Little Switzerland, North Carolina

Little Switzerland, NC

Little Switzerland is a summer colony high in the North Carolina Mountains along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Their town sign says "Population 46." Many buildings incorporate iconic Swiss architectural styles. Located about an hour north of Asheville, it offers a rare stop right along the Parkway for food at the Switzerland Cafe and a little shopping at the General Store (Milepost 334) or the Minerals Museum of NC (Milepost 331).

Little Switzerland Books

Book lovers could spend hours roaming Little Switzerland Books & Beans, with multiple rooms stuffed with books. An art gallery featuring local artists is upstairs. 

Little Switzerland Inn

The summer resort that started in 1910 was named because of its sweeping panoramas of deep valleys and distant ranges resembling those of the foothills of the Swiss Alps. Ride along Highway 226A along the 3,500-ft. ridge to see some of these vistas. Find several longtime favorite places to stay, including the Switzerland Inn. It's is the biggest and oldest hotel here, dating back to 1910, with a variety of lodging options, from rustic cottages to mountain view suites. They also have a restaurant, spa, pool and plenty of spots to enjoy the views. To see all places to stay in Little Switzerland, go to the Blue Ridge Travelers site.

Little Switzerland, NC

Find more shops to browse adjacent to the Switzerland Inn.

Little Switzerland NC Big Lynn Motorcycle

The 42-room Big Lynn Lodge was started 70 years ago and retains much of its original charm with lots of porches to enjoy the views. Room rates ($105-$160) include both breakfast and dinner. Motorcyclists and sports car owners come here to drive the Diamondback, which is the winding NC Highway 226A. Find more than 190 steep, climbing curves in just 12 miles. Switchbacks loop almost 360-degrees, snaking through lush green Pisgah National Forest. To see all places to stay in Little Switzerland, go to the Blue Ridge Travelers site.

Little Switzerland Skyline Inn

Located on the north side of Little Switzerland (near the intersection of NC 226A, NC 226 and the Blue Ridge Parkway), the Skyline Village Inn has been a local landmark for 60+ years, with balconies to see the views. Rates start at just $99/night. To see all places to stay in Little Switzerland, go to the Blue Ridge Travelers site.

Thrifty Adventures

Located next to the Skyline Village Inn, Christy at Thrifty Adventures (12255 NC 226, Spruce Pine, NC) loves to share the great outdoors with visitors. Take a guided kayaking trip on the Toe River. Or tube the cool mountain waters. If rock climbing is on your bucket list, she will teach you. Read more about them.

Things to Do

Emerald Village NC Mining Museum
Emerald Village & Mining Museum
A fascinating collection of gem, mining and historical exhibits, including an underground mine tour. Pan for gold and minerals. Located near Little Switzerland, a few miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway. 
Orchard at Altapass
Orchard at Altapass
This 101-year old apple orchard turned Appalachian Cultural Center celebrates the people, music, art and natural beauty of the Blue Ridge mountains. Shop for local mountain art, jams, jellies, sauces, sweets, gifts and more. Listen to music and pick up your apples!
Crabtree Falls
Crabtree Falls
(3 miles round-trip, moderate) This gorgeous 70-ft. waterfall along the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 339), near Linville Falls, is accessed by a looped woodland hiking trail.
Museum of Minerals
Museum of North Carolina Minerals
Located at Milepost 331 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Little Switzerland, this free museum features treasures found in the state and the local Spruce Pine Mining District through interactive displays on a wide variety of minerals and gems.
Penland School of Craft NC
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 works created by students and teachers.
Grassy Creek Falls
Grassy Creek Falls
(2 miles round-trip, easy) Located adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Little Switzerland (near Milepost 334), a gentle hiking trail takes you to a beautiful collection of cascades. (There is also a Grassy Creek Falls in DuPont State Forest near Bridal Veil Falls.)
Spruce Pine
Spruce Pine
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. A walk around town leads to several public art projects, including the town clock on Upper Street. Don’t miss the Toe River Art Studio Tour twice a year.
Marion NC
Marion
Stroll down Marion's Main Street lined with historic buildings, churches and the courthouse. It sits at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains near popular attractions like Mt. Mitchell and Linville Falls. Don't miss the Livermush Festival!
Tom's Creek Falls
Tom's Creek Falls
This 80-ft., two-tier waterfall is accessed via an easy hike in Pisgah National Forest (near US Highway 221) north of Marion. It's a great hike for families. One of the few waterfalls with an accessible trail and observation deck for those with walking challenges.
Blue Ridge Parkway Top 50
Blue Ridge Parkway Top 50
Drive the Parkway north or south from Asheville and quickly climb the Blue Ridge Mountain ridge. You can reach elevations of 5,000+ ft. Our mile-by-mile guide of the Parkway covers the 193-mile section near Asheville. So many things to do along one of the most scenic drives in the United States.
McDowell County
Blue Ridge Travelers: Small Towns & Outdoors
Explore McDowell County east of Asheville, with the small towns of Marion, Little Switzerland, Old Fort and Linville Falls. Includes Pisgah Forest, with hiking, waterfalls, fishing, Lake James and many things to do. See their Blue Ridge Traveler's guide for details. 

The Orchard at Altapass is a great stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway, at Milepost 328.3 (about 55 miles north of Asheville). It's between... read more
The Blue Ridge Parkway (part of the U.S. National Park Service) runs north and south from Asheville with plenty of spots for roadside picnics, breathtaking vistas, easy to... read more
A must-stop for art lovers is the Penland School of Crafts, a nationally-renowned center for craft education tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina (6 miles from... read more