886 (town), 15,000 (Avery County)
Median Home Price
Average Household Income
Ski Beech $475; Sugar Mountain Resort $550
Ski Beech $41; Sugar Mountain Resort $43
Best Annual Events
Woolly Worm Festival: Bluegrass music and a crafts fair accompany races of the fall caterpillars; longtime Banner Elk mayor Charles VonCannon judges the combination of stripes-brown means warm, and black augurs cold-to predict the coming winter. The Highland Games and Gathering of Scottish clans held the second weekend in July at MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain.
Locals' Favorite Restaurants
The Corner Palate, Villa Sorrento, Louisiana Purchase, Black Diamond Bistro & Grill, Stonewalls (in town), Crippen's and The Woodlands (Blowing Rock)
Locals' Favorite Hangouts
Louisiana Purchase, Villa Sorrento, The Corner Palate, Small Town Blues Cafe (in town), Rascals (Beech Mountain)
Best Breakfast Places
Villa Sorrento (in town), The Grandview Restaurant, Boone Bagelry (in Boone)
Edge of the World Outfitters for sporting goods.
Banner Elk is about 2 hours from Charlotte, a major airport served by many carriers but dominated by USAirways. The closest air access is through Hickory, N.C., a modern, small airport served by USAirways Express. Rental cars are available at airport.
Chamber Of Commerce