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Things to Do...

As a graduate student, your free time is a commodity that is not to be wasted.  With the time invested in your coursework, assistantships, and professional development, your free time may be limited.  Despite these limitations, however, you will need that free time to wind down, relax, spend time with your new friends, and explore your new home.

Boone is not a large city, so the social life reflects the surroundings.  There are local pubs and music venues to keep up with and celebrate local musicians while enjoying a cold beverage.  Nearby breweries and vineyards are also new and fun places to taste and explore.

Fun attractions - like Tweetsie Railroad, Grandfather Mountain, or Linville Caverns - will give you something to do throughout the seasons.  The famous Tweetsie Ghost Train leaves the station on Friday and Saturday nights in October for Halloween fun.  Rain or shine, indoor and outdoor gem mining may help you find your next piece of jewelry.  Drive to the top of an international biosphere reserve at Grandfather Mountain and say "hi" to the resident bears.  In the summer, Linville Caverns offers cool temperatures and the opportunity to head underground at North Carolina's only publicly accessible cavern.

Shop the Boone area - browse the 130-year old Mast General Store in nearby Valle Crucis, or newer locations in Boone or Blowing Rock.  Also in Blowing Rock you will find the Shoppes on the Parkway, a modern outlet mall with shops that cater to all.  Boone's mall will also get you Belks, Ulta, T.J. Maxx, and a few restaurants.  Head on downtown to King Street for local shops and emporiums decked out with local arts, crafts, and other unique finds.

Events are everywhere!  Boone's Friday Art Crawl takes customers through the local arts on King Street.  Check out the lineup for Appalachian State University's Performing Arts Series for musical and other performances.  Also, there's always an exhibit at Appalachian's Turchin Center for the Visual Arts.

Soak up spectacular scenery - the Blue Ridge Parkway is America's most popular national park and most scenic drive, or you can join the locals on almost-secret back road rambles.