In the tiny community of Stecoah (near Robbinsville), is a surprising jewel offering amazing art, craft and entertainment that you normally find in much larger towns. Located in a historic school building on the Indian Lakes Scenic Byway, Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center presents the best of local art, craft and music. It's conveniently near the Nantahala River rafting area, Bryson City and Fontana Lake, in the shadows of the Great Smoky Mountains.
At the Stecoah Valley Artisans Gallery, buy original artwork and fine crafts that have made North Carolina famous. There is a wide variety of traditional and contemporary works: paintings, pottery, weaving, wood-turned items, glassworks, photography, note cards, jewelry, soaps, quilts, books, and much more. The Gallery showcases the work of area artisans, a majority of whom are self-taught, while some are academically trained. The gallery is open Monday-Saturday 10-4 PM, March through December. Artisan gallery is closed January and February.
An Appalachian Evening, their annual summer concert series, features an impressive line-up of bluegrass, folk, and old-time mountain music by award-winning artists on Saturday nights, late June through August, in their historic, intimate auditorium. Concerts start at 7:30 PM and a light fare is offered in their Schoolhouse Café starting at 6 PM.
The grounds include an outdoor pavilion, sculpture garden, family picnic areas and a children's play area. Stecoah Valley Center is also home to the Courtyard of the Cherokee- an outdoor art and culture exhibit that authentically represents the seven clans of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The 10-acre property is surrounded by a paved and handicap-accessible 1/3-mile-long garden trail with rustic benches and native plants. The walking trail is free and open to the public seven days a week. Restrooms are available during business hours.
October 14-15, 2022
The three-day Harvest Festival is held the third weekend in October, starting with a Friday evening campfire, followed on Saturday with music, dance and craft and food vendor, and a headliner bluegrass group in the auditorium. Read more.
June 24-25, 2022 and November 25-26, 2022: Arts & Crafts Drive-About Tour
Take a free self-guided driving tour of the galleries and working studios of Graham and Swain Counties and buy arts and crafts directly from the artist. Pick up a map at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center. 10 AM-5 PM.
Directions from Asheville (85 miles)
Take I-40 west to exit 27 for Hwy 74 (Great Smoky Mountain Expressway). Stay on Hwy 74 (four lane) for about 48 miles. Turn right on NC Hwy 28 for about 10 miles and watch for signs for Stecoah on left.
Visit several artist studios nearby. Many are open on a regular basis. See a full list of nearby artists.
A must-stop near Stecoah is:
- Yellow Branch Pottery & Cheese: Tour the working pottery studio and sample cheeses made on the farm. Open April-December, Tuesday-Saturday Noon-5 PM. 1073 Old Yellow Branch Rd
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