We asked our son to skip work from his children’s stationery business and bring his family up to Brevard, NC, so our grand kids could strike it rich at the Crystal Mountain Gem Mine. We met his family before the doors were even open. They thought they were going to have to walk through a muddy mine, so they all wore old shoes, t-shirts and jeans, only to find out it’s super clean and tidy inside the Crystal Mountain Gem Mine…
While my teenage granddaughter shopped for precious stones, my two other grand kids (along with mom, dad and Nana) sat at the 52-ft.-long flume and “worked” hard, sifting through large buckets full of sand and dirt…
Their “hard work” turned into joy and excitement with each gemstone they found…
When they had emptied their buckets they collected their gems and presented them to Crystal Mountain Gem Mine owner Chris Cloer, who described each gemstone to our prospectors. To their surprise and excitement, they had found two rubies that could be worth over $1,000 when they’re cut, polished and mounted…
Special thanks to Chris and his crew at the Crystal Mountain Gem Mine for a terrific time with our grand kids. My grand kids agree that Crystal Mountain Gem Mine is one of the most fun children’s activities in Brevard, NC. It’s open seven days a week, and conveniently located at 31 S. Broad Street in Brevard. (Map)
After all the excitement at Crystal Mountain Gem Mine we headed across the street to the famous OP Taylor’s Toy Store. Although our grand kids were very familiar with “the coolest toy store on the planet” our poor, adult son had never seen it. I think he enjoyed himself at the racetrack with my grandson…
Afterward we headed down the block to Rocky’s Grill and Soda Shop for lunch…
Nana had a delicious salad and once again, grandpa set a good example of eating-healthy with two grilled Hebrew National kosher hot dogs. They truly are the best on the planet…
Sadly we said goodbye and parted ways outside Rocky’s Soda Shop…
If you’re looking for an old-fashioned fun place to eat, stop by Rocky’s Grill and Soda Shop in Brevard. It’d directly across Main street from the Crystal Mountain Gem Mine. (Map)
Posted by Steve Wike in on June 9, 2016
Air Museum of WNC (Map)
1340 Gilbert Street, Hendersonville, NC | Phone: 828-698-2482
The Western North Carolina Air Museum features award winning restored and replica antique and vintage airplanes, and houses flight manuals, engines from historic aircraft, photos of historic airplanes and pilots, and models of historic airplanes. There is no admission charge. Check the web site for hours of operation.
Pearson’s Falls and Glen is the top natural attraction in Polk County, NC, hosting over 20,000 visitors each year. It is located in the foothills of Western North Carolina off Hwy. 176, between the towns of Tryon and Saluda, and not far from Flat Rock and Hendersonville. This unique botanical preserve is comprised of 268 acres of rich cove forest, granite, spring-fed streams, and a moderate 1/4 mile trail to a beautiful 90 ft. waterfall. Pearson’s Falls and Glen has over 200 species of rare wildflowers and plants that bloom mainly in the spring months, but there is always something blooming in summer and fall. Mosses, lichens, shrubs, and a variety of trees reside in this Glen, which is classified as a deciduous climax forest. Pearson’s Falls is a perfect stop when visiting the area, with picnic facilities that can accommodate small groups and cyclists. To learn more about Pearson’s Falls and Glen, check out our website or Facebook.
Pura Vida Adventures
155 New Hendersonville Hwy., Pisgah Forest, NC 28768 | Phone: 772-579-0005
Pura Vida Adventures offers safe personal trips to families and small groups. They focus on exploration, discovery, and adventure, by providing guided tours and instructions in hiking, canyoneering, paddling, climbing, biking, and more.
Burntshirt offers award-winning wines and spectacular vineyard mountain views. Expert Tasting Room associates guide guests through a tasting that educates and entertains in the renovated farmhouse. Burntshirt Vineyards offers a wide variety of venues, including Summit Hall, The Barrel Room, Gazebo, Patios and Landscaped Gardens. The Tasting Room is open 7 days a week all year, Sunday thru Thursday 12 –6, Friday & Saturday, 12 –7. Winery tours daily at 2, meet at the tasting room.
The Coston Farm offers pick-your-own apples and a large variety of pre-picked apples, plus all kinds of fall decorations, including pumpkins, gourds, corn shocks, hay and Indian corn. The bakery has fried apple pies, homemade apple pies, apple bread, homemade cookies, fresh cider, frozen cider slushies, apple butter, jams, jellies, and more. Seasonal… check out the Apple Ripening Calendar on the Coston Farm website.
Prospect for real gem stones that you can keep, including rubys, sapphires, emeralds, quartz crystals, citrine, amethyst, garnets, adventurine, sodalite, opal, fluorite, aquamarine and more.
Grandad’s Apple Orchard offers apples (pick your own, or in-store), a bakery (with delicious warm apple donuts, pies and more), pumpkins, a corn maze on a fun, 70-acre family farm in Hendersonville, North Carolina. (Seasonal: August, September and October.)
Justus Orchard offers U-Pick/We-Pick apples, blackberries, and pumpkins, and has an on-site bakery with delicious homemade apple pies (with ice cream), donuts, and apple fritters, as well as caramel apples, apple cider slushies, hot apple cider and coffee. (Seasonal: August, September and October.)
Carl Sandburg Home – Connemara
81 Carl Sandburg Lane, Flat Rock, NC 28731 | Phone: 828-693-4178
The Carl Sandburg Home (a National Historic Site, U.S. National Park Service) has five miles of trails and gardens on 264 acres. The on-site multi-media exhibit features Carl Sandburg, “Poet of the People,” and describes the Sandburg family’s life, achievements, personal belongings, photographs, and writings.
Carolina Horse and Carriage
890 Raven Drive, Landrum, SC 29356 | 803-209-1099
Carolina Horse and Carriage provides carriage tours of Hendersonville, NC (in-season) and for special events like weddings, proms, church functions, business parties, town events and holiday affairs.
Fox Mountain Guides & Climbing School
3228 Asheville Hwy., Pisgah Forest, NC 28768 | Phone: 888-284-8433
Fox Mountain Guides and Climbing School is AMGA accredited, offering rock climbing and ice climbing trips and guiding in North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, and Georgia. Climbing classes and skills courses are available for all experience levels.
Hands On Children’s Gallery
318 N. Main Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792 | Phone: 828-697-8333
Hand’s On is an excellent place for children, parents and grandparents to explore and learn together. Exhibits and programs stimulate curiosity, creativity and make learning fun.
Hendersonville Train Depot
Location: corner of 7th Ave. East and Maple St., Hendersonville, NC.
The Apple Valley Model Railroad Club has constructed a scenic HO model railroad representing Hendersonville and western North Carolina. The Southern Railway caboose is also open to the public.
Historic Johnson Farm
3346 Haywood Road, Hendersonville, NC 28792 | Phone: 828-891-6585
A heritage education center with animals, tours, nature trails, picnic tables and 10 historic structures on 15 acres of forest, fields and streams. Check the web site for admission fees and hours of operation.
Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards (Map)
588 Chestnut Gap Road, Hendersonville, NC 28792 | Phone: 828-685-4002
Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards was the first commercial vineyard in Henderson County. Located on a family farm for more than nine generations, the tasting room includes both indoor and outdoor seating with spectacular views. Saint Paul wines are made from 14 varieties of grapes grown in two locations at elevations of 2,300 and 3,000 feet, some of the highest in the state. Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards offers a wide variety of venues, indoor and outdoor, for weddings and other special events. The tasting room is open year round.
Sky Top Orchard (Map)
3403 Greenville Hwy., Flat Rock, NC 28731 | Phone: 828-692-7930
Sky Top Orchard offers 20 varieties of apples, both pick-your-own and already picked. They also have fresh apple cider, caramel apples, jams and jellies, pumpkins, gourds, and honey. In addition, Sky Top has an on-site picnic area, playground, hayrides, ponds with ducks and geese, and a ‘barnyard’ area with sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys and more. (Seasonal: August, September and October.)
STJ’s Inflation Station
710 Tracy Grove Road #C3, Flat Rock, NC 28731 | Phone: 828-696-0674
An inflatable bouncing playground with an indoor party zone for hosting private celebrations.
Western North Carolina Agricultural Center and State Fair
1301 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher, NC 28732 | Phone: 828-687-1414
The WNC Ag Center is the home of the North Carolina Mountain State Fair, numerous horse and livestock functions, large scale conferences, exciting events, and trade shows. Check the WNC Ag Center web site for schedules and admission fees.
In addition to the attractions listed above, you’ll find more activities under…
Posted by Steve Wike in on May 26, 2010
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
US Cellular Center, 87 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC | Phone: 828-298-7928
The Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands is held four days each July and October at the US Cellular Center in Asheville, NC. Discover fine traditional and contemporary crafts by over 200 craftspeople who fill two levels of the center selling their works of clay, fiber, glass, leather, metal, mixed media, natural materials, paper, wood and jewelry.
Asheville Wine & Food Festival (Late summer)
87 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC 28801
Held at the US Cellular Center
Taste wines and sample local delicacies provided by culinary professionals. For more info click here.
Bele Chere Festival: DISCONTINUED
After several decades of annual festivals in downtown Asheville, Bele Chere has been canceled.
LAFF – Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival: DISCONTINUED
Held annually in downtown Asheville, LAAFF is a one-day street fair with artwork, music, and street performers.
Montford Music & Arts Festival (Spring)
Held in the Montford Historic District in Asheville, NC.
A large, one-day event with over 100 vendors of art, crafts, and food. For more info click here.
Mountain Dance & Folk Festival
2 South Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801
Held at Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place
Mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dancers and others perform. For more info click here.
Mountain Sports Festival (Spring)
Located at Carrier Park on Amboy Road along the French Broad River in west Asheville.
A weekend music and sports festival that celebrates community, athletics and local business, and showcases the terrain, environment and unique culture of Asheville, NC. For more info click here.
Held on Wall Street in downtown Asheville, NC.
Beer tastings from local breweries and Oktoberfest games. For more info click here.
River Arts District Studio Stroll (Summer & Fall)
Held in the River Arts District – Clingman Avenue at Lyman Street – Asheville.
Locally handmade arts and crafts are on display in 19 historic buildings, with hands-on activities. For more info click here.
West Asheville Art Walk
The West Asheville Art Walk is a free, self-guided event showcasing local artists’ work inside businesses along Haywood Road. Visit artists’ booths at your own pace, meet the artists and purchase some great local art. For a map of the West Asheville Art Walk click here. For a list of the local artists who are participating click here. For additional info visit the West Asheville Art Walk website.
Black Mountain Arts & Crafts Show (Early Summer)
Held in historic Black Mountain, North Carolina
Over 65 juried artists and crafters. For more information click here.
Sourwood Festival (Mid-Summer)
Located in downtown Black Mountain. Good music, fun, and great mountain food. For more info click here.
Appalachian Summer Festival (Boone)
Held in July, the Appalachian State University’s summer attraction features the finest music, theatre, dance, visual arts and film.
Art in the Park (Blowing Rock)
A series of art and fine handcraft shows featuring juried artisans. Held since 1962, Art in the Park features 100 exhibitors in each of six shows May through October.
Blowing Rock Art & Antique Show
An annual show offering heirloom-quality furniture, pottery, jewelry, clocks, crystal, silver and more.
Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show
The annual show is held at Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve. This event attracts annual international exhibitors and is the oldest continuous outdoor horse show in America.
Blowing Rock Farmers Market
Offers fresh fruits, veggies, whole foods, and meats from local farmers, May-October.
Blowing Rock Winterfest
An annual event offering a wine auction, live bluegrass, chili cook-off, kid’s activities,and the Polar Plunge in Chetola Lake. Free hot chocolate and hayrides.
Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival (Blowing Rock)
A five-day festival showcasing over 30 wineries from North Carolina and around the world. Includes a wine tasting, wine seminars, cooking classes, and winemaker’s dinners.
Concerts on the Jones House Lawn (Boone)
Fridays, June through September, a free concert is held at the Jones House Community Center, 604 W. King Street in downtown Boone. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, and a picnic basket.
Horn in the West
The Horn in the West drama is based on our nation’s heritage and offers thrilling outdoor entertainment in a beautiful outdoor theatre in Boone.
Symphony by the Lake at Chetola (Blowing Rock)
Sit by the lake in the cool mountain breeze, and watch the swans drift by; bring a picnic, or sample the cuisine prepared by Chetola’s chef; enjoy the Symphony of the Mountains, and the spectacular fireworks.
Mountain Song Productions & Looking Glass Entertainment
P.O. Box 1308, Brevard, NC 28712
Looking Glass Entertainment produces concerts and festivals for many genres. Venues include Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium at Brevard Music Center and The Porter Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Brevard College. They are involved with the following events:
White Squirrel Festival (Spring)
Mountain Song Festival (Fall)
Song Smith Gathering (Summer)
Spring and Fall Arts & Crafts Fair
The Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley presents two Arts & Crafts Fairs annually on the Village Green: in the Spring over Memorial Day weekend, and in the Fall over Labor Day weekend. Both events showcase some of the finest arts and craftspeople in the Southeast. Admission is free, although donations are accepted.
NC Mountain State Fair
1301 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher, NC 28732
The North Carolina Mountain State Fair is held at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center. The annual event includes horse and livestock shows, competitions, craft exhibits, amusement rides, conferences, trade shows and more. For a complete schedule of events click here.
Art On Main Festival (Fall)
Held in downtown Hendersonville, Art on Main brings artists from far and wide to display their creative arts and crafts while the public strolls by. For more info click here.
Garden Jubilee (Spring)
Held in downtown Hendersonville with over 200 vendors promoting art, crafts, and landscaping items. For more information click here.
North Carolina Apple Festival (Fall)
The North Carolina Apple Festival is held annually over Labor Day Weekend in Hendersonville. Enjoy 4 days of fun including one of the best known street fairs in the Carolinas with freshly picked apples, arts & crafts, festival food and free entertainment at the historic Courthouse on Hendersonville’s Main Street. For more info click here.
Arts Marts and Crafts Shows
Old Fort Train Depot, Visitors Center and Museum
25 West Main Street, Old Fort, NC
Arrowhead Artists and Artisans League (A3L) exhibit the first Saturday of every month, from 10 am to 4 pm. Members include over 40 local artists who produce original work ranging from paintings and sketches to baskets, wood turned bowls and pens, fine jewelry, pottery, fiber art and more.
Apple Harvest Festival
Held in downtown Waynesville, the Apple Harvest Festival hosts more than 130 exhibitors and 35,000 attendees. Handmade crafts, local food, and continuous live entertainment by local mountain musicians, cloggers and characters. For more info click here.
There are many other festivals and events to enjoy in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Please click the appropriate location below for more information on them…
Blairsville & Union County Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge & Fannin County Festivals
Clayton & Rabun County Festivals & Events
Dahlonega Calendar of Events
Ellijay & Gilmer County Calendar of Events
Alleghany County – Sparta Festivals & Events
Asheville Seasonal Fun
Avery County Calendar of Events
Black Mountain & Swannanoa Valley Calendar of Events
Boone & Watauga County Calendar of Events
Brevard & Transylvania County Events Calendar
Chimney Rock – Lake Lure – Rutherford County Events Calendar
Deals Gap, Tail of the Dragon Events Calendar
Great Smoky Mountains Calendar of Events
Hendersonville Events Calendar
Highlands Calendar of Events
Hot Springs Events
Lake James – Burke County Events Calendar
Lake Junaluska Calendar of Events
Little Switzerland Events
Madison County – Mars Hill Events Calendar
Maggie Valley Festivals & Events
McDowell County Calendar of Events
Abingdon – Damascus – Calendars
Albemarle County and Charlottesville Calendars
Bedford County Calendar of Events
Blacksburg – Calendar of Events
Botetourt County Calendar of Events
Carroll County – Galax – Laurel Fork Events
Craig County – New Castle Calendar of Events
Fauquier County – Warrenton Calendar of Events
Floyd – Franklin County Events
Front Royal Events Schedule
Galax Events Calendar
Grayson County Events
Green County Calendar of Events
Highland County Calendar of Events
Loudoun – Leesburg – Middleburg Events
Luray Caverns – Page County Events Calendar
Massanutten Resort Calendar of Events
Nelson County – Wintergreen Calendar of Events
Orange County Schedule of Events
Pulaski County Calendar of Events
Rappahannock County – Little Washington Events
Roanoke County – Salem Calendar of Events
Rockbridge County – Lexington – Natural Bridge Events
Rockingham County – Elkton – Harrisonburg – Massanutten Events
Scott County Schedule of Events
Shenandoah County – Mount Airy – New Market EventsSmith Mountain Lake Calendar of Events
Smyth County – Marion EventsStaunton Schedule of Events
Warren County – Front Royal Schedule of Events
Washington County – Abingdon Calendar of Events
Winchester – Frederick County Events
Wise County – Big Stone Gap Events Calendar
Wythe County – Bland – Wytheville Calendar of Events
Note to city and county managers: To have your event photographed and reviewed on Blue Ridge Travel Guide please contact us by filling out our contact form. We cannot guarantee that we will review your event, but we do look at every request.