The Catawba Falls trail is closed until spring of 2024. Click here to find alternative waterfall and hiking trails.

Holiday shopping in Marion NC

Best Places For Holiday Shopping

Find unique gifts for everyone on your list!

Your Guide To Local Shopping
Marion Christmas Parade.JPG

Can't-Miss Holiday Events

Get into the spirit of the season with our holiday traditions.

Things To Do For The Holidays
Hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Outdoor Adventure

Join us on a trail! We're 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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Family at The Orchard at Altapass McDowell County

Top 25 Things To Do

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

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Couple enjoying the Blue Ridge Craft Spirits Trail

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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Old Fort Depot 1940s

150 Years of Old Fort

New Museum Exhibit Celebrates Blue Ridge History

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G5 Trail Collective Trail Development 2023

Old Fort Trails Project Receives $2.5 Million for Trail Development

Old Fort Trails Project Receives $2.5 Million for Trail Development

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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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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 2024 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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