Take a craft journey north of Asheville to enjoy some of the quaint small towns along the way.
In Asheville take I-26 West (also marked 19/23) going north toward Tennessee. At Exit 9, turn onto 19E and head toward the mountain town of Burnsville. Here you can find examples of great local arts and crafts at the Toe River Arts Studio. A wall-sized masterpiece quilt is on display in the Burnsville Town Center, and the town itself is decked out in murals and colorful “barn quilt” squares mounted on buildings large and small.
From Burnsville, take a short drive down the Micaville Loop Road to tiny Micaville where you’ll find more amazing, high quality local crafts at the OOAK Gallery. Then return to 19E and travel on to Spruce Pine, where you can quickly rejoin the Parkway. But before you get back on, you might want to take a short side trip and visit the world famous Penland School of Crafts. Also be sure to take time to visit the town of Spruce Pine, with two great craft galleries, the second Toe River Arts Studio and The Market on Oak. At the entrance ramp to the Parkway, you’ll also have the opportunity to learn about the mineral riches of the region at the NC Minerals Museum.
For those traveling down I-26 East from Tennessee, you can take Highwy 19E at exit 9 and head towards Burnsville. At the town of Micaville travelers can take State Road 80 South and head towards the Parkway and Mount Mitchell.