.

“We take super modern stuff and we take vintage stuff and anything in between that is in style,” said general manager Ali Aita. “It’s a lot of keeping up with the trends, and seeing what from other eras can match the current trends.”

Additionally, the store displays a rack dedicated to showcasing clothes that fit a certain theme or time of year. In the past, some of the items have revolved around “Barbie,” Halloween costume ideas and spring break. 

If one doesn’t find something that catches their attention, there is still a chance. The store has an extension called The Back located further down the hallway of the initial store, where one can see a larger selection of the curated items the store offers. Don’t worry though, the dance discount still applies there too.

If you’re someone who wants to purchase more clothes — probably from Anna Banana’s — but has a closet full of clothes you never wear, Anna’s can help you clear out your wardrobe to make room for those new jeans you know you want.

Customers can bring in clothes they wish to get rid of in exchange for in-store credit. According to their website, items “must be in season, in style, in perfect condition, folded, pressed and clean and secured in a sturdy bag” in order to be consigned. They also request no hangers.

Whether you want to shop till you drop, make room for a new season’s wardrobe or you’re looking for a place with a “positive environment” as Aita describes it, look for the store with the banana in the logo. Open Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., step into Anna’s for the chance to find your new favorite clothing item. As their slogan says, you’ll “never know what you’ll find.”

Best Winter Gear: Recess Skate & Snow

By Briley Turpin

While walking around Boone, it doesn’t take long to see the same few stickers plastered on electrical boxes, street signs and trash cans, displaying popular brands and messages in the region. Among these stickers is a black-and-white decal that reads one simple word: Recess. 

Recess Skate & Snow is a local skate and snowboard shop located on NC-105. Offering a wide selection of products from shoes and hats to skateboards and snowboards, Recess has been a one-stop shop for winter sports needs since 2009, so it’s no surprise they have won Best Winter Sports Shop for the third year in a row. The store opened as a way to fill a need in the community after the only other skate and snowboard shop in Boone closed its doors in 2008, according to their website.

Top-quality bindings and boards are shown off on almost every wall in Recess on March 6. Check out their selection at 1158 NC 105. (Savannah Ivey)

This winter sports shop has a selection of top-quality winter sports gear catered toward snowboarders of every skill level, from beginner to professional. In a town where the turnover of residents is near constant, this is a vital resource for students, locals and visitors alike who are looking to hit the slopes and hone their skills on the mountain without fear of judgment. 

Recess also supports a team of riders, young and old, who compete in various skate and snowboarding competitions, and they sponsor competitions and events. Additionally, the store played a vital role in the recent addition of a concrete skate park in the town of Boone.

Their passion for the snowboarding and skating community is evident by the care they provide each customer who walks through the door. In fact, the store even has a skate ramp customers can use to test out a board or try out their new shoes.  

For those in need of winter gear, no matter the time of year, Recess is located at 1158 NC105 and is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. 

Best Smoke Shop: High Life

By Siri Patterson

Daisy Church, the field training manager for High Life Smoke Shop, said she believes High Life is set apart from the competition through the high-quality customer service provided at all of the shops. This is one of the many qualities that has put High Life in the position of Best Smoke Shop for the fourth consecutive year. 

Church began working with High Life as a store manager three years ago and became the field training manager three months ago. In this position, she oversees 24 High Life Smoke Shops in North Carolina and South Carolina. 

 “Every store has a different demographic, and it’s fun to see all of the different personalities and stuff,” Church said. 

The front display of vaping devices sold in High Life of Boone on March 6. High Life follows the federal guidelines of selling vapes to anyone 21 or older, but other products may be purchased at 18 or older. (Hayden Wittenborn)

Church and sales associate Monty Carter described the store’s mood as being laid-back and helpful. 

Carter works full-time at the smoke shop and said she enjoys building relationships with customers, who ultimately turn into regulars because of their quality of service. 

Smoke shop customers can enjoy low prices for quality products, Church said. These products are consumed by most of the sales associates, so they can give informed recommendations to customers. 

“People really like the personal recommendations,” Church said. “Like, I’m recommending this to you because I’ve tried it and I know it works, not because I’m just trying to make a sale out of you.”

Apart from recommending products, sales associates enjoy themselves as they get to know repeat customers and their tastes. Using this information, employees can give customers recommendations for products based on their past purchases. 

In the smoke shop, customers above the age of 21 are offered a wide variety of products, such as disposable vapes and other nicotine devices, glass smoking pieces, delta THC products, hemp products, mushrooms and more. 

To avoid selling these products to underaged customers, Church said the store utilizes a check-out system that scans IDs and does not allow the cashier to further the purchase if the ID is invalid. 

For customers who are under the age of 21, there is a small selection of products they can purchase such as clothing, candles and incense. 

Customers can look forward to the many sales High Life holds throughout the year, such as their 420 sale. 

Employees of High Life also benefit from programs and contests the smoke shop holds throughout the year, like raffles for the opportunity to earn extra cash. 

High Life is located at 221 Howard St and is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. 

Best Boutique: Common Good Company

By Georgia Dixon

“Holdfast to what is good,” reads the golden neon sign behind the newly annexed espresso bar that immediately invites you in beyond the storefront’s aesthetic pleasure. A step deeper into the exploration of the highly curated three-floor historical building allows customers to get a sense of what is good — a commitment to cultivate a commonality of appreciation for exquisite goods.

Husband and wife team Jacob and Melina Daniels opened Common Good Company in August 2019 as a permanent place to house their own artwork alongside emerging and other experienced artists. The establishment won for Best Local Boutique for the second year in a row.

“All the things we have learned from trying to make a living from our own art, we are trying to teach other folk how to do the same,” Melina Daniels said.

A selection of items being sold at Common Good Co. on March 6. Common Good Co. carries a variety of hand-made art, lifestyle products, home decor and fine art. (Emily Simpson)

They met during their time as art majors at App State. After working side jobs following graduating college, they opened a small art studio. Melina Daniels used to work as a tableware ceramics artist, now she focuses on small pieces like earrings. Jacob Daniels, who has always loved realism, is an oil painter. 

He recreates stories from times past, finding photographs from Appalachia. 

“Brings life back into the painting or the story of the person,” Melina Daniels said. “That is what he likes to do, storytelling through oil paint.”

Previously, both traveled around for years selling their art at different venues. Eventually, they started a pop-up artisan market in the High Country. 

“An accumulation of us trying to make a living with our art, make a living into a creative business concept,” Melina Daniels said.

An opportunity for a permanent collective studio building came years before expected. 

“God gave us the opportunity to get this building, and the doors just kept opening, and here we are,” Melina Daniels said. 

The name originated from a sermon Melina Daniels said both she and Jacob Daniels attended on “how we need to live our lives for the common good of everybody.”

At their opening, the store’s products were almost all fully handmade. After realizing they would struggle to meet the commercial demand, they brought on “core flagshift artists,” who could restock monthly, Melina Daniels said.

The first floor of the store features local, handmade goods from different artists throughout the High Country, as well as an espresso bar. The second floor houses a fine art gallery and the third floor operates as a community workshop and studio for Daniels. 

Through their Artist Application on their website, the couple accepts emerging artists according to their supply and demand variety needs, Melina Daniels said.

“We don’t want to over saturate, because if we have 10 people selling the same style mug, that is not fruitful for anybody,” Melina Daniels said. “So, we really try to curate different styles within the mediums.”

Community focus and less retail focus is part of the Daniels’ mission to foster intentional consumerism, which is “to make more, want less and Do Good for the Common Good of everybody,” according to Common Good Co.’s website

   “We are all blessed with gifts that we can go into the world and it builds up the common good of everybody,” Melina Daniels said. 

Common Good Co. is located at 685 W. King St. Their hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday. 

Best App Gear: Alumni Hall

By Madalyn Edwards

The town is buzzing with visitors ready to cheer on their favorite team in an intense football matchup. King Street is flooded with fans, and one store in particular is crowded with people buying gear and attire before the big game.

Alumni Hall was voted this year’s Best of App Gear winner for Best of Boone, and that is evident when the doors are constantly opening and closing on busy days such as game day. Clothing racks stand in front of the store on the sidewalk, luring shoppers in with eye-catching clothing and appealing deals. 

Brian Farmer is the manager at Alumni Hall’s Boone location. Farmer said the inventory rotates on a regular basis. From hoodies and crewnecks to T-shirts and crop tops, Alumni Hall accommodates current styles, seasons and temperatures.

The App State sign illuminates the selection of hats at Alumni Hall on March 6. Find your Best App Gear in Boone at 671 W. King St. Suite 102.(Savannah Ivey)

The store opened on King Street in 2021 and is part of a larger chain of stores located mostly around the east coast. Currently, the chain carries licensed gear from over 20 universities.

One of the busier times for the store comes around App State football season, where the store sees many visitors, alumni and students.

“During football season we will change the layout of the store to have a better customer flow,” Farmer said. “Making sure people don’t feel clustered or claustrophobic in there when they’re shopping.” 

Farmer said the store tries to regularly order new inventory that has not been introduced before in order to keep the stock “fresh.” This ensures customers have a wide selection of gear and do not have to choose from the same selection year after year.

Currently, the store is stocked with App State baseball shirts and attire to reflect the present season.

App State students and faculty can receive a 10% discount with a valid App State email address. Members of the Student Yosef Club are eligible to receive a 20% discount with proof of membership. 

The store currently has 18 employees, all of whom are App State students. Farmer said he tries to cater to the availability of student employees.

One thing Farmer said the store takes very seriously in addition to general customer service is customer feedback. 

“If somebody comes in and is looking for a specific item, we do try to see if it is possible to get such items in the store,” he said.

Alumni Hall is located at 671 W. King St. Suite 102 and is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Best Outdoor Gear: Mast General Store

By Tess McNally and Vivian Parks

When you walk into Mast General Store, you smell the sweet aroma of candy, the woodsy smell of cedar planks and you see the vivid colors of all the merchandise that has won for the Best Outdoor Gear in all of Boone, for the third year in a row.

  In 1979, Mast General Store in Valle Crucis was purchased by John and Faye Cooper. They moved in with their family in 1980, and lived on the third floor of the store. They turned it into a thriving business after it was closed for three years.  

  In 1988, Mast General Store on King Street was born. Kendra Sink is currently the manager at Mast General, working there for over 10 years.

Outside of King Street Mast General Store on Jan. 11. Mast General sells a variety of outdoor gear from enos to freeze dried meals. (Emily Simpson)

“They are so community centered,” Sink said. 

Currently, there are 11 Mast General Stores located throughout the South, leading all the way up to Roanoke, Virginia. 

Lisa Cooper is the owner and president of Mast General Store. 

Sink recounts a conversation involving an older gentleman who came into the store.  

“This was the highlight of my weekend,” Sink recounted from the gentleman. “I can’t wait to show my grandkids the candies I ate when I was kid.” 

Not only is Mast General a versatile store, but it is an experience and adventure. They sell everything from camping equipment to board games for kids. There is a growing number of new brands coming into the store, along with the staple items to have a fun outdoor adventure. 

Mast General has camping gear and weighted blankets that will be sure to keep you warm  for those cold Mountaineer nights. They have all types of footwear, from slippers to rock climbing shoes. Mast General displays a massive selection of camp chairs, backpacks, coolers and everyone’s favorite insulated cup, the Stanley. 

When COVID-19 first started, Mast General had to close their doors and say goodbye to employees and customers for around two months. 

“The joy of having everyone come back together and opening the doors is one of my favorite memories and to see how excited the community was,” Sink said. 

Sink invites anyone in the town of Boone to stop in and say hello. There is a friendly staff and memorable merchandise that will produce a laugh and a smile. 

When taking a walk around the store while picking up some candy from the ‘90s and trying on a new pair of hiking shoes, it is easy to say there is something for everyone.

“Mast truly loves their employees and customers,” Sink said.

Best Piercing: Noble Tattoos & Piercings

By Kaylie Morales

A plastic skeleton greets passersby at the front window of Noble Tattoos & Piercings. Upon entering, guests are welcomed by rock or hip-hop music bouncing off of the black walls with alternative artwork hanging from them.

The checkout counter displays many different arrays of piercings from helixes to belly button jewelry. On top of a shelf is a silicone hairless cat pierced from head to tail that watches as clients get pierced in a black cushion chair.   

The skull design on the door to Noble Tattoos & Piercings on March 5. Noble is located at 432 W. King St. (Devon Richter)

Located at 432 W. King St. across from the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts resides Noble Tattoos & Piercings, which has been serving Boone since 2017. For the past three years, they have won Best Piercing Shop in Best of Boone. The shop’s friendly staff, alternative atmosphere and welcoming environment keeps clients coming back for more.

Noble prides itself on its welcoming atmosphere, cleanliness and safety for their staff and clients. 

“I just want clients to leave feeling happy and confident with themselves and feeling like they got tattooed in a safe, clean environment,” said tattoo artist Ivy Woodren. “I want them to walk away feeling fulfilled and satisfied and hopefully they would want to come back because good service was provided.”

While Noble is excellent in their service and atmosphere, their No. 1 selling point is the care they put into their customers while they are in the shop.

 “I have come here before and a lot of my friends got their nose pierced here or gotten tattoos here, and everytime I come it is really great and it is super comforting,” said senior psychology major Keeli Morgan when asked about her experience getting pierced at Noble. 

Allison Fields is one of three owners of Noble. Besides coming home with a new piercing or tattoo, Fields wants her clients to go home loving themselves with their new body art. 

“You want them to feel beautiful, to just kind of love themselves,” said Fields. “We love to make people feel good about themselves.”

Noble Tattoos & Piercing opens at noon every day and closes at 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 p.m. on Sunday. They are first come, first serve and accept walk-in appointments.

Best Tan: Planet Tan

By Hayden Wittenborn

As summer rolls around, more people are tanning to get ready for shorts and T-shirt weather. If you’re in Boone and looking to get a little bronze before your beach vacation, check out Planet Tan on Greenway Road. 

Voted the best of Boone the last two years, Planet Tan continues their streak in 2024. Manager Sadie Hellman said her favorite part of working at Planet Tan is the clients she has grown close with in her two years at the salon.

One of the 10 tanning options offered at Planet Tan located on Greenway Road on March 8. This bed is called the Ergoline tanning bed. (Hayden Wittenborn)

“The clients over there too, they’re all very welcoming and like family, and every week they’re checking in on me,” Hellman said. 

Hellman said she has a good mix of local and college clients she interacts with regularly. Planet Tan has many loyal customers due to their friendly environment and different tanning options. 

“We have so many different beds,” Hellman said. “We’ve got 10 different beds. We just got a brand new spray tan machine that came out this year.” 

One thing that sets Planet Tan apart from other tanning companies in Boone is their pricing. Planet Tan offers five bronze sessions for $49. Students, healthcare workers, law enforcement and military personnel get a discount: $59.25 for a whole month of unlimited tanning.

Hellman said they know they serve college students and want them to be able to afford a tan. Not only does the affordable pricing make Planet Tan more appealing to customers, but so does the customer service. 

“I always welcome people in and say ‘Hey how are you?’ and then get them set up and talk them through all our different options and figure out what would be best for them,” Hellman said. 

Hellman will be leaving Boone after the summer to student teach in her hometown, but will never forget her experiences working at Planet Tan. 

Between the family-oriented clientele, friendly environment, variety of services and affordable prices, Planet Tan strives to give its customers the best.

Best Tattoo Artist: Sloan Blinsink

By Cameron Miller

What do Lois Griffin, Dolly Parton and scorpions all have in common? They all permanently adorn the bodies of satisfied clients of Sloan Blinsink.

A tattoo of the Bubble Yum duck by Sloan Blinsink on March 7. Blinsink’s style utilizes bright colors and it’s often influenced by pop culture. (Devon Richter)

For the second year in a row, Boone has chosen Blinsink as Best Tattoo Artist in Best of Boone. Having been a tattoo artist for three years, Blinsink has made their mark on the community with their signature brightly-colored style.

“It doesn’t feel real,” Blinsink said of winning again. “There are so many amazing tattoo artists in Boone and I look up to all of them, but it’s sick to know that people like my work and I’m doing a good job.”

Since winning last year, Blinsink has attended tattoo conventions in Charlotte and Tampa, Florida in addition to doing more guest spots across North Carolina. Additionally, they have moved from Noble Tattoos & Piercings to Elevated Piercing & Tattoo, which recently expanded their shop to include an area for tattooing. Though Elevated has had guest artists in the past, Blinsink is the first resident artist in the newly-renovated shop.

Blinsink’s work has also evolved over the past year. Though they still enjoy doing the colorful, fine-line anime and meme work they became known for, Blinsink now does more traditional style tattoos.

“I still like the crazy colors,” they said. “But, I really enjoy ripping something with a thick, black liner.”

Blinsink’s roots in the community run deep, saying this community “feels more like home,” than many other places they have lived. They enjoy working on King Street, and being able to visit other businesses in the area and interact with students. 

Blinsink also maintains good relationships with those they have worked with in the past. Blinsink’s mentor Allison Fields, co-owner of Noble, called to tell them how proud she is of them upon learning of Blinsink’s Best Tattoo Artist win.

Blinsink hopes to continue strengthening their ties in the community by providing quality work and a positive experience. Before becoming a tattoo artist, Blinsink was a photorealistic portrait artist and they hope to bring it into their tattooing work.

“I did a Dolly Parton portrait on my sister, but that’s really the only one so far,” Blinsink said. “I would really love to do a Biggie portrait next.”

If one is interested in getting a tattoo from the Best in Boone, Blinsink can be contacted on their Instagram account @naols to book an appointment.

Best Haircut: Canvas Beauty Bar

By Emily Simpson

While in Canvas Beauty Bar, any client can expect to be treated with the highest standards. From lounging in their comfortable waiting area filled with beautiful plants and accessories for sale to being pampered by sweet souls to leaving with a fresh new look, it’s hard not to want to come back. 

From peers to co-owners, Heather Rogers and Miah Zimmerman opened their own hair salon, Canvas Beauty Bar in Boone. 

Rogers and Zimmerman met while working together at Hair 101 in Boone and worked on photoshoots together around the area. One day after a photoshoot, Zimmerman introduced the idea of opening a salon.

Hairstylist Elena Snouse chatting with receptionist Taylor Skinner at the front desk of Canvas Beauty Bar on March 8. Canvas Beauty enjoys “making beauty social.” (Emily Simpson)

A plan was made in 2014 and they opened in May 2015. In 2021, they moved from their original location on Howard Street to Meadowview Drive, where they tripled their size and employees and was voted Best Haircut for a second year in a row.

Canvas Beauty Bar provides a variety of hair services from colors, highlights, curl cuts and buzzes as well as facials, waxes, lashes and wedding services. Their staff varies in pricing based on their stylist level. Descriptions of each stylist can be found on their website, so you can find your best fit. They are also open to having new models for their staff to train on at a lower price. 

Canvas Beauty has a saying used on their website and social media platforms: “making beauty social.” They aim to make every client’s visit feel comfortable and welcoming by making sure to engage with their clients. 

One of Rogers favorite starter topics is “should I get bangs?” The phrase can be found hanging on their wall in neon lights.

This locally-owned salon connects with the community by promoting other businesses and boutiques and is open to holding fundraisers and auctions for anyone or any event. They recently have held fundraisers for the Watauga Humane Society and participated in Runs for Buns at Beech Mountain.

Canvas Beauty has also created a support system through long lasting bonds with salons in the surrounding area. Recently, Rogers and Zimmerman have begun a mentorship with Watauga Women in Leadership from App State’s Women of Walker.

Canvas Beauty Bar is an appointment only establishment located at 181 Meadowview Drive. They are open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Best Nail Salon: Appalachian Nails and Co.

By Siri Patterson

Amidst the chaos and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, Appalachian Nails and Co. opened its doors to the public in January 2020. 

Despite closing for several months due to the effects of the pandemic, co-owner Lisa Rector said the nail salon has made a name for itself in Boone with locals and students, and now sees regular business. The salon usually operates on a reservation-based schedule, as they are too busy to accommodate walk-in clients.

Nail technician Kim Mai works on a client’s manicure on March 6. Decked in App State colors, the salon is popular among students and the community of Boone. (Nicole Evans)

The salon’s popularity is reflected in the votes, as it’s been voted Best Nail Salon in Boone, keeping its crown for the third year in a row.

Rector runs the salon alongside her mother and sister. She said every employee at the salon is a member of their family. 

She said the salon has several regular clients who come every two weeks to have their nails refreshed and are essentially part of the family. 

“They call my mom ‘mom,’” Rector said. “It’s great.”

Appalachian Nails and Co. offers a multitude of nail services, as well as full-body waxing and eyebrow-shaping services. Every pedicure service includes a massage. 

Rector said the services tend to lean toward Signature Nail Systems products, which are healthier for the natural nail. Rector said she likes acrylic nails, but they are more harmful for nails compared to SNS and wants her clients to have the healthiest nails possible. 

A second nail salon called Lumina will be opening in April in downtown Boone. Rector said she and her husband decided to open the salon, featuring more massage options as well as nail appointments. 

Rector encourages Boone locals and students to make an appointment at Appalachian Nails and Co. or Lumina as soon as they can to unlock their full nail potential. 

Their current salon is located at 324 NC105 Extension Unit 6 and the hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. 

“Everyone is welcome here,” Rector said.

Best Local Band: The Weasels

By K. Slade

“Everybody’s got a little weasel in them,” said The Weasels’ lead singer and lyricist Jack Weasel. “To us, our fans are just as much of a weasel as we are.” 

The Weasels, a first-time winner of Best of Boone, formed in November 2021 after each member bounced around different local bands.  Since the band’s conception, the members adopted the last name “Weasel.” 

“It’s kind of grown to not just being an image of the band,” Jack Weasel said. “Our EP is called ‘Kings of the Forest,’ like we’ve really embraced this.” 

From left to right, Watauga Opportunities Coach and App State alum Caleb Mills plays bass, senior psychology major Andrew Hunter plays guitar, senior elementary education major Jack Dunphey sings vocals, senior sustainable technology major Joey Johnson plays guitar and alum AppOrtho Medical Assistant TJ Corelett plays drums.(Courtesy of The Weasels)

The band’s name reflects the flexibility and versatility of their musical genre. Gaining inspiration from bands such as Wean and The Doors, The Weasels aim to appeal to everyone, regardless of age. Their sound has been described as ‘60s garage rock.

A year after the band was formed, The Weasels booked their first concert at a charity fundraiser in conjunction with the child advocacy club. 

In preparation, The Weasels treated the performance as if they were practicing in a garage. 

“We just stay true to what we did, which was every Friday, we’d be in our garage practicing, in the winter when it was 20 degrees,” Weasel said. “We’re doing that and we just never broke that discipline.” 

In addition to their genre-blended sound, chemistry and connection sets The Weasels apart from other Boone bands. 

 “We’re friends first and musicians second,” said Joey Weasel, one of The Weasels’ guitarists. “We’re not just playing music together, like we hang out on our own.”  

The band’s other guitarist, Andrew Weasel, said their music is “available to everyone.” 

“That’s what’s cool is I think there’s like areas where everybody can get into our music,” he said. “Whether it’s like Caleb’s baselines where he’s like doing some funky s— or putting down, like, some metal over like a rock track, is, like, very different than what a lot of other people would think to do.”

Caleb Weasel, the band’s bassist, said their most electric performance was at Boone Saloon. 

“This one time we were playing our song ‘Glitter’ and like we were in so hard that my body was llike shaking and I was like screaming so loud,” he said. “I couldn’t even hear myself, which is super cool dude.”

Their EP “Kings of the Forest” released March 29 on Spotify and Apple Music. The Weasels said they are in the process of recording a full-length album.

Best Nonprofit: Hospitality House

By Allison Lehan

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Hospitality House of Northwest North Carolina’s life-altering contributions to the struggling community members of the High Country.

Often in rural communities, lack of access to supportive services for those experiencing homelessness is common. Voted Best of Boone this year for the non-profit category, the Hospitality House is a non-profit striving to challenge these conventions and prides itself on providing those in need with resources to help rebuild their lives sustainably. 

Todd Carter, chief director of development for the Hospitality House, said the organization’s focus is to move people out of homelessness and into their own stable places to live. It targets the unique needs of its aid recipients through housing, food access and crisis assistance.

Volunteers of The Hospitality House gather food from the pantry to prepare for the communities dinner on February 9th.(Paulina Levi)

“We have to connect on an individual basis,” Carter said. “Helping them achieve what they define as their personal victories in life.” 

Serving seven counties in the High Country, including Watauga, the Hospitality House features a multi-faceted housing agency consisting of nine housing programs, each specializing in the distinct needs of its aid recipients. 

As reported on its Instagram, since 2020, the program has helped transition around 550 people out of homelessness, 26% of whom are children, Carter said.

For those seeking food assistance, the organization is equipped with a community kitchen open to all, implementing resources from its organic garden to provide healthy, reliable meal access.

Hospitality House is the only food pantry open seven days a week in the High Country. Including a food locker in Tennessee, In 2023, the program provided roughly 160,000 meals, almost 13,000 meals per month, to any community member regardless of need status, according to Carter. 

One of the organization’s goals outside of homeless assistance is to strengthen community ties through the sharing of food. One way they achieve this is through their annual “Savor the Summer” Food Truck Rodeo event, which will be held the third Thursday of June, July, August and September of this year.

The organization includes a robust internship program for App State students, as well as volunteer opportunities open to anyone with the compassion and integrity parallel to Hospitality House’s core values. 

Anyone wishing to help the Hospitality House with their mission in helping the homeless rewrite their own stories can make donations through their website

“This is our 40th year, but in so many ways, we’re just getting started,” Carter said.

Best Local Gym: Anytime Fitness

By Ethan Smith

It’s a Tuesday, and you’re dying to go workout, but there’s a problem: you don’t have a gym membership and don’t know where to look. 

For the third straight year, Anytime Fitness has been voted Boone’s Best Local Gym. Located at 368 Highway 105 Exit, it is in a convenient location for all gym visitors to get a lift in.

The Boone Anytime Fitness location on March 15, is located on the NC 105 Extension and is a member only facility that operates 24/7. (Ashton Woodruff)

As the name suggests, the gym is open 24/7, offering customers maximum flexibility when designing their schedules. In addition to weights, strength machines and cardio machines, Anytime Fitness members also have access to tanning booths, parking and private showers.

Anytime’s strength training area includes squat racks, strength machines, battle ropes and kettlebells. The cardio area features elliptical cross-trainers, exercise bikes, treadmills, stair climbers and TVs for entertainment.

Despite the gym being open 24/7, staffers are found from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from noon to 5 p.m. on Fridays and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Sundays are  unstaffed. 

Anytime Fitness was founded in 2002 by Chuck Runyon, Dave Mortensen and Jeff Klinger and debuted in Cambridge, Minnesota. Since then, Anytime Fitness has expanded to over 5,000 locations in 50 countries worldwide. Entrepreneur magazine named them the top franchise in 2014 and its current headquarters is located in Woodbury, Minnesota.

While membership rates vary, the average cost starts at around $41 per month, according to  the Anytime Fitness website. The Boone location offers a seven-day free trial included with a three month pass to Apple Fitness+. Membership with one location grants access to all Anytime gyms worldwide.

Anytime Fitness offers a personalized plan, free fitness consultation and personal and group training included with a membership, making it a complete experience for gym veterans and those just starting out. 

On Instagram, Anytime Fitness boasts a pretty large following with 141,000 followers with the Boone location having over 320 followers. On X, they have over 251,000 followers, where they have a variety of different posts.

Best Hotel: Horton Hotel

By Adam Perisco

If you’re planning a trek up to Boone, a unique and comfortable staying experience can elevate your vacation. You can find that at the Horton Hotel, the winner of Best Hotel for Best of Boone for the fourth year in a row.

Fixed in the heart of King Street, this boutique hotel occupies the historic building constructed in 1920 by Henry Walton Horton. As stated on their website, it originally served as a Studebaker car dealership and department store, but underwent renovations in 2019 to become the Horton Hotel. Nods to Boone’s history cover the walls with black and white pictures and old Studebaker parts.

Outside the front entrance of The Horton Hotel on March 6. The Horton Hotel is located on King Street and was originally built in the 1920s. (Hayden Wittenborn)

The Horton’s 15 unique guest rooms combine a refined elegance with lively furniture, yet retain the comfort of a familiar home. Along with a standard room, the hotel offers various amenities such as on-site parking, breakfast, a complimentary robe and the ability to bring a furry friend on your trip to the bustling center of Boone.

The Horton is the only boutique-style hotel in Boone, according to their website. It is also the only hotel on King Street, making for an easy walk to all the local businesses planted up and down the center of town, including places to shop, drink and eat.

When entering the hotel, you are greeted by a lobby adorned with an eclectic mix of ornate furniture and a friendly face behind an earth-toned desk constructed from hundreds of stone slabs. Beyond that is one of two lounge bars stocked with any spirit one could ask for. 

The second more popular bar is located on the rooftop where you can enjoy scenic 360 degree views of the small college town and the surrounding mountains. Both bars offer delicious custom drinks carefully hand-crafted by the bartenders themselves. You can enjoy the comfortable ambience on weekdays from 4-10 p.m. or weekends from noon to 10 p.m.
To book a room, you can visit their website and click book now to choose your own unique room.

Best Rental Company: Winkler Organization

By Fran Murphy

Being accepted for on-campus housing can be difficult. However, with its 25 properties, 16 within a half-mile of App State, and 1,000 total bedrooms, the Winkler Organization provides students with plenty of options to find a place to live in Boone.

The front door to the property management office opens up to the lobby of The Winkler Organization on March 7. (Ashton Woodruff)

Over two-thirds of App State students live off campus and Winkler has housed many. Having an opportunity to live off campus can make a big difference toward the success and well-being of a student.

“My friends wish they lived with Winkler after we tell them about the incredible perks and affordable rent we pay,” said two-year tenant Zach Bowyer. “Thanks to Winkler for making my last two years in Boone absolutely incredible and very smooth.” 

The apartment locations are rated 4.25 out of 5 in a survey of 52 students, recorded on the App State Off-Campus Student Services website.

The organization’s mission statement states, “The Winkler Organization’s reputation is built on tenant satisfaction, referrals, personal service, incredible locations, well maintained properties, and longevity.” 

The majority of Winkler Organization tenants have a positive outlook on their living situation. Ninety-one percent of surveyed Winkler residents described their experience with the organization as “good” to “excellent.”

Some common housing amenities on their properties include on-site parking, hardwood and tile floors, washer and dryer, dishwasher, high-speed wireless internet, basic expanded cable and air conditioning. 

The Heights on Green Street is one of the more popular complexes. It opened in 2016 and includes free housekeeping, one bedroom, one bath and is located one mile from campus. 

Another popular complex is Winkler Oaks. The apartments are located 0.1 mile from campus and include amenities such as laminate countertops and solid cherry wood cabinets. 

These are just a few of the many innovative features the apartments include.

The organization has been around since 1983 and continues to grow as a leading provider of apartment rentals for App State and Caldwell Community College.

Due to the high demand of Winkler properties, the 2024-25 leasing year is fully booked, but students can apply for 2025-26 leasing on their website

The company address is 215 Boone Heights Drive #100, Boone, NC 28607, and their hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Best Off-Campus Housing: University Highlands

By Clay Durban

Off-campus housing is a part of many people’s college experience at App State. Many students move out of their dorms and have to find housing elsewhere in the Boone area, and University Highlands highlights these off-campus housing features.

Winner for Best Off-Campus Housing, the Highlands are hard to miss, located next to the junction of NC Highway 105 and the NC Highway 105 Bypass. The apartment buildings catch your attention any time you drive into town.

Resident Julie Salvatierra shoots hoops at the University Highlands basketball courts on March 5. The Highlands amenities also include a pool, hot tub and tennis courts. (Nicole Evans)

The Highlands offer two kinds of apartments: a four-bedroom, two-bath apartment and a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment. The two-bedroom apartment is available for co-ed occupancy, while the four-bedroom is not.

The apartments have multiple amenities as the kitchen comes with an electric range, refrigerator, dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave and a full-size washer and dryer.

The living room is furnished with a couch, entertainment center, coffee table, end table and a dining table or bar. Bedrooms are furnished with a full-size bed, night table, dresser, desk and chair.

The apartments also come equipped with several safety features such as deadbolt locks on entry and bedroom doors, a monitored security system, smoke alarms and a sprinkler system.

After a day full of classes or work, the rest of the complex has multiple options to unwind either alone or with friends, with a fitness center, swimming pool, jacuzzi, sundeck, tennis court, basketball court, volleyball court and a walking trail on the property.

Other features on the property include a clubhouse, a fireside lounge, a computer lab with printers, resident and visitor parking, free on-site bus shuttle service, a covered bus shelter, an on-site maintenance staff, on-site management and a car wash with a vacuum.

Rent is $600 per month and is all-inclusive, covering electricity, water, ethernet, Wi-Fi and the monitored security system as well as all the amenities.

All these features combined with an affordable price are what make University Highlands the Best Off-Campus Housing in this year’s Best of Boone.

Best Place to Live Alone: King Street Flats

By Leah Boone

It’s a Tuesday morning and you have quite the busy day coming up. Before you leave for class, you remember you have to put your laundry in, pick up a package, take out the trash and watch a video for class. How are you supposed to do all this in less than an hour? The answer is simple: be a resident at King Street Flats. 

This is one of many reasons the apartment complex won Best Place to Live Alone for Best of Boone two years in a row.

King Street Flats’ stylish exterior viewed from King Street on March 7 is just a quick walk away from downtown shopping, restaurants and App State’s campus. (Taylor Ward)

With the apartment’s many amenities, it offers a home environment like no other, in which this lengthy to-do list can be done in a matter of minutes. The washer and dryer are one in the same, automatically drying your laundry after the wash cycle has ended. There is an Amazon Hub Locker in the complex, trash valet almost every night and an included smart TV. 

The apartment complex consists of three floors, 60 apartments and 11 floor plans.

Located on King Street, the apartment complex is walking distance to everything; a perfect balance between alone time and community, and great for when you need to get somewhere quickly.

“When it’s time to study or just relax your smartly furnished and welcoming studio awaits you,” reads the apartment website. “App State is across the street, along with restaurants, coffee shops, retail, grocery and pharmacy.”

The website also lists walking distances to popular locations in Boone, ranging from two to 10 minutes. Wherever you need to go, King Street Flats puts you in a position to get there quickly. 

Many college students have a desire to live alone, with it potentially being the first time they aren’t under their parents’ roof. However, a large part of college is finding a work-life balance, and King Street Flats provides the perfect place to do so. The complex is central enough to the entire Boone community that one could easily have a fun night out with friends while staying within walking distance to home.

“Live here and discover what convenient living was always meant to be with community-centric amenities,” the website reads. “Privacy at home and community within reach — don’t just sleep here — live here.”

It is evident King Street Flats have everything a resident could ask for in the most central location possible. To top it all off, pre-leasing is available for next academic year.

Best Pet Friendly Complex: The Finmore

By Ethan Smith

Nothing beats the feeling of coming home to an eager dog awaiting your arrival or the feeling of sitting down on the couch after a long day and having your cat curl up next to you. For those looking for a place to stay along with their furry friends, one location stands above the rest.

Located at 241 Shadowline Drive, The Finmore at 241 is the 2024 Best of Boone winner for Best Pet-Friendly Complex.

“At the Finmore 241, our housing in Boone, NC give you a lifetime of memories in each semester,” reads the Finmore’s website. “Here is where living truly begins. Let our App State off-campus housing be the foundation for your next great adventure.”

Exterior of The Finmore pictured on March 9, an off-campus student residence conveniently located on an AppalCart bus route and across the street from Harris Teeter. (Gwyn Wetzell)

The Finmore offers residents a wide variety of amenities, including a 24/7 gym, exclusive outdoor social area with fire pits and grilling stations as well as a resort-style hot tub. Additionally, they feature a partially-covered parking lot and an AppalCart stop.

 They offer floor plans for one, two and four residents per apartment with each unit having its own features. Apartments are fully furnished and come with stainless appliances, voice-controlled thermostat, lights and ceiling fan as well as private bathrooms for each room, according to the Finmore’s website

Other amenities include roommate matching, full-size washer and dryer, virtual doorman, Amazon Echo in each unit, USB-ready wall units, full XL-size beds with built-in storage, 55-inch smart HDTV’s in each apartment with water and included internet access.

The Fimore’s location is one of its many perks, being just minutes away from campus and downtown Boone. It’s also within walking distance of the Shops at Shadowline, which includes stores such as Harris Teeter, Woof Pack Dog Training and Top Nails.

For those with pets, the Finmore is pet friendly and located about 10 minutes away from State Farm Fields, a great place to run around and play that includes a 24-acre sports complex and picnic shelters.

The Fimore’s office is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and closed on Sundays. They can be contacted at (828) 412-8860 and thefinmore@peakmade.com

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About the Contributors
Kolby Shea
Kolby Shea, Reporter
Kolby Shea (he/him) is a senior journalism major, photography minor, from Statesville, NC. This is his second year writing for The Appalachian.
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Chance Chamberlain (he/him) is a senior journalism major, media studies minor. This is his second year writing for The Appalachian.
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Max Sanborn
Max Sanborn, Photographer
Max Sanborn (he/him) is a sophomore Commercial Photography Major, from Indian trail, NC. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
Devon Richter
Devon Richter, Photographer
Devon Richter (he/him) is a junior Fine Art Photography major, from Thomasville, N.C. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
Taylor Ward
Taylor Ward, Photojournalist
Taylor Ward (she/they) is a sophomore undecided major and photography minor from Ocean Isle Beach, NC. This is their second year with The Appalachian.
Gwyn Wetzell
Gwyn Wetzell, Photojournalist
Gwyn Wetzell (she/her) is a first year Geology major. This is her first year with the Appalachian.
Asher Davidson
Asher Davidson, Reporter

Asher Davidson (he/him) is a senior journalism major with a minor in media studies from Black Mountain, NC.

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