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 downtown 310 District, 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…
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…
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…
Historic Orchard at Altapass
The Historic Orchard at Altapass in Little Switzerland is a must-visit from May through October! Experience music, hay rides, treats, storytelling and more!
Corpening Memorial YMCA
Visiting members of the Y will enjoy the indoor pool, indoor basketball & handball courts, and workout room. Located off…
Lake James State Park
At the base of Linville Gorge you will find a 6,812 acre lake with more than 150 miles of shoreline.…
Heathen's Den Axe Throwing
Heathen's Den is an axe throwing venue located in downtown Marion inside the Miller Building Complex. Customers may call ahead…
Catawba River at Joseph McDowell Greenway
Easy walk in access, handicap accessible fishing piers and canoe/kayak access available from three points along the greenway. This section…
McDowell County Community College
Local, county community college located in Marion, NC. Offering a variety of courses, diploma and certificate programs and more.
Catawba Falls - TEMPORARY CLOSURE
BEGINNING MAY 2ND, THE TRAIL WILL BE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC AS THE U.S. FOREST CONSTRUCTS IMPROVEMENTS. CLOSURE TIME IS…
(Game land section) 200 yards along NC 80 also light fishing pressure.
The Peavine Rail Line, once an active Norfolk Southern Railway line, is included in the company's "rails to trails" program.…
Arrowhead Gallery and Studios
Arrowhead Gallery and Studios features a unique collection of hand-crafted pottery, paintings, jewelry, woodworking, and more all crafted by local artists.
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…
Shops at Switzerland Inn
The Shops at Switzerland Inn offers some of the best, most unique seasonal shopping in the area, with a wide selection of handmade goods from local artisans!
The Pond At Laurel Cove
The Pond at Laurel Cove is owned by Patrick and Lisa Ellis and has been in the Ellis family for…
Old Fort Picnic Area
This U.S. Forest Service property is an idyllic oasis with picnic tables scattered through the property. Listen to a babbling…