North Carolina, Travel

5 Things to do at Sugar Mountain, North Carolina

As a born and raised Florida Girl, I have spent dozens of spring breaks on the beautiful white sandy beaches and in the natural turquoise spring water. And it’s gorgeous and fun and CROWDED.

This year, for the girls’ Spring Break, we decided to change things up and head to the mountains for a long weekend. We ended up at Sugar Mountain and we loved every minute of this mini vacation!

Here are 5 things to do at Sugar Mountain, North Carolina:

Snow Fun

We don’t get much snow at Fort Bragg, so my kids were most excited to go play in the snow. I was afraid that there wouldn’t be much snow in mid-March and warned my kids not to get so excited.

Little did I know, that Sugar Mountain manufactures their own snow when they can’t get it the old-fashioned way. So, even though it was in the 40s and 50s while we were there, the kids were still able to go snow tubing!

We took them to the tubing park at Sugar Mountain Resort and they had a blast!

Sugar Mountain really caters to skiers and snowboarders, which we have no experience with and did not even attempt. But we loved watching them from our room and during our lunch at the Sugar Mountain Cafeteria. Even at night, we could watch them glide down the hill from our balcony.

And if skiing, snowboarding, and tubing isn’t enough winter fun, you can also go ice skating. My kids were in heaven with all of the snow fun!

Mast General Store

You can’t stay at Sugar Mountain without a visit to the original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis. Just a short drive from the the resort, this place has everything you can think of. Clothes, candles, dishes, shoes, knives, candy, axes, gourmet foods, cookware, old fashioned toys, Christmas ornaments, hardware, a coffin, coffee for 5 cents a cup, and even live music! We spent 2 hours wandering around the creaky floorboards.

Mast General Store is also home to a station of the Banner Elk Post Office. They use the old fashioned P.O Boxes with combination locks and glass panes so that you can see the letters inside. Which I just thought was the coolest thing.

Before heading back to Sugar Mountain, we stopped at the General Store’s Annex down the road. The Annex contains a HUGE selection of candy for sale by the pound. Our kids were thrilled!

Mystery Hill

On our way home, we stopped at Mystery Hill in Boone. A quick 30-minute drive from Sugar Mountain, it’s worth the trip!

The gravitation anomaly at Mystery Hill is a little difficult to explain because no one knows really what it is. Strangely, your body is forced to a 45-degree angle instead of upright, water flows uphill, and balls roll uphill. Scientists can’t really explain what happens at this strange place in the mountains of North Carolina, but it has been long documented at this site and several others across the U.S.

Although Mystery Hill is known for its natural gravitational anomaly, there are many other attractions to see here. Included in our ticket price, the kids did an old time photo, played in the Hall of Mystery and Bubblerama, we also visited the Native American Artifact collection, looked through the Dougherty house, and grew and shrank on the Old Cider Mill platform.

Unfortunately, the anomaly made both me and my mom feel sick. (We both have inner ear issues and deal with vertigo at times.) So, we didn’t take the time to visit the fossil museum, Greenway Park, play near the river, do the tomahawk throwing, or try gem mining. But we still had a great time!

**Side Note** If you have issues with vertigo, I recommend saving The Mystery House for last. We felt a little queasy for a while after walking through it and wish that we hadn’t done it first.

Otter Falls

Initially, when we drove over to Seven Devils (just 15 minutes from Sugar Mountain), we were headed to Hawksnest Snow Tubing and Ziplining. However, it had already closed for the season. Instead, we went on a waterfall hike to see Otter Falls.

This sign in the parking lot warns that this is a ‘moderately strenuous’ hike and we were definitely not dressed for hiking, but we did it anyway. The trail was steep and narrow. Which was a little sketchy for us, since it was slippery from days of rain and we didn’t have proper footwear.

But we all made it down to the falls safely and had fun exploring the falls and the creek. It would be a great summer hike when you could play in the creek and get behind the falls.

All the Things We Missed

Unfortunately, our trip was cut short by the spread of the Coronavirus. On Friday, when we left Fort Bragg, I had to check my kids out of school early. Life was completely normal. By Sunday businesses were closing and grocery stores were selling out of food.

We made the decision to cut the trip short and left on Monday morning. But that meant that there were so many plans that we didn’t get to. Here are all the things we wish we could have done during our trip to Sugar Mountain:

  • Grandfather Mountain State Park
  • gem mining
  • trout fishing
  • Linville Caverns
  • Apple Hill Farm – Alpaca Farm
  • Daniel Boone Heritage Trail

Our trip to Sugar Mountain was a LOT of fun! It was especially nice before we began our ‘quarantine’ and weeks of no travel.

I wish we could have done more during this trip, but it just gives us more reason to go back during the summer!

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