Burnsville, NC Vacation Guide

Burnsville, NC

This small town of about 1,700 people is nestled in a valley surrounded by the highest peaks in eastern America, including Mt. Mitchell. It's small downtown is dominated by the Town Square with towering trees. Burnsville is located 35 miles northeast of Asheville, along the Mt. Mitchell Scenic Byway.

Burnsville NC

The Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair transforms the streets around Burnsville’s town square into a festival affair for craft and art lovers, with more than 150 juried crafters displaying and selling.

The annual fall Yancey County Dream Home Tour benefits Mayland Community College and features showcase homes in and around Burnsville.

Our favorite dining spot downtown is the Garden Deli with a fantastic array of high quality sandwiches, plus dinner entrées on weekend nights (closed Sundays). Their beautiful outdoor dining is right on the Town Square, surrounded by lush plantings and flowers.

Many love to drive around to find the area's 200 Quilt Blocks installed on the sides of barns and buildings throughout the countryside and villages. Nine driving trails take you to view the vividly painted squares. In downtown Burnsville, see the Quilt Block Sundial, the largest vertical sundial in North Carolina and the only quilt block sundial in the world, on the side of the Yancey Common Times Journal building near the Town Square. The eight-foot by eight-foot wooden structure features three sets of numbers for telling time: for daylight savings time, for standard time and one for local apparent time. A plaque beside the block explains how to use the sundial.

The TRAC (Toe River Arts Council) Gallery downtown at 102 West Main Street exhibit local artists with changing exhibits and a great gallery shop. With work from over 100 artists in a variety of media: clay, glass, jewelry, painting, photography, fiber, wood, sculpture, mixed media, and more. The quality and diversity of art in the area is outstanding. TRAC sponsors the Toe River Studio Tour twice a year on the second weekend in June, the first weekend in December. Over 100 studios and galleries are represented in this free, self-guided tour.

Burnsville, NC

The famous art school Penland School of Crafts is just 13 miles east. The Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville is a small professional theatre with shows from April through December.

Yancey County (where Burnsville is located) is full of old and new Agri-Tourism experiences. Visit local farmers markets and farms to purchase fresh produce of the season & delicious homemade treats. And in late November and December, cut your own mountain grown Christmas tree.

The scenic Blue Ridge Parkway is 19 miles away, via NC Highway 80 south. Go five miles north to Crabtree Falls and 11 miles south to the entrance of Mt. Mitchell State Park. While the address for Mt. Mitchell is Burnsville, it's a 35-mile drive since you need to go all the way around the mountain for the entrance from the Blue Ridge Parkway. The great village of Spruce Pine is just 14 miles east on US 19.

Burnsville is about 35 miles northeast of Asheville. It's an easy drive (45 minutes) up I-26 West toward Tennessee. Take exit 9 onto Highway 19 East and go about 16 miles. See more of our 25 Coolest NC Mountain Small Towns.

Burnsville B&Bs & Things To Do

Terrell House B&B
Get away to the heart of the mountains and enjoy a gracious stay in an historic home in the Toe River Valley with a big art scene and many great outdoor adventures in the shadow of Mt. Mitchell. Walk to the town square for shopping, dining or relaxing in the park.
6 rooms, $100-$110, individual AC, private baths, hearty full... read more
Mt. Mitchell Scenic Byway
Mt. Mitchell Scenic Byway
Starting at the top of Mt. Mitchell, drive 52 miles among the peaks and valleys of Yancey and Madison counties through the Toe River Valley and Burnsville. This area is a mecca for artists with many galleries and artist studios. Along the drive, pass 46 Western NC Quilt Trails blocks.
NC Fishing Guides
Southern Appalachian Anglers
Take a full-service guided fly fishing or bass fishing trip near Asheville, while enjoying the Appalachian Mountains by boat and/or wading on North Carolina's stream-fed lakes and rivers. Professional fishing guides ensure exciting fishing on the best pristine rivers in WNC.
The Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville
The Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville
See musicals and plays from late spring through fall at the longest continually-operating seasonal theater in North Carolina. Ticket prices for adults range from only $18-$22 per show.
Roan Mountain Hike
Roan Mountain Appalachian Trail
(1 to 7 miles, moderate hike) Famous for its spectacular natural gardens of Catawba rhododendrons, Roan Mountain shelters a rich diversity of life, from spruce-fir forests to vast grassy balds. It not one mountain, but a high ridge about five miles long, the highest point being 6,286 feet. Hike the ridge on the Appalachian Trail for sweeping views all along the way.

The Mount Mitchell Byway is a very scenic 52-mile mountain drive, packed with vistas among the peaks and valleys of Yancey and Madison counties. This official North Carolina Scenic Byway begins on... read more
Explore the countryside on a savenger hunt to find some (or all) of the 200 quilt blocks on of nine trails in various regions of Mitchell and Yancey counties, north of Asheville. The Western North... read more
Roan Mountain is famous for its spectacular natural gardens of Catawba rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense). The peak bloom time for the sea of purple-magenta is usually mid June, plus or minus a... read more
The 500,000+ acres of the Pisgah National Forest surrounding Asheville features some of the most beautiful and rugged mountain scenery, and the best recreational opportunities in eastern North... read more
The Asheville fall leaf color show in the North Carolina mountains attracts visitors from around the world. With the 5,000-foot elevation change within 50 miles of Asheville, our lush Blue Ridge... read more