Take an extraordinary getaway in the mountains outside Asheville and right nearby one of the best gem mines in North Carolina. Gem mining is a fantastic time for the whole family, a hands-on adventure where you can take home a piece of history, all while enjoying other activities from the convenience of a comfortable home base.
Emerald Village & North Carolina Mining Museum
Emerald Village in Little Switzerland is the place to go for an all-in-one historical experience with enough to do for an entire day of fun! Tour the Discovery Mill, featuring a variety of exhibits documenting the past and present of Emerald Village, including antique tools, a model railroad display, and the Antique Music Museum. Experience the thrill of panning for gold, searching for precious stones in the Crabtree Emerald Mine, or mineral hunting at the McKinney Mine dumps. Keep an eye out for special nights where Black Light Mine Tours are available, an event where you can see our underground mine lit up with special ultraviolet lights! Get the camera ready at Bon Ami Waterfall, the perfect place to take a group photo and observe the beauty of the falls. Make sure and browse both their giftshops before you leave, with items from both here and around the world available to take home with you as a memento of your fantastic day at Emerald Village.
Other Nearby Locations for Day Trips
Add some variety to your getaway and check out some of the other exciting activities around Engadine.
- Take “America’s Favorite Drive” and ride the Blue Ridge Parkway for unparalleled views of the Appalachians with majestic pine trees, deep canyons, and miles of beautiful road.
- Visit the Linville Caverns deep within Humpback Mountain and see the breathtaking natural formations for yourself at this cave system first discovered in the early 1800s.
- Easily the best place to hike in the area, the beauty of Grandfather Mountain cannot be understated. It is a nature park, home to a wide variety of animals and scenic views from the “Mile-High Bridge” connecting two peaks.
- Tweetsie Railroad is fun for the whole family, a wild-west themed amusement park with a 3-mile steam locomotive train ride, more gold panning and gem mining experiences, and even a petting zoo with lots of friendly animals to greet.
- There’s so much to do at Mystery Hill that you could spend an entire day exploring this exciting place. It features the famous “Natural Gravitational Anomaly” along with “The Hall of Mystery”, an interactive science exhibit where you can discover the weird and wacky!
- Offering both a speedy rollercoaster as well as a ropes adventure course, Wilderness Run is a must-visit for adventure seekers at one of the most exciting destinations in the area.
- The Blowing Rock is a strange place, a rare formation in nature where a strong gust of air continuously blows upwards over the edge of a cliff, an effect so strong that it reportedly makes “snow fall upside-down” according to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. It’s a great place to visit not only for its unique qualities but also for its storied history.
Have Your Family Reunion at Engadine Inn and Cabins
Take the whole family along for an unforgettable vacation amongst the beauty of the Appalachians and see everything the surrounding area has to offer with a stay at our Asheville, NC bed and breakfast. Our cozy cabins are perfect for families with plenty of room and all the amenities you need for a great stay, including comfy king and queen beds, full kitchens, fireplaces, and gorgeous views of the mountains. Have your North Carolina family reunion on property and rent out as much space as you need for everyone to come along. From relaxing at the firepit to outdoor adventures amongst the wilds of North Carolina, there’s always something to do here in our neck of the woods.Book Now