Area Attractions

Blue Ridge Parkway

Outstanding scenery and recreational opportunities make the Blue Ridge Parkway one of the most visited sections of the National Park System. Split-rail fences, old farmsteads, mountain meadows and scenic overlooks with endless vistas make the Blue Ridge Parkway a popular attraction.

Hop on the Parkway for a scenic drive; take a picnic and enjoy at one of the many scenic overlooks along the way. Day trips on the Parkway include:

  • Linville Falls 30 minutes
  • Blowing Rock 90 minutes
  • Asheville 2 hours (one hour back on main roads)

Gem Mountain Gemstone Mine

Gem Mountain Gemstone Mine is one of North Carolina’s most enjoyable attractions and it is located right here in Spruce Pine. If you like gem mining, you will love Gem Mountain. Find treasures that will last a lifetime and have an experience to match. Visit Gem Mountain and share the history, tradition and excitement of gemstone mining.

The Orchard at Altapass

10-minute drive - Located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at MM328; open mid-May through October and just minutes from the resort, the Orchard offers historic storytelling, multiple easy trails, live local music, dance, crafts and, of course, apples!

NC Outdoor Adventures

NC Outdoor Adventures is a wilderness guiding service based in western North Carolina that provides experiences in a variety of outdoor activities including climbing, boating, mountaineering and canyoneering.

Riverside Park

10-minute drive - Downtown Spruce Pine on the North Toe River, Beach area for swimming, fishing or picnicking; paved trails along the river and playground for kids.

Chestoa Overlook

10-minute drive - located at MM320 on the Blue Ridge Parkway; very flat, easy loop with great views of Table Rock mountain across the gorge.

Linville Falls

20-minute drive - enjoy an easy to moderate hike from the Visitors Center with multiple views of the falls (more strenuous hike to the Plunge Basin at base of falls.

Grassy Creek Falls

20-minute drive - just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Little Switzerland; moderate 2 mile hike to these beautiful, little-known falls.

Tom's Creek Falls

30-minute drive - This 80-foot waterfall lies in Pisgah National Forest and is relatively easy to reach. The hike to Tom's Creek Falls measures one mile.

Mount Mitchell State Park

45-50-minute drive - MM355 off Parkway, this is the highest mountain peak east of the Mississippi River at 6684 ft; no fee to use the trails, which vary in distance and skill level.

Loafers Glory Rafting and Tubing

Located in Bakersville, NC is Loafers Glory Rafting and Tubing, offering river excursions for ages 4 and older. Bring the whole family!

Penland School of Crafts

Penland School of Crafts is a national center for craft education dedicated to helping people live creatively. Located just 30 minutes from Springmaid Mountain, Penland offers workshops in books and paper, clay, drawing, glass, iron, metals, photography, printmaking and letterpress, textiles and wood. The school also offers artists’ residencies, community collaboration programs and a gallery and information center.

Crabtree Falls

30-minute drive - MM339 on Blue Ridge Parkway, moderate 1 mile hike to the falls; the full loop hike is 2.5 miles and is more strenuous than the out-and-back.

Upper Creek Falls

30-minute drive - Gorgeous falls just off NC181; moderate hike with multiple swimming holes and natural waterslide from THE LOWER FALLS ONLY; do not climb onto rocks at the upper falls.

Wilson Creek Wilderness Area

30-45 minute drive - multiple trails of varying lengths; several beautiful falls and swimming holes all located off Forest Service Road 464 (long, gravel road).

Flat Rock Loop

30-minute - MM308 on Blue Ridge Parkway, easy 3/4 mile loop with outstanding views from rock outcroppings.

Beacon Heights

35-minute drive - MM305 on Blue Ridge Parkway, moderate 2 mile hike with incredible views from Rocky Top.

Linn Cove Viaduct

40-minute drive - at MM304 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, this is the iconic bridge featured in all Parkway publications; park at the Visitors Center to access trailheads in either direction, including the Mountains-to-Sea trail in either direction (trails are moderate to strenuous).

Grandfather Mountain

45-minute drive - the par requires an entrance fee of $22 per adult (discounts for seniors & kids) and features mile-high swinging bridge, wild-life habitats, museum and multiple trails of varying distance/skill level; free access via the Profile Trail (very difficult).

Roaring Fork Falls

45-minute drive - just off NC80, this easy 2 mile hike will take you past some historic buildings to a beautiful waterfall.

Roan Mountain State Park

45-50-minute drive - on the TN/NC border & part of the Appalachian Trail, easy hike 360 degree views; hike as far as you'd like along the AT (can be more strenuous).

Elk River Falls

45-50-minute drive - off NC194, easy hike to this beautiful waterfall; huge swimming hole at the base BUT DO NOT JUMP from the top and don't swim during high/swift water conditions; many people have died here and you will see others jumping; DON'T DO IT!!!

Craggy Gardens

50-minute drive - MM364 on Blue Ridge Parkway, multiple trails of varying length & difficulty; gorgeous views and access to the Mountains-to-Sea trail in either direction.

Catawba Falls

Closed May 2, 2022-Spring 2023. 50-minute drive - off I-40, easy 2 mile hike through lush forest and building relics to the falls; very nice swimming hole at the base of the falls.

Lost Cove Colony

50-minute drive - this is a very strenuous 5 mile hike to an old moonshining, ghost town with lots of historic relics; worth the effort, but be sure to factor in the time for the return climb.


*Remember to leave to no trace! Take your trash with you, be respectful of nature and do not light fires of any kind. Take only photos and leave only footprints.