The Catawba Falls trail is closed until spring of 2023. Click here to find alternative waterfall and hiking trails.

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Outdoor Adventure

Join us on a trail! We are a mountain community with elevations exceeding 3,000 feet above sea level inside the Pisgah National Forest where our northern boundary is the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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Holiday shopping in Marion NC

Holiday Shopping

Have yourself a Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas

Where to Shop
Wisemans View in Linville Gorge

Top 25 Things To Do

Explore all there is to see and do in the mountains.

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Holiday cheers in Marion NC

High Spirits Trail

Visit 11 uniquely crafted tasting experiences along the Blue Ridge Traveler’s High Spirits Trail to experience the craftsmanship of local brewers, vintners and distillers using ingredients grown right here in Western N.C.

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A travel guide for Marion, Old Fort, Lake James, Linville Falls and Little Switzerland, NC.

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Find lodging in and around McDowell County for your vacation. Browse hotels, campsites, rentals, and more.

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Sign up for the Blue Ridge Travelers Newsletter to get updates on news and events in McDowell County.

Experience the Blue Ridge

Carolina Christmas Show
Nov. 19, 2022, 7:47 a.m.

Can’t-Miss Holiday Events in the Blue Ridge Mountains

The most wonderful time of the year has come to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and there are plenty of ways to get into the holiday spirit! Here are a few of our top event picks for the 2021 holiday season.

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Nov. 19, 2022, 7:26 a.m.

Where to Find Holiday Shopping in the Blue Ridge Mountains

If you’re making your list and checking it twice — and looking for one-of-a-kind gifts for friends and family — then search no further than the main streets and markets of our Blue Ridge Mountain communities.

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Brown Mountain Lights
Sept. 23, 2022, 1:42 p.m.

Brown Mountain Lights — A Blue Ridge Mystery

Move over, Bigfoot — there’s more than one unexplained phenomenon in the Blue Ridge Mountains and that's the Brown Mountain Lights!

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Your Travel Guide To Little Switzerland, Lake James, Marion, Old Fort & Linville Falls

Welcome to the Blue Ridge Traveler's Towns and Trails! With crisp mountain weather and warm Southern hospitality, the holiday season is the perfect time to plan your next vacation to the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina.

Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in a little holiday spirit or you’re shopping for unique handmade gifts, be sure to check out these top Blue Ridge holiday events. Stroll the small-town streets of Marion and Old Fort, where you will encounter the craftsmanship of local artists in shops and galleries. Check out the events calendar for a full line-up of happenings throughout the season.

Winter is the season for breathtaking mountain views! Take a hike at Newberry Creek or Setrock Creek Falls — they are two of many popular hiking trails that are beautiful in the winter months. Take a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway (weather permitting) for unforgettable vistas — and selfies for next year’s holiday cards!

And be sure to get a taste of the local flavors. Enjoy a pint of locally brewed beer — or wine, mead or spirits — as you explore the High Spirits Trail. Or pull up a chair at one of our delicious local restaurants. From barbecue to bakeries, burritos to bubble tea, and plenty of scrumptious Southern fare, you’re sure to find the local flavor you’re looking for.

At the end of the day, cozy up beside the fireplace in a picturesque mountain cabin or a lakeside vacation rental. Choose from numerous lodging options, including national brand hotels.

If you’re already planning your 2023 mountain vacation, be sure to take a look at our Blue Ridge Traveler’s Visitor Guide. Add some of our historic attractions to your itinerary to get a glimpse of mountain life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and find fun things to do for the whole family.

Note: All images are property of the McDowell Tourism Authority or tourism partners and are not to be copied, duplicated, re-printed, or shared electronically.

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