Welcome to the Blue Ridge Mountains, where forests, waterfalls, mountain peaks and welcoming small towns await.
Outdoor adventure is all around. This area is home to more than 200 miles (and counting) of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding, plus lakes and rivers for paddling and fishing. Pisgah National Forest — the first national forest unit in the U.S. — is a wonderland of rushing waterfalls and breathtaking mountain vistas.
Take a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway as it winds north from Mount Mitchell to Linville Falls, or bring your motorcycle to experience the thrill of The Diamondback. Or trade your car for a canoe as you explore the cool waters of Lake James.
Learn about the natural and cultural heritage of the region at one of our historical attractions, or try your luck at an historic gem mine. Enjoy shopping for unique and handcrafted souvenirs along Main Street and Catawba Avenue in Old Fort and in Marion's historic and vibrant downtown, where you’ll find antique shops, independent boutiques and art galleries. Or wander out to Little Switzerland or the Orchard at Altapass to peruse old-fashioned general stores.
Spend the evening sampling flights of craft beer at a local brewery, or drink in the rhythms of live music at an area venue or winery. And don’t let the rain dampen your spirit of adventure — check out local bowling alleys, arcades and skating rinks to keep the whole family entertained.
Check out the listings below to plan your next Blue Ridge Mountain vacation.
Top 25 Things to Do in the Blue Ridge Mountains
From waterfalls and vistas to small-town main streets and locally crafted flavors, here are 25 top things to experience…
5 Spring Adventures to Get Back to Nature
When spring fever hits, the best remedy is a vacation in the great outdoors. Here are some of our favorite Blue Ridge a…
Killough's Music & Loan
An array of guitar strings and musical instruments line the wall inside Killough’s Music & Loan on South Main Street…
The Peavine Rail Line, once an active Norfolk Southern Railway line, is included in the company's "rails to trails" program.…
Downtown Marion Main Street
Historic Downtown Marion often hosts seasonal festivals, musical performances and events. Shop or dine with local retailers and foodies! Check…
Mt. Ida Trail and Wilderness Area
The Mount Ida Wilderness Area includes a gravel access road and parking lot, picnic shelter and a one-half…
The Feisty Goldfish
Add this one to the list! This unique retro arcade and bar has something for everyone.You'll find classic games like…
Artisan League of Little Switzerland Art Gallery
Located in downtown Little Switzerland, the Artisan League of Little Switzerland Art Gallery features ceramics, jewelry, paintings, and more by local artists!
Historic Marion Depot
The Marion Depot has been restored and functions today as a multiple-purpose site. Constructed in the 1860s, it is the…
Historic Old Fort
Once known as the westernmost outpost in North Carolina, Old Fort has retained much of its original forest lands that…
Star Gap Trail
The Star Gap Trail is a great short trail for hikers and bikers alike! It is just under three miles long, beginning at the Old Fort picnic area.
Spacious Skies - Hidden Creek Campground
Welcome to Spacious Skies Campground in Marion, North Carolina. Visit one of North Carolina's best campgrounds, featuring lake view cabin…
Switzerland Cafe and General Store
For over 30 years, the cafe has been serving homemade sandwiches, soups and quiche. Their Applewood smoked, pulled pork BBQ…
Avid bikers will love Heartbreak Ridge, an exciting two-mile bike trail that begins along the top ridge of the Blue Ridge Escarpment and descends 2,000 feet!
Greenlee Park is the perfect spot to spend the day, with accesses to Lake James for water sports, covered picnic areas, and a 1.1 mile nature trail loop!
Newberry Creek Trail
Scenic trail ending at Blue Ridge Parkway. Top elevation is 4,300 feet. East of Old Fort, take Curtis Creek Road…
Discover Emerald Village, a group of real, historic gem, mining, and historical attractions in Little Switzerland, NC. There's so much to see and explore!
Catawba Falls Family Campground
Full hook-ups and tent sites along the Catawba River and close to Catawba Falls. Cabins including an authentically constructed log…