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, glass works, 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 AM-5 PM March through November; Monday through Friday, 10 AM-5 PM in December; and during festivals and special events.
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 home-cooked dinner is offered in their Schoolhouse Café starting at 6 PM.
October 16-17, 2020: Harvest Festival
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 26-27 & November 27-28, 2020: 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.
Two must-stops near Stecoah are:
- Bee Global Studio Gallery (photo above): Experience art and nature at this candle studio gallery featuring beeswax lighting and other artful creations. Open April-December, Monday-Friday 10 AM-5 PM and Saturday 10 AM-3 PM. 1633 Lower Stecoah Rd
- 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
Nearby Things to Do & Places to Stay