High Country Valentine’s Day COVID-19 Date Guide

A+breakfast+dish+from+Melanie%27s+Food+Fantasy.+Melanie%27s+prides+itself+on+using+as+much+local+produce+as+possible%2C+even+in+the+Winter.+Courtesy+of+Dallas+Linger.

A breakfast dish from Melanie’s Food Fantasy. Melanie’s prides itself on using as much local produce as possible, even in the Winter. Courtesy of Dallas Linger.

Xanayra Marin-Lopez, Visual Managing Editor

This year’s celebration of love can be hard to navigate during the COVID-19 pandemic. While following restrictions, there’s still ways to enjoy your partner, galentines with your girls, or any time you spend with your loved ones on Feb. 14. 

Food

If you feel comfortable to dine-in, enjoy a meal at some spots the locals love. Or, order take-out from most of these places for a cozy night in.

Melanie’s

Located on King Street, Melanie’s is perfect for a brunch date with that special someone. Their farm-to-fork menu offers a variety of selections for breakfast and lunch from quiches, to Philly cheesesteaks to omelets. Don’t leave without trying the apple butter on toast!

Troy’s 105 Diner

Share a milkshake with two straws at this 50’s-inspired diner on 105. Place your order behind the counter for a cheeseburger, country fried chicken or mac and cheese bites. Where else in Boone can you get a “hot diggity dog?”

Makoto’s

Relax for dinner and a show as you watch your food being cooked right in front of you hibachi-style. Split a chef-prepared plate at this Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar for only $10.99.

Basil’s 

For lovers over 21, enjoy craft beer and a wine bar at Basil’s, located near the Boone Mall. Have a plate of pasta prepared from scratch to pair with your drink.

Dessert

If you aren’t full yet, make room for dessert! The High Country is known for its variety of options for sweets such as cookies and ice cream. 

Kilwin’s 

Kilwin’s old-fashioned confectionery in Blowing Rock makes its many sweets and treats fresh daily. You can choose from fudge to ice cream, chocolates, caramel corn and more. Consider ordering one of their gift baskets for your partner on Valentine’s or your next anniversary! 

Krispy Kreme

You can never go wrong with a dozen original glazed donuts. To get in the spirit, try the chain’s Valentine’s Day donuts. Choose from chocolate caramel, sprinkled, sugar cookie and strawberries and kreme, all in the shape of a heart. Sip on a flavored coffee or frozen drink to wash down those classic sweets.

Stick Boy Bread Co.

Stickboy’s Bakery is a must-try. Visit their original location on Hardin Street across from East campus for baked goods and an espresso and smoothie bar.

Insomnia Cookies

Satisfy your midnight cravings with a box of a dozen Insomnia cookies. Have them delivered to you until 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Bald Guy Brew

Whether you’re in Boone or Blowing Rock, you’ll find one of the High Country’s favorite coffee shops. Take a walk on King Street with a pumpkin spice latte in one hand, and the hand of your favorite person in the other.

Scenery

Take your loved ones to enjoy the many views of the high country with this list of hikes and scenic views. 

Rough Ridge 

For an adventurous date, look no further than the Rough Ridge hike. After hiking ⅓ of a mile uphill from the parking area on the Blue Ridge Parkway, enjoy the views of Grandfather Mountain and the Linn Cove Viaduct. Trek just ½ of a mile after that, and you’re 4,773 feet high at the Rough Ridge summit.

Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

Enjoy walking the trail, horseback riding or fishing near the Moses Cone country estate. One of the first landmarks on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Boone, the Cone Manor is a must-see for parkway goers. 

Durham Park

Right on App State’s campus is the Durham Park. Walk along the sidewalk path, and you’ll pass Boone Creek. There’s plenty of benches, spots on the grass and near the water, as well as the Founder’s Plaza to stop, talk and eat. 

Hebron Rock Colony

When you’re on the Boone Fork Trail, you can’t miss Hebron Falls, home to the Hebron Rock Colony. Stand on the rocks as you enjoy the view of the waterfall.

Yonahlossee Overlook

Yonahlossee’s milepost on the Blue Ridge Parkway is the last overlook you see before the Linn Cove Viaduct. If you walk further down the grass, you can go under the overpass and explore a hidden waterfall. 

 

If you’ve still got time to spare on date night, there’s plenty of ways to have fun in the Boone area. Try this list of activities for some bonding moments with your partner.

Boone Activities

Walk King Street

There’s always something to do on King Street, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. For a fun afternoon, take a stroll through the Turchin Center before you go shopping at Mast General Store. End the day with a sunset view on the Horton Hotel’s rooftop lounge.

Alpacas at Apple Hill Farms

Book a tour at Apple Hill Farms, and their famous alpacas will greet you. Located in Banner Elk, you can reserve a 45-minute tour to see all the animals the farm has to offer. For a virtual option, $10 can get you a one-on-one Zoom call with an alpaca.

Grandfather Vineyard and Winery

Have a relaxing afternoon with a glass of wine on the banks of the Watauga River at Grandfather Vineyard and Winery. A local cheese and cracker selection is available, but see if you can catch the ELEVEN80 Eateryfood truck this season. No need to make a reservation here; the winery serves customers on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Hammock on Sanford Mall or Durham Park

As long as there are trees on App State’s campus, you’re bound to see students on hammocks. For couples, an XL sized hammock would be the best, and if you’re eno-ing this time of year, make sure to bundle up! 

Use this guide to plan your day with your significant other. Center your day around an activity or two and have a meal to go with it, and don’t forget dessert! No matter how you spend your Valentine’s Day, the High Country is full of activities to do with the ones you love.