Boone has the highest elevation of any town of its size (over 10,000 population) east of the Mississippi River. As such, Boone features a subtropical highland climate, a rarity for cities in the Southeastern United States. Compared to the lower elevations of the Carolinas, winters are long, windy and cold, with frequent sleet and snowfall. The average January high is 39.3° F (4.1° C), which gives Boone a winter climate more similar to the New England states than the Southeastern states. Blizzard-like conditions are not unusual during many winters. Boone is located in Zone 6B of the USDA’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
The Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and several ski resorts are favorite attractions near Boone.