Discover the amazing variety of activies and adventures that await you here in these ancient Blue Ridge Mountains. Scenic beauty, Cherokee history, outdoor recreation, traditional mountain music, exquisite handmade crafts, and great food and drink from the many farms, restaurants, breweries, wineries, and yes even distilleries in the region. Come, stay and play with us!
Use These Great Planning Tools
North Carolina Travel Brochures Feature Blue Ridge Attractions & Heritage Treasures
Download the Visitor Map Brochure and the Heritage Treasures of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area brochure (these are large files) for more information on Blue Ridge Attractions, Festivals, Events and Heritage Landmarks in the NC Mountains:
- Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Brochure
- Blue Ridge Heritage Trail
- Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina Brochue Map
Other Maps and Guides Related to the Blue Ridge Mountains & NC Mountain Vacations
- North Carolina State Transportation Map
- North Carolina Scenic Byways guide
- Blue Ridge Parkway map
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park maps
For local maps of the NC Mountains and the Blue Ridge Heritage Area follow the links on the More Visitor Information section at the bottom of this page.
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area publishes the Blue Ridge Explorer, a monthly e-newsletter with details about many special events happening during the month. Subscribe here.
For those travelers interested specifically in the traditional music of the NC mountains and foothills, subscribe to In Tune, the monthly e-newsletter of the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina.
Green Travel Resources
The Importance of Making Your North Carolina Travel and Vacation Green
The natural wonders and cultural treasures of the North Carolina mountains and foothills are here for ustoday because generations have worked to protect and to sustain them for our enrichment and enjoyment. We encourage all heritage travelers – residents and visitors alike – to be mindful of their travel impacts and to help preserve these heritage resources for the future. Making decisions that create greener North Carolina travel plans and environmentally-conscious NC vacations keep the Blue Ridge National Heritage area protected and accessible for generations to come.
Here are a few resources to help green your North Carolina Travel and NC Vacation Plans:
Geotraveler Tips for Your NC Vacation
Get some great ideas for enriching your travels from Geotraveler Tips, National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations.
North Carolina Travel Tips for Making Your Vacation Greener
From the Center for Sustainable Tourism at East Carolina University and the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development
- North Carolina has a number of breathtaking and easily reached natural areas. By staying on designated trails and roads you help protect these areas by preventing erosion and keeping sensitive plants and ecosystems from being trampled.
- North Carolina’s vibrant panoramas make it an ideal destination to enjoy by car on the many scenic byways, and you save gas, reduce air pollution, and protect wildlife by respecting designated speed limits on your trip.
- The diversity of nature makes North Carolina an interesting place for people and pets. By keeping pets on a leash and under control you can help protect other visitors and wildlife. And remembering to bring a plastic bag for pet waste can help keep streams and creeks cleaner.
- When you support local artists and craftsmen by purchasing locally made handicrafts and products, you help preserve North Carolina’s rich cultural heritage and help sustain the next generation of local artists.
- Supporting local agriculture is one of the best ways to enjoy the rich flavors of North Carolina while reducing the distance food has to travel and supporting local farmers.
- While enjoying our many historic downtowns, you can help keep things clean by making sure you put trash in waste bins. Many towns and businesses offer recycling for visitors, so if you can’t find a recycling bin, ask for one.
- There is a lot of North Carolina that can only be seen using non-motorized forms of transportation. Traveling that way helps reduce air and noise pollution.
- North Carolina’s rich history has given the state a number of historic sites and artifacts. You can reduce your impact on the sites by following all posted signs and not touching or removing objects.
- To help reduce noise and impact, try traveling in small groups and be respectful of other visitors.
- The rich environment of North Carolina makes it a great place to see a wide range of wildlife. Help protect these animals by viewing from a distance, not feeding any wild animal, and never following or harassing wildlife.
Resources for Buying Local on Your NC Vacation
Local Food Guide
Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project
Farmers Markets Directory
NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
What’s in Season – Fruits and Vegetables
NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Host Groups & Online Resources
Three Host Groups serve visitors to the Smoky Mountains, Central Mountains and High Country regions of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. Each provides a downloadable Visitor Guide to its specific region.
Each county in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area region has a Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Development Authority, and Visitor or Welcome Center to help visitors find accommodations, shopping, dining, attractions and more. For easy reference, we’ve included links to all these organizations in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area in the More Visitor Information section below.
Other popular sites that will provide additional information about all there is to see and do in this beautiful mountain region include:
- Romanticasheville.com – This privately owned website includes thousands of photos and “best of” ideas for everything from outdoor adventures to wedding planning. Extends beyond the Asheville area.
More Visitor Information
Detailed travel information for the North Carolina mountains and foothills—information on attractions, accommodations, dining and events—is provided by a variety of federal, state, regional and local organizations:
Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center
Located at Parkway milepost 384 in Asheville.
State Tourism Office
Asheville Regional Airport
(12 miles south of Asheville)
708 Airport Rd #
Fletcher, NC 28732
Local Chambers of Commerce and Visitor Bureaus
Ashe Chamber of Commerce
Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau
Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce
Black Mountain-Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce
Weaverville Visitor Information
Andrews/Murphy Visitor Center Tourism Development Authority
Andrews Chamber of Commerce
Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce
Clay County Chamber of Commerce
Graham County Travel and Tourism Authority
Haywood County Chamber of Commerce
Haywood County Tourism Development Authority
Maggie Valley Area Chamber of Commerce
Waynesville Visitor Information
Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce
Jackson County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center
Franklin Chamber of Commerce
Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center
Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce
Hickory Nut Gorge Chamber of Commerce
Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce
Rutherford County Travel Development Authority
County Chamber of Commerce
Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce
Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority
Boone Area Chamber of Commerce
Watauga County Tourism Development Authority
Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce