Marion NC

Marion, NC

Marion's Main Street is lined with historic buildings, churches and the courthouse. This small town sits at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains near popular attractions like Mt. Mitchell (30 miles) and Linville Falls (25 miles).

Marion NC Donuts

Must-stops in downtown Marion are the McDowell Arts Council Gallery at 50 South Main Street and Mr. Bob's Donuts next door! See a play at the Foothills Community Theatre. Try local craft beers at the Refinery 13 Taproom brewery at 13 N. Main. Burrito Brothers is next door at 9 N. Main. New additions for 2018 include Spillway Bridge (93 S Main St), a new music venue and taproom with 20 beers on rotation, and their first craft brewery, Mica Town Brewing, at 25 Brown Drive - just off Main.

Downtown Marion Tailgate Market: Stop by during the growing season every Tuesdays 3-6 PM and Saturdays 9 AM-12 Noon for the freshest produce, meats, cheeses, flowers, baked goods and locally-made crafts. The market is located at the intersection of West Henderson Street and Logan Street, admission and parking are free.

Carson House

Carson House: Built in 1793, this house museum is one of the oldest standing structures in western North Carolina, having served as a stagecoach inn and stopping point for important historical figures. Read much more

Joseph McDowell Historical Catawba Greenway: Walk or bike this new, one-mile recreational trail, picnic area, fishing pier, wildlife observation deck and access to the historic Round Hill cemetery. The greenway's entrance road (Sam Phillips Drive) is located off of US 70 West, just past Lowe's and next to Table Rock Quarries.

Directions: It's located 36 miles east of Asheville along I-40. Some of our other favorite small towns nearby include Old Fort (12 miles), Little Switzerland (17 miles), Morganton (22 miles), Black Mountain (20 miles) and Rutherfordton (24 miles).

Marion Things to Do

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.
Mount Mitchell
Mount Mitchell
Drive to the top of the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, located along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This state park has an observation tower, plenty of hiking and a restaurant. Be prepared for much cooler temperatures at the top. Open year-round (except snowy days in the winter).
Lake James beach
Lake James State Park
This state park has a wide beach with a nice pavilion with changing rooms, open for swimming May-September. Also enjoy hiking, mountain biking, fishing and more.
Carson House Museum, Marion
Carson House Museum, Marion
Tour one of the most interesting house museums in the state, dating back to 1793, with a big collection covering 200+ years on three floors. 
Catawba Valley Wines
Catawba Valley Wine Tour
Visit five wineries in the foothills of the Catawba Valley located east of Asheville, between Marion and Morganton. Four of them (Silver Fork, South Creek, Belle Nicho and Lake James Cellars) are along a 15-mile drive near I-40, so very convenient!
Linville Caverns
Linville Caverns
North Carolina's only natural limestone caverns feature stalactite, stalagmite formations and an underground stream. Guided tours.
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. 

Marion Festivals

Liver Mush Festival

Marion Comic Con is March 3, 2018, 10-5, at 29 Logan Street.

Carolina Donut Festival is April 21, 2018, on Main Street with a 5K, half-marathon, Miss Carolina Donut Festival Pageant and sweet events like a donut-eating contest. Find local art and much more. 10 AM-4 PM. Free admission.

The Liver Mush Festival on June 2, 2018, 5-9 PM, enjoy a free liver mush sandwich while listening to live music. Read more.

Downtown Summer Concert Series: Enjoy live music held June through August on the Courthouse Lawn on Main Street or at the Historic Marion Tailgate Market Shelter on West Henderson Street in Downtown Marion. Bring friends, family, lawn chairs and a picnic basket, and enjoy the fun. Concerts generally begin around 6:00 or 6:30 PM, but please check the Hometown Marion website or Marion Events on Facebook for an exact schedule.

Mountain Glory Festival is held the second Saturday of October (October 13, 2018) each year. Marion's biggest festival, filling the courthouse lawn and along three blocks of downtown with 140 arts and crafts and food vendors, live entertainment, children’s activities, a 5K walk/run, pet show and more.

Bigfoot Festival: This new downtown festival in September 2018 will celebrate all things Sasquatch. Read more.

Appalachian Potters' Market on December 1, 2018, features 66 NC Potters inside the McDowell High School Gymnasium. $5/person.

New Year's Eve: Watch the giant gold nugget drop into a giant donut on Main Street, costume contest, beer & wine garden and more. Read more.

Marion Cruise-Ins: On several summer Saturday evenings, join the fun for a Cruise-In with vehicles of all makes and models. Hundreds of vehicles will be on display, along with music and vendors selling food, beverages and various items.

Burke County is home to the cool city of Morganton, about 55 miles east of Asheville via I-40. The county extends north to Linville Gorge... read more
Many of you have probably gazed in awe across Lake Lure and Rutherford County from the top of Chimney Rock. Now's your chance to explore it... read more
Black Mountain is a quaint village that "rocks" with 40+ shops, 30 restaurants and three breweries. Some of our favorite shopping stops are the Town Hardware & General Store, Take a Hike... read more