Take the Back Roads to the Blue Ridge Music Trails of NC

Get on the Back Roads to the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina!

Visit these off-the-beaten-track, fun, unique and sometimes quirky music venues for authentic mountain music experiences. And try some of the suggested attractions itineraries listed here to make your trip even more memorable.

Priddy's General Store. Every Saturday in October and on February Friday nights, friends, family, neighbors and visitors gather at this old-time general store in Danbury, NC, for music, dancing, food and fun.

WPAQ Merry-Go-Round. Held every Saturday in the historic Earle Theatre in Mount Airy, the WPAQ Merry-Go-Round is America’s second oldest live radio show airing weekly since 1948. The fun starts in the morning with a jam, followed by the on-air performance at 11 am.

White Horse Black Mountain. A remarkable repurposing of an old automobile dealership’s garage, the White Horse offers an intimate listening room for many types of music, with bistro style seating along with an eclectic collection of comfy sofas and a bar with wine, beer, and soft drinks.

Drexel Barber Shop. Get a shave and a haircut and join the tradional music jam in the back room of the Drexel Barber Shop in the village of Drexel, NC. You'll hear bluegrass, country music, old-time, and western swing.

Phipp's General Store. Located near the oldest river in North America, the New River, Phipp's General Store near Lansing, NC, has some great old-time music going on every Friday night. Check out this music video for a preview of what's in store for you Friday night at Phipp's.

Sims Bar-B-Q. For some good eatin' and good dancin' make your way along the Back Roads to the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina and discover this mighty fine bar-b-que restaurant and dance hall near Granite Falls, NC.


Rickman's Store and Cowee School.  Step back in time for the Saturday afternoon bluegrass jams at T.H. Rickman's General Store, then step down the road a bit for evening performances on stage at the historic Cowee School, now repurposed as the Macon County Heritage Center. Just 10 minutes north of Franklin on Highway 28.


Nearby Attractions

Town of Franklin: Just eight miles south of Cowee on US 28, Franklin is the county seat of Macon County, long known as the “Gem Capital of the World.” The county boasts more than 18 gem mines and gem shops, and a very special exhibit of gems from around the world at the Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum.

The Little Tennessee River Greenway is one of more than a thousand such trails snaking their way across America turning old canals, abandoned rail beds and forgotten riverbanks into green recreational corridors.  The Greenway consists of a five-mile, 13-foot wide, hiking and bicycling trail that is quiet and friendly and includes picnic shelters, playgrounds, a canoe launch, disc golf, a butterfly garden and more.


Young's Mountain Music, between Burnsville and Spruce Pine, NC, where home grown talent livens up the night playing early country and mountain music favorites. An inviting dance floor beckons you to kick up your heels, and the eclectic decor will surprise you at every turn!

Nearby Attractions

Town of Burnsville: Known for its beautiful town square, Burnsville is a hub for arts and crafts, and is the closest community to Mt. Mitchell. With over 100 miles of hiking trails and plenty of back roads to explore by bicycle, motorcycle or car, Burnsville has much to offer the outdoor enthusiast as well.

Quilt Trails of WNC: As you travel through the towns and countryside in this area, you’ll see brightly painted “quilt squares,” a unique form of rural public art.  These large wooden squares adorn barns, outbuildings, businesses, and government buildings. Pick up a map brochure at local visitor centers to help you find your way to over 200 of these installations in Yancey and Mitchell Counties.

Town of Spruce Pine: Another small town with a big personality, Spruce Pine boasts of two main streets, Oak Street on the upper side of town, and Locust Street one block below. Quality local crafts can be found at the Market on Oak and the Toe River Art Gallery, which are across the street from one another. Spruce Pine is famous for its minerals and hosts an annual gem and mineral show in late July that attracts thousands.

OOAK Gallery: Driving between Burnsville and Spruce Pine, take a short detour off 19E on the Micaville Loop to this One of a Kind Gallery & Studios, where you’ll find an enriching blend of Appalachian art, craft, and music.

Parkway Playhouse: The Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville was founded in 1947 and is the oldest continually operating summer theater in North Carolina. Great theater all summer long.


Clay's Corner, located in Brasstown, NC. Nestled in the far southwestern corner of North Carolina, Clay’s Corner is a colorful stop on a visit to that region, with open jam sessions every Friday night in the back room.

Nearby attractions:

John C. Campbell Folk School: One of the country's most remarkable centers for traditional arts and crafts, this internationally acclaimed school is just around the corner from Clay’s in Brasstown. Year-round, the school offers week-long and weekend classes in music and crafts. Its craft shop, nature trails, and picturesque setting make it a great day-trip destination.

Murphy, NC: Just a 10 minute drive west of Brasstown is the community of Murphy, where you’ll find all kinds of accommodations, from modest hotels to B&Bs, cabins and other vacation rentals. Murphy, Brasstown and nearby Andrews are nestled at the foot of three mountain chains, making for excellent outdoor recreation and scenic beauty.

Hayesville, NC:  Once the site of a thriving Cherokee village, this community celebrates this heritage with the Cherokee Homestead Exhibit, an outdoor village replica that is free and open to the public 24/7.  In the next-door museum, you will see many authentic Cherokee artifacts, and you can walk the two-mile Quanassee Path, a Cherokee History Trail that leads from the Homestead exhibit through the Cherokee Botanical Sanctuary to Spikebuck Mound.

Driving directions:

Coming from Chattanooga, take US Hwy. 64 east off I-75; from Georgia, take US 19 or US 129 north from Atlanta, or from Asheville, take US 74 to US 441 and turn west on US 64.


Feed & Seed, located in Fletcher, NC, between Asheville and Hendersonville. Music on stage Friday and Saturday nights year-round. Free, family friendly.

Coming to Asheville and looking for a good time with great traditional music and an inviting dance floor? The Feed & Seed is just the ticket. Feed & Seed is located in a hundred year old feed and seed store. The hall seats 160 people with cushioned pews, chairs, and theater seats. Feed and Seed hosts a church service on Sundays at 11:00 am.

Nearby Attractions:

Feed & Seed is conveniently located between Asheville and Hendersonville, two communities that offer many attractions and events, including Biltmore, the Blue Ridge Parkway, many wineries and craft breweries, and in summertime, street dances in Hendersonville and Shindig on the Green traditional music in downtown Asheville.