Banner Elk is much, much smaller than Blowing Rock. You'll find a few shops and restaurants, but not many. Banner Elk is closer to most of the ski resorts, but for the best small mountain town experience (accommodations, shopping, dining, etc.), I'd stick to Blowing Rock. http://bannerelk.org/webcam.htm
There is nothing to compare to Blowing Rock. It is about a 25 minute ride from Blowing Rock. Nice, but less developed and much less to do, unless you ski, eat and call it a day!
Thanks to all. Sounds like if we head back that way it's Blowing Rock. Daytrips to ski.
Any preference? We didn't get to last year. Just tubing at Hawks Nest.
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