Discover Spruce Pine, Mitchell County & Western North Carolina

Explore History, Recreation & Culture in N.C.’s High Country


United Country Real Estate | Carolina Properties is located in Spruce Pine, N.C., in Mitchell County. This is Western North Carolina, also known as the High Country. It’s a region with breathtaking mountain views, dense forests and rolling rivers — ideal for all types of year-round outdoor recreation.

This part of the state is filled with small towns and communities that generally enjoy a serene, country lifestyle. And along with the adventures outdoors, the area’s history, music, cuisine and more continue to be a draw for college students, working professionals and retirees alike.

History Snapshot: Spruce Pine & Western North Carolina

Spruce Pine has a rich history, chronicled through the many buildings still standing in the city today. The Old English Inn is one of the city’s original structures and dates back two centuries. The inn was a hub for the community, which eventually grew along with the burgeoning railroad and mining industries.

The name “Spruce Pine” came about as a nod to the spruce tree the inn’s owner saw every morning from her window. Today, the city’s downtown district is filled with historical buildings, with some such as the Gunter Building cited for its unique and masterful construction.

Other cities not too far from the immediate area such as Asheville also rose in popularity after the railways were established. Notable poets, artists and explorers came through Asheville, as did business mogul George W. Vanderbilt, who collaborated with skilled architects to build the impressive Biltmore Estate, still operating today.

Outdoor Activities & Adventures: The Blueridge Mountains of N.C.

Consisting mostly of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Western North Carolina’s Mountain Region provides some of the most beautiful scenery in the entire country. It also offers amazing opportunities for outdoor adventures that adapt with the changing seasons and attract tourists from all over.

Often referred to as “America’s Favorite Drive,” the Blue Ridge Parkway runs through five states, including our region of North Carolina. Along this drive, one can find prime hiking, biking and camping locations, and great spots to view wildlife. Beech Mountain Resort in the town of the same name, is the place for skiing and other snow sports come winter (and the resort hosts concert series).

If hunting is your aim when it comes to recreation, you may want to start in the Pisgah National Forest. Avery and Mitchell counties have access points via the Appalachian Ranger District, and you’ll find deer, black bear, turkey and ruffed grouse in these parts. Within the forest, places such as the Linville Gorge Wilderness area with its namesake river and mountain, are popular for backpacking, rock climbing and fishing.

For fly fishing in particular, as well as waterways for kayaking and rafting, it’s all about the North Toe River, while Mount Mitchell State Park in Yancey County offers a vast network of challenging hiking trails and picnic shelters. Nature conservationists and the educational-minded will want to check out Grandfather Mountain in Linville, which has wildlife habitats, learning programs … and America’s highest suspension footbridge.

Spruce Pine & the High Country: Education, Art & Culinary Delights

While adventures in nature are the staple of our communities, there’s a whole lot else that makes Spruce Pine and the surrounding High Country so special. Education, art, music and culinary delights are among the many other attractions enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.

Noteworthy college towns in the area include the University of North Carolina at Asheville and Appalachian State University in Boone. Explore art and history in multiple mediums at The Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, or grab a craft beer and play unlimited pinball for a set price at the Asheville Pinball Museum.

And we’d be remiss not to mention the Mountain Region’s music scene. Start with Burnsville’s Music in the Mountains and Asheville’s Downtown After 5 – both of which highlight blues, country and jazz musicians.

When hunger kicks in, head to the City Drive In right here in Spruce Pine, for recipes that haven’t changed since 1950. Or for more of a fine-dining experience, there’s the Chalet Restaurant in Little Switzerland. A couple of the top spots for libations include Boone’s Appalachian Mountain Brewery, and Banner Elk Winery & Villa, which touts itself as “The Jewel of the High Country.”