Located in downtown Boone, the Dan’l Boone Inn occupies one of the oldest and most historical buildings in town. The building first served as the residence and office for Dr. R.K. Bingham and family, and later was the hospital for Watauga County. Later it served as a room and board house for students at Appalachian State Teachers College, which is now called Appalachian State University. Rather than being an ‘inn’ like our historic, Bed and Breakfast Boone NC, Lovill House Inn, just minutes away, Dan’l Boone Inn (as it is correctly spelled) is actually famous for its ham biscuits and other traditional southern family fare. It began serving family style dinners in 1959 and has operated for almost 60 years in this capacity.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as special Sunday dinner are served family style with portions being carried out on a cart and placed on the table. Bowls of beans, cornbread, country fried steak, fried chicken, and corn are passed around the table from person to person, and everything can be refilled except for the ham biscuits for the regular priced meal. This iconic building is located at the corner of Hwy 321 / Blowing Rock Road and its intersection at King Street, near the campus of Appalachian State. Visitors line up out the door for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the busy seasons. It is not out of the norm to wait over an hour in line to get a table, but it is well worth the trip to most guests, especially those looking to see historical artifacts and info on the area. Dan’l Boone Inn has been featured in numerous national and regional publications including Southern Living, Our State magazine and Blue Ridge Country magazine.
Daniel Boone never made an ‘inn’ at the inn, nor stayed at the boarding house (its reign was much later than Daniel Boone’s time), but the inn still pays tribute to the person that the Town of Boone is named for. Daniel Boone was a pioneer and explorer that hunted and explored in our region of Western North Carolina, as well as areas in Tennessee and Kentucky. He lived from November 2, 1734 – September 26, 1820, although some say his actual birth date was in October. He served as a militia officer during the Revolutionary War, and blazed a trail through the Appalachian Mountains that would later become fur trading routes that were widely used by trappers in these areas. In 1750, Squire Boone, Daniel Boone’s father, sold his land and moved the family to North Carolina from Pennsylvania.
You can see a replica of Squire Boone’s NC frontier cabin at the Daniel Boone Native Gardens in the center of town. The cabin was placed in the gardens to honor Squire Boone, the father of Daniel Boone and our town’s namesake. It is a nice representation of a frontier cabin that would have been built in the years following the Revolutionary War. Tour the gardens for a lovely scenic walk. The wrought iron gates that serve as the entrance of the gardens were forged by Daniel Boone VI of Burnsville, North Carolina.