On top of the world— With Access on Every Side
At Sunalei Preserve, families and individuals can get away from it all—and live above the clouds. But the sights, sounds, and activities that make the High Country so special are always within reach—all year-round. Elk Knob State Park, of course intersects our community and affords a vast, scenic world of outdoor recreation. Boone NC, one of the hippest, most dynamic, culturally inspiring, college towns in Western North Carolina, is just a few minutes away. And just over the mountain from Boone is Watauga Lake, one of the purest, most refreshing lakes in the gorgeous region known as the Tennessee River Watershed. Other nearby areas of interest include:
Elk Knob State Park
Elk Knob State Park runs through the community and is a wonderful amenity for owners—it’s literally like having your own State Park in your back yard. This nature preserve offers outdoor recreation, sightseeing, and access to the headwaters of the New River—one of the three oldest rivers in the world.
Located in Avery County, just a short drive from Boone, Banner Elk is dubbed the ski capitol of the South, and one of the most charming towns in the High Country. It is home to fine dining, boutique shopping, and limitless outdoor recreation, including skiing, golfing, hiking, horseback riding, rafting, and fishing.
Blue Ridge Parkway
This is America’s most visited National Park, attracting more than 16,000,000 visitors in 2017. Best of all, it is just a couple of miles from Sunalei Preserve, which means families have easy access to a variety of natural attractions, including some of the most outstanding views in all of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Surrounded by dense forests and awe-inspiring ridgelines, Watauga Lake is a pristine getaway for visitors. With a “good” ecological health rating—and a maximum depth of 305 feet—it is also one of the cleanest, freshest lakes in North America. It is ideal for fishing, boating, hiking, or simply relaxing on a summer day.
Discovered by a couple of fishermen in 1822, these under-mountain caverns are a popular attraction for visitors who come to see the stalactites, stalagmites, and learn the history of this subterranean world of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
This is one of the hallmarks of the High Country. The elevation is exhilarating, and the views intoxicating. This is one of North Carolina’s favorite attractions, drawing thousands of visitors each year to the iconic Mile High Swinging Bridge, wildlife exhibits, and acres of hiking trails.
High Country Ski Resorts
Avery County is recognized as the Ski Capitol of the South, home to some of the highest slopes along the East Coast. With an average yearly snowfall of nearly 60 inches—and the ability to make snow—the resorts at Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain are open from November through March.
Whitewater Rafting & Fishing
The High Country is fed by a wide variety of natural water sources, including the ancient, roaring New River. Numerous professional outfitters offer guided fishing and rafting excursions along this and other High Country rivers.