Mountaineer must-do activities before graduation

Lily Kincaid and Aubrey Smith

Trying new things is all a part of the college experience. Before you wrap up your time at App State or move out of your apartment in Boone for the summer, take a look at our collection of experiences every Mountaineer should check off their list before the year ends, crowdsourced from App State students. 

Spray paint in the expression tunnels

If you’re feeling particularly artsy one day, pick up some spray paint, and make your way to the expression tunnels behind Rankin Hall. Don’t feel obligated to have experience with spray paint before. The already paint-covered walls make for a forgiving canvas. 

Visit Linville Falls

Take in the High Country’s flora and fauna, and check out one of the most popular waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the 1.6-mile hike to Linville Falls. The trail is easy enough for inexperienced hikers, and the view is well worth it. Watch the three-tiered waterfall flow into Linville Gorge, also known as the “Grand Canyon of the Southern Appalachians,” and, if you have time, take a trip to Linville Caverns while you’re there. 

Picnic at Cone Manor

Pick a sunny day, pack your favorite snacks and a blanket and head to Moses Cone Manor for a peaceful picnic with a view of Bass Lake and mountains as far as you can see in each direction. Bring some friends and explore the trails or pack a book and make it a solo trip. Either way, be sure to take some pictures. If you’re a morning person, get there early with breakfast instead of lunch and watch the sunrise as you eat. 

Have a late night hammocking session with friends

Whether it’s on Sanford Mall, Durham Park or in the trees between residence halls, there’s multiple locations on campus for a hammocking session. So grab a few friends and some snacks, and pitch yourself in between some trees for a late-night hangout — whether you spend that time doing some light homework, watching a movie or just chatting. 

Go to the farmers market

If you’ve never stopped by the Watauga County Farmers Market, swing by any Saturday until November and treat yourself to a colorful bouquet of fresh-cut flowers, a basket of local produce or some handmade jewelry. Grab some breakfast from one of the vendors, show local businesses some love and make a day out of it. 

Attend a show at the Jones House

You don’t have to go far in Boone to find live music — in fact, you don’t even have to leave King Street. The Jones House has jam sessions every Thursday at 7 p.m. free and open to the public. If you’ll be around this summer, the first Boonerang Music & Arts festival is happening June 18 in downtown Boone, with a stage at the Jones House.

Karaoke at Ransom 

After a long week, some nights call for singing your heart out with friends. Ransom Pub hosts karaoke every Thursday night, so put on your best performance outfit, select a song well within your range and take the venue by storm. 

Solo date to a local restaurant 

There’s plenty of food in Boone to take yourself out for a solo date. Whether it’s a morning trip to watch the sunrise or a late-night snack before seeing a movie, Boone has got you covered for food. For breakfast, Boone Bagelry and Melanie’s have a wide selection to keep you full until your next meal. When dinner time rolls around, there’s a range of options from sushi from Sabeing to wood-fired pizza from Lost Province to burritos from Coyote Kitchen.