When you think of North Carolina, Tar Heels, beer and beaches are usually the first things that come to mind. Not skiing and snowboarding. But nestled high up in the Blue Ridge Mountains at 5,506 feet is the highest ski area in the eastern United States, and it’s celebrating its 50th birthday this season.
Beech Mountain Resort had a new vision for Southern skiing when it debuted in the winter of 1967-68. It was the only North Carolina resort built around an alpine village and remains that way today.
“Skiing in the South was just being developed and this was a unique facility at 5,506 feet in elevation with a Swiss-Bavarian village. It exposed the Southeast market to something new,” says general manager Ryan Costin. “That continues to be one of our strongest assets – a layout where you can navigate the village and experience all the wintertime activities we have here.”
To celebrate the half-century mark, Beech Mountain Resort is offering season-long throwback pricing for night sessions on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Tuesdays are ladies’ nights with $9 lift tickets – the same price as opening day. Wednesdays are men’s nights with $9 tickets and Thursdays are couples’ nights featuring the first ticket for $14 and a second ticket for just $8.
Other activities at Beech Mountain include snow tubing, ice skating, and learn-to-ski programs for adults and youths. For après ski, hit the Beech Mountain Brewery, one of the only breweries owned and operated by a ski area. This unique brewery is nestled in the village of Beech Mountain Resort, serving up its signature 5506 Pale Ale, among other seasonal offerings.
If it’s more beer you crave, Beech Mountain is just a two-hour drive from Asheville – North Carolina’s craft brew capital and home of the Asheville Ale Trail, which is lined with dozens of breweries, tap rooms, and food trucks.