The Appalachian Best of Boone 2021 Edition

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The Appalachian presents

BEST OF BOONE 2021

Graphic by Efrain Arias-Medina Jr.

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Best of

Food 2

Graphic by Efrain Arias-Medina Jr.


BEST PIZZA

BEST SANDWICH

BEST BURGER

Lost Province

Our Daily Bread

Come Back Shack

Jaclyn Bartlett | Reporter

Camryn Collier | Reporter

Asher Davidson | Reporter

Lost Province, located on Depot Street in downtown Boone, is a family-owned gastropub that opened in 2014. All the food is made in house, including its well-known Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas, which customers can build their own or try one of its lunch or specialty pizzas. For the build your own, customers can choose San Marzano tomato sauce, herbed cream sauce, or rosemary olive oil and add toppings from their variety of over 25 options. Lunch pizzas are available Monday through Friday before 3 p.m. and include the Lunch Margherita which has San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil, sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil. The one-topping lunch pizza has San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and a choice of either pepperoni, Italian sausage, or roasted mushrooms. It also has 13 specialty pizzas of its own creation with unique toppings such as sweet potatoes and candied walnuts on the Sweet Beet, and apples and goat cheese on The Lost Province pizza. It is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day except Thursday through Saturday, when it is open until 10 p.m.

Yellow twinkling lights, a wooden interior and a casual atmosphere all combine to create the downtown staple Our Daily Bread opened in 1984, the shop highlights 24 different sandwiches catering to a range of dietary needs, including vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. Incorporating local and seasonal ingredients whenever possible, the menu mixes and matches deli favorites including smoked ham, turkey, and bacon with portobello mushrooms, tomatoes, and various cheeses. To add even more flavor, all sandwiches come with a side of Southern potato salad, marinated vegetables, kettle chips or Zapp’s Voodoo chips. Looking to go beyond sandwiches? You’re in luck! Our Daily Bread also serves “fresh from the garden” salads along with wines, beers, mimosas and various desserts like cakes and specialty breads. Next time you’re taking a stroll down King Street, open the glass door, greet some friendly faces and take a seat at one of the rustic tables; you’ll be in for a treat.

Since its opening in 2011, Come Back Shack has been a staple of the Boone area, and it is no surprise that it has won Best Burger two years in a row. It is owned and operated by a local family with only two other locations: North Charleston and Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Come Back Shack is best known for its locally-sourced ingredients and food “so fresh they don’t have freezers.” Its hand-pattied burgers and all-natural chicken are served with hand-cut fries from real Idaho potatoes and their original Come Back Sauce. Come Back Shack offers the experience of letting customers mix and match their burgers and styles to a uniquely specific degree. Customers can choose whether to have meat from a local farm or butcher’s blend chuck, then must choose a style. Come Back Shack’s plethora of styles range from their original Come Back style all the way to Buffalo style. Come Back Shack also offers a wide variety of free toppings for customers to add as they see fit. Come Back Shack is located at 1521 Blowing Rock Road and is open from 10:30 a.m to 9 p.m every day. There is only drive-thru and minimal heated outdoor seating.

Jesse Barber

Kara Haselton

Kara Haselton

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BEST BREAKFAST Melanie’s Zoe Zink | Reporter

Jesse Barber

It’s a sunny Saturday morning in Boone and people are lining up on King Street in hopes they might reserve a seat at Melanie’s Food Fantasy. Melanie’s was founded in 1991 and has since grown to be a Boone classic, winning best breakfast two years in a row. Its extensive menu full of locally sourced ingredients attracts meat lovers and vegetarians alike. The menu includes biscuits and toast from local bakery Stick Boy Bread Company, a make-your-own omelet section, and an $8 student special of eggs, home fries, and toast curated for those wanting the most bang for their buck. It also hosts an array of menu specials weekly that are sure to catch your eye. All of these items can be served alongside a grapefruit mimosa or coffee from Hatchet Coffee. Melanie’s offers an array of menu items, a welcoming environment, and a friendly staff for breakfast lovers from all over.

BEST MEXICAN-INSPIRED CUISINE Dos Amigos Camryn Collier | Reporter With a name translating to “two friends,” you can’t go wrong with Dos Amigos. Just a shot off of U.S. Highway 421, Dos Amigos is the best stop for Mexicaninspired cuisine in Boone. With familiar favorites like arroz con pollo, margaritas, fajitas, queso, tacos and special “Amigos” menu items like the Fiesta Burrito and Dos Amigos Cheese Steak, you’ll certainly satisfy your cravings. Beyond the food, Dos Amigos' bright interior of yellows, greens and reds along with the classic mariachi music brings guests that iconic family-friendly feel. Don’t feel like dining in? It doesn't matter! Dos Amigos will accommodate any of your dining needs including a to-go option. Stop on by from any time for a classic taste inspired by the delicacies below the border.

Kara Haselton

BEST BBQ Pedalin’ Pig Ansley Puckett | A&C Editor

Courtesy of Pedalin’ Pig

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Just off the side of the road of NC Highway 105, Pedalin’ Pig has reclaimed its spot as the best BBQ in town for another year. With locations in Banner Elk and Boone, Pedalin’ Pig has made a name for itself with fans favorites like its pulled pork sandwich, fried flounder and brisket. Extra hungry customers or families looking for a deal can choose from their large selection of platters served with two sides and Texas toast. Pedalin’ Pig also offers signature craft cocktails and local craft beer, perfect to pair with its house-made BBQ sauces. Each of the eight sauces offers something different and covers different regional flavors. Pedalin’ Pig even bridges the age-old North Carolina vs. South Carolina BBQ sauce divide with its South Carolina house-made sauce. With a wide variety of sides like mac and cheese, green beans, cheddar grits, fried okra, and more, Pedalin’ Pig has something for everyone.


Aldo Sarabia

BEST SWEETS

Appalachia Cookie Company Lily Kincaid | Associate A&C Editor Appalachia Cookie Company is everything you and your sweet tooth could ask for: a local business that sells and delivers sweets in the Boone area until 3 a.m. What started as a student-owned company located in a warehouse has grown into a successful sweet shop that ships cookies across the country. Appalachia Cookie Company offers an array of flavors, from the traditional chocolate chip recipe to its unique Maple Bacon Bourbon cookie. The menu was made with dietary restrictions in mind, as many flavors are gluten-free, vegan and keto friendly. Individual cookies are $2.49 or $3.49 for specialty cookies. Its cookies are also available in a half-dozen for $10.99, a dozen for $19.99 and two dozen for $37.99. Customers can add a cup of buttercream icing to their order for $0.75 and a cup of milk – available in whole, 2%, chocolate and soy – for $2.99. The company also offers packages with up to 300 cookies for catering events.

File Photo

BEST WINGS/BEST BAR Tapp Room Aubrey Smith | Reporter When driving up Blowing Rock Road, before you meet App State’s campus, you’re greeted by the Tapp Room. Usually with college students lingering in and out of the bar, it’s the perfect destination. Whether it’s a laid-back weeknight dinner, a fun weekend visit, or a celebration after a football game, Tapp Room has enough wings to go around. From teriyaki to mango habanero, they offer up to 24 wings to satisfy your cravings. Complemented with celery and carrot sticks with ranch or blue cheese dip, it’s a meal that’ll leave you licking your fingers for more. You can even chase those scorching hot wings with a beer or two as you enjoy the lively scene of the Tapp Room. They’ve got 26 different beers on tap that pair perfectly with a serving of wings, or if you just want a nice, cold bottle of beer, they’ve got anything from Budweiser to porter.

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BEST ASIAN-INSPIRED CUISINE COBO

BEST FOOD DELIVERY SERVICE Boone Delivery

Kenedy Singletary | Reporter

Aubrey Smith | Reporter Kara Haselton

Andy McLean Located on Howard Street next to The Local, CoBo Sushi Bistro & Bar is the perfect place for Asian-inspired cuisine. If you’re looking for a fun-loving, yet elegant atmosphere, this is the restaurant for you. CoBo opened in May 2013 and has continued to grow since. CoBo offers a wide variety of Asian cuisine from house rolls to hibachi. CoBo offers over 29 sushi options. It is known for its specialty rolls including the “Appalachian” with salmon, avocado and tempura fried shrimp and the “Yosef” roll made with tuna, panko shrimp, crab, avocado and spicy aioli. You can also expect weekly specials at CoBo. On Mondays, it offers free miso soup or edamame with any roll and half off appetizers on Tuesdays. On Wednesdays, people can buy two rolls and get one roll free and get half off sushi rolls on Saturdays. CoBo is open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday and Friday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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BEST VEGETARIAN/VEGAN OPTION Coyote Kitchen Sabrina Hess | Reporter

Andy McLean Coyote Kitchen is a family-owned restaurant that specializes in sizzling Southwest Caribbean soul food and is sure to provide a feast for your senses. While Coyote Kitchen’s menu offers burritos, tacos, burgers, sandwiches, bowls and salads, one of its more unique options is its boats. Boats are boat-shaped casserole dishes that are covered in different toppings such as red beans or cornbread. Its Taos Boat includes layers of cornbread, red beans, blackened plantbased patty, mushrooms, corn, caramelized onions and broiled jack cheese. Three-year winner of best vegetarian/vegan option, Coyote Kitchen also makes catering to different diets its priority. The restaurant uses antibiotic and hormone-free meat, eco-friendly fish, and offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menu options. There is sure to be a dish for everyone! Coyote Kitchen caters to vegan and vegetarian diets by using a dedicated vegan fryer, offering tofu or tempeh as substitutes in any meat entree, and offering vegetable and bean substitutes for any meal. Coyote Kitchen also offers menu options that cater to gluten-free diets by offering gluten-free hamburger buns and made-from-scratch sauces. The restaurant is open from Thursday to Monday from 11a.m.-9:30pm.

Whether you’re craving a late-night snack or want a meal without having to leave your house, Boone Delivery is there for you. Rain or shine, it will come through with your meal of choice, with options ranging from Ben & Jerry’s to The Local. Boone Delivery partners with over 40 restaurants and delivers Boone’s finest right to your door. With fast and easy delivery, it’s a stress-free process that’ll leave you enjoying your meal just 30 to 60 minutes after ordering. Just sit back and relax, and soon enough, a car with the distinguished Boone Delivery sign will greet you with your meal without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. If you’re a student on campus, forget the hassle of walking to your car that’s inconveniently parked far away, and order Boone Delivery. Treat yourself to some food from High Country Greek or Elevation 3333. You can even hold off on the grocery store trip and let Boone Delivery pick up your order from Goober Peas Country Store.


BEST NEW RESTAURANT

Becca Bridges

Lily’s Snack Bar Jaclyn Bartlett | Reporter

Moss Brennan

BEST GROCERY STORE

BEST FOOD TRUCK

Harris Teeter

El Tacorriendo

Savannah Brewer | Reporter This year’s best grocery store is native to North Carolina. Started in Mooresville in 1960, Harris Teeter has served its Boone residents faithfully. Located at Shops at Shadowline at 240 Shadowline Dr., this grocery store is open on weekdays and weekends from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Senior hours occur on Thursdays from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Harris Teeter also offers online ordering, order ahead and pickup. Offering shoppers with a stand-out experience, the store ensures the safety of its shoppers with Covid safety measures. Another unique feature of Harris Teeter is the many discounts offered to residents, as well as students. Harris Teeter’s free VIC program allows shoppers to save extra on weekly sales and promotions, and the store offers additional discounts to students. Harris Teeter’s fuel points program also allows shoppers to earn $1 per gallon when they use their VIC card. Boone’s Harris Teeter also includes a Starbucks location and other in-store features include a salad bar, pizza station, florist and sub bar.

Lily’s Snack Bar, a bar and sandwich shop located on Blowing Rock Road that opened in 2019, describes themselves as “bringing the party in a safe environment.” Its slogan, “a real cool time,” is backed up by the flocks of students seen enjoying themselves in its patio seating area on a warm day. Lily’s offers snacks and sandwiches, including numerous vegan and gluten-free options. One such snack is its popular potato wedges that come with Lily’s sauce, described on their menu as “the quintessential dipping sauce.” It also has a variety of unique drinks such as liquor buckets, house cocktails, and alcoholic slushies in diverse flavors and colors. Some of its specialty drinks include its best-selling cocktail, Lily’s Mule with ginger and citrus, and its new spring special Son of a Sailor Pina-Rita, which has tequila, pineapple juice, lime juice, brown sugar simple syrup, and cinnamon. It is currently open for patio and takeout service only, and its hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Savannah Brewer | Reporter

Becca Bridges

Boone hosts many famous food trucks, but none quite as recognizable as El Tacorriendo. This cuisine on wheels is hard to miss with its bright red siding and dizzying array of menu options. El Tacorriendo is Boone’s best food truck for the third year in a row. Owners Alejandro and Ashley Leon opened the truck’s doors in 2016. The truck caters authentic Mexican street food up and down US Highway 321. The menu at El Tacorriendo hosts items such as tacos, tortas, quesadillas, burritos and many vegetarian options. Look no further than the beckoning sliding window for the original, iconic ACP wrap. El Tacorriendo’s reasonable prices range from $2.25 to $10.50. When in Boone, it can often be found at 415 Blowing Rock Road right across from East campus next to Tapp Room, where the Leon’s also own El Barrio Mexican Goods. Visit its Facebook page for updates about the truck’s schedule, specials and daily locations, as well as pre-order, and catering options.

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BEST-OFF CAMPUS COFFEE SHOP Local Lion Ansley Puckett | A&C Editor

Kara Haselton

If you live in Boone, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Local Lion. As the only local coffee shop in town with a drive-thru, owners Josiah and Meredith Davis have made a name for themselves since the coffee shop’s opening in April 2012. Also claiming the title of Small Business of the Year, The Local Lion has become a Boone staple known for its great coffee and large homemade doughnuts. Using a traditional 1930s recipe, Local Lion doughnuts are made from scratch with glazes, custards and jams. Customers can pair their doughnuts with a wide variety of coffee options, including lattes, cold brew and nitro, just to name a few. For non-coffee consumers, it offers teas from across the globe and all-natural smoothies. With a large outdoor patio and cozy indoor seating, Local Lion is perfect for conversing with friends or hitting the books.

BEST LOCAL BREWERY Booneshine Brewing Company Lily Kincaid | Associate A&C Editor If you’re searching for a brewery that embodies the atmosphere of the High Country and offers a variety of local brews, Booneshine Brewing Company might be the place for you. Located along the South Fork New River, Booneshine Brewing offers a scenic, cozy atmosphere. Patrons can choose to hang out in the tasting room and restaurant area, on the patio or in the beer garden. Alternatively, customers can visit Booneshine Brewing Company’s food truck. Regardless of which part of the brewery you venture to, you’re sure to find yourself in a casual and welcoming environment. Booneshine’s drafts range from $2 to $12 depending on the size and type of drink, and most of the items on its food menu are under $15. In terms of food, Booneshine Brewing Company offers sandwiches, salads, tortillas, flatbreads and more. Whether you’re craving ales, IPAs, wines or ciders, Booneshine Brewing has got you covered, and if you’re looking for a bite to pair with your brew, its food menu is sure to satisfy.

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Andy McLean


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Best of

Lifestyle 10

Graphic by Efrain Arias-Medina Jr.


Braxton Coats

Max Correa

BEST SKI MOUNTAIN Appalachian Ski Mountain & Beech Mountain

Kara Haselton

BEST LOCAL BAND Barefoot Modern Gabrielle Troutman | Copy Editor

Jackie Park | Editor-in-Chief This year, the slopes were so nice on ice, we had to name a winner twice. Appalachian Ski Mountain and Beech Mountain Resort rounded out the winners’ list for best ski mountain, and for good reason. At each mountain, you can shred boxes, rails, jumps and jibs in terrain parks or take a lesson from a pro when you’re just starting out. From simple green circle hills to trying black diamonds, both mountains cover all skill levels, no matter if you just clicked those skis on for the first time or if you’re a veteran winter sports athlete. Plus, both spots offer more than just skiing. Ice skating rinks provide round the mountain family fun, and Beech Mountain even features snow tubing for a softer way to get your heart rate up as you speed down on the snow. When your session starts to get littered with falls and wipeouts, head inside to warm up with some eats at App Ski’s in-house restaurant or Beech Mountain Brewing Co. Top off your experience at Beech with the famous 5506’ Skybar, featuring unbeatable views of the Appalachian Mountains, as you relax from your long day on the slopes.

This Boone-based indie-pop band is quite accomplished and steadfast in their dreams, considering that the band started while most of the members were in high school. Signed to Split Rail Records, the student-run record label, Barefoot Modern most recent single “La La Land” has been a fan favorite along with their EP “Bitter.” Similar to the typical “indie” feel, the band’s songs have a storyline portrayed in most. The whisper-y conversational style builds up the majority of their songs before a crescendo meets the background vocals and instrumental to create an inviting back and forth between the two. Barefoot Modern consists of five members: Caleb LeJeune, Tegan Dean, Hunter Evans, Robert Beverly and Joe Karmazyn. The band has evolved the alternative aesthetic and group dynamic they have worked hard to maintainfrom their senior year of high school. This is the kind of music Boone-lovers are eager to hear live, in-person once the pandemic eases. The band has played in festivals and won awards, having an album, four singles, an EP under their belt; they surely will accomplish much more as they get back to performing live. Barefoot Modern is available on all streaming platforms, so be sure to give Boone’s Best Local Band a listen!

BEST OVERLOOK Thunder Hill Connor Davidson | Associate Multimedia Editor Thunder Hill Overlook is consistently one of the best places on the Blue Ridge Parkway to take in the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is always the perfect spot to go with friends to have a picnic and watch the sunset. Even after the sun goes down, Thunder Hill is a great place to unleash the inner astronomer in everyone and look at the stars because of its location far away from major light sources. Across the road from the parking area is a serene pasture with a few peaks in the distance, making this more of a 360 degree experience than other overlooks. Anyone trying to get to Thunder Hill won’t have to travel far since it is one of the closest overlooks to boone. Stunning views, picnics, stargazing and ease of access make Thunder Hill Overlook the prime spot on the parkway to see and experience the beauty of the High Country.

Max Correa

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BEST HIKING TRAIL Rough Ridge Dan Davidson | Associate Sports Editor For the second year in a row, the Rough Ridge trail was voted Boone’s best hiking trail. The popular pathway is a 0.8 mile-long stretch of the Tanawha Trail, which stretches over 13 miles from Julian Price Park to Beacon Heights. The trail is home to a highly vulnerable ecosystem that features many rare and ancient plant species. The trail features stairs, cables and a boardwalk for hikers in order to protect the fragile plant community. At its peak, Rough Ridge offers a grandiose view of Grandfather Mountain, Linn Cove Viaduct, and even distant views of the Piedmont. Its spectacular views and proximity to the App State campus have earned Rough Ridge widespread local recognition as the best hiking spot in the High Country.

Becca Bridges

Halle Keighton Aldo Sarabia

BEST SWIMMING HOLE Trash Can Falls Alex Urquiza | Reporter The Appalachian Mountains are known for their cold weather and winter activities, but skiing and snowboarding aren’t the only fun outdoor activities to do in Boone. Once the weather warms up, students cool down by heading to their favorite swimming hole, Trash Can Falls. Located off U.S. Highway 321, Trash Can Falls is a 15-minute drive from downtown Boone. Also known as Laurel Creek Falls, Trash Can falls is a popular place to go and cold down during the warm Boone weather. Although it’s nicknamed Trash Can Falls, it certainly is not trashed, and is home to beautiful scenery. The 15-foot waterfall is one of many things that makes Trash Can Falls such a lavish place to visit, with visitors plunging into the water from rocks ranging 15 to 30 feet high. Starting off with a small hike to the waterfall, it has everything you would ask for in a visit to the High Country.

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BEST PLACE TO BIKE Greenway Trail Silas Albright | Sports Editor For at least the second year in a row, the Greenway Trail is Boone’s best place to bike. The intricate trail system includes many hills of varying sizes sure to keep any level of biker entertained. The picturesque trail follows alongside Winklers Creek and the South Fork of the New River for much of its length, with multiple bridges crossing back and forth across the water. Another popular sight on the trail is the historic site of the power plant and dam that brought energy to Boone for the first time in 1915. Parts of the greenway also weave around App State’s recreation fields at State Farm, making sports games going on part of the trail’s usual backdrop. Colorful sunset views with the mountains and waterways in the background are another favorite of greenway visitors. Beloved by active community members and herds of local deer equally, Boone’s greenway is an asset to the High Country.


For college scholarships and more, visit goarmy.com/appstate.

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BEST WINTER SPORTS SHOP Recess Jack Jackson | Reporter

Jesse Barber

Located at 1158 NC Highway 105 in Boone, Recess has all the gear you need for a day on the slopes. With a wide selection for both the winter and summer seasons, there’s no going wrong stopping by Recess for all your boarding needs. Alongside the wide variety of gear for snowboarding in the winter or skateboarding and longboarding in the summer, Recess has a wide variety of merchandise to make your day the best possible. Many people have said “this is exactly where you want to be” and the staff is always “knowledgeable, kind, and helpful” for all customers. JP Purdy, an employee, said “we’re super appreciative to have that support and for people to vote for us.” With so many great reviews and top notch staff, there’s no reason you shouldn’t stop by Recess before your next boarding session.

BEST PLACE TO BUY APP STATE GEAR Mountaineer Mania Cameron Burnett | Reporter

Lindsay Vaughn

Mountaineer Mania has become a staple in Boone since it opened in 1981. Bill and Wanda Corriher opened the store for fans and members of the App State family to come buy gear for their favorite school. The store has become a family business and has the Corriher children working in the business as well. Located on King Street, most people walking down the street notice the store and it has become recognizable by Mountaineer fans as the best place to buy their App State gear. The store sells a large assortment of gear, from shirts to hats to novelty items in the back. Comfort Colors is one of the most popular brands at the store and plays a large part in its success. Within such a tight-knit community, being able to have a homegrown store that has everything they can ask for is a must and Mountaineer Mania has served its community well for 40 years.

BEST THRIFT STORE Anna Banana’s Silas Albright | Sports Editor Boone’s number one thrift store, Anna Banana’s, is located in the heart of downtown Boone, on the corner of Depot and King streets. The consignment shop offers a wide range of trendy clothing at more than reasonable prices, and is known for its extraordinary atmosphere. For those looking to consign, the store offers 40% of the total resale amount if all of its items sell within the first 30 days. Anna Banana’s strives to create a warm and friendly environment – so much so that it even offers a 10% discount to its customers who are willing to dance before checking out. The store’s unique, friendly atmosphere has helped it to stand out amongst all others in the High Country. The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

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Jesse Barber


BEST NONPROFIT BEST BEST OUTDOOR OR CIVIC SPORTS SHOP SMOKE SHOP ORGANIZATION Mast General Store

High Life

OASIS

Alex McCaskey | Reporter

Silas Albright | Sports Editor

Alex McCaskey | Reporter

Jesse Barber

Jesse Barber Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday in a building that was built in 1922, the Boone location of the Mast General Store, which opened in 1988, offers a variety of outdoor gear for customers to pick from. Brands such as Columbia and Patagonia are available in a variety of sizes for men, women and children. The store also offers a variety of items for pets. Located on the other side of the store is the Candy Barrel, offering a variety of different candies for customers to purchase. In addition to the in-store experience, customers can shop online. Online orders can be shipped with certain offers such as free shipping on orders over $60 except for Lodge cast iron, Yeti coolers, various pottery and oversized items. Online orders can also be arranged to be picked up in store.

Andy McLean From tobacco products to rolling papers, vapes, glassware, lighters, other accessories and more, High Life Boone is the one-stop shop for all High Country smokers. Located just off King Street at 221 Howard Street near The Local and walkable from App State’s campus, High Life’s central location helps make it easily accessible. The store also keeps things fresh and interesting with different holiday deals or other promotions, like the popular annual 4/20 blowout sale every April 20. No matter your smoking expertise, whether you’re an experienced veteran seeking the newest technology or highest-quality glass items, or you’re looking for your first piece, the folks at High Life are sure to help you find what you’re looking for. The smoke shop is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.

OASIS stands for Opposing Abuse with Service, Information and Shelter. Since its founding in 1978, OASIS has been working to end domestic violence and sexual assault in Watauga and Avery counties. The services provided by OASIS are both free and confidential, including the crisis line which is available 24 hours a day in both English and Spanish. The number for the crisis line in Watauga County is 828-262-5035 and the Spanish Crisis Line is 828-504-0800. For those seeking shelter, OASIS offers a temporary emergency shelter free of charge at a confidential location. There is also an eight-week course offered to local middle schools that is focused on preventing sexual violence. The course engages students in discussions on the topics of relationships, healthy boundaries, respect and autonomy. OASIS also takes donations and a list of items can be found at https://www.oasisinc.org/get-involved/. For those looking to get involved, you can visit https://www. oasisinc.org/get-involved/ and fill out a volunteer or internship application.

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BEST TATTOO ARTIST Logan Isaacson at Speakeasy Sophia Lyons | Cheif Copy Editor

Andy McLean

Tattoo artist Logan Isaacson started working at the front counter at Speakeasy Tattoo six years ago, even completing a year and a half of his apprenticeship at the same time before earning his tattoo license in 2017. Since then, he has built a clientele including both returning customers and new clients. Isaacson works in several tattoo styles, as documented on his Instagram page @loganisaacson. “I push traditional stuff a lot, but I also started out doing blackwork stuff and I have no problem with that, I really enjoy that stuff,” Isaacson said. “Colored traditional is the stuff I tend to push more, but both of them all the time, I have no real preference.” Spanning over 200 images, Isaacson’s Instagram portfolio showcases his tattoos ranging from bright, flashy, thickly shaded traditional work to thin, delicate blackwork landscapes and natural imagery, and much in between. His work spans palm-sized small tattoos to large, thigh- and chest-adorning pieces of art. Although Isaacson does not accept booking via Instagram DMs, those interested in his work can email Speakeasy Tattoo for scheduling.

BEST PLACE FOR PIERCINGS Noble Tattoos & Piercings Alex Urquiza | Reporter When it comes to getting new piercings, no place does it better than Noble Tattoos and Piercings. Noble Tattoos and Piercings have become a staple in Boone as the place to get piercings for a lower price, with regular earlobe piercings at $35. Noble has a clean environment with super nice staff that welcomes you, making you feel comfortable through an experience that can be anything but painful. Noble is appointment only during the pandemic, and has easy-to-contact staff that can help you set up your appointments with no hassle. Located on King Street, Noble Tattoos and Piercings is open from noon to 8 p.m Monday through Thursday, noon to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Aldo Sarabia

BEST HAIRCUT Canvas Beauty Bar Elizabeth Hutto | Reporter

Andy McLean

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If you are looking for a modern haircut or dye job that doesn’t break the bank, look no further than Canvas Boone. With a bright, modern interior, and welcoming and cheerful staff, customers will feel at home the moment they step foot through the door. Canvas offers services such as men, women, and kids haircuts, balayage, brow waxing, and tinting, as well as lash tinting and extensions. Canvas can also shape you up for wedding season! The salon offers wedding hairstyles and makeup for your big day. Pricing for services varies based on the stylist but Canvas will ensure that you are paired with a stylist who can accommodate all your hair wants and needs. Canvas is also finding ways to “make beauty social.” If you post a photo on social media visiting a local business and hashtag it, #makebeautysocial, you are entered into a contest to win a free service. Canvas chooses a winner monthly and that person is welcome to choose a service that Canvas offers, additionally, the establishment that you visited will get one free blowout. Canvas Boone is open Monday through Saturday and is located at 151, W Howard Street.


BEST PLACE TO LIVE ALONE Studio West Apartments Jack Jackson | Reporter Year in and year out, many students find themselves comfortably living alone in Studio West Apartments. Located 1.3 miles off campus at 1785 NC Highway 105, Studio West gives students the perfect option for living alone. With spacious rooms, an AppalCart stop, and access to a variety of amenities, students find themselves living the true Boone experience. These one bedroom, one bathroom, one kitchen and dining room units give students all the space they need to live alone in a community environment. Studio West Apartments provide the best Boone experience, located conveniently within walking distance of App State and downtown Boone, alongside the local neighborhood needs, consisting of markets, retailers, and many other necessities you may require while living alone.. The apartments are “mostly quiet and overall a great place to live” according to website reviews. Overall, Studio West Apartments provide all the necessities you need to have a happy and great experience living off campus.

Courtesy of Studio West

BEST HOTEL The Horton Elizabeth Hutto | Reporter

Jesse Barber

Tucked unassumingly in the heart of downtown Boone is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway, staycation, or an evening of admiring the gorgeous scenery and sunsets that Boone has to offer. The Horton, “Boone’s only downtown boutique hotel” is an unexpected glimpse of luxury that will leave guests planning their next trip before their stay is even over. The Horton offers amenities such as complimentary breakfast, free parking and is pet friendly. Locals who don’t see a need to spend the night but still want to experience The Horton’s sophisticated and lavish interior are welcome to enjoy drinks at the cocktail bar in the lobby lounge or to plan a trip to The Horton’s beautiful rooftop bar, complete with a unique fire pit and the ability to take in 360-degree views that showcase all of Boone. The lounge and the rooftop bar are open Thursday through Sunday, and The Horton is located at 611 W. King Street.

BEST OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING University Highlands Cameron Burnett | Reporter University Highlands was voted the best off-campus housing for App State and located just around 12 minutes away from campus, it’s reasonable for all students to not have a long commute to class. The apartments are well-renowned and fit the needs of most college students. With both two-person and four-person suites, University Highlands units are fully furnished and rent covers a monitored security system as well. On top of the rooms themselves, the facilities that come with the complex set Highlands apart from the competition. The community includes a clubhouse, firehouse lounge, a vacuum and car wash among many other amenities. The recreation facilities also include a basketball, tennis and volleyball court, a fitness center, swimming pool, and jacuzzi. For college students, these extra amenities are very welcoming and give the complex its identity and great reputation. University Highlands gives App State students everything they could ask for.

Courtesy of University Highlands

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BEST PET FRIENDLY COMPLEX The Cottages Gabrielle Troutman | Copy Editor

Your pets will most definitely find a welcome environment at The Cottages of Boone. Whether it be walking along the sidewalks, playing in the yards or hillsides along the houses with views of Boone below, your pet is sure to enjoy their time here. There are not many limitations for this pet-friendly complex as long as you are approved by management. Make sure you send in a cute snapshot of your companion along with their shot record if you choose to have a tag-along join you in your home! Pets are welcome in all of the many accommodations The Cottages of Boone has to offer. This complex is close to the fields and river in Valle Crucis, the always pet-friendly Greenway, App State’s campus and many more of the pet-friendly sights Boone has to offer! If you have roommates they will need to send an email saying they consent to having a furry (or scaly) friend in whatever home you are in! A $250 non-refundable deposit with $30 monthly fee per pet is all you’ll need to pay to accommodate your companion in the home you make at The Cottages.

Andy McLean

BEST RENTAL COMPANY & BEST AMENITIES The Winkler Organization Conner Davidson | Associate Multimedia Editor

Courtesy of The Winkler Organization

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The Winkler Organization has been a staple to housing in Boone since 1983. After being around for so long, it only stands to reason that Winkler would have the best options around. With 24 total properties and 16 close to campus, Winkler prioritizes students from App State and Caldwell Community College, allowing for a student-friendly living experience. Not only does Winkler portray itself this way, its residents agree. According to its website, 91% of Winkler’s residents say they are having a “good” to “excellent” experience. Not only did The Winkler Organization win best rental company, but it also won best amenities. Winkler provides a housekeeping service at no additional cost to the tenant, making sure common spaces, kitchens and bathrooms stay clean. Another perk of being a Winkler resident is its exclusive discount programs, allowing residents to save money at 16 different businesses in Boone. With so many different perks, Winkler makes itself the obvious choice for housing in Boone.


Best of

Campus Life Graphic by Efrain Arias-Medina Jr.

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BEST PLACE TO STUDY Solarium Emily Broyles | News Editor Known for the sound of its glittering waterfalls and pops of greenery, the Summit Trail Solarium is just the right place to ease that “grind” and breathe a little in between discussion posts. Designed to create a casual environment for students, faculty and staff, the Solarium can house anything from a study date with your long-time roommate to a meeting with a new professor. Located in the Plemmons Student Union, students in the Solarium can grab a coffee and get to work at the basic table and chair setup, or curl up with a book (or Netflix show) in a deep armchair. A multi-purpose stage is home to the quirky study spot, where a piano pleads with students to play the score from “La La Land” or a classic Billy Joel anthem. The Solarium offers not only a casual place for students, but a somewhat tropical one, 3,333 feet up in snow, staying green all year long with the rushing sounds of water. The temperature in the Solarium is regulated by the waterfalls that line the room, showcasing App State’s passion for the outdoors and sustainability.

Kara Haselton

BEST ON CAMPUS LIVING: EAST SIDE VS. WEST SIDE East Side Jake Markland | Associate News Editor The East Side of App State’s campus, in all of its glory, gives students a near limitless amount of opportunities and possibilities. A sunny day on East Side could call for Sanford Mall sunbathing, where you’ll find friends frisbee-ing, bikers biking, students spikeball-ing, and preachers preaching. When you inevitably remember you have a paper due at 11:59 p.m. (don’t worry, it happens to everyone) study spaces like Belk Library and the Solarium are only a short walk away; you’ll probably be asked to register to vote or sign a petition on the way. Looking for a pick-me up after those Sanford Mall festivities? Lucky enough, East Side is home to Crossroads and Wired Scholar coffee shops. If you’re feeling adventurous, grab a Chick-fil-A sandwich and a Pepsico beverage from Roess to enjoy next to the babbling brook through Durham Park; set up a hammock if you are feeling especially wild. From there, jump over to Legends and enjoy performances from the likes of Torey Lanez, Moon Taxi, Doja Cat and Jimmy Fallon. When the day comes to an end, students across East Side settle into one of the eight residence halls sprawled out across its half of campus, resting up for another day to say “East Side, beast side.”

Becca Bridges

BEST RESIDENCE HALL Thunder Hill Abi Pepin | Senior Reporter Named after a popular scenic overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Thunder Hill is one of the newest residence halls on campus. Even though this is the first year Thunder Hill has housed students, residents love the new housing option. This apartment and suite style residence hall can house more students than any other dorm at App State. The 587 residents have views of the football stadium, study lounges on each floor and air conditioning. Located in front of Trivette Dining Hall, Thunder Hill residents can enjoy meals from McAlister’s and the Market at Trivette while overlooking Duck Pond. The apartment-style dorms have two bedrooms with private bathrooms, a full kitchen with a microwave, two built-in closets for each bedroom and a furnished living room. Students living in the suite-style dorms have two built-in closets, a desk under each bed and vinyl flooring.

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Becca Bridges


Jesse Barber

Becca Bridges

BEST PLACE TO ENO Sanford Mall Cameron Stuart | Reporter Eno-ing is a very popular hobby at App State, and Sanford Mall is the ideal place to do so. On a bright and sunny day, you can expect to see Sanford Mall packed with students enjoying a break from Boone’s typical wind, rain and snow. Located in the center of campus, the quad of grass is a hub for hanging out with friends, reading a book, listening to music or doing homework. And while you’re there, you are guaranteed to see the bright colors of fellow enoers hanging in the trees. If you are lucky enough to find an open tree, setting up and laying in your eno is a swingin’ and relaxing experience.

BEST ON-CAMPUS COFFEE SHOP Crossroads Jake Markland | Associate News Editor Nestled cozily on the first floor of the Plemmons Student Union, the Crossroads Coffee House has provided the App State community with a quaint, comfortable study space, rejuvenating caffeinated beverages, and nutritious snacks since the 1990s. Whether you're in need of a relaxing environment to finish that essay about the history of rock music or a place to meet with friends to discuss the most recent TikTok trends – Crossroads has got you covered. Settle into a chair around a table, the perfect environment for a business meeting, or make yourself at home in one of its cushy armchairs, an ideal spot to lose yourself in a good book. And if thirst or hunger unexpectedly hits – fear not – treat yourself to a drip coffee or an espresso shot, sourced from Hatchet Coffee, or a muffin or bag of chips.

Becca Bridges

BEST ON-CAMPUS FOOD McAlister’s Ethan Hunt | Reporter McAlister’s Deli, located in Trivette Dining Hall and Plemmons Student Union, is the sandwich staple at App State. The smells of bacon, turkey, freshly toasted bread and delectable mac and cheese wafting through dining halls entices students, faculty and staff into the deli every day. Although it is a national restaurant, the predominantly student-run App State locations hold a special place in the hearts of the App State community. Few can resist a grilled chicken club or a signature giant spud after a long day in the library. Of course no McAlister’s meal is complete without a large, cold cup of sweet tea or lemonade. McAlister’s Deli bookends the east and west sides of campus and is a delicious entrance and exit for hungry students.

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BEST CLUB/ORGANIZATION RUF (Reformed University Fellowship) Hollie Moore | Reporter The Reformed University Fellowship is a national Presbyterian ministry made to help students “discover the love of Christ, find their significance in God’s redemptive story and engage in the life of His church,” according to the group’s website. The App State stem of the organization stays active through activities around campus like game and karaoke nights and traveling to conferences outside of Boone such as their Ridge Haven Summer Conference. RUF welcomes students confident in their Christian belief, students who reject the beliefs, and those who are just not sure. The group isn’t run as you would see a typical club or organization on campus, there is no president but rather a leader, Rob Herron, campus staff member, Carissa Waller, and intern, Sarah Rogers, leading students in a church youth group format.

Courtesy of RUF

BEST MULTICULTURAL GREEK COUNCIL Lambda Sigma Upsilon Olivia Jones | Reporter The Sacbe chapter of Lambda Sigma Upsilon, commonly known as LSU, was founded at App State in April 2019 as one of the two organizations that make up the university’s Multicultural Greek Council. LSU is a Latino-based fraternity whose philanthropy is raising money to benefit HIV/AIDS research and awareness, along with additional service-work geared towards giving back to their communities. The Sacbe chapter is one of 79 undergraduate chapters nationwide. According to their website, LSU’s goals include promoting cultural awareness, academic excellence and brotherhood among their members. Their Greek letters, Lambda Sigma Upsilon, also stand for their main motto “Latinos Siempre Unidos,” which translates to “Latinos Always United.”

Courtesy of Lambda Sigma Upsilon

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BEST PROFESSOR Jeff Goodman Gianna Holiday | Reporter

Being nestled in the mountains,it is no surprise that this unique elective was voted a schoolwide favorite. Snowboarding is offered at Appalachian Ski Mountain in the spring semester from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. once a week and counts as a physical education credit. Students are divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced skill levels, so whether you have never put on a pair of snowboarding boots or you want to learn how to do a 360-degree spin off a jump, there is a skill level for you. Students take the class for about an hour, and then have the rest of the night to snowboard on their own. The class is a perfect opportunity to learn about snowboarding while also getting the chance to practice skills independently.

BEST ELECTIVE Snowboarding

Communication is a key part of being a jack-of-all-trades when students go into the real world and follow their career path. App State is prepared for this demand, offering students a wide range of options to include communication skills into their educational experience. The Department of Communication takes on more majors than its title may imply, giving those pursuing a communication major the opportunity to specify their degree with advertising, communication studies, electronic media/ broadcasting, journalism and public relations. If interested, students are also offered the opportunity to add the extra boost to a different degree with a communication minor. Those involved with App State and their academics acknowledge that of all the departments which run the campus, communication takes the lead for 2021.

Courtesy of Brendan Hoekstra Jeff Goodman has won students’ hearts as best professor. Working for the university since 1993, Goodman is a senior lecturer in the media studies and science education programs. His research and interests focus on the intersection of arts and sciences. Goodman takes the time to lead workshops through Appalachian’s Math Science Education Center and other organizations. “I’m proud of my students,” Goodman said. “It’s not just about the amazing things they do or make, but it’s about the community of curiosity we build together. I see my job as a teacher as being an ‘enthusiasm engineer’, facilitating interactions through which people can become more enthusiastic about the world and each other.” Goodman said that after this year of distance, he is looking forward to being back in close proximity to colleagues and students. He hopes they are all able to talk, laugh and share meals. One of Goodman’s happiest memories at App State is hanging out with students in Joe Murphy Park next to Edwin Duncan Hall. “I have taught nearly 4,000 students during my years at ASU, so my brain has been, quite literally, wired by my students,” Goodman said. “Their decency, curiosity and creativity have made me kinder, more open-minded and more hopeful about the future.”

BEST ACADEMIC DEPARMENT Communication Hollie Moore | Reporter

Cameron Stuart | Reporter

Max Correa

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Becca Bridges


BEST SOROITY Chi Omega

Ethan Hunt | Reporter

Courtesy of Alpha Kappa Alpha

BEST NPHC ORGANIZATION Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Emily Broyles | News Editor

Max Correa The Pi Kappa chapter of the Chi Omega sorority was founded at App State in 1974 and today it has 135 active sisters. Chi Omega’s mission is to empower women and ensure equity for all by creating strong friendships, holding sisters to high standards, dedicating time to learning and scholarship, and engaging in community service. Chi Omega’s national philanthropy is the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Pi Kappa chapter raises money for Women of Watuaga, Children of Watuaga and the Boone Hospitality House. So far in the 2020-21 academic year, Chi Omega has raised $2,483 to spread between each of those organizations. Despite the pandemic, sisters have found creative ways to stay connected. The chapter hosts Zoom Netflix parties and regular socially distanced hikes on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Pi Kappa president, Chloe Wilson, said after the pandemic, the chapter hopes to host more in-person philanthropy events and get back to spending time with each other face to face. “We for sure miss how it used to be, but we are doing our part to keep our community safe so that we can soon return to normal,” Wilson said.

Chartered on App State’s campus in 1987, the Omicron Kappa Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. holds the title of the first Black sorority at the university. Omicron Kappa celebrates 33 years of sisterhood on the mountain, and 113 years of sisterhood around the world. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. has 1,007 chapters in 42 states and the District of Columbia, Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Germany, Liberia, Japan, South Korea, South Africa and the Middle East, according to its website. Since its founding nine members, the organization holds more than 290,000 college members and alumnae today. The Omicron Kappa chapter is led by President Ayah Hatcher. Members include Susann Rivera, Tierra Wilson, La’Bria King, Samara Gibson, Karolyn Martin and Kenedy Singletary. This year, Omicron Kappa’s “Oh’So Klassy ladies” have advocated for the Black Lives Matter movement, registered students to vote, advertised Black-owned businesses, and hosted events educating the university community on topics like mental health and the importance of historically Black colleges and universities. App State’s first Black sorority also received Organization of the Year and the Impact Service Award at this year’s Fraternity and Sorority Life awards. The Omicron Kappa Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. also acknowledged fellow sister Kamala Harris, who was elected vice president of the United States in the 2020 presidential election.

BEST FRATERNITY Kappa Sigma Xanayra Marin-Lopez | Multimedia editor Chartered on App State’s campus in 1974, just two years after Greek life started, is the Lambda Mu chapter of Kappa Sigma. According to its website, the organization is the largest college social fraternity in the world with more than 200,000 living members. The fraternity’s brothers take pride in their organization with their principles of fellowship, leadership, scholarship and service. The chapter’s brothers held a street clean-up on April 9 with 30 members participating. On April 15 they also held a trail clean up at the Mountains-To-Sea Trail. The organization’s national philanthropy is the Military Heroes Campaign, which provides support to veterans and their families. Every year during Halloween they host a “Carve with Kappa Sigma” event in which the brothers set up on Sanford Mall with pumpkins and carving tools. People pay $5 to carve their pumpkin and take it home The Lambda Mu chapter of 38 is led by president and App State junior Reece Kennedy. Eight new members joined in the spring semester.

Courtesy of Kappa Sigma

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Pandemic Picks 26

Graphic by Efrain Arias-Medina Jr.


BEST WAY TO MEET PEOPLE DURING COVID Tinder/Bumble Mickey Hutchings | Managing Editor Many of us lost our regular avenues to connect with new people during COVID. From canceled club meetings, limited in-person activities, little to no face-to-face classes, we’ve felt pretty isolated from socializing outside our “bubble” of close contacts. Luckily, in our day and age, most of us own smartphones, handy devices that keep us in tune with the world around us anytime we pick them up. For those of us who weren’t as fortunate to face quarantine with a partner, dating apps gave us some comfort. That device in your pocket means you’re only a “swipe” away from a new friend or love interest. Apps like Tinder, Hinge and Bumble reminded us that love can still be attained even when people feel further away than ever. Even if you aren’t looking to bunker down with someone, feel the flirting adrenaline or get dressed up for a Zoom date, you can still make new, platonic connections. These apps were, and still are, the “new normal” of dating and networking.

Kara Haselton

BEST COVID-FRIENDLY PLACE TO TAKE A DATE/YOUR PARENTS The Blue Ridge Parkway Ansley Puckett | A&C Editor

Emily Broyles | News Editor

Like many things this year, COVID has changed the way we date. Setting up a date is no longer as easy as picking a public place and time to meet. Plus, when parents visit, it’s going back in time. Where did I go first that I really loved? What store was that? How far would that trip be? The Blue Ridge Parkway, however, is hard to forget. This year, the Parkway has claimed the title of the best place to take a COVID-friendly date and place to take your parents. Stretching 491 miles of breathtaking scenery, the Parkway is the perfect place for a romantic getaway and offers gorgeous views both alumni and rookie App State parents will love. With overlooks like Grandview, Raven Rocks and Elk Mountain, you can meet up and get to know your date from a distance or explore the more than 50 hikes available with your family like Rough Ridge and Green Knob Trailhead. Perfect for older family members and furry friends, the Blue Ridge Parkway offers amazing scenes in all seasons. It is, however, especially worth the traffic and twisty turns during “Peak Week,” a time where vibrant reds and yellows say goodbye to the fall season. For existing couples, the Parkway is the best place to relax and unwind away from crowded public places, where you can throw on a playlist and take in the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Parkway is a great way to start or end your Boone adventure with the people you love, as it does any sunrise, sunset and star-watching activity justice.

Becca Bridges

BEST WAY TO SPEND A NIGHT AT HOME Watching Movies Silas Albright | Sports Editor This past year more than any other, college students spent a lot of nights at home away from their typically active social lives due to the pandemic. Movie nights have long been an off-night favorite, but they turned into an almost nightly activity for many App State students this year. Streaming services realized their window of opportunity and most stepped up their game, making a more wide-ranging selection for former movie-goers to enjoy from their homes. HBO Max even began releasing some feature films, such as “Godzilla vs. Kong,” on its streaming service as well as in select theaters, allowing viewers to skip the usual waiting period before a recent film comes to streaming services. Movie night also allows students to enjoy a social setting with their roommates or friends without being too close to too many other people. Spending a night in watching movies also allows for some classic ‘Netflix and chilling,’ whatever definition you may personally have for the term.

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BEST VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE Front Desk, APPS Sophia Lyons | Chief Copy Editor Showcasing seven student musical groups thus far, Front Desk is Appalachian Popular Programming Society’s online virtual concert series. 80 Unlacey, Juniper Avenue, Mexican Hot Chocolate, the New Creatures, Parr Usual and Nostalgianoid have all played sets since the series’ debut with Cane Mill Road on Feb. 12. The series highlights North Carolina and Boone-based bands and performers, inviting listeners to find a new local act to love. Although big concerts haven’t yet returned to Legends Nightclub, APPS’s office hosts the literal front desk used as the stage for recording intimate live performances livestreamed on Facebook and Instagram. The series is available for viewers all free of charge, paid for through APPS’ budget that would’ve been spent on hosting concerts, and can be viewed on Facebook, YouTube and IGTV anytime.

Kara Haselton

BEST VIRTUAL FITNESS CLASS Caroline Cole’s HIIT Class Jackie Park | Editor-in-Chief When you work out at the gym, you know you’ll mop the floor with your sweat (and tears). But, COVID-19 means an indoor workout with strangers isn’t always the move. In that case, Caroline Cole’s HIIT class will keep you rocking from home, because who says a pandemic should stand between you and your workout goals? Caroline’s high energy and commitment to the craft will keep your energy up, even when your body is exhausted. Plus, the music is sure to entertain your mind while you build your muscles and your confidence. The best part? You won’t have to walk down the hill at the Student Recreation Center or Dwight W. Quinn Recreation Center when your muscles are burning and your legs feel like jelly after this high-intensity workout.

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BEST PLACE TO BUY MASKS Boone Belles Xanayra Marin-Lopez | Multimedia Editor Face masks and coverings have undeniably been a staple in our wardrobes during COVID-19. Located on downtown King Street, Boone Belles was voted the best place to buy masks in Boone. Boone Belles sells masks for $8.99 with many styles to choose from. The boutique opened in the historic Boone Drug building in 2013 selling women’s fashion. The small business is family owned and led by two sisters. Upon entering the store, shelves of their famous masks greet you. Boone Belles offers reusable, cloth, washable masks as well as disposable masks to its customers. Only one size is available for adults. From solid colors to floral patterns, tie dye, animal print and polka dot, there are many masks to choose from to match an outfit. The masks are not medically rated and are not for professional use. If you can’t make it to either their King Street or Blowing Rock location, the boutique also has online shopping options.

Jesse Barber

BEST TAKEOUT Sabeing Boone King Jackie Park | Editor-in-Chief In the year when the inside of restaurants shuttered, one Boone staple stood out among the rest: Sabeing Boone King. With the aromas of basil and hot oil drafting out of the restaurant’s King Street digs, locals and tourists alike are drawn to Sabeing’s delicious pho, rice and sushi dishes the same way they appreciate the restaurant’s “no hassle” customer service. Guests didn’t see the inside of Sabeing this year, though it stayed adorned with vines and twinkling lights all the same. The spot’s quick and painless takeout rang out the bill on its win for best takeout. At-the-door service and all the silverware and sauces you could need are just a quick phone call away for this winner.

Jesse Barber

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Best for

Alumni 30

Graphic by Efrain Arias-Medina Jr.


BEST PLACE FOR YOUNG ALUMNI Charlotte Caleb Garbuio | Opinion Editor App State alumni can meet up in the best place to form a community of fellow Mountaineers – Charlotte. Better known as the Queen City, this sprawling city offers Mountaineers a chance to connect in a city that has so much to offer. From the Charlotte Hornets and NASCAR All-Star Race to the Children Theatre and Charlotte Ballet, Charlotte is a worthy choice of location for any Mountaineer. Plus, take a walk uptown, only to end up at a game for the Carolinas’ favorite team, the Carolina Panthers. The city is even one of the fastest-growing spots in the country, coming in at seventh. Just make sure you check out the Carowinds for a loop on the Fury 325 or the famous Intimidator to really build your bond in the Black and Gold.

BEST ALUMNI CHAPTER Charlotte

Andy McLean

Jean Holman | Reporter

BEST THING TO DO IN BOONE AS AN ALUM

App State’s alumni chapters bring graduates together, maintaining a strong bond between App State and students. More than 134,000 alumni worldwide benefit from the App State Alumni Association’s facilities and resources, with about 8,882 alumni from the Charlotte area. The Charlotte Alumni Chapter has hosted many popular events welcoming graduates, friends and family members to experience the App State community. They regularly plan parties, volunteer opportunities and business gatherings throughout the years. The chapter offers monthly networking events like Networking Happy Hour, with morning and evening gatherings. Alumni have the chance to meet new students and connect with potential employers. The Charlotte Alumni Chapter has also hosted football viewing game events, partnering with Angry Ale’s for food and drink options. Anyone interested in social media, networking and planning events, whether you live in Charlotte or not, can be a part of the Charlotte Chapter leadership board.

Football Games Ella Adams | Associate Opinion Editor App State is known for football, and according to alumni, game days in Boone are as good as it gets. Even during the pandemic, some alumni showed up in their gold and black to support the Mountaineers at The Rock. “Football in Boone is about a lot more than football,” says Phillip Byers, class of 1985. “It’s about a coming together of students, future students, past students and it makes for a big family reunion.” The Mountaineers went 9-3 last season, with head coach Shawn Clark in charge. App State alumni and students alike are surely looking forward to cheering on their team at Kidd Brewer in person this upcoming season. Roll ‘Neers!

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