With an average snowfall of 84 inches creating a winter wonderland for skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snowshoeing and sledding, Beech Mountain is quite literally North Carolina’s coolest town! Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains at a base elevation of 5,506 feet, Beech is the highest ski resort in eastern North America.

A great weekend getaway and the perfect place to introduce new skiers to the slopes, Beech Mountain Resort offers 17 ski and snowboard runs and 95 acres of ski terrain on a vertical drop of 830 feet. The resort has invested millions of dollars to enhance its snowmaking capabilities, as well as high-speed quads that create shorter lift lines and allow for more runs per day. Snowboarding is also a favorite activity, both on the slopes and in the dedicated terrain park which has its own surface lift, snowmaking system and lighting system.

For slightly less strenuous, but still exhilarating, fun in the snow, check out Hawksnest Snowtubing and Zipline, the East Coast’s largest snow tubing park. The park boasts a variety of terrains over 30 lit lanes ranging from 400- 1,000 feet long, plus two moving carpet lifts to take riders and their tubes back up for another ride. There are also two zip line tours offering spectacular views of the valleys, creeks, wild animals in the forest and wild animals tubing in the park.

In a quaint throwback, Beech also has a sledding hill located next to the Visitors Center in the middle of town. The hill is free for kids 12 and under; if you forget your sled, you can pick up a new one at Fred’s General Mercantile down the street (real-life Fred’s motto: “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.”).

For extra rad winter fun, plan to go on the third weekend in February for Totally 80s Retro Ski Weekend! Dig out your retro ski garb and hit the slopes for a trip back in time with live 80s bands, apparel contests and 80s-themed specials.