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Plan Your Trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina

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:

Visitor Map Brochure – Get More Information for Free!

 Other Maps and Guides Related to the Blue Ridge Mountains & NC Mountain Vacations

Learn more about NC state transportation, scenic byways, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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.

E-newsletters

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

(Photo by Mark File)

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

Local Handmade Goods

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.
828-298-5330

State Tourism Office
1-800-VISITNC

Asheville Regional Airport

(12 miles south of Asheville)
708 Airport Rd #
Fletcher, NC 28732
(828) 684-2226

Local Chambers of Commerce and Visitor Bureaus

(by County)

Alleghany County
Visit Alleghany
Alleghany Chamber of Commerce
1-800-372-5473
(336) 372-5473

Ashe County
Ashe Chamber of Commerce
(336) 846-9550

Avery County
Avery County Chamber of Commerce
(800) 972-2183
Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce
(828) 898-8395
Banner Elk Tourism
844-824-6777
Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce
(828) 387-9283

Buncombe County
Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau
Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce
(828) 258-6101
Black Mountain-Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce
(800) 669-2301
(828) 669-2300
Weaverville Visitor Information

Burke County
Burke County Chamber of Commerce
(828) 437-3021
Burke County Travel and Tourism
(828) 433-6793
Valdese Department of Tourism
(828) 879-2126

Caldwell County
Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce
(828) 726-0616
ExploreCaldwell
(828) 726- 0323

Cherokee County
Andrews/Murphy Visitor Center Tourism Development Authority
828-557-0602
Andrews Chamber of Commerce
(828) 321-3584
Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce
(828) 837-2242

Clay County
Clay County Chamber of Commerce
(828) 389-3704

Graham County
Graham County Travel and Tourism Authority
(800) 470-3790
(828) 479-3790

Haywood County
Haywood County Chamber of Commerce
(828) 456-3021
Haywood County Tourism Development Authority
(800) 334-0764
(828) 944-0761
Maggie Valley Area Chamber of Commerce
(800) 624-4431
(828) 926-1686
Waynesville Visitor Information
(828) 456-3517

Henderson County
Henderson County Chamber of Commerce
(828) 692-1413
Henderson County Travel and Tourism
(800) 828-4244
(828) 693-9708

Jackson County
Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce
(828) 743-5191
Jackson County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center
(800) 962-1911

Macon County
Franklin Chamber of Commerce
(866) 372-5546
Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center
(828) 526-5841

Madison County
Hot Springs Tourism Association
(828) 622-9932
Madison County Chamber of Commerce
(828) 689-9351
Madison County Tourism Development Authority
(828) 680-9031

McDowell County
McDowell County Chamber of Commerce
(828) 652-4240
McDowell County Tourism
(888) 233-6111
(828) 668-4282

Mitchell County
Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce
(800) 227-3912
(828) 765-9483

Polk County
Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce
(828) 859-6236
Polk County Travel & Tourism
(800) 440-7848
(828) 894-2324

Qualla Boundary (Cherokee, NC)
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
1-800-438-1601
Cherokee Chamber of Commerce
828-788-0034

Rutherford County
Hickory Nut Gorge Chamber of Commerce
(877) 625-2725
Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce
(828) 287-3090
Rutherford County Travel Development Authority
1-800-849-5998
(828) 287-6113

Surry County
Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce
(336) 526-1111
Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce &
Mount Airy Visitor Information
1-800-948-0949
(336) 786-6116

Swain County
County Chamber of Commerce
(800) 867-9246
(828) 488-3681

Transylvania County
Brevard/Transylvania Chamber of Commerce
800 648-4523
(828) 883-3700
Transylvania County Tourism Development Authority
(800)648-4523

Watauga County
Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce
(800) 295-7851
(828) 295-7851
Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority
(877) 750-4636
(828) 295-4636
Boone Area Chamber of Commerce
(828) 264-2225
Watauga County Tourism Development Authority
(800) 852-9506
(828) 262-3516

Wilkes County
Wilkesboro Tourism Development Authority
(336) 838-3951
Wilkes Chamber of Commerce
(336) 838-8662

Yadkin County
Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce
(336) 526-1111
Yadkin Valley Tourism Authority
(877) 999-8390
Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce
(336) 679-2200

Yancey County
Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce
(828) 682-7413