This small town of 2,000 residents has a quaint downtown area with some nice surprises for shopping and dining. Spruce Pine offers the uniqueness of having not one but two main streets, Upper Street (Oak Avenue) and Lower Street (Locust Avenue). The nicknames are appropriate given their respective altitudes. The town is located about an hour north of Asheville and just six miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway (at Milepost 331/Highway 226 at Little Switzerland). It's 14 miles east of Burnsville.
Several festivals each year fill the streets with plenty of extra fun. Above pic is Fire on the Mountain held in April. The Spruce Pine Alien Festival in June is out of this world!
No matter when you visit, stop by their helpful Mitchell County Visitor Center first to chat with helpful volunteers. It is located inside the Museum of the NC Minerals at the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway off NC Highway 226 (79 Parkway Road). A self-service information center is located downtown Spruce Pine at 165 Locust Street.
On Oak Avenue in downtown, don't miss the impressive Toe River Arts Council Gallery (269 Oak Avenue) and The Market On Oak (262 Oak Avenue) with handmade works of 100 western NC artisans. Stop for a cup of coffee at DT's Blue Ridge Java (169 Locust).
A walk around town leads to several public art projects, including the town clock on Upper Street. The entire area is a mecca for artists. Don’t miss the Toe River Art Studio Tour in June and December each year. And the Penland School of Crafts is just 6 miles from downtown with a variety of classes and a gallery open to the public.
From downtown, walk the towering Footbridge across the Toe River to Riverside Park. Walk the greenway, picnic or wade in the water. Spruce Pine has been designated as a Mountain Heritage Trout City and trout fishing is available from the banks of the river downtown. Troutacular is held on the first Saturday in June.
Tagged "The Mineral City," Spruce Pine has several gem mining spots. The Spruce Pine Mining District is home to one of the richest deposits of gems and minerals in the world. Mined for its mica, kaolin, quartz and feldspar, the District provides over 90% of raw materials used in plumbing fixtures. Spruce Pine quartz is used in the manufacture of silicon chips. For gem mining, exhibits and the NC Mining Museum, go to Emerald Village. Gem Mountain (13780 Highway 226 South, Spruce Pine) has a very popular gemstone flume and tours of the Aquamarine Mine. Also, tour the nearby Minerals of North Carolina Museum.
See more of our Coolest NC Mountain Small Towns. Located 11 miles away is Bakersville, home to the NC Rhododendron Festival. And Roan Mountain is the largest naturally growing rhododendron garden in the world!
Spruce Pine Attractions & Lodging
Linville Falls Lodge & Cottages
Enjoy a relaxing getaway featuring lodges & cottages suitable for families and large groups who want to enjoy the outdoors. Centrally located ½ a mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway with nearby… read more
This tiny summer retreat along the Blue Ridge Parkway is known for its charming architecture, historic inns, gem mining, winding motorcycle drives and amazing book store. Near Spruce Pine.
Spruce Pine Gem Mining District
Find gems in what is touted as the “most important mining district in the world”. Find fun options for gem panning, rock hounding and mine tours. Also home to the NC Mineral & Gem Festival.… read more
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
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… read more
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
Museum of North Carolina Minerals
Located at Milepost 331 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Little Switzerland, this free museum features treasures found around the state and the local Spruce Pine Mining District through interactive… read more
Spruce Pine Festivals
Spruce Pine Potters Market
Longtime gathering with 30+ potters and clay artists selling their handmade pottery, figurative sculpture, stoneware, earthenware and more. Free admission. 10 AM-5 PM both days. 31 Cross Street,… read more
Spruce Pine Southern Christmas Show
This Arts & Craft event showcases a 3-D winter wonderland scene and holiday decorations in two large exhibit halls featuring over 60 local artists and crafters selling handmade jewelry,… read more
Spruce Pine BBQ & Bluegrass Festival
Great BBQ with live bluegrass, antique tractor show, jamming stage, championship clogging teams, artists & crafts vendors, and local food vendors. At the Riverside Park across the river from… 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
Fire On the Mountain
Come to downtown Spruce Pine to see and buy works from Penland School and nationally-renowned blacksmiths demonstrating their skills. Iron & metal art exhibit, tool and gear vendors, forge-off… read more
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
A Mountain Christmas Trail of Lights
Enjoy 15 miles of twinkling lights and displays through the small towns of Spruce Pine and Bakersville, with many holiday happenings throughout the month. While you’re there, choose and cut your… read more
NC Mineral and Gem Festival
Go to Spruce Pine to shop, swap, and discover beautiful jewelry, gemstones, minerals, fossils, and more - indoors at 31 Cross Street. Mine tours also. Grassy Creek Gem Show outdoors at Parkway… read more