101 Things to Do


From  your base camp in Mitchell County, we’ve made a list of 101 Things To Do! This is quite the bucket list and we hope you enjoy exploring our beautiful home!

1. Watch Jack grind corn at Dellinger’s Mill (an over 150 year old mill, the state’s oldest working mill of its kind) on Cane Creek in Bakersville.

2.Row the Toe – Canoe, kayak, tube or raft the Toe River.

3.Play a round of golf at the local public golf course

4.Go antique shopping in Bakersville and Spruce Pine.

5.Hear the hammering of the anvil at the Fire on the Mountain Blacksmith Festival each April! (Don’t miss the handcrafted sarvis berry tree by artist Elizabeth Brim as you enter downtown)

6.Do a driving tour of all of the Mitchell County locations on the National Register of Historic Places. 

7.Square Dance in the street, view the crowning of a queen, and visit the Creekwalk in Bakersville for unique crafts during the NC Rhododendron Festival the third weekend in June.

8.Be a part of history at the annual re-enactment at the Overmountain Victory Celebration in September at the Museum of NC Minerals.

9.Visit Mayland’s Earth to Sky Park – a certified International Dark Sky Park, to visit only one of two parks with both an Observatory and Planetarium in the entire world.  

10.Indulge in our farm to table produce at one of our weekly local farmer’s markets

11. Browse the area’s artistic works at the galleries in downtown Spruce Pine, Little Switzerland and Bakersville.

12.Follow the map of the WNC Quilt Trail to see the unique and beautiful quilt square on the side of barns, homes, and community buildings! (Each one is different and personalized to that business, family, or place!)

13.Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway and take in the best overlooks

14. Grab your bathing suit and go for a swim at Brad Ragan pool

15.Catch a history seminar or special guest lecturer at the Historic Courthouse in Bakersville’s year round event happenings

16.Bring your kids to the annual Troutacular, a fishing event for kids the first Saturday in June.

17.Swing your partner at the Summer Square Dances at Geneva Hall in Little Switzerland.

18.Visit the original Penland Post Office (circa 1879.)

19.Visit our neighbor, Grandfather Mountain, to see the bears (did you know Grandfather Mountain was once in Mitchell County?)

20.Learn why Spruce Pine is the most important mining district in the world at the Museum of NC Minerals.

21.Go behind a waterfall at Grassy Creek Falls in Little Switzerland.

22.Take a stroll beside the river at Riverside Park and check out the public art.

23.Take a hayride, listen to live music all while picking apples at the Orchard at Altapass

24.Do you love BBQ? Make your way to the Spruce Pine BBQ Festival in October!

25.Keep it local and visit a local diner that serves up the best southern cuisine.

26.We love our Country and celebrate with Fireworks Displays in Spruce Pine, Bakersville, and Penland! Don’t forget Little Switzerland, Spruce Pine, and Penland’s 4th of July parade!

27.Visit Roan Mountain during the last two weeks in June to see the entire mountain blossom and turn pink with rhododendron at the world’s largest natural rhododendron garden!

28.Hike part of the Appalachian Trail on Roan Mountain at Carver’s Gap!

29.Climb the tallest peak east of the Mississippi, Mount Mitchell.

30.Enjoy movies in the park during the summer with Spruce Pine Main Street

31.Step back in time to one of the oldest mines in our area, the Hoot Owl Mine. Tour this historic mine by contacting Gem Mountain.

32.Light up Bakersville with their annual Christmas Tree lighting!

33.Prospect and dig for emeralds in the dumps at the Crabtree Emerald Mine.
This mine produced emeralds from 1895 (including for the Tiffany Company of New York) until  the 1990s . Contact Emerald Village for details.

34.Stroll along the Bakersville Creek Walk.. For a more challenging walk, try the Bakersville Town Walk  It total 4.6 miles!

35.Hike the Cloudland Trail at Roan Mountain to see the site where the iconic Cloudland Hotel set!

36.Walk across the historic foot bridge at Riverside Park that runs above the North Toe River and maybe catch a passing train!

37.Get outdoors and visit the Grassy Creek Gem and Mineral Show! (July 25-August 1)

38.View and take home world class pottery at the Spruce Pine Potters Market

39.Visit the new The Thickets Mountain Bike Pump Track at Brad Ragan Park in Spruce Pine.

40.Go cross skiing on Roan Mountain during the winter.

41.Cruise in to one of the many local car shows throughout the county

42.Visit the Craft House at Penland School, one of the largest logs structures in North Carolina. Grab some coffee and a sweet treat at the Penland Coffee Shop afterwards.

43.Mine and Shop at the Travel Channel’s pick, Gem Mountain Gemstone Mine.

44.Visit Penland’s new Visitor Center and Gallery and schedule to take a tour of the campus.

45.Go support our Mountaineers at a local high school sporting event or drama production!

46.Visit the NC Mining Museum and partake in RockFest at Emerald Village

47.Love supporting local? Join Downtown Spruce Pine on Small Business Saturday on Thanksgiving weekend for store specials and Christmas events!

48.Take a class at Rio Doce Gem Mine on how to cut your own gemstones!

49. Grab your tent and pack the s’mores for a camping trip to a local campground.

50.Plant Swap at Mayland Community College’s annual Plant Swap

51. Pull out those binoculars and visit the local spots on the NC Birding Trail…many rare species can be found right here!

52. Look for buried treasure in Mitchell County when you go geocaching! Look up the secret coordinates where treasures have been left for you.

53. Take in a spa day at one of our local spas and massage therapy spots.

54. Stoke your inner artist at the Penland School of Craft Community Day where you and the kids can have hands on fun!

55. Go on a selfie tour of Mitchell County and post on your social media…pics with the Loafer’s Glory road sign, Carver’s Gap, the Little Switzerland Tunnel, a Parkway overlook and so many more local landmarks and beauty spots!(Be sure to tag us in your pics)

56. Have you hiked the Three Peaks? Make a weekend of it and hike all three…Grandfather, Roan and Mt. Mitchell! (We’ll need the pics to prove it!)

57. Stroll the streets of Bakersville during the monthly ArtWalks and visit with local galleries and artists. You can grab a great snack or dinner at a local restaurant while you are there.

58. Grab your fishing pole and fish the Mountain Heritage Trout Waters in Spruce Pine and Bakersville for beautiful mountain trout!

59. Pick up the local Toe River Canoe Trail map and take a beautiful ride down the Toe River with your family and friends.

60. Have you found all of the swinging bridges in Mitchell County? You can start with the one at Springmaid Mountain.

61. Go inside a mountain and stay cool during the summer with a visit to Linville Caverns.

62.Do you like to ride your motorcycle with friends? Then take in the Murder Mountain Run:   Two National Forests… 114 Miles… 1 grisly murder… what more cold you ask for!

63. Take the family to a pick your own Christmas Tree farm this year to begin or continue a family tradition.

64.Visit the Charlie Silvers gravesite in Kona (if you don’t know about this…google it! Or better yet, stop in the Mitchell County Historical Society. Many books have been written about this local saga.

65. Make the ice cream tour…take the kids to get ice cream in all three towns…Bakersville, Spruce Pine and Little Switzerland have some great ice cream spots!

66. In the spring, be sure to indulge in a local delicacy at the annual Ramp Dinners. You can’t really visit the mountains without experiencing this mountain delicacy.

67. Take a local Fall driving tour when the leaves are in their glory…appreciate where you live! Pack a picnic and stop and enjoy the beauty!

68. Got an adventurous streak? Contact a local guide for a day of rappelling and rock climbing . You can even try waterfall rappelling!

69. Spring, Summer and Fall are great times to plan a horseback trail ride. Visit Springmaid Mountain for a guided trip through local trails.

70. September ushers in apple season in the mountains. Take your friends and family to a local apple orchard to pick your own apples …great for eating and pies!

71. Only offered once a year…take a mine tour to a local mine during the NC Mineral and Gem Festival. You can keep what you find!

72. OOOh and Ahhhh at the Porsche and Jaguar car shows held in Little Switzerland each summer.

73. Experience 190 curves in just 12 miles of the Diamondback motorcycle and sports car loop on 226 A .

74. Visit the “Beauty Spot“.

75. Make the waterfall tour…Grassy Creek, Linville Falls, Gouge’s Creek, Crabtree Falls…what would you add to the list?

76. Step back in time and show the kids how it used to be done by grabbing a burger and shake at a local drive in.

77. Visit the local airfield and maybe get lucky and take a tour. ( Call ahead and schedule a tour and maybe even a pilot for an aerial tour of our county)

78. Try your hand at making molasses at the annual event at Harrell Hill Farms.

79. Kick off your holiday season each year with the Christmas Concert in Bakersville held the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

80.Stop in Woody’s Chair Shop in Spruce Pine,. The Woody’s have been making chairs since the 1800s and made chairs for John Jr and Caroline Kennedy while they were in the White House. (notice that each chair is made with no nails!).

81. Get your heart pumping at Riverside Park each Saturday morning as you join in the group exercise classes outdoors!

82.Be a part of saving the Monarch butterflies at the Orchard at Altapass. Watch them grow from egg to chrysalis to butterfly then see them tagged int he Fall before their release.

83.Schedule a hands on experience with a local potter to make your own pottery!

84.Take the kids to Play and Learn or Storytime each week at the local library!

85.Grab your smartest friends and head to one of the Trivia nights at a local restaurant.

86. Lace up your sneakers and sign up for a local 5K race or fun run for a good cause.

87.Learn about our natural habitat and history at a local Park Service Ranger presentation.

88. Woody’s Knob, at an elevation of 4,170 feet, is a summit or “knob” in the Blue Ridge Mountains and one of the highest points in the unincorporated village of Little Switzerland. Pack your hiking shoes and take a hike to the knob where four counties can be seen.

89.Visit The Loops overlook on the Parkway and maybe catch a glimpse of a train as it passes through. The railroad travels through 18 tunnels as it ascends the Blue Ridge Mountains.

90. Go on a discovery tour of Roan Mountain to spot one of the rarest plants , the Grays Lily found only on Roan near the grassy balds along the Trail north of Carvers Gap and in grassy openings near the Cloudland hotel site. But remember don’t pick…just take a pic!

91. Go on a “letterboxing” treasure hunt. You’ll find yourself cracking codes and following clues to find hidden treasure in and around Mitchell County. (atlasquest.com)

92. Take a workshop or attend a summer concert at Wildacres retreat in Little Switzerland.

93.Visit the Emerald Mine in Little Switzerland to flume for treasures!

94. Grab a book about the area at a local book shop and then set out to find the locations mentioned in the book.

95. Scout all of the painted murals in the area and take your pic and post on social media.

96. Are they real? Will you see them? Check out the Brown Mountain Lights phenomenon at Wiseman’s View and let us know.

97. Learn to make soap at our local soap shed.

98. Take classes to learn the are of quilting at our local quilt shop, Fabrics on the Fray

99. Drive to all the amazing galleries in the area during the Toe River Arts Studio Tour held every year in June and November.

100. Visit Bakersville during October to attend a joint effort by Bakersville and Mitchell County Historical Society‘s annual Mountaineer and Apple Butter Festival. Join in the fun to win the Mountaineer Games or help stir apple butter. 

101. Go to The Blue Ridge Craft Trails website to find all the Craft Trail partners in our area.

And of course the list goes on and on!

Contact us to add your favorite to the bucket list.

Download and Print to create your own bucket list (you will need 11 x 17 paper)