Mitchell County, North Carolina Vacations (NC)

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Home of Penland School of Crafts

Mitchell County is celebrating it's 150th Birthday on October 7th, 8th and 9th. Come experience arts & crafts demostrations, music, food, a Civil War Camp and much more! It's happening in the Historic Capitol of Mitchell County, Bakersville.

Visitors to Mitchell County enjoy the Appalachian Trail on the north and the Blue Ridge Parkway on the south. Roan Mountain, where you'll find the world's largest natural rhododendron garden, the Toe River, and the Nolichucky River provide dozens of hiking and walking trails, creeks full of native trout and breathtaking waterfalls.

Mitchell County is also home to the Penland School of Crafts, founded in 1923 by Miss Lucy Morgan. The school encompasses some 400 acres, 41 structures and has over 1,200 people a year seeking instruction in a variety of different media.

The Bakersville and Penland areas alone are home to almost 100 professional artisans, including N.C. Folk Heritage Award Winner Bea Hensley. Their studios and galleries, with displays of glass, pottery, metal, weavings and jewelry, capture the essence of Mitchell County's strong arts and crafts heritage.

Another important historic site in the area is the Dellinger Grist Mill. The mill has been family owned for over 146 years, and the current owner, Jack Dellinger, still utilizes the same methods and machinery as his ancestors. Jack, a retired IBM computer engineer, has even written a book that chronicles the history of the mill and its surrounding area. Thanks to his loving restoration, the mill was added the the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

Gloria Houston, author of "The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree" also grew up in Mitchell County. Her book was the inspiration for The Home of the Perfect Christmas Tree.

The Orchard at Altapass, a non-profit organization is an Appalachian cultural and historical center celebrating the people, music, art, and natural beauty of the Blue Ridge mountains. Visitors enjoy the Monarch Butterfly Preservation, live mountain music, hayrides, tour groups and, of course, delicious apples.

Whether you're a lover of fine crafts or an outdoor enthusiast, it's easy to see why so many vacationers each year make Mitchell County a part of their memories.

For more information on this mountain county, go to the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce.