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Western North Carolina is home to thousands of world-class artists who draw daily inspiration from living in our scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. Come meet them and see their work! Creating drive-able trails for 25 Western North Carolina counties with 200 craft sites, the Blue Ridge Craft Trails project celebrates the Asheville area as a vibrant center for traditional and contemporary handmade crafts through the promotion of craft artisans, arts organizations and heritage tourism. Pic above: Stecoah Valley Arts Center

Their featured places and suggested scenic drives take you through our favorite small towns and remote mountain hollers. Find glass blowing, blacksmithing, traditional to contemporary paintings, pottery, woodworking, fiber arts, quilting, jewelry, and much more. Also get tips on nearby restaurants, breweries, music, outdoor activities, scenic views, and places to stay.

To help you start your trip planning, here are our top stops featured on the Blue Ridge Craft Trails to see and buy local art and craft - with a style for everyone's taste and budget. The mothership of Appalachian craft is the Folk Art Center in Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This should be your first stop! Go to the Blue Ridge Craft Trails website to find art, galleries, and artist studios by town - plus itineraries that connect them.

Blue Ridge Craft Trails Hendersonville
Jeweler Melinda Lawton 

July 2020
Celebrate Henderson County's craft trails throughout the month of July! Visit 16 different craft sites along three trails via self-guided tours. The three trails focus on different geographic areas: downtown Hendersonville, the Village of Flat Rock, and the scenic countryside of Henderson County. Find maps, artist profiles, and additional attractions on Henderson County's website. You may also request to receive a trail guide via mail at that website, or by calling 800-828-4244. 

Blue Ridge Craft Trails Top 10 Stops

North Carolina Arboretum

Stroll through a variety of gardens and on peaceful woodland trails, located in Asheville adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Don't miss their impressive bonsai garden exhibit and many special events during the year.

Grovewood Village

Discover a hidden gem rich with art and history adjacent to The Omni Grove Park Inn. This site is home to Grovewood Gallery, an outdoor sculpture garden, two museums, and Eldr restaurant. 111… read more

Discover a hidden gem rich with art and history adjacent to The Omni Grove Park Inn. This site is home to Grovewood Gallery, an outdoor sculpture garden, two museums, and Eldr restaurant. 111 Grovewood Rd. Free on-site parking.

 

Shelton House, Waynesville

This grand, historic home built in 1875 is home to the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts, with every room packed with craft, art and furnishings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Open May-… read more

This grand, historic home built in 1875 is home to the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts, with every room packed with craft, art and furnishings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Open May-October.

Folk Art Center

Art lovers should not miss the Folk Art Center. It showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary craft of the Southern Appalachians and includes rotating exhibits, live demonstrations and a… read more

Art lovers should not miss the Folk Art Center. It showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary craft of the Southern Appalachians and includes rotating exhibits, live demonstrations and a large gallery shop. Free admission. 8 miles from downtown. Blue Ridge Parkway, at Milepost 382 near the US 70 intersection.

Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center ​

Tucked away in small village near Fontana Lake and Nantahala River is an amazing gallery that showcases the work of 180+ area artists and hosts a great summer concert series. Many artist studios… read more

Tucked away in small village near Fontana Lake and Nantahala River is an amazing gallery that showcases the work of 180+ area artists and hosts a great summer concert series. Many artist studios nearby.

Museum of the Cherokee

Discover the story of the Cherokee people in this impressive museum that sets the scene for the Cherokee Heritage Trails. The Cherokee community presents its perspective on its own history and… read more

Discover the story of the Cherokee people in this impressive museum that sets the scene for the Cherokee Heritage Trails. The Cherokee community presents its perspective on its own history and culture.

Crossnore

This tiny town in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains has a famous school, church fresco, historic buildings with gallery and weaving museum, plus much more. Near Spruce Pine and Banner Elk.

This tiny town in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains has a famous school, church fresco, historic buildings with gallery and weaving museum, plus much more. Near Spruce Pine and Banner Elk.

Penland School of Craft

Take a tour or sign up for a class at this internationally-known school for art and craft, tucked away in the mountains near Spruce Pine. Their multiple galleries are free to visit with amazing… read more

Take a tour or sign up for a class at this internationally-known school for art and craft, tucked away in the mountains near Spruce Pine. Their multiple galleries are free to visit with amazing works created by students and teachers.

River Arts District

Some 185 working artists have set up shop in the River Arts District. Drive a little, walk a little to visit studios and galleries. Find an amazing variety of art and see how the artists create it… read more

Some 185 working artists have set up shop in the River Arts District. Drive a little, walk a little to visit studios and galleries. Find an amazing variety of art and see how the artists create it. It's just a few miles from downtown Asheville and Biltmore Estate.

Artist Studio Driving Tours

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Toe River Studio Tour

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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

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 - Burnsville and Spruce Pine area. Free admission!

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Arts & Crafts Drive-About Tour

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Take a free self-guided driving tour of the galleries and working studios of Graham and Swain Counties and buy arts and crafts directly from the artist. Pick up a map at the Stecoah Valley… read more

Take a free self-guided driving tour of the galleries and working studios of Graham and Swain Counties and buy arts and crafts directly from the artist. Pick up a map at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center near Fontana Lake. 10 AM-5 PM.

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Toe River Studio Tour

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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

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.

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Come to Leicester Studio Tour

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Take a free, self-guided tour to 23 studios and shops in Leicester, a community nestled in the mountains near Asheville. 10 AM-5 PM

Take a free, self-guided tour to 23 studios and shops in Leicester, a community nestled in the mountains near Asheville. 10 AM-5 PM

Find much more! Go to the Blue Ridge Craft Trails website to find art, galleries and artist studios by town.

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