Looking for a great place to start your adventure? A good beginning is guaranteed at the many visitor centers in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you’re sightseeing on the Parkway or moseying down Main Street, come in for some mountain hospitality from friendly staff. Find loads of information for your visit, learn about “what’s on” in the region right now, and glean valuable tips for exploring off the beaten path.
Soak up our local charm at the First Peak of the Blue Ridge (Polk County, NC). This beautiful area includes mountains, foothills and rolling countryside, and a wonderful blend of rural atmosphere and small town charm. Enjoy wineries, festivals and distinctive shops/galleries. Explore waterfalls and trails. Rest and rejuvenate at one of our many inviting inns and cozy cabins. Each of our small towns - Historic Saluda, Tryon and Columbus - has its own distinct personality.
Make the Asheville Visitor Center/Asheville Chamber of Commerce, your first stop for information about the Asheville area. Talk to knowledgeable volunteers who can help customize your Asheville vacation experience. Need a room? Let the on-site concierge find the perfect accommodation for you. You can even purchase attraction and tour tickets or pick up souvenirs at The Asheville Shop.
Make Black Mountain your vacation headquarters. Stay at a historic B&B or quaint cottage while visiting some of the region’s greatest attractions that are within a short drive: the Blue Ridge Parkway, Biltmore Estate, Lake Lure and Chimney Rock State Park. Sit and rock on our "Front Porch". Stroll around Lake Tomahawk. Drink in the ever-changing mountain views. Luxuriate in the peace and fresh air. Visit Black Mountain and the Swannanoa Valley to discover the best that Western North Carolina has to offer.
The Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center in Asheville features an award-winning film and exhibits which highlight the natural and cultural heritage, economic traditions, and recreational opportunities found in Western North Carolina and along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The visitor center houses a 70-seat theater, information and orientation services, and a retail shop offering books, apparel, CDs, DVDs, collectibles, souvenirs, and children's items. Experience the "I-Wall," a 22-foot interactive map of the entire Blue Ridge Parkway.
Come tour the Waldensian Heritage Winery and Lake James Cellars. Explore two of the largest state parks in North Carolina! Enjoy horseback riding, hiking, biking, fishing and boating. Stop and see all of Burke County's museums, and come join us for all our summer and fall festivals. Burke County includes Glen Alpine, Morganton, and Valdese.
Click here to view a news story on the legendary Brown Mountain Lights.
Recreation, culture and history abound just north of Asheville in this Blue Ridge gem. Visit Hot Springs, an outdoor paradise where the Appalachian Trail meets the French Broad River, and you will find North Carolina's only hot mineral baths. In Mars Hill, take in a play at the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre in the summer and ski or snowboard at Wolf Ridge Ski Resort in the winter. Historic downtown Marshall's Main Street, lined with original buildings including our century-old courthouse, is home to artists' studios, galleries, music and dance venues, and eclectic shops.
Singing rails and whistle stops are frequent sites and sounds in picturesque Marion, Old Fort, Little Switzerland, Linville Falls and Lake James. Follow the tracks to Old Fort's Depot and Railroad Museum or discover the Clinchfield Loops below the Orchard At Altapass on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Underground, enjoy Linville Caverns and our gold and gem mines. Discover pristine hiking and waterfalls trails, an award winning vineyard, local artisans and weekly bluegrass performances.
Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education...........mountain streams where water and life begin, the theme of this state-of-the-art educational facility dedicated to exploring the wonders of North Carolina's wildlife. The wildlife center is a program of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and admission is free. The wildlife center's attractions include aquariums, a 20-minute video, hand-on exhibits along a paved walkway, garden displays, educational programs, viewing and feeding of trout, and a gift shop. The center is open year around and the hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. seven days a week. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Days.