Beech Mountain Resort. At about 5,500 feet above sea level, Beech Mountain Resort is the highest ski area in the eastern United States. Full-day weekday lift/slopes tickets are around $30 on weekdays and $60 on weekends. Beech also offers snowboarding and ice skating. In summer, the resort switches to mountain biking. 1007 Beech Mountain Pkwy., Beech Mountain, NC, 28604. 828/387–2011 or 800/438–2093. http://www.beechmtn.com/.
Hawksnest. You can no longer ski here but you can try snow tubing on any of 20 tubing lanes. Rates are around $25 for a 1-hour 45-minute session on weekdays, $30 on weekends (discounts for multiple sessions). Children must be at least 3 to snowtube. In warmer weather, Hawksnest also offers zip lining with 19 zip lines. 2058 Skyland Dr., Seven Devils, NC, 28604. 828/963–6561 or 800/822–4295. www.hawksnesttubing.com.
Sugar Mountain. One of the larger ski resorts in the High Country, Sugar Mountain has an equipment shop and lessons, along with snowboarding, tubing, and ice skating. Full-day weekday rates are $41, weekends $68. Lower rates in effect in March. Sugar also offers golf, tennis, and vacation rentals. 1009 Sugar Mountain Dr., Off NC Rte. 184, Banner Elk, NC, 28604. 828/898–4521; 800/784-2768 800-SUGARMT. www.skisugar.com.