Banner Elk has a long history, dating back to the mid 1800s with families using the area for crops and hunting. It’s had many names, including Elk’s River, Elk Flats and Banner’s Elk. It wasn’t until the incorporation in 1911 that Banner’s Elk became simply, Banner Elk. While no name changes have occurred in the last 100 years, the town has undergone many other changes.
Surrounded by such beautiful areas as the Great Smokey Mountains, Pisgah National Forest, and the Blue Ridge Mountains Banner Elk has long been a tourist destination. With the growth of the Blue Ridge Parkway, scenic tour brought people through Banner Elk. Before the completion of the Parkway and Hwy 105, anyone traveling the parkway took a detour to get around the uncompleted section; the Linn Cove Viaduct. While Hwy 221 was complete, it offered no sightseeing between Linville and Blowing Rock; however, another route offered Mast General Store; very well known even in the 1940s and 50s. This route took travelers directly through downtown Banner Elk.
Growth isn’t really a term the town has ever used because it has always been small, by comparison to other tourist destinations, but as the tourist industry has grown, so has the business of Banner Elk.
From Lees McRae College as one of the oldest establishments to the ski slopes that came around in the 1960s, the town has become a very popular place for people to visit. Now, it’s becoming a popular place to live. Our current economy makes having second homes more difficult than in the past and many homes in the Banner Elk area have been just that; second homes. These are now being sold as primary residences for people looking to live in the area. Real estate has suffered all over the US and Banner Elk is no different. People are starting to take advantage of this to purchase homes in the area.
Banner Elk offers schools, restaurants, shopping and more. Many people relocating to the area have home-based businesses or bring new business to the area. From candy shops to bed and breakfasts, new businesses are popping up all over the area.
If you are looking for affordable living, decent schools, a quiet life, and somewhere to live or raise a family, checkout Banner Elk. There’s a lot to offer in our small town; friendly people, little to no crime, streets you aren’t afraid to walk on, and a town like “Cheers” where ‘Everybody knows your name.‘
Come for a visit. Skip the typical hotel stay and book a room at one of the many bed and breakfasts here in town.
Welcome to Banner Elk!
Try one of the many Banner Elk Bed and Breakfast lodges.
Thanks for reading,
Greg and Amy Gardner
Azalea Inn Bed and Breakfast
149 Azalea Circle
Banner Elk, NC 28604
Innkeepers – Greg and Amy Gardner
Also checkout www.BooneCabinRental.com for more Highcountry Rentals.