Bakersville is a charming tiny town of about 465 people in Mitchell County, near Spruce Pine, Roan Mountain and the famous Penland School of Craft. The town was formed in the mid 1800s. However, Native Americans mined local mica deposits long before that. The town had a brief boom when mica was mined again in the 1870s. Today it's big on art and the famous rhododendron blooms.
A must stop is the co-op gallery is named for the local mineral. Mica Gallery (37 North Mitchell Street) features ceramics, glass, fiber, metal, and paintings by 16 local artists. It's open April-December. Nearby, Bakersville Emporium (7 North Mitchell Ave) feature handmade crafts as well as locally made preserves, grits, honey and more.
The In Tandem Gallery (20 North Mitchell Ave) showcases artists from across the country. With Bakersville's proximity to the Penland School of Craft, the area has become home to many artists that took classes or presently teach there. You can visit the Gallery at the school, about 8 miles south (read more).
The Historical Society Museum is located in a former's attorney's office behind the historic Mitchell County Courthouse. See other historic courthouses in western NC.
Roan Mountain is the destination for many passing through town. From Bakersville, drive the scenic Highway 261 for 12 miles (and up 3,000 in elevation) to reach Carver's Gap at Roan Mountain. Hike the Appalachian Trail across the balds (read more) or see the vast rhododendron gardens in peak bloom in June (read more). In the winter, the ridge is often covered in snow and ice, creating postcards scenes. Temperatures are often 15-20 degrees colder at Roan than in Bakersville, so be prepared!
Stroll the Creek Walk any time of year. Their Rhododendron Festival is held there on the third weekend of June.
Other small towns nearby include Spruce Pine (11 miles), Burnsville (18 miles) and Little Switzerland (18 miles).
Craft Your Adventure: Mitchell County
Get plenty of trip ideas and find places to stay in Mitchell County, home of Roan Mountain, Spruce Pine, Little Switzerland, Bakersville, Penland School of Craft, rivers, gem mining, festivals,… read more
This small town offers not one but two main streets, Upper Street (Oak Avenue) and Lower Street (Locust Avenue). A must-stop is the Toe River Arts Council Gallery. Visit for many festivals and gem… read more
Two Rhododendron Festivals (North Carolina and Tennessee versions) are held in the Roan Mountain area! The one in Bakersville NC is Friday & Saturday. In TN, it's Saturday & Sunday.
Toe River Studio Tour
Drive scenic mountain roads to find 100 fine artists and crafts people in every medium at their studios for a free, self-guided cultural adventure in the Penland, Spruce Pine and Burnsville area… read more
Toe River Studio Tour
Self-driving tour to discover studios of 100+ artists and craftsmen, many internationally-known and from the acclaimed Penland School of Crafts. A blend of contemporary and traditional art -… read more
Apple Butter Festival, Bakersville
Enjoy the sights, smells, and tastes of autumn on the Creekwalk with music, crafts, and homemade apple butter making during peak fall color. Free admission. 92 Crimson Laurel Way. 10 AM-4 PM