Are you looking for the best North Carolina mountain towns, but not sure where to start? If so, you have come to the right place! North Carolina is a wonderful state with great barbecue and beautiful waterfalls. But the thing that this southern state will be known for is its North Carolina mountain towns!
Many people come to NC to chase the autumnal leaves as they cascade their warm hues across the best towns in the North Carolina mountains. Others come for the beautiful Christmas lights! Any reason is a good reason to visit some of the best mountain towns in North Carolina!
With a handful of mountain ranges including the Appalachian, Blue Ridge, and Great Smokey, it is no wonder there needed to be a list of best North Carolina mountain towns! Pack your bug spray and hiking boots because it is time to dive in!
15 Best North Carolina Mountain Towns You Must Visit
When it comes to mountain towns near Asheville, Black Mountain is one of the most quaint! The town’s rich history can be explored at the Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center. After you can dine at one of the many downtown eateries! Just a few blocks away is Tomahawk Lake where you can walk the half mile loop around with stunning views of Graybeard Mountain.
There are numerous cideries, distilleries, and breweries in town as well! Black Mountain is one of the favorites when it comes to small mountain towns in North Carolina, but also makes the list for cutest small towns in NC! With hiking, a lake, history, great restaurants and amazing local shops, Black Mountain is a great place to spend a weekend!
Make sure to check out our list of the best Breweries In North Carolina to find some of your favorite local craft beer.
Weaverville is one of the most interesting small towns near Asheville! Only fifteen minutes north of Asheville this town has a lot of great surprises! With a population of less than 3100, a tourist will feel like part of the small town!
A nice hike will take you to Reems Creek where you can see both the dam and a waterfall! In the heart of their downtown is a beautiful nature park where you can picnic. Twice a year, the town hosts the Weaverville Art Safari with dozens of artists opening their studios to visitors. Nearby you can also stay in one of the coolest treehouses in North Carolina.
With the strong artists’ influence, Weaverville is one of the best mountain communities in North Carolina!
Hendersonville is one of the most popular mountain towns in western North Carolina! This beautiful town is a great place to chase Fall and one of the best places to get great pictures! With the second largest downtown in western North Carolina, Hendersonville has over a hundred shops and twenty-five restaurants!
Also in Henderson is the Elijah Mountain Gem Mine and the aquarium and shark lab if you are there with kiddos. For adults, there is the Brandy Bar! Hendersonville is consistently known as one of the best North Carolina mountain towns! You must see it for yourself!
When you are wondering where to visit in the north Carolina mountains, we always recommend Highlands! At over 4,000 feet elevation, this appropriately named town is surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest which means lots of hiking!
Highlands is home to some of the best waterfalls near Asheville. Dry Falls has a beautiful 80 foot drop, with the bottom 40 feet being a complete free fall. The paved path makes this an easy must do! This is one of the must visit towns in western North Carolina because it also has Glen Falls! The three separate cascades create an awe-inspiring effect. The last one we have to mention is Bridal Falls which cascade over an overhanging bluff and drop 60 feet over a section of the US Highway 64!
Highlands is one of the best North Carolina mountain towns if you are looking for waterfalls!
Located in North Carolina’s beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Banner Elk is one of our favorite North Carolina mountain towns! Known as one of the most romantic mountain towns near Asheville, there is plenty to do either with your person or solo!
Banner Elk is a great town for adults. They have a handful of wineries and breweries for you to enjoy. There is a one mile greenway that is a great walking path to explore the town. There is also a college, alpine coaster, and alpaca farm! There really is so much to do and an easy choice as one of the best North Carolina mountain towns!
Blowing Rock will always be one of the best North Carolina mountain towns! The perfect blend of outdoor adventures and indoor fun! We would be remiss if we did not first mention that Blowing Rock restaurants are some of the best in North Carolina!
Blowing Rock is so popular because of the amazing hiking surrounding the town! Of course these mountain ranges attract so many people for their beautiful fall foliage, but you can visit year round! Whether you want to hike or just enjoy the fall colors from the car, Blowing Rock is a great location.
A fun thing to do in Blowing Rock is to check out the numerous cute churches in the town. Blowing Rock is also one of the best places to live in North Carolina mountains!
Blowing Rock and Boone go hand in hand when talking about the best North Carolina mountain towns. Because they are close in proximity, they compliment each other so well. Again, the restaurants in Boone, much like Blowing Rock are phenomenal and you must check them out!
There are so many waterfalls surrounding Boone and they are all worth seeing! Some are more of a challenging hike, but many are an easy walk along a paved path so you can find one that is perfect for you to check out.
Perhaps our favorite thing around Boone are the cozy cabins you can rent! Either solo, with your partner, family, or friends a cabin in the snow is always a good time! Boone is one of our favorite small mountain towns in North Carolina!
Brevard is known as the Land of Waterfalls and for us, it is one of the best mountain communities in North Carolina! Brevard is the perfect town if you enjoy the outdoors. Although often a road trip stop, the town markets itself as having iconic experiences so lets dive into a couple!
Head to the college campus and try to find a white squirrel! Then you can hike to Whitewater Falls, the tallest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. You can also check out Glass Falls and Glass Rock! Next, go for a slide down Sliding Rock! Yes, you read that right — a rock you can slide down!
Of course Brevard is a perfect place to see the beautiful autumnal colors! It is no wonder that Brevard is one of the best North Carolina mountain towns.
The gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Bryson city is one of the best NC mountain towns! Not to be outshone by the National Park, Bryson City manages to be an experience all its own! Whether you are coming for the outdoor adventures or want to enjoy the indoors Bryson City should be one your list!
In Bryson City you can take the Road To Nowhere, ride the scenic railroad, or go deep creek tubing with your friends! This is one of the best things to do in Bryson City!
The town and surrounding trails are incredibly dog friendly and you will want them to see the remarkable vistas! The shops, galleries, and restaurants will keep you on your feet and eager to see what the next store front has to offer! If you want to stay, there is plenty of mountain lodging!
If you are wondering where to visit in the North Carolina mountains, put Bryson City at the top of your list!
Known as the Jewel of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Little Switzerland is one of the best North Carolina mountain towns! The surrounding mountains have been mined for the last 100 years and they have found emeralds and gems that glow in the dark. You can even visit a real jewel mine and live your Snow White dreams.
Visiting Little Switzerland is like taking a quick trip to Europe, right in the middle of the United States! The shops and restaurants have a distinctly Swiss feel and the surrounding mountains contribute to the picturesque scene. Whether you come for the day or stay for the week, Little Switzerland is something to experience! This is one of the most unique small towns near Asheville!
Sylva is one of the best mountain towns in North Carolina because it is incredibly picturesque. With a population of less than 3000, Sylva definitely qualifies as one of the small mountain towns in North Carolina! Their all- American main street is perfect for strolling and is packed with restaurants, breweries, galleries, bookstores, and many small business shops.
Sylva is also home to the most photographed courthouse in North Carolina (remember how we said it was picturesque)! A visit to Sylva is like a step back in time that you will want to take again and again. Nestled in the mountains, this is the perfect escape from the bigger cities in western North Carolina. Add Sylva to your list of where to visit in the North Carolina mountains!
Maggie Valley touts itself as being nestled in Nature’s glory in the Great Smoky Mountains! Many know Maggie Valley as one of the best mountain towns in North Carolina, so lets get into why!
Make sure to check out our list of the Best Things To Do In Maggie Valley And Nearby!
First, Maggie Valley is home to one of the best ski resorts in NC, Cataloochee! The townspeople of Maggie Valley prioritize Southern hospitality above all else so you are sure to feel right at home! You can spend the day fishing, golfing, hiking, or riding a zipline! The night is time to indulge is wonderful restaurants, drinking, and dancing! There are plenty of hotels and such to spend the night and then you can spend the morning exploring the unique shops and restaurants in their downtown.
Maggie Valley is one of our favorite small mountain towns in North Carolina!
Beech Mountain is one of the best NC mountain towns because it is made for tourists! This four season resort town aims to provide quality recreation experiences for residents and visitors alike! The backdrop of many romantic getaways, Beech Mountain is a wonderful place to escape with someone you love!
Beech Mountain is the highest town in the Eastern United States, and offers the splendor a true mountain experience. Whether you are there for ski season, chasing leaves, or fishing and tubing, this quaint town can take great care of you!
Beech Mountain should be on your list for where to visit in the North Carolina mountains!
Self proclaimed friendliest town in the South, Tryon is one of the best NC mountain towns! The mild climate and small town shops make Tryon a wonderful place for strolling and taking everything in. Known for its glamping, you can definitely make a week out of your visit!
Their rich equestrian history is the unexpected delight of Tryon and even houses an international equestrian center! The town’s quirky personality gives you all the delights of a small town you see in the movies, but being as real and you and I.
We recommend a visit to the old movie theatre in town , catch some live music, and enjoy a gallery! Tyron has so much to offer and that is why it is one of the best mountain communities in North Carolina!
The village of Sugar Mountain is another four season resort town. Located in the middle of Pisgah National Forest and the highest Blue Ridge Mountains, this town has so much to offer! Known for having the largest ski area in the state, Summer and Spring bring golf, tennis, lift rides, live music series and plenty of scenic vistas! This really is a four season resort!
Sugar Mountain is one of our favorite small mountain towns in North Carolina and we hope you check it out!