101 Things to Do

“What’s There to Do Around Here?”

Well, start with 101 things to do in the area in and around Little Switzerland. We don’t take complete credit for this list, but customized it to include some of our favorite things. Please check contact info, as we cannot be responsible for changes. Updated Mar. 2013

  1. Watch trains go by several times/day in downtown Spruce Pine anywhere on Locust Street. Also, if you dine at “Knife and Fork” 61 Locust Ave (828)765-1511, ($$$), or “Foxfire” at 159 Locust Ave.:(828) 765-2007  ($$)
  2. Watch Jack grind corn at Dellinger’s Mill (a 130 year old mill, the state’s oldest and only working mill of its type) on Cane Creek in Bakersville. http://www.dellingermill.com/
  3. Hike Charlie Woody mountain (Woody’s Knob) 2.1 miles NW of Little Switzerland.
  4. Row the Toe – Canoe, kayak, or raft the Toe River. 828-688-9290 for river tubing and rafting: reservations required.
  5. Play a round of golf at Grassy Creek: http://www.grassycreek.com/ or Celo: http://www.mountmitchellgolf.com/ 11484 State Hwy 80 S., just south of Celo.
  6. Go antique shopping in Bakersville and Burnsville.
  7. Free wine tastings at Mountainside Wine, 271 Oak Ave., Spruce Pine (828) 766-7515. Monday – Saturday 11-7. A donation to the food pantry is appreciated.  http://www.mountainsidewine.com/
  8. Enjoy a thrilling array of well-curated crafts at the Crimson Laurel Gallery in Bakersville, 828-688-3599. http://www.crimsonlaurelgallery.com/ Open Apr. – Dec.  10-6;  Sun-Mon 12 – 5
  9. See a flaming rock & Native American artifacts at Southwest Trading 279 Oak Ave., Spruce Pine.
  10. Taste hand-crafted pizza & beer at The Pizza Shop, 585 Oak Ave., Spruce Pine. Closed Mondays. 828-765-4583
  11. Walk the historic foot bridge over the Toe River in Downtown Spruce Pine
  12. Climb a rock wall at Pinebridge Center, Spruce Pine. 828-765-746313.
  13. Visit Michael Kline’s Pottery http://www.klinepottery.com/ and Stacey Lane’s Jewelry studios http://staceylane.com/home.html in Bakersville. 828-675-4097
  14. See Cynthia Bringle give a pottery demo and her sister, Edwina’s weaving at their gallery. 828-765-0240.   http://www.cynthiabringlepottery.com/ on Lucy Morgan Lane, across from the Penland Gallery.
  15. Mine for real treasures with Rock Mine Tours, 2 three-hour tours daily. For reservations:
    828-675-0004.  http://www.therockminetoursinc.com/
  16.  Have a home-cooked breakfast at Big Lynn Lodge, 7:30 – 9:30, where everything is old-fashioned (and see the site of the old Big Lynn tree). On 226A, one mile from our house. Open last weekend in March – end of October. (828) 765-4257
  17.  Ride go-karts at Grassy Creek Speedway, 828-766-6007
  18.  Take in the Grovewood Gallery, a destination unto itself, at the Grove Park Inn, Asheville, Apr. – Dec.  Mon – Sat 10-6 and Sun 11-5: 111 Grovewood Road. 828-253-7651 http://www.grovewood.com/
  19.  Get a latte, sandwich or wi-fi at DT’s Blue Ridge Java, 169 Locust Ave., Spruce Pine. 7am – 8pm, M- F. (828) 766-8008
  20. Visit the EnergyXchange where trash is turned into treasure.  Artist’s studios and a native plant greenhouse all operate from the gas of the landfill. From LS, turn Left onto Hwy 19E towards Burnsville after Grassy Creek. Go 8 miles. Turn Rt onto 80N for 2 miles. Turn Left onto Landfill Rd and follow signs. A real treat! 66 Energy Exchange Dr,  Burnsville, NC. Guided Tours w/advanced scheduling. M – F 10 – 4. Sat 9 – 12 noon. 828-675-5541    http://www.energyxchange.org/
  21. Stop in at the Mitchell County Historical Society in Bakersville,  and learn about the past. 8 South Mitchell Ave. Call for hours. 828-688-4371
  22. See Anita Lawson make hand crafted wire wrapped jewelry at her shop on Hwy 226.  828-467-3722, Call first.
  23. See an old-time general store at Pine Crossing Antiques. Close to downtown Spruce Pine. 828-765-8400. 14842 NC Hwy. 226. Call first.
  24. Visit local produce stands for the season’s freshest picks. The Amish Store is in Grassy Creek. The Burnsville Farmer’s Market: Mid-Apr. – Oct. 8:30 – 12:30, S. Main and Hwy. 19E  beside the Burnsville Town Center. 828-682-4108
  25. Tour the Museum and gravesite of Frankie and Charlie Silver, from 19E, turn North on Hwy. 80. Go to 227 Kona Rd., Bakersville.
  26. See sheep sheared and wool spun at Laurel Oaks Farm. 7334 NC Hwy. 80 in Bakersville.  Call 828-688-2652 for times.
  27. Visit the world’s largest natural rhododendron garden and stand atop the summit for amazing 360-degree views of Tennessee and NC. It’s a hike. but well worth it! Be on top of the world at  Roan Mountain.
  28. Walk the Appalachian Trail.
  29. Learn why Spruce Pine is the most important mining district in the world at the Museum of NC Minerals. http://www.sprucepinegemmine.com/index.php/nc-mineral-museum  Just off the Parkway milepost 331 exit and Hwy. 226. Open 7 days/week year-round. 828-765-9483
  30. See the llamas at Penland School and the Craft Gallery at Penland School of Crafts. Early March – mid Dec., T – Sat 10 – 5 and Sunday 12 – 5. 828-765-6211
  31. Browse through over 100,000 volumes at the Little Switzerland Books and Beans.  7 days /week 8 – 5, later on weekends. 828-766-2601
  32. Hear iron sing at Bea Hensley’s (1 of NC’s Living Treasures) iron works shop. 1909 Dula Rd, Spruce Pine 828-765-2221 (Ask him to tell you the story about Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson)
  33. Browse the area’s artistic works at the Twisted Laurel Gallery, 221 Locust St., Spruce Pine. 828-765-1562.
  34. Stop in at the Toe River Arts Council Galleries to catch the latest exhibits. 828-765-0520 in Spruce Pine and 828-682-7215 in Burnsville
  35. Visit the Trillium Gallery in Little Switzerland. Open mid-Apr. – mid Nov. Sun – Thurs 9 – 5 and Sat. 9 – 7. Other shops are adjacent. 828-765-0024
  36. Stretch your legs or picnic along the Bakersville Creekwalk.
  37. Travel the Parkway North to Linville Falls. Take the Linville Falls Exit at milepost 316.4 and head 1 ½ miles to the visitor’s center.
  38. Check Gem Mountain Gemstone Mine and Emerald Village Museums and find your own treasure at one of the many local gem mines.
  39. See a clock made at Luther Stroup’s Hobby Shop at 44 Stroup Rd, Spruce. Luther learned from the craft from his grandfather. 828-765-2765
  40. Taste a locally grown apple at the Orchard at Altapass  (and try a hayride). Have fun at many music performances spring through fall, Wednesdays – Sundays. 828-765-9531
  41. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  42. Raft, canoe, or ride horses at Springmaid Mountain. 828-297-0725
  43. Hike to beautiful Crabtree Falls 6 miles south from our house on the Parkway.
  44. Go rafting on the Nolichucky River, ½ or full-day trips. French broad River area near Marshall, NC. 1-866-USA-RAFT.
  45. Shop till you drop at the Grassy Creek Indoor Market.
  46. Get the season’s freshest at the Bakersville Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings, or downtown Spruce Pine’s at 3 – 5:30 Wednesdays.
  47. Bike or drive the Parkway – all the way to Asheville!
  48. Visit the other four Living Treasures in Mitchell County:  Arval Woody, Harvey Littleton, Billie Ruth Sudduth, Cynthia Bringle. (See #32.)
  49. Take a self-guided tour of the Biltmore House and Gardens in Asheville – http://www.biltmore.com/visit/
  50. Fish Cane Creek, Pigeon Roost & Buladean. Go to  River’s Edge Outfitters, 280 Oak Ave. Spruce Pine. 828-765-FISH. Call ahead and let them take the guesswork out of your day!
  51. Take the Fresco Trail and see some of the remarkable frescoes by NC’s own Ben Long! St Mary’s Episcopal Church, West Jefferson (828-982-3076) or Holy Trinity Church (Church of the Frescoe) near W. Jefferson 336-982-3076
  52. Eat the best country cooked food at Sallie’s Mountain View Restaurant in Bakersville.
  53. On a hot day, relax and enjoy a movie at the Asheville Fine Art Theater, independent theater, 36 Biltmore Ave., Asheville. 828-232-1536
  54. Take in a play at the Parkway Playhouse, 35 mins. to Burnsville. 828-682-4285
  55. Climb to the top of Mt. Mitchell May – October, clear days only and bring your jacket! Travel south on Blue Ridge Parkway from Little Switzerland. Check web for daily hikes and events. http://www.grandfather.com/new-grandfather-mountain-admission-pricing-starts-april-1/  828-675-4611
  56. See jewels from all over the world at the Mineral and Gem Festival (August).
  57. Watch hundreds swim, bike, and run at the Swiss Pine Triathlon (July).
  58. Throw a skillet at the annual Overmountain Victory Celebration at the historic McDowell House in Marion. 828-668-4282 (September 29, 7 – 9pm).
  59. Hear a tall tale at the Storytelling Festival at Riverside Park, Spruce Pine in July.  http://downtownsprucepine.com/festivals
  60. Celebrate our famous bloom at the NC Rhododendron Festival in downtown Bakersville (one weekend mid-June). http://www.bakersville.com/rhod_events.html
  61. Visit Sugar Plum Farm, for a tour and to pick out your Christmas tree for this year. On 19E near Plumtree, NC. 888-257-0019
  62. Visit the site of the Frank and Charlie Silver tragedy at the Frankie Silver Gravesite and Museum , 227 Kona Rd, Bakersville NC 28705
  63. Explore Penland’s Gallery, an unbelievable collection of fine crafts. 828-765-6211   http://www.penland.org/gallery/gallery.html
  64. See gems from around the world at Rio Doce Gem Mine in Little Switzerland. 828-765-2099
  65. Tour an inn that was once a school. Pinebridge Inn in Spruce Pine
  66. Watch Brown Mountain Lights from Wiseman’s View.
  67. Enjoy a sumptuous meal at “Knife and Fork,” where upscale and casual meet, and local food is presented beautifully. 61 Locust St.  828-765-1511
  68. Get a bite of an award winning apple at Saylor’s Orchard in Bakersville (voted NC Apple Grower of the Year in 2000).
  69. Walk through 1200 colors of Daylilies at the Summer Breeze Daylily Farms and Nursery on Hwy. 261 in the Bakersville area. 828-733-5295
  70. In August, attend the greatest Craft auction in the state. Check with Penland.org
  71. Hike and picnic, roast marshmallows at Buck Hill Campground. http://www.buckhill.20m.com
  72. Buy some goat cheese and see the goat family at Oak Moon Farm in Bakersville.  Learn how to make your own goat cheese at a one day workshop. 828-688-4683
  73. See soap made at Blue Ridge Soap Shed on Hwy 226 in Spruce Pine at 11 and 2 daily, May – Oct. Over 130 varieties, one of the largest selections of handmade soaps in the country. Turn off Hwy 266 at Meadowlark Dr., then LFT to 179 Meadow Lane. 828 765-6001
  74. Check out the Switzerland General Store in Little Switzerland.  (Have a slice of a great dessert next door at the Switzerland Café).
  75. Visit Joe at Two Trees Pottery in Bakersville – see the most unique salt shaker you’ve ever seen!
  76. Visit the local airfield and take a tour (maybe even get an aerial view of the area!)
  77. Scrap it all, relax at the house reading, playing Scrabble, snoozing.
  78. Drive by the Old English Inn in Spruce Pine, which housed soldiers in the American Revolution.
  79. See apple butter made and even milk a cow at the Annual Hillbilly Festival in Downtown Spruce Pine.
  80. Visit nearly one hundred artists’ studios during the Spring and Holiday Toe River Studio Tours.
  81. Visit our friends Rebecca & Jon at their beautiful studio and shop at Barking Spider Pottery, just minutes down Conley Ridge Rd. past Penland School of Crafts. http://barkingspiderpottery.com/ Call 828- 765-2670
  82. Go back to the 60’s at the City Drive In for the best burger in town – Spruce Pine, that is!  Park your car under the loopy, cerulean blue canopy. Shakes too! 670 Oak Ave. 828-765-4480
  83. Inspect artifacts of the Native Americans as well as rocks and minerals at the newly opened Rocks and Things on Upper Street in Spruce Pine
  84. Check out movies all day long for $1 ea. at Flick Video. New Releases are more, For directions and times, call 828-765-4764. On 19E, Spruce Pine.
  85. See inside a mountain at Linville Caverns.
  86. Catch some of the finest trout in Loafer’s Glory.
  87. Tour the Rush Wray Museum of Yancey County History in the historic McElroy House just off Main St., Burnsville. Apr – Oct, Wed – Sat 10-4. Small charge. 678-9587.
  88. Drive over to Mayland Community College to check out one of their entertaining shows, or new exhibit. 200 Mayland Dr., Spruce Pine. 828-765-7351
  89. Go cross country skiing on the trails of Roan Mountain during the winter months.
  90. Grab a picnic lunch at an area restaurant and head over the Brad Ragan Park. Reservations for picnic shelters accepted Apr – Sept. Open 8am ‘til dusk. 293 Laurel Creek Court. 828-765-3012
  91. Book a tour of the famous Penland School of Crafts Tuesdays and Thursday 10:30 and 1:30. See one of the largest log structures in NC. Reservations are necessary. 828-765-6211
  92. Tour the old public school, now converted into artist studios, on a tiny river island in Marshall, NC, you’ll be glad you did. Budget a half day from L. Switzerland.
  93. Drive down Halltown Road past Wal-Mart and look for the Red Caboose to see the impressive antique collection of Calvin Hall. Step back through time!
  94. Howl at the moon at the Wolf Sanctuary on Cane Creek.
  95. Swing your partner at the Summer Square Dances at Geneva Hall in Little Switzerland.
  96. Visit the Richmond Inn, a half-century year old Inn in downtown Spruce Pine.
  97. Enjoy the walking path or have a picnic at Spruce Pine’s Riverside Park.  A lovely playground for the kids, too.
  98. Rise, shine early and dine at the Well Bred Bakery and Café at 26 N. Main St.. Take the Weaverville exit into town off 19/23 S towards Asheville. Start your day off right and we promise you have never seen a bakery case like it! Budget 40 minutes to get there. 828-645-9300. Now spend the rest of your day in Asheville or elsewhere, well fortified!
  99. Visit the tiny, original Penland Post Office (circa 1879) by the RR tracks, Penland. The only other PO this small is located at the Smithsonian.
  100. Visit our neighbor, Grandfather Mountain, to see the bears (did you know Grandfather Mountain was once in Mitchell County?)
  101. Take a drive through the county and breath in the natural beauty.*

*OK.  There’s more than 100 things to do, so tell us what to add!

Tourism brings almost $18 million dollars into Mitchell County each year and provides over 200 jobs.  Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce always celebrates National Tourism Week, around the 2nd week of May.