Spruce Pine, North Carolina, Vacation Guide

Spruce Pine, NC

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.

Spruce Pine, NC

On Oak Avenue in downtown, several outstanding browsing stops within one block include the impressive Toe River Arts Council Gallery, Rivers Edge Outfitters and Moose Crossing & Co. The Market On Oak features a farmers market, local specialty foods, music and books by regional authors. A top restaurant pick is Knife & Fork (61 Locust Street), which works with local farmers to change their menu to take advantage of the bounty of the local area. 

Spruce Pine, NC

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.

Spruce Pine, NC

Riverside Park rests on the opposite side of the river with a wonderful walking path and access to the Toe River for a little trout fishing. Spruce Pine has been designated as a Mountain Heritage Trout City and trout fishing is available from the banks of the Toe River, which runs through the middle of downtown. Walk across the river on the Spruce Pine Footbridge.

Each holiday season, many area Christmas Tree Farms open for people to come and pick the perfect holiday tree.

Tagged "The Mineral City," Spruce Pine has several gem mining spots. The Spruce Pine Mining District is a swath of the valley of the North Toe River in northwestern North Carolina that 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. 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 Nearby Things to Do

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.
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. 
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 around the state and the local Spruce Pine Mining District through interactive displays on a wide variety of minerals and gems.
Little Switzerland NC
Little Switzerland
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.
Toe River NC Kayak
Thrifty Adventures
Ride down the scenic, pristine Toe River in the Spruce Pine area on an inflatible kayak or tube. Also, learn to rock climb or rapel down a waterfall. Located in Little Switzerland along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Spruce Pine Festivals

BBQ Festival
Spruce Pine BBQ & Bluegrass Festival
Friday, July 14, 2017 to Saturday, July 15, 2017
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 downtown Spruce Pine. Tickets $5/person. 
NC Mineral & Gem Festival
NC Mineral and Gem Festival
Thursday, August 3, 2017 to Sunday, August 6, 2017
Go to Spruce Pine to shop, swap and discover beautiful jewelry, gemstones, minerals, fossils and more. $3/person. Also, go to Grassy Creek Gem Show at Parkway Fire Department (136 Majestic View) with 60 vendors and free admission.
Spruce Pine Potters Market
Spruce Pine Potters Market
Saturday, October 14, 2017 to Sunday, October 15, 2017
A gathering of 30+ top potters and clay artists with functional pottery, figurative sculpture, stoneware, earthenware and more. Indoors at Cross Street Center (31 Cross St) in downtown Spruce Pine. Free admission. 10 AM-5 PM.
Located adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Little Switzerland (near Spruce Pine), Grassy Creek Falls is a multi-cascade... read more
Tiny, charming Crossnore (population 200) in rural Avery County has an inspiring story and several unique things to see. For more than 100 years, the highly respected Crossnore School & Children'... read more
Crabtree Falls is located at Milepost 339.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway (about 45 miles north of Asheville) and is accessed by a woodland hiking trail with two... read more
The Museum of North Carolina Minerals, located at Milepost 331 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Little Switzerland and... 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